Back your dissent with authority

September 14, 2007

Name: Rosemary Craig

Age: 57

Job: Part-time lecturer, School of Law, Ulster University, Jordanstown.

Salary: £32,000 (pro rata)

Background: Mature student in law (starting at the age 31); part-time university law lecturer from 1981; full-time post as fellow at Ulster University 2004-05.

Working hours and conditions: I am contracted for two and a half days per week, but in reality I work five days and nights per week.

Number of students you teach: I am module co-ordinator for a number of courses.

Biggest challenge this year: Returning to work after a long illness and getting back into the swing of things, and not having full IT facilities in every lecture/ seminar room in the university.

How you solved it: With good organisation and a sense of humour and love for the subject matter of law. And I moved to another room that had IT equipment.

Worst moment in university life: A stand-off with a group of students who felt that their course was "over-assessed". I agreed that it might be and asked them for their "authority". They did not have any. It was the best lesson they ever learnt - always have authority for any statement or argument you make in law.

What is your working space like? I have a small office fully equipped with everything I need. As I am partially disabled, the university has gone out of its way to accommodate me.

What university facilities do you use? The library, coffee shop, restaurants, banks and the bookshop.

Do you socialise with people at the university? Not particularly - I simply do not have the time.

Who are the most difficult people you deal with professionally and how do you cope with them? Let us say that there are those in all walks of life who feel that they are very important - perhaps a little "above" other mortals.

Best excuses for bad behaviour you have heard: "I am under pressure" was the excuse given to me by a senior member of staff who had been quite rude. My response was: "If you do not want to fight, do not join the Army." That is why I work part-time. I know my limitations.

Do you interact much with other parts of the university? Very much with other schools where I deliver courses. I am a great believer in staff training and attend as much as I possibly can.

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