Workplace Dynamics And The Treatment Of Support Staff

A couple of days ago, my Brooklyn College colleague Corey Robin asked (on his Facebook page): How many academics would get tenure if the review took into account how they treated the department’s secretarial staff? A year or so after I had begun work at Bell Laboratories, I told a new hire that she shouldContinue reading “Workplace Dynamics And The Treatment Of Support Staff”

Vale Norman Foo (1943-2015)

On July 23rd, while on vacation in Canada with my family, I received a brief email from an old friend informing me that Norman Foo, Professor Emeritus at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, had passed away. Norman had been diagnosed with lung cancer–he was a non-smoker–early in 2012. His responseContinue reading “Vale Norman Foo (1943-2015)”

An Old Flame (No, Not That Kind)

Writing about the adversarial disputation styles present in academic philosophy reminded me of the time I lost my temper at someone who worked in the same department as me. (I don’t use the term ‘colleague’ advisedly. This dude was anything but.) Then, I was in the computer science department at Brooklyn College, and had forContinue reading “An Old Flame (No, Not That Kind)”

The New American Dream: Becoming An Academic Administrator

Go West, young man; or perhaps, go into plastics. And now, go become an academic administrator. The City University of New York’s new chancellor, James Milliken, will soon be drawing upon his $670,000 salary. When he does so, he’ll be able to entertain guests in style at his $18,000 a month apartment on the UpperContinue reading “The New American Dream: Becoming An Academic Administrator”

On Safe and Unsafe Academic Workplaces: An Email to a Colleague

Here, on this blog, I have often written posts about the academic life. Some of those posts have concerned themselves with the state of affairs in my discipline, philosophy, and yet others have been more generally directed–perhaps about academic publishing, for instance. A recurring concern in my posts on academia might be termed ‘workplace issues’–mattersContinue reading “On Safe and Unsafe Academic Workplaces: An Email to a Colleague”

American Workers to Bosses: You’re Always Right

Rebecca Schuman recently noted the case of an academic job applicant who lost out on a job offer because she dared negotiate: [A] job candidate identified as “W” recently received an offer for a tenure-track position at Nazareth College… W viewed the original bid as the opening move in a series of negotiations, and thus submitted… [a] counteroffer, afterContinue reading “American Workers to Bosses: You’re Always Right”