Thursday, July 26, 2007

now.. NOW the checks can come pouring in!

I received a rather bulky parcel in the mail today and it turned out to be my Diploma!

Now I am the Master of My Own Domain, or something very much like it..

Turns out I got my thesis ok'd in time to graduate as of "the fifteenth day of July, 2007."

I suppressed a momentary urge to go out and get a beer, and watched a Simpson's episode instead. The BAG was going to come over tonight, but her suicidal move into the ghetto was not quite complete, so she switched to tomorrow night. Alas, it would have been a bit more of a celebration had she been around.

I suppose this really means that I could head to Korea at any time I want, now. Conversation at work revolves around the 'threat' that the chancellor is going to come and sweep us all out of our positions (well, not me, as I'm classified - and leaving anyway). This would be perverse in the way that all CC decisions are perverse. After all, for over a year (since the new management team landed) we have grown beyond all expectations, including dwarfing the growth of our sister college who, by all rights, should be swamping us.

but the paranoid logic goes something like this:

No good deed goes unpunished, and as our chancellor intends to make his statewide career off of his work at Swamp Valley College District, he needs to make the district "his." We are in one of those states exploding with young Hispanics, and the issue of the next few decades is going to be how to give access to this population. The chancellor, therefore, will need to make SVC a Hispanic Serving Institution and then claim an expertise that can move up to the statewide scale. This is certainly believable because the chancellor, while very effective, is also remarkably self-serving (at this level all adminstrators are). So far so good, but I am just naive enough to wonder why this would necessitate a wholescale elimination of management.

Our deans, certainly, have been indolent to the point of coma. Much of the growth we have accomplished has been with me cast in the role of Cassandra (at first) waving sheaths of paper in the air and yelling "I can predict what sections we can fill, if we would only open them!" But even the somnolent deans (well, most) have seen the reality of this and now when I look at local demos and past rosters they grudgingly listen and open (albeit at a fearfully conservative pace) new sections. Which fill. So we should grow. That I am doing the research and suggestion is reason enough to fire all the deans.

On the student-services side, all is not perfect, but all is way better than it was two years ago, and although there is deadwood it needs pruning not uprooting. The paranoids point to the fact that we have already had two new administrators come in who are Hispanic. Pointing out that they replaced two Hispanic departees is for naught.

Then there is the issue of academic inertia - it is hard to get rid of employees, even contract ones (primarily deans and administrators). Here at SVC everyone, with the exception of the anglos, has an ethnic identification that brings with it automatic local support. We have learned, in years past, that you let an employee go, and these ethnic identifications immediately conjure up support - and loud public support that the board really doesn't like to see. So the only way to force a contract employee out is to make their life so miserable that they want to leave. This is a fine line, however, as the threat of the "workplace atmosphere" suit always lingers in the air. And, indeed, SVCD has a longstanding and solid tradition of ex-employees winning lawsuits - sometimes retirement quality versions.

Instructors, of course, are protected by tenure and ultimately unimportant to chancellorial designs - not only that, they turnover at a glacial rate and only new-hires represent a way to change things. Classified are protected by union, and it is difficult to lay them off - certainly not in numbers that would constitute a re-organization. So one way or another it will come down to the contract admins, if change is to come.

I'll be interested in watching this play out. If I go and one other key person on the marketing team goes, the growth will certainly ratchet back a bit - the deans just haven't been pounded enough yet to be sensible. At that point, who knows? The re-org might come, heads might roll, and from very far away... say Korea.. I will point and laugh.

No comments: