We had to have an emergency faculty meeting before school ended in May. The Minister of Education is slashing funds again like a medieval raid on the neighboring village. There are swords flying and the plundering is without sacrifice. Few knew to get into their armor as there was little warning. This was the end of my 9th year at the university and for 7 of them, we have heard that the native speaking instructors were going to be let go.
For once, the native speakers were not in anyone’s cross hair for extermination. All of those poor souls who never quite achieved getting that last level, earning their doctorate, were on the chopping block. All those who were a part-time instructor are now a no-time instructor. Bye, bye! Don’t look back.
There had to be a catch, there always is. If nothing else, the native speaking instructors give veracity the programs they teach in. We have heard reports of some of the Hungarian language instructors in the romance or other languages who cannot utter a word in the tongue they teach. Yet, those of us who cannot climb the academic ladder due to our lack of Hungarian knowledge, carry the brunt of the load.
When I first started, we had to teach 15 credits. That was not too bad considering one of my courses met 3 times and week for five hours and was 5 credits. Over time, this was changed to 18 credits, but the courses we taught had also changed over time making it bearable. Also, if you were a thesis adviser, you received credit above your teaching load. Where I went to school, the advisers were paid extra for advising.
Now with the slash and burn system in place, we have to teach 18 hours, not credits. At first glance that seemed manageable, but then the BUT came. But we cannot count our thesis advising toward our hours. But we cannot have tutorials. But we must have a minimum enrollment of 10 students in a class or our class will not count toward our mandated hours.
And the memo ends with this. Please know that the Dean is going to monitor the number of courses we teach + the number of students each year. And there will be faculty layoffs too, that is quite certain …
Sometimes students cannot understand those faculty members that they feel are apathetic or are just not preparing enough for their classes. What they don’t understand even when told is that it is sometimes difficult to know you job is on the line all of the time. With these new mandates for a minimum of 10 in a class, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing advertisements in the hallways.
Please let summer drag by, please…