I teach a Career Seminar course for political science students, and one of the most valuable innovations in that class (first innovated by my colleague, so no credit for me) is having the State Department’s regional Diplomat-in-Residence come speak to our students. The DIR is an outreach and recruiting position, and they have done a great job of getting our students interested in foreign service careers. Whether or not many end up in such careers, it has directly resulted in more of our students taking time to go abroad, including doing internships with the State Department overseas. I think travel abroad is the most important educational opportunity for my students while they’re in college.
So I’ve been trying to schedule the new DIR to talk to my class this term. She arrived to her post a bit later than the prior ones, so we got a late start, then she had to figure out some other schedule issues. And so today, almost halfway through the term, I emailed her again, and got this reply:
I am very much hoping to do this, but in light of the federal government’s current funding gap I’m not able to plan and confirm any travel.
I’ll be in touch as soon as I’m able to make a firm commitment. Sorry about this.
Heh. I’m more amused than frustrated. At least I’m not a WWII vet trying to visit the WWII Memorial on the Capitol Mall (Cue the Outrage MachineTM!)