**revision 12/12/12 — the Anonymous Administrator is a trope I use to bring together three equally damaging people and offices that continue to perpetuate the contact hour lie, unfair labor practices, and sweeping attacks on any and all adjuncts who dared to challenge their plantation management. Wanted to add this note just in case anyone doubted my commitment to the idea that unpaid labor is indentured thinking and that creating the power struggles between field workers (adjuncts) and house workers (full-timers) is deplorable. In today’s mediated world, I needed to deploy very Socratic tactics here. I regret nothing.
To an Anonymous Administrator We’re Going to Call the Adjunct Killer (AK hereafter):
At least the monkeys still have instinct. They tend to recognize patterns, understand the difference between a real threat and an inconvenienve. Brain-damaged monkeys have even shown the ability to complete repetitive tasks while displaying an amazing capacity to adapt to new and even highly chaotic situations.
But not you, AK.
Everything is always a surprise to you. Everything is always a crisis. You cannot or will not follow the patterns established by your peers let alone their professional assessment of their disciplines. But, you’re the first one to challenge them on the grounds they are merely being “difficult.” Everything is a threat to you. A question; a counter-argument. Research and data driven fact-based insight into classroom size, environment, lead time, the missed opportunities during opening week of terms, the shared learning of an entire faculty used to create new initiatives, courses, curriculum, community out reach. This is all celebrated; everyone arrives at work excited by new challenges and our ability to chip away at old divisions, baggage really.
But not you, AK.
You are always surprised when we say no to twenty five students enrolled into our classrooms; you already disrespecting the two year battle over raising seminar — not lecture, not even introductory lecture-driven course — numbers from thirteen to twenty. You nickle and dime the adjuncts, put pressure on them re: future contracts if they don’t play ball. You like to also lie. Simple as that. You lie. You claim that people are refusing to work with you; people like me are being “difficulty.” But, where I come from–a place called higher education reality–disagreement strengthens a relationship or institution. It’s only a brain-damaged monkey missing some key emotional and cognitive filters that froths at the mouth and barks back “but the System said so, but the System, what about the System.” We all work with the system, push and pull–engage the System with caution and discrimination.
But not you, AK.
Your appeal to the system rules whenever its convenient; that’s impressive for a brain-damaged monkey. You also show amazing cognitive adaptation skills for someone, a monkey, whose brain has been so severely damaged by the System it serves and only serves. Your damaged brain and monkey personae also seems to thrive in chaos. But, not in a normal situation, where the recommendations and sound judgment of the faculty dampen the endless monkey screams of brain-damaged chaos scaring the men, women, and children who really just want to receive the course they paid for (a small seminar taught by an expert in his or her field). Everyone gets this.
Your job title, number, and description were written for someone who can teach, administrate, and serve as a campus coordinator. In the perfect world, such a need would’ve yielded three positions. But, we all know, that’s not going to happen any time soon. So, we need a faculty member who understands teaching pedagogy, institutional development, and the basic everyday skills required to work with faculty, staff, and students in a learner-centered environment. We need a human being who understands that chaos kills, disorganization costs jobs, and arrogance never helps.
(Arrogance based on nothing other than a reputation for being mean, I might add, not work, not teaching, certainly not scholarship because your 100% online degree from your 100% online graduate program requiring the bare minimum for conferral certainly doesn’t earn you the right to behave like the worst possible cliche of the atrocious, unapproachable campus fat cat.)
And lest anyone think these hyperbolic wishes are cruel, let’s make a short list of the effects of the crimes against the faculty this brain-damaged monkey committed since 2007:
- 20% less courses
- 30% less revenue
- 50% of adjunt pool replaced (without cause)
- three programs d.o.a.
- authorized surveillance in all online courses
- deliberately hired adjuncts to fill courses used to justify FT hire
- over-enrolls courses without instructor permission
- cancelled three online courses without cause leaving sixty students to scramble the Friday before Monday start for a total loss of $42,000 (gross)