Dear Faculty and Staff,
I would like to thank all departments for their cooperation during the unprecedented crisis of this past semester. Our adjuncts were euthanized in an orderly fashion, save for a few who ran into the woods and had to be hunted down by campus security. As predicted, a new crop of unemployed PhDs is already applying to take their places. Meanwhile, our faculty have smoothly transitioned to online teaching, and, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Center for Teaching and Learning, most are now capable of determining if the computer is plugged in.
I am also pleased to report that we are progressing with our plans for the fall semester. As you know, the COVID crisis has plunged us into an unexpected budget shortfall, as we have had to issue refunds on housing, meal plans, tuition, activity fees, parking fees, service fees, records fees, and memberships at the student gym and day spa.
We are therefore forced to take some extreme measures to avoid dipping into the endowment. We have let go of all ancillary staff, including librarians, maintenance, cleaning staff, and the school mascot. The college president and even the head football coach have forgone their annual merit raises. As it turns out, though, the lion’s share of the budget is being consumed by our faculty in the form of salaries.
Though we have offered a generous buyout for faculty willing to take early retirement ($5 Amazon gift cards), negotiations with the Faculty Union have failed to bear fruit. It also seems that tenured professors are not willing to have their jobs depend on being evaluated by metrics such as “productivity,” “merit,” or “getting along with other human beings.” However, by a happy coincidence, the population of our highest-paid faculty overlaps with the demographics of those most at risk for COVID-19.
I would therefore like to announce that we will not be enacting any social distancing or contagion-prevention in the fall semester. In fact, we will be providing shuttle busses for students who wish to go “club-hopping” or participate in “protests” in the nearest large metro areas. Further, we will be redesigning our classrooms into “learning communities” that will maximize togetherness and also turning off the HVAC air circulation to classrooms. Professor Fledermaus in Public Health estimates that, given the average rate of transmission in a closed community and the mortality rate of the 65-to-80-year old demographic, we will be well under budget by the end of the fall semester.
Due to an expected increase in premiums, we will also be suspending life insurance as an employee benefit.
Thank you all for all you have done for our school.
VP, Academic Affairs
A Note Regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak
From Your University’s Vice President of Academic Affairs