Read Between the Lines of the Bond Boosters
Well, there’s no denying that this is not a desirable occurrence:
Take former doctoral student Marcel Benz, for example. In 2001, he had to throw out a year’s experimentation because there was no way to control temperature and humidity in the building.
The impact of Benz’s experience reached far beyond his lab, because a private company had been counting on his research to move forward with a new technology for infrared sensors.
Even given the professed gravity of the deficiency, though, I’m not sure that this follows:
URI President David M. Dooley agrees that Benz’s story captures the inadequacy of current facilities for education and research in the chemical and forensic sciences.
He and many other supporters of Rhode Island’s public college system urge voters to approve Question 2 on Tuesday’s ballot.
First, I have to say that I’m not sure why voters should be very concerned that a private company did not receive publicly funded research on which it was counting.
More to the point, though: perhaps I missed the months of protracted labor disputes, when the universities shaved down professorial salaries and benefits in order to support spending on adequate learning facilities. Maybe I’m just not recalling the administrations’ appeals to the public for support in dispensing with ivory-tower frivolities like diversity offices. I haven’t yet seen an op-ed by a college or university president containing lines like, “In times when our most promising chemistry students cannot conduct the very experiments for which they’re being trained, we must be more realistic about what aspects of the ‘college experience’ we can afford to sustain.”
If the targets of these bonds were so important that a struggling private sector should commit to further debt and additional economy-killing taxes to support that debt, then those who stand to benefit from them directly would be leading the way in modifying their own behavior.