Friday, October 08, 2010
My week really started on Tuesday, at least the stressful part. I went to KU for an NSF conference. It was really informative, but we (I went with 3 colleagues) had to leave at 4:30 a.m. to get there. 3 hours sitting in the van each way and most of the time there was spent sitting at meetings--my butt really hurt after that. I got home at 9:30 at night and went almost straight to bed.
Wednesday morning I had a meeting at 7:30 a.m. (barely made it because I had to drop the kids off at school right before it). It was an emergency meeting because those of in the meeting have to write reports due next Wed at 5 p.m. justifying our underperforming degrees (I'm the dept. head of the Physical Science Dept.). I have 3 reports to write--Chem/Biochem, Physics, and Medical Technology. That's the most of any dept head and correlates to all my majors, except for one transfer degree program. It's depressing, not just because I could lose my degrees, but also looking around the room at the others on the chopping block and seeing the other fields that are important to the economic and cultural makeup of our community. Most of us should be okay and I have been energized because I have great support to put in my reports, but the time frame is daunting and exhausting. I still have to teach my regular classes, I still have to deal with my regular administrative load, I still have be a wife and a mother, I still have to take care of myself, but there's only so many hours in the day. It's just a numbers game--my degrees are underperforming because we don't produce the magic number of 10 graduates a year. My graduates go onto grad school, professional school, and employment directly in their fields, but its not enough. My arguments for keeping the programs are sound (well, at least in 2 of the cases) and I think we'll be able to keep them (at least those 2, and the other one we're fighting the good fight), but its exhausting and frustrating and demoralizing. Thanks for listening.