Saturday, December 06, 2008

What is it about me??

I've been thinking about my time at BNCC.... and, really before that.

It is standard for us to teach 15 credits per semester. For those of us in the philosophy factory, that means a 5/5 load. We have no formal advising requirements, but we do have kind of generic service obligations. We also have very, very, very generic research expectations -- in that we are expected to know what's going on in our fields and to look at new pedagogical methods. There is no publication expectation -- and, frankly, they'd rather we only go to conferences that are pedagogical in nature and not connected to our actual academic interests or areas.

The whole time I've been at BNCC, I've been plugging along on my dissertation. I consider that professional development and thus something that I should be doing, mostly for myself. I won't get a raise at BNCC when I finish it. Although the rest of my department is comprised of Ph.D.s -- I don't feel pressure from them to complete, although they are very supportive.

The first four years at BNCC I started and ran the debate team, in addition to my teaching duties. For part of that time, debate was counted as one class in my course load and the last semester I had a 1 course release. Otherwise, I did debate in my 'extra' time. This included hosting a national championship one year, all the work to establish the team and secure funding etc. I also did all of the expense paperwork, travel arrangements and other administrivia.

About the same time I decided not to do debate, I decided it would be a good idea to be department (really division) chair. This is my second year as chair -- and I kind of think nobody else wants to do it -- so I may have it for a while. Being chair at a CC is different from being chair at a 4-year school. Mostly because I have significantly less power, but I still get the same BS to deal with.

As I drove to Red State yesterday, I realized that I've never had a semester in which I wasn't doing something leadership-ish... I've never had a semester in which all I needed to do in most weeks was to teach my students. Many of my colleagues have this EVERY semester --- 'cuz my campus isn't all that different from yours, you know the ones who teach (maybe grade) and go home. I have them too... and I'm kind of envious of their jobs.

Even if you want to count research -- it seems to me that at BNCC the research is stuff THEY are really interested in, and that will directly benefit THEM with a CV line etc. I put this in the same category as my dissertation -- something they do for themselves. I can't count it as 'leadership-ish' stuff.

hmmmm--- -maybe after Hubby finishes law school -- my 9th year at BNCC--, I'll take a 'ROAD' (retired on active duty -- a military term that fits the teach-and-go folks) to see what it feels like. Until then, I'll need to do the extra to pay the bills... which is kind of ok, since I seem destined to do the extra anyway -- why not get paid for it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that most people who take on a lot of leadership can't stop doing it.

It's great if your CC is actually paying you extra for what you do. It isn't often easy to balance contributing to your employer and looking out for yourself - inside academia or out.

A 5/5 teaching load is big. I did a 3/4 at a CC in art, which requires a lot less reading of student essays (although I did assign them). And, if only for the size of the facilities, my classes were capped at 22. (Yes, there were caveats that made it worse...)

My thought is that once you finish your dissertation you'll have a lot more bargaining power in a threat to leave. And, because losing you would obviously mean a lot more than losing one of the teach-and-leave-ers, (assuming any state-funded school still exists by then), you should be able to make sure your school is looking out for you as much as you are for it.