15 July 2009

Higher Ed is Hurting

"...expected that faculty members would not take furloughs on their teaching days."

The NYTimes story on cuts in the UC system outlines the furloughs across all campuses, all categories of employees. The quote above is not intended to imply that only faculty members will be working without compensation. (A furlough without a true reduction in work load is actually a pay cut.)

On a campus, all services and offices are needed to produce the learning environment. So, while an office may have a furlough—a day closed to delivering services—that doesn't mean that the people taking that furlough will be relieved of the work. They'll just spread it across the rest of the week through missed lunches or extended work days. The same tasks must be accomplished in order to keep a campus running.

So, just as a campus will count on faculty to show up for class (and be prepared to teach it), it will also count on staff to get all their work done, too. Admittedly, if I were on a campus today, I would prefer to be told I was taking a furlough, not a pay cut.

For continued coverage of the effects of the economic downturn on higher ed, go to Ray Schroeder's blog: Recession Realities in Higher Education.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

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