Thursday, May 05, 2011

I want a meeting . . .

Disclaimer: This isn't inspired by anything in particular.
  • I want a meeting that doesn't simply repeat and elaborate on information that's already been disseminated by email, especially if the information is, as always, more bad news about the budget.
  • I want a meeting that recognizes the truth of this statement: "Email is for announcements. Meetings are for action."
  • I want a meeting in which faculty venting about issues that can't be changed and won't be the subject of a concerted protest is either banned or kept to a minimum.
  • I want a meeting in which the phrase "We will talk about this at the next meeting" after the subject under discussion has already been talked about endlessly will be banned.
  • If there's supposed to be a vote, I want a meeting in which the vote will happen.
  • I want a meeting in which entirely new information that I've never heard about, even after attending every single meeting, is not presented in the context of "everybody knows about this" as a done deal.
  • I want a meeting that doesn't happen and is canceled if there's no reason for it beyond the fact that it is scheduled.
  • I want a meeting that I can come out of feeling as though I’d accomplished something instead of feeling angry and helpless at what the powers that be are imposing on us.
This will probably be *poofed* for rantiness, but I had to say it.


Tree of Knowledge said...

Can I come to that meeting instead of the ones in my department?

Anonymous said...

Hear hear!

We're actually a lot better under our current chair than our previous one. He runs a good meeting (not ideal and perfect, but much closer to ideal than before) and our April meeting was canceled. :)

My husband's dept OTOH. I feel so bad for him. 4 hour meeting yesterday and today they're having a NINE HOUR retreat. In which they do nothing but complain and nothing gets done. I would die. Under our old chair I had a habit of taking over... if I were in DH's department I don't think I would have made 3rd year review.

Ianqui said...

Oh, I don't think this is even all that ranty. It's just, uh, well, it's basically just true about meetings in academia. I mean, it certainly describes standard operating procedure in my department, at least.

Lesboprof said...

PLEASE don't poof this. It is a great list, and one that I want to draw on again and again as someone who runs meetings. These should be the equivalent of cardinal laws in academe. I think if people just want to bitch, that is why people invented bars.

Dr. Koshary said...

I second every word that Lesboprof wrote.

Roxie Smith Lindemann said...

I want a billboard with bullet point #2 written in 6-foot tall letters out in front of every administrative and departmental building on campus. With the word "action" in blinking neon and all caps. And a couple of exclamation points for good measure.

undine said...

Tree--if you can find a meeting like that, go to it!

Nicoleandmaggie--retreats are just Meeting Hell writ large. I don't know how they became the fashion in academe, but I think it's one that, like disco, has had its day and should go away.

Ianqui--I wish it weren't SOP.

Lesboprof--thanks. I wrote it down so I could remember it, too, and do what I could to speed things along rather than sitting there like a resentful teenager.

Roxie--If you're making that sign, I want two of them!

undine said...

Dr. Koshary--thanks! And congrats again on the new job!

Anonymous said...

We have our full-day retreat every two years and the last one I went to was actually really helpful... but it was planned well. Problems were identified ahead of time, different committees brought in prepared materials, we discussed and agreed on some important curriculum changes, and we got homework to solve other problems. The things we did that day solved a bunch of student-related concerns we'd been having.

So they're not all bad. The important thing really is how they're run.

Psycgirl said...

#1 drives me absolutely insane. There is nothing that makes me angrier, faster, than a meeting where we discuss something we've already discussed or disseminated. ARGH!

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

I'm tempted to print this out as a reminder to myself, and I think it should be handed out to every committee chair on campus!

comebacknikki said...

#1 = every single meeting I've been to in the last six months. UGH!!!

undine said...

nicoleandmaggie--I have a knee-jerk reaction against retreats, although I know that they are supposed to be useful on occasion. It sounds as though yours was.

psycgirl--Absolutely! It's like sitting through the same bad movie twice.

p/h--thanks! I wish there were a way to put these rules into practice.

comebacknikki--Those are the most useless kinds of meetings when you're trapped in an eternity of repeated information.