Sunday, February 22, 2009

Academic Downsizing

Our university, like many, is in the midst of a budget crisis. The math department has roughly 30 FTEs of non-tenure-line faculty (myself included), and the college has identified this as a place to cut. Now, from what I understand the salary money comes from the college and the benefits come from the university, so the college doesn't seem to be demanding that positions be cut or that people lose hours to a point where they would lose benefits. That's someone else's money. And the tuition dollars that are generated by the teaching of the low-level classes doesn't go into the college budget -- that goes to the university. So for the college it really is a savings to cancel a section that costs between $4000 and $5000 in salary but brings in over $26,000 in tuition. The salary money comes out of the college budget, but the tuition money goes into the university budget. Cut the section, save a few thousand bucks.

I'm planning on volunteering to work 75% next year. At 75%, I'd keep my benefits. Sure I'd get less money, but it's less work, too. I'd still be able to take classes for free, so maybe I'd take two classes (I'm thinking graduate-level intro statistics and art). I might actually work my way through my craft project backlog. Maybe could find time to clean my house. Heck, I might even be able to avoid doing work on weekends if I wanted to. Perish the thought, but perhaps some research might get done. Seems worth it to me.