what are we going to do

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Tue Oct 22 18:14:24 CDT 1996

At 02:12 PM 10/22/96 -0700, Doug Yanega wrote:
>This is the beginning of the end, if the trend catches on. I'll bet there
>isn't a museum in ANY of the Universities out there that can generate
>enough profit to pay for their space requirements.

I'll bet there are few *universities* that can generate enough profit to pay
for their space requirements. Although we joke here about the future "Cal
Poly Industrial Park", the fact is that most universities in populated
regions of the country are worth more "in the freezer", sold as land and
buildings, than "on the hoof", functioning. The attitude of the UMinn
administrators is like the cow saying "if I let them take my tail, maybe
they'll leave the rest of me along.

Of course, universities, museums, and the like, be they public or private,
are part of the cultural inheritance of the communities where they stand.
They can never pay their way, any more than the Liberty Bell, the Alamo, or
the Library of Congress (just to pick a few U.S. institutions). But just as
the Liberty Bell can inspire people to fight for basic freedoms and the
Library of Congress can provide the resources for studies that will shape
our futures, the universities have their strength in the people that make
them up, and museums the added strength of *all* the people that have ever
contributed to them.  As long as we accept that the S.I. unit of existence
is the Dollar, we'll never get good measure on most things.

To get back to the agricultural metaphor, by putting the screws on
universities and museums, we're eating the seed corn.

Curtis Clark                       http://www.is.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Biological Sciences Department                     Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona    FAX:   (909) 869-4396
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                          jcclark at csupomona.edu

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