What Committee Runs the Committees?

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Graham Spanier recently blogged at the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Brainstorm about how prepared Penn State is for whatever comes our way. If you can imagine it, we probably have a committee for it.

At Penn State we have a Foodborne Illness Committee and an Avian Flu Committee. There is a committee that plans for emergencies at our huge football stadium. There is another group that plans for emergencies at the local airport, one of the busiest in the state, which is located on university land.

The biggest potential problems are rehearsed by the Emergency Management Group, consisting of administrators representing every relevant part of the university. The day-long exercises they practice throughout the year range from what to do during a prolonged East Coast power outage in the dead of a severe winter storm to how to feed and care for tens of thousands of students, faculty, staff, and local residents in the case of a major international flu outbreak.

I would love to see those plans. Logistics are so relaxing.

But, as Thomas Shakely pointed out this morning, why didn’t the university have a committee set up to plan for economic situations? For instance, imagine if the university faced both a significant increase in its power bill AND a recession in the same year! What would we do?

This morning, Onward State suggested we turn to the state for support. Guess what suckas! Not only are we not going to get additional funding, the state is actually going to reduce funding, according to a late-breaking Collegian report.

Penn State could lose $20.3 million of this fiscal year’s state appropriations, a spokesman for the governor’s office said today.

Trustees have previously said that a hiring-freeze will probably not be necessary. I wonder if they’re rethinking that opinion at this point.

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Creator of @OnwardState. Big fan of sweaters. Now at Fusion.

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  1. On tuition: What is a $225 board increase to a freshman? As long as mom and dad don’t mind, it don’t matter. Consider if a student had to pay their own electric bill on campus. Real quick life lesson. Town students are the real losers in the deregulation. They are going to see their monthly bills nearly double.

    On committees: Ask anyone trying to make something happen the following question: How many committees have you encountered in this decision? It’s the Penn State equivalent of 6-Degrees of Kevin Bacon, except ours ends at Spanier’s President’s Council plus the Board of Trustees if it is important enough.