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 really kicking myself today. What was I thinking when I yielded to temptation and didn’t work over the holiday weekend?
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 five 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
Last week, was not a great week for getting things done. My plans, and what I accomplished, were:
- Get caught up with grading for my classes. Failed here, due to taking time off. Need 10 hours today.
- Conduct meaningful classes. Mission accomplished. I’m happy with the classes that took place last week.
- Get started on the holistic education paper. Nothing done.
- Comment on current events related to IFRS. Mycomments to end the week before TWILAP seemed to have generated some attention. I’ve thought about a response.
- Blog about TWILAP (and manage The Summa). The Summa received 2,0o0 hits last week! 2,000 is an improvement over recent weeks, but I was unprepared for the huge drop off on the long holiday weekend. TWILAP isn’t drawing the interested I had hoped.
In the coming week (TWILAP Week 2), I want to:
- Get caught up with grading for my classes (it’s now or never)
- Conduct meaningful classes (more important than ever)
- Get started on the holistic education paper (really more important than ever)
- Comment on current events related to IFRS (I need to write the definitive essay on the advantages of IFRS adoption in the USA. I don’t believe in it, but must get it done so I can write a publishable paper looking at both sides of the issue.)
- Blog about TWILAP, as time permits, and manage The Summa.
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: 14 hours (14 accum.). I need 20 hours, but will cut back here. 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. I have not time to be intriuged this week.
- Teaching & office hours: 18 hours (32 accum.). 6 hours each day, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
- Class preparation and grading: 22 hours (54 accum.). In addition to 10-12 hours of grading, I need to get ready for each class.
- Travel: 5 hours (59 accum.). My daily commute is about 50 minutes. 50 minutes per day times 6 days.
- 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: 5 hours (64 accum.). Last week’s scheduled interview was rescheduled for this week. 2.5 hours of preparation, 1.5 hours for the interview. Add one hour for a new interview op.
- Blogging on holistic education: 8 hours ( 72 accum.). 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 (82 accum.). A lot has been happening on IFRS lately. Also, I’m blogging about TWILAP.
- Miscellaneous: 0 hours.
Ok, what does it add up to? 14+18+22+5+0+5+8+10+0 = 82 hours!
Ouch. I will have trouble reaching 75. Obviously, something’s going to have to go. It will be be either sleep or scholarly activities, as it always is. If I fail again it will make me feel more guilty than ever.
Debit and credit – – David Albrecht