Let me clear a few things up here: (1) I do not accuse academics of being lazy. Rather, I just don't think that doing a good job entails as many hours as, for example, an orthopedic surgeon requires to do a good job. (2) I am not bashing academics. Indeed, some of my best friends are academics, and almost all of my best friends aspire to be academics. Academia is my desired career path, both for the lifestyle and for the work. (3) I don't think professors "exploit" students. Law professors routinely do no research of their own, but merely write without citation and hire students at $12 an hour to hunt down appropriate citations and quotes that support the professors' free form statements. Often times the student is actually doing the writing, merely filling in the professor's detailed outline. This is more common with the very best professors, ironically, because they can attract the best research assistants. Is this exploitation? Well, aside from $12 an hour, these students learn a lot and get a great recommendation that propels them on their own high profile careers -- so I'd say it's not so much exploitation, but rather the professor paying the student in nonmonetary ways. Very efficient indeed. I went to one of, if not the most, prestigious law school in the world and here is what, in my experience, amounts to an average week for a tenured law professor: Class time -- 8 hours (that's the ABA maximum.); prep time -- 3 hours (I've been told by a professor who is a great classroom teacher that this is at the high end. I had one teacher, who've you've probably seen on morning talk shows, that clearly prepared for about 20 minutes for each class session. I did have one insane teacher who probably spent about 2 hours prepping for each sesson.); research and writing -- I'd estimate 5 hours a week (plus doling out about 15 hours a week to student assistants working on the cheap), which results in about one 50 page article a year, perhaps a couple of shorter comments, and maybe a book every 5 or 6 years; office hours -- 2 hours (maximum); advising outside of office hours -- on average 1/2 hour a week; meetings -- 2 hours a week. That's 20 hours right there. Even if I'm 50% off, that's only a 30 hour work week. And that's without having a boss, essentially. As for grading "writing," law professors grade only final exams. After having graded such exams as an assistant, I'd say you could get through one final exam every 5 - 7 minutes. So, if a professor has 150 students total in all his classes, he's still looking at only 15 hours tops on one occassion. Back at my undergrad, I asked one of my professors how long it takes him to prepare for a garden variety poli sci class. He said after teaching the class one or two times, he can prepare in takes him about 20 minutes to prepare for a 90 minute class. And he was a GREAT classroom teacher.
post #61 of 104
6/13/05 at 6:55pm