I see two things in this argument: Penn State students who don’t need annual tuition increases of more than 3%, and the need to create an efficient job maket. First, I think the American higher ed system has gotten a little whacked out in recent years -for a lot of reasons, but one of them being the cost. My sophomore year room mate had to leave University Park because he could no longer afford the cost, and honestly, I regret that it had to happen. He grew up in poverty, and University Park could have been his ticket out of that. Furthermore, you can probably understand that from a financial perspective, even as little as $3000 a year extra in tuition costs can result in years of crippling interest payments that I’m not sure many seniors in high school would fully grasp when they sign off on the loan. Second, as far as jobs go; who’s to say that the same people couldn’t work for the outsourced company? And more than that, if Penn State becomes a more efficient institution, then we’ll expand faster (hard to believe, lol), and will eventually create more jobs. And who knows; maybe outsourcing would free up labor for new industry in the State College area. If the University is run well (which I honestly do believe that it is already run very well), then it is only a matter of time before the scope of the State College economy and job market expands.
It’s tough though, because the University is dealing with real people who have real families, and honestly, I would never want to be the person who tells someone to find a new job. Rishi, I admire your sentiment on this one. Here’s a question though: could the University transform its energy and food services supply chain to save the money that outsourcing would? With all the lights that get left on, and all the food that gets thrown out, I wonder how great the potential is.