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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Delegate

Even an academic can delegate quite a few things to free herself up for research and intellectual growth. 

There is a mountain of empty verbiage on our professional websites, but never any good, practical advice of the kind I routinely get on Inc.com. One such piece of advice is to find 3 tasks I can delegate each week. It’s 7:30 am on Monday, and I already found 2 out of 3. 

One can also delegate very well at home, by the way.

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5 thoughts on “Delegate

  1. Evelina Anville on said:

    So what kind of things do you delegate and to whom do you delegate? Other than some things like scanning or maybe a library rub (which I assign to student workers), I can’t think of much that is “delgatable.”

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    • We’ve had this great GA this year who was supposed to be helping everybody but I don’t think it occurred to anybody to use her services except for me. This could have been done at any time but it only occurred to me now. Plus, we have a language lab and lab workers can be asked for help. There is a Humanities librarian who taught one of my classes while I rested.

      There are many things once you start thinking about it.

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  2. We have no GAs and the powers that be have taken away all the department-based administrative support (it’s centralised and we have to deal with them electronically to keep a papertrail, no phone calls or drop ins), so even to get them to do the stuff that is their job like say book a coach for a student trip we now have to do multiple forms and emails to several people instead of just walking into the office and asking someone to sort it. It really feels this year as if academics are suddenly right at the end of a LOT of delegation chains…

    Plus I live with a cat and no other humans! Delegation is only an option if I spend money, and I don’t call that delegation, I call it trading money for time/skill I don’t have.

    There are many lousy and unfair things about what’s happening in academia in the US, especially in state systems like yours, but I still see things that look better from the outside (like a GA! And a semester which ends over a couple of weeks instead of two months of drawn out meetings and nonsense! And getting to teach a whole module all on your own without a team and set your own assignments without needing endless approvals.

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  3. The best advice is usually aimed at entrepreneurs, who, like academics, have flexible schedules, always more they could be doing for their work, and their identity tied up with it. There is the stability/income trade off that is different, which makes delegating/outsourcing more challenging for academics compared to successful entrepreneurs, but I consider it training for joining the neoliberal culture of the future:-)

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