Category: Universities and Academia

The Women I Know: Thoughts On The Abuse At Profiles And Being A Bystander

Profiles Theater front

Profiles Theater papered with copies of The Chicago Reader in the days after the article was published

Cox was jealous and controlling, Sara says. He convinced her to destroy the blouses she wore to work because he thought they were too revealing. He would look through old photo albums with her. “You want to keep that one, hon, do you?” she remembers him asking when they came across pictures of her high school boyfriend. “You don’t want to keep that picture. You should just rip it up. If you love me, rip that up.” He insisted on being in the room whenever she talked on the phone to her family. Slowly, Sara felt him chipping away at her personality.

The theater community in Chicago has been reeling this month, after The Chicago Reader published an exposé of alleged abuse at the now-closed storefront theatre company Profiles. The result of a year-long investigation, journalists Aimee Levitt and Christopher Piatt documented a climate of fear, intimidation, and violence perpetuated and enabled by the two men responsible for much of the theater’s output over the two decades: Darrell W. Cox and Joe Jahraus. Continue reading

Fear, Violence, and the Perception of Risk on Campus

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Concrete neo-castles

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a middle-aged white guy I’d never seen before, hanging out near the foyer of the university building I work in. He was just sitting there on a chair, with a backpack, playing on his phone. He was still there later that afternoon. And again the next day, in the same spot. Then the day after as well, till the end of the week. If I walked to the rest room or the kitchen, or went outside on my lunch break, I noticed him just sitting in the hall, apparently waiting for someone.

I was curious, but it also started to make me nervous. Who was this dude? The building houses administrative offices – some for student support, but mostly university-wide administration. There are non-student visitors around every day. But no one sits waiting for an appointment for a week.

I started to think up increasingly dramatic possibilities. Was he someone’s stalker? These things happen. Had anyone else noticed him and mentioned it to security?

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From PhD to Academic Administration Part Two: The Pros and Cons list

Last week I started off with a brief introduction on how I ended up working in academic administration after finishing my PhD. This week I’ll jump into the bit that is usually far more interesting to people contemplating making the same move: the pros and cons list.

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From PhD to Academic Administration Part One: how did I end up here?

Pied-Piper-of-Hamelin

Last night J jokingly called me the Pied Piper of Academia. Since finishing my PhD a couple of years ago, I’ve been working in university administration.

And since almost the first month in my new job, I’ve been asked by fellow grads for advice on the pros and cons of taking that step over to the dark side.

At first it was just people I knew.

Recently I’ve had emails from total strangers, referred to me by people I hardly know, asking if I’d have time to talk over coffee.

So as academic job application season swings around, I thought it might be worth a blog post.

In this first post I’ll give you some background on how I ended up making the decision to apply for an administrative job in the first place. In the next I’ll leap into the bit you’re probably more interested in: the pros and cons of making a side-ways move in the university if you’d always assumed you would be an academic.

My thoughts on this topic are based on my own limited experience and to a certain extent my ethnographic work on universities. But if you in a similar situation yourself, please chip in in the comments! Continue reading