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August 27th, 2007

Eventful Monday

It's been a pretty strange day, full of odd things.

The State of Illinois passed its budget bill, finally. It's the last week of August which means the state has had no spending authority for nearly a month and no formal budget for nearly two months. The University assured us that it had enough cash in the bank to pay us this month but they were uncomfortably silent about what might happen next month. I'm glad that did not come to pass.

About 90 minutes after the budget news, we all got our notices of reappointment and raise letters. I think they considered it bad form to give us our contracts when the state had no authority to actually back them up. I got the usual stony silence from my employees when I gave them their own raise letters; I can't ever tell if that's them or me.

The big news today is a GARGANTUAN breach of student privacy which will no doubt have everyone stirred up for a while. Susan Linnemeyer, a dean of the college of Engineering, sent a routine mail to some students promoting a new lab class. But she, somehow, accidentally one presumes, also attached a lovely Excel spreadsheet with the names, addresses, UIN's, and grade point averages of every Engineering undergrad. Our director of security and information privacy spent much of the day today just shaking his head in depressed wonderment, and apparently Dr. Linnemeyer is going to be in a lot of hot water and needs to be talking to an attorney.

Another article in the student paper today had the rather interesting news that Illinois State University is going to implement a "business casual" dress code for business students. This is actually making me laugh because of all the kids they interviewed complaining about "wasting money" on such useless clothes like khaki pants. It's also amusing that the dress code guidelines (as published in the DI anyway) specifically mention "crisply pressed" khaki pants or skirts. I guess Bloomington may be a little less fashion-obsessed than our heavily greek campus, but I can only imagine the whining here if that were implemented. Flip-flops are such a statement.

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