Friday, September 28, 2012

More with Less


We are being visited. By 15 chief financial officers from Really Large, Expensive Universities. They are coming to try and figure out how it is that we end up doing more with less money.  I mean, I have lots of suggestions here, and they start with cutting off 90 % of the president's salary and don't end before the football team gets scrapped.

Anyway, the CFOs wanted to meet with some real live students at a very awkward time. I just happen to be having my Master's course in Applied Underwater Basketweaving at that time, so one of those bright young things that keep popping up in the central administration called me to see if I could bring my students around for a coffee and a chat next week. I said "sure", and so she sent me a packet with all the information.

Well, the packet also contained a statement from our president. About how he's managed to institute budget cuts that are cheerfully accepted and supported by the faculty. All I know, is that it would be easy enough to recruit a group to cheerfully break every bone in his body the next time he sets foot on our part of the campus. People are seething. We were promised (tiny) pay raises after they cut a lot of "slack". The cuts have been made, but no pay raise on the monthly statements yet. Did I mention the extra teaching load? What about the cutbacks on research money? The tutorial program that got wiped out over the summer? The last free rooms made into offices for more administrative drones? And now lots of things that used to work nicely now need forms filled in in triplicate and signed personally.

I don't think the bright young thing realized that I am an ex-dean with an axe to grind. I shall prepare my students properly. It will be a lovely exercise in rhetoric.

Suzy from Square State


  1. How it makes my wicked little heart giggle with glee whenever a wealthy, pompous, condescending ass gets his comeuppance. You know, like Mitt Romney.

  2. Sounds like fun; enjoy! Is there anywhere you can "accidentally" leave the contents of the packet for others to find? Maybe your students need copies, and you could push a few wrong buttons in the process, resulting in extras that need to be discarded (or thriftily recycled by printing something else on the reverse), or leave the original on the glass for a colleague in the local AAUP chapter to find, or something? Or maybe you could even pass it along in a completely aboveboard way to those who might have a counternarrative to offer?

    P.S. I am relieved to hear that our president is continuing to hold the line on a football team, despite the begging of some students and alums. He says it would be too expensive; can you imagine that? Of course then he turned around and praised the basketball team, which we apparently *can* afford, even though they seem to receive a lot of services -- e.g. tutoring -- which, to my eye, duplicate services already available elsewhere on campus for the whole student body. But what do I know? I'm just one more of those people who doesn't know how to do more with less (especially less salary in relation to the cost of living).

  3. Let me know if you are selling tickets. I want to watch.

  4. Replies
    1. Awww, shucks. You would have done the same in my shoes, wouldn't you have?


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