Nietzel’s resignation coming during difficult budget situation

Nov 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Columns, Opinions

by Zach Becker

As the campus community continues to react to the startling resignation announcement by MSU President Michael Nietzel, one can’t help but wonder what role the upcoming budget crisis had in his decision.

In any case, we need the leader of our college to have his or her full attention and energy directed toward the difficult situation ahead. While it would have been easy for Nietzel to sit back and collect on that big paycheck, I respect him for recognizing that his head was not in the game. Cartoon

You know the budget situation is looking grim when the school is going as far as eliminating a $300 expense for an entry fee normally given to the intramural flag football champions to compete at a regional tournament (see page 7).

Scrimping, saving, and doing without will no doubt be some of the job requirements for the new president.

With all of this cost-cutting, we can’t lose sight of the primary mission of any institution of higher learning; sports, obviously.

Like a butcher, we have to be careful to avoid the bone as we cut the fat out of the budget.

It seems the first instinct usually is to gouge the students. Increased tuition. Increased cost of parking permits. More tickets and fines.

Unfortunately, I am sure we will see plenty of these measures to go along with budget cuts.

Instead, I think we need to be more creative. Here are a couple ideas I had just off the top of my head.

Remember that grain elevator Missouri State bought for $1 a few years back but haven’t done anything with? I think it would make a great billboard. Businesses pay decent money for an average billboard. Imagine what they’d pay for a giant one like that.

What about that fancy new arena everyone seems to think is costing too much to maintain?

Why don’t we put JQH to good use and generate some revenue. I look on the event calendar and besides sports, I only see four special events through March. None of them are big draws in my opinion.

The Eagles came to JQH to open the place up with a bang. Why can’t we get more acts like that. Maybe someone like Bob Dylan? Oh, yeah, he performed at the Shrine Mosque when in Springfield instead.

JQH is an awesome, state-of-the-art arena. I’ve been to arenas in big metropolitan areas and I have to say, besides its smaller size, JQH was just as nice.

We are lucky to have an arena like that for a city this size. We just need to better utilize it.

We have a great university. Let us hope our new president can keep it that way through thick and thin budgets.

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