What I’m Worried About

January 3, 2009 | Blog

A new series for 2009, highlighting worries, concerns, and insecurities related to my academic life.

I’m worried about our classified staff. UW-Madison, like all colleges and universities, leans heavily on them for support but pays them little (e.g. the folks I know are making $25-40K for full-time work).

Until this week my department of 11 full-time faculty and numerous affiliates relied on 2 administrators for everything. Now, thanks to severe budget cuts, one of those positions has been cut back substantially as we’re forced to share the position with another department. I have no idea how our single full-time administrator is going to shoulder all of the work we generate, and why she should be expected to for only $40K per year.

I thought of these folks as I read about U. Michigan’s $2.5 billion construction effort. Wowsa.

Image courtesy of bluebicicletta.wordpress.com.


  1. Reply


    January 15, 2009

    As a grad of your dept, it's hard to imagine a smooth operation without both admins at full time. I'm sorry for everyone involved.

    Now I'm a doc student at UMich. In class today, taught by past UM prez Jim Duderstadt (aka, the dude), he tried to reassure us that the construction extravaganza is all revenue generating (eg, new dorm, children's hospital, expensive stadium seating). Regardless, where I come from, $2.5B is still one fat chunk of change!

  2. Reply

    Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab

    January 15, 2009

    It sure is... I wonder what it's like--really-- moving from a place to UW to UMich. Seems like two completely different worlds from where I sit.

  3. Reply


    January 20, 2009

    Hello Liam and Sara,

    I'm sorry I couldn't find a more private way to say this, but I couldn't find an email address to contact you. I noticed that you used some of my artwork in your post. Thank you for giving me image credits, but in the future, I would also appreciate being asked before you use my work. I'm sorry if this seems touchy, but I like to keep track of where and how my work is being used. Thanks. Feel free to email me to talk further.

  4. Reply

    Liam Goldrick

    January 20, 2009

    Hi Nicole,

    I added your image to Sara's post. I can easily remove it, if that's what you prefer. Unfortunately, I can't follow up with you as I don't have an email address for you nor can I access your profile in the comment. Feel free to email me at lsg25 at hotmail.com. Liam

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