Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Chronicle of Higher Education, How Much Do Professors Work? One Researcher Is Trying to Find Out:
How many hours should professors work each week? Everyone has a different answer, especially professors.
Case in point: When Nicholas A. Christakis, a professor at Yale University, asserted on Twitter that graduate students should work more than 60 hours each week, a debate ensued. Professors pointed to studies that suggested not everyone can devote more than 40 hours each week to their jobs — for example, if they have kids — or that the institutions and departments they work for may have different standards of work, research, and competitiveness.
Christakis drew his point from a study [The Long, Lonely Job of Homo academicus: Focusing the Research Lens on the Professor's Own Schedule] at Boise State University that found that faculty participants reported working, on average, 61 hours per week. They self-reported working 10 hours per day Monday to Friday and about that much on Saturday and Sunday combined, with a significant portion of their days spent dealing with email and attending faculty meetings.
The lead researcher on that 2014 study, John P. Ziker, began exploring the subject after learning Boise State had adopted a policy that professors there should spend 60 percent of their time teaching. Since then, he's continued the research, developing an app to refine participants' method of reporting. He spoke with The Chronicle about the renewed interest in his research and the next phases of his study.