Excellent points, Philip. I appreciated hearing about your experiences
and am glad to see that you survived. People in business and industry
sometimes have the impression that higher ed types operate on a higher,
more civilized plane -- that somehow it's not as political and cutthroat
as their domain, maybe because they think there's nothing material to be
gained in academic organizations. True, it's not like someone's going to
give you a Christmas bonus in the six figures -- or even one figure. The
reality, however, is that it seems like when there IS nothing to be
gained, monetarily anyway, the stakes get even higher and you get into
these knowledge/expertise wars.
I run into a lot of industry folks who are tired of what they're doing and
think it would be nice to teach, to give something back. And teaching is
wonderful, but what they don't recognize is that teaching takes place
within an organization and a culture and there are plenty of things
outside the classroom to make you crazy. As much as part-time instructors
typically wish they had full-time jobs, I think it can be better to have
the option of not getting involved in governance stuff.
Anyway, enjoyed your input! Harriett.
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