Re: E-publish or perish

mike salovesh (T20MXS1@NIU.BITNET)
Tue, 14 Jun 1994 16:14:00 CDT

Dwight Read says, in part:
Mcreery is pointing to INFORMATION-- and that's where it is at. Control
information and you have power; conversely, when information is widely
dispersed then power goes down. Currently, most review processes in most
universities operate under a veil of secrecy/confidentiality guised as the
way to get honest, critical evaluations. Yes and no. It is also the means
for abuse. Without information it becomes impossible to challenge biased
reviews; information is the only route to challenge biased reviews.
-------------------------- End quote --------------------------------

Sure, Dwight. Appeals get even tougher where I am: we actually are
in a game of limited good. Although there are strange numbers that
attach to recommendations, in fact what happens to raises is that
rank within the department--compared with the ranking of all other
faculty in the same department--is what generates the actual raises.
An effective appeal (hah! don't hold your breath!) would require
knowing the full records of everybody, so as to contest the RELATIVE
ranking. Nobody is going to vote to open up the system to fishing
expeditions that are the only way to get the data needed to support
an appeal.

By the way, in my four years of sitting on the Council of the College
of Liberal Arts and Sciences we heard about 30 appeals of salary
recommendations per year. In those four years, we actually supported
one appeal and got it all the way through the higher personnel
process. End result: The faculty member got an additional $45 per
year more than he would have gotten without appealing.

All of our fighting is about pennyante stuff. I remember taking a
good close look at salaries of associate professors in our history
department one year. There were 30 of them. No two assoc profs of
history got exactly the same salary, but they were separated by
increments of $5 per month. The highest and the lowest salaries in
the group were only different by $200 per month or $1800 per year.
But those guys were almost willing to kill to come out a step or two
higher in the relative rankings!

But most of us don't know that we're fighting over peanuts. Control
of that information keeps most of us in line. (In fact, department
personnel committees don't consider--they don't even get to see--
current salaries as they make their recommendations for next year's
raises, and there's no way for them to know how much of a raise will
result from their recommendations.) The mystery shrouded in an
enigma hidden in mist and kept in the shadows does have the effect of
letting those who don't examine the system closely believe that there
actually is a merit system in operation. All I can say is NOT!

mike salovesh <>