Bruininks’ e-mail more convincing as an ad

Please stop sending me advertisements in my e-mail to justify your spending.

On Monday, I opened my e-mail to find a gem sent by President Bob Bruininks, subject: “What’s on Your Mind?” Why Bob! I’m flattered that you would want feedback from me! I started composing “my greatest question” in my head, until I open the e-mail to realize that I have been tricked. Enclosed was not a genuine question for my response, but an advertisement to gain my support on the current University lobbying campaign for funds.

For those of you who deleted the e-mail quickly, here’s what you missed. Set up as those “Driven to Discover” ads, real (?) students pose questions to Bruininks. The first asks what we should do when it’s cold outside. The response: The University is part of the thriving music and theater scene. Also confirmed: Bruininks’ new glasses are pretty hip.

Second, the University is cutting-edge with being a green campus. Even the football stadium is going to be green. Lastly, we have many faculty retiring and are in desperate need to hire more. What do top faculty request when they come to the University? Beautiful buildings.

In total, this ad is to convince us that we need the state to give us more money for our buildings. Obviously, I like facilities that are sturdier than the Interstate-35W bridge, and appreciate when air conditioners work in the summer, but I worry when Bruininks says we can delay some repairs or divert funds from academic programs if the Legislature doesn’t open its pockets more.

All said, something doesn’t add up. Where is all this money really going?

We have enough money for a stadium but not for building repairs. We do not have enough money to give wage increases to workers but need good buildings for great faculty. We apparently have a legitimate need for building repair, yet the administration must put together a PR video to convince us to join the cause. Our tuition keeps rising, yet Bruininks can afford a new set of specs.

Legislature, give what you can to meet our campus needs. Bob, try to prioritize our spending in a way that makes sense. And please, stop sending me advertisements to justify your spending choices. E-mail me directly if you really want my opinion.

Amy Pason is a University Ph.D. Candidate in Communication Studies. Please send comments to [email protected]