I work for the OSU OSL.
Actually, we're more than a mirror. While mirroring is a major part of the services we provide, we also provide hosting for many projects' core infrastructure - Apache, Linux Foundation, Drupal, kernel.org, etc. Google is a major supporter of the OSL because we provide a place for projects whose needs have outgrown the more "off-the-shelf" structured hosting provided by Google Code or Sourceforge and need a more customizable environment.
As to the single point of failure concern - I disagree for several reasons:
- We are not funded by the university. The OSL's activities are funded almost entirely by donations (both personal and corporate) and agreements with the projects we host. While we are all university employees, our wages are not paid using university dollars. Also, as part of the administrative computing organization at the university (as opposed to part of an academic department), the OSL falls under the university's CIO instead of a dean or department. The financial independence and organizational structure provides us with a significant amount of autonomy and insulation from the vagaries of university politics.
- OSU President Ed Ray has stated time and time again that the role of a land grant university in the 21st century is to provide leadership and assistance in information technology - much the same way the land grants provided support to agriculture and industry in past centuries. The OSL helps OSU fulfill that goal.
- On the FOSS community side, the OSL provides a vendor-neutral environment. We're not tied to any one distribution or manufacturer - we work with Dell, HP, and IBM all equally. The same goes for SuSE, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Red Hat, etc. IIRC, our neutrality one of the reasons master.kernel.org and the Linux Foundation reside at the OSL. We (and the university) consider that neutrality a very valuable asset.
It would take something more than a "pissed off dean" to summarily shut the OSL down.