Public R-1 Faculty Alert

This is what I have to say on advice for protecting one’s career and not spending too much time on teaching, carajo.

I love the atmosphere of a public R-1 and I wish I worked for one that had Ph.D programs in my precise interdisciplinary disciplines, but what I have to say to faculty at such places right now is FUCK YOU LAZY-ASS FUCKS!

For my sins and poor choices in life I am now reviewing applications for a Federal scholarship. Your students are being beat out entirely by students from the Ivy League and more importantly, from nameless community colleges and directional institutions. These students are either a lot smarter than yours, or they have had reasonable advice on how to prepare an application for an external grant.

I am betting they have had advice. That would be advice students at YOUR INSTITUTIONS, including MY ALMA MATER and at least one major institution FOR WHICH I HAVE WORKED and WHICH I LOVE, have obviously not received.

You have got to get your act together. The Student Affairs Officers to whom your work (most likely by administrative fiat, I know) has now been delegated, are not competent and cannot be. People who are applying for the first time for any kind of research grant have to talk to someone who has actually done this their own self. That would be YOU and not some secretary.

I realize you probably have much else to do. I understand, and I even identify with your many excuses. I accept above all that you may not care. However, much though I will continue to promote your books and even sympathize with your problems — you who have research funding, you who I have lately been assured make almost six figures (although my own direct knowledge and also research does not bear this last out) — I condemn your laziness which is extreme.

When people complain of elitism it is precisely this kind of thing they are complaining about, so be aware and get off your lazy, self-absorbed asses.

I require that additional funding be sent instantly to the nameless community colleges and directional institutions who are actually doing an important part of their condemned jobs, which is also an important part of your 2-2 and 2-1 teaching loads and that you are not doing.

As an undergraduate at a public R-1, actually a so-called public Ivy, I had such advice. I will under no circumstances accept your doing less than my professors did. I understand that times have changed, pero de cualquier modo…. There. Is. No. Excuse.

Actually, this: if you do not get off your fucking asses and do some God-damned work, I will begin to believe that the reason I got the nice, careful, correct, useful advice that I got was that I was a nice-looking little girl, and you knew my father, and I was white.

As has been said in Spanish: I shit in the milk of the filthy whore who bore you — who, thinking about it, must be Ivy League –, and my heart bleeds for the students you swindle daily.


10 thoughts on “Public R-1 Faculty Alert

  1. P.S. I am betting that the response to this:

    “Your students are being beat out entirely by students from nameless community colleges and directional institutions who are either a lot smarter than your students, or have had reasonable advice on how to prepare an application for an external grant.”

    will be something *fatuous* like this:

    “Yes, students who need such a grant should go to institutions that have the time and energy to advise them correctly.”

    To which all I would have to say, once again and roundly, would be: FUCK YOU.


    Or you will say:

    “Yes, you have my wayward students, but you also have my book, and I have more graduate students.”

    And I answer: I also have to review the half baked manuscripts you have your graduate students send out!

    (Yes! While you heroically say that you make sure your students send things off, the rest of us are actually working, as volunteers, to grade and comment upon the seminar paper you had them send on merrily. So yes, with all of this I have resentment.)


    There is one more thing I know some supercilious types will say: the original motivation of this post is an undergraduate scholarship, below your scope. Isn’t it wonderful, the division of labor: you write, but I deal with the fellowship applications of your undergraduates and the article submissions of your graduate students.

    These kinds of things, that I hear from corporate style faculty now, are not things professor at my public Ivy would have said.

  2. And it seems it was really uncharitable to have these throughts precisely Monday, a day of higher education when we were supposed to be protecting ourselves against accusations on slacking.

    But this is the thing: whenever I am irritated about picking up slack for others, it seems there are always two exhortations:
    (a) I should have just said no, and also
    (b) I should never “out” anyone else as it could do “us” harm.

    This makes me mega-frustrated-angry.

  3. Gotta fight! This is not easy for anyone, but I think it’s especially difficult for academics.

    My advice: GET VISIBLE! Bite the hand that feeds you!!! You have been trained to bite every hand but that one! This is what makes people look down on academics.

    It’s like the wife who attacks everyone in sight except her husband, who can do no wrong because he is the breadwinner.

  4. You are quite right.

    AND it is why my main theme in life is against academic advice — interestingly, it tells you to protect your interests while also being perfectly obedient, so you are supposed to have a mega ego but also none.

  5. But what I got so mad at, really, was being told only AFTER I volunteered to do this, what the work actually was. Had I realized, I’d have said no. The deception, the exploitation, the kicking-down of work, etc. – not all of us even find out how much of this goes on.

  6. Well, the same thing happened to me recently, where I had invested a lot of time and trouble but hadn’t been told what the job really was, but I was in a position to walk away from the situation.

  7. ““Yes, students who need such a grant should go to institutions that have the time and energy to advise them correctly.” To which all I would have to say, once again and roundly, would be: FUCK YOU.”

    – Exactly!!! I am so sick and tired from my own colleagues who keep suggesting that our students somehow deserve less because they didn’t manage to get into Princeton or Yale. And whenever I say that our students are just as good as those rich kids in Ivies, people stare at me like I’m deranged.

  8. I’m half done rating these applications. I’m speed rating and not doing a very good job – I hadn’t realized I’d have to do so many and do it ahead of time – so maybe I’m just as bad as the professors. But I *don’t* let applications go off in a half-assed state, ever.

    I’m starting to see why people say public R1s aren’t the best place for all undergraduates, though. Not every student gets attention any more, and you need to have other support, such as college educated parents, it seems, to be a person who comes up with a spiffy application. People from no-name schools including community colleges seem to have gotten better guidance.

    It’s true, though, that the students are equally good everywhere, in terms of raw intelligence and drive, at least. The other notable thing is what one already knows – how much they work at their jobs nowadays – still, seeing it written out does always amaze; I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from a tough school but was always studying and did not work during the school year.

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