• April 29, 2016

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April 29, 2016, 9:29:23 pm *
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News: Talk about how to cope with chronic illness, disability, and other health issues in the academic workplace.
 
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 1 
 on: Today at 09:22:49 pm 
Started by suomynona - Last post by reener06
I was told the salary was non-negotiable. Three other people were hired the same year I was, and I was the last hire. I figured they had done some negotiating already which may have worked in my favor. Further, I'd done my research, and what they offered me was the high end for the college and the department, and was mid-to-high range for my field.
Instead, I focused on the start-up, which they doubled, and then other negotiables, like less classes the first year, and a required summer class taught every other year instead of every year (class typically required in my field; this was a good deal).

Everyone says to negotiate, but I think you do have to keep in mind the long-term consequences of negotiation, as people have pointed out. It's not a black/white issue.

 2 
 on: Today at 09:18:47 pm 
Started by taben - Last post by protoplasm
Look, I am not trying to be mean here
then don't. Nothing that came after this phrase could have been intended as helpful, or even relevant to my post or the OP.

Perhaps I misspoke by putting a number in my comment. It's the end of the semester, I feel exhausted, and I was using hyperbole to try to make a point. I retract my comment.

However, I must make this one: You do not know me, my field, or my standards. I have never "counted hours," nor do I believe I have ever posted in this subforum complaining about my job or my pay. My response to the OP was intended as a positive: I am looking forward to actually planning my courses for next year so I can avoid the burnout I have experienced over the past two.  

Have you ever written a course as you were teaching it? I did this for 5 new preps last year as a VAP, and this past Fall I was assigned two new courses within one week of the start of term. I was simultaneously reading, writing, prepping, and teaching my courses  for 16 straight weeks. My planned prep time over winter break for my Spring load got annihilated by several family emergencies. One involved hospital time, cross-country travel, and all the intense fear and anxiety that comes with that. Therefore, my Spring has once again required working intensively to remain even one-half step ahead of my students.  

If you can whip up a full syllabus for a course you've never taught before, complete with all readings, assignments, and themes, in a few hours: then good for you. If you can then go on to teach that course without cramming in the readings the night before, editing or adjusting any of your pre-set assignments or plans, creating your presentation materials on the fly, or even thinking about where the plan went awry so you can fix it the next time, then congratulations: I guess you are better at this than I am.

Prof_Twocents, your comment is closer to my experience.  I do not want to be the kind of teacher than can whip up a syllabus without conscientious planning, forethought, and consideration for what I want my students to actually learn from me. Perhaps that means that I overwork myself, and that I'm too much of a perfectionist for my own health. My reply to the OP was intended to address and improve these known habits. But you know what? Even if I never "learn a new course development style" and remain a tired perfectionist, I will still be happy because the results of my efforts are manifest every term when the students who had only enrolled for the distribution points have come to love the subject by the end of term, and are thinking and writing in a manner that is, by leaps and bounds, more complex and thoughtful than how they started.

I have neither the interest nor the energy to engage in the politics of this sub-forum, so I will leave it for those of you insistent on misreading anything that is posted here to fit your own narratives and realities. I believe that my energies will be better spent elsewhere, so do not expect any further replies.

Taben, please check your PMs. I wish all the best for you and any lurkers who are seeking some positive community. That, and perhaps a thicker skin than I seem to posses.  

As you were.

Hey there. They're lucky to have you.
Without a doubt when the course is well prepared it's easier to deliver and probably more effective when the time comes. I wouldn't fault anyone for spending lots of time getting ready. I've done it many times. But these days I won't let the work take over my life. I'm lucky that my outside  work feeds into teaching in a certain way.
I respect adjunct faculty no matter how they figure this all out for themselves. They're up against a lot, under appreciated, pushed away and cast as imposters. The positive part of the discussion, to me, is the dedication and caring about students that persists through the muck and mud.
As for the political part: yes, I have less respect for a shill who is on the forum sugarcoating the realities of the situation.

 3 
 on: Today at 09:17:50 pm 
Started by mountainguy - Last post by reener06
Bookmarking. I'm getting the hard sell on this from the campus rep--stops by weekly to see what I think and I haven't had a chance to look into it. Reluctant about the cost--my 101 text is more like $75.

 4 
 on: Today at 09:09:14 pm 
Started by marmota - Last post by k_guy
I'd definitely start setting up meetings.  Very often the angry faculty likes to send emails, but doesn't like to meet, and so creating this hoop can be helpful to figure out invested she is in her requests, as well as move from angry flaming to a conversation that sometimes can break through the log jam.

 If she doesn't respond, or responds with another email, simply resend the email.  If she says she doesn't have time in the next week, offer availability in the next month.  If she doesn't have time in the next month, offer availability in the summer  or in the fall or whenever she wants.  Stress how important you think her happiness is. 

If, after a meeting, you don't shift ground and she sends another email, offer to set up another meeting.  At that next meeting,  again review her requests.  Again review the limitations.  Reflect on her requests with honesty.  "It sounds as though you you have a really interesting program model for the 3 students who are actually in your department.  Unfortunately, the budget only allows for this amount of money to be spent toward your program because of your low enrollments.  I'd like to get the funding for you.  Could you pull together a strategic plan on raising your enrollment numbers so that we can start seeding your great ideas.  I just don't see how I can make the argument with such low numbers. or "Do you know of other funding sources?" Or " I know you find that faculty line important, but I have a list of 25 people who are also vying for it.  Could you pull together a compelling proposal with a clear data-driven argument, so that we can make sure that everyone else understands how compelling your argument is."  All of these arguments have to be made in person, unfortunately.  Email back-and-forth quickly degenerates to a  "I've sent him 10 requests," and he always has the same response.

  the initial email looks something like this.

Dear AngryProgramDirector:
I appreciate your email requesting unlimited funds and the smiting of your enemies .    In order to sort through the issues that you raise  I would like to set up a meeting to make sure we're on the same page and I understand the scope of your request.  Please send me your availability the week for the week of May xx.

Best,
Mamota

2nd email:

I'm sorry you're not available in the week of May xx.  When do you have time in the next month?  I'd be happy to accommodate you.  Send me several times that work for you, and I'm sure we'll find a mutually agreeable time --
The part of this that I like most is giving the person responsibility for a task.

 5 
 on: Today at 09:03:39 pm 
Started by hibush - Last post by k_guy
Indeed, this will help adjuncts by producing more "positions" for them.     :)   
Oh god, don't get the adjuncts started.

 6 
 on: Today at 08:52:38 pm 
Started by romario - Last post by systeme_d_
Not a word.  Academics have to learn when *not* to say anything. Don't work against your own interests.

This is some serious wisdom.

 7 
 on: Today at 08:52:06 pm 
Started by voxprincipalis - Last post by reener06
The spammer offering livestreamed cockfights clearly spotted the Geertzian readership of this site.

+5

Thanks for the laugh.

 8 
 on: Today at 08:47:20 pm 
Started by hibush - Last post by magnemite
Unless a university has lots of money to increase salaries,  it will figure in overtime and lower the hourly rate accordingly, so staff members end up making the same yearly salary.
Absolutely. It always seems strange to me that people enact legislation, such as this, with the mistaken belief that the only effect will be what they directly intend. The reality is that people (and organizations) will adapt the behavior to do what is in their own self interest.

Basic economic literacy on the Fora?!  Good to see a fellow Republican here.

Laffer Curve, anyone? Kansas experiment? Hyperinflation?

Gold standard?

 9 
 on: Today at 08:40:04 pm 
Started by hibush - Last post by yeahright
Unless a university has lots of money to increase salaries,  it will figure in overtime and lower the hourly rate accordingly, so staff members end up making the same yearly salary.
Absolutely. It always seems strange to me that people enact legislation, such as this, with the mistaken belief that the only effect will be what they directly intend. The reality is that people (and organizations) will adapt the behavior to do what is in their own self interest.

Indeed, this will help adjuncts by producing more "positions" for them.     :)   

 10 
 on: Today at 08:18:56 pm 
Started by hibush - Last post by aandsdean
Unless a university has lots of money to increase salaries,  it will figure in overtime and lower the hourly rate accordingly, so staff members end up making the same yearly salary.
Absolutely. It always seems strange to me that people enact legislation, such as this, with the mistaken belief that the only effect will be what they directly intend. The reality is that people (and organizations) will adapt the behavior to do what is in their own self interest.

Basic economic literacy on the Fora?!  Good to see a fellow Republican here.

Laffer Curve, anyone? Kansas experiment? Hyperinflation?

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