March 17, 2014

In Which Raia Contracts the Common Ailment

November 4, 1184

"Thanks for agreeing to meet on a Sunday." Raia took the empty seat at the head of the table, only too aware that this was her front room and not her office. She made a point not to bring her work home with her if it wasn't necessary, but there hadn't been much choice this time. "My father apologizes. Apparently he and the other lords had some kind of difference of opinion with Ietrin, and that slowed the allotment of university funds."

"I understand. And don't worry about it; we do have to inform the departments by Friday, after all." There would come a day, Raia was sure, when they needed to add a few more people to their bracket of the university of administration. While the university was still growing, though... well, she didn't think she wanted anyone other than Ellona. Her Assistant Chancellor was no pushover, but at the same time, she recognized what was important and what wasn't--exactly the sort of person who got things done.

At this point? A few more people would have just bogged down the decision-making process, even a small committee resulting in the need for countless debates and votes and revisions, never mind all the bureaucracy that came with them. For now--barring the rare instance of the more-or-less lenient patrons wanting a say--the perfect deputy she had in Ellona was all Raia needed.

"Absolutely. So we still have the week to revise if need be, but I'd still like to get started today." Everyone was happier if Raia kept to her established timelines, after all--and none more so than Raia herself. "We have enough allocated funding for the departments to keep most of them happy if we split it evenly between them, but the problem is that some departments have more need of it than others."

"Yes, I remember those imported mathematics texts." Ellona shuddered, and not without good reason. Unbeknownst to the rest of the staff, they'd both taken a cut from their own wages to cover the difference on those books. "But we can probably afford to designate a little less for the Theology Department, since they get supplemental funding from the church anyway."

"Agreed." Her father, at least, would approve that cut. "Also, as long as the students all have access to the main names in philosophy, I don't see why we'd need to splurge on anything further there, at least not at this point. A student of philosophy shouldn't need much more than their own mind."

"And if we want the most recent research on anatomy--"

"Of course we do. If we're to train doctors, we can't afford for them to be quacks."

"Naturally. That said, expanding on your thoughts on philosophy, we could probably take some from the more creative pursuits. The Drama Department, for example; most of the music students have their own instruments, or at least half-decent voices, and Sister Paulina does have enough to provide for any who might not based on current enrollment. Plus it's not as if a student masque requires elaborate sets and costumes."

"True," Raia admitted. She did like Sister Paulina and her vision for the department... but she liked almost all of the professors, and all of their visions for their departments. Some of those visions could still be realized on a tighter budget. "And I guess a little less funding to the Literature Department wouldn't be the end of the world; Morgan could probably take most of it from rhetoric and composition, since they shouldn't need too much reference material."

"There's Art too." Ellona looked to the tapestry on the wall behind Raia, somewhat reluctant. Nonetheless, she pressed on. "Canvases and paints are expensive, but if Cherry had her textile students provide their own fabric and thread, or placed more emphasis on the revision of existing pieces, she could save some money there."

"She could, yes." Not that Cherry would find the notion of a glorified mending class all too pleasing.

Ellona grimaced. "We are not going to be popular after Friday, are we?"

No doubt a common ailment of budgeting parties the world over. Uneasy, Raia forced out a weak chuckle. "Here's hoping that it doesn't occur to them to compare amounts?"



Van said...

Consider this a precursor to a more light-hearted 1185 storyline.

And so continues the never-ending quest for a dress I like on Raia. This one is probably the closest I've come so far, though I didn't dislike the old one either. That said, both may be too simple since she's now chancellor of a university and a lady in her own right.

Winter said...

Their priorities are sound, but neither of them is going to be popular at all. I can see Morgan, for example, making do with what she gets, but not so much Cherry.

I like this dress on Raia. It is a bit simple, but she might prefer simple when she's at home and on her own time?

Van said...

Yeah, some staff members will take less offense than others. Lucky for Cherry, though, she will have opportunity for revenge. ;) And so will Morgan.

This dress does suit Raia quite well. I did notice when I was going through family tree pictures that her daughter Viridia is wearing a dress in the exact same color scheme; I don't think that bothers me at this point, but now it's stuck in my head. XD