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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


Good news for me, but not for others

This is apt for what is going on at my institution. I got a job (yay!) in a really really good department. The job and salary aren't the best, but they like the skills I have and I think it will be a good thing for me (and I'll be working for a Dean, so I think that offers some nice perks in terms of advancement if I do well).

At the same time, our school is reducing costs like crazy. The rumors are that any grad student NOT on grant funds will no longer be employed (yikes! What about teaching? Some depts rely on grad students to teach) and anyone who is on probationary status (either due to coming to the end of their first year working here or the first year after taking a new position or getting a promotion) will be let go (and not replaced) UNLESS their position is absolutely necessary.

Now, this only applies to non-union staff. We've a chunk of staff who are unionized - they cannot be fired (because the university would just have to find another position for them) and cannot have their hours reduced. I support unions, but in this instance, I find this extremely problematic and think that in times of extreme economic crisis, there should be exceptions. This is particularly the case because some of the staff in this category are among our more aggregious underperformers.

Particularly since faculty cannot be cut either. We have one tenured faculty member making 6 figures who has not brought in a grant in years. He has to stay because he is tenured, but is making basically no contributions (this really chaps my hide since I have brought in more than 4 times my salary in grant monies).

The only people who can be cut are academic staff. I think this is exceptionally unfair. Cuts should be consistent and should not affect one group only. They should be based on quality of work or seniority, or both.

In the face of all of this, I'm astounded that I am going to continue being able to work here.

And to admit to a bit of schadenfreude - a co-worker who has desperately wanted my job and who has made my life miserable due to her competitiveness or insecurity or whatever is going to be cut. This is a sucky time to do it, but damnit, she deserves to be cut (she's a horrible employee, really - her work is crap and it has pissed me off that she got to keep her job).


At 12:04 AM, Blogger BrightStar (B*) said...

congratulations on your new job!

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Ianqui said...

I understand your reaction to the situation, and I think I'd feel that way too. But still, congrats on the new position AND being able to keep it.


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