The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ms. Popular

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I arrived home to find a message on my answering machine from the chair of the Business department at work. He wants to know what my availability is for the fall semester. It seems he has several sections of the law course that I taught last fall, and he wants to give me first crack at the courses.


So, here's the dilemma. I don't know how many sections of Critical Thinking will be offered next semester. The course is a first semester course for freshman, so there will be many sections. But since I am an adjunct, I have to fight with my fellow adjuncts for whatever scraps are left.

The business chair want me to call ASAP. So, should I contact the chair of my department first and explain the situation, hoping he has some idea of what will be offered and ask for sections? Or do I call the business chair back and find out exactly how many sections he is planning and the time and days for each, and then go to my chair?

I don't want to alienate my chair who hired me in the first place. The reason why I taught the law class was because the person who was supposed to teach it quit three days before the beginning of the semester. It just happened that the business chair and my chair were discussing the situation and my chair mentioned my name as a possible replacement. I have a good relationship with both chairs and like to keep it that way. Ideally, I would like to teach both courses.

Which leads me to another question...

At what point do you start lobbying for a full time position? OK, I have taught at this school for almost a full academic year, which is not a significant amount of time. I do have prior experience under my belt, which should carry some weight. My evals for last semester were stellar, nothing less than a 4 out of 5 for my CT classes (including the class from hell) and my law class. I could make a good case for any research, as I have some ideas. But, I don't know if I should wait and get more ducks lined up or strike while the iron is hot.

OK academic gurus...share your genius.


Ellen said...

Giving original dapt head a "head's up" could naturally and organically lead to talk of a full time position. If not in budget, maybe someone at a dean's level can create a cross-divisional (??, multidepartment) position just for you to hit against several budgets (so you don't cost any one dept too much). It may be easier for them to do that for salary then benefits, but since you have them, you can offer to take them off the table.

Ideas from an ex-academic...

And the attention? WELL DESERVED! I am so happy this place is so much more respectful of you than other (lesser) places have nbeen

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Excellent problem to have!!

I used to have to balance three schools. The way I did it was to give everyone a heads-up when the discussion of the next semester started...

So, let the hiring chair know the Business Chair wants to use you more. There may not be anything the hiring chair can tell you for sure, but if the hiring chair knows you'll have X number of sections, you can tell the business chair how much availability you'll have.

If the hirning chair can't tell you, then tell the Business Chair they can have you as soon as they make an offer and the hiring chair will have to work something out around what Business Chair wants to give you.

As for a full-time position -- that's tricky. I'd start with a one-year position and work up... the tricky thing is that departments LOVE to have searches, at least they love the idea that they'll have lots of choices.

Anonymous said...

no advice here, everyone else said good things. but, congrats, that's great!!