Saturday, July 18, 2009

Maximum Exposure

Peeps, we have a perfect example here of dirty politics in academia. Yeah, I know it; you don't have to tell me, as the FFM and whomever else has reminded me, that this crap happens everywhere.

Answer me this: Why does the cost of attending college increase annually at significantly higher than the cost of living? Honest, I swear to the Big Guy Upstairs, my mission really IS in education. I am so jaded and distrustful of the system of "higher education" in this country, I want to expose this shite like Barbara Ehrenreich does it. Except I don't have the money to actually do it because I have to work to pay the bills.

Anyway, on to the scandal- but wait! Welcome back to America! I mean, here we are in all her glory! The FFM just called to let me know he is running late because while he was in the auto parts store picking up a battery for the Ural, some dumb jackass- or just plain impolite and selfish jackass- hit his car in the parking lot and left the scene!

Ha, you jackass! There were witnesses who got your license plate number! (Now, America, you are redeemed.) May you find yourself confronted with a fine you cannot afford.

It's payback time, people. In the words of my fine young wise friend Jamie, who will turn a whopping 17 years old on Monday: "It's time for Alice Cooper." No more Mr. Nice Guy (or Miss, for that matter.)

NOW, drumroll, please, as President Tom Buchanan's latest foible is presented:

Response to Press Release

Friends, below is a press release from the University of Wyoming regarding reopening the Geological Museum on the 24th of August on a part-time basis.

IS this what the public wants: families with kids, university students and alumni, scientists, educators, researchers, you who have contributed money and time to the University of Wyoming with the goal in mind of contributing to intellectual and scientific pursuits? A unique historical, paleontological, geological, educational institution of world renown, open so people can come in and look only on a part-time basis, with a security guard to ensure that nothing is stolen?

If so, do nothing. Otherwise, please respond directly to Tom Buchanan and Ben Blalock, to editors of newspapers where you live, to your professional and educational organizations.

Questions to consider:

1) If enough money has been raised privately at this time to open the museum part-time, why is this solution acceptable when Provost Myron Allen told members of the public who offered financial support to keep the institution open for another year and then subsequent years after that, privately, that a temporary solution would not be considered?

2) As the museum has proven to be extremely important to the university, Laramie, and wider scientific and educational communities, why was not more funding acquired to return the museum to full operating capacity in keeping with the public's call for such?

3) What is the status of the fund being held by the Foundation for those who wish to contribute financially to reopening the museum on a full-time budget at full staffing? Will the university administration work with the Geology and Geophysics Department, as stated, to ensure permanent funding, including a director/curator in the future?

For the record, the Friends of the SH Knight Geological Museum continues to act as a nonprofit community benefit organization with the goal of raising awareness and funding to reopen the museum, at its former operating capacity, if not better, as called for thus far by you, the public. We will continue to work for success so that the museum's full value is once again recognized.


News Release
UW to Use Private Funds to Reopen Geological Museum to VisitorsJuly 18, 2009 --

UW President Tom Buchanan has directed the University of Wyoming Geological Museum to reopen on August 24 on a part-time basis for public visits.The UW Foundation has identified and offered private funding to pay for security so the Geological Museum can be open to UW visitors through the coming academic year."

I remain fully committed to meeting UW's budget reductions and intend to achieve savings in our state appropriation from the museum's operations," UW President Tom Buchanan says. "I am grateful to the Foundation for providing the resources needed to keep the doors open to the public."

The museum closed June 30 as one of a series of steps taken to meet an $18.3 million state budget cut that took effect July 1. Buchanan says UW administrators are working hard to minimize the impact of recent budget reductions on students, faculty, staff, the community and the state of Wyoming."

The generous assistance of Vice President Ben Blalock and the UW Foundation will allow us to respond to concerns the museum would remain closed to alumni, tourists, school children and families. Although the museum will not be open on the same basis it was before July 1, this approach meets the most pressing desires for access articulated by the public," Buchanan says.

Buchanan has initiated steps to identify a financially sound future for the museum and will direct a campus group to develop a plan for the display collection no later than the end of the fall semester. The plan will also address the extent to which the research and display collections can mesh with UW's broader academic mission, especially in earth and energy sciences and in science education.
For more information call Jessica Lowell, (307) 460-0604.
Posted on Saturday, July 18, 2009
Posted by Keep Laramie Dinos at 1:51 PM 0 comments

This blogger's personal commentary:
--- Tom Buchanan has directed the museum to reopen, when he was the one who directed it closed? TB: "Museum, I am telling you, reopen! Dammit, why did you close in the first place? What? Are you trying to make me look bad?... Oh, I closed you? Huh, I don't seem to recall... Well, surely it was someone else's fault...I want you open pronto!"

--- Ben Blalock's "generous assistance?" Shite, when I do my job, it's just called doing my job!

--- So, this security guard is exactly what the community has asked for: someone to watch over their shoulders so they don't steal any of the unique scientifically and educationally relevant geological and paleontological display items while they wander around aimlessly, like in their school groups, because the guard doesn't have the expertise to give them an educational tour or at least answer questions, which is what they came for.

--- Buchanan has "initiated steps to save face for making a huge mistake." The words at the end of that press release are a typo.

--- Laugh while you can... Those of you who've seen Buckaroo Banzai know what comes next. I'll stop there and return to the calming task of rearranging furniture.

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