GMATS to NO longer get MARAD Funding

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Proud KP Dad, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Proud KP Dad

    Proud KP Dad Member

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    See alumni release:

    Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari indicated today in meetings with the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS) that the program will be closed as a Non-Appropriated Funded Instrumentality (NAFI) as of July 2012. Discussions continue with MARAD in transitioning the GMATS programs to a new 501(c)(3) non- profit organization. GMATS was organized and funded by the Alumni in 1993/1994 for a continuing education program at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. GMATS has been governed by a Board of Directors that includes three past Chairman of the Alumni Association. The school has operated financially for the betterment of the Academy serving the needs of the military, NOAA, and the maritime industry just to name a few with thousands attending the various programs each year. GMATS has a stellar international and domestic reputation creating good will for the Academy.

    More news to follow as details develop.
     
  2. Kram1

    Kram1 Member

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    Please do keep us informed. GMATS has a great reputation and serves a much needed purpose. Very short-sighted of Washington. But, I have come to expect such nonsense from DC these days. As my Dad would say..."they are cutting their own nose off to spite their face!"
     
  3. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    There were/are some serious faults with the "self funding" mechanisms specific to their USNR classes. In addition to this being a violation of DOD regulations, they put service members at risk of being personally obligated for funds. They could have done it right but I guess were under the impression that ignorance is an excuse.

    I have seen at least one service member (not related in any way to GMATS classes) on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars, put in to personal bankruptcy and his security clearance threatened because orders were written in violation of the same regulations.

    GMATS will actually be better off in the long run without MARAD funding and the oversight that goes with it even though the transition may be difficult.
     
  4. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    GMATS got no funding from MARAD it is and always was a NAFI. There were and are lots of issues with NAFIs in general at USMMA - as USMMA doesn't have the same leeway in regards to them or lots of similar funding related things as the other Federal Academies....

    That said, there is no doubt that GMATS was using USMMA facilities, and in turn paying for their use. Now GMATS will not be able to continue in operation at the USMMA as I understand the decision and directive that was released. Further while as a NAFI GMATS has paid for use of facilities such as Samuels Hall, the Government Accounting process has no facility at all to determine "opportunity cost" and similar soft items in accounting that under commercial things like GAAP end up in categories like "goodwill."

    In the end this is actually a decision that the only surprise to me is it wasn't made over a year ago given the details around it. We need to not debate the good and bad of these sorts of decisions, rather understand they are indeed that decisions and move on in a manner that looks forward and focuses on how to make the USMMA a better place for it's stated and legally chartered mission. I'm pretty sure, at least the way I read things, that mission doesn't really included post-graduate education of Mariners, let alone Government and Military personnel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  5. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Oops. I meant MARAD ties, not funding and like you I didn't find it a particular shock either.

    If they really want to do continuing ed., they should should find a legal or regulatory basis for it and get the money appropriated along with the rest of their funds. Once they were self funding then it became a chase for the money to support themselves which led them becoming so Government and USNR focused. Thats me reading between the lines anyway.
     
  6. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    My son took a GMATS class last year as part of his USNR training. He was commuting to KP every day from a local hotel. As far as I know, he did not have to pay for the class.
     
  7. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    GMATS arranges lodging at a lower rate than the max allowable for Great Neck then charges the student the full rate and they pocket the difference as their tuition. Even a USNR student who gets lodging in Cleveland Hall (which would cost someone paying their own way $35) pays the full Great Neck which I think is somewhere around $200 per night. Someone who lives within 50 miles and is specifically not authorized lodging per the Joint Federal Travel Regulation is still forced to accept lodging arranged by GMATS. This is all publicly available information in their AT Handbook

    As a taxpayer I find it very aggravating and have a hard time feeling sorry for them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  8. kps99

    kps99 New Member

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    Loosing MARAD funding might be a good thing in my opinion. (MARAD is very short sided and has no clue about international shipping.)

    GMATS should take their courses and promote to all the international maritime companies that have offices in NYC (and even east coast) to promote their maritime courses. (Much like the colleges in the UK do.) Gmats should also develop one or a couple of MBA/graduate degrees. I know SUNY has these types of courses.

    Gmats should also develop some more courses for MOUs (Oil Rigs) and for some of the other international ship registries.

    GMATS should also develop courses to educate on international regs that are out or about to come out. MLC 2006 is a reg that will be radified by the IMO soon that will have a large affect on maritime companies.

    The biggest then the academy and (GMATs) needs to do is to teach more about international shipping and international regulations.
     
  9. KPSQRD

    KPSQRD Member

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    More impending changes

    Apparently in addition to the GMATS situation, the Kings Pointer is rumored to be for sale and is going to Texas A&M. Is anyone else thinking the inmates are running the asylum inside the beltway?
     
  10. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    The statement I read sounds like KP asked MARAD to take it, not the other way around.
     
  11. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    It is my understanding that the upcoming Mallory Pier renovation would preclude the docking of the KINGS POINTER at the Academy.
     
  12. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    There's another thread on the kings Pointer so I'll post my thoughts on that there but yes there will be no place for it to dock while Mallory Pier is rebuilt. Asked my DS (Class of 2012) about it he says they can and will still get sea days if they are short on Liberator and they can also get some time, especially engineers on SI Ferry and he thinks if necessary they can do something with SUNY-MC on the Empire State. Finally apparently and I didn't know this MARAD is looking at loaning or making it (Kings Pointer) available to Texas A&M where apparently their School Ship has been unable to leave the pier for 4 years... wonder if they'll rename it?
     
  13. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Really (about the Texas Clipper)? She is an old Lykes Clipper. I forget which one (and am too lazy to look it up right now). I didn't realize that they were having such issues. And here in my own back yard. The KINGS POINTER is hardly a substitute, though. I don't belive that they have enough accommodations for the cadets on their cruise.

    One day I will have to tell some tales that I learned about the old TEXAS CLIPPER back when I would carry out the Class surveys on that old "X" Ship.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  14. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Oops, the current TEXAS CLIPPER is the old INDIAN MAIL/PRESIDENT JACKSON. I also see that all Texas cruises have been on CMA's GOLDEN BEAR.
     
  15. USMAR456

    USMAR456 New Member

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    GMATS does not and has never received a dime of federal funding - from DOT, MARAD or USMMA. The school has always operated on its own profits. In fact GMATS has consistently paid for their use of USMMA facilities and resources and has contributed funds to USMMA for the benefit of the academy. This decision by DOT to not give GMATS the adequate time to transition to a 501(c)(3) makes little sense. Someone wants GMATS gone and everyone wants to blame the August 2009 GAO report for the elimination of NAFIs that do not fit into the "strategic plan." What strategic plan? The creation of a strategic plan by MARAD and USMMA has yet to be conceived. DOT made sure to eliminate most of the member of GMATS board of directors and made sure to replace them with 6 members of MARAD and DOT (just enough to receive the necessary majority vote). Something here just doesn't seem right. Who will pick up the training needs? Right now GMATS is the only facility that trains NOAA officers, and they provide the 1st active duty training to the navy and provide training to the National Sealift Program.
     
  16. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    So you are actually asking three questions, and of course this is just personal opinion but my reaction and thoughts are:

    Who will pick up/service the training needs of NOAA - well before there was a GMATS, NOAA was in existence and they trained their staff several ways and in several places including at the USMMA. I assume back then they just MIPR'd the appropriate funds directly to the USMMA. Of course at the time both (USMMA and NOAA) were in the same Agency - Department of Commerce.

    Who/where and how will 1st active duty training be handled by the Navy? Probably San Diego I would guess - that's where some has been done and the facilities there are probably much better than GMATS was for the job; certainly the atmosphere and tone and tenor of that training will be much more "regular Navy" than it would be at GMATS.

    Who will provide training to the National Sealift Program again I'd assume the Navy via and through MSC and with the support and cooperation of MARAD. Where could that occur? At several locations in and around DC and/or Newport RI, or any number of US Navy training facilities.

    The removal of GMATS from the USMMA Campus will also free up some facilities for use by the Staff and Faculty for the training and education of the Regiment of Midshipmen, which at least way back in the day, almost 30 years ago was the only mission they were used for. My feeling might be different if in the almost 20 years GMATS was in existence they had generated funds for the construction of additional facilities for their use on the "McNulty Campus" and/or refurbished and otherwise expanded the facilities on the Barstow Estate which house the Museum, etc. instead of expanding their footprint and for all intents and purposes taking over what Samuels Hall.
     
  17. GraduateZZ

    GraduateZZ New Member

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    GMATS is not the mission of the USMMA. It may be valuable to the Merchant Marine but not to training undergraduates. They can relocate and develop a business plan to pay rent, utilities, staff, and expenses that are truly free of the perception of government funding. The spaces they currently occupy can then be utilized for educating college students. There is currently a plan to build new classrooms where the Wooster building stood because the academic space is stretched. If the Alumni association moved that would free up space too.
     
  18. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  19. GraduateZZ

    GraduateZZ New Member

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    USMMAAA rent

    The public record indicates GMATS paid rent to the US government three times over the last three fiscal years. It shows they have paid reimbursements for use of the ship or other items on multiple occasions. There is no record of the alumni association ever paying any rent or reimbursements in the last seven years. The records could be wrong but this was the same finding by the GAO and the DOT.
     

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