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Archived Entries from May 2010


Furious

I try to keep my mouth shut. I try to fly under the radar. I try to count my blessings and repeat them day after day and hour after hour to myself.

But I've had enough.

Today the University of Illinois finally hired a new President to take over for shameful B. Joseph White.

B. Joseph White. Ah, yes. A Michigan guy. Where Nancy Cantor came from. Why do we hire people from Michigan again?

He flushed millions of dollars down the drain on the failed "Global Campus" fiasco. Plenty of people have on-line programs. No need to turn the University of Illinois into the University of Phoenix. And plenty of people (who ended up being right!) told him so. Complete disconnect from reality.

B. Joseph made $450,000 a year, until he resigned amid a scandal whereby people he was responsible for allowed non-qualified students who were friends of politically powerful people entrance to our fine establishment.

I'll let go of the B. Joseph part, because while I'm still mad about that, I'm not as mad about it as what happened today.

Now we have a new President, after a closed search done by a hand-picked search committee.

We have the ex-President of UConn, and it sure sounds like they were ready to get rid of him there for being *totally* disconnected with reality (GIYF).

They're paying him $620,000 a year.

Let me repeat that. Well, hang on. We just went through a series of furloughs whereby every employee based on state money (total disclosure--I'm not) had to take 4 "furlough days" over a four-month period. Essentially, a pay reduction. Sure, people over six figures had to take 10 days, but trying to explain to me that someone making $250,000 a year taking ten days is at ALL as fair as someone making $31,000 a year is ridiculous. The $31k person is trying to pay a mortgage. The $250k person is trying to figure out how big of a boat they can buy in the Caribbean in a few years.

So the last President got $450k a year. Even I, a jerk, realizes that as far as the Big Ten goes, that's not all that expensive. Michigan and UW pay over a million (I think) and UIUC was like 7th or 8th out of our 11 schools.

But we've had furloughs. And budget cuts. Honestly, morale on campus SUCKS.

Yet they hire this guy from UConn and pay him $170,000 a year more than the last President.

Wait? I thought we were broke? Either we're NOT broke, or something else much worse is going on.

Really?

I'm not getting a raise this year (which doesn't stop the people in the main office from complaining that they don't have my annual report and such). I'm not getting a raise next year. I already know this.

I'm happy to have a job. I'm happy my wife still has a job. For now.

I spent a half-hour the other day on the phone with the cable company to talk them down $50 off my monthly bill since I've been a faithful customer for over 10 years. I switched our family health insurance from "Quality Care" to one of the HMOs. Quality Care doesn't pay its bills any more, and the deductible is awful, and I'm sick of paying all this money AND always owing Christie hundreds of dollars. The redhead gets a small raise this month. The health insurance switch, and the cable company deal, and the small raise makes us an extra $250 or so a month. There's our raise for the next year.

I pay the car off next year, so that'll be another $500 a month once that happens. Never buying a new car again. Never borrowing for more than two or three years on anything again, ever, other than maybe a new house.

Speaking of new houses. I'm giving serious consideration to getting the hell out of dodge.

I talked to the redhead about it today. I have two more classes and a thesis before I'm finished with grad school.

There are computer science related jobs out there. Just not any that pay well at UIUC.

You know, I thought I'd have a career forever at the big U. My wife should feel that way too.

These totally-disconnected administrators are awful. We have more administrators with huge six-figure salaries, and all the while the people at the bottom of the ladder are being chopped off to "save money."

I don't even know that I want my kids to go to school here any more.

I'm going to start looking for work elsewhere, and by elsewhere I mean not in this awful, corrupt State of Illinois. One more year. I need to hang on one more year. Alex can go to Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech. I'll go work for the government. There *is* demand in my field. I need to dot my I's and cross my T's and get ready for departure.

This whole situation sucks. I loved this school. It has abandoned me. Sorry for the melodrama. But this sucks. We have money to fill the coffers of already-rich under-qualified* "administrators" but cannot pay the people that actually do the work.

*Yes, under-qualified in the sense that just because someone got a Ph.D. and became a professor, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have any more business running a huge institution than I do with my years of experience actually managing employees, etc.

It's a rough time right now. This new President is never going to be my friend. Not that the last one was.

I don't know. This sucks.

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010, 2:14 am
Mood: Furious (duh) | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


End of the Nerdrium

The room, of course, not the web site.

My wife has lobbied for several years for me to give up my stranglehold on our basement bedroom and to return it to its original function.

But I like my computer room, I'd argue.

Not only have I finally given up my side of the argument, I'm actually on board. The rest of the basement is remodeled, and that room needs to be as well. So much of our junk just ends up in there that it's ridiculous. The place is a mess. It stresses me out. And most time I spend on the computer is, well, like right now--with my laptop and wireless network connection at the kitchen table.

So today is the day we start. Well, I actually started earlier this week. I moved the fish back outside and had used a small pump and tube to fill aquarium water into a smaller fish tank so that I could let the fish slowly acclimate to the pond water outside, and somehow while still acting as a syphon one end of the hose slipped out of the big tank and spilled water all over the carpet. Nice, I know. So earlier in the week I cut out the affected area and just threw it away--no sense trying to soak or suck the water up since we're pitching it anyway.

Extreme bedroom makeover--48 hour edition. Here we go...

Posted: Saturday, May 01, 2010, 12:22 pm
Mood: Anxious | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


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