The biggest drawback of being a professor is having to attend faculty meetings. This is the most depressing activity I can imagine. I have no idea why I went to the last departmental meeting of the year. It makes no sense for me to go since I am leaving this fine educational institution for good in exactly 10 days. Still, I went. God, what a huge mistake! These are the things I found out:
1. The field of French literature is experiencing "a slow death." (We are a Romance Languages department, so I can only imagine what is going on with German and Russian, for example.)
2. The entire faculty will undergo a 15% cut. The enrollments, however, will continue to grow. (You can guess what it means to have fewer teachers and more students.)
3. All language departments will be conflated into one department. Basically, the eventual goal is to have one professor of each language (including classics, excluding English.)
4. We will have to stop creating new courses and keep teaching the same courses year after year (this measure is particularly supported by old professors.)
5. The entire university will move towards a trimester-based system. This, of course, takes away the best thing about our profession: free summers. When people are supposed to do research remains unexplained.
If/when these measures take effect, I will immediately leave this profession. As much as I love teaching and research, it makes no sense to stay under these conditions. This is ridiculous.
If this is what is happening at one of the richest and most prestigious universities in the US, you can imagine what is going on in other places. And the worst thing is, everybody is buying this sack of lies about such measures being caused by the recession. Wake up, my friends, these measures started being implemented at least 3-4 years before anybody heard of the recession.