Dear Commons Community,
A team of researchers from the Center for Postsecondary Research, at Indiana University at Bloomington, examined the time that professors devote to the key components of professorial work: teaching, research, and service. As reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education:
“The report, Faculty Types and Effective Teaching: A Cautionary Exploration of How Faculty Spend their Time, maps out five core types of faculty members based on the relative amounts of time they spend on those three core areas of work. It captures a more nuanced view of faculty roles than job titles provide.
The researchers devised the categories using their analysis of responses to the center’s Faculty Survey of Student Engagement by some 16,000 full-time instructors who teach at least one undergraduate course.
The five types of professors in the study are the classic, teaching-heavy, research-heavy, service-heavy, and moderate-load.
Here’s what the researchers found about the five types:
- Classic faculty: 16.3 percent of professors, 53.5-hour average workweek on research, teaching, and service. They spend most of their time teaching, a moderate amount on research, and a low amount on service. Tenured and tenure-track faculty members are very overrepresented in this group. Asian, black, and multiracial professors are slightly overrepresented, and white professors are slightly underrepresented. Professors working at public institutions are overrepresented. Use of the effective teaching practices asked about in the survey is higher than average for this group.
- Teaching-heavy faculty: 32.5 percent of professors, 38.6-hour average workweek on core tasks. They spend most of their time teaching, with low amounts on research and service. Lecturers and instructors are very overrepresented. Professors working off of the tenure track or at a college without a tenure track are overrepresented. Women are overrepresented. Professors working at very small or small colleges are overrepresented.
- Research-heavy faculty: 15.5 percent of professors, 42.8-hour average workweek on core tasks. They spend most of their time on research, a moderate amount teaching, and a low amount on service. Those in biological sciences, agriculture, and natural resources; physical sciences, mathematics, and computer science; social sciences; and engineering are overrepresented. Men are overrepresented. Asian professors are very overrepresented, and black and white professors are underrepresented.
- Service-heavy faculty: 9 percent of professors, 52.4-hour workweek on core tasks. They spend most of their time on service, a moderate amount on teaching, and a low amount on research. Tenured professors are overrepresented, and those on the tenure track are underrepresented. Full or associate professors are overrepresented, and assistant professors, lecturers, and instructors are underrepresented. Professors working at highly competitive institutions are underrepresented.
- Moderate-load faculty: 26.7 percent of professors, 27.6-hour workweek on core tasks. They spend a moderate amount of time teaching and low amounts on research and service, devoting less time overall to those three activities combined than do the other groups. The researchers suspect that many professors in this group may be seeing patients or clients or otherwise engaged in work outside of these categories.”
I would generally have been among the “Classic” faculty although this year I am more in the “Research-heavy category.