Friday, May 26, 2006

Teaching -- some things are just not fair...

"He has been voted “Professor of the Year” by his students and has received an average instructor rating of 4.6 (out of 5.0) for the eight classes (avg. size: 40) taught since 2001."


This was on the bottom of a CV I found on a well-respected philosophy website.

Granted, I don't know when his CV was last updated, but people like him are generally pretty good at updating things like CVs...

Since starting at BNCC in the Fall of 2003 I've taught 33 classes with an average size closer to 50 than 40.

Since Fall of 2001 the total is closer to 55 --

In what could easily be the same length of time I taught 55 to his 8.

Yea, I know he has publishing to do, and that does take time -- but, he also has time to do some pretty extensive blogging and rating of other philosophy departments etc..

I still have a hard time geeting over the 55 to 8.

7 comments:

DRD said...

It is completely unfair, particularly when you add into the equation that he probably makes 2 or 3 times what you do.

Husband has a similar CV to yours... 60 or so odd classes (I think he averages 9 a year) since about 2001. Sometimes he just wants to scream "AND I continue to publish on that load, imagine what I could do if I taught a reasonable load!" when looking for tenure-track jobs.

Something needs to give in this caste system of the academy!

App Crit said...

It is unfair, but guys like that are a dying breed. When they retire, you can be sure that 1/3 of those once tt jobs will become adjunct slots. And the jobs that stay tt will be rewritten for 3-3 years, or more (a lot for an assistant at an R1 school expected to publish in national journals.) Many schools are simply closing tenure lines altogether, now that many universities evaluate departments on service courses (offerings, enrollment, retention) more than major area courses.

What needs to give? The presidents and provosts! They created this system.

Let's burn them in effigy, after I finish my coffee.

Cheers

Andrea said...

His CV (I know who you mean, he's a self-aggrandizing tool) is from Sept 05, so it's not TOO old - it does seem that he's taught ONE class a semester, and no summers. And he has appointments in 2 departments. Sadly, that's standard practice for elite law schools - rare to teach more than 3 classes in a year. Then again, they're not just publishing, they're also supervising multiple 3L papers (which are basicially theses), so they don't just sit and pick their noses. But yeah, it's a pretty cushy life. I'd think the phil dept would want more from him, too.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I think what kind of gets me is a bit of jealously, but also that it is really easy to be thought an excellent teacher if you only have to remember the names and stories of 40 students per semester...

Frankly, when I see a researcher with such high ratings I wonder if it isn't because he's taking advantage of the student/teacher non-agression pact... you know, I give them As and Bs and they don't bother me with grade grubbing. I entertain them in class and they don't complain about me etc... I have a couple of office hours a week at the pub and for $20.00 in beer I make them feel smart and they think I care and have taught them stuff...

meanwhile, those of us who actually have to teach for a living care about what they learn and don't have the luxury of schmooze time with students...

timna said...

just today I was figuring out the number of classes (or credit hours) I've taught in the past 6 years: 138. Some were 3 credit, some 4, so about 40 classes... I actually had a reason for this -- I imagine at some point HR will talk to me about seniority stuff and I wanted to make sure I could document all of the hours. they sometimes seem to lose stuff.

so -- you know in our dept, people take a sabbatical the 2nd year after they're hired since the time teaching in the system is retroactive... sorry to hijack the comments. just thinking off on a tangent.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Isn't it a total of 12 semesters or something before the sabbatical... I'm sure the union has that one tightly controlled :).

I'm sure you are looking forward to that!

timna said...

I think it's the equivalent of 12 semesters (180 hours) and it has to be in continuous semesters for 6 years (that I've actually got already).

We'll see. MIght not be possible on probation, or some other hidden hitch.