Monday, November 30, 2015
I Just Might Leave!!!! [Much Foot Stomping]
The emptiest threat academics make, if they are silly enough to try it in this era, is the "I want my way or I might leave." My reaction, if I were a Dean would always be, "TaTa, do you need some boxes for packing?"
There really are only about 26 law professors whose departure from any school would make a difference to the students or the reputation of the old or new school. And remember, I am not saying which way that difference would run. It is just as likely that the spoiled prof's departure will make the school better off. For example, maybe the person is a good scholar but has so many side deals going that he lowers the moral and productivity of others. Or maybe she is, according to the students, a spectacular teacher but the students are really learning much and, generally, there are demands and an aura of drama wherever she goes. As a generally rule, I think every school is better off if the foot stompers leave because it is likely they are a pain in the ass in other ways. And there are 0 professors when it comes to actually making a difference in terms of the welfare or people generally.
Yet, I hear this all the time in various forms. Often it follows that Deans make counter-offers without even thinking that for the amount of the counter-offer they could get someone much better. This strikes me as odd for a different reason. The counter-offer means "We always knew you were worth more but did not have to pay it so we did not." If this ever happened to me the counter-offer would have to account for all the years the school now admits I was underpaid.
Nearly all of the people who could leave for a better job left already and most of those who get offers for better jobs will go. Every school goes through this. That means the threat makers are saying, there is another job for me but I did not take because it was not a better job but whatever irks me has now meant that this job and that job have changed places. Really? Sorry I am not buying that the other job is now so much better that they would actually go through the trouble of leaving. First, for the most part the threats are the product of people who are over affirmed, bought into their own publicity and have a sense of entitlement. Second, it's just a spiteful temper tantrum -- you have hurt me and I am going to hurt you back even if it ultimately makes me worse off.
I guess these snits have paid off in the past for them but only a woeful dean would allow them to change anything that did not need to be changed already.