Are you feeling overworked?

C.J. Fuller cjfuller at
Wed Jan 7 12:03:48 EST 1998

In Sunday's NY Times Education Life supplement, there was an article
called "Ivory Tower under Siege".  The prevailing impression of people in
academics in the general public (this includes politicians who control the
budgets of state colleges and universities) is that we aren't putting in
enough hours.  I would like to have some of these people follow members of
my department around.  We have had our teaching loads increased over the
last two years. Luckily, my dept chair fought to have our time mentoring
undergrad and grad student research counted in the teaching load.  Our
Provost is anxious for us to increase the grant $$ flowing into the
University, so we're trying to crank out proposals.  He also wants us to
increase our enrollment, which has slid a little due to our more rigorous
academic standards (wait a year or two until the baby boomlet starts
college, we'll be even more swamped).

There are days that I drag myself home from all of the
teaching/research/service I do and collapse in a heap on the sofa. 
However, there are some rewards here that I wouldn't get from an industry
job.  I'm changing my research focus, which is something that would be
harder to do in business--unless a profit motive was behind it.  I also
interact with students, many of whom are coming into nutrition after jobs
in other fields.  The "mature learners" are highly motivated and often do
better in classes than the 18-22 year-olds do, often because they feel
they have to prove themselves.

Academics, especially those of us in the sciences, have to be more vocal
about what we do and why it's important to society.  Otherwise, the
politicians will dump more on us and be resistant to giving us a living


C.J. Fuller
<mailto:cjfuller at>
<mailto:cjfuller at>

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