Temple Japan only hosts 33 students from Main Campus; facilities rent still a black box. @tujweb @sentoomey

Only 33 Temple undergrad students signed up to go to Japan for the current semester. This is from 69 students who had been there last spring.

You can blame the March 11 disasters if you choose, but it sounds like the linked article is blaming economic conditions since the 2008 financial crisis. A representative of Temple advances the notion, that undergrads decide a few years in advance whether or not to study abroad.

Just one sort of plan-ahead student is interviewed for the article.

How convenient, ne? If someone were to ask why Temple Japan should keep going in its current form, the response would be that we have to wait until 2014, to see what the students today are thinking. Should they go abroad or not? This little debate sucks the oxygen out of the room, and no one asks if it would just be better to cut 33 special scholarship checks to Pennsylvania students who want to study in Japan!

An update on the ongoing Temple Japan rent question. As regular readers recall, no one at Temple has ever responded to the question of what it costs Temple to run those facilities in Tokyo. It’s been two years now, since I placed the question with the school.

I figure, if it was an answer to brag about, I would have heard the answer already. So clearly, it’s something that the school doesn’t want to share with the same people that it wants to have lobby Harrisburg for more state money!

Keep sending us the big check—don’t ask questions!

Maybe Temple can tweet its way to a bigger enrollment in Japan. It actually looks more like another make-work project for friends of the Dean and other connected types at the school.

[Update 10/9/11: The question is very simple: what is Pennsylvania money doing over there? I don’t want to hear about “Department of Defense language initiatives”. The DoD is wasting our money in Washington by the tens of billions. The DoD has plenty of land that it rents from the Japanese per the Security Treaty and SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement). If the DoD wants a language program in addition to the one it already runs, have the DoD send appropriations out of the federal Treasury to Temple.]

[Update #2: This should be review for regular readers: the Temple Japan Rent Controversy is the fact that it looks like rent of the Azabu-Juban (Tokyo) campus is being treated as a “net balance sheet item” and not as part of Temple Japan (or TESS, which is what it’s called in the Deloitte financials) revenue and expense breakout. It’s like you’re renting a property to do business, but you leave it out of your accounting–and then say, “wow, we break even!”

It may of course be that, for accounting purposes, it’s fine to treat the rent as a balance sheet item. But it’s misleading to say “we break even” or “we make a profit!” when you haven’t disclosed that the rent is being treated differently than the other expenses.]