Monday, March 8, 2010

Schrodinger's Cat

My husband says that my department is like Schodinger's cat. The state is uncertain - one day my department is "saved", another day it is not. I've given up on trying to stay up to date on our status since it changes so much. Today, our department is "saved." The final decision will be made this month. I hide in my office trying to work, and ignore it all.

I've had the opportunity to calm down and evaluate the situation. Uprooting a junior faculty from one department to another raises a host of problems.

1. Who will be my chair?
2. Will my colleagues value my contributions to the department or school?
3. What am I teaching? I would be in a department where I would be unable to teach anything but electives.
4. Who sits on my tenure committee? Is my departmental tenure committee comprised of people from discipline A even though I am a B?
5. What happens to graduate admissions? I don't want A's in my lab - I need B's. B's won't apply if the department is eliminated.
6. Would I miss out on junior faculty awards because I am an "unwelcome" department member?
7. Who's going to advocate for me? Mentor me?

Since it looks like our department is "saved", then I won't have to learn the answers to these questions. Still, this process has left a bad taste in my mouth. Even if we succeed, I think we could easily be on the chopping block in the near future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad it looks like the department might be saved. You're right to not try and figure out what's happening on a day-to-day basis right now, need worrying yourself when the story keeps changing. I'd suggest keeping your head down until whatever is going to happen happens (easier said than done I'm sure). After it's all blown over, I'd come up with a plan B in case everything goes to shit again.