Friday, October 13, 2006

"The Poor Little Me" Get's Old - more in the lazy professor series.

From a comment below (one of the last comments) -
Do most of my colleagues work 50 hours or more a week? I doubt it. But we
are also grossly undercompensated for our education and skills, and have chosen
a higher quality of life--including more time with family for most of us--over
the rat race. We in the humanities couldn't afford nannies even if we wanted
them. A good ol' faculty wives are in short supply today.

There is nothing I like better than this rationalization stuff.

If I get you right, you are working much less hard then you might? Your focus for your life is home and family? Yet you are grossly undercompensated? You guys get health insurance for life after 20 years right? You are in liberal arts and so you have trouble calculating total compensation?

I'm wrong to dismiss that 50 hours a week survey, but you agree with me that SIUC professors are working much less than 50 hours a week? Your number is (finger in the air looking for wind current) 40 hours? Is that 40 vs. 50 a scientific estimate or just what you would like to believe? Is it possible that 30 hours or 36.2 hours would be a better number? In summary, you have no data to offer except that 50 hours is way to many.

A little capitalistic dogma. If you are truly undercompensated, you would be gone from here. If you aren't leaving, maybe you are correctly compensated. Most people don't care about the money, if you wanted to improve the quality of your life the one targeted goal would be to be better managed.

I happen to think that if you're working over 50 hours a week you're
working too damn much.

Clearly, this is the mind set of SIU professors. You are likely right. The problem I am trying to point out here is that working 30 hours is way to little.

Let me go back to the original point, if you want more state funding, you need to fix the marketing message of higher education. I certainly agree that SIUC is poorly managed. I agree that is salary compression (but that is everywhere, but that is a different blog entry). But, you guys are the university and you aren't doing the right thing to get help to get more funding.

The professors have the power to change anything they want at SIUC. The shame of it is that they choose not to. At the bottom line, at real universities the professors keep chairmen like our buddy in EE from sitting there for 20 years destroying the department. The really lazy thing about the professors at SIUC is they are allowing this crap to go on. The sad thing is the professors act like victims, where in fact they are enablers.

So much writing just to set the stage for this. SIUC professors have control, but choose not to bother to exercise it. They own this problem and can fix it. If there was reasonable administration it would be far easier, but again the professors own this problem.

I'm going to claim that my little blog takes a lot of time and energy. This is my contribution to SIUC right now. I am in motion and working hard to address the problems and fix them. After reading my interchange with the EE chair, you can see I have gone after at least one very difficult problem directly. Now, that you can see I'm doing it and trying to lead...

No more poor little me. Own your life. Get in or get out. This crying on the sidelines is just pathetic. There, I said it. It is just pathetic.


Fraydog said...

Well, I think professors would work harder IF they had something they could believe in as far as the institution goes. I went back and looked at these issues a little further b/c of your challenge. Basically, I have to state that I think you're right on with the JRB as far as the issue of the administration following the JRB rulings. After more research, it blows my mind that the Chancellor would go against a 3-0 ruling with the administrative representative concurring with the JRB, then admit that he studied the issue less than the JRB. Doh! I was really under the impression that rigor was being used, but if it wasn't, that falls way short of my standard.

If I would have known that, I wouldn't have even played Devil's Advocate on this one.

untenured said...

Do you really believe that professors have the power to change ANYTHING about SIUC?

We can teach our classes better and can do better research. If we get over internal bickering, we can agree on goals for our departments and make them better. We can just plain work harder.

Those things would go a long way to fixing SIUC, but I don’t think professors' activities will convince Walter Wendler that deferred maintenance and improved classroom spaces are more important than Saluki Way. I don't think professors can create a single, overarching message about what the university is about—at least not without administration leadership.

I agree that faculty can do a lot, but we can't do everything.