SEMO Might Sell Kent Library To Raise Money For River Campus

Fake News written by Martha Throebeck on Thursday, February 23, 2006

from the tuition-can-only-rise-so-much dept.

As a backup plan in case the Missouri legislature doesn't appropriate any more money for the River Campus project, Southeast Missouri State University is now investigating the possibility of selling "underperforming" assets, such as Kent Library, the Faulkner Collection, and most of the buildings north of Academic Hall.

During the last five years, the Board of Regents has worked furiously to develop an ambitious Five-Year Master Plan outlining the world-view for the University's future. The plan features several new or expanded degree programs, including Women's Studies, Diversity Science, Transgender Polytheistic Folklore, Post-Post-Post-Modern Art, and Multicultural Basketweaving.

"These are all wonderful, visionary ideas," explained Libby Rull, Assistant Undersecretary Vice Provost. "But if we can't even afford the rest of the bill for the River Campus, how are we going to pay for the buildings and faculty for these new departments?"

The Board of Regents hopes to answer that question when they reveal their Five-Year Plan next week. According to a draft version of the plan, some of the fundraising proposals will include:

  • Convert the Towers Complex into condominiums. The University would reap a huge windfall by selling condo units to incoming freshman. "Condo conversions are the hottest development in the real estate market since the Florida swampland boom," one source said.

  • Expand parking fees to cover bicycles. The University has one of the most efficient and profitable parking enforcement units in the world, and it only makes sense to expand this expertise to cover bicycles and other non-motorized devices.

  • Sell the Beckworth Collection (or what's left of it). It's a wonder that SEMO hasn't already tried to unload these Native American artifacts, the possession of which is a serious no-no according to the laws of academic political correctness.

  • Turn the dome of Academic Hall into penthouse apartments. The area under the dome is currently wasted, providing a golden opportunity to carve out three, four, or even more luxury apartments at vastly inflated lease rates.

  • Auction the Faulkner Collection to another university. "The Faulkner Collection is one of those things that just kind of happened... When people ask why a Missouri university has a collection devoted to a Mississippi author, we never know what to say," explained an anonymous staff member. "I wouldn't have any reservations against unloading this albatross right away."

  • Liquidate Kent Library. With the Internet helping to make research as simple as "I'm feeling lucky", who the heck uses the Periodicals section anymore? Or can even find it? It's no surprise that the Regents have set their sights on selling Kent Library, or, perhaps, leasing it out as a three-story Starbucks.

  • Eliminate certain non-prestigious departments, such as Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. "Every department located north of Academic Hall needs to be carefully considered for cutbacks," said one official. "A few years ago we eliminated the Center for Earthquakes Studies and nobody noticed. We could easily do the same for Computer Science, freeing up valuable space for our new degree program in Progressive Trans-Cultural Paradigms."

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