Thursday, May 05, 2011

Can't Say "No"

There's evidently a bundle of money being disbursed right now. It has to be spent by the end of the fiscal year, and it can't be spent on things like salaries. It's supposed to go to benefit student learning. (Apparently salaries of faculty or support folks don't actually have an effect on student learning?)

So, I hear this one group's group leader has decided to refurbish a room so that it's more lounge than not, and make it available for students to lounge in.

The thing is, this same group is slated to move to a new building in a year or so, and the room will belong to a different group, which (you KNOW) will immediately decide that it's inappropriately set up for what they need, and they'll get money as part of the move to refurbish it again.

I wonder what would actually happen to the money if the group said "no, we just don't need to refurbish that space for a year or two, and we'll turn down the money"?

I'd like to see, but I suspect there's no group on campus that will do this.

Our whole campus has been scraping by, and suddenly there's this pot of money, but it can't be used for the things we really need (a teaching group could add a couple sections course for next fall with that, including benefits for the person teaching, but alas, no).

Why did the administration suddenly find this money, when we really needed it six months ago? Why are they putting so many limits on how/when it has to be spent?

It's absurd, in the absurdist sense.


Because I am stupid, perhaps, I sent off a perhaps ill-considered email suggesting that the group should use its money instead to send someone from above to a budgeting class.

One of the deanlings replied that it wasn't HIS fault, nor the fault of the people in HIS deanling office, but the higher ups.

I would just once like to hear someone in administration acknowledge that they are actually responsible for something when it happens. I hear various administrators complain that something isn't their responsibility because the person they replaced didn't do X or Y, but if you replaced that person two years ago, even as interim, it is now your responsibility. And administrators always, always point at a higher level administrator and say, the responsibility is above, but I don't know where.

There's a huge black box over at the fort.

This same deanling used to habitually, at the beginning of every semester, send us panicked emails about how somehow 80 extra students had been admitted and all of us teaching first year writing MUST help by overloading our classes.

And then I became friends with our admissions boss. And the admissions boss showed me that the management folks had said: enroll X number of new students this year. And lo and behold, the admissions folks had X+2 new students enrolling.

The 80 extra students were just the deanlings excuse for his own craptastic planning, every year, the same craptastic planning. Finally, it stopped. I think someone else from on high who knows the admissions boss told the deanling to cut the crap, and he finally did.

Maybe he doesn't need a budgeting class, but he hella needs spine augmentation.

1 comment:

  1. Can't you just buy books for the library? Or organize an interesting workshop on something? Or give stipends for undergraduate student research assistants that would pair them with a faculty mentor to work on a project?