I want to e-mail this but should not. I have to get it out of me.
The narrative of the beginning of all of this I got from X, with difficulty, during the summer, was:
1. Y had been coaching student practice many hours a semester, for honorarium of $100.
2. The importance of the $100 was that it defined this work as something separate from regular workload. Y did not need to do this work to comply with regular duties.
3. When the $100 was withdrawn Y was offered the possibility of claiming this work as part of service and/or research, or of not doing it — this latter being difficult because it is necessary work to hold the program together, cannot be left undone, X said.
4. The alternative would be for department to find another way to get coaching for the students; other departments have students pay, for instance. But there was pressure, for program integrity, on this instructor to coach for free, X implied.
5. This redefinition of workload, said X, had implications for everyone. What more extra work could the university assign, and tell people to account for it as part of regular workload?
6. Y, however, did not wish to complain and according to X the reason was fear of dismissal. Again, X was concerned about implications for others. Saying this work could now be counted as service or research changed job descriptions, definitions of research and service, and took the descriptions of these things away from faculty, said X.
7. So X decided to go on a campaign, which led to everything else that has happened.
a/ Did Y really feel threatened or coerced?
b/ Was program integrity really threatened if the coaching was not done?
c/ Did the department consider any other way to get the coaching done?
d/ Are other faculty concerned about the disappearance of coaching?
e/ Are there other faculty doing excessive service?
I never got answers to these practical questions. What X has done seems overwrought for what had been in essence a practical problem: students apparently need coaching and if the university provides it, and it is not included in tuition, there needs to be some kind of lab fee to pay for it.
It took me a long time to try to make sense of X’s initial complaints. I don’t know how accurate this narrative is, but I tried to come up with something rational, as opposed to faux rational, and ended up in this game with X where X appeared to be trying to turn me into an instrument for co-creation of psychodrama. It then turned out that X was engaged in similar games with many others.
I have delegated this and must stay out, rise above the poison.