Of Windows & Doors

I ain’t gonna comment on the whys or try to make sense. I am just going to let the vision flow, some sputtering juice from a lunchtime pepperoncini.

When I wander down the halls of faculty office I love to see how they have presented themselves to the hallway traffic with images and important quotes and signage of all kinds. It is a wonderful opportunity to share who you are. Like t-shirts only different. And I love this kind of expression!

One place they often share who they are is in the choice of coverings they use to block out the window built into each door. All the doors have windows and all the windows are covered up with stuff so hallway traffic cannot peer into the office space. I say all of them, but that is not true. It is probably more like 70 percent of them are covered. They have been that way for the five years I have been wandering the halls.

Last week we moved into our new office spaces on one of the satellite campuses. The buildings were completely renovated and they really are nice. It is exciting. One of the things I noticed was that most of the new faculty offices have doors with windows in them. Not all of them, but like 95 percent of them.

Hmmmm.

Like I said, I am not going to try to wonder why the windows are there or why the faculty cover them up. And I won’t wonder about other metaphors in teaching here. And I won’t wonder about silos of individuals or groups. What I am interested in is why doors with windows were bought in the first place. Had no one in charge of that sort of stuff walked down the faculty halls and seen that all the doors with windows were covered over? Had they asked any faculty if they would prefer windows in doors?

A little reconnaissance could have saved a few bucks?

It just seems like there is something missing.

But I love an open door more than I like window treatments. But if there is going to be window treatments, I say make them beautiful! Make art!

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5 Responses to Of Windows & Doors

  1. I love the personalization of faculty doors, it is the equivalent of the lockers we did as kids.

    Sadly I talked to colleague recently who heard that someone they worked adjacent to filed a complaint up the chain because this person felt like decorating doors was “unprofessional”

    I cannot believe people even waste time being so moronic. My first mentor had a saying, “don’t count other people’s socks”

    No wonder they say they don’t have to to blog.

    Good to see you in action.

    Write more, damnit.

  2. This is really interesting. My experience is that ‘faculty’ create offices with windows in the doors to create a sense of ‘openness’ and ‘accessibility’ and lecturers want to be left alone and not be seen and so cover up the windows in their doors.
    So I think it may be more about ‘hiding’ than creative expression?
    Jenny

    • Todd Conaway says:

      I found this the other day after talking with a colleague about the whole thing. It is from a 2010 Chronicle post: http://chronicle.com/article/article-content/124863/

      Great comments. I like the, “My window is about 2 inches tall and they put bread and water through it,” comment….

      • Jim Stauffer says:

        Even the Chronicle has their virtual window covered, showing only a few lines, then:
        “This content is only for subscribers. You can gain access by purchasing a (subscription).”

  3. jean proppe says:

    I love this!! As an adjunct faculty member at multiple campuses I have no office door to decorate. I recall my grad school faculty halls looking very similar though. If I did have a door I would definitely cover any windows in them as well. That way I could blog, compose music or dance naked if necessary. And, sometimes it is very necessary 😉