unravelling at night what she had woven during the day, as a clever ploy to “buy time” and stave off hungry suitors - Odyssey

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(I accuse the university in a public forum, should I care?)

From: Fred, PhD Candidate at The Neoliberal University
Subject: Holy fuck
Date: 8 November, 2013 7:42:55 PM EST
To: Carly

OK, here goes.

So, my supervisor got in trouble by the university. Check this:

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Canadian University Disciplines Radical Professor

8 Nov 2013 — Professors at The Neoliberal University in Canada have just received written evaluations. The letters are dated November 7 and grade faculty members for their performance in 2012-13. The evaluations are done by the Deans of Science, Social Science and Humanities. They are based on reports on teaching, university service and research that faculty members were required to submit in October.

Professor Punk is a full professor at The Neoliberal University and was Director of the PhD Program in Randomly Interdisciplinary Studies from 2010 to 2013. ‘I am still in a state of shock,’ he says. ‘I received a form letter signed by the Dean of Humanities saying that my performance is only “generally satisfactory” and I am required to attend in his office with a representative of the Neoliberal University faculty union to develop a plan so that I am not evaluated as “unsatisfactory” in 2013-14. Punk is currently on sabbatical.

The new system of evaluation is mandated by changes in the collective agreement between The Neoliberal University and its faculty association. Under the old system all professors submitted an annual report to the Dean with a copy to their departmental chair. At that point the chair could discuss any problems with individual faculty members. However the real evaluation was done by COAP, the Neoliberal University committee that handles faculty promotion and tenure. ‘The new system seems to represent a significant shift away from evaluation by your peers to evaluation by the Deans,’ says Punk.

The problem identified by Some Guy, Neoliberal's Dean of Humanities, is that Punk has no academic publications in 2012-13. ‘That’s true,’ says Punk, ‘but the main reason is that I was Director of a PhD Program and on a lot of university committees. That really affects the time you have available for research and publishing. Punk says that the evaluation does not take into account a book chapter that he spent the summer of 2012 writing, which has been delayed in publication. 
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It's the continual neoliberalization of the university and valuing publications over teaching, supervision. Not to mention, he is 'published' and the most respected in the 'punk' field.
Now, I'm sad.

I'm about to post a huge write up on my program's wall. I think there are a number of ways to get involved and speak not only on behalf of Alan, but against the neoliberalization of the university. The valuing of publications over teaching and supervision silences pro-active, on-the-ground engagements that professors engage in. It is important to locate and think about Alan's radical politics within the university's neoliberal web of power. Is this mistreatment more a product of Alan's politics, not his supposed 'lack of publishing?' It is important to get Alan's thoughts before, we as a group, discuss what steps should be taken. I'll email him. 

(I accuse the university in a public forum, should I care?)


On 2013-11-09, at 7:46 PM, Carly wrote:


Your university seems to have a strange rubric to evaluate professors? do they only measure money pulled in and publications?


And if he has full tenure, why the fuck are they evaluating him, anyway? 



From: Student
Subject: COURSE ###- Case Study
Date: 14 November, 2012 11:46:21 AM EST
To: PhD TA


Just one quick question about the case study that was returned in yesterdays class. What would my mark be in a percentage? I received an A on the paper.



On 2012-11-14, at 5:07 PM, TA wrote:
Hi Student,

I can't give you a precise answer, but I like to think A's are 83.5-88.5.

Does that help?

On 2012-11-14, at 5:11 PM, Student wrote:

Thanks for your reply. I guess my main question how will that A be figured into my final mark? 


On 2012-11-14, at 5:39 PM, TA wrote:


Well, this assignment is worth 40%. so you have a 33.5-35/ 100 at the moment. If you break it down this way, you will see that the margins aren't as big as you might think, yielding only a few grade combinations that would raise eyebrows. To put a finer point on it, a bit of discretion is required when working with the lettering system. 

I am not marking your final exam, so the final word as to how your final grade will fall will be up to PROFESSOR.


On 2012-11-14, at 6:34 PM, Student wrote:


Are you essentially saying that no thought has really been given to what percentage that A will be? As in my paper was assigned the grade "A" but the actual percentage that I received on the paper will be determined when calculating the final mark? 

Disgruntled Student


On 2012-11-14, at 9:07 PM, Pissed off TA wrote:

Disgruntled Student,

Please explain what you mean by "no thought".

I've CC'd the professor on this email. 

I look forward to your answer.  

Pissed off TA

On 2012-11-14, at 9:54 PM, The PROFESSOR wrote: 

Dear Disgruntled Student,

I approach that 1.5% span in your favour if your exam indicates you're tuned in to the course. If you turn out to be one of those people I mentioned the other night who have written a good paper but figure they don't have to bother with the rest of the course and therefore evince a dearth of knowledge of  The Field, you're not going to gain that benefit.

I am, as THE CHAIR might say, "the decider" :-).

Kick butt on the exam and this reads 35. Rest on your laurel's and totally blow the exam for obvious lack of interest and it's a clear 33.5. Being familiar with you and observing your attentiveness in class suggest to me you're liable to wind up with a 35. I'm confident you won't disappoint!

The Professor

On 2012-11-14, at 9:58 PM, Embarrassed Student wrote:


Sorry I didn't mean that in a negative way... I should have specified that before! 

And Professor. Sorry, I just realized I never CC'd you in my reply- I'll paste it below. I'm very sorry for the poor wording of that email- I should have been more careful. 



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