About that job description

Dear Internet,

Tuesday was the first day in 76 days I missed a day writing. Wednesday too. And you know what? I’m okay with that. But today’s entry will explain some of what has been going on.

My job posted yesterday.1

I am not reapplying for the position.

While I love working with students and seeing everything click when they get it, my passion remains and has always been in technology. With the college’s direction for the position, and the rewording of the position itself, it would be in my best interest to find a position that would better align with my career goals.

Some of you may not know my circumstances, so I’ll catch you all up.

I was hired as an adjunct in 2011. That fall, after two separate interviews, I was hired in as the systems librarian. The position was open for an academic year before I was hired. During this time, the faculty union, which librarians are a member of, were in negotiations with the college for their contract. All of us that were hired in the 2011-12 academic year were hired in as contingency employees. Our contracts were renewed on a year to year basis as contracts continued to be in negotiation.

In the 2012-13 academic year, the union and college came to an agreement with contract negotiations. Contingency faculty such as myself were not included as part of the agreement. We were told that all 40 positions would be reopened to a nation wide search. We could elect to apply for the position if we’d like, but please note that any time we worked prior to the now tenure track position would not be included when we apply.

My original position, while similar in wording to the current position, was sold to me as being 75% Systems / 25% everything else. The college’s push for student success has changed significantly in the last three years — every part of our core job services has been significantly amped towards student success and instruction. Out of my 35 scheduled hour week, I spend 10 hours on reference, 10-15 hours prepping/teaching/wrap up for info lit classes, 5-10 hours a week during liaison work, whatever time is left over doing systems. This also does not include my involvement time spent on meetings for internal department groups and college wide meetings. Or lunch.

When the job posting went live yesterday, those who knew me started emailing and tweeting asking what was the deal. Many asked if they had missed something on my blog? I made it a point to not publicly discuss my work here but to point people to my writing over at my professional blog, of course I did not discuss the terms of my employment because I had no idea what was going to happen to me.

Despite repeated assurances I would be notified when the job posted, I was not told. I found out the job was being posted several hours before it went live by finding a copy of the posting on our internal network of job positions.

As I read through the document, the last line under Minimum Qualifications set off all kinds of bells:

Ability to demonstrate the mental health necessary to safely engage in the librarian discipline as determined by professional standards of practice.

I called HR immediately.

I had a meeting with HR about this line and stated it was not only illegal but inflammatory and discriminatory. I was informed it was a directive from the director of accessibility to add that line to the 19-20 job postings that were going out. I was then asked by HR to provide language from ADA  about the discrimination and illegality of the content, but HR did agree the language did not sound correct.

This morning I emailed HR several direct sources of ADA information from the government. I did not hear back.

Completely independent of my actions, various people picked up on the mental health line in the job description as it was being distributed via national job hiring networks. I was tipped off by various people the extent of the uproar over Twitter and over at Tumblr. Lots of people took the college to task for its faux pas. Near end of business day, the college responded:

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Now, before the Internet got wind of everything, I DID post my job was available on Twitter and that while I was not reapplying, I would sincerely answer any questions had about the position.

And while I will not comment publicly on the events other than what I’ve laid here, I have responded to people’s comments about “the past employee in that position” and I repeated my offer from earlier in the day that if anyone had questions about the position, I would be more than happy to discuss it with them privately.

It should also be remarked on that now several people of note from the college are now following me on Twitter.

My goal is to leave the position with my dignity intact. I have a lot of projects to wrap up before my contract ends on June 30 and I would like to have the opportunity to complete out those jobs. I’ve been assured while Michigan is an at-will state, the college has to have document course of action of any misdeeds done on my part, which has never happened. I’ve never even gotten a bad review.

But I am kind of excited about the unknown future. I’ll be revamping my professional site within the next few weeks and applying for positions.

And again,  I want to make clear that I am writing this up to present facts as they happened and to let people know who were bombarding me with tweets, emails, texts today that I’m okay. I’ll be getting back to some of you in the next few days but I really do appreciate all of the support you’ve given me.

xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2009


1. Copies have been posted all over various job search engines but I snagged a local copy.

 

  • I’ve been mostly amused watching a little bit of the fallout around the template, but otherwise I just wanted to tell you congrats! It’s a gutsy thing to go a different direction. Hold out for the tech-centric job you want. When I was hunting, I delayed responding to a couple other offers until I heard back from the job I wanted – the one I’m in now. Well worth the gamble.

  • Librarianry

    I hope you find the position that is more focused on areas you are most passionate about in the profession. It stinks (IMO) that you are currently going through this, but having an open slate can be extremely exciting, and there is no doubt that you will find something very, very soon.

  • Jodie Borgerding

    If you have to find your happiness elsewhere, then so be it. A lot of people would rather stay at a miserable job than be happy somewhere else. I’m happy and excited for you as you embark on your next professional venture. 🙂

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