One of the reasons why I love my department is that everything is always organized in a very fair, transparent way that doesn’t leave junior faculty members feel downtrodden or exploited.
I know that at many other universities untenured faculty are stuck with the courses that nobody else wants to teach and are given the most inconvenient schedules ever. The level of intrigue surrounding the creation of course schedule is worthy of Calderon. At the end of the process, everybody hates each other so much that people are practically ready to put cyanide in each other’s coffee mugs.
Not so at my great university. Today, for example, I sat down with the Chair of my department and chose the courses I wanted to teach and the schedule that I find convenient. Not a single course that I’m teaching here has been foisted upon me against my will. To the contrary, senior colleagues seem obsessed with making sure that I teach exactly what I want and that the breaks between the classes are neither too long nor too short.
Our department has escaped what I call “the hierarchy curse”, which is something that tears apart many an academic unit. We all take turns teaching higher-level courses and nobody gets stuck always teaching the same lower-level course (unless that’s what they really want to do.) It’s the same at faculty meetings where nobody ever pulls rank or expects you to sit there quietly not daring to voice your opinion until you get tenure.
Every day, I discover more proof that accepting a position at this university was a great decision for me. Let alone for the students and the university at large. 🙂
6 thoughts on “Academic Schedule and Fairness”
In my university right now, teachers are hired for the courses the department want them to teach.
We have a list of courses that need to be taught, of course. But the choice within that list is ours. Advanced seminars are completely within the prof’s control.
jesus I need a job at Utopia U.
When I first got here, I was sure I would only stay for a year. But then I saw the great environment, and I just couldn’t leave. I can be as opinionated as I’m on the blog 🙂 during faculty meetings, and nobody minds. At first, I thought they were faking it. But no, they are all normal, good people.
How’s the choral program? Anyone there planning to retire in about 3-4 years? 🙂
Actually, we do have a spate of retirements coming up university-wide in a few years. This means that we will be hiring tenure-track people.
Another piece of good news is that our university is not on a path to adjunctification. The year I got here (2009), we had 51 new tenure-track people hired in that one year. And now we are working on opening new tenure-lines within our department and possibly transforming an adjunct into a TT professor.
We are a very good place with a bright future.