Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ah, the joys of academia--the 'Me'-centric realm of entitlement

I was talking with Mr. B on the way to work today and started off on a bit of a rant.  Over in the People's Republic of Illinois at the University of Illinois, home of the politically-connected admissions system, they are having to furlough all faculty and staff a day a month for the next four months.  It's essentially a cut in pay by four days.  Staff get an unpaid vacation day, faculty will probably have to take their days when they don't have to teach class.  So, we discussed kind of the other implications of this:  the fact that most faculty will probably be able to cut a day a month from their schedules and not have any loss of class time because they are not in the classroom five days a week.  I work in academia and I can tell you that probably they should just shut the campus down on Fridays because I'm betting that the only folks who were there anyway were administrative staff.

This connected to my workplace where we are having to cut out travel and other budgetary items, such as paying faculty an incentive for publishing (I always figured that was part of the job and not something for which you should be paid extra).  Many faculty are pitching a five-year old type hissy fit because they aren't going to be able to have a paid trip to Singapore, or Hawaii, or Greece. (To be fair, some folks have been saving their extra money and not using it immediately and now it's gone so they are kind of getting screwed compared to folks who used all of their funds immediately but that's a roll of the dice, IMO.)

They are talking lawsuits and contract violations without taking into account that these moves save jobs--that these cuts enable the administration to retain people that might otherwise be fired due to lack of funding.  It's like the unions--they would rather see people lose jobs then lose ANYTHING, even just a little bit.  It was astutely pointed out to me that the same type of socialism that runs academia, runs the unions.  The entitlement mentality of some of these folks truly boggles my mind but I'm not sure WHY I get boggled anymore....

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