Friday, December 25, 2015

"I have to apologize to you," the chancellor said

I'd had a meeting with the chancellor two weeks ago, mostly to blow off steam. I stepped down as dean four years ago as the result of a nasty fight with our administration. It turns out that I was right back then, the school lost in court, and just recently they had to admit that I had been correct about the administration having grossly mismanaged funds. Of course, with that and $4 I can get a cup of coffee at $tarbucks, but hey, good to know I was right.

Anyway, at the meeting I had bitched at the new chancellor (we also have a new president, a new head of finances, and a new head of HR) that we had doubled the size of the faculty in the past decade (actually hiring some adjuncts) and of course increased the number of students accordingly. But the number of sabbaticals granted were the same as they were ten years ago. Since I was counting on a sabbatical sometime soon, I'd be up against all the new kids wanting their first one, and I wanted to increase my chances.

I was well prepared and had a list of all the excess teaching duties I had taken on over the last few decades here. Seems I'm a pushover and have taken so many extra sections of hamster fur basket weaving that I should be able to take a year off with full pay. Except that the RULEZ don't let you do that.

I shoved my list in his face, and asked why the number of sabbaticals was not keeping pace with the number of proffies. "State rules!" he proclaimed, and my audience was up. Oh well, I was in a bad mood anyway, so I graded some papers and found two plagiarisms. Took my anger out on them.

Then the chancellor's secretary contacted me again. He would like to talk to me. Okaaaaay. He offered me a cup of coffee (not normally supplied to guests) and then came right to the point. "I have to apologize to you," he said. "You were right." Turns out, just like I said, the budget determines how many sabbaticals we have, not the state. More students means more money means more proffies means more sabbaticals. But no one in the past 10 years thought to change the line item with the number of sabbaticals. The budget is already approved for 2016, but from 2017 they will be increasing that number. And they will find a way to deal with my excess teaching hours. And one more thing I had mentioned, turned out I was right on that one too.

People kept asking me all day why I was grinning.

So peeps out there in the trenches: keep at it. Every now and then you can actually win a battle with the administration. Oh, and Merry Holidays or whatever the PC thing to say today is.

Suzy from Square State


  1. Well done, Suzy!
    As my dissertation director used to say when something good happened in our business: well, no system is perfect!
    Thank goodness!

    1. Can I steal that, EiA? It's pretty much perfect.

    2. Props to Professor Braden, and you're welcome to share!