We Are the Beneficiaries

vogons

As I sit here making the Spring 2017 class schedule for our department I recall the many times that I’ve heard academics lament being involved in administration. (That they equally complain about no longer being much involved in the governance of their institutions is an irony too rich to overlook.) “My condolences” is the witty reply many offer when learning that a colleague has fallen on the dagger (yes, that’s how it is portrayed) of becoming a department chair, coupled with such profuse congratulations at news of one stepping down as to make you think that it was equivalent to having your wrongful conviction overturned. Continue reading

Chutzpah isn’t Hubris

pitchmanI recall a conversation I once had, some years ago, about the possibility that our department might try to hire someone who worked on Asia, i.e., that we had submitted a proposal for such a position, but, of course, who knows if we’ll get it. The person with whom I spoke, who did his own work on Asia, replied, a little incredulously, that of course we’d get the position, no? After all, consider how important Asia is to understanding world history and global politics! The administration had to understand this, right? Continue reading