Social Sciences / Education

Pleas

In these financially perilous times, campus administrators are looking for places to slash costs, whether that means a universitywide hiring freeze or axing the French department. Even if the measure saves only a few dollars, the act itself is significant. When stubborn trustees or even the uneducated public inquire what the college is prepared to sacrifice to stay afloat, the provost or her henchmen must have some answers.

This air of pragmatic desperation has certainly infected the atmosphere at U of All People, where Provost Jeanne Dark has begun all meetings with the invocation “Every crisis is an opportunity.” UAP President Lenny Grouper, the third school head in as many years, has indicated his nervous assent.

Just as desperate, departments and programs are coming to terms with negative raises and zero office supplies, even as they make their annual cases to deans and higher-ups for more money. These pleas are a curious balancing act of a forlorn tone to show need, and can-do optimism to avoid Provost Dark’s pulling the plug on the program. Below is a sampling of recent e-mails.

***

From: "Dirk Hartwell" <dhartwel@uallpeople.edu>
Date: 2011/02/14 Mon AM 09:53:21 EDT
To: <mmoriar@uallpeople.edu>
Subject: 2011-12 budget

To Professor Moriarty, Dean of Humanities:

As you probably know, the psychology department converted its last remaining lab into a combined mail room and office space last year, selling off our pigeons and cages on eBay for a grand total of $352. Because of the increase in class size, from 25 to a cap of 120, we’ve had to bend our curriculum to fit. The good news is that we’ve inaugurated two new courses for the larger sections, Psych. Ed. and Mass Thinking, and though we have no one to teach them because of the untimely departure of Professor Spitch to U Hoo (where the cap on comparable classes is 27½ ), we’re soldiering on. I won’t even mention what we’ve done with our lab rats.

We all recall what happened to the French department last year during its fiscal crisis, so this isn’t exactly a plea for funds, just your solid support and perhaps a promise not to cut our last office staff member, Hilda Trupp, who’s thinking of getting married. If you want the larger picture, think of it this way: where would America be without psychology?

I ask you,

Dirk Hartwell

***

From: "Horatio Hornblower" <hhornbl@uallpeople.edu>

Date: 2011/02/14 Mon AM 10:18:21 EDT
To: <mmamo@uallpeople.edu>
Subject: music and money

To Dr. Mamon, Dean of the Arts:

Why, oh, why is music always the first in line during funding cuts? Our one concert grand is permanently out of tune, and our piano instructor is giving lessons on the side during class breaks just to make some extra money. The chorus needs funds to travel to Salt Lake City for its annual competition with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. At the very least, you could provide us with new instruments. The children -- I mean the students -- will be so happy!

On the plus side, we’re putting on five concerts this year. Be sure and show up on March 6th, when we’ll be playing your favorite, “For the Love of Money.”

Best,

HH

***

From: "George Manly" <gmanl@uallpeople.edu>

Date: 2011/02/14 Mon AM 11:22:18 EDT
To: <jdark@uallpeople.edu>
Subject: fiscal fitness

Jeanne:

I know -- we all know -- that you’re looking to cut costs, but please don’t look in the direction of the business school, especially not as we’re just climbing out of the recession. You don’t want to cripple our recovery, do you? Shrinking enrollments shouldn’t be reflected in our take-home pay. As you’re aware, most of our faculty have deliberately chosen to teach in the academy (except Ben Krupt), when they could be pulling down six figures in private industry, if this were still 2007 and they had those jobs.

All I’m saying is that we need to pump some more money into the economy, starting with the full professors’ salaries. As for the others, the trickle-down effect will work if we just give it time.

Sincerely,

George M.

***

From: "Johnny Feare" <jfear@uallpeople.edu>
Date: 2011/02/14 Mon AM 12:13:14 EDT
To: <lgroup@gmail.com>
Subject: the usual

Len,

It’s that time of year again, and it’s the same song as last time. I’ll keep it real simple. We need $100,000 more for football recruitment. Maybe $25,000 more for incidentals. This is a small request. Did I say $25,000 extra? I meant $50,000. We had a real good season last year. We’re doing pretty damn well now, too, but we could be doing better. And you know what the alums will say if we let things slide. You want to keep your job, don’t you?

Your pal,

Coach Feare

Author/s: 
David Galef
Author's email: 
newsroom@insidehighered.com

David Galef is a professor of English and the creative writing program director at Montclair State University. He also writes dispatches from U of All People for Inside Higher Ed.

Alternate Academic Reality

Smart Title: 

Calling all professors: FOX wants you for spouse swap TV show.

Alternative Approach for Adjuncts

Smart Title: 

Contingent labor is here to stay, Bob Zemsky argues, but instead of organizing, part timers should incorporate.

Professors for ... Hoover?

Smart Title: 

As scholarly groups line up behind presidential candidates in 2008, law journal shows that the academic punditocracy has been around for generations.

Read Their Lips: No New Tenure

Smart Title: 

In one-sided vote, board of Kentucky's community college system decides not to offer tenure to new faculty hires.

New Programs: Urban Sustainability, Wind Energy, Health Care Administration, Aviation Logistics, Landscape Architecture

Smart Title: 

In Lieu of Tenure

Smart Title: 

Webster U. has long maintained a separate but equal system for faculty who prefer frequent sabbaticals to absolute job security.

Professors and Social Media

Section: 
Smart Title: 

Professors, particularly those in the senior ranks, might have a reputation for being leery of social media. But they are no Luddites when it comes to Web 2.0 tools such as Facebook and YouTube, according to a new survey scheduled to be released today.

CCAS 46th Annual Meeting

Date: 
Wed, 11/02/2011 to Sat, 11/05/2011

Location

Montreal ,
Canada

7th Annual University-City Relations Conference

Date: 
Mon, 06/04/2012 to Fri, 06/08/2012

Location

Richmond , Kentucky
United States

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Social Sciences / Education
Back to Top