Gravity's Rainbow

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Getting paid

| 3 Comments

I get three paychecks a year. I accept a little wiggle room around the dates, especially since the finance office makes it clear months in advance when I should expect to be paid. I even understand that those dates may change. But it’s pretty mean to move that date out almost an entire month with no notice whatsoever just days before the original pay date.

To add insult to injury, when I asked why my 6 month old travel reimbursement still hasn’t been processed, they told me it was so they could get out “start of semester funding” (e.g. my paycheck) in a timely fashion.

If we have to have uncertainty in the timing of some funding, shouldn’t that uncertainty be suffered by people who are more likely to be able to afford a late paycheck? Why are universities so bad at this stuff?

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3 Comments

  1. My guess is that they are intentionally bad at it. Especially for those with dividend- and interest-bearing investments via endowments, the longer they hold on to the money the more they make. The difference between holding an extra $10 million for a quarter might mean an extra $125,000 in dividend/interest income per quarter. And of course it compounds. That’s $500,000+ a year — not an insignificant amount.

    For really large universities, it’s probably even more. Of course the money has to be paid out eventually, but it looks good on balance sheets to capture that extra income.

    And I guess it’s primarily done to students/grads as they have far fewer protections and avenues of complaint than, say, tenured professors and the like.

    Just a guess — I have no inside knowledge. But I do know how neo-liberal capitalist thought is taking over universities more than it ever has.

    • I wonder if has to do with staffing levels instead/too. If they have to process most stuff just 2 or 3 times a year, then they would have really variable staffing needs. They probably err on the side of too few people instead of too many.

  2. Pingback: When all your paychecks are surprises | Gravity's Rainbow

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