Author Topic: University Challenged  (Read 6818 times)

Attila

  • gif made by hedgehog90
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #150 on: May 11, 2020, 03:58:41 PM »
Mmm, yummy -- long, detailed, multi-layered bullet-pointed email just now from the dean about recruitment, about financial issues, and about teaching online in the autumn.

Cool part is how, quietly embedded in this email, is the omnious 'we are looking into how to relief financial issues by looking at where we can cut staffing.'

It's subtle, and it's deeply buried inside one of his very long bullet points.

Great.

Blue Jam

  • From the mind of Ricky Gervais
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #151 on: May 11, 2020, 04:01:45 PM »
Just heard lots of stuff about how the building I work in is now a "Covid Hub" and how we'll need to separate the Covid researchers from us non-Covid researchers.

Preparing to get massively lorded over in a few weeks' time.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #152 on: May 11, 2020, 04:16:17 PM »
We're starting furloughing this week, not sure it applies to many staff though. We're not in any massive building programmes (that aren;t underwritten by ScotGov) so there's less panic than others. Hearing rumours about Glasgow being in a bit of difficulty but we'll see how that plays out.

No immediate plans to reopen campus yet but I guess all Scot Unis will be in sync soon enough (apart from HIU maybe).

 

Norton Canes

  • Watching the Wednesday wheel
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #153 on: May 11, 2020, 04:17:02 PM »
I don't know how I'm going to process my massive data files without my big powerful custom-built computer

This is the big problem for me, I do development work so have a machine on campus with commensurate power but the PC I've got at home is slow AF so the work takes far longer to do.

Also the university don't want us using buses or doing car shares

Ours has spent the best part of the last couple of years encouraging car shares and the use of public transport by massively ramping up their on-campus parking fees. Post-lockdown they've put all fees on hiatus but can't see them remaining at zero when hundreds of employees start driving their cars in again.

Just heard lots of stuff about how the building I work in is now a "Covid Hub" and how we'll need to separate the Covid researchers from us non-Covid researchers.

Preparing to get massively lorded over in a few weeks' time

So many office spaces in the older buildings here will be massively and irrevocably unfit for purpose if the Uni adhere strictly to safe working guidelines. No chance of two-metre spacing around desks or individual work separated by screens. Got a horrible feeling that what they'll do is commandeer the biggest indoor open spaces they've got, like the Great Hall, and pack as many partitioned worker-cells in there as possible.

No word yet from the top brass on exactly how they intend to progress things, though.

Blue Jam

  • From the mind of Ricky Gervais
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #154 on: May 11, 2020, 04:29:59 PM »
I need a computer that can process very large image files (confocal Z-stacks) without crashing. I'm used to one with 64Gb of RAM. My creaky old machine with a paltry 8Gb just won't cut it.

Got a horrible feeling that what they'll do is commandeer the biggest indoor open spaces they've got, like the Great Hall, and pack as many partitioned worker-cells in there as possible.

Ooooh, I'd love a desk in McEwan Hall...

Attila

  • gif made by hedgehog90
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #155 on: May 11, 2020, 04:45:35 PM »
We've been told that if we have to have social distancing on campus, then we can fill classrooms only to 16% capacity. So, a class of 100 students? Will need 7 classrooms that fit 100 students...we have exactly 10 classrooms on the entire campus that would meet that criteria. Everything else are much smaller rooms made for 10-40 students.

The dean's email seems to be pretty much saying that the autumn term will be taught online -- as much as a faff that that will be (and a bummer for the Year 1s, as face to face interaction is so important for them in the first semester), I'd rather just bite the bullet and do our classes online, than have the lectures be online, but we have to go onto campus for the smaller seminars. With my commute, that would pretty much be me going to campus as usual (due to my commuting situation, I'm usually on campus by 730) and staying all day -- doing lectures online from my office, then faffing off to seminars in person. It would get old really fast. I've got colleagues with insane commutes, as well, who live in town 1-3 days out of the week, then go back to wherever. A couple of colleagues live in town during the week and commute back to Ireland or the continent every weekend; another one comes down here from Scotland every week. Loads of them from London.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #156 on: May 11, 2020, 04:56:25 PM »
2nd line IT tech - Most of our work requires physically being at the PC or configuring the networks, so we’ve been remoting from home and helping other departments. I managed to rescue someone’s PhD from their on campus PC, so that was interesting. Unfortunately the IT contractors the university employed were told that their contracts were not going to be renewed, so they only have a couple of weeks left. Pretty harsh given the circumstances and understaffed levels.

It sounds like we will eventually be returning to campus some days, then working from home on others. Which is perfect, as when the staff do return, there’ll be lots more we can do remotely from home.  Students not physically back until January.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #157 on: May 15, 2020, 07:59:41 PM »
We just got the University's term plan for 2020-21. I think its genuinely insane.

It can be broadly summed up as:


Attila

  • gif made by hedgehog90
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #158 on: May 15, 2020, 11:44:02 PM »
Sounds pretty much like m ine.

We've been told that, yes, we have to work a lot of extra hours because we have to do a mix of face to face and online teaching, and going over to online is going to be time consuming (especially as senior management expect us now to be monitoring emails and Canvas 24/7.) No, we're not having any more hours factored into our work load - we don't have to, say the senior management people. You see, everyone has an annual workload contract that includes 300, 400, or 500 hours for research -- so, yay! There's all those extra hours you need.

Yes, it's been pointed out to them that those research hours are generally taken up in the summer, and that you can't squeeze more than 24 hours into a day -- and that by their reckoning, it's not out of line to ask us to put in 60-70 hour workweeks during the semester instead of the usual 37.5 (a hahahaha) a week we're booked for.

What's really magical is the huge divide between someone like me, who's shackled to 4 or 5 modules every semester, and a colleague who maybe teaches on two per semester, both small groups of final year students in her fun time research speciality.

Oh, and we will be penalised if we don't keep up with research and public outreach, too.

And to add to the fun, apparently the union is making noises about additional industrial action.

Blue Jam

  • From the mind of Ricky Gervais
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #159 on: May 29, 2020, 01:34:27 PM »
Was about to head out for a lovely picnic when I got summoned to a Zoom meeting to discuss the reopening of the lab. Fucksake. *video off* *beer open*

Tags: