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Deanly stressors

In these musings, I’ve sometimes written about my Dean, Mike Latham. I appreciate Dean Latham’s efforts to have us rethink various aspects of the Grinnell education and to support the faculty. It’s not an easy job, particularly given other demands of the institution.

The other day, I was reading an article in Chronicle of Higher Education [1] about a faculty member who was laid off from the University of Southern Maine due to budget cuts and then returned as Provost. It includes the following line, which made me think again about his work.

She said she empathizes with how stressed out [the faculty] are balancing teaching, research, and student support, but she also knows personally the consequences when an institution spends beyond its means.

Dean Latham is clearly in a similar position. In conversations, I’ve found that he understands our stresses (and how stressed out I am). But he really does not feel that he has the budget to support what we’ve asked for. It’s not his fault that the budget won’t support what the academic program needs. He doesn’t define what spending beyond its means means, but he does know that long-term projections for Grinnell mean that we have to be fiscally responsible and that Trustees are going to continue to challenge our spending.

None of that helps with my stressors. But it does remind me that I should not take the stress out on him [2].

[1] It’s behind a paywall. Sorry.

[2] President Kington and the Trustees, however …

Version 1.0 of 2017-06-03.