Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Dare to be Stupid: What those tuition increases at U of L may be going for

Well, the folks over at the Love Shack..., er, I mean the University of Louisville are up in arms over Family Foundation spokesman David Edmund's recent op-ed on how the university, which is raising student tuitions, is spending public money. Here are a few choice excerpts from Edmund's article:

Recently U of L was criticized for paying a consultant $200,000 to change its slogan from "Dare to be great" to "It's great to be here."

And it isn't just the slogans that are over-priced. It turns out that special interest politics carry a high price tag too.

At the same time U of L was raising tuition and pressuring lawmakers for more Kentucky tax dollars, it announced the brand new Office for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Services, complete with full-time director, Brian Buford, whose services command a cool $67,207 annually.

And there's this little gem:

U of L's questionable expenditures are not limited to domestic partner insurance and the LGBT Office. In 2005, activist Carla Wallace donated $1 million to be matched by the state for funding U of L's Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. U of L President James Ramsey boasted at the time, "Carla Wallace's generous gift and the state's 'Bucks for Brains' program will enable the University of Louisville to attract top researchers in these areas of scholarship."

So in 2008, what "areas of scholarship" is the state funding with a million dollars of taxpayer-matching money from Bucks for Brains?

According to U of L's Web site, Kaila Story occupies the Audre Lorde Chair and details her areas of research: "Recently, I have been specifically investigating how the black male-bodied Drag Queen's presence within queer 'subcultures' disrupts mainstream notions of what is considered natural and fixed signifiers of black femininity and/or womanhood." (

Maybe President Ramsey can explain exactly how studying "black male bodied drag queens" moves Kentucky forward.

Your tax dollars at work.


Stevo said...

This post reminds me of an article from the Kentucky Kernel back in January. It may not involve as much wasted money as what you are talking about, but it still was enough to make me want to throw up on my keyboard, especially when I got to the last several paragraphs.

Hannah said...

Bleah! At least I don't live in KY.

Anonymous said...

Of curse, whether money is being wasted or not depends entirely on one's perspective. If the money was being spent, for example, on the issue of how many angels it takes to design a bacterial flagellum, I doubt a word of complaint would be seen about it here. Gays, in comparison, are real people who aren't going to go away simply because some people don't like them, so there is no reason why they shouldn't be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

Martin, the title of your post must be a joke, no? I read Story's entry at the UofL web site and see a theme (disruption of natural, mainstream, and normal notions of gender by various gay icons in culture) that seems to fit in nicely with the Family Foundation's inclinations.

In other words, the only person daring to be stupid here would appear to be Edmund.