Teaching Post Doc

Ross Koning Koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Fri Jun 21 19:10:40 EST 1996

At  9:44 PM 6/21/96 +0000, e-larso at uiuc.edu wrote:

>Departments would love to side-step the hassels and long-term commit-
>ment of hiring a faculty member, when, for a fraction of the cost, they
>can hire someone who will work very, very hard, then leave.

I agree with Eric on several other points, but I would
take exception to the statement above.  Our department
would LOVE to hire a full-time member, but our management
would rather elevate directors to vice-presidents, hire
assistant to the associate whatevers and so on.  We are
under tremendous pressure to increase enrollment but
there is no attempt made to hire faculty to create the
seats that allow additional students to attend classes.

Thus, I think Eric's statement reflects the attitude of
management rather than departments.  As department chair
there isn't a conversation with the dean that does not
include a reminder that our department needs a new full-
time member.  I don't think we are unusual in that

There is light at the end of the tunnel, though.  As
we are all aware, universities are increasingly asked
to operate under "business models."  This is why we
have administrative bloat (at ECSU our faculty is the
same size as 10 years ago but admin/manage has grown
3-fold).  American business models called for increased
middle-management hiring through the 80s and early 90s.
Now business is going through the inevitable "downsizing"
and most of that is happening to middle management staff.
Since we are going down that same road, I expect that we
will find we must downsize too.  The pressure to keep
enrollment growing will force that downsizing to be on
the management side.  Perhaps the increased focus on
our product and output (quality student outcomes in our
case) will result in the additional hires we need to
minimize downsizing (a natural tendency for management to
protect management).  A larger faculty and student body
justifies larger management is the supporting logic.

So in any case, I'm hoping that we will get some new
full-time tenure-track lines here.  Our department really
DOES want more faculty...not less.  Of course I doubt that
any new member will be a plant scientist...we struggle under
the anthropocentric biology paradigm as much as at other
universities.  I am campaigning for a mycologist of any
specialty as we presently have no coverage of that entire
kingdom of organisms...and I don't really care what level
s/he likes to study (genetics, cell biology, physiology,
ecology, systematics, etc.).  I doubt my colleagues will
agree with me, however, unless we find a "gene jockey" who
works with yeast or something like that.


Ross Koning                 | Koning at ecsu.ctstateu.edu
Biology Department          | http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/
Eastern CT State University | Phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT  06226  USA | Fax: 860-465-5213

                Plant Physiology is Phun!

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|  |  |  |    |  |  ||       //\___     \CH3     /\|/\\/\\COOH
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 /\ | |__|=        NH       |  || ||           //\//\
  | COOH                    \\ /\ /            O
  COOH        H2C=CH2         N  NH

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