Thursday, May 17, 2007

Need to vent

This year I am the "admissions coordiantor" for our programme. It is an awful task which nobody wants to do and this year it's my turn.

So, for the past few weeks I have been working with our programme office assessing piles of "direct" applications, meaning the applicants are not applying or not eligible to apply for admission through the JUPAS programme (think UCAS in the UK - JUPAS is only for students who are sitting for their A-levels this year).

I spent hours sifting through the piles of forms, reading testimonials, studying sample essays, coming up with a shortlist of applicants to be interviewed. I like applicants who have few(er) spelling errors, demonstrated a wide range of interests, showed reasonable common sense in their writing, and so on.

So I delivered the fruits of my labour to the office, only to be told by my "assistant", repeatedly, that I have "missed out" applicants with high GPAs. So I replied, I don't think GPAs are that important. Assistant replied "but if anyone found out that someone with lower GPA than them will complain!"

Okay, I said, include those that I didn't shortlist but have high GPAs, then.

So there we have it, a list of 25 students to be interviewed. Me and two other colleagues spent three hours last week, and rated the candidates according to a "grading scheme" prepared by the assistant.

At the end of the day we decided to make offers to ten.

Assistant said "but some students from our AD (associate degree) programmes are not given offers! And from previous experience, only about 20% of offers given to students from external AD programmes will take up the offer".

So I said, alright then, if take up is only 20%, let's give them ALL offers! ALL 25 of them!

Assistant seemed happy and said she would issue the offer letters.

Twenty-four hours later, she said "we can't really give them all offers, there wouldn't be enough of the quota left for the second batch of interviewees".

So I said, okay, let's not then. We'll tick off the last three on the list. Happy now? "Okay okay" she said.

Another twenty-four hours passed by, she said "we can't send off the offer letters yet, maybe it is better to wait till after the second batch of interviews, since some of them might be better than the first batch."

I said "Well, I think those who put in their applications first should be given priority, since they are obviously more keen or more organized about all this."

She disagreed "actually the deadline for application is not until end of this week, so they should be treated the same".

I replied "then why didn't we wait till the deadline before we organize all the interviews?"

She said "Because other universities may give them offers before we do!"

I said "but you just told me we can't give them offers!!!!!" And so on.

At this point I really wanted to say to her, why don't you do my job for me then? If every bloody thing I do is in vain? You very annoying person?

Why should I, an academic and a teacher, be given this task, when so obviously she is a better choice? Because I need to have something to write in the box "contribution to the department and programme", when I next apply for any personnel action or am up for an appraisal that's bloody why.

1 comment:

Eh-choo mui mui. said...

this is fecking hilarious. the randomness of it all. and i was on the receiving end of this...this is what happens!? wow.