Monday, March 26, 2012

Anti-faculty op-ed

Robert Farley skewers this anti-faculty op-ed in the Washington Post. Normally the misconceptions about academia come from outside of it, so it's disheartening to see it come from someone who should know better. The idea that faculty work, even just the teaching part, is measured mostly by hours in the classroom has no relationship with reality. Just for the teaching side, the list of responsibilities includes, but is not limited to, writing syllabi, preparing lectures, grading exams and assignments, advising students (in some cases, like mine, both undergraduate and undergraduate), assessing academic programs (both your own and others), serving on committees (departmental, college, and/or university) related to student issues, writing letters of recommendation, attending pedagogical workshops/meetings, recruiting new graduate students or majors, sitting on MA or Ph.D. committees, supervising independent studies and last, but not least, answering student emails on all different kinds of topics. I am sure there are others I'm forgetting.

Not all of these activities are equally time consuming, and they come and go (advising, for example, is heaviest in the middle of the semester right before registration), but collectively they take up more hours than most people give credit for. I am not complaining because in fact I love my job and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But I fundamentally disagree with anyone who believes that the job should be measured primarily by the amount of time I stand at a lectern.

There are many other problems with the article but that's enough for now.

James Joyner also weighs in.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP