Saturday, January 17, 2009

On heating and budget cuts

Minus the construction freeze this strikes pretty close to home here at Stony Brook. One of the current construction projects includes a new fMRI facility. So hopefully soon I won't have to subject myself to the bureaucratic labyrinth that is SBU Hospital. Currently we have to pay hourly for use of the scanner during off hours. However, there are no off hours at the hospital... so we get kicked off the scanner a lot so people get their tennis elbow examined or whatever. The current building project has faced some delays, but it should be finished this semester. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some pictures when the new (7 tesla!~) magnet arrives.

In less happy news, the department is in a hiring freeze. Hopefully at least one new faculty member will be hired this year, but different departments are all pointing the figure at each other as to why that might happen. So until the buck is officially passed, no new faculty.

The heating situation in the building is a strange one, despite graduate students being in the building at all hours of the day or night, the heat gradually goes down after five. We have a space heater in the lab for the rare occasion when someone is there late. Of course when I say rare, I really mean someone is there late basically every day.

The free food situation is the saddest of all. If you want graduate students to go somewhere, say that there will be pizza. Sadly, this elaborate system of incentives and rewards has broken down and we can only get free food at the occasional lab meeting. Luckily, my adviser is intent on sampling every pizza place in Stony Brook.

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