DYSTOPIA–Recent reduction sin state funding have forced Dystopia College to take a variety of cost-cutting measures, and the situation will probably get worse rather than better, according to Dystopia President Overly Payeed-Admyn.
The state legislature initially cut Dystopia’s running allocation by thirteen percent, a significant decrease that the college was “more or less expecting,” Payeed said. But legislators then slashed the state’s education allocation by an additional eight percent to ensure keeping enough money in its coffers to pay legislative salaries, and that further cut took Dystopia administrators and board of regents by surprise.
“To be totally honest, they’ve really kicked us in the balls, this time,” Payeed said, “and when we’re doubled over in pain, our ass is really vulnerable too.”
Because of the initial anticipated budget shortfall, the college had already “tightened belts a bit,” mostly in areas related to facilities and instruction. For example, air-conditioning is being used only when the outdoor temperature exceeds 100 degrees, and heating is turned on only when there is a risk of pipes freezing.
“I have to wear a parka to class when it’s cold out,” said sophomore Privi Ledger, “and in the summer I have to take online classes so I can stay home.”
Also, professors are now expected to provide their own copier paper and whiteboard markers. Asst. Prof. of Physics Maureen “Mo-Mo” Motion said she doesn’t really mind buying her own markers, but “paper is heavy, and carrying around a couple of reams is inconvenient.” As a result, she no longer makes handouts for students.
With the recent further cuts, more extreme measures will be necessary President Payeed said. Now the use of classroom lighting will be restricted to evening classes only.
“It’s going to be kind of dim in stuffy in my classroom since it doesn’t have any windows, Prof. Motion said, “but we will manage somehow.” She added that she’s “suggesting on my syllabus that students bring one of those lights that strap to your head, like cavers use.”
Also the college’s dining hall will be shut down, so students will no longer have a place to eat on campus, though “there’s usually a hot dog truck down on the Strip,” Payeed said, so students are unlikely to starve.
Dystopia has laid off “a few” employees, but so far “only part-timers,” according to Payeed. Full-time faculty and staff positions left vacant by attrition till not be filled, however, and the college sent a memorandum to all its employees advising them that if they had ever felt like quitting, this would be the perfect time.
Payed himself has also agreed to an unprecedented voluntary salary reduction of $10,000. The reduction will lower his annual salary to approximately $800,000, merely twice the salary of the President of the United States.
Senegal Mather, one of the part-time employees who lost her job, said she understands the situation and is impressed that Payeed is making such a big sacrifice himself. How will she cope with unemployment? “It’s gonna be real hard,” she acknowledge, “but I think I’ll be able to get by OK for the time being if I put my kids up for adoption and eat our dog.”
If the situation seem dire now, though, things could still get worse. Gov. Grady Hartless Bastarde said in a recent press conference that colleges are more than fortunate to get any state funding at all, and that, in his opinion, colleges should pay the state for the privilege of operating within its borders.
Perhaps surprisingly, Dystopia will not be raising tuition immediately. “We found out too late,” Payeed said, explaining that news of the latest round of budget cuts came after enrollment for fall was already underway. “Just wait ’til next year, though,” he said. “We’re really going to jack the shit out of it.”
T. Allen Culpepper