THIS WILL NOT BE THEIR LAST TERRITORIAL DEMAND. At Northern Illinois University, several students have objected to the administration's priorities, particularly with the provision of ever more lavish quarters for upper administrators, while the courses they'd like to take to finish their degrees on time are closed before it's their turn to register.
The College of Liberal Arts has an interesting response to this problem: hire more advisors, and provide them with additional space. Oh, and at the same time, move the deans and ranking functionaries to a different floor, so they need not be disturbed by the spectacle of students seeking classes.
Does that mean the university has found an angel who is providing new quarters for advisors and deans? Of course not. The additional advisors will be housed on the second floor of an office tower; the deans and functionaries will move from the second floor to the third floor. And what's on the third floor? The political science department. Never mind that: they can move to the fourth and fifth floors. There are sufficient smaller offices there for the current political science faculty to be housed there: never mind that the offices are not conducive to conferences with multiple students at the same time (useful for homework questions.) But who is on the fourth and fifth floor? Some political scientists and the economists. OK, same solution: house the current economics faculty in the smaller offices on the fifth and sixth floors. Hmm, we have the same enrollments that we had in 1987 with a faculty of 13 rather than 23. Guess that means no further expansion of the economics department ...
I'd compare the college's treatment of the economics department -- this is simply the latest in a Long String of Abufes and Ufurpations -- to the behavior of an abusive spouse, but abusive spouses will sometimes come up with a cruise or a fancy car as part of their manipulative techniques.
What I will do is ask Herrn. Schneider u. Schwarz to consider for inclusion on the sheepshead deck, as the King of Spades, Associate Dean William Minor. He is certainly shoveling a load onto the political science and economics departments. (And, as this is a ten-story building, there are additional inconveniences to people on the higher floors.)
I'm also wondering what sort of training these additional advisors will be getting. "Well, the university does not plan to hire any additional economics or political science faculty, and we envision further downsizing of philosophy and history, so we can't get you into those prerequisites this semester, but we do have lots of sections of underwater basketweaving open." Or what answers will they have for those students who will discover that there is always additional space for the individuals whose function is to keep those of us who remain to do the work from doing the work? That discontent is already surfacing in the paper. Or whether the additional advisors will have special training in Cooling Out The Mark?