“In launching a construction project,” Victor said, “the things you order first are the ones that will have the longest delivery time. When I was a little boy, people building skyscrapers, back when people did that, for a number of years started by ordering the carpeting, because that would take longer than anything else to appear. In this case, we are going to need a large, well-trained, engineering staff, and for some efforts we are going to need a research staff dealing with gravitronics. Have you been following the Senate hearings and the House hearings on the technical colleges?”
“Disgusting!” Benjamin Goldsmith said. “The Union needed those colleges to be doing a good job. They aren’t. But what can we do about it?”
“As may be found in the public record, if you know exactly where to look,” Victor said, “the administration and staff of UTC sent a demand note to the Senate, threatening to resign if the Senate made significant changes in the college’s operations. That threat was legally binding. If I assume the role of Chancellor of the College and system, and eject the current occupant of the office, those people all cease to be employed and can be replaced by people who are at least marginally competent. That was the offer from the Senate. It’s the only path that I see for fixing the college situation and getting a university. We need something as good as the schools that the Union had before the Interregnum, and there just aren’t very many people who remember what they were like and what you had to do to get them.”
“What happens to your supervision of our finances?” Lawrence Morningstar asked.
“I have a full day every week here,” Victor answered, “and am available for emergencies, though realistically for any conceivable emergency someone else on the staff is better suited to handle it. I should take a walk while you consider this matter.”
“The bondholders will be concerned,” Benjemin Goldsmith said. “They may want to litigate.”
“Tell them the truth,” Victor responded. “There is a construction timeline, and the resulting income streams. We know what they will be for years into the future. Everything is happening on automatic, so I am almost a figurehead.”
“We need to start,” Lawrence said, “with an extended talk with Elaine Bell, so that we have a clear understanding of what the repair sequence is and how soon we will get a larger cash flow. However, we need to discuss this, while accepting your offer to take a walk.”