Author Topic: University Challenged  (Read 44813 times)

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #120 on: March 27, 2020, 01:51:38 PM »
Just got this on the Teams group

Quote
Don't suppose you heard the news from Uni of Sussex? Their VC sent an email to all HoDs and budget holders to not renew contracts. I've just learnt today another uni is doing the same...

Sound like that could be Attila's uni...lol (not trying to Doxx you)

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #121 on: March 27, 2020, 01:59:35 PM »
Our head of dept has sent out an email saying (paraphrased) "I never thought I'd say this. Pull down the blinds! I'm closing the building, for an hour". A small number of "essential" people can get in, which is basically someone to reboot the servers if they go down, and the people making parts for ventilators and decontaminating face masks.

Judging by the comments here and elsewhere on the internet, it seems that my department is unusually sane and people-focussed. Which is ironic, given that our discipline has a reputation for attracting people with no social skills (like me).

Attila

  • gif made by hedgehog90
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #122 on: March 27, 2020, 10:57:41 PM »
Just got this on the Teams group

Sound like that could be Attila's uni...lol (not trying to Doxx you)

Heh, no, that's not me. Although our SM sent around an email to the students late this afternoon that they could rejoice, as all of the books in the library are now coverted to ebooks.

They are not ebooks; maybe a quarter of our holdings are.


 
Lent my services to answering queries to the coronavirus@ mailbox over the last few days. Exoected to be fielding a lot of worried messages from prospectively infected students and staff but instead it's swamped by complaints that we"re not refunding tuition or accommidation fees.

I've been looking through the dissertations that have been submitted, and one of them was accompanying by a lengthy complaint from a student that between the strike and the corovirus, this semester has been a shambles and that it's not fair he was asked to submit his dissertation, and he should get a first and all of his tuition back.

Blue Jam

  • Last of the great avuncular magicians
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #123 on: March 28, 2020, 12:35:10 AM »
Embra have sent out an email advising that they have "paused all recruitment for the time being". That may be the case at many other universities, and may explain why I (and Blodders) haven't heard from the ones that have just interviewed us.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #124 on: March 28, 2020, 06:23:25 AM »
Pretty much all unis are on a recruitment freeze now. The Russell Group have already been lobbying the Research Councils to pay directly to cover their research staff. Given that research staff don’t fall into the chancellor’s financial support for self employed or employed then this would be a good use of RC funds. However it’s highly likely most unis would take this (and the piss ) and not renew contracts anyway.

A lot of unis will go under because of this. Given that some VCs have the financial nous of an angel delight and a massive ego they’re not in great shape to weather this.

buttgammon

  • Magnums (Magna)
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #125 on: March 28, 2020, 10:07:57 AM »
I'm due to finish my PhD next year. What awful timing!

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #126 on: March 28, 2020, 11:16:19 AM »
Pretty much all unis are on a recruitment freeze now. The Russell Group have already been lobbying the Research Councils to pay directly to cover their research staff. Given that research staff don’t fall into the chancellor’s financial support for self employed or employed then this would be a good use of RC funds. However it’s highly likely most unis would take this (and the piss ) and not renew contracts anyway.

A lot of unis will go under because of this. Given that some VCs have the financial nous of an angel delight and a massive ego they’re not in great shape to weather this.

I get jobs.ac.uk alerts daily for engineering, mathematics and bioscience positions - it seems there are so few jobs that most of them are advertised in all three categories and some even are repeated just so it looks like the market it still active

I'm fucked

idunnosomename

  • PIZZA BEAN
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #127 on: March 28, 2020, 11:27:53 AM »
I'm due to finish my PhD next year. What awful timing!
yes you should have finished it well before 2008 really

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #128 on: March 28, 2020, 11:30:47 AM »
Can university people get real jobs?

buttgammon

  • Magnums (Magna)
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #129 on: March 28, 2020, 11:40:48 AM »
yes you should have finished it well before 2008 really

Definitely! I can't help but think that what's about to come will make us long for the ravages of the 2010s. I've only been a teaching assistant since 2018 and there's been a palpable decline in the university in that time.

Attila

  • gif made by hedgehog90
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #130 on: March 28, 2020, 11:51:20 AM »
I got my PhD in 1996.

I managed to get a proper full time post (after years of adjuncting, temp teaching, &c) in 2012.

Good times.

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #131 on: March 28, 2020, 12:15:34 PM »
We’re actually holding interviews on Monday. With teaching and research talks and everything. All online. Will be interesting.

Blue Jam, I had to be a downer but I’m afraid universities are absolutely terrible at getting in touch with you if you’ve been unsuccessful. It’s possible that things are slow because of the vid, but just as likely they’ve offered it to someone else and are waiting for them to accept before notifying the others.

When I was applying for jobs I’d have much preferred to have known quickly that I wasn’t the first choice candidate. If an offer later came my way I don’t think I’d have been too proud to accept. But for some reason recruiters seem to think that no news is better than bad news.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #132 on: March 28, 2020, 12:32:05 PM »
Can university people get real jobs?

Dad? Is that you? Risen from the grave to reprimand me again?

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #133 on: March 28, 2020, 12:36:05 PM »
We’re actually holding interviews on Monday. With teaching and research talks and everything. All online. Will be interesting.

Blue Jam, I had to be a downer but I’m afraid universities are absolutely terrible at getting in touch with you if you’ve been unsuccessful. It’s possible that things are slow because of the vid, but just as likely they’ve offered it to someone else and are waiting for them to accept before notifying the others.

When I was applying for jobs I’d have much preferred to have known quickly that I wasn’t the first choice candidate. If an offer later came my way I don’t think I’d have been too proud to accept. But for some reason recruiters seem to think that no news is better than bad news.

It's a fucking shame. My first two applications (Glasgow and Cranfield) I got interviews (and fucked them), now Essex, Wolverhampton, Surrey have 'no replied' although to be fair its not long after the deadline for the latter two. The disparity between applications is astonishing, Wolverhampton was barely a two page resume, whereas places like EAWAG, that Finnish one and the North American ones are akin to writing a thesis. Sacked the Finnish one off as they wanted 7 pages teaching portfolio - I'm a researcher with lots of supervision experience but little lecturing experience - at least none with feedback etc.

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #134 on: March 28, 2020, 12:42:07 PM »
Yeah the US is particularly bad for wanting long, bespoke applications if my twatstream is anything to go by. They also tend to ask for references upfront, meaning that referees get bombarded with requests from applicants (which is not their fault).

UK is usually reasonably sane in this regard - typically a couple of pages to demonstrate you have ideas for new research, and another couple to show you can, at least in theory, give a shit about not totally fucking your teaching up.

Blue Jam

  • Last of the great avuncular magicians
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #135 on: March 28, 2020, 01:27:22 PM »
Blue Jam, I had to be a downer but I’m afraid universities are absolutely terrible at getting in touch with you if you’ve been unsuccessful. It’s possible that things are slow because of the vid, but just as likely they’ve offered it to someone else and are waiting for them to accept before notifying the others.

Yeah, I figured this might be the case. Oh well, no chance of me relocating any time soon and I like Edinburgh.

Today I got another email about volunteering to do Covid-19 testing for the NHS, and a form to fill in to specify my preferred choice of lab, how many shifts I can do and for how long etc, so hopefully I'll soon have something to do besides brewing beer, drinking beer and watching Seinfeld. If they issue me with a sexy hazmat suit I'll post a pic.

dr beat

  • #TeamColourfield
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #136 on: March 28, 2020, 01:34:12 PM »
Quote
Yeah the US is particularly bad for wanting long, bespoke applications if my twatstream is anything to go by. They also tend to ask for references upfront, meaning that referees get bombarded with requests from applicants (which is not their fault).

UK is usually reasonably sane in this regard - typically a couple of pages to demonstrate you have ideas for new research, and another couple to show you can, at least in theory, give a shit about not totally fucking your teaching up.

At my Uni we have gone down the route of US-style interviewing, which entails a full 2 days where shortlisted applicants have to meet with staff one-and-one, teach to student volunteers on top of the usual research presentation and standard panel interview.  Before that longlisted applicants have to have short Skype interviews just to get anywhere near the final interview stage. 

The whole recruitment process takes several months now, and while it must be exhausting for those shortlisted, its also a lot of work for us in the dept.  One of my senior colleagues who was on the same interview panel as me remarked that the two final candidates were the obvious two best without all the extra faffing.

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #137 on: March 28, 2020, 01:52:50 PM »
That’s sad to hear. Again I think my dept seems to be an oasis of sanity compared to what I hear about elsewhere. Yes we have our gripes and grumbles, but then we always do.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #138 on: March 28, 2020, 01:56:21 PM »
At my Uni we have gone down the route of US-style interviewing, which entails a full 2 days where shortlisted applicants have to meet with staff one-and-one, teach to student volunteers on top of the usual research presentation and standard panel interview.  Before that longlisted applicants have to have short Skype interviews just to get anywhere near the final interview stage. 

The whole recruitment process takes several months now, and while it must be exhausting for those shortlisted, its also a lot of work for us in the dept.  One of my senior colleagues who was on the same interview panel as me remarked that the two final candidates were the obvious two best without all the extra faffing.

"Just gis a job, eh!"

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #139 on: March 29, 2020, 12:24:13 PM »
just took another look on jobs.ac.uk - most of the positions seem now to be non-UK.

Saw one for Bioprocess Engineering in Adelaide - looked good until

Quote
Using your excellent communication, project management, and leadership skills you will be expected to develop multi-disciplinary research activities across the University and internationally, leveraging your Bioprocess engineering expertise in fields which may include but is not limited to therapeutic proteins, vaccines, industrial enzymes, or DNA vaccines.

jumping on the coronavirus bandwagon? Maybe one for BlueJam?

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #140 on: March 29, 2020, 12:25:08 PM »
Quote
Using your excellent

Fucked then.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #141 on: March 29, 2020, 09:46:33 PM »
Fucked then.

I am sure you excel at many things Foz. It could be something as simple as nestling.

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #142 on: March 29, 2020, 09:47:48 PM »
Shit sorry.

You're fucked then*

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #143 on: March 30, 2020, 10:25:48 AM »
Found one for you Foz

Quote
Deadline
30 Apr
Rønde, Department of Bioscience - Wildlife Ecology
Postdoc position in parrot communication

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #144 on: March 30, 2020, 10:28:37 AM »
Postdoc position in parrot communication?

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #145 on: May 04, 2020, 02:10:40 PM »
Uni bail out https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-package-for-universities-and-students

haven't gone through it all in detail but this stuck out;

The OfS is proposing a new temporary condition for registered higher education providers in England, allowing it to intervene if universities and colleges act in ways which puts at risk students’ interest

maybe i'm paranoid but is this the start of gov trying to influence any independence left in the sector - bear in mind the SNP gov tried to invoke a law that let them choose the Principals/VCs of Scottish Universities.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #146 on: May 11, 2020, 01:32:29 PM »
So with the ultra-clear new lockdown instructions from Johnson where is everyone now?

My university, where I'm in facility management, furloughed me until the end of May and possibly to the end of June. They'll need us back in when they do open up the campus again, but god alone knows when that wil be.

Blue Jam

  • Last of the great avuncular magicians
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #147 on: May 11, 2020, 02:38:47 PM »
Edinburgh have a "Town Hall meeting" starting in a bit, where I assume we're going to find out what is going on.

It looks like my department will be reopening in mid-June but the majority of staff will still be working mostly from home and us lab rats will only be going into the lab for about an hour a day, at staggered times so we can work alone. The shared offices will all be closed and I don't know how I'm going to process my massive data files without my big powerful custom-built computer. Not sure how I'm going to work with liquid nitrogen either, that's always a two-man job.

I am part of a small lab group where I'm the only one who doesn't have young children, elderly relatives or an underlying health condition, which means Muggins Here will probably be kept quite busy. Also the university don't want us using buses or doing car shares, so my only option is walking, which would take me too long, or cycling, which frightens the piss out of me.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 02:51:00 PM by Blue Jam »

Attila

  • gif made by hedgehog90
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #148 on: May 11, 2020, 02:39:03 PM »
I'm still in the semester that will not end -- I've got about 10 days til my exams start and I get hit with the next batch of marking (two big exams, and two sets of assignments). Then of course there are all the resits and resubs in July. I can see myself still marking stuff from this semester clear into the autumn at this rate.

I said this in another thread, but our VC is overjoyed at the PM's speech last night, sent around an email in comic sans that she hopes we'll be able to get the campus open and running again. Terrifying email, terrifying woman. Of course, senior management scurried off campus like rats off a sinking ship two weeks before they let anyone else do it.

The autumn plan(s) are a clusterfuck in the making. The uni is desperate to assume we'll open as normal, but have sent around to us the possible scenarios:

*open as if nothing has happened, face to face teaching as usual.

*open as if nothing has happened, have to shift online quickly again in mid-semester if there ia fresh outbreak

*open as if nothing has happened, some lectures delivered live, some online, some recorded; some seminars live, others virtual through teams or canvas.

*open as if nothing has happened, but practice social distancing -- involves recording something things, meeting virtually in others, but as much face to face as possible -- which means having to teach multiples of the same lecture/seminar as we can't have more than 16% of our students in the same room at the same time. No additional hours are being factored in, although this scheme will probably mean us teaching on campus 5 days a week between 9 and 6, and possibly into the evening. Considering that I am slated to have three full-on modules, two sections of weekly writing workshops with my dissertation students, various lectures given on modules where I team teach, and fucknoes wherelse they will plug me in, I can see having no time to mark papers or prepare lectures (I'm teaching three new modules next year and revising three others due to revalidation). It's fucking mental -- as mentioned in the other thread, we already have way too many students for campus classroom space.

*only teach Year 2 and 3, and delay Year 1 til January

* delay the full start of the academic year til January.

My money is on the absolutely worst possible choice, as senior management excel as working us into the ground and crushing any morale that we might show signs of. Everyone worked balls to the wall when we went online in the last three weeks of the semester, and all we got in return from senior management was a sniffy response, and orders that if we don't get recruitment up, they're going to start culling staff.

I know the VC and them are desperate to get us back to live Open Days, as well.

Just saw Blue Jam's post -- yeah, they don't want us on public transportation, either. I take the train as it's 15 miles to get to my campus. Ad even if I drove, I'd have to go to a Park and Ride and catch that bus. I'm in a small programme where three of the 7 of us actually live in England; the others are in Ireland or on the continent at the moment. Of the three of us in England, I'm the only FT person as they other two are part time. And I live the closest. So I can see a fuckton of stuff being dumped on me, as well.

My head of dept is a reasonable person, however, and I suspect he's going to continue to urge us to meet via Teams and that. I hope so, anyway!

Blue Jam

  • Last of the great avuncular magicians
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #149 on: May 11, 2020, 02:54:38 PM »
I've ordered a hi-vis vest and backpack and am going to give my bike a bit of a tune-up. There are two cycle paths I could use to get to werk, with a bit of road connecting them, so I could just walk my hike along that bit.

I'm a wuss, I know, but just before I left London a driver deliberately rammed me off my bike and fled the scene and I've been scared of cycling on roads ever since. It doesn't matter how careful or experienced you are when just one twat like that exists.

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