when administration sucks
I just withdrew from a book project I was excited about because there literally aren’t enough hours in the day to write the article they’d asked me to write. Realistically, I should withdraw from at least two other projects, too, but damn it, I promised and I’ve got so far on them.
Quite often, being head of department stinks. Hours and hours and hours on scanning letters I have to consider whether to act on, writing reports, organising teaching, fighting for the future of our department and for the jobs of my colleagues. And yet what I’m trained for, and what I’ll be promoted on the basis of, is research and to some extent teaching.
Yes, I’m angry.
I think I’m entitled to a semester’s sabbatical next year (yes I know, the basic rules are great, a semester after three years, and I know lots and lots of colleges and universities have far higher teaching loads than we do and no sabbaticals: but we’re supposed to be a research university, promotion is based almost solely on publication), but the rules are such that you can’t actually GET the sabbatical unless your department can cover your workload. If I’m on sabbatical, there are only 1.5 tenured teachers here to look after our 150-200 students. Plus lots of temporarily employed and very skilful teachers, the students would do OK, but how the heck would the tenured staff manage?
And yeah, as head of department it’s possible I could have helped myself in this situation, only I don’t yet know exactly how. Maybe I should ask my peers to vote that the head of department should get a research assistant or something.