Thursday, August 15, 2013


They call it University Days at my school.

They used to call it the Pre-School Conference, and it used to be four days long.

Now it is only a day and a half. (Which I guess that's something.)

Whatever they call it and no matter how long it lasts it is a giant (and almost totally useless) time suck, at a time in the semester when faculty have no time to waste -- right here before our semester begins.

To be fair, some of what is being done, the university has no choice about.  We are federally mandated to have Title IX and ADA training, and now (apparently?) Emergency Response training, and when else can you herd the cats that are university faculty all into one space and time, except in these few days between semesters before fall classes begin?

But (at least at my university) the mandated shit is not all they force us to sit through.  That would take, maybe, two hours.  Three at the outside. Then we could be done, and get back to work doing real work.

But not so -- we get six to ten hours of other speeches.  Introduction of new faculty.  State of the university.  How the endowment is doing.  How the sports program is doing.

And it's not like any of this is unimportant, exactly.  I'm not saying that.

But no one is listening to any of it either -- I look around the giant auditorium, and everyone is on their handheld, everyone is on their phones or at work prepping syllabuses; no one is watching the current speaker, no one except (maybe) the Chancellor is paying attention.

And all of it could be better communicated through a nice email, frankly.

/end rant.

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