reality check?

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tenured_feminist:
I need your advice, good people, before I unsheath my sword unjustly.

A long time ago (in late fall 2012) in a galaxy far, far away, a small college within a research university needed a dean. A few people advised using faculty networks to drum up candidates and saving the money that would have been spent on a search firm to provide the new dean with more of a dowry, but Mr. Provost and the alumni advisory board felt that this would send the wrong message. Small college, after all, was ranked and had slipped a bit recently in the rankings, and it was felt that in order to regain the status, a full-dress, flashy, national search complete with bells and whistles had to be assembled and run.

A search committee of faculty was established (of which your Heroine was a member). An advisory committee of bigwigs was assembled. A pricey search firm was hired. Searching commenced.

Your Heroine and her colleagues worked our butts off networking and feeding names to the search firms. We attended meetings. We emailed. We called. We fought, bargained, horse-traded, logrolled, and negotiated a job description. We surveyed faculty. Others reached out to alums. The whole freaking nine yards.

We met and met, and met again. We interviewed candidates at the airport (too freaking many, but hey, it's important!). We dragged candidates to campus (again, too many, but there is always some melt in the pool!). Faculty already at the end of their ropes found just enough stretch to meet with all of the candidates and try to assess them and sell them on the college.

Now we have discovered that Mr. Provost intends to offer the successful candidate . . . nothing. Yes, a salary, to be negotiated we presume commensurate with deanly rates, but no lines, no new resources, no guarantees that retirements/departures will be returned, nothing. Oh, one thing: Mr. Provost's underling has just swiped another $80K annually from the college by absorbing a piece of it. It.was.all.f*cking.window.dressing. They never had any intentions to do a single substantive thing to help us regain the status and strength we have lost.

I am bubbling with the rage of a thousand primeval volcanoes. Should I allow myself to go all Yellowstone and sh!t?

miss_jane_marple:
Quote from: tenured_feminist on December 06, 2012,  7:34:52 PM

I am bubbling with the rage of a thousand primeval volcanoes. Should I allow myself to go all Yellowstone and sh!t?

Absolutely. As many times and as loudly as you like. However, not within sight or hearing of anyone on Team Provost. Deal?

And this one's for all the long-suffering committee members.

professor_pat:
Quote from: tenured_feminist on December 06, 2012,  7:34:52 PM

I need your advice, good people, before I unsheath my sword unjustly.

A long time ago (in late fall 2012) in a galaxy far, far away, a small college within a research university needed a dean. A few people advised using faculty networks to drum up candidates and saving the money that would have been spent on a search firm to provide the new dean with more of a dowry, but Mr. Provost and the alumni advisory board felt that this would send the wrong message. Small college, after all, was ranked and had slipped a bit recently in the rankings, and it was felt that in order to regain the status, a full-dress, flashy, national search complete with bells and whistles had to be assembled and run.

A search committee of faculty was established (of which your Heroine was a member). An advisory committee of bigwigs was assembled. A pricey search firm was hired. Searching commenced.

Your Heroine and her colleagues worked our butts off networking and feeding names to the search firms. We attended meetings. We emailed. We called. We fought, bargained, horse-traded, logrolled, and negotiated a job description. We surveyed faculty. Others reached out to alums. The whole freaking nine yards.

We met and met, and met again. We interviewed candidates at the airport (too freaking many, but hey, it's important!). We dragged candidates to campus (again, too many, but there is always some melt in the pool!). Faculty already at the end of their ropes found just enough stretch to meet with all of the candidates and try to assess them and sell them on the college.

Now we have discovered that Mr. Provost intends to offer the successful candidate . . . nothing. Yes, a salary, to be negotiated we presume commensurate with deanly rates, but no lines, no new resources, no guarantees that retirements/departures will be returned, nothing. Oh, one thing: Mr. Provost's underling has just swiped another $80K annually from the college by absorbing a piece of it. It.was.all.f*cking.window.dressing. They never had any intentions to do a single substantive thing to help us regain the status and strength we have lost.

I am bubbling with the rage of a thousand primeval volcanoes. Should I allow myself to go all Yellowstone and sh!t?


The fact that I've had parallel experiences multiple times at my college is one of the big reasons I'm retiring early. I gave up fighting this stuff (i.e., trying to make any real difference) a few years ago - not worth the huge effort for no community benefit. As VP so concisely notes, being cynical saves time. Wish I'd gotten there sooner.

Good luck, T_F. I feel for you.

alleyoxenfree:
You're tenured - and yet it's just now occurring to you that you didn't need to put that much effort into the job description?

My question would be, what else was the Provost up to in that time?  If it was window dressing, why did he want the faculty distracted?  I'd put my energies into figuring that out.  Usually, it involves embezzlement, installation of someone loathsome on the board, bean-counting to eliminate departments, and the like.

larryc:
Quote from: tenured_feminist on December 06, 2012,  7:34:52 PM

I am bubbling with the rage of a thousand primeval volcanoes. Should I allow myself to go all Yellowstone and sh!t?

You are tenured, right? Then hell yeah. You have an obligation to make a stink. But don't do it alone. Maybe that committee needs to meet one more time, to draft a letter to the college president and the faculty senate telling them just what you told us.

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