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Ugh March 13, 2009

Posted by gordonwatts in university.

You ever spend an afternoon doing your best trying to get what is inside your head across to others… and at the end of the afternoon feel like you totally failed. Not just because you didn’t communicate it correctly, but perhaps also because your convictions weren’t quite right or perhaps during the discussion you went a little to far? That pretty much describes my afternoon today.

As I’ve mentioned before, the budget crisis is hitting the university – and I’m on the faculty senate. There were several big issues on the floor today having to do with things like us not getting raises, the interaction between the faculty and the administration, etc. I waded in on the questions I had gotten from fellow members of the physics department. But I swear what I wrote down that I was going to ask seemed much more sensible and important than when I actually asked them – they seemed pretty unimportant – and, more to the point, the answers really weren’t going to either change anything the university did or any position of the faculty. Another bit was how the administration and the faculty are interacting over these budget cuts. There is a special committee, lots more expert than I, whose responsibility is to give advice to the university about how to proceed cutting (i.e. no one has any idea how to cut 20% from the universities’ budget). I felt like it could operate and interact with the University a bit better – so I pressed the chair. Actually, “pressed” is too gentle a word – more like attacked, or acted like an a**.

Yuck. I think I’ll curl up with a bad TV show and start over again tomorrow. Sorry about those 150 emails I’ve ignored today…

UPDATE: This meeting made the news, though not for the reasons I think it should have. 🙂 If you look at the picture of Mark Emmert (prez of UW) and Phyllis Wise (Provost) you can see me in the background, in soft-focus glory!



1. Anonymous - March 13, 2009

Don’t worry about it, everyone has bad days occasionally.

2. gordonwatts - March 13, 2009

True! Thanks!

3. Jody Bowie - March 13, 2009

My wife teaches at a small university here in Oklahoma. She has a good friend/colleague who is on the faculty senate. Know that these same meetings are going on all over the country and you are in good company as I don’t think anyone knows how to cut 20% out of their budget.

Glad you made it through. Love reading your blog. I teach high school, so it is interesting to see what is similar and what is completely different. Guess I’m glad the state makes theses kinds of decisions for us. :-/

4. gordonwatts - March 13, 2009

Hi Jody – You are right — every place is dealing with the same set of issues. It is never very easy. Or pleasent. We (our university) are going to have to fire a bunch of people. When that happens it will get ugly.

And thanks for the complements!

5. Voli Dublino - March 14, 2009

Vеll, not perfect pоst, but I liked it and thаt is the main thing. 😉
I am Voli Dublino

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