more of the same

Random musings of @mchang.

I don’t work hard enough

Or, at least that’s the rather outrageous claim made by one David C. Levy of the Cambridge Information Group in his opinion piece in the Washington Post, “Do college professors work hard enough?”

Normally, I’d let this sort of pseudo-intellectual grandstanding get forgotten under a deluge of cute cat and dog videos, an hour or two browsing Reddit and Hacker News, and another few hours Twittering and Facebooking about my life of extreme leisure. But surprisingly, Mr. Levy’s comments really bothered me.

It isn’t because he has an opinion that doesn’t sit well with me. Rather, I think it’s because he claims to be from an academic background, yet demonstrates an inadequate grasp of the work of the professoriate, and not even a passing command of The Google Search.

No Google chops? Not acceptable. Don’t worry David, Let Me Google That For You.

Right there, in my browser at least, is a link to the AAUP’s landing page regarding faculty work and workload. Gee, that wasn’t too hard, was it? In their latest report, “The Work of Faculty: Expectations, Priorities, and Rewards" (that’s a JSTOR PDF), they lay out the results of several studies designed to count how many hours us lazy professors work each week. So, what’s the final answer?

48-52 hours per week.

Youch. Them’s some lazy tweed-coated professors!

Since you can find other academics blogging up a storm in response to Mr. Levy’s article, I won’t bother you with my opinions on the workload realities of teaching, conducting research, service to the institution, the myth of winter and summer vacations, and just plain old giving a crap about your job.

Instead, let’s scroll down together in that PDF we opened above and find out where the proportional rising costs of operating a college or university are coming from. I wonder if the report talks about that…

Oh look at that! Starting on p. 42! Seems that the cost of administration was outpacing every other expenditure increase across all types of institutions. So, in a sense, spending on Presidents, Directors, and Chancellors increased as a percentage of total expenditures, while spending on instruction decreased.

Son, that’s called irony.

  • 26 March 2012
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