LETTER TO THE EDITOR: UT Board mandate concerns

The ongoing debate over the use of UPTB athletic facilities has taken several different directions over the last few weeks. The one I would like to address is the statement Dr. Woodley continues to make concerning a “mandate” she received from the Board of Regents to make money off of University land. This does not affect just the sports associations using the fields, it affects every citizen who pays tax dollars to support UTPB.

Why did the Board of Regents direct Dr. Woodley to incur $600,000 of maintenance costs to collect maybe $100,000 of user fees? By the way, the $100,000 is not a realistic number. We don’t know a realistic number because the university has not shared what these fees will be.

Her response is that she will find philanthropic donors to cover the difference. Maybe this is true, but if you have someone willing to donate that kind of money each year to mow the grass, could you not find a better purpose for that donation? One that would actually benefit the university.

Plus they want to run the sports associations. Now you’ve got university personnel (our tax dollars) trying to fix lil Susie’s uniform that doesn’t fit, or listening to the parent whose child isn’t playing in the right position.

My point is this is not what an institute of higher learning should be concerned with. Do your job. How do I think this will end? Dr. Woodley will not back down. She will find a donor to cover the maintenance costs the first year. When that donor finds that he did not sell enough hotel rooms or feed enough kids to justify a donation of $600,000, that donation will go away and the university will lose half a million dollars a year taking care of this park. Mandate that.

Hang on Odessa, this park might be coming back to you shortly.

Al Worthy