Friday, October 06, 2006


Pop Quiz

Do you have what it takes to be an administrator? Take this simple quiz and find out!

1. A tenured professor makes a habit of skipping class. You find out about it, and confront her. She responds by ducking the question and impugning your motives. You
a. Suggest an anatomical impossibility
b. Repeat the question
c. Defend yourself against her countercharges
d. Stare at her impassively, take notes, and initiate a year-long process

2. A tenured professor bursts into your office, proclaiming at high decibel levels that “[t]he college fornicated me, and I got no pleasure from it!” You
a. Laugh
b. Dwell on a really unfortunate mental image
c. Ask “huh?”
d. Stare at her impassively, ask for specifics, and take mental notes

3. A department chair bursts into your office, declaring plaintively that we’re out of dirt. You
a. Ask him to repeat what he just said, because you must have misheard
b. Wipe that smirk off your face
c. Learn all about the many kinds of dirt
d. All of the above

4. A student corners you at registration and loudly declares how wonderful your college is, especially compared to that other college down the street, which he likens, variously, to an improvised latrine, a Disney character, and an asylum. You say
a. “Yeah, everybody knows they suck.”
b. “Thanks for noticing.”
c. “To each his own. Every college has its strengths and weaknesses.”
d. “Thanks. We’re proud of what we do here.”

5. A student is trying to pick a section of, say, General Psych. She asks you which professors are the best. You have a clear opinion. You say
a. “Personal taste.”
b. “They’re all good.”
c. “Prof. K is fantastic, but Prof. J is a train wreck.”
d. “I can’t express favoritism.”

The longer I do this, the more convinced I am that it’s mostly about keeping an even keel.

You forgot one option - carry around something pretty and shiny and everytime a situation comes up, pull out the pretty, shiny thing and flash it around until the people have forgotten everything.... Oh, wait, that's politics. Thanks for the morning chuckle though - this is a great quiz.
I love this quiz. i think my biggest obstacle to overcome if I choose to go the admin route is my utter and complete lack of a poker face.
There's more than one kind of dirt?

Thanks. I'm still smirking. Oh, now I'm not.

Can you guess what I do for a living?
Oh, the which instructor to take a course from question...even as a faculty member I get that one, often in class, and it comes as a continuing surprise. Like I'm going to dis one of my colleagues in public? (Or even in private?)

(At my curent institution, unlike anywhere else I've ever been, students are extremely likely to talk about their instructors when they know I can hear. And they are often quite acid about some of them. Makes for an interesting situation when I wind up on a promotion & tenure committee and have to evaluate someone...)
I hear a lot about faculty in my PE classes. I feel like a spy sometimes.
Yeah, but what are the right answers?
What percentage of the faculty at your institution are hardworking and conscientious? I would like to hear an administrator's opinion on what makes a faculty member a good contributor to the institution's mission.
Everyone keeps telling me I should go into administration. I keeping telling them I would rather drink lye. Unfortunately, I knew all the right answers on this quiz. Crap.
I definitely agree on the even keel part. I really think that half of running any organization is to inject energy into processes which are too slow (planning, documentation, core competencies) and drain energy out of processes which are too quick (conflicts, crises).
Hmmm...I answered D to all of them. Is that right? D is the answer. It has got to be D. D right. I think its D for all of them.
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