Loyalty, Schmoyalty What do you do when you realize your devotion to your institution is not reciprocated?




DECEMBER 14, 2015

Recently, I received an email from a good friend, a tenured professor on another campus, complaining about the latest indignity he had suffered at the hands of administrators.

He had made a routine request for a minor adjustment to his teaching schedule — essentially, swapping one course for another — only to have it denied for no apparent reason and with no explanation. He later learned that a junior faculty member, a “rising star” in the department, had been given the course my friend had requested, despite the department’s longstanding tradition of basing such decisions on seniority.

“I’m sick of this (expletive deleted),” he wrote. “After all I’ve done for this college and this department, all the loyalty I’ve shown over the years. Well, no more. I’m done.”

My reply was even more succinct: “What took you so long?”

You see, I came to the same conclusion several years ago, after a particularly harrowing experience in which a few of my “colleagues” ganged up on me and tried to damage my career. As I wrote at the time, they very nearly succeeded, and probably would have if I hadn’t taken certain steps to protect myself. When push came to shove, all my years of service to the institution, all my outstanding teaching evaluations, all my publications and presentations, apparently meant nothing to the college’s corporatist administrators. They showed me no loyalty whatsoever. In the aftermath, I came to realize that I, therefore, owed no loyalty to them, to the institution, or to the department. Read more…