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Author Topic: Too Many Older Colleagues Prevents Diversity Hires  (Read 13543 times)
southerntransplant
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2012, 8:39:13 PM »

One serious side to this is the implicit assumption that a retirement would (diversity aside) make room for new faculty. We've had retirements across this R1 campus and not many lines have returned to their respective departments - in fact, nowadays lines go out of the college when vacated.
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prytania3
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2012, 1:10:28 PM »

One serious side to this is the implicit assumption that a retirement would (diversity aside) make room for new faculty. We've had retirements across this R1 campus and not many lines have returned to their respective departments - in fact, nowadays lines go out of the college when vacated.

We had all these new hiring spots, and then when the budget was cut--bye bye new hiring spots.
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spinnaker
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2012, 7:37:16 PM »

I don't suppose that hiring minorities as low paid adjuncts to replace retired tenures counts as striking a blow for diversity.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 7:39:33 PM by spinnaker » Logged

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southerntransplant
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No recess.


« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2012, 9:07:14 AM »

I don't suppose that hiring minorities as low paid adjuncts to replace retired tenures counts as striking a blow for diversity.

Flag, meet flagpole. Get to work.
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"...And on the other side of this wall is a whole 'nother studio that you'll never get to see...because, you know, fvck you guys."

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spinnaker
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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2012, 11:01:20 AM »

I don't suppose that hiring minorities as low paid adjuncts to replace retired tenures counts as striking a blow for diversity.

Flag, meet flagpole. Get to work.

Or does it? You are welcome to maintain otherwise. I included this comment because it is the rest of the story suggested by your statement:

One serious side to this is the implicit assumption that a retirement would (diversity aside) make room for new faculty. We've had retirements across this R1 campus and not many lines have returned to their respective departments - in fact, nowadays lines go out of the college when vacated.

And provides additional, useful explanation.

Example: if a hotel chain reduces everyone's hours to avoid paying health benefits, they may still claim that they are an equal opportunity employer, but they will not be winning points with people who read about it in the news, simply because they have many Spanish speaking employees.
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southerntransplant
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No recess.


« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2012, 7:35:48 PM »

You are welcome to maintain otherwise. I included this comment because it is the rest of the story suggested by your statement:

One serious side to this is the implicit assumption that a retirement would (diversity aside) make room for new faculty. We've had retirements across this R1 campus and not many lines have returned to their respective departments - in fact, nowadays lines go out of the college when vacated.

And provides additional, useful explanation.

I do maintain otherwise because I've not seen a boon in minority adjunct hiring, and the scenario I've sketched is that of my institution. Either everyone's getting overloads or (in some departments) they have started reducing research expectations for faculty who are not (by dint of their lack of productivity) research active, and increasing their teaching and service loads as part of the standard workload.
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"...And on the other side of this wall is a whole 'nother studio that you'll never get to see...because, you know, fvck you guys."

Steve Albini, showing Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters around his studio
spinnaker
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« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2013, 6:55:39 AM »

You've just explained why I and so many others, inside and outside of the academy, have less admiration than you do for the elite college faculty culture. My job carries a "teaching expectation" and if I slack off for five minutes, someone's watching.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 6:59:10 AM by spinnaker » Logged

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polly_mer
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« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2013, 9:22:27 AM »

My job carries a "teaching expectation" and if I slack off for five minutes, someone's watching.

While I'm willing to grant that "five minutes" is probably an exaggeration, I don't believe that some levels of behavior are observable unless someone has a webcam or a guard on you.

For example, am I slacking if I prep lecture materials instead of looking for new materials to put on the CMS?  One of these is far less time consuming for me than the other, but both are pedagogically sound practices.

Am I slacking if I grade on participation in discussion and group problem solving instead of having daily homework?  One is far easier on me than the other, but neither is dereliction of duty and, depending on the class I'm teaching, one may be more easily defended than the other.

Often no one in administration or my colleagues has any idea what anyone else is doing in the classroom or to prep for that classroom other than self reports, once-a-term observations, and student reports.  In contrast, finding out whether someone has presented at a conference, published a paper, or has a contract for a book (the typical evidence of research productivity) is straightforward and cut-and-dried.  Finding out how many students a person has and how many courses is also cut-and-dried.
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southerntransplant
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No recess.


« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2013, 11:21:16 AM »

You've just explained why I and so many others, inside and outside of the academy, have less admiration than you do for the elite college faculty culture. My job carries a "teaching expectation" and if I slack off for five minutes, someone's watching.

What makes you think we get to slack off?

Guess what? My job carries a teaching expectation too! How about that? And there's no guarantee my teaching load is protected. Someone could tell me tomorrow to teach an additional class, and I'd have to do it. Two of my colleagues left and guess who picked up their teaching load? Me! No adjuncts. Yes, sorry they are gone, but get back on that f***ing horse and keep spitting out the sausages. And bring in those grants too - we need the overhead. And you'll need some more PhD students, too...

The example I drew about my department is not a guaranteed position. Nothing is written in stone. This is just what is currently done. But if our administration wants to double our enrollment over the course of the next 10 years without increasing tenure lines or hiring adjuncts, there will be a new normal.

My department has hired two professors-of-the-practice specifically for the purpose of bringing real-life practitioners experience to classes which benefit from that. Beyond that we don't use adjuncts - without a damn good set of excuses that have to be approved well beyond the department, we are unable to. Our teaching loads are carefully watched - by everyone. Our CVs and class syllabi are no more than two clicks away from the university home page - by state law. And our governing board has regularly released spreadsheets to the media with our names, teaching loads, numbers of students taught, and research income.

Really, this fantasy of yours, whereby Prof X can just fudge his class and the department will just hire an adjunct (diversity aside) to cover, is...well, I don't even know what to call it other than "fantasy," at least where I am. I'm not sawing violins in half - this is the job I chose and I'm happy doing it - but being full-time faculty is not a license to slack.
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"...And on the other side of this wall is a whole 'nother studio that you'll never get to see...because, you know, fvck you guys."

Steve Albini, showing Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters around his studio
usukprof
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.


« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2013, 11:54:26 AM »

You've just explained why I and so many others, inside and outside of the academy, have less admiration than you do for the elite college faculty culture. My job carries a "teaching expectation" and if I slack off for five minutes, someone's watching.

What makes you think we get to slack off?

Guess what? My job carries a teaching expectation too! How about that? And there's no guarantee my teaching load is protected. Someone could tell me tomorrow to teach an additional class, and I'd have to do it. Two of my colleagues left and guess who picked up their teaching load? Me! No adjuncts. Yes, sorry they are gone, but get back on that f***ing horse and keep spitting out the sausages. And bring in those grants too - we need the overhead. And you'll need some more PhD students, too...

The example I drew about my department is not a guaranteed position. Nothing is written in stone. This is just what is currently done. But if our administration wants to double our enrollment over the course of the next 10 years without increasing tenure lines or hiring adjuncts, there will be a new normal.

My department has hired two professors-of-the-practice specifically for the purpose of bringing real-life practitioners experience to classes which benefit from that. Beyond that we don't use adjuncts - without a damn good set of excuses that have to be approved well beyond the department, we are unable to. Our teaching loads are carefully watched - by everyone. Our CVs and class syllabi are no more than two clicks away from the university home page - by state law. And our governing board has regularly released spreadsheets to the media with our names, teaching loads, numbers of students taught, and research income.

Really, this fantasy of yours, whereby Prof X can just fudge his class and the department will just hire an adjunct (diversity aside) to cover, is...well, I don't even know what to call it other than "fantasy," at least where I am. I'm not sawing violins in half - this is the job I chose and I'm happy doing it - but being full-time faculty is not a license to slack.

That pretty much sums it up here (I'm also at a state R1).  We are in the process of hiring Professors of the Practice for our satellite campus for new undergraduate degree that is more practical and less theoretical than our current degrees on the main campus; traditional TT hires could not possibly get tenure without being in our main campus environment.  They will be an initial 3 year and then 5 year contracts.  We also only hire adjuncts in case of emergency, otherwise the rest of us have to take up the slack, and we too have lost lines in the recently bad economy at the same time we are supposed to be growing.
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proftowanda
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« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2013, 12:06:30 PM »

Same here, at huge state R1 in huge state system, and in one of the largest departments.  We used to have lots of adjuncts.  When they were let go, we did not get new TT hires.   

We got larger course capacities.  We got course overloads.   We got workshops to do to do online courses, too.   

And we got more committee work to do more peer review (but not actually act upon) of more reports that we all have to do, too -- because we got more layers of middle-management administrators, the associate dean sorts, who require more accountability about everything we do in the classroom, in advising, in office hours, etc.

I could go on about the reality, but we all have tried to explain all of this to spinnaker, who apparently is not educable.  "Fantasy" is the perfect term for spinnaker's weird worldview of academe, southerntransplant.
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spinnaker
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« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2013, 9:21:15 PM »

I'm not sawing violins in half - this is the job I chose and I'm happy doing it - but being full-time faculty is not a license to slack.

No you're not. This is all pretty impressive. There are slackers though, and darned wealthy ones, and retired slackers, and darned wealthy retired slackers.
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usukprof
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.


« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2013, 9:30:52 PM »

I'm not sawing violins in half - this is the job I chose and I'm happy doing it - but being full-time faculty is not a license to slack.

No you're not. This is all pretty impressive. There are slackers though, and darned wealthy ones, and retired slackers, and darned wealthy retired slackers.

Yes, there are.  But they are the exception rather than the rule where I am, and we are discussing how to make it easier to get rid of these people and free up their lines for more productive new hires.
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Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.  --Dean Vernon Wormer
southerntransplant
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Posts: 11,105

No recess.


« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2013, 9:54:07 PM »

I'm not sawing violins in half - this is the job I chose and I'm happy doing it - but being full-time faculty is not a license to slack.

No you're not. This is all pretty impressive. There are slackers though, and darned wealthy ones, and retired slackers, and darned wealthy retired slackers.

Yes, there are.  But they are the exception rather than the rule where I am, and we are discussing how to make it easier to get rid of these people and free up their lines for more productive new hires.

Even if we managed to get rid of the slackers, I still fail to see how this is necessarily a boon for the adjunct. If people are shown the door for being nonproductive, the line might vanish. If it doesn't vanish, it will be advertised, to which the adjunct must apply like any other applicant. (The exception to this might be a converted lecturer - TT position.) Outside of a position conversion, neither scenario is an automatic win for the adjunct.

Even if somehow the losers were punted and the adjuncts were given a golden ticket, I would imagine that the pure, terminate-able loser makes up a very small (if finite) percentage of the faculty. Having this as a goal wouldn't outweigh the damage to departments, faculty, students, and adjuncts a punitive mid-semester work stoppage by adjuncts would do.
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"...And on the other side of this wall is a whole 'nother studio that you'll never get to see...because, you know, fvck you guys."

Steve Albini, showing Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters around his studio
msparticularity
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« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2013, 12:12:05 AM »

I'm not sawing violins in half - this is the job I chose and I'm happy doing it - but being full-time faculty is not a license to slack.

No you're not. This is all pretty impressive. There are slackers though, and darned wealthy ones, and retired slackers, and darned wealthy retired slackers.

Yes, there are.  But they are the exception rather than the rule where I am, and we are discussing how to make it easier to get rid of these people and free up their lines for more productive new hires.

Even if we managed to get rid of the slackers, I still fail to see how this is necessarily a boon for the adjunct. If people are shown the door for being nonproductive, the line might vanish. If it doesn't vanish, it will be advertised, to which the adjunct must apply like any other applicant. (The exception to this might be a converted lecturer - TT position.) Outside of a position conversion, neither scenario is an automatic win for the adjunct.

Even if somehow the losers were punted and the adjuncts were given a golden ticket, I would imagine that the pure, terminate-able loser makes up a very small (if finite) percentage of the faculty. Having this as a goal wouldn't outweigh the damage to departments, faculty, students, and adjuncts a punitive mid-semester work stoppage by adjuncts would do.

What I find particularly shocking is how reluctant administrators are to create non-TT but full-time positions (with benefits). The thing is, sure they're marginally more costly than hiring 2-3 adjuncts to carry the same load because of the bennies, but they are so much more efficient. Not only does the chair NOT have to manage the hiring process and coordinate multiple adjuncts every semester, but among other things, you can make service a part of a full-time position, not to mention all kinds of administrative support tasks like advisement paperwork for the department.

Truthfully, too, these kinds of positions are the correct solution for a tremendous number of adjuncts who have a serious commitment to teaching, but not so much to research.
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
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