example: people who keep telling me to apply for library-land grants. except we no longer have a dedicated person who can assist with grants and i know how overworked the people are who do handle the limited grants we already have.
*staff AND students for that matter
i am not a huge fan of the phrase "institutional privilege" but i have yet to find a better substitute for it - anyone have ideas? (basically the idea that elite institutions have more resources available for their staff that staff at other institutions don't have access to. obviously there are still hierarchies within elite institutions, but this is very much A Thing I encounter frequently being a public non-flagship person who collaborates with people from wealthy private universities)
Hands down one of the best things I've done for myself is building out a booking calendar for all the external "picking your brain" requests I get. People can select an appointment time from a carefully selected block of a few hours a month I dedicate for these requests. It automatically emails people a meeting link. This cuts down on so much back and forth and automatically filters out all the people worth talking to from the people who don't respect boundaries around scheduling.
OK this is now the second time I've heard of a California higher ed archivist living in university housing. Is this a particularly California thing? I always feel like university housing for staff is a relic of the high water mark of 1960s/70s higher ed, not still a current thing. Would love to learn more!
also so many of the issues in organizations could be resolved with way more robust unions. I'm totally serious. Stop over-thinking this y'all. The only way to reduce hierarchy in a hegemonic institution is to recognize that workers get to share in that power through the form of a legally binding contract.
this whole institutional courage thing is so weirdly naive to me. like, there are entire subdisciplines within sociology that look at how institutional power operates? how are other academics so clueless about this? i am not a sociologist but even I had some exposure to Weber in my non-elite public university undergrad education and the idea that the majority of hierarchical institutions can exhibit any kind of courage or integrity is laughable https://www.chronicle.com/article/why-are-colleges-so-cowardly
I have access to some professional development funding and am super interested in hearing about any retreats/boot camps/training institutes relevant to doing research in climate change and environmental justice, especially for people who do not have extensive quantitative training in these areas. Any recommendations?
US labor law
Anyone have good recommendations about the history of professional class salaried exemption from overtime laws? I am convinced that one of the biggest scams is professional middle class ppl who have internalized the idea that working more than 40 hours a week without additional pay is normal because overtime pay doesn't exist for their class of employment (and this is why as a matter of political principle I generally refuse to work more than 40 hours a week)
it has always been tough to find someone to do this work but I think 2020/2021 has broken so many people. and also, there are fewer people to do this work. in our system, committee work is a major way for new library faculty to get service credit, and uh......... we are a very senior heavy library faculty workforce due to admin refusing to hire new faculty for years now
feel like i'm hearing and seeing from MPOW and others that all the hard but important jobs in academic shared governance/faculty leadership are getting increasingly desperate to find someone to fill the slot (department chairs, faculty senate/union leadership, library chairs, etc). I don't really know what to do about this but it concerns me, a lot.
scholars of bureaucracy and organizational power, who should I be reading for the phenomenon about how people in power will claim they are powerless to do anything even though they actually can, if they actually had the courage to do so? Inspired by this example of LSU's former president confirming what we all know about how big athletics shapes everything around university priorities https://www.chronicle.com/article/his-new-job-on-the-line-this-president-unleashed-a-scorched-earth-critique-of-his-old-campus
caveat: i work in librarianship where the service expectations and associated responsiveness are much higher than other faculty groups
anyone have a go-to line to share when a colleague tells you they're staying up late at night replying to emails? I want to tell them "normalize neglecting your inbox and please don't apologize for your late replies" but I am afraid of it coming across as condescending. Or dealing with "well that must be great for you, but *I* could never do that." (for the record: i routinely ignore my own inbox and generally never send emails after 5:30 pm)
Robert's Rules/Parliamentary questions
Working through some bylaws revision changes that require a 2/3 approval. The voting membership in question is 28 people. Does this mean we need 18 or 19 people to vote in favor for a change to take effect? All my searching is failing me regarding how normal parliamentary procedure deals with rounding up or down.
related is something I recall from an interview with career teachers: that they hold the institutional knowledge of what schools *can be* because that's what it was like at the beginning of their careers, whereas the parents of their students turn over every year and have no idea what resources once existed. Thus making the teachers a much more formidable force for fighting back against austerity measures. No wonder education reformers want to break teachers unions - it also breaks that memory
had a 5 AM half-sleep half-waking thought that a key feature of neoliberalism is the hostility to institutional knowledge (e.g., reliance on contractors instead of permanent staff, the rhetoric of innovation, etc). As an archivist working at an institution replacing permanent staff members with 3-year temps, this also impacts my job in preserving the historical record considerably. Who's writing about this aspect of neoliberalism?
mid-career in academia
i refer to all of this updating of long overdue (or non-existent) bylaws/policies/procedures as the deferred maintenance of shared governance.
Archivist from Cincinnati. I work on the intersections of archives, climate change, recordkeeping, and environmental policy.
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