ROCHESTER (AP) Oakland University trustees are torn between funding two major projects but there”s no money in the budget for either one.
The two proposals on the table are vastly different. One is a $50 million automotive transportation center and the other is a $50 million performing arts center.
Proponents of each say their idea will best serve the university”s 15,000 students, and win prestige and donors.
Professor Peter Frick, the new dean of Oakland University”s School of Engineering and Computer Science and David Downing, longtime dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, are hoping their respective ideas win out.
Downing said his idea for a performing arts center will serve students and the entire Detroit-area community. He said 107,000 people attended theater, dance and musical programs by students and professionals last year.
“It would enhance the reputation of Oakland throughout the region as an exceptional cultural and intellectual resource center,” Downing told The Oakland Press for a story yesterday.
Frick and his team said an automotive transportation center, where students from all engineering fields could work, would be a bigger boon to students and the auto industry.
“It is inconceivable to me that the university would lose this opportunity,” he said.
Both promised corporate money to help pay for the facilities.
This is the second year the issue of technology versus performance arts has come before the board. Last year, administrators recommended a performing arts center be at the top of the list sent to the state for building funding requests. Faculty and staff had worked over the year to create a tentative plan.