Hey professor, got a quarter? - Macleans.ca

Hey professor, got a quarter?

UAlberta profs lose office phones


Professors at the University of Alberta are losing their office phones as part of a plan to reduce departmental budgets by five per cent. So far, according to the Edmonton Journal, the lines have been cut in a number of liberal arts departments, including philosophy and English and film studies. Scandinavian languages professor, Chris Hale, wonders whether smoke signals and courier pigeons should be used as a substitute. “Most people, when I tell them this, they break down laughing,” he said. Professors who need a phone should be able to find one in faculty lounges and departmental offices, and tax credits are available for those who use a private cell phone. Still, profs might want to start stocking up on quarters so they can plug campus pay phones.


Hey professor, got a quarter?

  1. While cell phones are as ubiquitous these days as credit cards, so this measure is not as crazy as it sounds, still, this type of penny-pinching does risk making the U of A a laughingstock.

  2. While it may sound ridiculous, keep in mind the following:

    1. Professors are rarely in their offices, when they are it’s often for office hours – ie. face to face time, they are not available then for phone calls.
    2. They often have to share spaces – this is especially the case for grad students who hold office hours
    3. Almost all are accessible by email

    So why when IP addresses/phones, wireless internet, Skype never mind cellphones/Blackberry are commonplace are we worried about landlines?

  3. I haven’t used my office phone in 3 years anyway. I think it’s a good move.