Rumor Has It

So like most companies the school that I work for is having a town hall meeting today to discuss some necessary changes to help weather the economic crisis. Because they had a meeting with supervisors already to give them the heads up the rumor mill has been overflowing with gossip about what these changes will entail.

I have to confess that I thrive on the gossip mill. I don't like to spread it but I love to hear it. I want to be in the know. So shame on me but my ears have been perked up like crazy the last few days trying to decipher what is going to be announced. One thing is clear..there will be NO lay offs. That is great however there is lots of other bad news instead.

People do not go into higher education administration for the money. They just don't because it is not there. The master's degrees and Ph.D's would be much MUCH more profitable in the private sector. However there are several other "perks" that we all appreciate and feel like make up for the fact that we don't get paid the best. These are what the rumors have said are going to start going away. One example of what I have heard is that our reduced summer hours is gone and so is our week at Christmas that we get off without having to take vacation. Since the "meetings" haven't taken place yet why these things must go (and what actually is going)isn't really clear but the key word of the day is efficiency.

What a bunch of crap if you ask me. I want to know how much the college is going to "save" or increase in "revenue" if they keep us here an hour longer everyday in the summer and during the week between Christmas and New Year's. I think it has been something that "admin" has wanted to do away with for a long time and now they have their chance.

I know that the economy has affected millions of Americans but it has not affected everyone. I meet with students and parents everyday. We have a process called a special circumstances appeal. This allows financial aid administrators to adjust the FAFSA if the family has had a significant financial change since the previous year. You file your FAFSA based on the previous years tax information and it is quite possible that your current situation is significantly different. Some of the families that I have talked to have asked for such an appeal. When I ask what has changed in their financial situation they tell me "well, the economy".


Has someone lost their job, reduced salary, reduction in hours, etc etc? Well, no. Then please tell me how exactly has the economy affected your financial situation? Bret and I will be the first to admit that although having my perks taken away kind of sucks our financial situation has not changed or been affected by the economy. We are lucky that way. Don't get me wrong for every student that has not been affected I have spoken to three that have. Thus the reason for the appeal in the first place.

As for the school I work for....our incoming freshman class is up as far as numbers and our retention actually looks great for the upcoming year. We may have lost some of our endowment with the rocky stock market last year but overall our losses were not that significant (I have a BA in finance and yes I actually read the quarterly reports that are presented to the board/alum/etc). So please tell me how much the college is saving by making their employees work 50 extra hours over the summer (when we have almost NO students on campus because of our limited summer offerings) and 32 hours over the Christmas holiday. I would bet that the impact on moral and employee satisfaction will have a MUCH MUCH more significant impact on the overall commitment to our students. The cherry on top for me is that this week concludes our Fund Campaign in which faculty and staff are asked to donate to the college. You can bet that I want to give back to the school that is not giving any raises to staff, increasing our hours, and charging us more for our benefits. Boy what a motivator.


Matt said...

Wow - you gonna write this in your college sponsored blog?

Musings of the Mrs. said...

huh. I too am in finance, and to me, working more for the same money does not equate to the school saving money. Unless they use temps or something when you all are off. It seems more like they would reduce pay during the off time if they were concerned about money. OR maybe because of the endowment losses, they will have all the professors building buildings in the offtime instead of hiring contractors. Because THAT would really make a lot of sense. can't wait to hear what happens (b/c I too love gossip!)

alissa said...

hey there! thanks for visiting my blog - come back soon:)

im with you - i think its really funny when people say something has changed 'because of the economy' and im like well you still have your job/havent taken a pay cut etc...so exactly what has changed?
people are taking advantage of it which is unfortunate for those that have really been affected

Adriana said...

Matt- No, I'm outspoken...not dumb

Mrs.- So the reason they gave yesterday had to do with equity and efficiency. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH not everyone can leave early or not work over the break...BLAH, BLAH, BLAH employees most valuable resource...still a bunch of BS IMHO

Alissa- Greed is a sad and terrible thing

**UPDATE*** Rumors held true..other announcements included increase in costs of benefit changes, and vacation rollover policies...nothing too surprising...most people were really upset