Solving the Mystery

Dr James Kierstead
Insights Newsletter
30 June, 2023

Victoria University of WELLINGTON has announced a new $30-million research project to figure out how the university managed to dig itself a $30 million financial hole.

‘Some have suggested that spending more than you take in can have that effect over the long run,’ said Associate-Assistant Vice-Dean Barbara Boffin, ‘But it’s obviously something we need to investigate further.’

The losses were definitely not due to a new AI programme designed to find every instance of the university’s name anywhere in the world and capitalize every letter of the word WELLINGTON, said Super-Pro-Vice-Chancellor Tom Toady. ‘At only half a million dollars, WellBot was a deal! Plus it’s important people know we’re Victoria University of WELLINGTON.’

The university’s financial position was completely unaffected by the inability of international students to get into the country for almost two years, Super-Anti-Vice-Chancellor Rob Rebel said. ‘New Zealand is only second in the world for the number of international students per capita, so it’s unlikely to have affected us much.’

Nor was there any evidence that a censorious atmosphere was turning people off university study. ‘Besides all the deplatformings and ritual shamings,’ Ad-Hoc Associate Chancellor Tim D. Nigher said, ‘The only evidence for that is two or three surveys in which large numbers of students and academics literally told us that they found the atmosphere stifling and repressive.’

The new research project will be housed in the Living Pa, which aims to ‘transform the way we realise our culture and values,’ as Ex-Nihilo Pro-Provost Rawiri Falasi told us. ‘It will also make mythology and science one, produce more energy than it uses, and re-orient our civilization towards ending climate change…At $45 million, that represents outstanding value.’

It was not entirely clear as we went to press who else would inhabit the building, with Victoria University of WELLINGTON recently deciding to consciously uncouple from up to a quarter of its humanities staff. But ‘this new research project will have everything appropriate to the modern university environment,’ Ex-Ante Post-President Belinda Bloat assured us, ‘and that obviously includes 50% more administrators than researchers.’

When we asked what other factors might have contributed towards the university’s poor financial position, Associate-Assistant Vice-Dean Boffin, Super-Pro-Vice-Chancellor Toady, Super-Anti-Vice-Chancellor Rebel, Ad-Hoc Associate Chancellor Nigher, Ex-Nihilo Pro-Provost Falasi, and Ex-Ante Post-President Bloat said they would constitute a new research institute to look into the question and get back to us.

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