I got an email from my Dean last week. The email went out to all of the College's non-permanent faculty and says that we might get a raise starting in the Fall. I was like, that sounds pretty good. The email goes on to point out that there are potential problems, as of course we all knew it would. For one thing, the legislature could put the kibosh on it. For another thing, the raise is contingent on whether the school meets its enrollment goals. The Dean concludes the email by pointing out that we all have an interest in ensuring that the students have an obstacle-free path to enrollment.
I realize, of course, that most Deans are incompetent psychopaths. But what the hell is that supposed to mean? Does the Dean imagine that the temporary faculty spend their summers putting obstacles in the paths of students who are trying to to enroll? What influence could he possibly think I have over this process?
The more I think about this, the more angry I get. I teach a lot of classes--many more than my colleagues (this calendar year, I will teach 10 more classes than a typical TT person in my department; this figure includes summer school courses, which are elective). I work hard to do a good job. My evaluations are above average for the department and the College, I get good feedback on my classroom visits, and many of our best majors have come to the department through my intro classes. This school makes such extensive use of non-permanent faculty that it could not function without us and our hard work. And this guy emails us not to say, thanks for all the hard work that keeps this institution of higher education running, but the vaguely threatening you better not get in the way of us meeting our enrollment goals or you won't get a raise.