Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Professor Non-Grata

When I heard in the university-wide faculty meeting that cuts in faculty and staff would have to be made, I thought it was horrible, but I also thought that it was kind of hypothetical and in the future. Well, I was out of town last week (in part, visiting The Diva and 'em) and there was a meeting that brought those cuts to vivid technicolor. Someone told me today that the numbers work out somewhere in the neighborhood of one in three. That number might also include staff members, but those are still not the kind of odds that help you sleep at night. That little factoid also gave some context to an email I received from a student which basically read, "Hope you stay around." At first glance, I thought I should call public safety, as that message seemed awfully threatening by itself. Now, though, I understand that students also met with administration and were told about the changes that will soon come. It's nice that at least one person in the university wants me around.

So, the hammer is supposed to fall this week. See how serious things are? It's the middle of the freakin' semester for crying out loud! I'm not really very worried for myself, but the air feels thick. I had to borrow an eraser from a colleague today and he told me that he got a little nervous when I knocked on his classroom door unexpectedly; was I coming to oust him and take over his class? What in the world?! as my girlfriend would say. This must be what it's like to be at a rose ceremony, hoping not to be voted off the island. OK, I mixed my references there, but I thought both were appropriate. There's an element of "pick me!" here right alongside the "Hey, I'm playing the game by the rules!" I find myself reviewing my academic and personal value to the department, trying to figure what my assets are and who might be in front of me in the sorry-about-your-luck-it-sucks-to-be-you line.

This economy has got to get better soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope you stay around too ;-)