Laurie Taylor column

October 15, 2004

More disturbing evidence of short-term casualisation in higher education - The Times Higher, October 8.

Well, thank you for coming to see us today, Dr Cummings. I think everyone on this committee was impressed by your CV and by your responses in the course of the interview.

I am now delighted to be able to offer you the advertised position.

Thank you very much, Dr Ginling.

When would you be available to take up your post?

I think that I could probably fit in with your own requirements.

That sounds excellent. So could we say next Monday morning at 9 o'clock sharp? That should give you plenty of time to complete your daily assignment of five seminars and two lectures.

Now, do you have any questions that you would like to ask us?

I did want to check the precise length of my contract.

That's pretty simple. Initially, you are being offered a full three-week teaching contract, but with the possibility of renewal.

How high is that possibility?

Rather less simple. But you might take some comfort from the recent example of Dr Wallace in geology who was initially appointed on a three-week contract that has now been extended to a complete month.

Thank you. One last question. Who should I see if I have any problems about teaching or assessment?

Your obvious first point of contact would be your head of department, Professor Moulting. But try not to wait too long.

Why's that?

Well, Professor Moulting's own contract runs out two weeks on Tuesday.

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