One response to “Academic Breakdown: The other stuff”

  1. gasstationwithoutpumps

    The balance of research and teaching varies enormously from place to place. Some schools go as far as nearly 80% of time spent on research, and some tilt the balance in the opposite direction.

    Assuming that all schools and all departments within a school put the same weight on research and teaching could result in some terrible interviews.

    Teaching workload is often a good way to find out where the balance is, and is a reasonable thing to ask about in interviews. Ask not just about first-year teaching load, but what an associate professor is expected to teach—a lot of colleges give new assistant professors a lighter load for a year or two to help them get up to speed.

    A college that has faculty doing 2 courses a year is probably expecting the load in the picture (50% research, 30% teaching, 20% service). A college that has faculty doing only one course a year (can you say “med school”?) is expecting either more research or clinical work. A college expecting 6 courses a year is looking mainly for teaching, not research. My own course load has varied from 2 to 6 courses a year, with 3.5 as the typical load.

    Oh, “courses” are not comparable between different systems. Look at how many lecture hours are involved. Here, a course is 35 hours of lecture plus 3 hours of final exam, but I think it varies from about 25 hours to about 39 hours in different colleges. Doing 2 39-hour courses is more than 3 25-hour courses!