#TBT Things That Make You Go Buh?!? Higher Education

Just when you think higher education can’t get any screwier than it already is, someone comes along with a hold my beer moment.

Case in point, this article by Nell Gluckman in the 4/24/18 edition of chronicle.com that examines an effort by the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale to recruit unpaid adjunct faculty.

Of course, they didn’t call it unpaid. Why do that when there’s perfectly good jargon to unbox (emphasis added):

In an email to department chairs, Michael R. Molino, associate dean for research, budget, and personnel, asked for help in finding alumni with terminal degrees who would apply “to join the SIU Graduate Faculty in a zero-time (adjunct) status.”

Congratulations, you’re not homeless, you’re a zero-time renter/homeowner.

Wow. Just, wow.

On the bright side, at least all those music performance DMA students can look forward to having something to occupy their days until they win an audition (too soon?).

Is it any wonder that two of the last three April Fools posts drew from very real developments in higher education?

New Tuition Assistance Program Aspires To Reinvent Escalating Education Costs

Major Conservatory Launches Revolutionary Scholarship Indemnity Program

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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