Split

I’ve mentioned before that Orsino’s time is being divided between the English department and the history department (or, as we call it in high school, social studies–properly, too, as it contains the economics and psychology classes, as well as a few other odds and ends).  It is a bit odd, in that he first came to SA’s attention as an English teacher, has a Ph.D. in English (hence his former pseudonym, Ph.D. Guy), and was a candidate for the position for which we hired the younger, less experienced Dinah because the GGE believed she was a better match for the courses we needed covered.  As I know I’ve also mentioned, I’ve come to think the GGE was quite right.  He hired Orsino way back in November of 2012 to start in August of 2013, recognizing that we would have increased needs in both English and social studies, and believing that Orsino, having taught some college humanities and history as well as English, would be able to cover what was then an unspecified need in both departments.

So he has been teaching three ninth-grade ancient history classes and two eleventh-grade American literature classes.  I know it hasn’t been smooth sledding the whole time, but he really has done a wonderful job, and I think he has earned the respect and liking of people in both departments, his students, and miscellaneous other folks across SA.  His life should be getting a bit easier right about now, as I have just taken over one of his classes for the second semester (his official load is 4.5 year-long courses).  Now, though, it is also time to start figuring out our deployment for next year, and that includes what to do with Orsino.  Both departments will need to offer more sections next year as the high school enrollment continues to grow; Penelope estimates that English will need two additional sections to accommodate growth and scheduling complexities, and I’m guessing that history is the same (I forgot to ask her).  So one thing that could happen is that one department or the other will get all of Orsino, and the other department will hire someone new.

The Social Studies chair is someone I really like, a mild and scholarly type I’ll call Eveline.  I was surprised to discover that she would be happy to take 100% of Orsino, although she acknowledges that English has a stronger claim and we both think that it would be better for his development as a faculty member to be in English.  (At some point in this process, but not quite yet, we will ask Orsino about his preferences, but we both think he’s too much of a professional–and a diplomat–to voice a strong preference.)  I’d thought that Eveline would be interested in doing a hire and getting another 100% history person on board.  But they’ve also had a couple of pretty punk hires within the last few years, and it sounds like she’d be more than okay with continuing with Orsino.

So I need to figure out if 100% of Orsino really does suit our needs.  We might actually need a little bit of coverage beyond that, as it looks likely that Viola (who is part-time) might not be back next year, and while Orsino could teach her classes, he wouldn’t stretch to cover the new additional sections.  I need to check in with Lucinda about whether she wants to keep her slightly reduced post-baby schedule (88%) or go back to 100%, and with a few other folks about similar issues.  Meanwhile, the GGE is going to look at who’s available in both Social Studies and English when he goes to national and regional hiring events.  And somehow we’ll put the whole puzzle together, piece by piece…

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bardiac on January 27, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Hmmm, what sorts of English classes need covered? Say, some general ones? British?

    The wind chill here this morning is reported as minus 35, so, you know…

    Reply

    • Posted by meansomething on January 28, 2014 at 4:12 am

      It was very nice weather here today. And, as I pointed out above, we have some very nice birds, too. There was a busy woodpecker on campus this morning, for example, and we definitely have owls.

      Reply

  2. I’m having the 2014-15 staffing conversation with a couple of administrators on Wednesday. We’re trying to decide if/how to convert some part-time positions into a full-time position, which brings some attendant difficulties. Good luck to both of us in figuring all of this out!

    Reply

  3. […] now that I have been chair for six months, I can see that my most frequent adviser, Eveline, is too reserved for me to consult often; when she gives me advice, I can see she worries about […]

    Reply

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