I am addicted to listening to podcasts, especially at night. I fall asleep listening to them. I tend towards NPR's Fresh Air and "Most-Emailed," Slate's gabfests and Double X, and Marketplace. So relaxing....zzzzzz
Except the other night, when I heard on Marketplace that the Iowa legislature (just switched to GOP majority in November) is gunning to end sabbaticals for the state's universities. That kept me up for half the night.
So stupid! For so many reasons!
1. Hiring difficulties.
2. Faculty flight.
3. Decline in productivity of faculty that remain.
4. Bad for morale.
5. Decline in indirect cost income: Faculty (especially in sciences, and to lesser extent social sciences) bring in grants with indirect costs that is income for the university. This income would likely decrease with cuts to or elimination of sabbaticals.
And that's off the top of my head. Plus, the estimated savings from eliminating sabbaticals? $250,000/yr/university. Yes. Peanuts for a university budget--especially with the costs associated.
I can imagine the sound bites play well to many a constituent: "paying professors to take a 15-week vacation!" or "paying professors NOT to teach!"
Arggghhhh! Stupidity of others can be so stressful.
I've never had a sabbatical. I was approved for sabbatical right around the same time I accepted the job at my current institution. I negotiated a semester off from teaching, but I still had service, had to come to meetings and events, etc. I need my sabbatical. Period.