Saturday, January 06, 2007

Biennial budget amendments announced

I found this posted at the Virginia Tech web site. Now I know why.

They were a big winner. The commonwealth of Virginia had 1$ billon bucks left over because of "additional revenues beyond projections, cost savings, and unspent funds". Since there are about 7.5 million people in the commonwealth, they government could have refunded each of us about $135.....but noooooo.

Instead, half goes to transportation, higher education for things like "operating support and capital projects", "new capital projects, equipment, cost overruns", "operating programs, including base budget adequacy, financial aid, operations and maintenance of new facilities, a three percent faculty". Base budget adequacy? What the heck is that?

And VPI&SU got money for base operating support and need-based financial aid.

Lastly, Tech got bucks for

$3 million in equipment for the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science facility, and cost overrun funding for the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, the Building and Construction Lab, and Cowgill Hall renovations.
What is this ICTAS? Well its is suppose to:

create a seamless path from fundamental research…through applied research and development…to technology transfer
Why is there an ICTAS?

Based on detailed analyses of factors that contribute to national rankings and on benchmarking at top-line universities, the paradigm of ICTAS has emerged as a vital vehicle to move the university in its research rankings.
All because

In April 2000, the newly inaugurated president of Virginia Tech, Charles Steger, stated the goal of raising the university into the ranks of the nation's foremost universities by 2010.
Why not give our money back? Politician are very generous with someone else's money.

Give me back my money!


Seeing the forest for the trees said...

Applied research is economic development. Land grants were built to do applied research---of course back when Tech was founded it just mostly meant raising farm productivity. Times change.

And weren't you just linking a while back to one of Jerry Fuhrman's anti-tourism-as-economic-development screeds? You're not going to leave a lot to work with if you take this off the table too.

I really hope this isn't turning into a political blog. There are way too many of those and the writing is never as good on them as it (generally) has been here.

Anonymous said...

Overall, I agree with the philosophy of what you are typing in that guv'ment shouldn't be run as a "for-profit" enterprise. "America's abundance was created not by public sacrifices to 'the common good,' but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America's industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance -- and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way" (A. Rand)


Just consider Virginia Tech lucky that they received some funds at all. Most of the time newly found money ends up in NOVa and areas east of Richmond. VT is the economic engine that drives the NRV. My business probably wouldn't exist without the added emphasis of the research park and future goals, equaling more people staying in the burg once they graduate or , as I've seen over the past year, a lot of Californian transplants. Look at the Smart Road as an example. It has about $65M of private sector research lined up for the next year but when it was built, the taxpayer got pinched (statewide) and bitched and moaned. The transportation institute is overrun with future clients so much so that two new buildings are under construction so that an added staff can accommodate all of the work. This scenario isn't limited to the VTTI but all of VT's research depts., some more than others. So, I am (painfully due to my libertarian values) all for the unexpected $$ finding it's way to Blacksburg. If it makes your mind feel better, you can figure most of the $$ came from the pocket of the good folks in Alexandria, Falls Church, Norfolk, Short Pump, and Reston. There are a lot worse things that the politicians could be funneling money to. Just look at the Federal level.

The problem exists down the road when the extra public funding is expected year in and year out, particularly in economically bad years when the private sector is holding onto its funds to survive. Will the funding dry up? No, We The People will just bear more of the brunt. At least here in the NRV it looks like we'll have more people to help out so it will hurt less.