The All-Administrative University

In the Fall of 2014, the Utah Valley University Faculty Senate, of which I was a member, passed this resolution . . .

On the Value of Teaching and Research in the Context of Existing Salary Structures and Hiring Decisions

Whereas there is a sharp disparity between the declaration in the UVU Mission Statement of what we value (UVU builds on a foundation of substantive scholarly and creative work to foster engaged learning) and the following facts:

  1. of the top 50 salaries at the university, virtually all are paid to administrators or to people who have been administrators,
  2. our best scholars and teachers are absent from this list,
  3. salaries for administrators have increased by about 30% over the past five years while salaries for faculty have increased only by several 1% increments during the same period,
  4. for every full-time member of the faculty, there are 1.9 support people on salary,
  5. almost half of all classes at UVU are taught by adjunct faculty who are exploited in ways that make substantive scholarly and creative work impossible,

Be it resolved that action be taken on multiple fronts and by multiple bodies to replace this system antithetical to the values of a good university with a system that truly values teaching and research.

 

. . . The resolution had no effect on the practices of our university.

Now this cogent argument that gets at several of the issues we were addressing:

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/whose-university-is-it-anyway/#!

 

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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