Retiring from UW I

At the University of Washington some things run on one calendar, others on another.  As of September 16, I am retired in the sense that the university is not paying me.  They soon will again as I choose to exercise my post retirement re-employment rights.  Yet I am covered by the health plan for the remainder of the month, so I remain Professor.  But technically  I will not become Professor Emeritus until October 1.  That time will pass quickly…

In the meantime upper administration has failed again.  I repeatedly sought advice as to my “last day on payroll” date so that I would have my salary in our merit pool, yet not receive a salary increase so that the rare merit pool that exists could go to good use for young, underpaid colleagues.  I was given specific guidance upper>dean>department that if my payroll cutoff were 9/15/2013 then my (due on 9/1) raise would not be applied and the amount would go to pool.  Then in mid September “upper” changed its story, too late to go backward.

I suppose from a careful reading of the Faculty Code this might be the only decision that could “pass muster”, with a record of past legal challenges to the faculty salary policy.  But upper administration could actually have tried to establish intent, offer waivers of rights, whatever.  In practice it means I have a young colleague who would have received, and richly deserved, a 10% increase only receiving 7%.  And as I am re-employed I needlessly receive my 3.5% increase that could be used to much better purpose going forward.

The future of the quality of our faculty is for those “seniors” willing to get out of the way, like me,  to be respected in that decision making.  UW needs to do much better.



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