I have worked industry and it is my observation that university faculty work longer hours than comparatively trained people in the private sector. You have not offered any data to support your views, so I will weight them accordingly. Perhaps you think that hurling insults is a form of evidence. It is not. But, doing research does require work.If you are in a department or college that is working more than 40 hours per week at SIU, name it here anonymously. This is Blogger's server and I can't and will not track stats or IP address here. Be brave, tell us where you hard workers are so we can send you fan mail. Not going to ask for 50 like your document says. Go on and tell us, we are all waiting.
Are Faculty Members Overworked?
11/5/2004 Chronicle of Higher Education
By ROBIN WILSON
Faculty members are frequently ridiculed for having some of the cushiest jobs around. But exactly how many hours do professors put in?
Jerry A. Jacobs, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, has found that the average full-time faculty member works more than 50 hours a week, regardless of academic rank. About 35 percent of faculty members reported working more than 60 hours a week. Mr. Jacobs analyzed data from a U.S. Department of Education survey of more than 10,000 faculty members at four-year institutions in 1998-99, the most recent year for which figures are available.
I notice that anonymous didn't tell us that he/she works 50 hours a week. Please, we are waiting on that too.
Just to define our terms, I am sitting in my office at work right now and I'm not working. I'm writing this thing. We are not talking about sitting in your office and talking to your wife on the phone or balancing the checkbook as work hours. When you are in the shower and thinking about random things you aren't working. When you are driving to work, you aren't working. When you are drinking beer, mowing your lawn, playing golf, watching TV or sleeping you aren't working. Do you count reading the paper, Science magazine, National Geographic, as work? I don't. How about surfing the web? Nope.
There is nothing better then a club protecting itself and producing its own study data. How are these 50 work hours determined? Timecards? Questionnaires? Kind of like Congress and their pages isn't it? Or what college is the best party school. Human nature says that 10,000 professors are willing to lie about work hours and in this case likely have. Only white lies though, so that is OK. We can assume there isn't an audit on the data?
Talk about observations without data, you worked at a couple of places and you know something about the real world? Go lookup working hours for American white collar workers, they are wild too. I certainly didn't compare professors to industry, though we all know that most professors have a PhD so they don't have to deal with that real world crap. I used to sit at Microsoft and all the awesome young dudes used to work far into the night. The came to work at 10:00 am, went to lunch for an hour or more, did some exercise (soccer, pickup basketball that sort of thing) in the afternoon for an hour or more, went out to dinner and left at 10:00 pm. Hours worked per day? Around 8, but in the office for 12. Counting hours isn't that easy.
I'm going to teach you a trick that good managers use. If you get something out of this please give the Boys and Girl's Club of Carbondale a little gift in honor of the wisdom. Ready? As you drive through the blue parking lots at SIU, you can tell who is working and who isn't. Drive into any lot at 9:00, 11:00, 2:00 and 4:15. You tell me the professors and staff are working 40 hours a week. The place has no cars at 8:00 am and no cars at 4:30 pm. There are no cars on the weekend, period. We will not go into Friday where everyone blows out of work after lunch. Unless the professors are biking or walking to work, I think we can draw a pretty interesting result with almost no work. Pretty smart isn't it? Works in all industries and professions these days. We have a 100% reading on 40 hours here, 50 hours? Not possible. Need more data or is that enough?
I think that pulling average numbers out when discussing the work ethic at SIU is wrong and self serving. SIU isn't average, it is below average on results. Since SIU professors are pretty much average in ability (which is fantastically high) vs. other universities, maybe working as hard as other universities would suddenly raise results to average or above?
But none of this is what I was writing about. I was writing about how the people who own SIU, the taxpayers of Illinois can tell you guys aren't working hard enough. This makes them much less likely to increase state funding. It is as clear as the nose on your face, we are your neighbors and it wasn't like this 30 years ago.
If you want to claim professors are working on research at home, no problem. What percentage of professors would have received tenure based on the previous 6 years of work? A majority or minority? 6 good papers in 6 years (or equivalent) isn't too much to ask for is it? At SIU, we don't know because the university hides all statistics, but I will bet you money it follows my position pretty closely.
To the minority of SIU professors who are working hard and getting great results, I tip my hat to you. I wish more of you would grow a backbone and use peer pressure to get the rest of the professors to work hard, but still, congratulations on your hard work. I hope you are richly rewarded for it.