For the past two years, I have been working as a postdoc under a new German professor with what I consider to be an atrocious work ethic:
- His presence on campus is limited only to when in-person teaching is involved. The rest of the time he stays at home hundreds of kilometers away.
- He is disorganized, often misses to register grades for students, or respond to their emails (I know this because they contact me instead with "what is happening here?").
- Zero research initiative. He relies on other people to put his name in papers.
- No support for his PhD students; he has had one since 2016 who is supposed to defend this summer, with two workshop papers since 2018, and I have met her and she is not the problem (the field is computer science).
- He is constantly delaying procedures that just need to be signed-off by him, like reimbursements for travels (I've waited for mine for over four months for something that is done in two weeks tops).
Suffice to say, I have worked in universities in four other European countries and Australia, and I have always been the lazier one.
So, I walked to the dean's office and I asked him what the point is of someone having a job that he can't do. He told me that my attitude is not nice, and that this is normal in German universities as they “don’t follow the US model” (whatever that means).
Two months ago, I got a call by the president. He told me that I what I describe is indeed not professional behavior, but nothing really happened after that. In fact, I still see students looking for him and not finding him, missing grades, and so on.
I don’t really know what my options are. The dean basically suggested me to shut up and just do my own work as if I am independent here (I don’t have to involve the professor), but I think that this is nonsense, as I’m not a slave to ignore what is going on in my environment.
I would resign, but I like the city here, and why should I resign anyway for someone else?
Let me know your thoughts, please. Perhaps I have been extremely lucky so far to have worked with dozens of different professors/researchers that had some baseline qualities and work ethic and now I am acting paranoid?