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  • Writer's pictureTrey Chappell

Coffee, College & a Canyon, Public vs. Private Budgets

The weather today, although summer, was misty and gray. That's pretty nice for a change, I have to admit. My coffee order at Little Joy has become an automatic "iced" - but today I wondered if I had made a mistake. I glanced down at the damp bricks and chose to take a temporary seat.

Here's the big question of the day: Will public or private universities struggle more now with budgets? Private colleges have spent millions on pools, sand volleyball courts and fancy dorms. Public universities continue to build monster projects, sometimed heavy debt-laden, with the hopes of drawing families to deposit. They look nice. Penn State is considering a debt-financed $700million football stadium renovation. Plus, they have to pay their players or grant them lucrative NIL deals. Increased ticket prices, luxury suite sales and naming rights won't even break the ice in terms of servicing debt like this (see Berkeley football per the WSJ). I believe private and public institutions are exhausting future funding channels, maxing out big debt lines, and are racing to be glamorous loss leaders in a sense.

I decided to ride the Canyon to the nearby hang-glider port. As I trekked through the sandy parking lot at the top, I realized how people who jump off a cliff with a glider strapped to their back really trust 'something'. Fate, faith, ability, wind, whatever - I don't have the guts to jump like that. It's automatic for them - I took a seat to watch and ordered something iced, automatic & content.

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