Comments on: What the eff? History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 28 Sep 2014 05:09:30 +0000 hourly 1 By: Matt L Tue, 28 Jul 2009 14:10:20 +0000 Hey Historiann! Female Science Prof’s experience and your own reporting requirements echo the professional development plans (September) and professional development reports (March) we do here at Woebegone State University. We’ve got five categories that all seem to overlap… (professional development in addition to the usual research and scholarship -whats the difference? )

And yes the report is due halfway through the second semester so that the administration has time to evaluate it before the term ends in May. The percentages are pure PFA.

Coincidentally, the two colleagues who have probably done the most work in terms of publishing, teaching and service are former lawyers. I think one of them, lets call ze Professor K” actually applies the billable hours model to ze’s professional life. Terribly efficient.

I am fine with the idea of billable hours as long as we also go to negotiate 5 year contracts with specifically defined outcomes (i.e. teach x number of classes + y number of pubs + z number of committees + advise r number of students/ 5 years = $ salary). But I want the flexibility to schedule all of my classes to be taught in the first, second, and 5th years.

I think right now the publication requirements for regional universities and colleges resembles FSP’s guessing game with the accountant.
Assistant Prof: So how many pubs for tenure?
Admin: I am thinking of a number greater than zero but one less than those required at an R1… we need to raise the research profile of our faculty.

By: Kathie Tue, 28 Jul 2009 13:36:03 +0000 I co-edited a special issue of a journal with a colleague a couple of years ago, and I believe we really shared the work, including co-writing the introduction. It was quite well received and even garnered a brief review in another journal, not a common experience! However, she is up for tenure this year, I wrote a support letter including information about the work, *effort*, and results of that collaboration – and she just wrote to tell me it only counts as “service.” Made me glad once again to be an independent scholar, as I don’t have to explain my scattered but productive workday to anyone!

By: Cassandra Tue, 28 Jul 2009 06:03:23 +0000 Related to the previous post for grad students…and related to Emma’s connection to billable hours:

As a grad student, I sometimes had professors who requested timesheets for the jobs I did for them.

In general, we were required to work NO MORE than 20 hours a week for our grad assistantships (thank you, union!), so some assholes…er, loving mentors…decided to make us accountable for every hour per week we were supposed to devote to them. In general, we had 10 hours of Teaching Assistantship with one prof and 10 hours of Research Assistantship with a different prof. Needless to say, we often had a great deal of negotiating to do when Prof #1 gave us teaching and grading and proctoring responsibilities that amounted to more than 10 hours or Prof #2 gave us a list of research-y chores that ate more time than a Chronovore yet seemed incapable of believing us when we said it took over an hour to download those 15 articles because the school’s internet service sucked (even on-campus).

Habitually, being a TA required about 12 hours a week. Therefore, some of us were really reluctant to GIVE 2 extra hours because Prof #2 wanted them (no! DESERVED THEM!). Honestly, most profs would just give a list of (reasonable) chores and were happy when we completed them in a timely manner. But if you got a timekeeper (not ironically, almost always anti-union), you were in Hell for a semester because they were going to scrutinize every single week’s records.

And most of it was just bullshit reporting. How do you really keep track of this crap when you’re answering all sorts of e-mails, at odd times, often for minutes at a time, for both professors and your own personal business? Say you’ve decided to devote an hour to RA duties but, while answering e-mail, an URGENT (aren’t they always?) e-mail from a student pops up. Just ignore it? Or deal with it? Shouldn’t that count for time spent? How many of us would set the timer for such a short chore (especially if it suddenly becomes a long chore)?

An example: I once arranged something in the middle of the night and the person in charge of the accounting for the project (a Ph.D. working at a U but not as faculty) actually told me I couldn’t report working those hours because I honestly admitted they were in the wee hours of the morning. My job didn’t require working in the actual office…and I wasn’t even required to submit the actual times I worked, just the total hours for the week. But the hissy was pitched in any event. The PI just told me to shift the hours from a.m. to p.m. and that was it. Even though it was a needless lie.

By: shaz Tue, 28 Jul 2009 01:55:35 +0000 The correct answer to the time/effort question (one I’m sure many savvy [male?] scientists easily give) is the number that most benefits them. No fuss, no muss.

On the crazy divisions of teaching/research/service: published book reviews don’t count as publications at my research U. They go under service. ???

By: Digger Mon, 27 Jul 2009 22:12:04 +0000 I’m with Emma on the billable hours. Where -do- you put all the generic email-catchup, desk-clearing, filing stuff, anyway? I sure as heck ain’t doing it for free!

Mmmmm beeeeer.

By: Indyanna Mon, 27 Jul 2009 21:00:10 +0000 For a brief (if wacky) backgrounder on the relations of power and process that caused FSP’s phone to ring that day, one could do worse than see “A Quick Introduction to Effort Reporting for UC Berkeley Faculty.” (2004). One wonders if or rather when this sludge will start burbling over the gunwales into the humanities disciplines? For the moment, when we get small outside grants, we can usually keep them from being shunted through our U’s Office of Overhead Capture and Process Imposition, but you have to imagine that between the suits at the U and the ‘crats on the Potomac, no tiny streams of revenue or autonomy will be left untouched forever. Will blog posting and commenting be on-book, or off-book?

By: Monocle Man Mon, 27 Jul 2009 20:53:45 +0000 Historiann -

Can we talk about Gates v. Crowley some more?

Not only I am expert in getting detained by the police (since my last update I have recalled a stop for failing to wear a seat belt and a police action when I played my music too loud) but I am also well versed in beer, which seems to be the next chapter of this episode.

For the reconciliation party, Obama has chosen Budweiser, Gates is going with Becks or Red Stripe and Crowley is going with Blue Moon.

Obama’s choice is clearly pandering nonsense with an eye toward the 2012 NASCAR voting block.

Gates stays true to his reputation as a guy with fine, international tastes as well as someone deeply committed to the black cultural aesthetic.

Crowley’s choice is somewhat perplexing. On the one hand there can be no doubt that white beer is a feminine beverage. On the other hand, your readership may get a chuckle as they associate Crowley with the persist urban mythology surrounding the Coors Brewing Company.

I say this topic is worthy of a new post!

By: Sisyphus Mon, 27 Jul 2009 19:56:41 +0000 Whimper. That conversation is abusive, you do realize that?

I just had a flashback to my ex brother-in-law shouting at his kid “what did you just do wrong! Tell me what you just did wrong!” and certain of our faculty members who have very … fraught and invested … close relationships with their students who play the “guess what color I am thinking of” game in oral exams and classrooms.

Whenever I hear a series of questions with bizarre, byzantine rules and definitions I know it has nothing to do with getting at the truth and everything to do with a display of power: no matter what you answer is wrong and no matter what he (the questioner is usually male) asks he is always really saying “you are worthless and stupid and will never please me.”

By: Emma Mon, 27 Jul 2009 19:35:15 +0000 Sometimes I think it would just be easier to be like attorneys and record “billable hours.”

The evil catch to keeping accurate time records is the second guessing about whether that amount of time was necessary for the complexity, or lack thereof, of the problem. In the client’s mind a “simple” problem = less “effort” which should = very little time billed. Or, god forbid you bill them for that telephone call where they just had a question for you! Why would you bill them for that! Geez! It’s not like answering their telephone calls and emails is real “work”!

Not to bemoan my fate, I have a pretty good job, but to say: beware the license to second guess inherent in the billable hour! :)

By: human Mon, 27 Jul 2009 18:51:45 +0000 Haha, I read that post and tried briefly to figure out how the heck to measure “effort” as opposed to “time” and then my brain exploded and I had to wipe down my cubicle.

Seriously, WTF?