Archive for Why My Employers are DBs

Those Who Can’t Publish Teach … and Teach and Teach and Teach

And soon perhaps without respite or job security.

So, the Lame Duck has offered up a scold to certain faculty in which he telegraphs or warns that the future plans of those sages who make up the Board of Regents (or at least its Privy Council which calls itself the Executive) include some additional initiatives like some of the big kids who run bigger ant farms have been contemplating for as long as I can remember. 

Sure, by the end of our present CA we’ll have got to the teaching load that LU has now, 2.5.  But with the next Agreement, anyone who isn’t churning out publications every year can expect first, to be denied the annual PTR increment (we’re halfway there already), and second, to be forced into the new teaching (as opposed to research) faculty stream.

And as the LD imagines it, teaching faculty won’t be entitled to ‘perks’ like sabbaticals!  Those leaves are for research after all.  What do those whose only quantifiable efforts consist of what will amount to a dozen or so hours per week they spend slingin’ humanities hash for the queues of kids almost all of whom suffer from intellectual hypogeusia (to bring the figure to a brutal conclusion***) need with a year off with most of their pay!

This is all of a piece with the labour model they’ve tried to create – a mash up of an industrial one, which is the one trick known to their pony of an HR shyster*** and the post-secondary.  You’ll recall the just slighly illegal job offer which sent us out on strike last August.  And we’ve since been warned that, like the mines in this podunk town, 12:01 AM on the day after our Agreement expires (30 June 2012, yes, midsummer) if we haven’t called a strike, we’ll be locked out.  Unheard of in the university and bunches of other sectors.  The academic model of labour relations I’ve had lots of opportunity to observe.  Reminds me of drinking with my buddy Jodey, and singing to the tune of “My Home Town,” “These tenure-track jobs are goin’ boys and they aint comin’ back.”  Pick all the low-hanging fruit and know that T-T folk fear to rock the boat and tenured folk are painted into a corner of comfort.  No fear you’ll face a revolution and, well, in the end your labour model becomes the industrial model.

And, once they pull off that divide and conquer step, turning the place into teachers vs. scholars, can it belong before tenure is in their sights? 

Depends in part at least on what kind of animal our next president is.  Presidential history in my time at the college, plus the fact that the job doesn’t pay worth a shit, plus (or in spite of) the fact that the Board thought it prudent to spend fourty-two thousand fucking dollars headhunting for the new guy, plus the fact that board cedes no real authority to the president anyway, don’t make me confident that any change of course will precede the next contract negotiations.

Yes, I feel a mighty indignance cummin’ on.  I’ve been exercising the 100 yard stare.  These fucking Asperger’s cases need to be taught a school.  I hope the troops will gird their loins and be prepared to dig in when the time comes.

***Ok, I can’t let it go.  Snowflake says, “I’ll have the Bioethics combo.”  McPhilosopher asks, “With Physician-Assisted Suicide or Captial Punishment  … Deontological or Utilitarian … will that be for here or correspondance?”  I’m sure this gag has been done better by many.

***One Brian Gatien whose girlfriend Vickie Kaminski, the oft criticzed CEO of the still incomplete and promising-to-be-inadequate-upon-completion one-site Sudbury Regional Hospital, is *cack* a member of the Board of Regents!

Comments (1)

For Réal (and introducing a new post category)

… but for the benefit of everybuddy else I will say, I’m becoming reacquainted with the bald fact that, short of some say in changes to the figurative window-dressing, and a degree of control over departmental or academic matters, faculty participation in all other sorts of administration is farcical, with the will of the faculty seldom ever manifested at all.  At every turn, the participation of the talent in making decisions of any consequence is a nuisance to those with real authority.  (That becomes unvarnished contempt when the hired help bites the hands that feed it through, for example, trade-unionism.)  And what have I gone and done this year?  Signed up for no end of university service (though sans Union activity).

UD makes a comparison – which I also made this week concerning some committee work – with an elegant explanation of its meaning:

My husband … grew up in communist Poland. Everything people did there was like this*** – an empty mandated exercise that generated self-disgust and contempt for authority.

Subsequent to making the comparison I remembered this:


"We won't let you do a bad job."

All I’ve go to say is, if the moment of the comparison evoked something like this for you, or you feel like your decisions are always being questioned by a committee of junior villans out of an Ayn Rand novel, you aren’t merely trying to hide your incompetance and capriciousness from the world, you are trying to keep from admitting it to yourself.

***The required online(!) anti-harrassment training all 160,000 UC employees must complete by, um, today! but in which UC Irvine biologist Alexander McPherson refuses to participate.

Leave a Comment