I’ve long thought that university administrations had difficulty with the concept of running their “business” efficiently. Now I have proof.
Someone that I know very well (snicker) has had some funding for a few years to develop software infrastructure for next-gen sequencing data. This is important work, since next-gen data poses quite a challenge. The work was done through NC State funds for cancer research.
After spending a lot of time and money building a great team, and getting the project seriously underway… the person just received an email from an administrator. The administrator said:
“We just got paperwork to transfer all your people off this account. Please let me know what account to transfer them to.”
Haha. Like this investigator has another pool of $200k/year lying around.
Unless the person(s) behind this unexpected move change their minds, it’s going to be interesting times in the affected lab.
Nobody talked to the PI about the status of the project. Nobody gave any warning. Instead, they did the most cowardly thing possible in sending paperwork to a departmental administrator, so she could let the PI know the bad news (with zero notice).
Let’s look at this from only one angle: good use of taxpayer funds. Let’s consider how useful it was to spend nearly $400k to build a team and get the project going – and then cancel it without warning.
Bye bye $400k.
Now that I’ve finished my book on grant writing, I think the book I’m planning to write about dysfunctional bureaucracy at universities just moved up in priority.