Talked to Star this morning. Asked him if he'd thrown me under the train along with the rest of the department. He said no. Told him it made sense for me to go ahead and take the department stuff now, enabling him to concentrate on the Honors stuff. He said 'no, I've got it.'
Me: Star, you've got to learn to stop trying to do everything. It's not good for you, or anybody else. I am happy to take it-
S: No, really. It's all done.
M: No, it's not. The fall schedule still has to come back and be corrected. There are committee meetings that, as chair, you have to attend.
S: Well, but that's all minor.
M: So let me do it - one less thing for you to do, and it give me a chance to get up to speed-
S: It's all done.
M: Star. Be serious.
S: Well, all that (motions to the file cabinet and the entire wall of stuff) belongs to Honors. And that (another motion to same area in his office) is just some stuff I want to finish up. I've made these forms-
M: I can fill out forms Star. And if there's stuff on History students-
S: I want to finish those up. You'd never be able to read my scratches.
So I went out in great frustration. One thing he'd said was that he thought I didn't want to be chair - ever. Which is just wrong, and seems to be what he's told everybody else.
I realized that, since he's come to RNU and wanted to be chair, I've supported him because to contest it would be to take something away from him that wasn't a big deal to me. But - and this is key - that non-contestation was situational. Contextually, I didn't want to challenge him. He wanted it, and I didn't particularly care at the time. However, the PTB heard it - as did he - as categorical. That I would never want to be chair.
So that explains a lot, doesn't it? Star also said that he'd tried to resign as chair 'last year' but was told by the Dean that he couldn't. Now that just pisses me off, because I've been saying - to him - for months and months that he didn't need to do it all, that I was willing to take the History stuff. He always met it with 'no, I've got it, I'm fine.' Today, when he said 'last year' I called him on it. Forced clarification - and again, he didn't see anything but his own life as situationally conditioned (very odd for a professional historian to ignore context...). Last year was last term, when I was overwhelmed with 6 classes after multiple years of unpaid overloads and independent studies. He was arguing with the PTB to give me a course release (which wasn't an arguable point, which he seems to have completely forgotten), and he wanted to emphasize that he himself was also overloaded. So his 'wanting to resign' was situational, and he acknowledges that - but my reluctance to take on chair AND 6 classes he saw as categorical.
I have also realized that our departmental culture is one in which the Chair-ship is regarded as a burden and un-recognized. However, and this is key, that was the pre-Star condition, in which no release time or any kind of compensation came with the additional responsibilities. The year that the Dean became Dean, he also instituted a one-course release (per year) for chairs - which changes the calculations. In fact, at the time, after I'd said no, I didn't want to challenge Star for chair - then and only then did the Dean mention that it came with a course release. Which would have made a difference to me, but was by then moot for me.
Bottom line, I want to be chair, and I'm going after it. I've sent multiple emails to the Dean indicating that, and just sent another to try and set the record straight on situational v categorical (using simpler language to be as clear as I possibly can and reduce any chance of being misunderstood) responses. Dean's out sick with the flu, and all this delay is just narrowing options.
Why does everything have to be so flipping secretive?????