Tuesday, February 26, 2002

UC adds budget cry to cow-calling chorus

By Kristina Goetz and Randy Tucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The University of Cincinnati may have discovered how to catch the city's infamous wayward cow and solve the school's budget crunch — it's all in a 1907 college presidential directive.

        “If that cow moves a little farther east, we've got it,” UC spokesman Greg Hand said.

        The directive Mr. Hand spoke of Monday came in the form of a 1907 letter from then-college president Charles W. Dabney to John T. Faig, in the college of engineering.

        At the time, the spot where the university now sits was quite pastoral. The president wrote:

        The park superintendent informs me that under the law we are authorized to lock up any animals, like cows, that invade our grounds. You are, therefore, instructed to have any animals that appear on the grounds immediately driven to the basement of the technical school and locked up there until the owners pay the fine of $3 apiece authorized by the law.

        “We're supposed to house the cow in a building that doesn't exist anymore,” Mr. Hand said. “That might become a problem.”

        But $3? How could that help with budget woes? Well, Mr. Hand said, at least adjust for inflation and see what happens.

        “I'd have to put the finance people to work on it,” he said.

        But before the school can put together a plan, somebody has to catch the bovine beauty.

        SPCA Cincinnati says it's still hoping the cow, which has been on the loose in a Clifton park since escaping from a meat-processing plant more than week ago, will basically turn itself in.

        “We have built a corral with three cows in it, and feed and water, in hopes of luring her into it and slamming the door behind her,” an SPCA spokeswoman said Monday.


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