Latest MRU Un-fucking-believeable nonsense

A friend & collaborator came to me today with a question, and any insight from you guys would be appreciated. He received an internal grant of R01 size (its an outside funded Center inside of our university). One of the things on this project is hiring an assistant to do the extensive clinical data collection. However, given the  current state of budgetary affairs (and the at the Med Center went on an idiotic building spree which now has them financially constrained), they imposed a hiring freeze, and told him, nope can’t do hire. If it was NIH funding, they say, well that would be different, as NIH pays overhead, and this Center does not. I told him to contact the Center head, and talk about the possibility of getting in touch with the external funders. Someone above junior paygrade needs to go up the line and make the case. Which, of course, is a massive waste of everybody’s time.

This kind of absurdity, in my view, comes from running a business and not a not-for-profit or educational institution. I know that budgets matter, salaries need to be paid, etc. But things like across the board hiring or raise freezes punish the good and the bad alike. They reward the idiots who got the med school into debt and make it harder for folks like my friend who is trying to do good and get tenure. When you start seeing the people who are producing one of your main products (reputation, scientific mojo, or whatever you want to call it) as pegs in a greater game, then you will lose their trust and loyalty.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Latest MRU Un-fucking-believeable nonsense

  1. Sounds similar to some mess at my MRU. There is so much in this post that could be discussed, but I am going to stick to the “main” problem.

    Possible work-around that works at my institution: is there a qualified someone who is about to be let go because their PI lost funding that this employee could shift to being paid by this grant instead? It wouldn’t be a new hire, but still no overhead (and depending on the HR rules a position may still have to be posted) so maybe it wouldn’t work at your institution.

  2. It’s an interesting work-around, and I will pass it on. I don’t know if it would work here or not. But, my colleague has identified a really great person (an undergrad who did work for credit, who wants to move to the ranks of the underpaid), and wants to hire them.

    What were the other thoughts you had?

  3. Ah, yes–it is always nice to move a student into a paid position.

    As far as the other thoughts…just the general agreement with problem(s) that “comes from running a business and not a not-for-profit or educational institution”

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