I can now claim a significant achievement: I am the stingiest traveller at the University of Newcastle. Even those who pride themselves on budget travel are astounded: bicycles, couch surfing, youth hostels, minus star hotels, the leftover food shelves, conference freebees, basic supplies that last months, one small backpack, one change of clothes, getting in the shower with your clothes on to wash them, public (God forbid) transport …

All of which makes me ponder what I would do as a Vice-Chancellor – with some bite. Let me see:

* All must travel in the same fashion, for otherwise it will not be approved.

* Reduction – and in a few cases elevation – of wages to the average level in Australia: $70,000 per year (holy shit, that’s way beyond what they pay me). Given that most VCs are given about $1,000,000, that would immediately open up 13 new positions in that case alone. This would also negate those motivated by greed in search of jobs.

* Reduction of workload by 50%

* Increase of staff by 100%

* Average wage for all eligible PhD and masters students

And that’s just the beginning …

Must put together an application and find some willing institution, since this would be immense fun.

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