Academic common room
To feel so demoralised by academia and REF
goingpearshaped · 27/01/2022 21:04
I am just losing it with academia. Having been on some interviews today, all that matters is bloody REF and money. Teaching matters not at all (tell that to my inbox which is hammered by student queries/complaints as prog lead). I just feel like there is nowhere to go. My subject is very applied (my bit of it) but all management care about is bloody impact factors and £. What about the actual people that research can benefit? It's such a sad state of affairs now. I am not saying that REF doesn't matter, just that it is not the be all and end all. Sorry for the rant..
Caramelnipple · 27/01/2022 21:05
Yes, yes, and yes. I hear you. Don't get me started on the fixed term contracts that coincide with the REF cycle.
goingpearshaped · 27/01/2022 21:09
Thanks @Caramelnipple for letting me rant and sorry you feel that way too. Good point re FT contracts, agee completely. I feel like academia has sold out.
Gormless · 27/01/2022 21:15
I hear you too. Been in a very similar situation. It’s awful.
comeundone · 27/01/2022 21:24
"we are committed to DORA" on website aka Deans Google impact factors during hiring panels. "We're committed to Athena SWAN and EDI", whilst selecting the white man yet again. I'm growing older and more disillusioned and beleaguered with admin and students, whilst the new hires (usually white, male, with ££ grants in hand cos that's why we hired them) "must have their research time protected for the next REF". We have danced into the government's League table-soaked hands.
goingpearshaped · 27/01/2022 21:34
This reply has been deleted
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
goingpearshaped · 27/01/2022 21:42
What you said @comeundone really resonated. for all. Today has not been a good day and I am sorry that so many of us feel this way.
comeundone · 27/01/2022 21:49
I do feel a duty to do what I can to point out the crap stuff, even if it guarantees zero chance of promotion. Tomorrow is another day to @goingpearshaped and others.
goingpearshaped · 28/01/2022 07:58
Good point about duty @comeundone. I still very battered and bruised today, really lost my mojo at the moment. I seriously question why I was marking all Sunday when literally they could not care less about teaching. I honestly don't think I have been as demoralised as I am right now, things are totally heading in the wrong direction. My family is here else I would think about moving institutions (not that this solves all the problems).
damekindness · 28/01/2022 09:29
My email inbox is full of exhortations to apply for this grant or this funding.
What it is not full of is any discussion around having teaching spaces big enough to fit a whole cohort of students in at once and how we're going to explain to students why we need to continue at least 50% remote teaching post Covid because of the lack of space (and teaching staff)
dreamingbohemian · 28/01/2022 17:04
I agree it's so depressing. We are explicitly told to do the bare minimum on teaching and focus on grants and pubs.
But then why have a university at all? Just turn them all into think tanks if you don't care about teaching.
This is why I think the current UCU strategy of strikes is not going to work out. Universities don't seem to care much about teaching. If we all decided to boycott grant and publication submissions, then they might care.
Mylordsize · 28/01/2022 18:29
I agree. I sat in a meeting this week about the future success of the department watching a panel of blokes tell us how internationally outstanding they were and how to be more bloke. No women appeared on screen. No women were invited to contribute. The only non white man who offered an opinion was brushed off. Teaching was never mentioned. It is all wrong.
And they don’t see it if it is pointed out. They bang on about a level playing field. Everyone can do the stuff if only they are more bloke.
And they all think their research is world beating and important. No one cares. No one reads it except their chums. Arrogant and deluded.
I wonder if the TEF will make a difference?
goingpearshaped · 28/01/2022 18:35
What you said with bells on @Mylordsize. I was made to feel like a silly little girl for caring about teaching yesterday. I am an active researcher too but not bloke enough. If only I could be more male prof and publish in their journals and in their area. What would I know as a lowly woman ( not prof)?
Agree re strikes btw, not that I am in ucu any longer.
goingpearshaped · 28/01/2022 18:36
And yes to bloody level playing field, they just cannot see any of this at all.
Mylordsize · 28/01/2022 19:20
@goingpearshaped yes I publish too and have a professional qualification and I LOVE teaching but I am not a self publicist and whilst I enjoy my research (which I have come to late due to being in a non academic professional job for years- the skills from which the students appreciate and the university needs buts does not value- then qualifying as a teacher before a PhD) I have no delusions about it’s importance.
My problem is having had a life elsewhere than academia ( and not being a bloke)
Good luck everyone. I find it sad that everywhere seems to be the same. It should be a fantastic job but it is being ruined by the pointless competition and rank chasing.
reshetima · 29/01/2022 15:23
I was thinking about this thread listening to this week's A Point of View with Rebecca Stott, on leaving academia: it's so hard to find the nuggets of joy in the job, though the balance is still just on the right side for me, luckily.
goingpearshaped · 10/02/2022 20:58
Thanks @reshetima, i had missed this programme. Interesting indeed. Interestingly someone in our dept this week announced leaving academia. I feel very demoralised atm, today has just seen more shit heading my way and for what? The flexibility as a parent is amazing though and the pay is reasonable to be honest.
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