Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm a Professor, Not an Administrator

As a professor, I value a lot of things. I value helping students to learn. I value ideas and research. I even value the service that one performs - participating in important conversations about curricular development, policy decisions, etc.

And as a professor, I'm a very hard worker. I put great effort into the work that I do, and I want to take pride in doing my job well.

I am not an administrator. And the more administrative duties that somehow land in my lap, the more I have to pick and choose which parts of my job I will do adequately and which parts of my job I let slide. Notice that there is no pride in doing a good job in this scenario, because it's pretty much impossible to do a really good job when you're being pulled in about a thousand different directions. Especially when some of those directions in which you're being pulled are into doing administrative bean-counting that has nothing fucking to do with being a college professor.

And here's the thing: I have no administrative ambitions. I want to be a professor. According to my contract, that is what I have been hired to be. So you know what? I really wish that people who are administrators would take care of the administrating, and let me do my job.

8 comments:

jo(e) said...

I'd like to print this out in bold and send it to the chair of my department.

PhysioProf said...

C'mon, Dr. Crazy! I know there's some juicy shit behind this post. Fess up!

Crescentius Matherus said...

Kenneth Murdock once told Alan Heimert to always appear inept in regard to administrative duties. Otherwise, you will just be given more and more.

Belle said...

Ain't it all the truth? I'm good at admin, and occasionally I even like it. But I've been there, done that. I love being a professor. And like you, I have no ambitions in that direction. There are certain things I'd be happy to do (again) but everyday stuff? No. Thank. You.

Now, go away and let me profess.

TiredProf said...

We call this the "burden of competence" at our house. CM has the right idea...

Susan said...

My advisor used to lament those who were intentionally incompetent because they shifted the burden to the competent. I am, alas, one of them. I sometimes say that in my next life I will have no civic conscience -- it's the only reason I use my brain in the service of administration.

Astroprof said...

I hear you. Over the years, I've had more and more administrative duties heaped on me. Apparently, I am good at it. But, all I really want to do is to be left alone to be a professor: teach and research.

Bitter said...

A-Fucking-Men.