Set them free

12 07 2015

And on the other hand, a call to do work for no pay:

Volunteer Professors. For almost two decades generous volunteers at Southern Virginia University have enriched the lives of students, faculty, and staff in a variety of ways. For example, distinguished retired professors have taught a host of classes in such areas as English composition and literature, classics and foreign languages, creative writing, communications, chemistry, family and child development, and Russian literature. Other volunteers have assisted in hosting guests, working in the library, staffing the career services center, helping out in the Travel Study office, and serving as receptionists. In exchange for their service, the university provides volunteers with complimentary apartment-style housing and five meals a week. In addition, volunteers are welcome to participate in the full life of the university attending concerts, recitals, plays, athletic competitions, and student life events. They are also welcome to use the library and recreational facilities.

“Complimentary apartment-style housing”? What, a dorm suite? And “five meals a week” should really be sold as “complimentary weight-loss plan”.

Now, Southern Virginia University is affiliated with the Latter-day Saints (which you can figure out by reading further down the ad: “On Sundays they usually serve in one of the local Latter-day Saint wards.”), so presumably this is pitched to Mormon professors as a kind of wonderful service opportunity as opposed to a rip-off of their labor.

Still, when the ad notes that “Preference is given to those who can volunteer for at least two semesters and whose specialty coincides with one of the teaching areas listed above”—which is to say, they want professors who will work for free for nine months in the humanities, business, sciences, and the social sciences, i.e., just about every area of undergraduate education, I gotta wonder how “self-sustaining” the SVU plan is.

And I’d guess it’d just be downright snarky to ask how many administrators are given this wonderful opportunity to volunteer for 2/3 of the year in return for [less-than-] one-hot and a cot.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to staff the career services center for a monthly potluck meal?


h/t PZ Myers, Pharyngula




One response

14 07 2015

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