5 weeks ago
Thursday, June 01, 2006
The other day I mentioned that professors are not paid by the university in the summer, so technically we can't be expected to do any teaching or administrative work. Of course we still advise graduate students and work with undergraduate research assistants and interns and do random things to get ready for the next semester, but the focus for many of us is on research. Even so, I spent 5 years directing a summer intern program as part of my department 'service', and this task (which is actually quite rewarding, even if unpaid) has now been taken on by junior colleagues. OK, that's fine, but today one of the office staff told me that the department chair was reluctant to ask a senior colleague to spend part of an afternoon helping out with a student recruiting activity because faculty are 'off payroll' in the summer. The chair has never been reluctant to ask me and some others to do 'off payroll' activities, even things involving vast amounts of time. I think this again relates to the fact that some people are just more Professorial than others, and professorialness is not related to objective measures of productivity as researchers or talent as teachers. But if we all refuse to help out the department, even in the summer, important things will not get done. Nothing is every totally *fair*, but maybe they could be just a bit fairer than they are now.
We all write annual reports documenting the things we've done each year, and our teaching evaluations are scrutinized, but then it seems like these 'data' are plugged into an equation that involves variables such as amount of facial hair, number of sport jackets in one's wardrobe, and so on.