BURP update

First an apology for my tardiness in posting recently. I couldn’t think of anything to write and my garden got completely out of control.

By the way, it has been suggested that this blog needs a new name. I am now entertaining suggestions. Please, be kind.

I had three excellent suggestions for blog posts today and I will begin with a favorite topic for us all–and, rather than giving the entity in question even more free advertising than I already have, I will make up a name for it: Buff-colored Urban Restaurant Purchase (BURP).

If I am anywhere within site of campus, someone asks me about the BURP. Someone hears regularly that the proposed BURP is in the offing. It is not.

Each time I hear this, I check in with The Powers That Be (TPTB as long as we’re going with acronyms) and beg them to tell me if I am going to look like a fool for insisting that the BURP is not imminent.  I am assured that it is not.

I am told that it has been considered but does not pencil out. When I shared this with a co-worker, she suggested that it might be helpful to explain the reference to penciling out. Duh!  I should have thought of this.

When the university receives a BURP-like proposal, if it holds any promise whatever, staff give it a close look. They analyze it to see if there is an opportunity–to expand facilities, to create new opportunity, whatever.

If the opportunity is there, the next question is, “Can we afford it?” or “Does it pencil out?” In other words, do we have the cash or can we finance it, find something to generate revenue to pay the mortgage. That could be rent from a tenant or tuition from a program in the facility, or any of a number of other interesting options I cannot imagine. Fortunately that isn’t my job. There are much smarter fiscal people to do that.

However to consider does not mean to act. It just means to check out. We have to be able to check out opportunities, even when they seem a little crazy at the outset.

How crazy is the concept of a university buying a restaurant? Not that crazy. Check out the University of Tampa or Clark Atlanta University or any of a number of other universities who needed space or wanted to revive their home towns or needed something that their own version of the BURP offered.

That is not, however, the case with our BURP. At least not today.

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About Linda Schactler

Linda is the former Director of Communications for the Washington State Senate, and former deputy director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. From 2000 through 2010 Linda was the proprietor of Schactler Communications, an Olympia-based public affairs business. She holds a master of arts in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Linda can be reached at her Ellensburg office schactler@cwu.edu, 509-963-1384, or on her cell phone, 509-607-4103.
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