I think where the notion of fitting modern anything into old buildings, really blows its gasket, is when you begin to talk about course like Architecture in Bolton Street. I mean, Diaspora referred to the renting of a brand new office space next to bolton street itself, for use by the final year architecture students in Bolton Street. Yet it lacked any furnishings. The reason it lacked any furnishings, is because DIT spent its entire budget for computers, furnishings and everything else getting the brand new Angier Street extension fitted out for 2002/03. Now, the ironic thing about Angier Street, was that the new extension held only about 10-20% of its total capacity of students in that same period. Meaning that those tables, chairs, computers etc were basically just gathering dust and looking pretty inside their new building for most if not all of that time.
It was one of the most expensive blunders in resources management I have seen by DIT in all my years attending that organisation as a student. The situation in Angier Street was peverse at this time too - Angier Street already had a new building with offices, and furniture - which were slightly older and cheaper in spec than the new extension - so what do you think happened? Yeah, youv'e guessed it - the employees of DIT Angier Street engaged in practically a year long 'bitch-fight' arguing over who should get 'a new plush' office in the new wing! ! ! ! ! ! And while all this crap was raging on, Bolton Street, a branch of the same organisation within a stone's throw of Angier Street was renting out 2 floors of prime office real estate which it wasn't even using - because it didn't have any furniture/computers! ! ! !
At the same time, I was stuck right in the middle of that situation, where third year in Bolton Street had 80 students packed into a space designed only for half that number, with fourth years inhabiting a space right along side them - where the noise was just so loud between all the 'packing in' of students that no lecturer could even conduct a proper course at all. I.e. As usually happens, the students are the first ones to lose out in the deal. But this is just typical
of the behaviour of DIT down through the years. While on the one hand, they manage excellently well and cope on limited resources - even when they do manage to organise the funds required and build something and fit it out - they simple haven't got any skill or knowledge as to how to manage those resources properly and effectively. And it is not so funny anymore, considering the sums of money that were spent on that new Angier Street extension - it is not enough anymore to show the glossy pictures and talk about the aesthetic value of new college architecture - the debate has to be broadened. This is probably why 'Privatisation' is such an issue nowadays with regard to Universities. There is simply no incentive for these huge organisations to do anything even slightly more efficiently or better than it always has been.
Most of the problem in DIT revolves around the one fact, that DIT do not own their own campus - where ALL
major resources of that said insitution are all within a walking distance from each other. As is the case in DCU, UCD, TCD, UL, and all Institutes of Technology all over the country. In DIT: Dublin city is our campus!
I assume by that, they mean like the people who sell flowers on the streets like Molly Malone?
I mean, if Angier Street and Bolton Street had been on the same campus, then the final year students in architecture in Bolton Street would have had a proper home back in 2002/03. Not have been on the 'waiting list' for accomodation! The main problem with colleges is usually not lack of resources, but efficient management of those resources.
That is why I think that UCD and the general concept of having one single campus. I.e. One swathe of land or real estate big enough to hold all the bits and bobs - is a far more sustainable, economical and value for money than a fragmented organisation the likes of DIT. The same goes even for large secondary schools.