Post Academic

The Hidden Admin: Your IT Guy/Gal

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by postacademic on August 11, 2010
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PhotobucketRecently, Arnold and I described the administrators you will encounter in the Academic World and the Hamster World. But I realized that I left out one crucial Hamster World Admin: the IT Guy/Gal.

IT People are rare in the academic world due to the latest budget cuts. It isn’t that they aren’t necessary, but for some reason universities don’t have nearly enough of them. The presence of IT people is a Hamster World luxury that I greatly appreciate.

So, how do you deal with IT People? Well, for starters, IT People have a reputation for being eccentrics. I once briefly worked with an IT guy who showed up on the job wearing a dog collar. They will not look like you, nor will they act like you. They understand how much power they have since we are all dependent on computers, so they do not follow the same set of rules that you do.

For that reason, they might seem like rude slobs who don’t know what they are doing. That is not so. Treat them with respect, and thank them whenever they fix your computer or get you back online.

More after the jump! Image of a geeky rubber duck by powerbooktrance from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license.

Information Hoarding Is As Bad As Stuff Hoarding

Dean Dad over at Inside Higher Ed offered up a provocative title: “Making Yourself Dispensable.” At first, I thought it would be a guide on what not to do to get tenure. Instead, he offered a compelling argument against keeping information to yourself in order to boost your security in the workplace:

“I’ve seen administrators try to make themselves indispensable by hoarding information or by constructing elaborate networks of side deals in which they fancy themselves key nodes. It never ends well.”

When it comes to your publications, it’s one thing to take center stage and carve your own niche, but Dean Dad is right about the day-to-day workings of a department or any other workplace. Acting like a cast member of Survivor will only get you voted off the island.

Administrators: Are They on the Dark Side or the Other Side?

Posted in Broke-Ass Schools,The Education Industry by Caroline Roberts on April 15, 2010
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Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionTerri Givens wrote an enlightening article at Inside Higher Ed about the time she spent as an administrator. Earlier, I wrote about professors getting a bum rap, and I often direct my rage toward administrators, who earn far more money than professors do, at least according to Bain & Company’s recent study of UC Berkeley’s financial problems.

Givens, however, offers a perspective that makes me pause a little bit before railing against administrators:

People tend to assume that I am happier being a faculty member rather than an administrator – that I have returned from “the dark side.” Many of these people don’t seem to understand that this is a false dichotomy. I feel that it is a responsibility for those of us on the faculty with administrative skills to spend time in administration. There is no “dark side” if we consider that faculty as a whole are responsible for the governance of a university. We are all administrators in one way or another, whether you are a member of your department voting for changes to your graduate curriculum, or the president of a university.

More after the jump! Fantasy image of an administrative fatcat from Wikimedia Commons, public domain. (Actually a caricature of Leopold de Rothschild from Vanity Fair, 1884.) (more…)