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    An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

Academic employment - the second half of my answer
April 13, 2011 - 9:00pm

So if working in a fixed location was what first attracted me to Greenback, what kept me there?

In two words: tuition benefits. More particularly, tuition for my spawn.

As my kids got closer to college age (there are three, at one-year intervals), three possible scenarios became increasingly clear:

  • their undergraduate educational choices could be significantly limited,
  • they could graduate college deeply indebted, or
  • Frau R. and I could put a major hole into our retirement savings.

None of these three was particularly attractive, but working at Greenback has created a fourth possibility, one upon which my family eventually seized. The full tuition for two children, and most of the tuition for the third, was paid as an employee benefit.

For what it's worth, I'm hardly alone in this regard. A lot of my co-workers at Greenback, both those whose kids are approaching college age and those with much younger offspring, look at tuition benefits as a major motivator to stay at the university. For parents of young children, it's gravy. For those with offspring nearing (or even in) college, it can feel more like golden handcuffs. But either way, it's a major (sometimes, the major) reason that I and others work in higher education.

So, what's your reason? Why did you take a job at a college or university? Why are you still there? Share your story -- email it to g[dot]rendell[at]insidehighered[dot]com.


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