146 votes

What are the benefits of becoming an academic administrator?

I feel like I'm pointing out the glaringly obvious, but many people actually want to make their institution a better place, design policies that benefit future students and colleagues, etc.
user avatar
111 votes
Accepted

Teaching a class likely meant to inflate the GPA of student athletes

You wondered "how high does this go?" At my university, the football coach's salary is 7 times the president's. Who do you think answers to whom? The chancellor, the president, the provost, the ...
user avatar
  • 7,763
90 votes

As a department head, what to do if a professor leaves without giving out grades?

I assume you've already tried to convince/pressure the instructor to provide enough information to assign grades. Assuming he's not dreadfully ill, it would be incredibly unprofessional for him to ...
user avatar
88 votes

Teaching a class likely meant to inflate the GPA of student athletes

One possible option is to prepare a syllabus for the course which adds some legitimate graded work: homework, an exam, a paper or project, anything. Then, email it to your chair, mention that you want ...
user avatar
  • 10.1k
85 votes

Dean will not tell me what upcoming meeting is about. What do I do?

Go talk to the Dean prior to the meeting, and resist the urge to "reply all" to any mail that might be even remotely contentious. Email and text messages are good for exchanging facts, such as the ...
user avatar
  • 25.1k
84 votes
Accepted

Reporting a student who may be psychologically disturbed

The "administration" is probably the wrong place to look. Instead, see if you your institution has some mental health staff, whether just associated contacts, or counselors, or even a dedicated ...
user avatar
  • 17.7k
79 votes

What is the point of being the head of the department?

I can't speak for the work environments at other schools, but where I teach, the department chair gets an nicer office, a reduced teaching assignment, and extra pay, in addition to some political and ...
user avatar
  • 5,028
75 votes

Dean will not tell me what upcoming meeting is about. What do I do?

It sounds like someone is after your space. You need to be prepared to defend your space during the meeting. It sounds like the Dean is not really on your side. I would call up the other professor to ...
user avatar
  • 103k
70 votes

What incentive does a professor have to allow a student to enroll in a course that is already full?

I disagree with your proposed strategy. The marginal added workload of one additional student is usually negligible, and the average grade for the term is not usually something that reflects well or ...
user avatar
66 votes

How to move forward following an unpleasant situation with colleagues?

I can't tell you what is the 'best' solution to your situation, but I can share with you how I would approach it. If you allow, a few words about my background. After a Ph.D., I went to Wall Street. ...
user avatar
  • 11.5k
63 votes

How to move forward following an unpleasant situation with colleagues?

I'm probably going to get rated through the floor for this one, but there are two obvious things sticking out to me I consider worth pointing out. First the possible resolutions you list and want to ...
user avatar
  • 579
52 votes
Accepted

I left college in the last semester (did not finish), but the college "transferred military experience to credits" and gave me a diploma. Normal?

I still have a hard time believing that I could graduate without knowing it. Me too. I would request a transcript and perhaps investigate to see whether "transferring military experience to credits" ...
user avatar
  • 50.9k
51 votes

Reporting a student who may be psychologically disturbed

Not to be dismissive of this, but to be honest he sounds like the average "edgy" teenager/young adult. Maybe he's a fan of horror/slasher movies/history or just interested in serial killers ...
user avatar
  • 605
50 votes

Teaching a class likely meant to inflate the GPA of student athletes

I'd bet pounds to pesos that this course is akin to the Geology 101 course my brother took (at a major football university) with most of the football team (he wasn't a student athlete, just took the ...
user avatar
  • 1,977
49 votes

Saying no to miscellaneous administrative tasks as a Grad student

Will there be any negative repercussions if I do that (reject majority of the tasks)? Of course there is no way to say for sure whether there will be any negative repercussions if you keep rejecting ...
user avatar
  • 126k
48 votes
Accepted

Reasons for an academic to need administrator rights on work computer

So far, I have only come across one reason for needing something close to administrator rights on a fixed department machine: using scientific software. When you start using a new scientific piece of ...
user avatar
  • 14k
48 votes

What are the benefits of becoming an academic administrator?

A benefit not mentioned in the other answers is a reduced teaching load in many universities. Possibly zero teaching load. If someone does not like teaching, but likes (or has a lesser dislike of) ...
user avatar
46 votes

As faculty, can I bring about changes in our outsourced campus bookstore?

While there may be some excuses this fall (2020) in the middle of a pandemic that supply chains for books are messed up (as they are for many other things), here are a few things that you could do. ...
user avatar
  • 10.6k
38 votes
Accepted

Why do research faculty pursue administrative positions, such as dean, provost, president, etc. ? Do such positions spell the end of one's research?

In these positions, one gets to influence the direction of the whole university, rather than the direction of the research of 1 to n individuals. At such magnitude, one can effect more change. Often ...
user avatar
  • 31.4k
36 votes

What leverage do universities have over sexual violence in fraternities?

As it turns out, membership in fraternities is not, in general, strongly correlated with rape. Rather, it appears that a large percentage of sexual assault is committed by a very small fraction of ...
user avatar
  • 180k
35 votes

Does a department have any obligation to respond to a student petition against a teacher?

Such a petition is something that a department head or dean would take seriously. But at most universities, it would be their decision what action to take, if any; a petition wouldn't obligate them ...
user avatar
34 votes

What are the benefits of becoming an academic administrator?

Oftentimes, these administrative positions are only temporary and after a while, professors having such positions will become regular professors again. This means that they can (1) work on improving ...
user avatar
  • 14k
33 votes

Reasons for an academic to need administrator rights on work computer

Actually, I don't think the most important thing to convey to the powers that be is that you have a valid reason to have admin rights. More important is to convince them that you will handle the ...
user avatar
  • 38.5k
30 votes

What is the point of being the head of the department?

While there can be benefits for being the head of a department, at many US R1 STEM departments, I think the most frequent reason for becoming head is because some one has to do it. Further, turning ...
user avatar
  • 103k
28 votes
Accepted

Starting PhD, university says I don't have to sign contract

According to these Danish labor union websites, it is correct that you don’t need to sign: https://www.detfagligehus.dk/faa-hjaelp/loenmodtager/i-arbejde/ansaettelse/ansaettelseskontrakt/ “The law ...
user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

What steps can faculty and staff take to promote excellence in, and importance of, teaching?

Putting in place a better system for evaluating teaching than today's student evaluation forms would be a good start. Getting serious about the assessment of student learning outcomes (rather than ...
user avatar
27 votes

Reporting a student who may be psychologically disturbed

[A student wrote] a diary for a famous American serial killer... graphically detail[ing] the killings this man performed, including hand sketches of female genetilia... [The student will likely ...
user avatar
  • 40.1k
27 votes

How does management work in academia? Who do professors report to?

Generally speaking "management" in a university takes a different role and faculty are generally expected to know what to do and to do it to a high standard. In a certain sense, every ...
user avatar
  • 258k
26 votes

For what reasons might a full professor lose tenure?

The details are likely institution (and or state) specific. From the University of New Mexico Faculty Handbook one sees that the options there are: "Adequate Cause", including academic incompetence,...
user avatar
  • 10.6k
25 votes

Dean will not tell me what upcoming meeting is about. What do I do?

You are being set up for a blinded attack on your department's space, resources, and -- ultimately -- prestige. Unless you plan to retire soon, you should fight back strongly. Prepare a strong ...
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible