The Washington Monument Strategy, or Better
The story goes that when the Interior Department thinks it won’t get enough funds, its officials threaten to shut down the Washington Monument, the most popular tourist site on the Mall. The resulting outcry forces Congress to supply the funding.
Something similar is occurring in North Carolina as the General Assembly patches together its 2010-2011 budget. The university system has leaked the story that around the state, at least four new or nearly complete university buildings “are in danger of not opening if the state does not come through with the operating funds,” says the Greensboro News-Record.
This could be quite effective. There’s something shocking about the idea of a shiny new building sitting around empty if operating funds don’t materialize.
Apparently, merely threatening that shortfalls will cut into the academic core hasn’t worked too well. This strategy is tried and true.