Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finally: Proof that the Stimulus is Working!

Jeff Erickson said recently that he wanted to consider hiring me as an RA for next year. The interesting reason is why: he recently received a grant for $200,000, and it was money that came from a program put in place by the stimulus package, so in order to keep the money he has to show that he is creating jobs. I haven't decided yet whether to take that offer or whether to work on a different project (after all, I still have about 1.5 semesters left on my fellowship to decide).

However, maybe that's a good thing: the graduate student employees' union is considering going on strike, because they have been without a contract for over 10 weeks and they claim they are not being paid a living wage. I guess that makes me non-union "scab" labor.

Bonus Question: What is wrong with this analysis of the teaching assistant pay situation?

1 comment:

Dan Mont said...

Hey Alex,

What would you be doing? Nice to know you have options, and are "desired".

As for the analysis. there's lots wrong. First, many of those students aren't paying full tuition. They have financial aid. Second, she has left out lots of infrastructure supporting the classroom. She also has left out a lot of administrative costs, as well as things like admissions, career placement, and various student services. Also, grants to professors for research. I think I read somewhere that tuition doesn't even cover half the cost of a university education.

As for the students' strike. There was one at the Unviersity of Wisconsin just before I got there. It didn't go well. It is hard to organize when you have a workforce that is rapidly turning over, and has an educational and personal relationship with its surpervisors.