Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sickening, really.

I am a member of my organization's PAP (ie peer assholes panel), designed for peers to provide their judgment on whether their peers should get a contract renewed, tenure, or promotion. You can smell it for the deathtrap that it is fifty miles away. Nevertheless, membership is appointed by our dear leader and there is no way to get out of it. Just pray to God that someone else will take your place next year.

Only in my case, I did pray, but to no avail, as this is my second year having to do this minesweeping heck of a job.

So there was a convenor, three members, and one co-opted member. The co-opted member was necessary because apart from me, everyone else on the panel, including the convenor, either has some kind of conflict of interest with one of the applicants concerned, or have themselves applied for tenure and therefore must excuse themselves when their case is being discussed.

How stupid is that? Why can't the dear leader just appoint someone else? It is most awkward and uncomfortable for all concerned.

Anyhouse, we ended up recommending every peer whose asses we had to ponder over, which is to be expected, of course, but still it is no joyous task. You really get to see how arbitrary, how stupid, and how much of a waste of time the whole exercise is. Our recommendations will go up to the high court as it were, where our dear leader and his collection of gnomes will study our recommendation, the department head's recommendation, and the applicant's file, and then decide on what they will or will not get. The thing is, everyone knows the peer assholes panel's recommendations carry no weight. It is specifically designed to turn peers against one another in the name of greater transparency and more democratic processes in relation to personnel actions.

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