Lack of understanding by those affected the most in Higher Education sector by the Congressional Super Committee’s failure to reach an accord troubling

Posted on November 29, 2011


“The problem is that people don’t understand when they hear about the Super Committee or the debt ceiling,” said Connelly, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. “It sounds lumpy and hard to understand, but students need to get involved.”

from November 28th, 2011 Daily Targum article “Super Committee cuts threaten higher education budget” by Matthew Matilsky

I remember during my days as a cub scout the creed of our pack was to “be prepared.”  Of course, we had an understanding as to what this actually meant in terms of the possible scenarios in which said preparation would be necessary.

Unfortunately, such readiness according to an increasing number of reports relative to how the Super Committee’s inability to reach an accord will negatively impact higher education budgets is not only absent but, much like the grasshopper in the old fable, the many who will be affected by deep budget cuts do not even know that a financial winter is around the corner.

The bigger question is whether or not this lack of perspective extends through the entire higher education sector including in critical areas of operation such as purchasing.

Back in 2008 I was contracted to research and write a white paper for one of the country’s leading educational institutions that was focused on purchasing and more specifically the means by which they could leverage purchasing to achieve a variety of objectives including reduced costs and improved student services.

Now some may believe that during periods of enforced austerity purchasing’s job is relatively easy . . . buy more for less.  But is it really a simple deductive exercise or is there more to it?

Over the next week I will be posting excerpts from the 2008 white paper in the SpendShifts Blog with a corresponding commentary as it relates to the present day challenges to see just how much purchasing’s role will change (if at all) due to the Super Committee’s failure.

Today’s Poll: