Too much responsibility

 | 2 min

I have been given a new job at work, and I really don't want it. The department's numbers have been rapidly falling and we're in trouble. To try and address the issue, we streamlined our offerings a bit, dumped a few courses (some good, some not), and decided to add a new sexy stage 1 course to lure students into our major, and more importantly, inspire them to continue.

I was asked to develop this stage 1 course, which will be taken by all stage 1 students anticipating majoring in information systems. Over the past few weeks or so, I have been trying to get someone to tell me exactly what they want this course to achieve, what they want it to cover, and what its role in the major will be, but without success. If someone can give me a vision for the course, I can develop it. If they want me to teach tarot cards and unicycle riding, I'll do it, they just need to tell me what they want.

Well, it turns out that nobody seems to know what they want. And further, it's entirely my responsibility to decide. "It's your baby", as my boss put it. This is our foundation course. It could be that I'm making this seem something more significant than it is, but it feels like I'm going to end up in a huge amount of shit if I cock this up.

I just don't want that kind of responsibility. Surely somebody with better judgement, and more experience should be deciding the vision for this course. I always figured that was why bosses were paid so well, because they had to be accountable for big decisions with a lot of downside risk.

It doesn't seem like a great idea to trust something like this to the most junior lecturer in the department (who isn't even a proper member of staff). So while I am flattered by their (apparent) faith in my ability, I am appalled at their management skills.