UPEI: Outsiders need not contribute ideas

The University of PEI, like many of us, is hunkering down, and has cast a Budget Taskforce that’s accepting suggestions “on ways to increase operating revenues and decrease costs.” This is a laudable exercise. Unfortunately, they’ve decided only to accept input from those inside the institution (emphasis mine):

UPEI: Outsiders need not contribute

This is a concrete example of why UPEI needs to broaden its definition of what constitutes membership in the institution. I’ve got several ideas that I think might benefit the taskforce and I’m sure there are many other Islanders who would be willing and eager to help the institution thrive economically. Alas it seems they don’t want to listen to those outside the walls.


oliver's picture
oliver on February 23, 2009 - 21:47

There’s no point offering input to more people than you have the capacity to consider. At least they’re being transparent. I bet if you wrote them a letter with your real name and return address they’d be happy to consider your input too—and weight it more heavily in that format, according to the common wisdom. But the tack they’re taking doesn’t just filter input, it adds value to it, because it will provide a measure of how popular and/or controversial the views they receive are among a major part of the constituency they have in mind to serve. What else could they do that would be easy, cheap and leverage the Web? They might be interested to know. Of course, if I’m totally off base here, that wouldn’t be surprising, since I don’t even live on the Island.

oliver's picture
oliver on February 23, 2009 - 22:09

it adds value to it, because it will provide a measure of how popular”\

Just to clarify, I’m assuming each “upei.ca” address belongs to one real person, and which either contains their real name or is known to people who know their real name. Also I’m assuming the number of these addresses is something like the population of the university, which is known and a lot smaller than the number of email addresses in the whole world. If twenty upei.ca e-mailers say they want the library to be painted blue, or they’ll be very upset, it’s easier to know what to make of that than it would be from forty coming from yahoo, hotmail and gmail saying the university would be a laughing stock if it painted the library blue. Another added value is being able to sort opinions according to whether they’re from staff, faculty, students.

dave cormier's picture
dave cormier on February 24, 2009 - 03:58

Hey Peter,

This particular round of outreach was intended as an ‘inside upei’ conversation. It in no way is meant to preclude the idea of considering opinions from outside the university. It’s a step. A start of a conversation. It’s been used as a location to direct people who are coming to our discussion sessions at the university… it is accessible as it is to ensure the highest possible feedback rate from this first group.

Your comments… as you know… are always welcome.



Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on February 24, 2009 - 14:30

@davecormier My point is that what’s “inside” and what’s “outside” needs a re-evaluation. I’d like UPEI to consider itself to be more like a river than a fortress.

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