3 responses to “The Economics of Academia (Part 2)”

  1. Z

    Chasing funding. Weird factoid. We in Humanities didn’t use to have to chase it like science people because we don’t have labs — just the library. So when you apply for research funding for you, it’s for leave, or for travel to collections, things like that. Those are simple grant proposals, comparatively speaking, and small, and they don’t have overhead, usually.

    But now, they don’t buy library books any more, and instead you can chase after them via major external grants, done on the format of a science one, i.e. a mega proposal. And the university will get almost 50% overhead. So they not only save on books, they get you to get them for them, and they then get an equivalent amount of cash. While you are applying for the grant and implementing it, which is essentially a librarian job not yours, you are of course not doing research. It is all very paradoxical.

  2. GEARS

    Z – Thanks for your input. It’s interesting to hear how the Humanities is slowly starting to approach research/funding like the Sciences and Engineering. I’m not sure that’s a good way to go as that’s where I thought my 50% overhead went to (things like english class, libraries, journal subscriptions, books, etc.)

  3. Z

    One does wonder where the money goes. English *class* is pretty much tuition funded since it’s so cheap. But our mega library grants are time limited so they can’t include recurring costs like those for journals and databases. I am assuming some of all this grant overhead goes to that. Science must be funding humanities somewhat there, I am guessing, since these database packages that include the really expensive science journals, often also have humanities and social science ones as part of the package.

    It is hard to tell though because at my place, external funding rises steadily while state funding decreases. So we still get budget cuts, and it really does seem that we spend a lot of time soliciting funding so as to create the workplace in which we will then do the work.