The Chronicle’s View: Young using productive tactics with Legislature

A lthough the newcommittees haven’tformed yet, U PresidentMichael Young has beenworking diligently to get toknow state legislators. Whenthe roster for the highereducation appropriationssubcommittee is decided,Young said he hopes to havea close working relationshipwith them.Among the coolest andscariest strategies Young hasannounced for getting fundingis one, in particular: findingmore non-governmentalsponsors.This is a fresh idea from anew president to solve an oldproblem.This kind of thinkingreveals Young’s savvy andunderstanding of how theLegislature works and thinks.But this plan will alsorequire Young to convincelegislators that outsidefunding doesn’t excuse thegovernment’s responsibilityto fund the U.Last year Sen. DavidGladwell, R-Ogden, decidednot to fund enrollmentgrowth.That decision was a totallyunacceptable solution to budgetaryproblems. If legislatorsget it in their heads that theU is beginning to find its ownsolutions to budget problems,they may pull a “Gladwellian”solution to this year’s budgetneeds.If the government is goingto dictate policies for ourcampus, it had better pay formore professors.But Young is the right manfor the job. His diplomaticexperience from years inWashington, D.C. has givenhim the experience to walkthe tightrope that administratorsfrom the big bad evil Umust negotiate.Perhaps something heshould keep in mind is theimportance of making specificneeds.Listing all of the financialneeds for committees to perusehasn’t worked. Choosingspecific needs and campaigningfor those has worked(unless that campaigning includesasking students to calltheir representatives aboutthe Marriot Library-thatonly brings the unexplainablewrath of politicians with fullmessage boxes).And President Youngshould remember to fight.The squeakiest wheelalways gets the grease (unlessthe squeaking involves phonecalls from students to representativesabout the library).Young has many similaritieswith legislators.He’s from here, he has alaw degree, he shares manyof their worldviews and he’sa next- door neighbor to thegovernor.This will be an incredibleasset- so long as he remembershe’s not a good ol’ boy,but a Utah Man.