Skip to main content

Updates on the chair of the faculty (#1021)

Topics/tags: Grinnell

About a month ago, I wrote about the then-upcoming election of the chair of the faculty. I’m fortunate: I was not elected; I was not even nominated. We had two excellent candidates. I’m glad to say that I can soon say The Chair of the Faculty is a VP [1]. I expect that the new Chair will do an awesome job and will represent us well.

Why am I musing about this topic? I’m not completely sure. I’d written it down in my physical notebook, and my family made fun of me, claiming that I had written Chair of Poultry. In case you’re wondering why, it may help if I remind you that I described my writing in my manuscript for ENG-207 as something like "Hieroglyphs, scrawled by a left-handed doctor after three nights of call and five pots of coffee, using a pen that is running out of ink.

What else is in those notes? Let’s see … Oh, yeah, there’s one of my brags. I think it goes like this: One full professor’s name, other than Anne’s and Raynard’s, was missing from the original list. Being me, I observed the absence and reported it [2]. it turned out that someone had failed to record them correctly in one of the central College databases. It appears that being a PITA has a positive effect once in a while.

There’s a bit more. Like most jobs on campus, the Faculty Chair’s job has gotten much more difficult over the years. I recall trying to convince Russell that the chair needed a 3-course release when I was last on Council, more than a decade ago. I’m glad it’s finally happened. Thanks so much to everyone involved! I’m glad to see that Executive Council was able to work with Raynard and Anne to increase the course releases and compensation for the Chair of the Faculty. Let’s see.

With thanks to Executive Council and the Dean’s Office for their engagement with the Chair of Faculty position, I write to confirm and expand the support for the Chair of the Faculty position: continuing support includes a 3-course equivalent reassignment from teaching to the work of the Chair, to be divided out over the two semesters of an academic year, as well as support from the Dean’s Office administrative staff; expanded support will be provided in a stipend each summer for work done by the Chair.

That’s wonderful. I hope that it permits Chair VP [3] the time necessary to serve well in the role without being overwhelmed. Plus, it will give them more time to read all the suggestions I’ll send via email.


[1] Our new Chair, with the initials, V.P. told me that they were glad that I could make a joke at their expense.

[2] For extra credit, figure out who it is.

[3] Or VP Chair [4].

[4] Nope, I don’t know when to stop.


Version 1.0 of 2020-02-18.