Monday, February 25, 2008

Annoying (i.e. batshit crazy) things our new Head of School said today

"Hey, I know how we could solve our tutorial funding problem! [Supervisor] and [her husband] could tutor for you!"

Yeah, no. They couldn't. For one thing: uh, WEIRD. For another, they don't let my supervisor's husband near first year students. It's kind of unofficial department policy, and they have good reasons for it.


"What about if you did some extra tutorials yourself?"

"That wouldn't solve your budget problem. The money would still have to come from the part time teaching budget, wouldn't it?"

"Well, not exactly..."

"But I thought you couldn't get more than 0.6 of a position funded for me from the university's secret stash of money used to pay replacements for suicidal faculty."

"Well, no."

Light dawns on stupid naive Styleygeek. "You mean you want me to do extra tutorials WITHOUT extra pay?"

"Well, when you put it like that..."


"I don't think I can sign off on your grant proposal until the Vice Chancellor has signed it."

"But the Research Office said to get you to sign, then submit it, and they'll get the VC's signature. They won't accept it until you have signed."

"Then I guess you have a catch-22 situation. Heh. I'm sure you'll find a solution."


Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

How about this interpretation:

"We are going to take all that extra tuition from students and pay you nothing extra for absorbing all the overload costs, which is a brilliant business move for us. If you take this deal, we'll use it as a precedent for future situations like this.."

as for the dept head vs vice chancellor -- sounds like some kind of wild-west showdown.... I imagine them holding pens at 50 paces....

Jana said...

I've been given a lump sum to do one postgrad course. That includes all assessment, marking, and so on.

I'm tempted to increase my hourly rate by making the assessment based 100% on in-class participation...

wolfa said...

It sounds like conversation 3 is deeply related to conversation 2.

Hi! I'm watching too much conspiracy tv.

The History Enthusiast said...

Sounds like this guy/gal has their head up their ass.

Incidentally, "batshit crazy" is my new favorite phrase!

Anonymous said...

um..that's not a catch 22.

Anonymous said...

I mean that's not a catch 22 so much as that's you're an idiot who won't sign off because you're an idiot.

grace said...

Is he actually trying to blackmail you into working for nothing by witholding his signature on your proposal, or does it just look that way?
Is he malicious or just nutty?

CAE said...

Is signature forgery an option?

StyleyGeek said...

You guys are way more paranoid than me. I don't THINK he was trying to blackmail me. For that to work, the person you are trying to blackmail has to comprehend the situation :)

I don't think forgery is an option, unfortunately.

Tom said...

It seems a bit strange that you need the VC to sign a grant application at all: surely they can't sign every application in the entire university. And your head of school is dumb. Surely, whatever the research people say is the right order of signing has to be accepted. Presumably an email from the research people to head of school should settle his/her doubts.

Jana: I've just this minute finished teaching a class on the incentive properties of different contract structures. I think you should be paid on some sort of share-cropping basis in order to prevent moral hazard...

StyleyGeek said...

Tom, the VC does have to sign off on all the ARC grant apps in the whole university. That's around 100 each year, I think. But obviously he can't do each INDIVIDUALLY, so that's why the Head of School is mean to do it now, and then the Research Office compiles them all and gets them to the VC for him to do the whole stack at once.