Broke University to pay consultant $3 Million to help it find ways to save money
October 6, 2009 4 Comments
Excessive budget-cutting consultant fees not on chopping block says handsomely paid consultant
BERKELEY, CA. – UC Berkeley has reached an agreement to pay a consultant $3 million to help the school find new ways it can save money. The consultant suggested that the university could cut its budget deficit by up to $1.2 million if it: cut faculty pay; laid off some employees; sold a portion of its campus; and raised student fees.
These, and other similar suggestions were part of the what the consultant calls its first phase of budget suggestions. The consultant said such suggestions were merely intended to be short-term fixes, much like a band-aid gently placed over a newly severed limb. The consultant urged everyone not to confuse its first phase of budget suggestions with its second phase of budget tips which include “long-term financial strategies.”
Budget analysts say the consultant’s second phase of budget tips could potentially save the university up to $6 million a year in the long term. “We think we have a great opportunity to save millions of dollars every year, if the consultant would just tell us what the second phase of tips are” said UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Yeary in an announcement posted on the university’s website Monday morning. Sources close to Chancellor Yeary say the university has nearly secured all the funding to cover the consultant’s $8 million asking price for its second phase of suggestions.
Some long-term strategies the consultant has suggested to other universities it has worked with in the past include: combining classes that rhyme (like biology and psychology), charging ‘failing fees’ and ‘passing fees’ to students who either fail or pass a class, repealing all school rules banning teacher-student relationships to save on attorney fees, and adding prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin to school vending machines.
The university’s hiring of the consultant has infuriated some faculty members, who say UC Berkeley’s hiring of the high priced consulting firm after recently slashing employee salaries is like pouring salt on their wounds. One such angry professor, S.S. (pictured right) spoke with Unreasonably Safe Observer but declined to be named for fear of retribution. S.S. said she was one of about 5,000 people walked out of classes last week to participate in a huge demonstration to protest the budget cuts. S.S. added that she participated by instructing both her 10:05 a.m. ENC 4300 class, and her 12:20 p.m. LIT 3570 class to take a stand on the budget cuts with her and walk out in protest.
Unbeknownst to many of the aforementioned 5,000 protesters is that the demonstration they so proudly participated in was actually orchestrated by the consultant. The consultant said the demonstration was a success as it saved UC Berkeley nearly $125,000 in teacher salaries, and utility costs. At least two similar demonstrations are being covertly planned by the consultant for the upcoming month.
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