“You must make this work—I don’t want to hear that it can’t be done. This is too big a project and too much money is involved. Fix it—now!” And with those words from my boss ringing in my ears I walked out of his office. The problem was I didn’t know how to fix it and had people on both sides of a contract angry because I wouldn’t sign it. Much pressure.
The United States government had issued a large-dollar contract to my university to work on the design of a prototype that could be very beneficial to many. The faculty member assigned to the project had the expertise to do the design, and it seemed like a worthwhile project.
The problem facing me was I could not accept the terms of the contract. Working for a public university that did not do classified work, I could not accept a contract that included supervision of part of the contract that was classified. There was no way we could manage it or provide any oversight.