If everyone could make minor changes on their own, you'd have a real mess after a while. But, the SIU union "craft" workers charge a lot and do as little as possible.Like every big organization SIU would still have it's bureaucracies to prevent real stupid things from happening. I thought this was self evident, but let me spell out would work.
In the teaching areas, the budget would rest with the department chair or for bigger items, the Dean or the upper administrators. Every year there would be a budget with estimates of how you would be spending your money for the whole year, just as there is now. If you wanted to recarpet your office and there was money in the budget, the chair could sign off on it. The chair could use the stupid SIU system or just go get it directly and pay less then half. Bigger items or out of budget would go up the line to Deans and upper administration, this would be no different.
There are lots of audit trails in a big bureaucracy, at SIU the bureaucracy also forces a much, much higher price and doesn't develop local business, which would help SIU by keeping the money locally and develop a vibrant local economy. I can go into why this would be helpful to SIU more, but imaging if there were 20 people like me in town (don't read that before bedtime, you will get nightmares).
You want to guess why the business people of Carbondale aren't pounding the table to get SIU more state money? We can all see the system, we know the results and waste levels (you can't miss it). The SIU people know the system too, but how do you fight city hall?
As always, your comments are welcome.