Junior academic staff are a barometer of a department’s well being

I LOVE where I work. There is god honest real collegiality between colleagues. Senior staff take on senior roles in the department, Faculty and at university level. Junior staff have roles that are suitable for their level, and their is training available when new roles are assigned. You are supported in everything. It is FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC.

I am extremely surprised. And maybe some of you are too.

The last place I worked, NONE of the professors had a senior role at any level unless it was highly prestigious or had power associated with it. Lecturer B’s headed up everything bar the Research Committee (which I don’t think even met the last 2 years I was there), and the REF. And the guy who did the REF (Prof. Machiavellian from an earlier post) delegated it to everyone else and then cut and pasted the responses into a document.

Junior staff then had the pleasure of Prof Machiavellian torpedoing their promotion applications for trivial reasons. Officially, you didn’t do enough, unofficially if you were young, female and not local, you were screwed. I had the pleasure of being told “we can’t promote you because there are a few guys in the department who have been here longer than you who need to get promoted first”. MUTHAFUCKA!

When I started there, it wasn’t like that. There was a local guy who was HoD and extremely proud of the uni. He was wonderful. Then he was replaced and it all went downhill.

Junior staff are like a barometer of a department’s well being. If they are complaining then there is a problem. Bottom heavy responsibility is one factor, weak leadership another. You need a strong HoD to whip the prof’s into shape otherwise they coast. What reason does a prof have to do admin when they don’t have the threat of nonpromotion over their head?

So, profs, HoD’s, treat your junior staff fairly. Junior staff are pretty powerless. Otherwise, when they move on, they’ll be writing in their blogs about what ass holes you all are.


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