“A fine question,” Elektra answered. “I wondered about that myself. The answer is that some years ago the Senate agreed that we would appropriate a certain total sum for salaries, the college would take in a certain number of students each year, and the college would pay its faculty and staff in accord to what the Board of Governors directed. It didn’t occur to anyone to worry that the Board of Governors would cut a deal with the nonteaching administration in exchange for relatives of the Board members being hired into sinecures. However, that’s what appears to have happened. The result is that the Chancellor, the many Vice Chancellors, and so on down the administrative ladder are very well paid, the people hired to teach are of limited quality or in some cases appear to have been given welfare positions in which they do no work, not that it appears that they are up anything as challenging as reading aloud from the textbook, and until matters sufficiently deteriorated we were unaware that there was an issue. In addition, for the past decade the former governing majority has been taking generous campaign donations from all these people, so they had good reason not to notice. These issues are all on top of the usual tendency of administrators not bound by profit-loss statements to engage in empire building.”
“I seem to recall that at one time there was a legal requirement that each person be listed by name with their salary and post also listed. Did something happen to that?” Victor asked.
“Buried someplace in legislation much of a decade ago,” Elektra said, “ was a note exempting the colleges from that requirement. Supposedly it was because it would damage the bargaining power of instructors when they left. It was very well hidden. Fortunately the leading minority party has some very sharp people who notice this issue, connected the dots, and were preparing to discuss the matter vigorously at the next election cycle. Now that some of the scandal has become public, they are hastening to wheel out all of these interesting results to show how diligent and vigorous they are in investigating, so that they can reveal very much invery little time. On due consideration, since I would like a constructive opposition rather than one that goes for my jugular at every opportunity, I am going to accept they are indeed very diligent at finding things. An adequate number of the adminstration’s memoranda are dated, so that the general press is picking up on what is happening. That’s not my problem.”
“Do we have an actual list of employees, duties, and salaries?” Victor asked.
“That’s being assembled,” Elektra said. “To some extent it’s irrelevant, because most of those people signed their silly note threatening to resign if we made changes. That’s the note that’s legally binding.”