Future Chair?

I met with the dean this morning and expressed the concerns that I had about the position.

1. I don’t have all my classes prepped for my two year class rotation, so that will be stressful to do while taking on chair duties as well. If I were to start being chair for the Fall 2012 school year there would be much less stress on my part.

2. I want to get my research program here up and running in the summers. So I want to make sure that I have the time to do that and I’m afraid that the chair duties will take away from that. My plan was to write grants over this summer and the next year for funding for the 2012 summer.
She completely understood and sympathized with my reservations. The general plan is now the following:

I will attend the chair’s meeting in Florida in February (yay!). Next year myself and the current chair will enter a “transition year” where I will take over the majority of the duties but he will serve as my mentor and will help me with tasks if/when I get overwhelmed. However, I will ultimately be the “point” person who will make the final decisions. Though I don’t see me making a lot of decisions the first year or two without his guidance as he has already served as a great teaching mentor for me as his office is right next door. The following year (Fall 2012, my third year here) I’ll take over as full chair.

In addition we’ll keep on the adjunct we currently have to teach my labs for as long as possible to keep my load to 9 contact hours each semester (what I’m currently doing, a 3/4 teaching load). Also, I’ll get a pay raise of 1.12 multiplication factor (at least that it what it appears to be based on the new salary scale we have now). So my $51,000/yr salary would become 1.12 * $51,000, which is $57,120. That is quite a substantial pay increase and I think well worth the work that I would be putting in. This would increase my tax home pay after taxes $400 a month. That is A LOT of money.

So I’m definitely leaning towards doing this. I know that I’m capable of the job, I know that my colleagues think I’m capable. I’ve had two faculty members who don’t know about these conversations I’ve been having asking me if I will be the chair next year. Thus it is a vote of confidence that they would naturally consider me as a possibility.

I also found out that a huge reason why a lot of the other faculty members in my department aren’t taking on the responsibility is because the administration won’t let them. There are 3 faculty members that the administration won’t LET be chair for personal conflict reasons and another 5 that aren’t qualified based on the bi-laws of the university.  Thus, there are really very few options and of those options I am apparently the most “desired” by both the department and the administration.

It is a very interesting scenario, I think that taking on this extra responsibility at work is far superior than getting a second job somewhere else (as I’ve been contemplating doing the past few months).  And will make it much easier for me when I go up for tenure and title advancement (re: more salary and job security) to support my ‘service’ to the university.

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9 Responses to Future Chair?

  1. psychsarah says:

    Sounds like they’re willing to do what it takes to make this work for you. Very cool.

  2. That sounds great! I agree that it makes more sense to focus on more responsibility at the job you already have than to take on another one. Diversification is great, but so is being able to excel at something by focusing more on it.

  3. eemusings says:

    I am so happy for you and so excited!

  4. Thanks for stopping by!

    Congrats! That sounds amazing!

  5. I hope you’re not *too* concerned about the number of personal conflicts — that is so common in my experience. I’m not a professor or teaching, but some of my dear friends are. I think you are spot on in your analysis that this will help you as you think about tenure and long-term advancement. Sounds like the transition year will be good in that if at the end of it, you feel the need to seriously re-evaluate, you can. I say full steam ahead!

    • SS4BC says:

      Actually the number didn’t surprise me because the people they have conflicts with are the same ones I wouldn’t want representing me anyway. They’re too aggressive against administration for too little reason.

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