A recent memo about changes in departmental budget protocols at my university included the following:
“Items not allowed under department and program budgets: Given the tightness of budgets across campus, department and program funds should only be used for expenses related to the professional work of the department. Faculty are asked to avoid expenses that are not directly related to the mission of the department or program. A few exceptions to this rule may be allowed. For example, sending flowers to the funeral of a department member or emeritus faculty is an allowable expense. When in doubt over the nature of the expense, please consult the Dean of the Faculty for approval prior to committing funds.”
While the above is real, a faux memo follows that might provide guidelines for those funeral flowers. Even the irreligious among us should pray that cost-conscious administrators do not adopt these guidelines.