Nov 092011

The headline is “Maryland poised to drop swim teams“, and in that article you learn about potential for the athletic programs on campus to reach a $17.6 million deficit. That’s just pencil dust to federal accountants but to paupers like us starts to sound like real money.

Athletic programs are supposed to somehow complement the main mission of campus, education. (Of course, some fans will assert that education is supposed to complement the main mission of campus, which is basketball.) Most extra-curricular programs improve education by investing in activities related to coursework, helping to integrate material. There’s a genuine role for that. Let’s also say, for most majors the word “related” needs to be taken with a big grain of salt when it comes to athletics, which is also the biggest money drain of any such things on this campus. (Money is made but it doesn’t go back to the campus core mission. Obviously it isn’t even covering the extras.)

To put this in perspective we wanted to show the ratio of deficit spending on athletics (projected to be $4.7 million this year) to all spending on computer science and engineering extra-curricular programs. Unfortunately, in order to compute that ratio there would need to be spending on computer science and engineering extra- or co-curricular programs. There is none we know of. If you happen to know of anything spent by the state on, say, cyber club, women in mathematics, robotics club, or the other co-curricular activities that do have something closer to do with education than inter-collegiate athletics, then let us know.

 Posted by at 10:02 pm on November 9, 2011