Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Qualified Substitute Instructors


Many students have feared that the promised qualified substitutes will turn out to be yet another err... lie. Wrong! These pictures prove the opposite. Some subs might look very young, some too canine, some do not seem to feel well, but they are here!















44 comments:

  1. I sent this letter to a retired colleague who is teaching courses in my department.

    XXXXX,

    Do not teach my class or anyone's class without their permission. You are enabling an administration that you know is corrupt. We will see to it that all class time is made up. Butt out.

    Mike

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  2. I get that you feel the administration is corrupt, and so you were "forced" to strike, and therefore have moral standing to critique its efforts to cover for your absence.

    And I get that this has turned out to be a great propaganda point for the FA.

    And I get that as, ahem, workers engaged in the, err, struggle against the bosses, you must always vilify scabs.

    And I do fault the administration for failing to make better plans because it did not foresee that the FA really would be this [principled / irresponsible].

    But with all that said, a moment's reflection should lead one to realize that these criticisms of the administration's efforts to fill empty podiums, when they come from the FA, employ the same sort of logic used by the defendant who killed his parents and then asked for the mercy of the court because he was an orphan.

    Cause, allow me to introduce you to effect. You stand together in the pictures above.

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  3. Those of us who have continued teaching recognize the moral and professional resonsibility we have to our students.

    More and more strikers are returning to the classroom each day - the momentum is not going the FA's way.

    I blame the adminstration for lots of things, but not for doing its best to ensure that our resonsibility to your students is met.

    Finally, despite protestations to the contrary, it looks like the end-game is all about the $$. Back pay?? C'mon...

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  4. One very ticked off history professorNovember 9, 2011 at 7:31 AM

    Doin' My Job: Those of us on strike recognize the moral necessity of standing up sometimes to bullies who wish to arbitrarily impose working conditions on faculty, and who wish to freeze faculty imput out of decision-making on this campus. Oh, and yes, we wish in history to maintain the integrity of our academic discipline against the culture of mediocrity around here that says "anybody can teach history - all you guys do is memorize names and dates anyway." Dr. Winters has no business inside a history classroom, even if he is an excellent facilitator. Individuals from career services have no business inside history classrooms, even if their bachelors degrees are in history. No, only professionally trained historians belong in history classrooms, even in times like this. And if you cannot provide them, don't pretend that it's "business as normal" or "you will be taught by qualified instructors."

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  5. "… these criticisms of the administration's efforts to fill empty podiums, when they come from the FA, employ the same sort of logic used by the defendant who killed his parents and then asked for the mercy of the court because he was an orphan."

    And in this analogy, you're the judge and jury, right?

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  6. If history students deserve to be taught by history PhDs, then, Ticked Off, go teach them. No one forced you to strike, and no one is forcing you to remain on strike. I admire anyone who is willing to stand up for principles they think are important, but my admiration disappears when those people want to do so and have everyone else pay the consequences for their choices. Everyone, that is, but themselves.

    I've chosen not to teach or facilitate classes, not because I am opposed to qualified substitutes (ANYONE can be replaced), but because I personally don't consider myself qualified to teach someone else's classes. But you've chosen to let your students suffer so you can get paid for striking and indemnified from your misconduct, your unprotected misconduct, while on strike. That isn't principled. It's selfish.

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  7. OneDawgTwoDawgRedDawgBlueDawNovember 9, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    Mike's letter to his emeritus colleague provides a delicious juxtaposition... Seems like just yesterday that Professor Gray was decrying the insinuation that striking faculty might engage in "threats or misconduct". Faculty have the right to strike without interference. Emeritus faculty surely have the same right to choose to teach our students without intimidation. Who's bullying now??

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  8. The self-serving and self-righteous rhetoric of the minority of faculty on strike certainly gives other faculty and the public reason to reject them and their motives.

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  9. Netzley said: "And in this analogy, you're the judge and jury, right?" No, no, it wasn't an analogy. It was a reference to using the same sort of logic, where the one who causes something complains of the effect.

    Here's an analogy:

    You're like the irresponsible spouse who squanders the family's assets at the track. Then, you righteously complain that the other spouse is neglecting the kids' needs by serving them ketchup sandwiches. Moreover, you call that spouse a filthy liar because for trying to put a brave face on things by saying that "it's a perfectly good meal."

    Overwrought? Sure, but you asked for it.

    Don't worry kids, daddy will stop drinking and come home soon. He really does love you. In know it's so, because he's carrying a sign that says so.

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  10. FA is getting torn apart by themselves and their own terrible choices (and public statements). This blog does NOT help either. Sickens me to know this many teachers are mindless, political drones.

    Cheng, a union buster? I live in a city/county where unions fail consistently. Especially, unions with terrible membership rates. The FA represents a minority of the teachers, and it is ridiculous that these dues-paying members think they represent everyone.

    Is there not an entire organization of teachers trying to de-certify the FA and begin with a different bargaining unit? (LoL-there is solidarity)

    At first I supported every striking teacher. Then, I saw you have made little to no progress. Furthermore, the rhetoric from striking teachers has been terrible. I no longer support this strike, and hope you sign a contract ASAP, and I hope that one day your union is "busted".

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  11. "I sent this letter to a retired colleague who is teaching courses in my department.

    XXXXX,

    Do not teach my class or anyone's class without their permission. You are enabling an administration that you know is corrupt. We will see to it that all class time is made up. Butt out.

    Mike " - Mike



    This is class-act behavior from an instructor (sense sarcasm?).

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  12. I think its clear that the FA has become desparate....trying to find something to hang its hat on.

    Just yesterday, the FA and its minnions were telling us that if only the administration had stayed at the table Monday night, the thing could have been solved in a matter of hours.

    Then after 12 hours of talks yesterday, the FA had egg of their faces...again.

    Now they plan to rally at the BOT exec meeting today in some sort of last gasp attempt to
    prove to their membership that their $50 a month in union dues has been well spent.

    That's not going to change anything...and I think, deep down, they know it.

    In the end the faculty will not be paid for their time on the picket line and they will not get fair share.

    Of course, the few like Ryan and Mister Jonny, will continue to belly ache about furlough days and claim this whole debacle wasn't about money. But c'mon, even young children are laughting at that one.

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  13. I don't think you understand what "analogy" means. There's no formal difference between your new abusive fantasy and the original murderous one.

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  14. Wow, union support is so low that you've pressed young toddlers into the role of substitute picketers and have forced them to carry signs saying as much? Just how desparate are you people?

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  15. Anonymous 8:57
    If you are not on strike, why are you posting lengthy messages on this blog? Shouldn't you be in class teaching or meeting with students in your office or doing research? And it is clear that you do not pay your dues to the union. You are freeloading yet you do not know "how much"? The monthly dues to the union are about 63 dollars--a month.

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  16. Grad Student,

    I did not get your sarcasm. The colleague and friend I wrote has in fact long complained about how corrupt, morally and intellectually, the administration at SIUC is.

    OneDawg...,

    How on earth do you find my letter to XXXXX bullying?

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  17. Anonymous 9:05

    My bad...$63 a month...not $50. That's $760 a year.

    On top of what's been lost for not working.

    Oy!

    Ah, the benefits of union membership.

    Have you looked into the costs of COBRA?

    BTW....Your brief message seems to confirm my assertion that the FA is in a desperation mode.

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  18. Anonymous 9:42

    It is clear from your computation that you are paid for 12 months and that means that you are probably an administrator. You don't even seem to realize that most or nearly all faculty are paid only for 9 months during the year. $63 X 9= 567 and not 760!
    The annual dues amount is $567.

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  19. Winters is no longer teaching 101A. The DE reported that Dr. Betsy George is teaching that class (which she has taught before). She has a PhD in history.

    Don't know if Winters is teaching any other history classes but all he did was show up the first day until they found a replacement. So give the poor guy a break.

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  20. When Mike says the administration is morally and intellectually corrupt, one wonders if he should be teaching at a university. Or is his doctorate in a field that does not encompass critical thinking? Afterall, this is a labor dispute over money and job security.

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  21. Anonymous 9:57: I am a tenure track faculty member with one of the lowest annual salaries in the FA bargaining unit. I also have a 12 month contract. I am not, nor have I ever been, an administrator. I am not the anonymous poster who miscalculated union dues above, but I wanted to point out that you are alienating your allies by accusing those on 12 month contracts of being "administrators" (I assume you meant that as an insult). I also wanted to take this opportunity to mention that for those of us at the lowest end of the FA pay scale, union dues are very expensive, and "fair share" is a frightening prospect, especially if dues can be raised at any time.

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  22. Anonymous 10:34AM says:

    1. "When Mike says the administration is morally and intellectually corrupt, one wonders if he should be teaching at a university."

    2. "Or is his doctorate in a field that does not encompass critical thinking? "

    3. "Afterall, this is a labor dispute over money and job security."

    Well, either you are really deeply confused or you never mastered even rudimentary principles of critical thinking. Your first sentence does not make any sense. It proves that you are not qualified to utter the second sentence.

    Your third sentence is a puzzle. Either you work for administration and are paid for posting this propaganda rubbish (some day you will have to explain yourself to your grandchildren....) or you simply very myopic:

    This is not a dispute -- this is a struggle to preserve the quality of SIU despite the total luck of interest in it of the top administrators.

    "Job security"? -- try to understand that once the tenure is gone -- nobody of true talent will even consider SIU as a place to seek research carrier.

    "Money"? -- yeah, it is about how to manage it and do not allow irresponsible administrators waste it (remember the logo?). Indeed, either you are confused yourself or or doing your job trying to confuse others...

    In case it is the former, get some classes requiring critical thinking. Maybe from Mike?

    Jerzy

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  23. One very ticked off history professorNovember 9, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    "Give the poor man a break" pleads my esteemed colleague Dr. Jon Bean. I would if Dr. Winters hadn't had the arrogance and hubris to think he was qualified to step inside that classroom at all. And he did a lot more than take attendance! He outlined the textbook chapter for a good thirty-five minutes.

    No, Todd Winters burned a lot of bridges with the history faculty for his bone-headed move. So, too, did Dean Leonard. As the academy's memory-minders, we historians will remember this.

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  24. "You don't even seem to realize that most or nearly all faculty are paid only for 9 months during the year."

    So the privledged elite works for only nine months a year? And they're on strike?

    Brilliant!

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  25. Anonymous: 12:48
    You bonehead--most faculty's yearly contract is only for nine months. We get paid for nine months of the year. But I and other faculty still work during the 3 months of the summer--on our research, independent readings and research courses that our students take, thesis and dissertation advisees. We don't stop working! Ont eh other hand, administrators for the little that they do and the numerous obstacles they pose in the way of the teaching and learning, get paid for all 12 months of the year. Take for example, chairs of departments--why do they get 12 months salary--when hardly any courses are taught--plus they get a whole month off for vacation (paid vacation). Faculty are always working whether they get paid or not--during the week and during weekends. It is clear you are no faculty person--you are clearly ADministrating something or other...

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  26. Dr. Bean, you should be out there on the picket lines with your history colleagues instead of holding forth and going on and on this blog. Spend your time more usefully!

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  27. One very ticked off... wrote:

    "No, Todd Winters burned a lot of bridges with the history faculty for his bone-headed move. So, too, did Dean Leonard. As the academy's memory-minders, we historians will remember this."

    That attitude exemplifies what is precisely the biggest concern many have with the FA. When this is all over--and we all hope that is soon--grudges and attempts at score-settling are going to get us precisely nowhere. I've heard tell of departments split down the middle by the strike, where faculty basically refuse to talk to one another because of differences about FA membership and the decision to strike. How will they function in the future? We were colleagues before this happened, and we still are now.

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  28. Anon 12:48 wrote:

    "Take for example, chairs of departments--why do they get 12 months salary--when hardly any courses are taught--plus they get a whole month off for vacation (paid vacation)."

    Are we chair-bashing now? Our chairs are our departmental colleagues and could be you or me one day--who knows. I've never been chair, but I've served as a chair's advisor. I don't know how things work in your department, but in ours that job is non-stop and basically *sucks*. Our chair still has his research and teaching duties (not to mention additional service duties), so when you pile on the fact that he could get 12 months of salary off grants anyway, the only difference is the increase in pay compared to a normal full professor. If you think being chair is go great and easy, why don't you try to be chair of your own department?

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  29. Jon,

    I think the issue with Todd is the seemingly glib attitude of his face book post. He might consider apologizing for that. Most us understand that administrators are expected to do what they are told. I have no resentment toward the administrator who took over my class last week. I doubt I will forgive the actions of my retired colleague. He has not written back.

    I wish you would come out and join us, but I do respect your decision.

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  30. Beezer:

    In many departments chairs do NOT teach. They also get a significant reduction in their teaching load regardless of the size of the department. Also, they get 12 months salary (not money from grants). They do not teach courses in the summer. Period. The department chair example was just an example. This applies to all other administrators as well--including Associate Provost(s)--there are too many of them! Provosts--Vice-Chancellors etc etc.

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  31. I've appreciated your comments, beezer and Dr. Bean. As others have resorted to pettiness and name-calling, you two have consistently shown yourselves to be above such behavior. I applaud you for it.

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  32. "You bonehead--most faculty's yearly contract is only for nine months."

    Geez, I thought I'd be taken to task for calling professors "privledged elites."

    Guess that's OK afterall.

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  33. To Anon. 1:35.

    Fair enough. Things are different in different departments. I also accept the possibility (not the certitude quite yet) that SIUC spends a differentially high fraction of its money on administrative lines compared to comparable institutions (here, I mean other PhD-granting public research institutions of similar size, infrastructure, etc.). Perhaps the FS should commission an independent study of this (after all, our 'peer' institutions have already been defined). It's not that I necessarily don't trust the FA's intent in getting good numbers in their analysis of the "too-many-administrators" hypothesis, its just that the devil is often in the details of such analyses, and it can be difficult to discern some professional lines from those that are truly administrative unless one dives in on a case-by-case basis. Also, while I admit anecdotally it does feel like we have a lot of them, I wonder if the sneakier problem is actually the distribution of CC lines in the administration versus the units. Arguably the most valid complaint that any of the unions had this go-round has been about the loss of CC lines in the units--the painful side effect being that the remaining CC people are terribly overworked. Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be better if the faculty could independently advocate to remedy this problem (but I guess one bargaining unit trying to get something for another directly is probably not allowed).

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  34. One very ticked off history professorNovember 9, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Beezer: In South Africa after Apartheid was all over, they established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Now, before you get upset, I am not at all comparing the strike here at SIUC with South Africa, except for this one small insight: individuals need to be held to account for decisions they did. In the case of my colleague Jon Bean, I have no problems at all resuming conversations with him down the hallway and in department meetings. He taught his classes, which is his right to do, but he did not teach those of others. Other colleagues who taught our classes will be more difficult to deal with.

    My point is this: in a university, one generally expects due deference and respect paid to professors in other departments in the university other than your own. There may be an instance where Dean Winters might need my support for something he wishes to achieve. I am not saying that I will necessarily vote the exact opposite way (if I happen to be on FS at the time), but that I cannot condone nor accept what he just did to my academic discipline and to the collegiality that I expect him to have toward me as a member of the history department.

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  35. Nor can the rest of the campus community condone or accept what this strike has done to our university.

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  36. One ticked off History Professor or Jonathan S. Wiesen you've outed yourself with the Faculty Senate comment.

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  37. One very ticked off history professor said, "There may be an instance where Dean Winters might need my support for something he wishes to achieve. I am not saying that I will necessarily vote the exact opposite way (if I happen to be on FS at the time), but that I cannot condone nor accept what he just did to my academic discipline and to the collegiality that I expect him to have toward me as a member of the history department."

    I don't know whether this should be considered a threat or an acknowledgment of limited capacity. How dare you suggest that you would potentially hold hostage an action that undoubtedly would affect students in Dean Winter's department or college based on his legal actions during the strike. Hold ill will toward him all you want, but it is rather juvenile to suggest you will hold it against his department.

    I am not sure whether I am more bothered that you think this or that you wrote it in a public forum.

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  38. Those of us that have been around the history department know exactly how it treats those in its own department. Just ask Dr. Bean about how they treated him when they didnt agree with him on something. I believe its called academic bullying.

    http://thesouthern.com/news/article_d8878df8-09a4-57a4-8a1c-53c9b98d00cf.html

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  39. In fact both people above are wrong, the true amount for a yr of FA membership is 63 times 10=630 bucks, reason= 8 full months and two half months, August and May. 63 bucks is taken from these 10 `months' salary,

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  40. Our union dues are rather high. In the future, especially, if a need should arise to go on strike,
    it would be good to set aside some of our dues towards a reserve fund to pay the faculty who go on strike. As the administration has been so petty as to not grant the faculty pay for the strike days even on the condition that they would make up the classes that they missed, in future we cannot expect we will get a decent back to work agreement if we go on strike again. The IEA's dues are too high. Why should all of that money got to the IEA? MOney should be set aside each year for unexpected events such as strikes.

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  41. Hi Anonymous 5:54: This is Jonathan Wiesen. I just spent the last week on the picket line defending our tenure rights and academic freedom. I barely check this blog and have not done so in weeks; my wife alerted me to your comment. I did not post the comment above, and I think "outing" anonymous posters on this blog is reckless and unfair. I repeat, I did NOT write any comment above, and I have tried for my entire academic career to be consistently judicious and fair. Since you've just "outed" the wrong person, I suggest you have the dignity to come forward and tell me who you are and apologize.

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  42. As I alluded to in the other thread, there are clearly a lot of hurt (and hard) feelings amongst the faculty caused by the strike, and I fear that this will be the strike's true legacy of damage (not the other stuff I was concerned about). Oh man, not good.

    For example, both Mike and Ticked-Off... have expressed great disappointment and anger in the different ways the administration attempted to cover their classes (but for different reasons). Again, I don't really believe that Dean Winters meant to hurt anyone's feelings--or express some kind of administrative (or personal) disdain for any field of study either by his Facebook page comments (which I really think were just gallows humor) or by his presence there until a more proper history teacher could be found. The comments were taken down (I bet he did it of his own accord). May be an apology is in order as you say (feelings being hurt and all). Mike implies he may be able to give Dean Winters a pass, but not the (more qualified) stand-in. And Ticked off has basically implied that he will never let this go (to what end, who knows).

    I admit that I don't have the same perspective (since I am not in the union and did not strike) but it is hard to put myself in the shoes of those who plan to harbor any permanent resentment to any of our colleagues here. For example, I think someone would have to do THIS to me...

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeHlVo__Gmk) -- warning NSFW, and I apologize in advance for following Dr. Bean's lead and interjecting some humor here... and the fact that this takes place in a History department at a small-town IL university makes one wonder about life imitating art a bit...)

    ...in order for me to get to the level of harboring grudges. Again, no one thinks that anyone can do a better job teaching your class than you (and I have every confidence that the administration is more than pleased to have you back there). I just can't imagine that if I were on strike, and I had found out that (say) a history prof had been assigned to try teach my science class, I would be boiling with permanent hate at either the administration ("the administration hates science!") or at the poor history professor who got socked with that crap job (hey, maybe he'd learn something. Maybe the Dean did too). We gotta get past this.

    By the way, this goes for people on the other side of the strike too. I heard a story about one anti-FA type who basically implied that he would "leave" SIUC if the FA got either back-pay or fair share. Really? Just going to take the ball and go home, eh? You would really begrudge someone getting something (you may not think they deserve) so blindly that you'd leave your colleagues and students behind on a whim? Come on--that kind of petulant attitude (or bluster) isn't going to help anything. The grass is rarely greener on the other side of the fence (every place has its problems). Forget the administration--this place is what we make of it--and what we make of it will largely continue to be determined by how we relate to each other.

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  43. A less ticked off history professor nowNovember 9, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    Yes, indeed, and the Dean of the College of Agriculture ought to have thought about that last weekend. But I guess that's water under the bridge at some level now. I feel energized by what I and my fellow colleagues achieved, along with much student help, in winning a fair contract for all of us and in changing some of the institutional culture around here. I am sorry you felt you could not join in that effort, but perhaps you will see the merit of doing so in the future.

    But for now, a lot of us need rest and sleep.

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I will review and post comments as quickly as I can. Comments that are substantive and not vicious will be posted promptly, including critical ones. "Substantive" here means that your comment needs to be more than a simple expression of approval or disapproval. "Vicious" refers to personal attacks, vile rhetoric, and anything else I end up deeming too nasty to post.