Sunday, March 22, 2015

Modes of production--Letter 18

Dear Governor Ducey,

The new model for universities is, if I understand it right, the old model for businesses. I wonder what a business would do if it lost $17 million dollars (NAU’s portion of the budget cuts)? Surely, you’d cut a department? Which one? Shipping? Sales? Marketing? Production? If you cut a production department, then do you have to change the name of your company? If you make widgets, must you then just be known as company “Wid”? It happens all the time. See Standard Product in Ohio. See Ford in Detroit. AT&T call centers are now based in Mexico staffed mainly by deported immigrants who were sent back to jobs at US companies based in Mexico to keep the immigrants from taking “our” jobs. As I said, I’m not sure I really understand business but logic shows, when there is nothing left to produce, the people who work to produce are “let go” to do something productive, one hopes, somewhere else.

I don’t think they’ll cut the English Department first. My job is probably safe for a while. I’ll teach more and fill out more paperwork to prove that I am doing more with less and have no time to write grants for the literary magazine or the reading series, let alone time to write books. My job will still exist but not in the same shape as what I expected, although that’s OK. I should adapt! It’s better, I guess, that being “let go” although I have been looking into the good work of garbage collecting or event coordinating or possibly I could get a job as an understander of business—a politician, maybe—who knows exactly what departments to cut and when to make sure the jobs that we have aren’t lost to jobs we don’t.

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