Saturday, December 24, 2011

Getting the Boot for Christmas

I know I haven't been corresponding regularly recently. I think I mentioned there was this budget cut thingy, I'm sure many of you have been hearing about stuff like this in the past months. I've been applying my bitching strength to fighting for money and staff. The results:
  • We must accept a 17% budget cut for 2012.
  • I can hire 6 new teachers, I need 17 just to scrape by in FY2012, as we are to be taking in many new students in order to have more income.
  • There will be no pay raise for adjuncts.
  • We can continue to have heat in the rooms, but we are supposed to be thinking of creative ways to save electricity, like getting rid of "unnecessary" computers.
  • My administrative assistant, the only one who actually understood the numbers around this place was given the boot two days ago. I was not asked, but informed. They found some piece of dirt s/he was responsible for. Dismissal was immediate, although I find the charges to be trumped up.
So over the holidays - and my heart goes out to the administrative assistant - I need to decide whether to step down or not (probably) and I need to polish my CV. Don't think I want to hang around here any more. Will it be better if I go back to industry? I hear that Hamster Fur accessories are all the rage. I better get my loom out of the cellar, see if I can still do it.

Hope you all have a better holiday season. Oh, and I'm grateful for CM. There's nowhere else I can let off steam like this. 

Dean Suzy


  1. thanx for the update, depressing as it is.
    never is a good time to fire someone.
    "happy" hanukwanzaaxmas.

  2. I know plenty of folks who are contemplating jumping ship. I scored a pretty sweet asst prof deal this past year, but I keep one foot in industry, you know, just in case.

  3. Suzy, I am so sorry! I hope you manage to eke some pleasure out of the holidys, and best of luck with that CV.

  4. Oh Dean, I've enjoyed your posts so much but today's is just so miserable. I'm sorry the higher-ups are being so terribly short-sighted. Perhaps it will peak up; somehow, I doubt it.

  5. Ugh. It sounds like it might just be beginning to be dangerous to be someone who knows where the bodies are buried. Which, yes, might be a very good reason to polish that cv.

    I'm also glad to hear that you're getting out, because that leaves me free to hope that the combination of these two facts will eventually work out badly for those who believe in the efficacy of "market forces":

    # I can hire 6 new teachers, I need 17 just to scrape by in FY2012, as we are to be taking in many new students in order to have more income.

    # There will be no pay raise for adjuncts.

    The sad part, though, is that the students will suffer even more than the administrators, who -- especially once all the moral and/or competent ones have jumped ship -- will undoubtedly find some way to tout enormous classes led by overworked and/or marginally qualified people as a "new and improved" approach to education (online education? "student-centered/directed" learning?). Of course, that may well happen even if the good and the competent stay, making them miserable, too. So, yes, may the c.v.-polishing go well, and, in the meantime, may the next few days be filled with whatever substances, people, and/or activities best help you to forget.

  6. What a shitty end to the semester! Do you think that as an Admin, you have better chances of finding another ship to sail? I hope prospects are better elsewhere!

  7. My dean has started asking faculty to change the grades of (supposedly) graduating seniors. I hope that he's not long for my school and the job is yours. I'll write you a kick ass (though purely anonymous) recommendation letter.

  8. There will be no pay raise for adjuncts.

    I know a big corporate online university where the adjunct pay is exactly the same dollar number per unit of work as it was in 2004. With inflation that corresponds to a pay cut of more than 15%.

  9. That really, really sucks.

    To join in your misery--we were informed on Friday that we're going to have to absorb another $65 million in lapse funds over the next two years. If it goes through, it'll be the death of what used to be one of the best state school systems in the United States. We can look forward to larger classes (and mine are already 20% over the recommended cap), fewer adjuncts, and fewer tenure lines, on top of the fact that our salaries haven't moved since 2005. Can't wait.

    You have my sympathy--I wouldn't want to be an admin in this climate.

  10. Dean Suzy, I wouldn't want your job in any climate. If the stress of being a mere proffie in a decent, well-run institution can drive some to Xanax and Metamucil, what's the toll of being middle management?

    I'm sorry about your administrative assistant. Is there no staff union? And I shudder that someone higher up than you thinks that continuing to heat the classrooms is part of a compromise. A creative way to save electricity might be to eliminate his/her job.

  11. My TA hours were cut by 2/3 for a monster class that begins next month because it was under-enrolled by 50% as of July. As of right now, its enrollment has increased to practically its usual size. But I can't have any moreTA hours because they've all been allocated.

    So I have no choice but to eliminate half the writing assignments. Who suffers here? The students, obviously. But that marking load is not possible without more help.


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