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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Portland State is out of money -- for education

We went to the dentist yesterday. Unlike most people, we don't mind a regular trip to that office. But our dentist's office is downtown near Portland State, and getting there is quite a chore, what with all the makework construction going on over there.

Streetcar, light rail, giant solar panel displays, apartment bunker after apartment bunker, throngs of young unemployable "creatives" walking around -- why, it's a regular Earl Blumenauer wet dream. All those young people are being indoctrinated with the party line, of course: that highrise apartments are the key to making Portland great. And they're being indoctrinated by some of the best sellers of "green" hypocrisy -- Vera Katz and many other City Hall castoffs leading the charge.

Anyway, it's more than a little amusing that PSU is now cutting back academic staff, crying the blues about its budget. It's got tons of money for limitless political patronage positions and real estate developer welfare, but nothing for professors. What a place.

Comments (13)

In my opinion the University has been aligned too closely with Portland City Hall. As one goes in an economic downward spiral pushing ideas not affordable now, so goes the other.
I find it intrusive when PSU students are sent out to neighborhoods for "projects" on behalf of whom? It looks like an extension of city hall plans on that campus, and I am troubled by indoctrination by the city on what should be a university of independent thinking.

A month after PSU hires Kulongoski to teach public policy they start offering $40,000 early retirement incentives. Naah, you don't think ...

Ever get the feeling that someone realized that the development games are where the real revenues come in? I don't think Portland State will be the first university to realize that education is a loss-leader, but I fully expect it to become a shining example to others.

Hasn't your favorite Oregonian reporter Ted Sickinger been writing for two years that spiraling PERS and medical benefit costs are going to be sucking down 25 percent of agency budgets, and that this will cost service and employees? That's my recollection of what I've read for two years. Yet in the individual stories that mount up it is not mentioned or is only vaguely alluded to.

I think OHSU realized this trick a few decades ago and has been quit successful at it. So why not PSU?

Because eventually the rubes wise up.

PSU's trying to remake itself as a Tier 1 research institution. And city and state leaders both want to see the higher-education institutions in Portland create an innovation center the way Stanford, UT-Austin, UNC, Harvard/MIT, etc. fuel startups and economic growth in Silicon Valley, Austin, the Research Triangle, and the Greater Boston region, etc.

I don't necessarily disagree with those goals. It's just that our leaders don't give me a lot of confidence given their past fecklessness when using public dollars to chase development pipe dreams (and enrich connected insiders). SoWhat, anyone?

And, like so much other planning and development that goes on in Portland, PSU and the politicians that enable it are catering to the needs of (hypothetical) future Portlanders instead of the needs of people (including professors and students) already living and working here.

BoJack's pros sum up the downtown headache zone superbly. I also call downtown Portland the Public Monies Waste Center.

City Hall's greater notion is to expand out its downtown headache zone to the eastside and westside via a streetcar going up Powell and another going out Barbur Blvd. Whether bicyclist, pedestrian or regular Tom Trucker/Anne Automobiler dealing with tracks in the middle of the road makes for increased stress.

As a soon-to-be-Boomer-retiree, I've already bought my home in the country to escape as long as possible the Soviet style planners of Metro and Portland city hall.

"PSU's trying to remake itself as a Tier 1 research institution."

Can you give me something of substanc eto back up that belief?

From what I see PSU wants to build more plant, but nothing I can see that raises standards for either graduates or admissions.

Can you give me something of substance to back up that belief?

Word of a colleague who until recently was on the PSU faculty. Hearsay, perhaps, but clearly PSU wants to be something bigger than it is.

PSU-Tier 1 research institution? That is what PSU PR flacks are telling every committee, body, government agency, sole, even the SoWhat URAC. It's all words now, and probably much like the 10,000 SoWhat biotech jobs.

My nephew left PSU because about every class he took seemed to be proselytizing "green", "sustainable" and patting themselves on the back continuously, while forgetting the class subject.

Maybe if they were reimbursed the bogus travel expenses from Mike Burton they could keep on 1-2 professors?


Great. My daughter's going there next year. (Not her first choice, but living at home's WAY cheaper than anywhere else!)

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