Friday, October 30, 2015

Florida CC asks faculty to bid for jobs: the English Department of the Future is here

Way back in 2008, in "English Department of the Future," I wrote this:

GA: "Hmm. That's not good. Those 5 deserve better for their tuition money; we have to keep the customers happy, you know. It's a good thing we don't have to rehire him in the spring. Do we still have the instructor bids from the fall?"

Minion: "Yes. Of the 350 applications we got, at least five or six of them offered to teach the class for very close to what Instructor X is teaching it for, although none of them offered to pay for all their own photocopying, as he did. I think we can get someone for around $2,000 to teach this course.

GA: "No benefits, of course?"

Minion: (Laughs) "Of course not!"

I was kidding. It was supposed to be satire. 

According to IHE, a Florida community college trustee thinks it's a great idea:

Putting a project out to bid is typically part of the public works process, since competitive bids tend to drive down the price and ensure fair opportunity for contracts. But should that process be applied to faculty hiring in public higher education? A member of the Board of Trustees for the State College of Florida at Manatee-Sarasota thinks so, and he’s set to brief the board on his proposal at an upcoming meeting. 
That was in September. Between then and now, Beruff was reportedly working on a second proposal that would ask potential college employees, including faculty members, to quote their fee for services on job applications. That information would then be used in the hiring decision.

I think I need a sign that reads "Professor Undine and her crystal ball predicting the future of higher education are available for a consulting fee.  The consulting fee is commensurate with what the top administration pays external consultants who give the same advice that faculty give them for free."


Contingent Cassandra said...

Oh, my. And the fact that they'll need a whole new layer of administration to handle the bidding process is presumably not a problem. Anything to avoid paying professors a living/professional wage.

And yes, I know at least one higher ed consultant, with an Ed.D., far less teaching experience than I have, and a much higher salary. And (s)he periodically wonders out loud why the faculty at schools that hire hir firm aren't happier to have hir help. Apparently that Ed.D. program didn't include any information about faculty governance, even as a quaint historical custom to which some faculty may still be attached.

undine said...

Contingent Cassandra--well, hiring administrators would seem to business trustees like hiring business people (i.e., worth scads of money, unlike those lazy professors), so there'd be no problem there. And faculty governance, like faculty experience, never seems to be a factor for consultants.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I suppose this could work in an opposite direction if people were really organized. All the adjuncts could get together and say, "we're not teaching this class for under 7000-10000 dollars." But that's a dream world. Anyway, this bidding situation is just another depth of grossness that administrators can plumb, along with their consultants.

Bardiac said...

What a nightmare!

Notorious Ph.D. said...

God, how I love Fie's vision. How do we get the word out to the lecturers? If the full-time faculty are paid a starting salary of, say, 50K a year (plus benefits) for, say, 5 courses per semester, that's 5K a course... plus the cost of the benefits.

Go, Lecturers!!!