From a field reporter:
So I was at school Saturday… and I saw several people running around looking very worried. People like secretaries, engineers… like any small forest dwellers smelling smoke I asked someone what was up and was told that the Chancellor would be visiting the college on Monday. She wants to see every room in the college and is looking for unkempt offices, storages rooms, areas of the college – weird I know. I don’t know dude. I think it is very strange; I don’t want to start rumors. I don’t know if this info really parallels the info you post on the lounge but I feel irresponsible knowing this info and sitting on it. I was also told she will be working with the office of accountabilities and taking pictures. She wants all doors opened for her (that was a direct quote from [the source]. Eeeeeeeeeeeeee yeah not the office of good times the office of accountabilities! Alriighty that’s is the scoop sir Richardson do with it as you may. As I said before I don’t want to start a weird rumor but…it’s hard to predict what she will do with photos of our dirty offices. Heck I organized mine a little and cleaned [another] room which both look like what the end of the semester should look like! Aright bro let me know what you think.
So, do with that information what you may, but, to answer the kindly sharing person’s question, here’s what I think, in the order that it comes to mind:
- Pride of place is an important aspect of what we do. We should be mindful of the impression that our spaces give to our students. There was a tremendous and, I think, palpable shift in student behavior and perception of the school after the renovation compared to before, and five years later, we should make sure that we’re taking care of our spaces.
- Personally, I am not particularly terrified (or even slightly worried) about the idea of the Chancellor looking around. She has the right and, frankly, I don’t think it’s a bad thing (see #1). Things may not be in perfect shape, but fresh eyes can see things that others’ can’t. I can understand, however, why some people might be, hence the decision to pass this possibility along.
- I don’t know for sure, but I’m not aware of any academic policy (or employment policy) related to office spaces or the rest, and even if there were, I’m inclined to think that if she walks into my office and snaps a picture and finds it to be deplorable that the worst I/we will get is a directive to clean it up and/or an oral warning about the policy of which I do not know. I’d be ok with that. I understand that the same might NOT be true for some employees in some departments, but it sounds like most of them are aware of the pending visit, and so should be in ok shape anyway.
- Office of Accountabilities–AWESOME name. I hope the person who is in charge of it wears a black robe and wears glasses down at the end of her/his nose over which s/he peers while scrutinizing the world for opportunities/things to which s/he must hold people to account. That would be a great art/literary project–“Portray the head of the Office of Accountabilities” (in literary, visual, cinematic or philosophical terms). Fun!
- If you have an old pizza sitting on top of your desk or socks hung over your laptop, you might want to make a trip into the office on Monday and tidy up a bit. Or not. Maybe we should just see what happens.After all, we don’t know what the criteria are, so we can’t be said to be in violation of them, right?
- Plus, it might not even happen. Who knows? Like the reporter, I am a little hesitant about even saying anything about this out of fear of causing undue panic or anxiety and/or engaging in rumor mongering. It is, after all, uncorroborated and so there is the significant potential that some part of what is to happen (or why) has been misunderstood or misreported or both and there is lots of potential (amid everything else that is going on) for hyperbolizing and fear mongering, none of which, I’m sure, any of us need. So, my main thought is, to quote Rapunzel from Tangled, “Don’t freak out.”
- If you do go in to grade/do some post-semester filing and re-organizing, don’t be surprised if you get a knock on the door and find the Chancellor there…You can tell her you read it on The Lounge!
And special thanks to my information agent and field reporter. I’m sure more than one person will be happy to have heard about this before the fact.
Back to that grading, now…