The Joys of Faculty Meetings

In a shocking and completely unforeseen turn of events (not), today in a faculty meeting this happened not once but twice: I point out that something is wrong with the motion currently being discussed and I propose a change. The chair shoots it down “because reasons.” Within minutes — nay, seconds! — one of the Important People rephrases and proposes the same thing, and the chair falls all over himself to implement said change.

Similarly, I start a discussion. Right after me, a colleague says he totally agrees with me and elaborates a little bit. From there on, everyone agrees with the colleague or disagrees with the colleague or elaborates on what the colleague has said (i.e., they all refer to him by name). Just as if I had never opened my mouth.

You know what, it’s totally my fault. It serves me right for sacrificing ~90 min of my grant-writing time today to attend this crap meeting.

If you are asking why I am not changing institutions, the reasons are:

1) My family is happy here and we have a solved two-body problem.
2) Honestly, I do not think it would be any better elsewhere.

But, sometimes, I seriously hate people.

Back to grant writing.


  1. Infuriating–and it happens every time. If it’s any comfort, that works the same way everywhere.

  2. And my colleagues in industry, and in government labs, tell me it works the same way there too. Often even worse.

  3. Yeah…my experience on the industry side of things is that it’s generally worse. 😛 But it’s seldom good no matter where you are. Sorry. I know how infuriating it is.

  4. Sorry–I know exactly how maddening that can be. It was the same (or worse) at National Lab. I wouldn’t move over this kind of stuff either.

    In a bright note, a friend of mine says she was totally supported even when not present at a staff meeting a month of so ago. The (male) department chair tried to take credit for some major University service she did, but another faculty member proposed a motion to thank my friend for her hard work on behalf of the department and University, which made sure that 1) everyone knew who really did it, and 2) it went into the minutes. Baby steps.

  5. Stupid patriarchy.

    We do a lot of amplification (as mentioned above), but we have a lot of women and underrepresented minorities and some good CIS white guys who know to do that. It takes a lot to change culture.

    If the skip meetings option is a real option, I would totally take that.

  6. This is why I gave up on going to faculty meetings. If my voice is not going to be heard anyway, what’s the use? Does wonders for my blood pressure and overall sense of well being. Of course, on the flip side, you then get labeled as disengaged, although your service to the department is higher than that of your colleagues. It is a no win scenario.

  7. “Honestly, I do not think it would be any better elsewhere.”

    Exactly. This is why I stopped trying to move.

  8. I think that there are better places, but the problem is that there are worse ones also, and it is really hard to tell which are which. The odds on landing in a better place are probably not that high, so sticking where you are may be the best bet.

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