Author Topic: how much to chip in for department administrator  (Read 396 times)

rabbitandfox23

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how much to chip in for department administrator
« on: July 19, 2021, 07:30:45 PM »
The office administrator of our department is retiring soon after 25 years of service, and some colleagues have asked the faculty to chip in, if we would like, toward a good-bye gift.

How much do you think is an appropriate amount per person?  And what kinds of gifts do you think are appreciated?

For context: I started my job here last year so have had only minimal contact and conversation with her. I suspect that those who knew her better and for longer would be expected to give more?

Thank you!

mamselle

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2021, 08:08:01 PM »
She brought her 25 years of expertise to everything you asked her to do, whether you were there while she garnered it or not.

Stop trying to be cheap, and give what everyone else is giving.

M.
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rabbitandfox23

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2021, 08:20:47 PM »
The reason I asked is because no amount was indicated or suggested in the email, and I was curious how much is usually expected in such situations.

If you have no constructive advice to give -- or don't care much about the topic -- no need to reply!


ciao_yall

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2021, 08:37:33 PM »
Nothing wrong with asking another colleague how much everyone else is giving. That's what I normally do.

kaysixteen

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2021, 08:53:58 PM »
The flaw in the theory of 'give whatever everyone else is giving' is that everyone in the dept. does not make the same amount of money.   Hard to argue that John Q. Adjunct, or even Prof. Firstyear Tenuretrack, ought to be expected to pony up the same amount of money as Prof. Endowed Chair.

dismalist

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2021, 09:24:01 PM »
Ah, yes. Shall our rules of taxation consist of head tax, a proportional tax, or a progressive tax [note the name], and if so, progressive to what degree?

I'd give ten bucks, forget the philosophy, and never let another thought discomfort my sleep.
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lightning

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2021, 09:37:17 PM »
My unit has done this, and each faculty member has rumored to donate, on average, $25 from each person. This does not mean that every person donates $25. It just averages out to about $25 per person. I've been here forever, and the senior faculty member who coordinates things like this will never reveal the individual donation amounts.

mamselle

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2021, 02:08:37 AM »
The reason I asked is because no amount was indicated or suggested in the email, and I was curious how much is usually expected in such situations.

If you have no constructive advice to give -- or don't care much about the topic -- no need to reply!

That WAS constructive advice, and I have great interest in the topic, having worked as an EA in both pharma/software labs, and academic R1 positions, for a number of years.

Trying to pro-rate someone else's work experience over your length of time working with them is sleazy. That's the part I objected to.

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

little bongo

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2021, 02:21:38 AM »
It's a fair "newbie" question, I think. In my experience, $10 has been fine (and our chair has even mentioned that as a figure), and asking a colleague doesn't hurt.

Also, be sure to pass the cake, and hold on to your red stapler.

mahagonny

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2021, 03:21:20 AM »
The flaw in the theory of 'give whatever everyone else is giving' is that everyone in the dept. does not make the same amount of money.   Hard to argue that John Q. Adjunct, or even Prof. Firstyear Tenuretrack, ought to be expected to pony up the same amount of money as Prof. Endowed Chair.

The OP posted that they are asking faculty for donations.

Quote
For context: I started my job here last year so have had only minimal contact and conversation with her. I suspect that those who knew her better and for longer would be expected to give more?

If you started your job last year, you're not John Q. Adjunct. John Q. doesn't have a job until his next contract rolls along. So I think my response would be 'huh?' Or if you want them to go away just say '$100 apiece maybe.'
« Last Edit: July 20, 2021, 03:31:53 AM by mahagonny »

mahagonny

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2021, 05:58:52 AM »
This is not advice for the OP, but a thought for the general audience: People who have retired from the department and remember this important person might be happy to get involved.

Puget

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2021, 06:27:24 AM »
For our annual holiday gifts to the department staff we ask for $20 from junior faculty and $30 from senior faculty. Some give more. We used to do partly gift cards and partly physical gifts, but they really just prefer the money, so we've moved toward just doing checks in cards. For a retirement I'd probably add a small symbolic physical gift related to a hobby or their retirement plans, but do mostly money. No one really wants a clock with a plaque or whatever other standard retirement gift.
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rxprof

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2021, 06:40:54 AM »
In this situation, my colleagues and I would each give between $20-$25.

A colleague with young children experienced the death of their spouse and faculty donated higher amounts (e.g. $50-$200/person). However, we are in a relatively well paid department.

ciao_yall

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2021, 07:04:02 AM »
Nothing wrong with asking another colleague how much everyone else is giving. That's what I normally do.

I ask, then gauge my actual giving depending on the situation. So if everyone is giving $10 and that's comfortable for me, I do as well. If it isn't someone I know well, I would give $5. If it's someone I really know well and want to really express appreciation I might throw in $20.

clean

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Re: how much to chip in for department administrator
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2021, 07:14:22 AM »
Quote
"Stop trying to be cheap"

Id also say, "Stop looking for rules"

I will also say THE ANSWER IS $20.  AS you work longer, and have stronger relationships with people there, the amount may go up, but it really wont go down.

You have a full time faculty job. You probably make a lot more than this person after 25 years.  Add this sort of "tax' to your budget.


For what it is worth, as some may recall from the old forum, I am not a big credit card user (and was even less so earlier) so I would have cash.  An admin. assistant's husband died unexpectedly of a heart attack at work and they asked for money so that they could make a run to the grocery store to help feed the people dropping by to support her that afternoon/night.  Instead of wasting time trying to get small amounts of money from several people before they could go to the grocery store I gave $100 and asked, "is this enough?"

As a full time faculty member, you will make enough to be able to be generous, when the time comes.  So I suggest that between now and Christmas you collect Five $20 bills and keep them with you for this sort of thing.  The general answer, as I suggested is $20.  Few will keep track of your giving, so dont worry that you are giving too much or too little, as long as you give. 

AS for what they SHOULD do with the money?  First, as a first year person dont worry about it!  This isnt your decision.  There is some sort of culture there, so there is a history of what has been done 'since the dawn of time', and most likely this will follow that tradition.

My own suggestion, however, is simply to convert the smaller bills to the fewest, largest bills for the amount and just give cash in a card.  Most likely there will ALSO be a card to sign. 

(Here is what to say, "I have not been here long, but in that short time I know that you will be missed!  You have earned a great retirement, and I am sure that you will enjoy it!")
"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader