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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Well, there goes another $700 I don't have

I have to vent for a minute. The college of liberal arts at Big Urban offers a certain amount of conference travel funding, awarded on a competitive basis, to all full-time faculty. (That's how the announcement is worded, but I'm assuming that this means, basically, all lecturers, since I'd assume that t-t faculty already have travel budgets.)

So. I got an e-mail last week saying that for the first part of the spring semester there would be five awards given out, based on merit, but offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Deadline Jan. 18th. And I thought, well, fuck, I've probably missed my chance if the deadline is so soon--but maybe they haven't had enough takers. So I spent a couple of hours writing up a proposal for the conference I'm presenting at next month, recovering my acceptance e-mail, finding the on-line PDF of the program, etc., and then late on Friday (the 13th) I emailed everything in to the relevant sub-dean.

I got an e-mail back on Monday saying that the 18th was the FIRST day to apply, and that I should resubmit then.

So. . . it's not really a "deadline," then, is it? I emailed back an apology and an explanation, and figured I'd resubmit today. It crossed my mind to submit at, like, 12.05 a.m., before I went to sleep, but since I'd already jumped the gun once, I didn't want to look like a jerk. Instead, I emailed my materials this morning, at about 9.30 a.m.

And forty-five minutes later I got an e-mail from the sub-dean saying, "sorry, all the awards have already been granted."

Why do I bother?

[UPDATE: Well, file this in the door-closed-window-open department: this afternoon I received a cheque in the mail for 470.00 Euros (about $560). What for? Why, reimbursing me, at long fucking last, for my plane fare to European City for that conference back in October.

The university hosting the conference had picked up my hotel room and most of my meals, but they've been having a hell of time reimbursing me for my ticket--we've gone 'round and 'round with wire transfer codes and I'd finally given up on ever seeing that money again. But, glory be! They came through!

None of this makes me less pissed off at Big Urban, or (much) more able to afford my conference next month--but I'm at least less pissed off at the universe for its treatment of my conference travel needs.]

link | posted by La Lecturess at 10:35 AM |


Blogger Dr. Mon commented at 11:03 AM~  

Ok, that's just crazy. Sorry to hear that.

Blogger Dr. Crazy commented at 11:53 AM~  

That is beyond Crazy. If it were me (but I'm a loud-mouth with bad judgment) I would be inclined to send an email back to the dean asking about what criteria are used in determining the awards (a) and explaining my frustration at a clearly flawed system (b). It sounds to me like there are no criteria for these awards but rather that people with connections get them. Or, perhaps, this is not true and I'm just paranoid.

Blogger What Now? commented at 12:56 PM~  

I'm inclined to agree with Dr. Crazy on this one; it sounds really suspicious to me.

So sorry to hear that you've lost out in this crazy system.

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 1:12 PM~  

I did send an email back to the dean (who has herself been *extremely* informal in her emails), saying, basically, wow, I guess this IS first-come, first-served! Next time I'll remember to submit at 12.01 a.m.

Which she can read as friendly or bitchy, as she chooses. I think I'll talk to a well-connected lecturer in my department and see what he knows about how these things are awarded.

Sigh. I knew that the offer of travel funds for non t-t faculty had to be too good to be true.

Blogger timna commented at 1:49 PM~  

So academics can make deadlines when they have to? ;-) I'm skeptical if only because of this highly unlikely phenomena. Something's fishy.

Blogger phd me commented at 2:38 PM~  

That's just downright mean. Sorry you got such shabby treatment!

Blogger BrightStar commented at 4:35 PM~  

holy crap. why didn't they accept yours early? Bitches.

Blogger Dr. Mon commented at 7:21 PM~  

Glad to hear that in an unexpected turn of events you received some serious "happy money" (you know like that unexpected $5 you find in your pocket--it was always yours to begin with but it feels like extra money)!!

Blogger Ancrene Wiseass commented at 9:26 PM~  

That's insane!

I hope the sub-dean at least felt a twinge of conscience about this scenario.

Glad to hear you got a reimbursement on the October conference, though. (I do, however, tend to think that the U. ought to have to offer you interest rates when it takes them more than a month to pay you back--particularly since many of us have to put expenses like this on our credit cards.)

Blogger Axis of Peter commented at 11:42 AM~  

It's clearly a bullshit patronage system. There was never a chance you would get the award. This is the kind of shit that makes people hate their work environment.

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