If you’re in the higher education racket, you deal with faculty. Period.
Maybe, if you play your cards right, you can get out of dealing with students, but you can never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever escape the faculty.
If you can work successfully with faculty, I’m pretty sure you can work with anybody. (Although I’ve heard that surgeons are pretty bad too.)
The thing is, most individual faculty members are perfectly lovely people. If you talk with any one of them one-on-one, even the old crotchety ones, they come across as decent people with good motives.
As a group? Entirely different story. They are so difficult to work with. Recalcitrant, paranoid, constantly complaining without being willing to take action to change things.
For a long time, I thought about why they always seemed to be this way. Was it the low risk tolerance? The innate leftism that was bred into most of them, leading to a hugely r-selected population? The self-selecting for introverted personalities who prefer “facts” to action?
All of those are true, I think, to some extent.
But I didn’t realize until Stefan Molyneux’s most recent call-in show that there might be more nuance to my observations of faculty than I previously thought.
You see, one of Stefan’s guests was a Baby Boomer (trigger warning for the background image), out to disprove all of his negatively-biased conclusions about her generation.
Naturally, she failed at her own aims and succeeded only at reinforcing the Boomer stereotype. (Of COURSE it’s all about me!)
This was when I realized–what if it’s not just faculty, but Boomer Faculty who present such a difficulty to work with. Many of the same hallmarks are there–the entitlement, the inability to see themselves as part of a larger group or trend or demographic, th
Perhaps this is why there is such a divide between senior faculty and junior faculty. Between the Boomers and Gen X.
Most of my favorite faculty were and are Gen X.
Anyway, I don’t have any grand conclusions to this line of thinking at this point, so I’ll let this post drop with a very unsatisfying THUD, but I’ll be exploring it more as I slowly wade into the waters of a new project.