I know it’s hard to imagine Twitter serving a useful purpose, but it did on Monday. Not only did it make me feel useful, but I was able to pass along information. Allow me to set the scene. Purdue University announced last month the need for a $30 million cut in the budget to address a “structural deficit.” Recently, the governor announced a cut of $150 million in higher education funding for the remainder of the biennium. Because of cuts and RIFs earlier this year, there are a lot of questions among the faculty and staff about what these cuts might bring. In order to address some of the concerns, President France Cordova held an open forum on Monday, joined by Provost Randy Woodson and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Al Diaz.
The South Ballroom in the Purdue Memorial Union was standing-room-only, and there were still many people who could not attend. In order to keep my colleagues (and other followers who are interested in the state of Purdue’s finances), I live-tweeted during the 45-minute discussion. As I expected, it was rather difficult to try to summarize important points in 140 characters or less while listening for the next useful piece of information. What I didn’t expect was how fun it was to do it. It was fun trying to meet the challenge, and I was encouraged by the fact that I got a few follow-up questions from followers (and amazingly, no one complained). I’m not about to quit my job to become a full-time Twitter reporter, but I do hope I get a chance to do this again.