Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spend, spend, spend

I spent the morning wondering what I would have done with a £165 million Euro lottery win.  Not easy.  After totting up the cost of a new house, new car (this one) and money for family, trusts for the kids etc., I reckon I'd still have a good £100+ million left at least.  Now, you need to put some of that to work so you can have a guaranteed income enough not to be worried but then there's still plenty to play with.  Probably enough to found a decent new Cambridge college and certainly enough to do a lot for a current one.  So, what else would be on the list, specifically concerning my day job and my concern for the health of my own area of research?

There would be plenty to make regular and substantial donations to various charities.  But there are some specific things that would be worth doing too.

Endow a research fellowship, probably alternating between classics and philosophy for new postdoctoral researchers.  Perhaps also endow a university lectureship (we've enough professors) provided that didn't mean the university could think it didn't need to keep funding the ones we have already.  Probably best to negotiate a B.O.G.O.F. deal here.  They promise to keep funding one, and we'll fund another.

A big chunk of hardship funding for undergraduates.

What else should go on this list?

1 comment:

RJR said...

I think your suggestions are laudable. But you'd have to decide whether or not to be anonymous. I have come across people who are both academics and fantastically rich donors to their field, and the combination does not work well.

I'd support exhibitions, myself. I'd specify maximum numbers of people allowed in at any time, and I'd pay for there to be a curator on duty at all times to answer questions. It's really frustrating when you want to know something simple that's not on the labels. I'd probably also encourage museums and galleries to make different levels of label for all their exhibits and let people choose how much information they wanted to have. Then I'd make all the cathedrals and other churches in the country free to enter, and I'd employ people to lead tours around them adapted to all sorts of visitors.