You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

No matter your role at your college or university, everyone experiences sleepless nights obsessing about one thing or another. Please give yourself a point for each thought you’ve ever had in the middle of the night.

  • 1-10 points: You’re an adjunct, lecturer or staff member without enough experience to be angry or paranoid. Enjoy it.
  • 10-25 points: You’re a junior faculty member worried about getting tenure. You are paranoid (rightfully so).
  • 25-40 points: You’re a jaded tenured faculty member or you’ve spent your professional career working in higher ed. You’re on the verge of primal screams and storming out of a faculty or department meeting.
  • 40-50 points: You’re an administrator and only sleep about three hours a night.
  1. Why does it take four months to get reimbursed for travel?
  2. Is the administration reading my emails?
  3. How did those students fit 150 people in that two-bedroom apartment for a beer pong party?
  4. I can’t remember … who was it that said, “Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low?” If I open my computer, will it wake up my partner? Maybe I look it up under the blanket.
  5. When is my puffy coat coming back from the dry cleaner?
  6. Did that student wink at me?
  7. Will my parking ticket appeal be approved?
  8. Will the tenure committee consider RateMyProfessor’s comments?
  9. Am I going to get fired for that?
  10. They better have biscuits on the buffet for tomorrow’s meeting.
  11. OMG. I forgot to do my golf cart safety training.
  12. Did that alarm mean I was supposed to leave the building?
  13. Is my Inside Higher Ed article trending?
  14. Obviously, the department chair doesn’t respect me.
  15. There needs to be a vote of no confidence.
  16. Should I use a colon, dash or parentheses in the title of my essay?
  17. Was that chicken or tuna salad I ate at that donor’s house today?
  18. This would have never happened if I had been in charge.
  19. I’m calling all the trustees in the morning.
  20. Do they really think I’m that stupid?
  21. I wonder if he’ll try to punch me in the faculty meeting.
  22. Enrollment is tanking. Should I update my résumé?
  23. There are far too many administrators.
  24. I did meet my goals and objectives.
  25. Why won’t my syllabus load on Canvas?
  26. This place is crazy.
  27. Those condoms really were an approved expense. Why is the business office hassling me?
  28. I’m going to HR first thing in the morning.
  29. I sent the vice president for advancement a great article on how to get big gifts, and she didn’t thank me. How ungrateful.
  30. Can I do my community service at the art museum?
  31. What am I going to do if the board chair says something racist in the meeting, again?
  32. Should I fire him for the gallon bottle of vodka in his desk drawer? Is that addressed in the Faculty Manual?
  33. Should I list reading Ceramics Monthly as research in my tenure packet?
  34. How will I tell that donor we can’t accept the funerary urn filled with his dog’s ashes? I don’t care if it’s art.
  35. Why can’t they run this college like a business?
  36. Can they ban me from campus? It’s free speech!
  37. Will they be serving Frito pie in the dining hall tomorrow?
  38. How will I tell the provost that a student was arrested when I took the class to a strip club? The Faculty Manual doesn’t say I could be fired.
  39. I need to have HR join me in that meeting tomorrow.
  40. Will the students flip out if I talk about Karen Finley in art appreciation?
  41. Was that student high in my class? I think they were high.
  42. The administration is corrupt.
  43. Why are the trustees always making my life hell?
  44. I was misquoted in the student newspaper!
  45. What does that acronym mean again?
  46. We should survey the campus.
  47. Should we ban scooters on campus?
  48. How will I tell the president we must reprint the annual report because her teeth look green?
  49. When are budget requests due?
  50. I can say anything I want; I’m tenured!

Next Story