Monday, October 24, 2005


Ask the Administrator: Open Call

I haven’t had any Ask the Administrator questions in a while. If you’d like a dean’s answer to some variation on ‘why do admins do that?,’ drop me a line at ccdean (at) myway (dot) com. I’ll disguise enough details to protect your anonymity. As Easterbrook likes to say, all answers guaranteed or your money back!

hehe - I'm glad that someone else still reads Easterbrook's articles aside from me.
I'm so glad you solicited questions. Here is my schedule today: Meet with Dean @ 10 am. Class @ 11:30 - 12:45. Meeting @ 1:30. Meeting @ 2:30. Apparently administration thinks faculty has nothing better to do, than attend meetings. Is this what they teach you at administration school? "Hold a bunch of meetings." A Dean recently complained that he had 5 meetings in one day. What is the point? Why do admin types need to babysit faculty, and waste each other's time, with stupid meetings? Please don't lecture me about "service." Would the Deans care to grade my midterms? How about this nice stack of term papers? No? Then why am I helping them???????
I may have, in a moment of supreme weakness, after being praised by an administrator about my participation in a workshop, volunteered to help sundry administrators with a very important task this summer. I'm not sure I want to be an administrator later on... I'm not gunning for that kind of "credit at the bar." Are there any benefits to my foolishness that you can share to ameliorate my horror over my mistake? What benefit is there to being such a goody-two shoes if I don't want to be a Dean etc?

FYI- I enjoy committees... but I don't think I want to go into admin.
My question is whether it matters for faculty to interact with the dean. As an example, a colleague at another U was describing that so-and-so was really great and gets "Dean face time." At my U, I would really like to avoid having face time with the dean. I have been reasonably successful at my job without his support. Am I hurting myself in the long run because I am just trying to do my job without being on his radar? (And, it may be important to point out that I am research faculty, not academic faculty - does that make a difference?) And, if it is important to be "in" with the dean, what benefits are there to that?
Ok, I have a question. I have taken your advice and told the Asst. Dean that I would like some administrative responsibility. She suggested that I contact the new AVP of the college with a couple of ideas I have. Ok, so say I do that. And say he gives me some responsibility. How do I safeguard my time? If I get significant responsibility, do I ask for course release time, or is that being a Bad Sport? Do I just take on whatever I can for the experience and suck it up, or do I try to start really small, or do I just trust the AVP to know what the limits are, or what?
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