There is an interesting discussion going on over at The Adventures of Notorious Ph.D. about the way the economy is impacting faculty life. Notorious Ph.D teaches at a university that may institute a furlough policy for tenure-track faculty. If I understand this correctly, all faculty will be required to take two days of unpaid leave every month. The comments discuss the implications of such a policy.
I can’t imagine this kind of arrangement at Messiah College. What does it mean, in practical terms, to be on furlough? Does it mean that a furloughed faculty member should not answer student e-mail, meet with students, go to committee meetings, or grade papers on the day he or she has chosen to take a furlough? Some of the commentators suggest that the furlough should be taken on the day in which a professor teaches their classes.
Others in the comment section are having to face serious reductions in travel money, pay, and course releases for scholarship. At Messiah, we are facing cuts in scholarship funding and may not receive our regular pay raise for next year. (A lot will depend on what the tuition numbers look like for the fall semester). But I can’t complain. It seems as if we are doing better than most.