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Irrevocable Change.

14 August 2012

There are changes mounting at my work that cannot fail to sweep me up with them. This place is beyond dysfunctional. It is nonfunctional. I am not going to get in to the long list of financial atrocities that have been committed here. But it is a place that, despite having research as one of its principle missions, does not have any apparent interest in providing an environment for researchers conducive to the furtherance of that goal. The staff is laced with incompetents, and the administration is choked with ossified, stultified fools.

Now, one of the last good people is leaving. This person has had my back for quite some time, and given that I’m almost certainly about to have a gap in funding, without him here, I think that my job will be ending soon, despite the fact that I’ve been objectively among the most productive researchers at my institution, but in terms of funding and output. And I’m willing to bet that that will mean nothing to the people who run the place. Because they don’t care about quality work. That is profoundly evidenced by the sort of people they place in positions of responsibility over research.

If you were to be given the task of destroying a research department, you could not do better than this administration. And so I am stepping up my search for another place. While I’ve heard nothing from Singapore yet, last night I submitted my CV and cover letter to four different open faculty positions around the country, including one in my current city. I am submitting to schools of public health, and health administration. While I don’t have formal education in those fields, that is where my experience lies as a researcher, of course.

I am hoping that I will find a forward-thinking department, interested in applying simulation methods to public health, perhaps where I could create and teach a class in systems. There’s some despair here. I am afraid that I will shortly find myself unemployed. That could happen as soon as October, though I believe that I have until April. We’ll see. I’d be lying if I said I weren’t afraid.

But I know how to deal with fear. If I don’t have a job, I will increase my meetings. I will apply to many positions. I will land on my feet. I’m going to be ok. There’s no question of that. Eventually. But I am afraid. Life is scary. For everyone. It’s easy to become myopic and selfish when I’m afraid. I need to remember to slow down and focus outward. Do the things I can do today. Be patient. Strength and Courage.


UPDATE: I discovered that I’ll be able to hold a few dozen thousand dollars in reserve past October 1st. This means that I’ll have protection, and it will surely protect me until April, by which time I think I’ll have new ideas about what I’m going to do next. Huge relief to know that I will not be doomed in six weeks.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Mona permalink
    14 August 2012 09:19

    This sounds like a plague that hits many universities. Good luck, I wish you all the best.

    • 14 August 2012 10:15

      Thanks. And I think you’re right. It’s just very frustrating.

  2. Angela permalink
    14 August 2012 10:13

    Good luck in the job search. I hope you find something you like.

  3. NatC permalink
    14 August 2012 10:59

    Strength and courage.

  4. 14 August 2012 11:02

    Sounds very stressful and scary but it also sounds like you know what you need to do and are doing it. Keep your chin up; you can do this!

  5. 16 August 2012 06:04

    It’s the Peter Principle at work. It seems to happen at most institutions where those who are the “controllers” get promoted to Directors, even though their research was mediocre. And meanwhile, in the trenches, those who get the funding continue to toil because they love science. I was made Chair when there was actually a Director who cared deeply about science. He left because he was at odds with the rest of the administration–because he did care about science and they cared about bureaucratic BS. I wasn’t a game player but protected my staff so they could do their work. Not a popular stance when surrounded by those who are “ossified, stultified fools”. Amazing to me how for most administrators I’ve known, the gig is about some perceived power and ambition.

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