So I'm feeling perversely free this evening. Why so?
As you know, I was hired at this job to grow this tiny program. I am the ONLY faculty member. I have spent the last four months dutifully doing the very tedious job of curriculum revision, proposing brand new courses, etc. (Which have been approved, as of last week - yay, me, I suppose.) What has become clear to me over the last couple of months is how incredibly isolated I feel in my job, being a program of one. I don't like it. I didn't realize I'd dislike it so much, but I do. I have an "Advisory Committee", but they're totally burnt out - the last meeting I called, two of the other three people just didn't show up. Uh-huh. Gee, do I feel supported.
The program currently offers a minor, but basically no student does a minor because they haven't had the faculty resources to commit to teaching enough courses for people to realistically minor in it. That doesn't get much better with me - I teach a 2-2 load. Since 1-1 of that load is the Intro courses - Intro I and Intro II - that sure as hell doesn't free up much for offering any more courses and enabling students to actually take this program.
So of course, for next year, my Chair and I hoped to hire an adjunct to teach 2-3 courses in addition to my 4. (Well, I don't hope for an adjunct, I hope for a full-time hire, but that's not happening.) I was just counting on this happening, in fact. Of course, I thought, it's a no-brainer. You can't grow a program without throwing some (admittedly, inadequate) resources at it.
What do I learn today? From on high comes word that there will be no sessional hires next year. There will be only me again, teaching my 2-2 load. This is the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard. As I say above, it is not possible to grow - or even really offer - a program under these circumstances.
But I must say, I feel incredibly, laughingly free. You know why? Because it means I can leave this godforsaken institution with no guilt, without looking back. I feel lied to, I feel like my job is completely pointless. Why should I stay here? So I can toil away in isolation, as the bone that was thrown to what were considered to be a bunch of whiny faculty members, to shut them up? That's humiliating, frankly.
Let's review, shall we?
- Because of the lack of resources, students can't take a minor properly. (In fact, if I feel any guilt, it's about the completely misleading existence of this program in the calendar, masquerading as a viable minor...I have first-year students who are liking it, and want to do a minor.)
- I have no colleagues, hence nobody with whom to bounce around ideas and share the admin workload (there is some, when you're supposed to be growing a pointless program).
- I can't mount a course in the very thing which is the area of my expertise, which also absolutely should be a required course because every student should have a Theory course, since a territorial person from another department (who is not an expert in this area, I mean) has put on a similar course and made it clear that they will raise hell if I teach this.
- I'm liking working with grad students (i.e. the two I have in my class, and being the University examiner on this defense the other day) and have a potential one I'll be co-supervising next year. But grad studies is a right mess, resulting in me having to give uncompensated directed reading courses to every single grad student who crosses my threshold because there are no courses for them.
- I have a higher-up with whom my every interaction feels punitive.
So, I call bullshit, and that is liberating, see.