How much do you give to your department above and beyond

Started by GuyRien, October 05, 2023, 10:52:45 AM

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As we all know, being a Professor is like having 3 full time jobs (service, teaching and research) and there is more than enough work to go around.

a) So how much do you give (quantitatively) to your department in terms of hours.
b) How do you decide to say "No" to a deserving request.
c) Do you give more or less time than your colleagues?


What does "giving to your department" mean in this instance?


I sit on a few committees, but there is not much required of me except to attend monthly meetings. I also help out with this or that on an ad hoc basis, but I try to keep a low profile so that they won't think of me first when it comes to service tasks. If I had to guess, I'd say that I dedicate five or six hours a month to service, on average.

I'm probably a bit below the norm for my department - more than the disengaged faculty, but less than those most eager to help out or those that have largely checked out on the research side.


1) I keep it mostly 9-5.  I do check and respond to e-mails outside of this, but it is rare that I would work on a proposal or do any "real" work outside of work hours.  The exception is for students who need me to do something to meet a deadline, in which I will work on weekends or evenings if needed (even though the time crunch is usually their fault....).  I think keeping to this is important if you have a family or personal life.

2) I usually tell them I am over committed and must decline in these situations.  I had been doing something that required me to work on Sunday for the last few years but told them this year that I will no longer be doing it as my weekends are important.  In this case, they had suckered me one year while I was more junior, not mentioning that it was an ongoing thing.  The power of no is pretty amazing, you just need to say it.

3) I think I fall somewhere in the middle.  I know there are some who work all the time and dont seem to have much else going on, while there are others that I dont ever see, dont have grad students, and dont really publish.  Many have other businesses or things going on, and I suspect that is where they invest a lot of their time.   


Hours? I don't know. All of my research output is above and beyond, and I'm in the 99th percentile in my subfield (and 96th in the discipline) for the last five years in terms of brute quantity of output. Not that that's saying much. (We have the analytics, but they really don't mean anything except that I've published a lot in a short time.)

I pick up small service tasks that the others dread (e.g. pushing new courses through the curriculum committee and Senate), and I guess that's all above and beyond the minimum expected, which is fulfilled by my sitting on our IRB (REB, but same thing).

I say 'no' based entirely on how much time I have to devote to prior commitments (including research goals) that month. Also, since I have a small child and no childcare, depending on how much travel/time away is involved (i.e. overnight is fine, more than that is not).

My colleagues mostly do no research at all, so I outpace them on that front. But otherwise, they're shouldering their share of the service burden. And we're only paid to teach and sort of serve, so that's just fine!
I know it's a genus.