When is a good time to ask for a raise?

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Oct 03

I received a nice email from Carleton University where I used to teach in the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism as well as the Sprott School of Business. 

Here, in part, is what it said:

You have all been
recognized as award winning teachers over the last 20+ years at Carleton. I
wanted to reach out to you and see if you would be willing to contribute a
short narrative about an experience teaching at Carleton. We are in the midst
of exploring the possibility of producing a book tentatively called Carleton at
75 – Stories from Carleton’s Classrooms. The idea is to collect a number
of short stories, essays, reflections, and anecdotes about teaching about
Carleton, its faculty and students. We would assemble these stories under
various themes and then publish them in the format of a bound book that would
be published in late 2017. 


Patrick Lyons

Director, Teaching and Learning
Teaching and Learning Services
Carleton University
410 Dunton Tower
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6

tel: 613-520-2600 ext. 2192
fax: 613-520-4456

I thought for a few minutes then I wrote this story for inclusion in the new work, Carleton at 75:

When is a good time to ask for a raise?

When one of the courses (Design
Economics) I taught at the School of Architecture (now the Azrieli School of
Architecture & Urbanism) was reviewed by their accreditation committee, I
got a call from the school’s director’s executive assistant to appear before
the group, but she couldn’t tell me anything more about the meeting.

I don’t have to tell you that
when a school is going through this process, it’s a scary/nervous time for
everyone—administration staff, faculty and students. Like, what is a degree
worth from an institution that loses its accreditation? Right, zero.

When I showed up, the room was
setup like an interrogation—I sat on one side and the accreditation committee
(I think there were a lot of them—7 or 8 members) and my director sat on the

I thought, Oh, oh, I’m in

Then the chair tells me my course
would be designated as “exemplary.”

I said, “Does that mean you liked

He answered, “It’s highly
original in that it turns the discussion away from a sole focus on costs and
professional fees to a more balanced one where architects can also establish,
justify, and obtain more value from their original work, artistry and craft.”

Then I turned to my director and
asked, “What does that all signify?”

He said, “It means we—the
faculty, your students and the committee—appreciate and want to recognize the
work you do here at the school.”

After that, the chair asked me,
“We would like you to consider sharing your course material, case studies,
assignments and exams with other schools across Canada,” to which I replied, “I
follow the MIT model—where information wants to be free and the ‘delta’ they
are actually selling is to get into a classroom with some smart classmates and
a good lecturer rather than the Harvard method where everything is behind a
paywall—so the short answer is: sure, you bet.”

Then I added, looking at my
director, “That is, if it’s acceptable to the school too?”

“No problem at all on our end,”
he answered.

After which I said, “Great news
all around! So, umm, do I get a raise?”

To which, they all

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (Civil),
M Eng-Sci, PhD, Ottawa Senators founder, Real Estate Investment and
Business coach, Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc
broker 613-762-8884 bruce.firestone@century21.ca @profbruceprofbruce.tumblr.com brucemfirestone.com

impossible possible

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.