A letter to Ross Anderson

Anderson wears his ignorance like a badge of honor. As long as he insists that others are making it so difficult to understand, then he can claim they must be hiding âÄúwasteâÄù somewhere. Basic accounting changes such as âÄúchanges in the way utility costs are recorded … [And] a change in the methodology for recording fringe benefit costsâÄù are not difficult to understand. Either Anderson really is stupid âÄî not ignorant âÄî or he doesnâÄôt want to understand because then heâÄôd have to admit he cannot find the waste in the budget. Now I donâÄôt for a minute think Anderson is stupid; I think he has an agenda. And it suits his agenda to make it seem that others are trying to obscure facts by portraying things as too complicated to understand. And as to the 12 vice presidents, it would seem none of the people currently attacking Bob BruininksâÄô management of the University have even a basic understanding of business management. Oh I know, running the University like a business is a big bugaboo that can be trotted out anytime you want to raise emotions about the way the University is being run. Education is not a business! Right. The University is incurring expenses and capital investments that amount to billions of dollars a year. If you are not running it like a business then you shouldnâÄôt be running it. Regarding the over-the-top salaries Anderson âÄî and others âÄî feel are out of line: Again, you are running a multi-billion dollar organization; your VPs are managing business units responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars. What do you think it takes to employ someone with the knowledge and skills to run such complex operations? You may be able to hire 30-40 of those âÄúworking-class real peopleâÄù that Anderson so admires. I guarantee you that you will end up with less-skilled VPs responsible for much more complex organizational units and mistakes will get made that will dwarf your savings. Editor, please assign someone to follow up this issue who has some basic reporting skills and a real desire to understand. Not someone who sets out to prove that there is waste at the top of the organization. This is too important to allow Limbaugh/Hannity types of approaches to our editorial page. Al Fisher Daily reader