The Chair

By this time next year, my department will have lost a third of its tenured faculty. Three people. (They retired, in case anyone starts worrying about their fate).

These three people cumulatively taught 18 courses per year.

What do you think happens when they retire? Do I hire untenured lecturers to teach these 18 courses?

Ha. Ha. Ha.

I don’t hire anybody because nobody gives me a crooked dime for that. I’m supposed to get those courses taught without any new people.


Nobody gives a bleep.

The administration tells me that if I can’t make the program work without these professors, they will eliminate the program.

I haven’t watched that new TV series The Chair but if it tells you that the biggest challenge of being department Chair is anything other than what I described, it’s stupid and very annoying.

4 thoughts on “The Chair

  1. Are there maybe any educational grants available? Surely if they weren’t responsible for paying people it might be easier to justify a hire.

    Of course, any grants would probably only partially cover, and then it’s a temporary solution at best. Ugh. That’s a fucking awful situation.


    1. No, we can’t do that, thankfully. We are unionized. It can’t be done officially and as an obligation. But you can “volunteer.” I have a professor who teaches 5 courses per semester to save the program. I’m fighting to have this practice abolished because it’s unfair and exploitative. We’ll see what I manage to do but it’s really wrong. I’m making gigantic curricular changes to save the programs and avoid abusing people like this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is how German was cut down to a minor here. First someone taught 5 courses per semester to save it, then it died. I’d have reformed it so as to count German history toward German, or something like that, there are programs like this, and I also fantasize that we didn’t have to take the line of least resistance, but maybe we’d have lost anyway. The bane of my life is service to shore up the program, I’ve got all the extracurricular stuff and keep saying I’ll stop like everyone else and then the students just want it so much, and I relent. It will be interesting to see what your curricular changes are and how they work. I still say the investment of one tenure track line into Spanish would make all the difference, but of course that person, if hired, would also have to not be sabotaged, and there’s no guarantee of this.


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