Here is what I learned from my Travel Poll earlier this week:
1. Many more early career faculty voted in the poll than did more senior faculty. Only 16 so-called full Professors voted, and I know who some of them are. Might one conclude from these data that more early faculty read this blog (or blogs in general) than do more senior faculty? I find that kind of interesting; perhaps not surprising, but interesting nevertheless.
2. In every professorial rank polled, most faculty travel <> 75k/year is very very low.
4. There is no significant difference between Assistant and Associate Professors in terms of miles traveled. There is no particular trend of travel increasing or decreasing with career stage, although not enough Professors voted to make a conclusion about them. Variation in travel likely relates more to research field, institution type, funding opportunities, the number and location of essential conferences etc. than it does to career stage.
5. When making decisions about travel, most readers do not and would not take into account the amount of CO2 emissions for which they would be personally responsible, but a significant number would consider doing this, even though they have not yet done so.
I consider the opportunities for interesting travel to be one of the excellent aspects of my professor job, but faculty positions are so varied in so many ways that it seems that one can probably arrange one's professional life to include more or less travel depending on personal circumstances and preferences.
A few years ago, a frequent flyer businessman, upon learning that I had the same frequent flyer status that he had, asked me "Are you really a Road Warrior too?"
No, I am not a Road Warrior. I do not spend my life shuttling around in airplanes. I make a few international trips each year, and a fair number of domestic trips, and the miles add up. Road scholar, perhaps.. warrior, no thanks.
9 months ago