Bad news this morning;…

Bad news this morning; UIC is instituting furlough days for faculty. It's painful -- one day per month for the next four months, for each of us. Which works out to somewhere around $2500 taken out of our household's joint spring semester salaries. Hopefully, they can stick to this, and not add on additional days this semester.

Hiring freeze across the board at UIC too, which is very frustrating since we had two searches planned in Asian American Studies, and were just about to start contacting applicants re: interviews. I suppose better now than after they'd bought plane tickets, or worse, taken the time and effort to come out and interview. But still, miserable news. Very sorry, applicants. It's a hellish year to be on the academic job market.

We'll cross our fingers and hope that they lift the freeze, but it's all dependent on the state actually giving us the money they promised the university. Apparently we've only received 7% of our 2009-2010 budget so far, which makes it pretty damn hard to operate a university.

In theory, I'm not allowed to work on my furlough days, which I suppose means that I could cancel class one day a month, stay home and sleep. But since I only teach Tues/Thurs, that seems...well, problematic, at any rate. Within my rights, I suppose, but very hard on the students. I'll cut an admin day instead, which shouldn't be too hard, since a lot of my admin work this semester was going to be in helping with these now frozen searches. My teaching will proceed as scheduled, barring further cuts.

3 thoughts on “Bad news this morning;…”

  1. I’m sorry about the furloughs and hiring freezes. I am amazed that UIC didn’t have to take those measures before now. Illinois is facing the third largest 2010 budget gap out of all the states, falling behind only NY and CA:

    I hope that the state is able to rustle up enough money to keep UIC going without further painful cuts.

    I don’t work directly for a university but deal with some a lot in my job, and the general feeling among my contacts is that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

  2. Furlough days? Does this mean I can expect more emails from professors saying “No class tomorrow, kids, I’m taking the day off”?

    I’m not asking this in a “Yes, class might be canceled!” kind of way, but wondering what this next semester is going to look like. School during an economic crisis…though I suppose most professors, like you, will just take admin days off to spare us.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Hopefully not, but it’ll be up to the individual faculty to decide that. We know at least one professor who is pretty angry about the furloughs, and said that if they do make him take days off, he’ll take class days. And some faculty do teach every week day, so they don’t necessarily have the option I do, of taking off a day I don’t teach.

    But I think if anyone takes that route, at least this semester, they’ll probably be able to tell you at the beginning of the semester. Unless they add more furlough days mid-semester, that is.

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