tl;dr: This post might turn into a rant but I hope it won’t. It serves as a valve for something I have been trying to say for quite a while now and I am not sure that I got all the nuances right. It is incomplete but I feel better now that it left my system.
During the last year, I have been working on a strategy for the small institution I work at. We had smaller and larger meetings with different stakeholders of our university. We had conversations with university leadership, external advisors and personal mentors, colleagues from other institutions whom we trusted. We worked on documents, agendas, and a vision. We worked to develop partnerships, we argued for budgets. It took time and effort but, in the end, we all were confident that we had found a goal worth working towards to, a feasible mode for operating without the implied understanding that our team members would have to work beyond their agreed-upon capacity. “No self-exploitation”, we said. A rare statement in academia these days. Partner organizations were prepared and looking forward to work with us, which is especially important for an institution that is part of a small to medium-sized university with limited budgets and experience. And the things that we would be working on were amazing, I haven’t been as enthusiastic about anything work-related for quite a while. Continue reading →