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Friday, May 2, 2014

All In

Being "all in" means dedicating a lot to several spheres of academic life:

Active research program

Attention to teaching and curricular development, etc...

Departmental life & Service

Campus life / administration

National organizations, editing journals and professional service, etc...

A web presence, blogging, tweeting, etc...

I have limited energy so I can't be "all in" in all facets, all the time. It's interesting, though, that teaching, what some people outside of academia would see as the job, is just one segment of all this. Being president of University Senate is about the equivalent of an extra class. Being director grad studies is about another half of a class. Bear in mind that everything except teaching & research is worth 20% of my time (officially, that is). Someone who really is all in would be doing about 60% service, and the hours would expand accordingly. Or some might get a teaching-load reduction.

I would settle for good teaching, active research, a web presence, and one major responsibility.


Thomas said...

"All in" strikes me as unwise, especially in scholarship. Beckett's "fail better" (i.e., fail often, fail better each time) is a much better motto.

Vance Maverick said...

"All in" can also mean "exhausted".

profacero said...

What I would love to ditch is the web presence, it would be the first to go if I worked anywhere where there were anyone to talk to. I would put union or AAUP work in its place, and I am smarter and subtler than Marc Bosquet.

But, it is interesting how people will assume teaching is 90% of it. It is, in contracts for instructors, of course. But throughout graduate school people kept telling me I would not like to be a professor because it was not just about teaching (well, duh, I said) ... and then when my actual jobs turned out to be in these weird teaching institutions I do not enjoy, and I wanted to quit so I could get into some field, any field, that would allow me to be a research professional, people assumed I would not want to quit academia because I would not want to stop teaching (gen ed and freshmen).

It all comes down to this, perhaps: people in general think professor actually means community college educator.

Jonathan said...

I would do everything if I could. I would be like Bérubé. But then I think, no. It's not just a lack of energy or time, but that I'm not wired to be like that.

I think you would be better than Bosquet, whose work I like a lot, because you are not coming out of the English / composition base.

Thomas said...

In the humanities (and business schools too, actually), at least, I think there is a point in putting "college educator" at the center of the job description. The way I normally put it is that everything else is really just a requirement that educators keep their minds in shape to engage in interesting ways with the students. The "value added" is the effect we can have on students, not the effect we have on the culture more "directly".

That doesn't mean teaching should be 90% of the job, of course. It should just mean that the teaching should be done under conditions that are enjoyable for the teachers.