I'm currently working on a longish and (I hope) thoughtful post on scholarly mistakes and scribal errors, but I'm having a hard time focusing on it because I'm so, well, pissed off. Yesterday I found out that a simply fantabulous colleague is getting the shaft in a royal way from the college administration, who has decided, three years after hiring her, that her qualifications are not sufficient to justify her continued employment here. Basically, the problem is that she went straight from a B.A. to a Ph.D. program, where she is currently ABD and tentatively scheduled to defend this summer. The Hawtch-Watchers now feel that her lack of an M.A. is a serious problem (despite the obvious fact that ABD status puts her essentially much higher on the academic scale than a simple M.A. would). They told her last week that if she doesn't defend by August 1, she's out. The colleague in question is a wonderful teacher and an active scholar (rare enough around here) and has a sterling record of service to the department.
So why fire her? Because they can.
The few of us who know about her situation have offered the same advice: f*ck 'em. We've told her to finish her dissertation and then run as fast as possible away from here. She was planning on going on the job market next year anyway, so the end result was more or less inevitable. But still...
I try to avoid the typical "administration-evil" mindset. I understand that they have to run a college and that their concerns are not always the same as faculty concerns and that that is as it should be. But today, I feel like I'm sitting at the bottom of a well. And the thought that I'll be down here for the next thirty years or so is not, right now, a happy thought.