We just finished spring break, but it didn't feel like much of a break. I went to visit my Mom and things remain pretty much as they are. Sometimes she's confused, sometimes not. Sometimes she's unhappy, sometimes not. This could go on for several years, and that's depressing as all get out.
I'm muddling through my chairness, trying to do the right thing, and hoping I'm not hopelessly naive. We're doing a couple of searches in various ways, one of which is very complicated and political, and I feel like I'm about to walk into a metaphorical minefield. Which is better than a real minefield, of course.
One of the searches, in multiethnic basketweaving is especially complicated. Multiethnic basketweaving has a few courses in common with underwater basketweaving, but others not. So, the current director of that program was in underwater basketweaving for many years, and wants the underwater basketweaving department to do a search for a specialist in multiethnic underwater basketweaving for when they retire.
But admin wants to do a search in multiethnic basketweaving for an adjunct.
Here's what the admin folks say: adjuncts here teach 15 credits a semester, so that would be 5 courses in multiethnic basketweaving. One or two of those could be our cross-listed courses in multiethnic underwater basketweaving. The others would include multiethnic dry basketweaving, history of multiethnic basketweaving, and so forth, a wide variety of courses.
These courses would all count for general education, and the thing is, we offer, say, 1000 seats in GE, and students need 1000 seats in GE, so they take what's available, even if they hadn't really wanted to. That means that there would be 5 GE courses that would pretty much fill. And if the adjunct is a good teacher, ideally, then more people might decide that multiethnic basketweaving really IS a fascinating area of study and maybe they'd do their major or minor in it. And it would grow. And that would give the administration a way to argue for hiring a tenure track person in the area (who would teach 4 courses a semester, instead of 5, all in MEBW.
BUT, if we hire a tenure track person into Underwater Basketweaving, then half their load is intro to UWB, and they'd only be able to offer 2 MEBW courses a semester. So the bang for the buck is, from the administrator's point of view, far less.
It WOULD be great to have intro UWB taught from a multiethnic perspective, of course.
So, I may be naive, and this may be the administrator's way of killing off MEBW here.
And the current person, who's a multiethnic underwater basketweaving specialist isn't convinced that a person who's, say, a multiethnic dry basketweaving specialist could also do a good job teaching multiethnic underwater basketweaving. It's a massive field, and that's a big ask, seems like.
But at any rate, I'm pretty sure the admin isn't going to hire an adjunct AND give us a tenure track search next year. And they've got the ad for the adjunct up, and both the current person and I are on the search committee.
This should be fun.