Hey, I could start a regular column, "Dean Suzy's Day" and maybe be as good as Beaker Ben or Midcareer Mike (or did we lose him?) some day!
Dean Suzy's day began with an unsuccessful attempt to get the computing center guys to explain how it happened that the learning management system was offline for 13 hours over the weekend if they guarantee 24/7 uptime. Everyone's on vacation, but apparently the janitor knew enough to reboot the machine.
Professor M congratulated her in the lunch line on her election and mentioned that his pet project for making porcupines pettable will be needing additional cash soon. Oh really, how fascinating!
Then she headed to the bowels of the finance department in the hopes of getting some enlightenment. The proposed budget for 2011 shows that although we met our enrollment targets at 101% and have an enormous research money intake, we will be getting 1.5% more money. We've even increased enrollment targets for 2011 by 7%. The slacker faculty, however, that has only 75% enrollment target achievement and zero research, gets to break even, and the snowflake faculty with 82% enrollment and a grubby little bit of research money is getting a 13% increase in funding!!!!
It's really easy, it turns out. This is the new performance-linked budget with magic cookie numbers. Since we can't let the precious slackers have less money than before, we have to adjust the numbers so that our finite budget works out. And the snowflakes are so similar to the slackers that they have to have the same magic number. The only way for this to work is for my faculty and the faculty of the we-publish-a-lots to not be given any extra money for reaching or exceeding our targets.
Now that I understand the scam, what I don't understand is a) why this is called a performance-linked budget if we get punished for performing well and b) what they were smoking when they came up with this and c) did they think I would smile and agree to this?