Wednesday, February 2, 2011

off-campus teaching and families

Just after I bragged that Tiny U is 95% family friendly, our administration handed down a new rule about Summer Programs (off-campus teaching, such as fieldschools and study abroad). Contrary to previous policies, faculty teaching Summer Programs are now unable to bring their families with them, except for spouses who are also co-instructors of the course. This means that Dr. Mr. Palimpsest and I can't run our summer fieldschool unless we leave Bunny and Pumpkin at home. I guess they're supposed to forage for themselves. This policy will make it impossible for single parents and most parents of small children to run Summer Programs.

What really pissed me off was the language of the new policy. If the administration had said, "sorry, it's a liability thing," I would be frustrated, but not insulted. What the policy actually says, though, is that family members can't come on these courses because faculty need to be able to concentrate on their jobs, and they won't be able to give the students their full attention if their family is with them. I see. So, as a mother, I'm incapable of doing my job, since my family takes up too much of my mental abilities. Sheesh.


  1. WHAT?!? Really? Is it an expense thing (no state money whatsoever can pay for food for an instructor's child, etc.) or is it literally, your family cannot be on the premises, even for a visit? Because they cut into the 23.5 hours a day you should be working? If the latter, this is complete bull****.


  2. It's the later. We already pay for the kids/spouses expenses out of our own pockets. I agree - seems like we're really opening ourselves up to a lawsuit, here.

  3. That sounds crazy to me. If you're paying all expenses, what business is it of the college's what you do when the work day ends? Maybe some faculty member was seen as abusing the former policy or something(?), but punishing everyone doesn't seem like a good response to such an incident.

    If you're expected to be working 24 hours a day during a summer program (which is what that policy clearly implies), it seems sensible that you should be paid for a 24/7 schedule of work hours as well. Perhaps the Summer Programs faculty could make a salary adjustment request! Of course, the students should get a 24/7 schedule's worth of course credit for keeping you busy every hour of the field season, too.