Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fun with the Budget Director

BD: In the past, any savings from retirements stayed in academic affairs, forming the contingency for unanticipated expenses. Now, those savings will revert to the general fund.

DD (hopefully): So we should just replace people, then.

BD: No, that's a false savings. Switching to adjuncts is cheaper for the college as a whole, even if it doesn't show up in your budget.

DD: But the adjuncts do show up in my budget.

BD: That's correct.

DD: So when someone retires and doesn't get replaced, the college saves money, but my budget takes the hit for the new adjunct courses?

BD: Well, no. Your budget should get reimbursed the cost of adjuncts from the general fund.

DD: I haven't seen that.

BD: Me, neither.


DD: You know, since I've been here, 12 faculty have left, and we've hired six.

BD: That sounds right.

DD: It is. And the college is still looking for money to offset its deficits.

BD: Correct.

DD: What will the college do when it runs out of people to replace?

(sound of crickets)

DD: I mean, if shrinking the faculty is the only strategy we have to balance the books, we'll hit the limits of that awfully fast, don't you think?

(tumbleweed blows gently in the breeze)

DD: Is there some sort of long-term plan to turn this around?

(thousand-yard stare)

DD: Oh.

I have a bad feeling about this...