Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hammer time

Unfortunately, "U Can't Touch This!", isn't heard much around my faculty lately.

So wave your hands in the air
Bust a few moves
Run your fingers through your hair

Our dean just shared the bad budget news via email; not that much of it was a surprise. Cuts to this and increases to that. Cuts to administration, cuts to teaching releases. Double the cost for research-funded course releases and higher teaching workloads.

This is it, for a winner
Dance to this and you're gonna get thinner
Move, slide your rump
Just for a minute let's all do the bump, bump, bump

To be fair, the bad budget news said something like, "maybe, perhaps, I hope, crossed fingers, with the stars in alignment, there will be no increase in course loads", but I think we all know what that really means... If faculty "step up" and volunteer to have their graduate courses chopped, or "step up" to volunteer for the crushing workload courses elsewhere in the faculty, to take one "for the team" -- we will all be just fine. The euphemism is "differentiated workloads".

I think we are all ready to be unsurprised when our teaching loads do, in fact, increase this Fall.

Give me a song or a rhythm
Make 'em sweat, that's what I'm given 'em
Now they know
You talkin' about the Hammer, you talkin' about a show

As I have argued elsewhere, there are going to be unexpected implications for teaching quality, research productivity, and student satisfaction when all of the cut, cut, cuts and increased workloads begin to make their way though the Faculty. If the faculty workload in "good times" is already killing the workhorses, what is it going to be like around here in "uncertain times"?

NOTE: Thanks to Stanley Kirk Burrell (aka MC Hammer) for one of the best dance songs ever, "U Can't Touch This" -- I jived with you in high school, and my kids dance to you now.

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