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To think we neded more than 12 hours notice?

(21 Posts)
Greenandcabbagelooking Thu 13-Mar-14 07:20:06

I am doing a part-time Masters degree, whilst working. I normally have a seminar at 2pm on Thursdays. At 10pm yesterday I got an e-mail saying seminar had been moved to 11am. I have to juggle work around now, plus other things, at almost no notice.

AIBU to think we ought to have been told earlier?

maggiemight Thu 13-Mar-14 07:29:17

What was their excuse for moving it?

Write a letter explaining the difficulties for you.

sooperdooper Thu 13-Mar-14 07:36:17

I agree, I'm starting a masters in May while working full time and I'd hate it if this happened, far too short notice! Some people might not even have checked their emails!

ProfondoRosso Thu 13-Mar-14 07:38:55

You are absolutely right. I work in a university and wouldn't expect anyone to turn up for a seminar if the time was changed at 10pm the previous night.

ShadowFall Thu 13-Mar-14 08:46:01


Even if you had no other committments today, it's entirely possible that an e-mail sent at 10pm might not even be read until it's too late to make the 11am seminar. Not everyone checks their e-mail first thing in the morning.

CountessOfRule Thu 13-Mar-14 09:38:24

For some students, 11am is first thing in the morning.

Booboostoo Thu 13-Mar-14 10:33:45

Too short notice, especially if the degree is targeted towards students who also work. The only excuse is if Thursdays are your study days and you are assumed to be available; some Unis I have worked for had a specific Uni day for P/T PG degrees and all classes, seminars and talks were grouped together on that day to make life easier for working students.

ephemeralfairy Thu 13-Mar-14 10:54:35

Yanbu. Universities make a lot of money out of postgrad students and they should take their needs into account a bit more! I'm starting a masters in the autumn and hope to go part-time in my current job, the way our rotas are structured means that it would be almost impossible for me to rearrange shifts at such short notice.

hunreeeal Thu 13-Mar-14 10:56:08

YANBU, definitely too short notice.

nannynewo Thu 13-Mar-14 10:58:45

I am going to say YABU on the basis that the lecture was probably moved for a reason out of the lecturer's hands and I am sure if they were able to then they would have told you sooner.
I am doing a university course and it is one thing that annoys me, when students do not check their emails often. Obviously if you are unable to make it then the lecturer should dedicate some extra time to go over everything you missed, and if they deny this then YANBU.

WestieMamma Thu 13-Mar-14 11:02:30

Depends on the reason for the last minute change. My DH had to do something similar recently. He had to fill in for a colleague who'd been involved in a collision with a HGV while cycling home. DH already had his own teaching commitments so had to make last minute changes.

overthemill Thu 13-Mar-14 11:04:46

YANBU if the email was SENT at 10pm but if you only happened to read it then and it had been sent much earlier, then maybe? The thing is things do happen that mean stuff gets moved but less than a weeks notice seems unrealistic for a part time degree course

JayEmm Thu 13-Mar-14 11:08:44

Trust me that no one who has ever been involved in timetabling at a university wants to change anything, let alone at short notice, unless there's no other option.

If it's a choice between cancelling the seminar or moving it at short notice, which is preferable?

And yes, 10pm is too late to let you know - but that means that someone involved was still working at 10pm...

So, you're not really unreasonable to think it's too late, but I suspect neither was your university being unreasonable in changing it.

ProfondoRosso Thu 13-Mar-14 21:55:45

Nobody should still be working at 10pm, Jay, if it's not in their contracted hours. But this shit is endemic in HE. I finished my PhD recently and supervisors did assume it was ok to change or cancel meetings by emailing at 10/11pm. Then they'd be baffled, when you arrived at 9am, that you hadn't seen the email. I was drafted in to teach classes on complex subjects with one hour's notice at times. They expect you to live as they do, but I don't want to and won't.

Gormless Thu 13-Mar-14 22:57:23

Academics don't have set working hours: their contracts specify tasks, duties and responsibilities but nothing about working within set hours. Which is just as well as we'd never get through everything... That is much too late to change a seminar time though; they should at least create a decent 'catch up' opportunity for those who can't come at the new time.

UptheChimney Fri 14-Mar-14 07:26:51

If it's a choice between cancelling the seminar or moving it at short notice, which is preferable?

And yes, 10pm is too late to let you know - but that means that someone involved was still working at 10pm...

Excellent summary of the situation and the dilemma the staff may have found themselves in. And of the hours university tutors work ...

Which would you prefer: re-scheduling or cancelling?

Booboostoo Fri 14-Mar-14 07:37:21

Gosh I had to work Sundays for a few years because timetabling couldn't find any other space for our students! And I don't mean a one hour lecture, but a whole day of seminars! No set hours sounds like flexible fun but can be a huge problem. I don't think I ever took full 25 days of holiday either in my 15 years in academia, work just spilled out all over the place!

CountessOfRule Fri 14-Mar-14 09:19:53

But surely you reschedule for a later time, not sooner.

creamteas Fri 14-Mar-14 09:51:08

But surely you reschedule for a later time, not sooner

You can only reschedule for a time when there is both a staff member and room available. In many universities, both are in very short supply.

CountessOfRule Fri 14-Mar-14 09:57:36

I suppose so. I didn't necessarily mean later the same day, though. I'm not au fait with postgrad courses but I would have thought people might legitimately have set aside the morning for reading/preparation and so even if they were available at 11am and had read the email on time, they might well not arrive as prepared as they'd like.

UptheChimney Fri 14-Mar-14 10:11:37

It seems to be a case of damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Because if the seminar were cancelled, there'd be an AIBU for that!

Personally, I'd try to find a colleague to take the session for me, but if it was with such short notice (and hey, academics are human, we have crises/emergencies -- although considerably fewer than the sorts of things I read about on here) that would be far too much to ask a colleague.

If I'm ill, I generally struggle in rather than cancel (I took no sick leave after a major limb fracture a year ago because there just wasn't the staffing for any kind of substitute coverage).

But if it was at such short notice, I'd probably cancel and do a catch up session the following week. However, organising that is generally a nightmare. It's easier to just struggle while teaching with illness.

Students generally get pretty resentful if we get ill, IME.

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