In the article Allison to be interim director of WSU economics center, the Wichita Eagle again reveals bias in its business reporting.
Here, in reporting on the appointment of an interim director for Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR), at Wichita State University the reporter states “The center, part of the W. Frank Barton School of Business, conducts high-quality research on issues related to the area’s economy.” Whether the center’s research is “high-quality” is open to dispute.
In Arenas’ Financial Statements Not Complete we learn that when preparing a study used to support the downtown Wichita arena, the Center for Economic Development and Business Research was not aware of an important government accounting regulation: “My investigation and a series of email messages with Mr. Ed Wolverton revealed that the WSU center that prepared the estimate of profitability for the proposed downtown arena wasn’t aware that the county would be required to calculate depreciation expense.”
On the same issue, in WSU Study on Downtown Wichita Arena Not Complete, we learn that the center did not investigate the substitution effect surrounding the arena simply because there wasn’t time.
In 2008, the center released a report which touted the purported economic benefit of the Wichita school district and its spending. Several of its problems are explained in Wichita School District Economic Impact. This report, bought and paid for by the client, presents the benefit of the district’s spending without considering its cost, nor does it explore whether alternative uses of this spending would be more highly-valued. These two omissions render this report nearly worthless.
Hopefully the new director of this center will stop producing reports like these.