Penn State's leadership and its minions have trotted out excuses for the University's dismal economic position adding that, "other universities are facing problems" and "other universities are laying off workers" and on and on.
It's probably true: poor fiscal management and over-ambitious spending are not exclusive to Penn State; there are other Universities that made bad moves at bad times and now they--or usually their faithful employees--are paying the price.
However, it's equally true that there are Universities that are in much better shape fiscally because their leadership made good decisions. Some of these are the Universities in Penn State's own conference, the Big Ten.
While the economy has hit all the Big Ten schools, including Michigan and Michigan State, which are located in the hard-hit home of the declining auto industry, none of the schools' reactions appear to be approaching the severity we are facing at Penn State.
The University of Michigan, in fact, appears to be going on with its construction schedule. No word from Michigan State about problems like the ones facing Penn State, in fact it was recently named one of the best places to work in academia, so hats off.
University of Wisconsin is hard hit, but the leadership is actually asking its staff, faculty and students to find ways to save money, instead of unilaterally declaring war on their livelihood.