Moving Day for Professors
At the end of this semester, there will be a moving day on campus--not the usual move-out day for students, but professors will move out of their offices for summer construction in the Academic Center. The day after grades are due, many professors will be expected to clear out of their offices. The impact that this move will have on professors will be great, not just because it is a change of workspace, but also because of the time frame that they have been given.
When it comes to the construction and allotment of new offices, professors are generally happy with the situation. Associate Professor of English, Dr. David Wehner shared that the professors who are moving into new offices “went and toured them last week and they look really nice.”
English Department Chair Dr. Indrani Mitra also expressed her approval of the new offices, commenting, “The new offices are larger, some have very nice windows--this is good.” Some mild concerns about storage space were raised by professors, specifically, a lack of bookshelves. Mitra was quite concerned about this issue, since “professors in the humanities need their books. Books are the primary tools of our trade.” This is, however, a normal concern with any move.
The main problem for professors is not with the layout or storage in their new offices, it is with how they will be expected to vacate their old ones. The timing of the move is a much more pressing matter for most of the professors. Some are less bothered by the situation than others. Dr. Sarah Scott commented on the matter that there is simply “never a good time for a move... rarely are we lucky enough to be able to move at a time that suits us.”
For some professors though, the time frame they have been given has introduced quite a bit of anxiety to their already busy end of the semester schedule. Mitra shared that she only learned about the one-day time constraint a month ago, and though she had been “aware that [they] would have to move at the end of the semester [she] had thought [they] would be given a few days to pack and get ready.” Of course, there is nothing stopping professors from starting the packing process on their own, except for one issue: it is the busiest time of year for them.
Mitra summed up this situation quite neatly, saying that with “end of semester grading of term papers and projects, final exams, commencement, final grades and then a single day for this move--this seems unrealistic.”
Her sentiments were echoed by Wehner, who felt that “asking a professor to do something the day before grades are due is like asking a CPA to do something on April 14.”
Scott is in a unique position to weigh in on this matter as she had to move to a temporary office at the end of spring semester last year. She shared that her moving experience was positive: “I found Channing Kern to be very helpful as well as Bill Davies, they responded very quickly to my needs.” Though her insight should offer some hope to the concerned professors, there also seems to be some easy solutions that would not encumber the construction projects in the AC.
When asked if they could think of any ways in which the move could be made more convenient for them, the professors interviewed offered some reasonably sounding suggestions. Mitra only wished that she had “been provided with the materials necessary for the move--boxes, tapes, recycling bins, etc.” That way she could begin to pack what she could before finals commenced.
Wehner offered an equally conservative suggestion: “two [days] would be fine, two days to come in and pack up.” The construction in the AC is on a tight schedule, but surely one extra day will not ruin any deadlines?
As the spring semester comes to a close, professors will have to move no matter what happens. Even if they are given more time or more assistance to alleviate the situation, they will still have to move. Scott remarked, “It'll be more chaotic I'm sure, it'll be more stressful, but I don't really see that much can be done about it.” She concluded that perhaps this move will not be so bad since faculty members will be able to support each other during the process and “there might be more solidarity.” If there is a bright side to this situation, that would be it.