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. 🙂