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Cathy Quinones quinones at orchid.UCSC.EDU
Fri May 20 21:12:33 EST 1994

>Sorry, but splitting a position between two people is exploitation,
>whether the couple agrees to it or not. There are many arguments to
>say this is not so, but consent of the victim does not justify abuse.
>Tropical ecologists, beware! Field scientists of all sorts, beware!
>Next, the argument will be used for anyone who intends to do research
>of any sort, or other "extras" that, somehow, diminish the value of
>a professor to the status of half-there.
>Ricardo Azpiroz
>Plant Sciences
>University of Arizona

I don't know, frankly, how the "split position" situation works in terms
of benefits and so on, but I still disagree with you as well.  We have a 
couple here that splits a position, she is an ecologist, he a marine
biologist.  Both have their own labs, their own graduate and undergraduate
students, and the respect of their peers and students.  They just came back
from a 2 year sabbatical at the Smithsonian, I think.  If each has 1/2 the
teaching load and 1/2 the responsibilities of a full-timer, what's the deal
if they like it that way?!  You have to be realistic about the fact that a
university doesn't always have 2 openings when they advertise for one. 

As to how this is going to turn against tropical ecologist and people who
do a lot of field work, I don't understand.  People who are hired to teach
agree to teach a certain number of credit hours per school year and as long
as they fulfill that, and are able to find the funding to do their field
work, they will go out to the field.  These people work their research into
their non-teaching time, or go on sabbatical.  There are teaching positions,
research positions, and teaching/research positions.  The job description
specifies the amount of time/work the employee is expected to dedicate to
each aspect of employment; the employee agrees to those terms when he/she
accepts the job.  Same rules apply to split positions, as far as I know.

And I still think it's pretty cool it's becoming "ok" to have 1 salary and
have 2 people do 1/2 the work each.  As far as working extra time for the
same salary, I know of enough full-time faculty who eternally haunt the 
research buildings... either they have nowhere to go, no social life, no
need for fun or relaxation, or they are working more than 40 hours a week.
I see nobody holding guns to their heads, so I guess they are putting this
time in voluntarily [to satisfy their intellectual needs or whatever]; the
return they get is in personal satisfaction, they are definitely not
getting paid by the hour!  Thus, I would feel no surprise in seeing a
couple that is splitting a position actually end up working "3/4 time" (vs.
1/2 time) each.  Now is that exploitation, or is it just a variation on the
same theme of working overtime just because one is genuinely mesmerized by
one's occupation? 

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