TWILAP: Two Weeks in the Life of an Accounting Professor. Most people think I only work a few hours per week, just the time spent in the classroom. They aren’t aware of all the behind the scenes activity. In this series, I’ll journalize on what it’s like to be a professor.
I’m an accounting professor at a liberal arts college. I have three primary professional responsibilities.
- Teaching. I am expected to make classes special learning experiences. The expectations at Concordia in this regard are much higher than at my previous schools.
- Scholarly activity. Refereed publications are the coins of the realm. More than that, I am expected to develop a world view about my discipline. The pressure is immense. Due to accreditation considerations, I must get publications regularly or else become unemployable as an accounting professor.
- Service. Professors are a valuable resource to the community, not just the school at which they teach. I spend a lot of time on giving back to the community of people who want to learn more about accounting.
There is so much to do. I have some deadlines coming up in about six weeks. By then, I want to have accomplished:
- Successfully completed my first semester at Concordia
- Started and completed a paper on holistic education, as applied to Intermediate Accounting
- Completed a paper on accountants as portrayed in the movies
- Submitted proposals to various meetings for conducting workshops and panel discussions.
- Re-established The Summa as a regular part of my professional life
In the coming week, I want to:
- Get caught up with grading for my classes
- Conduct meaningful classes
- Get started on the holistic education paper
- Comment on current events related to IFRS
- Blog about TWILAP
How much time will I work this week? Being a professor is time-intensive, and solitary. Most people think of professors either lecturing or talking with people. In reality, professors work in isolation as they read, think and write. Here is my budgeted time schedule for this week:
- Email: 20 hours. I estimate that it takes about 3 hours per day. Why so much? This is how I keep up with current events. I receive dozens of e-mail news alerts each day, pertaining to accounting, GAAP and IFRS. In addition, I participate on AECM, the e-mail listserv for accounting professors. Lately, we’ve had more than 20 posts per day. I read every one, and respond when intrigued. Usually, I am frequently ingrigued.
- Teaching & office hours: 12 hours. It would be more, but there’s a holiday week.
- Class preparation and grading: 25 hours. It’s a short week, but I’m behind on grading.
- Travel: 3+ hours. My daily commute is about 40 minutes, but I’m not going in on Thanksgiving.
- Meetings: 0 hours. I’m new to Concordia, so don’t have many meetings yet. At Bowling Green, I was usually on about 12 committees or meetings in a typical semester.
- Interviews: 4 hours. One hour for an interview with students from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Add 3 hours for preparation. This is a slow time for IFRS, reporters haven’t been calling me lately.
- Blogging on holistic education: 10 hours. It sounds like a lot for an activity that doesn’t count. Professors only get credit for writing if it is in a refereed publication. Blogging doesn’t count. My blogging activity this week will eventually be compiled into a journal article.
- Blogging on current events or whatever: 10 hours. A lot has been happening on IFRS lately. Also, I’m blogging about TWILAP.
- Miscellaneous: 5 hours. I waste a lot of time, spinning my wheels.
Ok, what does it add up to? 20+12+25+3+0+4+10+10+5 = 89 hours!
I had hoped to keep it to 60. Obviously, something’s going to have to go.
The standard procedure when logging professional activities is to record all activity in 10 minute increments.
Debit and credit – – David Albrecht