Thursday, August 15, 2002

A Little-Reported Big Story

Many thanks to South Knox Bubba for catching this one. It seems the incoming President of the UT system, John Shumaker, may be exactly what the University system has been needing for many years--a man who can live within his means! Shumaker says:
"When you're faced with constantly planning for cuts,
for eliminations, a shutdown," he says, "that crisis
management mode is something that we can do and do
it well. But it's a distraction from the larger strategic
goal-setting and even the operational activities that you
need to pay attention to...."

"We must decide what we're going to be with the
resources that we've got, and that's why I've been
using the phrase 'we're going to give Tennessee the
best university it can afford,'" he says. "Now, it might
look different. It might be smaller. It might be
stratified...But it is going to be quality; it is going to be
student-centered; and it is going to be focused on the
land grant values of putting knowledge to work in
some form or another...And we're going to have to do
some surgery, and it's not going to be pleasant...."

"I've always thought that the fairest and most efficient
form of financial aid is low tuition," he says. "That's the
spirit of public universities, and no bureaucracy needs
to support it. Look at how much we spend on
administering federal grants and loans both on
campuses and in Washington. Just keep tuition low,
and you don't need a bureaucracy."

I predict two things. First, he's going to be vilified by the academics and administrators, who will find sympathetic ears in the press. Second, if given a chance he's going to do wonders for the UT system.

You can read the original story here and I highly recommend you do. It's inspiring!

Until next time, that is all.
Your Working Boy

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