did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Opportunities

1

Isn't this a blatant FLSA violation? "Zero time" when they are in fact providing labor? Or do universities have some kind of exemption?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 9:30 AM
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2

More like "Carbon-Fail."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 9:33 AM
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3

1: I'm pretty sure you can pay nothing to people. It's just volunteering.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 9:39 AM
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4

Any Associate Dean can pay nothing. Real Associate Deans get you to pay them.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 9:43 AM
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5

"Yeah, I need to take out another student loan. No, not to be a student. Just to work at a university. No, nobody gets paid here except administrators and our department's tenured person."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 9:49 AM
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6

It looks like teachers are broadly exempted from minimum wage and overtime rules, along with other "professionals", but they still have to receive the weekly "standard salary" level, which is currently $455/week - after Obama tried to raise it to $913 and had it judicially blocked. So zero pay should still be a no-no.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 10:28 AM
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7

Huh. Um, I am not sure about the legality of this. That is, for-profit organizations can't have people work for them for free. But at least some kinds of non-profits can have volunteers, and I am not sure if universities can.

Governments can have volunteers working for them unpaid, and my office had a program that made me kind of ill, 'hiring' law graduates who couldn't get paying jobs to work for free. Most of them did transition into paid jobs either with us or somewhere else, but it was still kind of grotesque.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 10:38 AM
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8

Well, making them use the restroom in the Starbucks across the street was a little cruel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 10:45 AM
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9

I think one of my students is an alumna of that school! I'm not sure what to do with that fact, but it seems like it should open some opportunity to troll someone. Though maybe they're only looking for alumni of their graduate programs.


Posted by: Larry Summers | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 10:53 AM
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10

They are explicitly looking for people who aren't alumni of their graduate program. They are asking faculty to drop a dime on their former undergraduate and masters students who later got a Ph.D. at another school and thus are not already on the list.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 11:03 AM
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11

7: they're technically non-profit hospitals but I'm pretty sure that some psychiatry supervisors in private practice don't get paid by HMS, but they get to say that they are an instructor at Harvard Medical School.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 11:29 AM
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12

11: Does that get them a discount at the Harvard Starbucks?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 11:46 AM
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13

The place I used to work cracked down on "volunteers" in labs. You come here from India or somewhere to work in a lab; your wife is in the same field; she might as well work in the same lab for free while she tries to find a real job. It's win-win! This was happening too often and for too long at a time.

Ironically one lab did have the one volunteer that you envision when you think of policies encouraging volunteers in labs (a retired guy from industry who had always wanted to do something more interesting and had nothing better to do), so they had to recreate the loophole in a tighter way to let him stay.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 11:52 AM
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14

"HMS Dreadnaught" would be a great name for an anti-anxiety program.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 11:59 AM
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15

Sports science - "HMS Indefatigable".


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 12:05 PM
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16

PTSD - "HMS Warspite".


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 12:06 PM
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17

Opthamology - Iris
Tourette's - Impulsive
Bipolar - Inconstant


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 12:10 PM
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18

Plastic surgery: HMS Jutland.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 12:12 PM
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19

Cosmetic surgery: HMS Repulse.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 12:17 PM
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20

I was just trying to think of one for "Repulse."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 12:18 PM
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21

"Jutland" is better. I was thinking antibiotics for "Repulse".


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 12:37 PM
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22

I was thinking Bioethics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 12:41 PM
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23

HMS Juste. They really had a shitload of ships.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 12:47 PM
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24

Is HMS Agincourt for compulsive drinkers or compulsive gamblers?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 2:33 PM
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25

Not quite sure what this one would correspond to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Gay_Bruiser_(P1044)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 4:04 PM
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26

HMS leads to Royal Navy ships. So HLS or HBS lead to? Aside from late-stage capitalism.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 8:04 PM
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27

Gay Archer was damaged while being delivered to the Navy, and then damaged when a vessel she was moored next to exploded. She then struck a submerged boom and nearly sank off Southsea Pier. She was sold out of the navy in 1963, but survived to be restored as the only remaining member of her class.

Some boats have all the luck.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-24-18 8:08 PM
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28

STD clinic: HMS Black Joke.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 12:07 AM
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29

Bariatric surgery: HMS Tireless.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 12:10 AM
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30

And antibiotics, surely, HMS Fleming. https://www.uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/6926.html


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 12:12 AM
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31

Otolaryngology - HMS Prince of Wales. (the carrier)
Speech therapy: HMS Duke of York. (the battleship)
Geriatric medicine: HMS Queen Elizabeth. (the battleship)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 12:15 AM
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32

Trauma surgery with a speciality in knees: HMS Belfast


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 3:06 AM
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33

Nice.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 3:24 AM
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34

12: to be serious, for a moment, I think it is attractive to patients. Plus, solo practitioners get to engage with their colleagues - which some people enjoy. I also think that that kind of work can be a source of referrals.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 4:06 AM
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35

Otolaryngology - HMS Prince of Wales. (the carrier)

If he's a carrier, shouldn't he be in quarantine?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 4:12 AM
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36

I thought they meant zero time as in zero hours contracts (a thing in the UK), where you aren't ensured any work (hence zero hours) but you are paid the full hourly rate for the work you do do.

Oxford appoints Fellows with contracts like that. You have a fellowship at college X, and certain rights and privileges associated with that, but you have no stipend or annual salary, you are purely paid for the hours you teach or spend assessing, or whatever.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 4:26 AM
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37

The situation in 36 is still shit, because your income can fluctuate wildly, you have little security, and inevitably the hours you actually work is way higher than the hours you get paid for. Because teaching prep, etc isn't covered. The basic hourly rate for teaching is OK, but when I used to do it, I used to spend several hours prepping for each tutorial.*

* older, more senior academics are some combination of already prepared (because they've done it so many times before) and lazy bastards who just cruise through bullshitting it. So they don't do much prep.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 4:31 AM
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38

I thought 36 might be the case, but the clarification and defense put out by the chancellor's office pretty clearly says "volunteer" and that they won't be teaching classes.

https://chancellor.siu.edu/messages/04-24-18-university-statement.php


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: “Pause endlessly, then go in” (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 5:10 AM
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39

38: I was wondering about the "recent Ph.D's" part mentioned in the OP. Because it makes some sense to find senior people to be on thesis committees and give guest lectures and the like. Especially if you've thinned out your faculty as SUI has. Anyway, I've heard of things like that happening, but I never heard of those involved needing an adjunct appointment. But, I might not know. Anyway, aside from teaching undergraduate classes, I have no idea what you'd do with a recent Ph.D. (besides not feeding them after midnight).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 5:31 AM
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40

SUI should be SIU. In my defense, my way is easier to pronounce.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 5:33 AM
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41

11: But do they get paid at all? Or are they being asked to work for free.

It would be different if the university brought in people who were paid directly by the students (e.g. I charge you $30/hour to edit your PhD thesis) or I get $500/student paid directly by the student to me for the class), and got nothing from the university. That would make the university be operating on a commission model, where they give you an institutional position to gain access to students who are paying you, and in return they skim a bit off the top. I have a friend whose done something like this with a nonaccredited hobby grad school. Teachers (i.e. anyone interested) volunteer to teach a class on whatever they want, and students pay tuition to attend. Teachers get a cut of the tuition for students enrolled in their class (I believe about 70%) and the other 30% goes to fees and overhead. Students end up paying a few hundred to learn about a topic they're interested in, and teachers earn a few thousand to teach it. The more interesting your topic and the better you teach it, the more money you make.


What SIU is doing is firing 80 of its employees and trying to replace the work they did with volunteer labor. They're charging students tuition and fees to take courses and have thesis advisors, it's just that the people doing the actual labor aren't getting any payment for the value they're creating. In a hospital setting, it would be the same as you/your insurance paying $80,000 for a heart transplant, except the surgeons and nurses operating on you were working for free. I know there are healthcare systems like that in in places like Eastern Europe, but usually they're considered horribly corrupt and the real options are pay your provider under the table for actual care, or probably end up dying.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 9:45 AM
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42

a nonaccredited hobby grad school

I have TWO Ph.D.s in model airplane building, losers!

Not paying people is obviously horrible, but the thing that gives me brief pause is that a "resume gap" is the absolute kiss of death for professionals (though it shouldn't be) so you can kinda see the benefit to the worker of working for free. For example, LB's program in 7, where the State paid working competent lawyers nothing to do legal work, sounds like obvious exploitation, but I'll bet it also saved the long-term careers of a bunch of people who graduated law school in 2009-2012.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 10:16 AM
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43

42

With unemployed PhDs there are lots of opportunities for underpaid adjunct work, so I'm not sure how straight-up working for free is really anything but marginally worse than working for very little.

Another part of this problem is that SIU PhD's already have a snowball's chance in hell at getting an academic position, so any university that is encouraging its graduates to hang around and work for free in a field they'll realistically never be able to succeed in instead of aggressively helping them transition to other careers ought to be taken out and shot.

Relatedly, if you're in a doctorate program and your thesis committee is composed of unemployed volunteer PhDs from your own 3rd tier institution, your chances of ever getting an academic job are approximately negative infinity. Programs like this that aren't basically professional feeders to local industry are giant scams to steal money and life opportunities from the most vulnerable and clueless.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 10:32 AM
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44

Yeah, the thing described in 42 last only is justifiable (maybe not even then, not taking a strong position on this) if there are plausible professional jobs once a crisis has passed, so you're helping people who ultimately will be employable in their chosen field avoid a "resume gap." If all you're doing is stringing people along who will never have careers in order to get free work then it's just straight-up horrible.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 10:39 AM
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45

Is this situation that different from reviewing a paper for a (for-profit) Springer or Elsevier journal?


Posted by: BA | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 10:59 AM
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46

We're supposed to do that on our own time? I always get paid for it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 11:03 AM
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47

45

I happen to think that for profit journals are highly exploitative. But I believe what the difference would be is that reviewers are employed faculty for whom "service to the profession" is part of their expected work duties. In this case, the journal is profiting from free labor (and selling it back to the people who provide it), but the laborers themselves are getting remunerated. So, it's a model where universities are paying faculty to work for journals (writing and reviewing) such that the publishing company can then sell the end result back to the university for exorbitant amounts of money. It's exploitation but of a different type.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 11:08 AM
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48

For example, LB's program in 7, where the State paid working competent lawyers nothing to do legal work, sounds like obvious exploitation, but I'll bet it also saved the long-term careers of a bunch of people who graduated law school in 2009-2012.

This, precisely. I was wracked with guilt over it, but I did train a bunch of kids who went on to be working lawyers and wouldn't have if they'd been unemployed for the same period. (The real victims, of course, were the graduates in the same position who couldn't afford to work for free and got other jobs.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 11:25 AM
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49

Maybe the other jobs were better from them in the long term?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 11:31 AM
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50

When I say other jobs, I mean 'non-lawyering jobs' which were probably going to make it hard to pay off their law school debt. I mean, arguably, not being a lawyer is a mercy even if you are horribly indebted.

(We still have volunteer attorneys, but these days they all seem to be on some kind of fellowship. So paid by someone, just not us. In 09-12 or so, though, it was just straightforwardly kids working for free.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 11:48 AM
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51

Long ago, my cousin was paid by a big law firm to work at the DA's office at no charge to the government. The firm wanted to pay him to gain experience but didn't want to deal with any mistakes from inexperience.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 11:54 AM
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52

Right, we've got exactly some of those.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 12:03 PM
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53

You should try to be nice to them. My cousin has more money than anybody else I know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 12:05 PM
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54

Admittedly, I don't know many people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 12:08 PM
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55

"it would be the same as you/your insurance paying $80,000 for a heart transplant, except the surgeons and nurses operating on you were working for free. I know there are healthcare systems like that in in places like Eastern Europe"

WTF is this talking about.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 6:25 PM
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55

Not the precise details, but there are healthcare systems where pay systems are set up (public, private, whatever) where practitioners are not paid in a timely manner if at all), so if you want actual treatment you have to pay them directly on top of the official price. Usually those systems are considered corrupt and broken.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 9:37 PM
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57

There's pretty robust empirical data that if you have people do jobs and don't pay them, they tend to either not do the work or extract money from the system in other ways, either through charging an extralegal fee for services (doctors, bureaucrats who interface with the public) or through say, selling technology/weapons to authoritarian regimes.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-25-18 9:43 PM
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