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Slim Down *almost* effects Marie Antoinette

On Wednesday October 16th I received this email:

For this year, each seminar series that is sponsored by the Department of
Mathematics will only be allotted $800.00 in funds to take seminar and
colloquium visitors out for meals. The budget of state funds to cover
visitors' travel and hotel expenses will remain at $8000.00 for each
seminar.

Each year Math receives federal funds (return on overhead) to help support
faculty and graduate recruiting as well as departmental research activities.
These funds are less restrictive than state funds and can be allowed for
food and group meal reimbursements. With the government shutdown affecting
the cash flow of the federal funds at xxxxxx University, research foundation administrators have been conservative with this year's allocation.

Please be mindful of the budget when selecting a restaurant and inviting a
large group and offering to cover everyone's meals. $800 does not go very
far when supporting a year's worth of visitors. If seminar organizers want
to put further stipulations on meal reimbursements, please let me know.

Receipts that have been submitted will be reimbursed soon, once the projects
are established.
================

I immediately wrote to a friend who is a secretary in the department that it was a shame that the "shutdown" was ending and wasn't going to effect the psychopaths who set up this departmental seminar system. (It is a terrible system from many points of view involving many incompetent "seminar tsars" who manage their own little kingdoms and actually stifle research, but I won't get into that.)

She responded that she had just processed a dinner receipt of 250 frn for three people with a 65 frn bottle of wine.

I just thought I would let you know that the academics are all smiles about the end of the government shutdown for a reason. When you saps who work to pay for this system finally wise up and bring out the guillotine, they won't be undeserving.

Side note: State funds here are not supposed to be used for alcohol like that 65 frn bottle of wine. That's what federal funds are used for. Cheers.



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