Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Downfall of Dr. Ego

One of the people who works at my University is a lot of trouble. The individual has a massively inflated ego and is incapable of interacting with anyone, unless that person entirely agrees to be subservient to Dr. Ego's agenda. Naturally, Dr. Ego is convinced that his/her work is brilliant. Unfortunately, some of the administrative types believe this also.

An upshot of this is that Dr. Ego has been provided with vast quantities of resources and many special dispensations, including from teaching. The unfortunate thing is that Dr. Ego's work is not very good. Although it is the kind of stuff that plays well in the media, on a more mundane technical level, much of the work is deeply flawed.

Dr. Ego's 'special' status has enabled him/her to draw together a small tightly knit group of sycophants. This group functions rather like some weird kind of cult. Anyone who dares to criticise the Great Individual is likely to be subject to serious attack. There are a number of otherwise good careers that have been put in jeopardy, or damaged, by the wrath of Dr. Ego. Sometimes, even competence in the same field is enough for Dr. Ego to perceive a threat and go into attack mode. Regrettably, the awe he inspired in a few weaker minded administrators has meant that Dr. Ego's campaigns have met with a fair degree of success. We recently learned that things have now changed.

For some time now, Dr. Ego has been out and about, pimping his/her latest Great Project. These things show up from time to time, and always seem to cost a great deal of money. As we are not a rich school, such projects are a problem as they divert resources from more worthy enterprises. It is also the case that these projects have a bad habit of not actually yielding the hoped for grand results.

It seem though that the latest great project has been Dr. Ego's downfall. Apparently, after much politicking and negotiating, a source of money for the Great Project was found. However, the money was dependant upon Dr. Ego meeting certain goals and getting certain things done. It seems that Dr. Ego did not feel that this was a good use of his/her time. Things did not get done and goals were not met. The upshot of this was that the administration ended up with proverbial egg on their face, and more importantly, the money disappeared again.

This kind of thing has happened in the past. Apparently unconscionable behaviour has been overlooked and ignored, in virtue of the fact that this was the rather special case of Dr. Ego. Not this time though. It seems that Dr. Ego is going to be made to pay a heavy price for this latest transgression.

Previously, Dr. Ego was allowed to run his/her own operations, with minimal oversight and administrative accountability. This will happen no more. Dr. Ego's funding has been unceremoniously cut. This translates in the a roughly 20% cut in salary, due to Summer funding also being withdrawn. Dr. Ego will now have to submit to being a normal faculty member in a regular academic department. Moreover, the office assigned to Dr. Ego in that department is one of the few without a window. This will be quite a change from the palatial suite that Dr. Ego had become accustomed to. However, the coup de gras of Dr. Ego's new situation is that teaching will become important to him/her for the first time ever. Dr. Ego's sentence is a 3/3 load. I do not envy the students.

At some point in the near future, there will be a small gathering of friends. They will be sharing a bottle of champagne to celebrate this turn of events. Just occasionally, it appears possible that there is some justice in this World.

The CP


Blogger Master Luke said...

It's unfortunate that so many philosophy depts have a Dr. Ego, or many of them. Glad to see there was some philosophical retribution on your campus.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Tenured Radical said...

It's not just philosophy departments. I once met a Zenith trustee who was a dean at a Big Ivy, and apparently it was de rigeur in his office to punish people for bad behavior by shutting down their resources and privileges -- the funiest (and cruelest) being switching someone into a smaller office, which entailed months of packing, throwing and sorting, since the majority of academics are pack rats.

Screw Ego! Long live the CP!

And thanks for your supportive & calm comments the past weeks....


3:43 AM  

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