Saturday, April 25, 2009

Can you hear me now?

In another sign of the institutional apocalypse, yesterday I heard this story from a faculty member in the sciences:
I called [Professor Bob Z] today and got the message that his phone had been disconnected. So I called the department office to ask what his new number was. And the department admin told me that many of the faculty phones in HArCS* had been disconnected to save money. (The science prof widens her eyes and drops her jaw in disbelief.) So I asked how I could reach him. And she says, "His office is just down the hall. I could stick my head into the hallway and call his name, and if he's here, he'll hear me."

So I tweeted this, and the news was soon confirmed via Twitter by a colleague in a humanities department, who wrote (sarcastically), "Yup. it's true. thank goodness twitter is free. we're all moving to twitter."

No phones in faculty offices. (Safety first! It's especially funny because on Thursday the campus tested the "Warn Me" emergency system by leaving--you guessed it--voicemail messages on all campus phones.) So here's the next question: If you're faculty, would you give your cell number to your students? (Especially knowing that there are many places on campus that still don't get cell service, especially the ubiquitous tin-can "temporary" buildings from the 60s?)

Next up: Pay-per-e-mail internet service, à la 1994?

*Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies


Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Dang -- talk about disrespect for the humanities....

No, I would not give my students my cell phone number.

I would give them the number of the Dean's office -- or whomever made that bonehead move. I'd tell my students the can snail mail me or e-mail me -- or call the idiot who decided we don't need phones. If I give them my cell number I'm now paying for the service the university should be providing -- an office phone.

My cell phone is for my own convenience. That's why I pay the bill.

I also wouldn't answer administration phone calls on my home or cell phone -- they don't want to pay to provide me with a phone number, to them I don't have one. I might even change my number(s) and not give them the new ones.

Unknown said...

O.M.G. It does not get more short-sighted than that. It's like the Dilbert comics where they decide everyone has to wear a shoe size smaller to save wear and tear on the carpet.

Here's the thing. At our school, people complain when people use services outside the school, forward email to gmail for example, but then start to freak out when people start using something the school provides and want a service to be say, reliable. Can't have it both ways.

grumpyABDadjunct said...

Give students my cell number? Hell no, why not just give them my home address while we're at it?

Gawd, that is just unbelievable. Wow.