Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Department politics are still a pain in the ass, even when you have tenure

A couple weeks ago, my department chair (DC) solicited volunteers for a departmental administrative position, as our current person has decided to step down. I volunteered, because I thought it would be a good way to be more involved with that part of the department. The following week, DC sent an email, informing me that another faculty member had also volunteered, and that he would have to meet with both of us and make a decision. As soon as I heard this, I knew that I would not be filling that position. You see, the other volunteer is someone that H and I refer to as the Golden Boy (GB). GB has an affliction that some of us call "social retardation", as in he says insulting, condescending things to people and either doesn't realize it or just doesn't care. H has co-taught with GB and ended up doing most of the work. He is constantly being praised more than seems appropriate, which is why we gave him this nickname. GB isn't one to volunteer for things or go out of his way to help people in the department. I suspect that he did not actually volunteer for this job. I suspect that DC had him in mind all along, and asked him to "volunteer". I threw a wrench in the plan by volunteering myself- I suspect that DC thought nobody would. I met with DC last week and today he called me into his office to tell me that GB was selected. DC assured me that he thought both of us would do a great job, and that he gave it to GB because he didn't want my research to suffer. Should I be insulted? Why is he not worried about GB's research? It's true that I have a grant and connections to other departments for research, etc, but why would I not be able to do that if I took over this position? I thought DC was sincere when he gave me the news, but H still thinks it was all planned and that I never had a shot. I'm not sure what I think. I was kind of relieved at first, because this position would certainly be a lot of work (although it carries a course release- the real reason I think GB wanted it), but now I am not feeling very good about it. Also- this position has never been held by a woman.

P.S. In the process of my interview meeting, DC insulted my personal web page! It's not as professional as it could be, but it's fine. I was planning to update it soon, but now I feel like leaving it alone out of spite! (If you know me on Facebook, there is a link to it- it's the first one).

4 comments:

Twice said...

Very annoying. If GB is the type not to do work, this might be very interesting to watch at least.

Super Babe said...

Sorry about GB - it seems every department has one...

As for your website - I like it... sure, it doesn't look like your cookie cutter faculty page, but why would you want that? You make your research actually look fun and interesting! If only people would stop taking some things so seriously!

Addy N. said...

Twice: Yes- I'm sure it will be interesting- but he also likes to pass work off on others, so we'll see how that goes.

Super Babe: Thanks!

JustMe said...

sorry about GB. and yah, your website is fine! unless he wants to hire web designer for you, or the position requires web design expertise - ie, create 20 websites, STAT, he sounds like a jerk for doing that.