Yesterday we had a really tense, really angry meeting of the department chairs and the Dean. People split into two groups:
1. Those who believe that austerity measures are being imposed in good faith and for good reasons. They believe we need to throw ourselves eagerly into implementing them because “the numbers” show that the situation is dire and “we” have “difficult choices to make.”
I really loved that “we”. As if the new austerity administrator sought our opinion instead of issuing edicts that we are supposed to obey. I’m quoting verbatim from what I said at the meeting.
Curiously, group 1 ended up being 100% male.
2. Those who have noticed 15+ years of budget cuts and no longer believe in “the numbers” or that austerity solves anything. This was a group that was both male and female. It’s also older and has no immigrants except for me.
I’m sure everybody can figure out which group is mine. I honestly can’t understand how people still take the yearly announcements of “crucial” austerity measures that are supposed to solve everything but always lead to the need for more austerity. This year, “the numbers” were so obviously cooked that people burst out laughing when we were first given them.
The only restraint I showed was not saying the word “neoliberal.” I’m saving it for later. But I went all out otherwise.