My guess is that the first faculty meeting after one’s sabbatical year is never an easy one, but when that faculty meeting happens during a state budget implosion the likes of which no one can recall, it’s kind of like parachuting into an exploding monkey factory.
The high point:
We got to discussing the potential long-term (post-furlough and other stop-gap measures) impacts of drastically reduced state funding on our teaching loads. One possibility raised was that faculty might each have to take on another course each semester, with no possibility for “reassigned time” (which releases one from a course for research, committee work, curricular development, or whatever).
One of the early-to-mid-career faculty asked, “What can we do if that happens?”
Our chair replied, “I’m guessing a bunch of us will retire then.”
Please excuse me while I curl up in fetal position.