Fixing Things So You Don’t Have To – Indiana University

Once upon a time, there was a recession and the government was very sad. So, the government wisely rolled back spending and curtailed expenses to make sure our little Hoosier boat didn’t sink. Then, when things like schools didn’t have any more money to cover all of their spending habits, someone at IU, Purdue, Ball State, Vincennes and Ivy Tech all stood up and said: “Fuck!”

That’s the gist of it anyway. Because the state rolled back spending, everything else should have, too. Although, our state’s smartest people evidently don’t understand money. Or, maybe they do and they just don’t understand anything else. Every public university in the state is raising its tuition rates by as much as 3%, 4% and nearly 5% in some cases. That made a couple lawmakers who evidently didn’t figure a way out of Indianapolis after the Special Session pissy, so they all stood up and yelled, “MEETING!

Administrator after administrator cruised into Indy and said, “Yeah. Sucks, huh? Rather than stopping, you know, spending, we just decided it’d be easier to raise rates. It’s easier than, you know, saving.” Well. You can’t bleed a sun-dried tomato, my friends. I don’t care how much “administrative costs” rose last year.

So, because no one at IU or elsewhere can seem to look under the couch cushions for spare change, here are a few ideas:

  • You know all that money you saved by emailing tuition bills instead of mailing them? Let’s do more of that. No more mailed newsletters, letters, announcements, certificates, flyers or other useless junk you think up. That oughta save a cool $80,000 a year.
  • All those pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters and frisbees you pass around at orientation? That’s gotta cost each school at least 10k a year, if not more at IUB and IUPUI. Let’s realize that no one ever chose to go to a school based on what was printed on a frisbee, so stop wasting that money. There’s at least $30,000 a year.
  • You know those buses that get spun around IUPUI during the summer when no one is on campus? How about you leave it at just one for the whole campus? In fact, make IndyGo take care of those six people in need of a bus. You made IndyGo free for students anyway! There, between two drivers and a bus for 3 months, that’s at least another $25,000.
  • You know those kids you pay to sit in toll booths in the parking garages for 15 hours a day for $10 an hour? How about we get automated garages and put those kids in real jobs doing real work? There, over a year between all the garages, all the students and the hours, that’s at least $100,000, before revenue collected from the garages. Your garages could actually MAKE money!
  • New rule: no more useless research. If I can answer a question using common sense and life experiences, you don’t get to do research on it. So yes, men like sex, women like to shop and kids learn better when they listen to Mozart versus Fifty Cent. System-wide, that’s probably a clean million in savings.

So there, I just saved IU $1.245 million dollars in one year. Over a four year period, that’s nearly $5 million. With that you could save students roughly $300 a year, or $1,185 over a four year degree.

And I did that in…13 minutes.

You Don’t Know, Dick

This week’s Dick-Move-of-the-Week comes to us from my hometown newspaper in The Salem Democrat. In response to a letter opining about our state’s rural schools from Pat Bauer, some guy says:

Reading your article from the House speaker, our schools are a mess as it is. A little cut back in spending will not harm the children. What needs to be done is is the teachers’ salary cut, the hours a day a child has to go to school is too long — number one. Number two, they don’t need to be carrying all these books home doing homework until midnight every night at home with the parents helping. That’s why we pay a teacher.

Well. Number three, I think someone took a number two inside your skull. Teachers’ salaries only seem high to you because you live in frickin’ Salem. If those teachers lived anywhere else, they’d be in poverty for the first ten years of their life.

Number four, I can agree that they don’t need to take a bunch of books home every day, but from my experience most kids take all those books home because they’re too lazy to walk back to their locker before going to the school bus.

Number five, no kid stays up till midnight working on homework. Except maybe the dumb ones and that just keeps them off mine and your lawns, so be happy.  And, I think we can all agree that no parent helps their kid with homework these days.

Number six, the number of hours they spend in school is debatable. I lean on the side of making school more like “the real world” so it prevents kids from being as lazy as they are. Who on earth decided that children needed a summer off? Do you know how many undergraduates I’ve met that still think they deserve a summer break? We best be nipping that in the bud.

Number seven, next time you have a thought, don’t.