Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Out of Contract Conflicts

The other day, a friend of mine got a desperate email from one of her advisees.  The advisee had been in email contact with the campus administrative folks, who had advised the student that he needed to meet with his advisee to take care of a problem as soon as possible.  And so the advisee followed directions and contacted my friend, his advisor.

The thing is, we faculty folks are "out of contract" for the summer. 

Of course, the student has no knowledge of that.  But the administrative folks should. 

On the other hand, I'm willing to bet that at some point, an administrative person sent a student to the campus advising office (people who are under contract all year long, and paid accordingly) during a summer non-contract period and then some faculty advisor complained long and loudly about not being consulted.

The "out of contract" thing is weird.  We do some sorts of work, and we use our offices and other university resources just as we do when we're under contract.  And our promotions and such depend utterly on the work we complete during the time we're out of contract.  On the other hand, most of us tend to resist doing the more onerous parts of the job, which includes problem advising.

I guess I'd suggest that we be a lot more open with students.  The administrative folks should copy the faculty advisor on an email which advises the student to contact the advising office because the faculty member is out of contract, but then they can talk to the faculty member once the contract period begins.  Or something. 

1 comment:

  1. Here at our university, we've started having a full-time advisor for every department -- someone on a 12-month contract (who gets paid extra, IOW) so that students have someone they can talk to year-round, even in the holidays and at summer break.

    It's been great. No pressure on us, the regular faculty, to come in over winter break or during summer (when we're not being paid to be here) for student emergencies. And that did happen before, all the time.