What college professors actually do
September 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Oh, all the people who only think I have to work 6 hours a week because that’s the time I spend in the classroom. What about the 34 hours/week of blogging! Nice piece in HuffPo:
This likely has to do with the fact that unless someone has been a professor or graduate student or worked with them, they probably don’t fully understand what professors do. Instead, presumptions are made about an alleged leisurely life spent in an ivory tower sitting around in tweed coats, smoking pipes and discussing Kant or Rawls (which actually doesn’t sound bad, except for the pipe smoke). That scene may happen, but it doesn’t reflect how faculty spend most of their time.
So perhaps the best question isn’t, “Do college professors work hard enough?” Instead, it might be, “What do professors do, anyway?”
For professors, actual time spent teaching in the classroom is the tip of the iceberg that follows a great deal of preparation: sifting through mountains of books and articles to pick the texts for students to read; creating detailed course plans; producing voluminous notes and presentations for every class and writing a syllabus, among other things. Professors don’t just stroll into class and say what’s on their mind.
And my favorite part:
Advising students and grading their work takes significant time, as does campus life — oh, the committees. [emphasis mine] Many professors devote a good deal of their time to various other assignments: search committees to hire colleagues or administrators, tenure review committees, curriculum committees, PhD. committees; and a host of task forces and working groups formed to address all the challenges your average college and university can encounter. This takes countless hours, but must be done and is often beneficial for the institution.