Thursday, July 20, 2006

We Interrupt the Navel-Gazing of the Previous Post....

Because we (well, I - I'm not sure why I'm using the royal We, especially as I'm not wearing my tiara) just received a call from a colleague who is the director of a program to which I am connected through a committee on which I serve. The colleague has offered me an opportunity that would guarantee me Reassigned Time (ala the title of the blog; you will notice I've been pretty quiet about the fact that the title of the blog seemed to have become obsolete) for Fall and for Spring. This would mean I'd have a 3/3 teaching load instead of a 4/4 teaching load. And I'm sure I'd get some sort of title, too.

BUT. With Reassigned Time comes Obligations, too. On the surface, these seem to be relatively small. No more, surely, than the obligations related to teaching a class. But this would not be a free ride. My instinct is that I need to think carefully about this "opportunity." I have said I'll get back to him on Monday. I don't know what I want to do.

Initial thoughts:
  • If I wanted a future in administration, this would be a good thing to do. I don't at all want to be an administrator right now, though, so this plus isn't really all that enticing.
  • I loved teaching just three courses last Spring. But if teaching three courses would mean that I had to teach 2 writing and only one lit course again I might kill myself. Am I living in a fantasy land if I wonder whether it would be possible to state that I would do this job if and only if I were guaranteed that the course that would be dropped would be a writing course?
  • While this would be a good thing at my current institution, I fear that it could become a total time-suck and wouldn't do me any good in contexts outside of my current institution (i.e., the job market).
Ok, my wise readers, taking all of this into account, what would you do?


Derrick said...

OK, Doc, you just listed three negative possibilities connected with the opportunity. What was the positive again?

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

On the job market front -- is this opportunity something that will make your CV stand out? If so, go for it.

The thing about release-time deals is that they are usually more work than teaching a so-so class, but you are generally more in control of your time allocation, so it seems like you have more freedom.

I think it is ok to specify which classes you give up. I did that last year when I had a release time. If they don't let you specify, then say no. If they want you they'll make it work.

Dr. Crazy said...

Ok, well, all of the things I listed did SOUND negative, but this "opportunity" wouldn't necessarily be a negative for me. I am definitely the one in a position of power on this one in that I'm the first person they thought to ask to take this on, and really I would be the best person for the gig. The question is, do I want it? That's what I don't really know. At least I had the presence of mind to say I wanted the weekend to think it over. I've pretty much already decided that if it's a yes, it's a yes with demands, in that I would want a guarantee that the course I'd be released from would be from one of my writing courses in each semester that I do this job. I would also want the duties for the job very clearly outlined (which they are, but I want something that gives me a way of saying "not my problem" if need be) in writing, and I want it made clear that I'd be agreeing to this for one year and then we could evaluate how it's working. But, even with all that (and I'm fairly certain they'd give it all to me), I'm still not sure if it's what I want. Teaching less writing, whatever replaces it, would make my life better, but I don't know.... This position could (I fear, not necessarily) hold some hassles for me, and I don't know that I want any more hassles than I've got. Ugh.

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Is this an opportunity that could cause you problems as an untenured person? I've usually heard it's best to avoid administrative-like things until you have tenure.

(Having said that, I'd kind of incline towards taking it, but only if you can specify which classes you'll give up.)