Then I was showing the dresses to someone and she said, "How do I get it on?"
And I said, "I usually start with champagne…."
Such a fitting quip for life!
Right now we're trying to weather the mandate and then the hard part will begin. The Dean said that the only thing not negotiable are professorial faculty, and he has since clarified that while our cut over 1-2 years will be 1-2 million, for right now, for next fiscal year, they want us to cut $400,000. Our department chair has decided that this will be in form of the RPTA program ($125,000) with the remaining $275,000 being staff reductions since they don't require the years notice we lecturers do. Only 30 days. Of course this means as lecturers we've now received our years' notice and are only guaranteed employment through 6/30/2011. At least time to job search a bit. After these cuts, we will be having plenty of meetings to re-imagine our department and cut the other $600,000 plus. Please note that this is significant. Its probably something like Dance will be gone and perhaps the graduate program as well as serious reductions to production and what we produce each year. If they force us to do much more then 1 million in total cuts it will be the death of everything but film and theatre studies since 2 million currently covers the salaries for all of the lecturers, RPTA's and staff now working. All other fat went good bye last year with some cursory staff.
What I find truly insulting about all of this is the ignorance of the Dean about our department. He really did stand there and inform us that well, students at Ithaca High School get a lot out of the theatre they do and they don't have any of our resources. His field is physics and naturally he didn't respond when asked how he'd feel about teaching HS science at Cornell. And given his ignorance, he also stated that we were targeted because we of the way our department is structured. We are lecturer heavy and they only want to protect professorial faculty. He refuses to accept that most of the lecturer positions are actually tenured at other institutions. They weren't at Cornell because it saved money when the department was restructuring and growing 25 years ago. Now we are viewed as simply a "non-professorial expense" instead of being seen as a savings of millions of dollars over the past 25 years.
My colleague mentioned offhandedly getting t-shirts made that say that...
I'm becoming smitten with the idea. I'm envisioning a Cornell red t-shirt with a 'Hello my name is... 'non-professorial expense #x in zone __' sticker iron-on transfer on the back.
1. His number 1 priority is to protect professorial lines and retain professorial faculty within the College of A&S.
2. Any cuts will not [directly] affect this group
3. Since our department has a high number of lecturer and staff positions in its make up and those positions are seen as an unnecessary cost [since they aren't professorial] and look like a great place to cut. There are a couple of other zones in the college with this same bullseye.
4. We need to cut 1-2 million in the next 2 years [this will be a permanent reduction] with the majority of that coming sooner
5. It is up to us as a department to determine how we wish this to happen since we are the ones educated about our respective fields and can best determine what to cut to keep a viable department.
Now the reality.
1. 1-2 million really is all of our lecturer and staff lines. In theater then, the only safe people are faculty in theatre studies, all directors, the technical director and the scenic designer. The last 2 positions were here when the department was re-envisioned 25+ years ago and already in tenure track positions. Every single other position is lecturer or staff. From Dance only 1 person is professorial faculty the rest are lecturers. In Film, only film production uses staff and lecturers.
2. Since they are protecting professorial faculty, if one of ours retires or leaves either a search will begin to fill the vacancy or that position line will be moved to bolster a different department.
College of Arts and Sciences.
All faculty and staff with appointments in the Department of Theatre, Film and Dance are asked to attend a meeting on Monday, February 1, 8:00-9:00am in the Kiplinger Theatre. Dean Peter Lepage and Sr. Associate Dean Elizabeth Adkins-Regan will address the group about the financial challenges facing the college and the implications for this department."
Ominous to say the least. Of course we all suspect the axe or at least a very good butchering. Monday will certainly happen all too soon and we shall know for sure. In the meantime I immediately went to check recent job postings. My thought was perhaps I had discounted the possibility of applying for a faculty position at Tulane to soon. I had looked over the holiday break thinking if there were something worthwhile that would be the best time to apply. Instead I found a position posted at Rutgers with a submission deadline of January 30th.
Now you know what I was doing today.
Wish me luck!