The 6-hour Zoom meeting went well. I was one of the 3 people who attended through Zoom. Everybody else was in person.
The meeting went particularly well during the mental health workshop that I happily muted. That did wonders for my mental health.
Unfortunately, the really important part where the Dean was talking about the budget sucked bullets because the sound suddenly disappeared. I figured out that budget news were bad because a) I could see the reaction of the people in the audience and b) budget news are always bad. I think that the day a university administrator says, “we have good news regarding the budget,” we will realize that his mental health is beyond rescue.
By the way, I figured out why the university budget is always in such terrible shape. Imagine that you get your salary once a month, and whatever you don’t spend by the end of the month simply gets taken away. Every month it’s the same thing. A clean slate that wipes off the previous month. How would that impact your financial behavior? Would you make savings and try to be careful about your spending? Of course, not. It makes absolutely no sense to be careful and provident in this setup. You’ll buy a ton of little things you don’t need, would never have anything to cover unexpected emergencies, and wouldn’t be able to make a big purchase.
This is how our budget works. It gets wiped out on June 30 and starts with a clean slate on July 1. I have no reason to be careful and think long-term. Departments that are careful aren’t rewarded, and those that are profligate aren’t punished. It’s truly the dumbest system imaginable. It can only lead to unreasonable, stupid spending for the sake of spending.