Suppose there was an imaginary university. (is that statement redundant?) Let me call this TIU (The Imaginary University). Also, suppose TIU offers summer courses. Further, suppose there is an instructor teaching 2 sections of lab during the summer. Here is a communication that instructor might have received.
Dear Person Teaching a Summer Course:
It appears you are teaching 2 sections of lab. One lab only has 13 students enrolled in it. We have determined that it is not financially appropriate for us to give you a full course pay for this partially full lab. We are going to pay you 13/15th of the previously agreed on payment for this course. Have a good day.
Wouldn’t that be silly? Let us just pretend that this was actually true. Why would this be silly?
- The biggest problem is that this is penalizing (financially) faculty for something that is really out of their control. Might as well reduce their pay if it rains also.
- I think this sets a really bad precedent. I can see what will be next, pay scales based on your grade distributions – more A’s = more pay.
- Suppose this instructor’s other lab section had 25 students in it? Would this instructor get 22/15th for that course? Because if that was the case, I guess this wouldn’t be so bad. Note that the normal lab has a maximum enrollment of 24 students.
- If there are only 13 students in the lab, will there be significantly less work?
Well, what would The Imaginary University say in response to their policy? I imagine it would be something like this:
- Don’t you understand we are serious budget issues? We already tried turning off the lights to your building on Fridays, but you keep on working there.
- This is your own fault. You should make sure that your classes have full enrollment.
- Why do you want to work during the summer anyway? Don’t we pay you enough?
- How can you have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat?
Really, I only see one solution for an instructor in this position. The instructor can insure that next summer the enrollment is high. I wonder how an instructor could do that. Hmmmm……let me see if I can think of a way to encourage students to register for classes during the summer.
Good thing this is just an imaginary university or I would be really pissed.