Sad

I’m so sad. My favorite Associate Dean who was carrying the whole college on his shoulders got promoted out of the college. This is a man who inspired me every day with his work ethic that always made it clear to me what made this country great.

I don’t even know if I want to be Chair anymore because it’s all going to be one sad mess without this guy. I’m happy for him, of course. He deserves the promotion. It’s all going to be a huge mess without him.

At the meeting where this was announced, I couldn’t even say anything nice to him because I was afraid I’d cry. Then I yelled at the Dean for 15 minutes, and that made me feel better.

The reason I yelled at the Dean is that the administration is creating terrible working conditions for our non-tenured workers, expecting them to work for free as they wait for a contract that might never be offered. The Dean said, “Many people don’t work for money but because they like teaching.” At that point, I completely lost it because that’s a guy who makes $140,000 a year and he thinks it’s cute to say that people who are paid $3,200 to teach a course should be happy to work for free. Thankfully, the Chair of Sociology hates this kind of thing even more than I do, so she joined in at an even higher pitch.

That’s what we are left with now that our Associate Dean is leaving. This cheap, vapid casuistry of “you are a loser Chair if you can’t get people to work for free.”

11 thoughts on “Sad

  1. Huh. It used to be, back in the bad very backward moyen age when the university was invented, a university was essentially two guilds, the students’ guild and the professors’ guild. The students would negotiate things like fees and meeting times with the professors, and there was essentially no “administration” middle man in charge to muck things up. The students and professors together bought buildings, built a library, and established rules. It was simple: people, rooms, books. No nonsense.

    It was run along the lines of a monastery, because that basically is what it was.. The participants were the stakeholders, and they governed themselves. Many European universities were until basically the day before yesterday governed with minimal overhead by administrators elected from the faculty, who returned to the faculty after their term.

    I’d bet the tuition paid for one class by two or three students at your school approaches $3,200. I say you academics pull your hindquarters out of your heads, fire the administration, and start your own gig. All you need is a library, classrooms, good teachers. Much lower tuition, academic freedom, no ideological nonsense. The current Phd process is turning out drones, the hiring process is creating moronically risible totalitarian uniformity and killing vibrant academic culture. Break the cult’s control. The students will come.

    The present system is utterly discrediting itself. It’s time to build the alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Normally, when we hire people to teach, we sign a contract, and then they begin to prepare the courses. And now we are supposed to tell them they might get hired, get them to start preparing without a contract, and then at some point in late December, there might be a contract. Or not. If not, they will have wasted their time and we will be the bastards who tricked people into doing it under false pretenses.

        Obviously, I refused. We all refused. Now we have no idea who will be teaching in January.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “there might be a contract. Or not”

          This is an old con practiced by private language schools (which popped up in Poland like mushrooms after a rain in the early 1990s).

          Warsaw schools were especially notorious for this. From stories I heard the basic con was: Tell a foreign applicant they were “hired” and then never pay them or offer any kind of contract. The basic idea was to get as many lessons for free from them before they gave up and stopped coming (at which point a new applicant would take their place). It wasn’t unusual to get a couple of months out of some hapless marks before they wised up… Before you ask, no I was never a victim of this I always avoided private schools like the plague.

          It’s very weird (and disheartening) that an American university is practicing an Eastern European con from 30 years ago….

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    1. Given that I yell at the Dean at every Chairs’ meeting, which is every two weeks, I’d say the chances he’ll choose to see me every day in an office next to his are negligible. 🙂 The poor guy can’t stand the sight of me at this point.

      Like

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