The combination of needing a distraction from non-academic things and procrastinating finishing *cough* starting *cough* my lecture for tomorrow's class means that I seem to be drifting back to the blog more today than most days. One of the posts I've been meaning to put up is a list of things that I have realized recently that I was supposed to know, without being told. So, for those of you who will be starting new jobs next year (assuming that anyone is actually hiring), here are some of the things no one told me.
1) You can't just book travel yourself here. No, you need to get it approved ahead of time, then make all the arrangements before calling the one travel agency we are allowed to use and telling them all of the arrangements you have already made so that they can basically hit the button for you. For this "service" they charge you $30. If you book anything yourself, you are paying for it out of pocket. Not knowing this nearly cost me $1200.
2) We have an arbitrary departmental deadline for grad student applications for the fall if we are hoping to support these students on a TAship. The deadline is in January.... for a September start. I was told about this 3 days after the deadline.
3) If you agree to running the departmental seminar series you need to enter grades for all of the students "enrolled" in this course, even though they get no credit for the class. You need to do this even if someone else is listed as the "instructor" so that you can not access the class through typical online means. If you fail to know how or when to do this, you will be asked to fill out a separate "change of grade" form for all 47 registered students. By hand.
4) If you want someone from outside the university to be on the committee of one of your grad students, they need to be added to the department as an adjunct. However, they can not then be the member of the committee who fills the "outside the department" slot. No. As adjuncts, they are part of the department and therefore take a "within the department" slot, even though the teach at another institution and are only adjuncts to be on your student's committee. Makes sense, right?
5) If you ever order anything from a company that no one at your university has ever ordered anything from, do it WELL in advance of needing whatever you are ordering.
6) New classes take FOREVER to get approved, so get that party started right away if you plan on teaching something that is not already established in the department. Otherwise you could find yourself teaching a section of Intro Class in your third semester.... hypothetically, of course. Fuck.
I'm sure there are others, but these stick out the most right now. Good luck.