Thank you, everyone, for completing the Faculty Success Survey. During these challenging times, we understand that many of you are feeling great stress managing your classes during a global pandemic and financial crisis. We have collected and analyzed your thoughtful responses.
As your Provost, I have spent several careful minutes thinking about the results. But before I present the findings, along with our new Faculty Success Initiative, I want to emphasize how important every part of our university family is to our continued growth: our students, our doctors, our corporate partners, our generous alumni donors, our pets, our lovely campus flora and fauna, our golf carts, and you, our faculty. You do so much—you meet, you talk, some of you exercise at the recreation center, and a lot of you teach. There are rumors that you also write things, although the library has no books, so who really knows.
The survey results show a faculty that is dedicated and happy to have employment at this university. The data is pretty conclusive: 46 percent of you are not actively looking for work, 30 percent of you feel confident your academic unit will survive the upcoming budget cuts, and 24 percent of you report feeling only slightly panicked most of the day. That means an impressive 100 percent of you are happy with the university and working hard every day to help students graduate as quickly as possible.
Yet, I still believe there are ways to improve faculty productivity and my standing as an Academic Leader at the Forefront of Success and Innovation in Higher Education. That is why I am announcing the following initiatives. Although we cannot pay you more, we believe we can transform what it means to be a successful faculty member:
An e-Dashboard Tracking Faculty Best Practices. This new Multi-Dimensional Interface will help you measure how well you are engaging our Learning Community through Innovative Twenty-First-Century Classroom Technologies and Flexible Assessment Tools. It has lots of dials, bar graphs, and animated arrows. We have hired three new deans to monitor the e-Dashboard and make sure the arrows move back and forth.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In our current climate, it is so important to tackle these urgent social needs. That is why I have developed a program that will diversify the faculty. For example, why should only faculty teach students? Why should teaching be confined to those with certain “qualifications”? It is only equitable to open university teaching to everyone on campus. Teaching will now be inclusive: deans, associate deans, assistant deans, vice assistant deans, accountants, financial officers, and parking attendants.
An Additional $15 Million for Student Success. But what does student success have to do with faculty success? Everything. If you think about it, faculty success is just student success but with “faculty” in place of “student.” To this end, I have invested $15 million in a new AI electronic teaching software platform called ULearnAlone. Students can now take their classes by simply downloading the app onto their mobile devices. They don’t even need to open it. All the learning is behind the scenes using ULearnAlone’s proprietary algorithm. EdTech really is magic.
Renaming Faculty Job Titles. I am working with Human Resources to rename job codes to better reflect the work you actually do. So, for example, many of you will no longer be “Professors” but “Student Graduation Facilitators.” Others of you will take on the new job title of “Metric Chaser” or “Adjunct Administrator.” These better reflect the valuable work you do and not the things you thought you were hired to do.
Improved Communication Systems. I am officially allocating $2 million for a new software platform called Direct2Faculty. It will allow me to communicate directly to your brains, bypassing the written word as well as your mental will to resist strategic initiatives. Even at this moment, I am tunneling deep into your mind, systematically removing all obstacles to total compliance.
Early Retirement. The centerpiece of our Faculty Success Initiative. We understand that retirement may not seem like the right option for you. You may think, “There is too much paperwork,” or “I can’t afford it,” or “I am only thirty-five years old.” Our new Early Retirement for Faculty Success Initiative is designed to meet these challenges. We have prepared a special fifty-page report that explains how you are, in fact, perfectly ready for retirement. Retirement is not about money or age but the annihilation of any sense of purpose and meaning in your professional life. Once you accept this, you will quickly see how retirement really is for you. And we have greatly streamlined the process. To retire, all you need to do is find a quiet corner of a building (but not mine!) and say, out loud, in a determined voice, “I retire and release the university from all current and future financial obligations!” Being already in your head, I will hear you very clearly. Then you can let out a small whimper and crumple to the ground in a heap of deflated good intentions.
Faculty Success Redefined!