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  •  It saddens me to see the destruction... (8+ / 0-)

    ...of our profession, but it is what I have been watching for a long, long time.  Too long.  I might have been able to continue living in Arkansas except for that.  We're trying to resist that here at Bloomfield.  But even we are having problems.

    Robyn

    Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

    by rserven on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 09:21:04 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  What does effective resistance look like? (6+ / 0-)

      If anyone has stories or strategies that suggest ways of turning public university stakeholders away from industrial models, I'd love to know about them.

      •  Resistance is futile here (6+ / 0-)

        I teach at a state institution in the Queen City of the Ozarks. Our new president is all about, among other things, accountability. We are competing with other state institutions for an ever-dwindling amount of state tax dollars and we need to present our case to the legislators and the voters in terms they can comprehend, blah blah blah. I realize that a certain amount of this is actually valid. On the other hand, I think that if administrators want to think of themselves as educators, they should be compelled to actually educate (I know it's a split infinitive but my wife the reformed English Instructor is out of the house) on a regular basis. Some of these people have long since forgotten what goes on in a classroom.

        But who grants absolution
        For sins that never were committed?

        by gp39m on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 10:00:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Southwest? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gp39m, CanadianBill

          I lived in Joplin from late '68 until '71.

          Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

          by rserven on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 10:06:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Used to be... (5+ / 0-)

            The one and only good thing our boy wonder "governor" has accomplished on his watch was getting the "Southwest" out of our institution's name. I'll bet you had a blast Joppling back in the day!

            But who grants absolution
            For sins that never were committed?

            by gp39m on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 10:19:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Joplin! Did you say howdy to Charlie Nabell? n/t (0+ / 0-)

            Abigail, I'm sure if there is something out there, looking down on us from somewhere else in the Universe, they're wise enough to stay away from us. --Grissom

            by world traveler on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 04:02:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Haven't got a clue who that is... (0+ / 0-)

              ...although Google is my friend and I can find out.

              Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

              by rserven on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 04:26:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yessssssssssssssss!!! (0+ / 0-)

                This week it's my turn to pull an obscure one on you.
                Sorry it doesn't have a political turn to it, but if I wait that long, I'll never have a chance.
                Charlie was famous in country music history for his obscurity.  Everyone knew what he'd done (the first folk performer to record authentic Western folk songs), but no one knew anything about him--nothing at all beyond his name.  And right up 'till 1970, there he was in Joplin, just chugging along, waiting to be interviewed.  And no one ever found him.  A little bit of Missouri and Southern history that the world passed by.
                But his records live...well actually they're almost impossible to find any more. Sic Transit Gloria Country Music Mundi.

                Abigail, I'm sure if there is something out there, looking down on us from somewhere else in the Universe, they're wise enough to stay away from us. --Grissom

                by world traveler on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 04:46:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I assume this was before: (0+ / 0-)

                  A way out here they've got a name for wind and rain and fire
                  The rain is Jack the fire is Joe and they call the wind Maria
                  Maria flows the stars around since the clouds're flying
                  Maria makes the mountains sound like cold wind out there dying
                  Maria Maria they call the wind Maria
                  Before I knew Maria's name heard her wails and whining
                  I had a girl and she had me and the sun was always shining
                  And then one day I left my girl left her far behind me
                  Maria blowed her love to me I need her here beside me
                  Maria Maria they call the wind Maria
                  Out here they've got a name for rain and wind and fire only
                  But when you're lost and all alone there ain't no name for lonely
                  Now I'm a lost and lonely man without the stars to guide me
                  Maria blowed her love to me I need her here beside me
                  Maria Maria they call the wind Maria

                  Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

                  by rserven on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 05:18:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well before. Actually I prefer songs (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rserven

                    more or less from the oral tradition, like (it wouldn't cut and paste, so let's see how my typing is tonight...):

                    Long-haired preachers come out every night
                    Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right
                    But when asked about something to eat
                    They will answer in voices so sweet

                    "You will eat, by and by,
                    In that glorious land above the sky
                    Work and pray, live on hay -
                    You'll get pie in the sky when you die"-that's a lie!

                    And the Starvation Army they play
                    And they sing and they clap and they pray
                    Till they get all your coin on the drum
                    Then they'll tell you to go on the bum

                    Holy Rollers and Jumpers come out
                    And they sing and they clap and they shout
                    "Give your money to Jesus," they say,
                    "He will cure all diseases today."

                    Working folks of all countries unite
                    Side by side we for freedom will fight
                    When the world and it's wealth we have gained
                    To the grafters we'll sing this refrain:

                    You will eat, by and by,
                    When you learn how to cook and how to fry
                    Chop some wood it'll do you good
                    Then you'll eat in the sweet by and by-that's no lie.

                    Abigail, I'm sure if there is something out there, looking down on us from somewhere else in the Universe, they're wise enough to stay away from us. --Grissom

                    by world traveler on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 02:02:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Ha! You're my competition! (6+ / 0-)

          I think I'm at the opposite corner of the state from you.

          Sheesh.  Maybe resistance looks like getting rid of the governor first, then working on higher education budgets in general.  Then maybe we can persuade our administrators to let up on the "bricks without straw" approach to faculty productivity.

          •  Neener! You're MY competition! (5+ / 0-)

            Sorry to hear that's going on (if I read between the lines correctly) in our state's "liberal arts" institution.

            And I couldn't agree more with you about Boy Genius Blunt... that little hemorrhoid lives a mile and a half east of us here in the home town of John Ashcroft. As for persuading the administrators, it has recently been made clear to me that our new President and our new Provost are indeed good listeners when they need to be. Maybe I should turn down the pessimism down a notch...

            But who grants absolution
            For sins that never were committed?

            by gp39m on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 10:28:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yup, it's going on here. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rserven, CanadianBill

              My pessimism just keeps getting ratcheted up.  Every time I think I've heard the stupidest, most unsustainable initiative to undermine our mission I could ever expect to encounter, someone manages to surprise me with something worse.

              It drives me nuts, because I love this place.  I'm confident that I have a much stronger investment in the well-being of the institution and its students than some of the key deciders we've got here.  I'm determined to outlast them, and I'm terrified that their decisions will make it impossible for me to stay even after they've moved on to more visible positions at more visible institutions.

              I try to take long, slow, deep breaths and remind myself that this place has weathered stupid administrations before and survived.  The administration is not the school; the faculty, staff, students, and community are the school.  We can survive the current short-sightedness.

              •  There's always hope. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jmart, rserven, mamamedusa

                Our pleasant and friendly, but utterly unqualified, new Dean has just been reassigned to other work. A difficult but crucial piece of work, that, for which I give the main credit to our brand new Provost - who really does listen to what people tell her. Our next Dean will be selected from among our college, which is another wise decision - s/he will be someone who has lived through the years of often bizarre initiatives cooked up in the name of "producing educated persons."

                But who grants absolution
                For sins that never were committed?

                by gp39m on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 10:49:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Get the students involved (5+ / 0-)

                I've found getting students involved in not only what they hear in the classroom but the mechanics of classroom instruction (co-creative), provides a space where coded dissent can occur without the upper dawgs complete awareness....

                Write the student newspaper. Most papers will accept anonymous letters from faculty.

      •  We are a small college with a unique mission: (5+ / 0-)

        ...which highly prizes multicultural diversity.  Our mostly first-generation student body has unique needs which we always bear in mind.  And we have a unique AAUP labor contract which gives faculty much more power than at other places (sometimes to our detriment, but oh, well...).

        But even so, the Spellings Commission and Middle States are looming.

        Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

        by rserven on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 10:04:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  some similarities, some differences (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gp39m, rserven, carolita, slksfca, CanadianBill

          We're also a small university with a unique mission, but it sounds like the labor situation for faculty is much stronger for you than for us.

          We've been told in not-very-subtle terms that opposing certain administrative efforts too strenuously or too publicly could compromise tenure for those of us who don't have it yet.  We're all walking a fine line here between doing what we feel we have to, in the interests of the institution and our students, and covering our own backsides so we're not too vulnerable when tenure review comes around.

          I've reached the limit of "oops! silly young me; so naive I didn't realize I shouldn't say things like that!" to account for my big mouth and I'm now having to be more cautious.  Grrr.

          •  I'd left my limit behind... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            carolita, slksfca, CanadianBill

            ...several years before I finally got away from Central Arkansas.  I trieds ghettoizing up in Seattle, but couldn't find employment.  But I learned about ghettoizing.

            Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

            by rserven on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 10:20:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Tenure on the horizon... yeesh. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rserven, CanadianBill, mamamedusa

            The stuff you're talking about is why I just let myself get roped into a second consecutive three-year term as my department's Personnel Committee Chair.

            I sailed through the tenure and promotion process in 1991-1992, but my first application for promotion to Professor was unceremoniously wadded up, loaded into a bazooka, and blasted straight up my ass in 1997-1998. When I finally got promoted in spring 2000, I swore to myself I would never forget how stressful and adversarial the tenure and promotion process had been. The sad thing is that the process has only become more stressful and more adversarial with each passing year.

            I wish you the very best. MM. Even though college teaching has been everything I dreamed of and more, I'm not sure that I could or would jump through that particular set of hoops in this day and age.

            But who grants absolution
            For sins that never were committed?

            by gp39m on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 10:37:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm on Tenure and Advancement... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              carolita, CanadianBill, mamamedusa

              ...this year.  I'm going blind.  Or insane.  Or both.

              Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

              by rserven on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 10:45:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rserven, carolita, CanadianBill

              I have my paranoid moments where I wonder if my boss is letting me work my ass off for now, quietly laughing when I'm not looking because she knows I've already shot my chances at tenure all to hell.

              I'm not good at keeping shut up, though.  I'm determined to find a way through this career path with integrity.

              I appreciate your words of encouragement.  I'm also thrilled to learn that anyone in your city is participating on dkos.  I feel like some kind of aberrant super-lefty even here, and we're downright librul compared to your corner.  I wish you well.

              •  Nah, not if she has any sense at all (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rserven, CanadianBill, mamamedusa

                If you don't make tenure, it is a failure on her part as well. Most Universities have a significant investment in young faculty that they can only recoup if you stay there and are productive for a decade or so.

                One of the reasons the PT process looks like it does is they are trying to wring as much out of you as they can up front. As you may have noticed, in most departments the full prof/full tenure part of the faculty bifurcates.Some continue to grow their research and productivity, while others seem to start slowing gradually and in a few years they have become part of the furniture.

                If they can get 12 years worth of productivity out of you in the 6 years it takes you to get tenure, they will get their money back in the long run, no matter which road you take. So be of good cheer. Unless you are really dealing with a sick situation (or an idiot -- always a possibility), you're just feeling the stress of the process.

                And if you want to see a liberal abandoned in the conservative wilderness, drive about an hour south of gp39m to that big old land-grant institution on the hill. You'll be up to your eyeballs in WalMart country, but I'll thrilled to see another Kossack.

                John McCain supports torture and escalation of the war on Iraq.

                by carolita on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 12:18:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'll second that (4+ / 0-)

                  When I started out here, the University, the College, and the department were still very much an old boy's club run by guys who had gotten tenured and promoted for showing up for class and not screwing their students (or at least not getting caught). My senior colleagues actively resented us mid 1980s hires because our frenetic efforts to publish our way to promotion and tenure made them look like a pack of slackjawed idiots. Which, in fact, some of them were. Sad to say, two or three of them are still hanging on to this day. And still throwing monkey wrenches into the career paths of tenure-track faculty who don't meet their stereotypical paradigm of a good junior faculty member.

                  My saddest duty as Personnel Committee Chair was presiding over the unfavorable third-year review and ultimate termination of a tenure-track Spanish colleague who was 1) female and 2) incapable of kissing ass. Not that this junior colleague was herself blameless: she was more than a touch indolent and I suspect that she just folded her tent early on. But the handful of us who fought for her were no match for the senior Spanish faculty: two of whom are fluent Spanish  speakers who have never published anything in 75+ total service; the other (who married a tenured full professor after being here FOUR MONTHS) managed to publish four crappy little blurbs but can't speak Spanish to save her soul. They bitched and whined and another potentially good colleague was driven out in the cold. I just hate this kind of bullshit.

                  But who grants absolution
                  For sins that never were committed?

                  by gp39m on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 01:11:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  When I went up for promotion, every statement (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rserven, mamamedusa

              in the college committee's letter was false.  And startling so, including saying that a referee has criticized my work when that was just not true, and saying that my productivity had declined, which again was not true.

              Remembering that as a woman I am a member of a protected class and must be treated as well as any member of the majority class, I trotted over to Affirmative Action and started a law suit.  Boy, was I mad.  The direction of AA/EEOC said that that's the last time the committee would be so careless.  A two-edged sword.

              Still, I did get promoted; my dean, who supported his committee and, e.g., refused to give me any promotion credit for interdisciplinary work or for edited books (including one with two substantive essays by me that was pretty highly praised as innovative) then told the regents that I had used my political position to get promoted.

              And I am still angry.

              "False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil." Plato

              by JPete on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 12:26:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Still pissed here too (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rserven, dennisl, mamamedusa

                I still have the GFY letter from my then-department head, dated 3 February 1998,  tacked up over my desk. All the bullets I took for that woman from the ancient assclowns, and that was my reward. I spent the next three years subtly doing everything I could do to make her life miserable. She even pleaded with Academic Affairs "to make a full investigation" of my conduct.. but when I finally wound up on the vice-presidential carpet, she was the one who wound up with her ass in a sling.  In Spring 2001 I goaded her into pulling something stupid enough to make the Dean sack her ass. I'm looking right now at the email that got her fired. It still brings a smile to my face.

                But who grants absolution
                For sins that never were committed?

                by gp39m on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 01:22:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  a similar thing happened with me and the previous (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rserven, mamamedusa

                  dean, who held that I wasn't cooperative enough to be a leader in his college.  Well, really.

                  He's gone.  Shortly after I became faculty senate president, he was fired.  People ask me how I got a dean fired, and I say he gave me a lot of help.

                  "False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil." Plato

                  by JPete on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 02:10:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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