Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Up and Doun; To and Fro

This is how it goes.

A student came in to do her oral quiz for Chaucer, where the student reads a short passage aloud, and then does a quick paraphrase into modern English.  She did beautifully, really.  She's exactly where I'd hope a student would be in the third week of a first Chaucer course reading Middle English.

The employees have been asked to volunteer to serve on basically emergency "what should we do to save money in this or that area?" committees, with the idea that we'll respond to two budget issues, one internal to our campus from poor budgeting and accounting practices by administrators, and one external.  This is not the first time we've been asked to volunteer to serve on basically emergency committees to do some work that's supposed to contribute through shared governance to the school's handling of budget problems.

I've nominated myself to the committee that's supposed to look at how we can maintain sanity in work practices while we save money in other areas.  I don't know if I'll be chosen, but I doubt it.  I think the process is going to be dominated by administrative types, and that we're going to end up hiring another administrator to administer work practices by having us do paperwork to document our work practices.  I have great faith in the process, can you tell?

Here's the question of the day, then:

What would you suggest to your workplace to maintain sanity in the face of saving money in other areas?  (This is mostly for academic types.)

Can we reduce the time and effort put into the four or five layers of assessment we're all supposed to do?

Can we reduce the time and effort we put into reviewing faculty at various levels/positions without doing them or our students a disservice? 

Can we use graduate students to lead discussion sessions for large classes and to grade some work?

Can we not ask people to serve on endless emergency committees to respond to budget problems?

I know a number of folks in my and other departments who are on the market.  I have a feeling over the next year or three we're going to see an exodus of people who are in a career position to move, and very few hires to replace them.  We'll probably need to hire an administrator to manage the exodus.


  1. "The most welcome way of increasing revenue would be for the prince to abolish superfluous expenditure, to disband redundant offices, to avoid wars and foreign tours (which are very likely wars), to check acquisitiveness of officialdom, and to pay more attention to the just administration of his territory than to its expansion." Erasmus, 1513, Education of a Christian Prince.

  2. Erasmus was a wise man. Maybe if we consider football a sort of warfare...

  3. Football IS mock warfare! Deleting football and other high-cost sports would save millions. After all, why keep those high-cost sports at the expense of the thing college is supposed to be about - education?