01 November 2016

Imminent changes

The School of Ocean Sciences will never be the same again. James has resigned. He'll pursue a fresh start in the far south: the Falmouth campus of Exeter university. In all likelihood, he'll take an entire research group with him. Not me; he's only leaving in February, and my contract runs out way before then.
 A vision of th epast: James teaching in the field in Snowdonia, May 2014

With James, the undisputed big cheese of geological oceanography and palaeoceanography in Bangor, gone, what will happen? There is no way in this financial climate they'll replace him at professor level. There is even the possibility that the powers that be will choose to do away with geological oceanography and palaeoceanography altogether. Who cares for longer timescales. Let's focus on fisheries and ocean eddies and tides and all sorts of current processes. I hope not! And the school hopes not too. But the final decision lies with higher management. They might not care as much about the scientific completeness of the school!

There is another possibility, in between. They may ditch the research but keep the teaching. The school has developed a preference for separating the two; recently, one and a half lecturers with a teaching-only job have been hired. They might do the same for the palaeo stuff! Unfortunately, most palaeo-stuff is concentrated in the first semester, and James will complete that. If they hire someone else they might not do so until September. That's late!

So what does it mean for me? I'd love to get a Teaching and Scholarship lectureship (the teaching-only ones, evidently) teaching James' stuff. I hope he will be replaced! Preferably soon. I'll have to wait and see what the powers that be decide. Our Head of School at least knows I want a job like that, and he seems to have a positive opinion of my teaching. And he would not want to lose the palaeo side of things. I'm keep my fingers crossed!

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