Thursday, March 05, 2009
One of the Unions on campus has agreed to a pay decrease in order to keep fellow staff employed. A similar effort is underway for the faculty but may be more difficult to achieve.
The Code (sort of the contract for faculty) says we get a 2% increase every year for meeting certain goals. I am sure most of us would prefer nT to get that now. The problem is the messy way the UW is governed may mean that the only way not to do that would be for the UW to declare a financial emergency (likely to COST money because of borrowing issues) or to have the Faculty Senate change the legislation .. a very cumbersome process that would mean gv ing up the 2% for the future as well.
Unfortunately, because so much of the UW's expenditures are fixed by contract, legilsationm, etc., the burden of the cuts will fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable ... the arts and sciences departments. In those departments, the main variable in cost is TAs and RAs .. that is graduate students who are already paid way below the poverty line.
For my own part, a good deal of what is frightening here is that representatives like Wallace and much of the public completely lack understanding of how a University does its job. For example, unlike health sciences(where SJ lives), the English Dept. depends almost entirely on tuition and on state funds. BUT, the impact of the education in that Dept. on the sciences .. as well as on medicine, business and law, is immense. Cutting TAs in English will hurt the quality of our graduates in all fields!
Are there alternatives? I think there are some. I very much supprt programmed instruction and the use of the community college model for introductory courses. At the University level, however, introductory expository writing is a remedial subject. I would nto mind at all if all our students came here well past that level. Some do. Even for these, however, we need ... they need, the kind of exposure to real writing and literature that a community college usually can not offer because the instructors time is expensive!
President Emmet has addressed this in a recent podcast. I will UL that to SJ when I have time.
Posted by SM Schwartz at 11:10 AM