Satire: Leaked draft of 2022-2023 budget proposes paying adjunct faculty in unshelled peanuts

‘The decision to pay our faculty in actual US currency was egregiously wrong from the start’

Satire: Leaked draft of 2022-2023 budget proposes paying adjunct faculty in unshelled peanuts

The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.

The Office of the AU Budget has decided to pay adjunct faculty exclusively in unshelled peanuts, according to an initial draft of the budget for the academic year 2022-2023. 

The leaked draft contains a series of relatively modest, generally reasonable budgetary proposals reviewed by administrators, many of whom annotated the document with their thoughts on its content. By far, the section that garnered the most underlines, smiley faces and affirmatory doodles was the peanut compensation provision. 

In brief, the provision proposes compensating adjunct faculty for unshelled peanuts.

“The decision to compensate our faculty in actual US currency was egregiously wrong from the start,” one administrator wrote. 

While multiple administrators affirmed their belief in this sentiment by drawing little hearts and googly eyes in the margins, they struggled to decide the most effective means of righting this egregious wrong.

Marginal doodles suggest that the Office of the Budget considered expired mascara, store-brand pantyhose and shelled peanuts as alternative means of compensation before ultimately settling on the unshelled variety of the latter. According to annotations, they are “smaller and more emasculating.” 

Despite this short debate, it was clear from all of the proposed payment methods that administrators unanimously sought to inflict as much harm as possible upon the adjunct professorial staff. One administrator scribbled, “this will teach them” next to a disturbingly-realistic doodle of an adjunct professor suffering from a gnarly case of pink eye on payday; another wrote, “take this, loser” next to a cartoonish image of an adjunct professor in a state of anaphylactic shock. 

Among the less controversial proposals includes a provision to cut need-based financial aid. According to a source close to the AU Budget Manager, this proposal actually demonstrates impressive restraint on the part of the administration, which previously proposed cutting financial aid altogether. Also included were proposals to eliminate on-campus housing and divert 4 million dollars in funds from the AU Counseling Center to the Science Building Beautification Project. 

Despite clear concessions on the part of the administration, it’s understandable that some members of the AU community might have concerns about the draft. For students and faculty shuddering at the thought of such a budget passing, relax: there’s no need to worry. 

As a practical matter, not all of the administrators have signed the document and the budget may change before the final draft is published. One individual who has yet to sign the document is Claudia Paradiso, an administrator. She previously approved a policy allowing the custodial staff to breathe (much to the chagrin of her search committee). If Paradiso does not sign the document, or if she agrees to sign only on certain conditions, the University’s final budget could look very different from the draft. Of course, this outcome is far from guaranteed, and more likely than not, Paradiso will change nothing.

In the meantime, The Seagle encourages readers to find solace in the fact that the budget draft is much more reasonable than many expected it to be. Plus, in all honesty, there’s a chance the final draft is even worse. 

Nora Sullivan is a senior in the School of International Service and the satire editor at The Eagle.

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