Monday, August 10, 2009

Paid vacation? How 'bout $300K?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Can you believe this nonsense?

State-funded colleges are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars -- in some cases per person -- for academics to take a break from, um, working.

Sure, administrators say they're out of touch and need to bone up on their subject before returning to the classroom. But, when a 70-year-old is paid almost $400,000 to take a break, only to return to campus to co-teach an intro-level music class (for a cool $235,000 -- more than twice what their "boss" makes), it really makes you wonder what we're actually funding here. And since we're talking about a state school, we are funding it.

And, it's worth noting the below article doesn't mention benefits. How much do you want to bet they are included and not part of the calculation?

Wouldn't the university do better to pay less for a younger, more-in-tune instructor who is already immersed in their subject?

And, how in the hell is it that at a 70-year-old academic is so lacking in knowledge that they can't co-teach an intro-level music class without months of preparation?

Hey UNC: I'm a classically trained, award-winning flutist who used to teach lessons. I could co-teach for you. Heck, I'll only ask a third of what what's-his-face wants. Make it a sixth. Just give me a week's paid retreat and I'll be ready to go.

For being the top-tier of the brainy-class, the folks who run the University of North Carolina sure don't seem to understand that we're in the middle of a craptastic economy. Though, maybe giant wads of cash make your brain soft. Fortunately, Darwin's predicted how this will go: It's time to evolve the greedy out of the nest, y'all.

Inside the UNC system, a little-known policy for administrative leave called “retreat rights” is in broad use at the state's 16 public universities.

Over the past five years, UNC records show, taxpayers have paid roughly $8 million to 117 administrators who either returned to the faculty or ultimately left the university. In 24 cases, the payouts were for $100,000 or more.

A (Raleigh) News & Observer review found that these agreements, along with other transitional payments, offered sizable sums of money with few or no strings attached. In at least three cases, they violated UNC system policies. In some cases, they rewarded administrators with as much as a year's salary for a job poorly done.

At UNC Chapel Hill alone, more than 25 administrators have been rewarded with paid leaves or enhanced pay for lesser positions, including former chancellor James Moeser.

Moeser was paid $390,000 in 2008 to prepare to teach; this year, he will be paid more than $234,000 for co-teaching one class each semester and mentoring faculty members who are considering going into administration. His salary is nearly twice the average salary paid to other full professors in the music department.

The universities have retreat rights policies in place to help administrators, who often haven't taught in several years, retool for the classroom.

Read the rest of this article at Charlotte.com.

It's also worth noting this part of the article:

Woodward said it may be hard for the public to understand paying for these leaves, but it is important for the universities to offer them.

He said leaves were granted to former professors with tenure, and if they have tenure, “It's because you've been a very good faculty member.”

WTF? "A very good faculty member"? That's a steaming load right there that doesn't even begin to describe what instructors have to go through to be granted tenure.

If you'd like a tinsy bit of insight into how a newbie instructor claws their way into a tenured position, click here. Hint: It has nothing to do with being a good boy or girl.

Here's a geek (seriously) who's willing to explain how to get tenure:

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