Monday, April 21, 2014
How NOT to award an Award
Here at Big Time R1 we have annual teaching awards that are peer-nominated. They entail a mid 4-figure check, a $1K base salary bump, a nice plaque and the public praise of Administration at a catered event.
I've had good success at nominating colleagues; all three I've initiated in the last five years won. The package is extensive and takes a good deal of time, so I'm happy to work on it when my colleagues win. Not sure how I'll feel when/if they lose.
This year's nomination was met with silence for a full month after the time the awards are usually announced. Finally, we found out that this year's nominee won because our payroll person got a memo to increase the nominee's base salary by $1K. Three days later, the nominee got an email that simply said: "Please read the attachment in regard to your selection as a Teaching Award recipient." The attachment was a pdf of the official award letter from on high, with all details about the ceremony. Said letter came in hard copy on letterhead three additional days later by interdepartment mail.
What a hamhanded way to let people know they had won a major award. How hard would it have been for someone to telephone the winners right away? There are ten of them, but still... The Administration office that handles the awards has an interim head, and is somewhat short staffed, but still... The payroll office asks the department chair about an unusual raise and the chair then asks the recipient if she heard anything and she hasn't, so we all wait three more days until a cryptic email gets sent with an official letter attached?
When such things happen, all I can do is sing our unofficial Big Time R1 song:
M I C...K E Y...M O U S E! (You know the tune.)
-- Old Fart Prof