Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Just When I Was Losing My Rile the Side Deal Came Back

News of yet another side deal [I was going to list all the possible side deals but it would explode the internet] at my Law School came just in time. I had just about lost all my rile. It  felt pretty good not having rile but my rile rallied.

My Rile O Meter went up when I thought:  what  happened to just having a salary. For example, suppose I am making $200K a year and someone suddenly does not return in the fall and the course needs to be covered. The dean may ask me to do it. Should I be paid more? Why? Clearly, if I teach the course I will cut back on research and committee work.  Doesn't it work out? Of course, if I were not working at full capacity and am asked to teach one more course, I could do it without cutting back. That raises another issue and I do not claim to have an answer: what is full capacity for a law professor?  Is that even a relevant question?  Have you ever heard a full time professor say: what a great job. I only work at 60% capacity.

Let's say I worked at the local grocery store as a stocker. Someone does not show up in the deli that day and the manager asks me to move over to the deli. Does that person get to say, "sure but only for another $5.00 an hour." Of course not -- you cannot stock and make subs at the same time. So what is it about law professors who want to cash in anytime there is something different? 

This comes into play at my school where have the wacky program called super sabbaticals. We all get a semester off with full pay every 6th or 7th year. Or you can take a year off with half pay. There is some nominal requirement that you do scholarship. Perhaps it is more than nominal. A third possibility is a year off with full pay if you teach an extra course the year before. If you normally teach 9 hours, for that year you go to 12. A nine hour load is what you get if you claim to be doing research. Plus, the extra course can be on BOGO. Yes you can tape a course and that can be your extra course even if it is broadcast while you are in Africa and again and again.

So back to the stockers and deli.  For 9 credit hours I am a stocker and for 3 I work in the deli. Now the boss comes along and tells me if I will spend all 12 hours stocking and 0 in the deli,  I can have a year sabbatical with pay. But wait? Did I actually do anything more that I was doing? I can't teach (stock) 12 hours and do the same amount of research(deli work). How did I earn anything? If you think about it, the whole super sabbatical idea could be seen as based on the notion that everyone is underemployed.

If I had my way, faculty would be on 9 month or 12 month salaries and, aside for summer grants for truly doing something in the summer, that would be it. All this extra for this, extra for that, makes no sense.

Of course if I had my way, I would see and live that  new play Intimate Fantasies.

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