Thursday, 15 September 2011


Can I just take a moment here and say that I hate how the "facilities" units of (some) universities gouge other units of the university, particularly when those other units are faculty with limited resources?

Can I express my frustration with how (some) "facilities" units do not in fact facilitate much, but instead suck up a lot of money?

Can I also note that my dealings with "facilities" people would perhaps be a bit easier if they would communicate with me directly? They instead prefer to deal with a senior professor who has absolutely nothing to do with my project but with whom they feel "comfortable". He keeps forwarding their e-mails to me and telling them that he has nothing to do with this project and that I am in fact the PI/director of the project and they should communicate with me. And then they e-mail him again with the next bit of information. I have finally eeked my way onto the cc list, so maybe we are making some progress.

I have previously requested shared wallowing about this exact issue, but it may be time to do that again. Feel free to share your stories.

I am on board with the concept of people being paid a high wage for skilled technical work (electrical, plumbing, construction etc.), but I do not think that it should cost many many many thousands of dollars to do basic things, some of which I could do myself (for free!).

And it should not cost many many many thousands of dollars for "facilities" to study a situation before calculating how many many many many more thousands of dollars the actual work will cost.

That's all I have to say on this Friday. And I promise that I will wait a little bit before sending in the manuscript review I just completed until I am sure that my facilities-focused anger does not seep into my review comments and have unfair negative consequences for the authors, who have nothing to do with the "facilities" people on my campus, although I will note that it is not a good paper, in part because the native English-speaking co-author did not read this paper (or, if he did, he did not care enough to do the considerable work necessary to make the paper understandable and instead assumed/hoped that reviewers and editors would do all that).

[/end rant]

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