UCSD’s graduation daze

Though the state’s budget meltdown has boosted tuition and drastically cut local admissions, somebody at the University of California San Diego apparently thinks the show must go on, literally. That seems to be the message of a new “Request for Information” posted online by the school, seeking interest and evidence of qualifications from a host of would-be event producers and theatrical staging specialists. “UC San Diego holds several special events throughout the year including but not limited to Graduation, Chancellor’s Events, News Conferences, Founders’ Day, Associated Students Alumni Gala, and individual college campus events,” according to the document, issued June 8. Among talents and services UCSD is seeking are those involving “Flooring, Stage, Rigging and Electrical Installation etc.”; “Integrated creative design of scenery, lighting and video displays”; and “Creation of event experiences using lighting, sound, video and more.” In addition, the university desires “skilled and client-friendly operators” for video and PowerPoint presentations. It also seeks to fill “critical production positions, especially when talent needs to be brought into markets where local talent is lacking.” Expressions of interest are due June 22.

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Local talent is lacking? Excuse me? Hasn't the maintenance department and the theater department of the university handled the "flooring, stage, rigging," etc., for the last 40+ years? Why the need to contract out what has been done in-house for decades? And "Skilled and client-friendly operators for video and PowerPoint presentations"? What? No computer department anymore?

Seems the university is following in the footsteps of the military, where every thing from cooking, laundry, transportation, etc., which used to be done in-house by the troops, is now contracted out to private companies---usually with close ties to those officers about to retire out and soon-to-be in need of some highly profitable employment.

I know the military has money to burn and usually gets funded for more than they ask for, but I had no idea that UCSD had the same problem. Wonder who is greasing whose palms to get this scam rolling? And in the meantime the students are asked to pay ever higher tuition. Something really stinks in the ivory tower.

It helps to have a smart Reader reader to deconstruct the veiled help-wanteds from our own city on a hill. On the other hand, isn't this what it means to be a "jobs-creator?"

Jobs creation could be one way of describing it; but you could also call it "debt creation" too. I just don't understand why the university would go this route when these tasks could be handled by in-house crew. Sometimes I wonder if they don't first look at how much money they have, and then devise plans that exceed that amount so they now have a reason to ask for more....or, to raise the tuition on the students. I think these schools feel they have to constantly be expanding and have ever increasing expenses, or they're not doing something right.

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