It is important to keep in mind the ossifying effect of bureaucracies and their ability to grow and consume resources without impacting the situation that they were established to originally “fix”. This occurs in the public sector (government) and in the private sector among foundations.
A donor gave a gigantic donation to the Poetry foundation, a foundation dedicated to publishing “Poetry” magazine and also to helping the mission of poetry. In the popular consciousness and in reality, being a poet would be the quintessential “starving artist”, since there is very little remuneration for this sort of work.
So what would be the logical thing to do with this vast and unexpected donation, in excess of $100 million? Perhaps the foundation could actually pay poets and sponsor their work and bring them out of penury?
Nah… the thing to do is BUILD A BIG BUILDING FOR THE STAFF (and visitors). In an expensive part of Chicago, in fact, where the cost of the building is a significant multiple of what it might cost elsewhere, say the suburbs of Chicago, or pretty much anywhere else in the US outside of New York or California.
Per this article, the total cost of the building is expected to be $21.5 million. Since nothing ever comes in on time or on budget, plan on it costing a bit more.
…offices space are located on the second level, organized into three areas each for the administration, Poetry magazine and website staff, and programs staff. The building’s internal arrangement is configured so all spaces have views of the garden.
Glad all of the staff now reside in a very high rent district, in a state of the art building, with a view of the garden. I’m sure all of the starving poets out there will appreciate this fact.
A classic example of a bureaucracy putting the needs of its staff ahead of its mission.
Cross posted at LITGM