24/7

A colleague’s daughter said that academics work 24-7. Twenty-four hours a week, seven months a year.

I don’t work like this but if I wanted to, I could. Many people do. We like to deny it but it’s a fact. Many people do and many more could if they chose to.

How shocking is it, then, that this model proved unsustainable and is dying?

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14 thoughts on “24/7”

  1. So genuine question here: where does this actually occur? I’ve me one or maybe two max deadwood faculty per department I’ve been in (and I’m at uni #4 now, with 20+ faculty per department). All were near retirement, and some actually had taken salary cuts for their reduced roles. It seems to me that nearly any business of comparable size is going to have a couple of slackers too, so this doesn’t seem too odd to me. So where are these hordes of lazy academics? Is it because I’m not in humanities/social science and I’m in STEM?

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    1. Teaching institutions. If you teach 3 and 3 and it’s mostly intro courses, then you can’t possibly spend more than 15 hours a week on teaching. If the research requirement is one article per year for excellent and 1 article per 5 years for tenure or promotion to Full, then it’s hard to come up with ways to spend any more time than that on work. It’s not about slacking but about outdated requirements that don’t expect much scholarship or life of the intellect.

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    1. I’m at a teaching institution and we are 3-3. Next semester I’ll be in the classroom 2 hours a week. Coupled with the fact that I could go up for Full Professor with zero articles, let alone books, I don’t think anybody can argue that this is a huge workload. Of course, I want to go with 2 more books and 12 more articles but that’s solely because I’m choosing to.

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