Tuesday, October 14, 2014
The office furnishings imbroglio
As you know, for years now, IVC faculty have been consternatin’ and peevin’ about the planning and construction of new buildings—the latest being A400, the new home of Humanities and Languages (and Social Sciences), scheduled to open in a semester or two.
It’s a repeating cycle. At first, Brandye and the architects (and, at IVC, the unpopular Director of Facilities/Maintenance, John Edwards) show up making big happy noises about a new era of faculty input. “You’ll have input at every stage!”
But that always ends up seeming like a sack of hooey.
Consider the case of A400. Recently, faculty were informed that, in order to save money, the Director has decided that the college must stick to the established “standard,” according to which only designated shitty muted colors will be allowed and furniture options will run the gamut from A (odd1) to B (odd2). (Never mind that faculty have at no point been consulted about any college standard.)
A particular sore point was the discovery that A400 planners were proceeding on the assumption that there will be no office bookshelves, or that the bookshelving will be highly limited.
That inspired some serious gnashing of teeth among Humanists, boy. “Don’t these people know what a college is!” we thundered. WTF!
As usual, President Roquemore has only made things worse by seemingly positioning himself on both sides of the issue and writing confusing clarifying blatherings.
It’s the same old same old here at IVC.
We’ve been told that there’ll be no faculty desks in the strict sense of desk. Nope, there’ll be deskesque flat surfaces, sans drawers, held up by two legs.
Some faculty have been carpin’ that there’s no need for all this. Why not just lug over the desks we’re using now? Why do we have to spend money on this odd, Spartan desketry?
In the midst of all this drama, "word" is that, according to the district, we'll be spending about $25,000 per office for furnishings.
$25,000! And for what?
The “standard” desketry for the new A400 offices is mighty pricey, it seems. The desk “legs,” we've been told, are about $700 per pair. And the deskular surface (sans drawers) that those legs will be holding up is about $1,100. That’s nearly two thousand bucks for deskus minimus simpliciter!
How’s that possible?
We’ve been considering the possibilities. Some suggest a visit to IKEA. Some sense a boondoggle. Some suggest that, um, maybe those are the list prices, not the real prices!
We’re trying to get the facts. We'll get back atcha.
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