A cry for help from OUS

12/21/2010: This is *one sentence* from the Oregonian blog post pushing Paul Kelly and George Pernsteiner’s OUS higher ed plan, written by their spokesperson Di Saunders. Read this and ask if these people should be in charge of higher ed in Oregon:

Creating advantages, efficiencies, and cost control through structural change: changing the OUS status from a state agency to a statewide public university system will provide OUS and Oregonians with many advantages, including assurance that student-paid tuition revenues and related investment earnings will be protected and directed towards their instruction, financial aid, quality programs and student success, and help campuses manage through the anticipated large budget cuts in 2011-2013; adoption of a simplified “block appropriation” budgeting approach which both community colleges and K-12, but not OUS, receive today, and which will be driven by outcomes and accountability, not based on the prior biennial budget plus an automatic increase for inflation, but on what the state needs for students to succeed, thus moving from a compliance focused system to an achievement focused one; and better control over costs and revenues will achieve lower overhead and result in more optimal use of resources. 

My God, where to begin. I don’t have the courage to take on the grammar. Start at the end? I’m no Operations Research professor, but I’m pretty sure “more optimal” is mathematically impossible. Maybe OUS achieved “optimal use of resources” long ago, and so “more optimal” comes next? What will be after that? “Most optimal”?

FWIW, Di Saunders is the same person who couldn’t explain to Oregonian columnist Steve Duin how much her boss, OUS Chancellor Pernsteiner is paid. Hint: too much, and apparently he’s not the only one over there.

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