Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Dominoes Start to Fall in Our New Economy

Photo by Flickr user Mirko Macari, used under a Creative Commons license.

Today my university announced a hiring freeze in response to the mess on Wall Street. No new searches will be authorized for either faculty or staff, though open searches will be allowed to continue. From our president's memo:
Over the past two weeks, the news about the evolving economic situation at the state and federal level has intensified. These events underscore the importance of being prepared so we can continue to foster academic excellence and remain a strong institution, now and in the long run.

For that reason, the most responsible step we can take at this time is to institute a hiring freeze, effective immediately. This initiative will allow us to preserve funds so that we can strategically respond to potential future state budget cuts or other negative effects caused by external economic factors.
No word on whether this will affect our president's whopping 29% pay raise that he received this summer, which gave him an $85,000 bump to a total annual salary of $385,000.

Translated: What the prez is getting for his raise alone would finance a couple of instructors like me in my current incarnation, or six of me at my old adjunct level (not counting the cost of benefits.) Not that I'm saying this place needs clones of me; one is probably plenty.

But even so. Who generates academic excellence? Administrators? Or the people who do the actual teaching and research?

At any rate, it's interesting (in that Chinese-curse sense) to see how upward redistribution functions beautifully even at the local level.

No comments: