Just a funny little dream

I had a dream the other night. I dreamt Facilities Management found a big, fat crack in the basement of Northrop Auditorium, right across the foundation. University President Bob Bruininks asked the architecture and civil engineering departments to investigate, and they reported the same thing: Northrop would fall down if the crack wasn’t repaired.

I dreamt Bruininks hit the ground running. He started a fund-raising campaign. The money, he said, would repair Northrop, the flagship building at the University. And, he said, the money would be used to ensure no crack like this could ever happen again. No need to tear it down – the auditorium would be better and stronger than ever.

The next part of my dream was amazing. The president began to talk about foundations, basements, concrete and cracks in a way that excited donors.

He got them fired up over water tables and subsidence. He had them chanting over rebar and reinforcement. He convinced them. And the money flowed in. Northrop would be saved.

Just a funny little dream I had.

But if Northrop was threatened, the president and his gang would rise up, and they would find the money, and they would repair the foundation and save the building. Wouldn’t they?

The workers of the University are its foundation. Bruininks and his gang are stalling and gaffing over cracks in this foundation. They say they can’t pay to fix the cracks they and the Legislature have caused. They say they can’t interest donors in the foundations of the University, the humdrum clerks. It seems to me that a clever, articulate leader could put it to donors to solve this problem forever by creating a fund for a strong foundation, used to insure that no crack like this could ever happen again. And convince them. And the money would flow in.

Clarke Stone is an executive administrative specialist in the chemical engineering department.

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