Calling all Academics: April 2 as the Day for Higher Ed
March 27, 2012 - 9:11pm
We’ve all read it and clearly we all have an opinion on it. And as much as we wring our hands and see the writing on the wall (they came for the k-12 teachers, and we said/did nothing [and in fact in many cases added our voices to those who would seek to undermine them], and now they are coming for us), we collectively do very little to change the perception that the general has about people teaching in higher education.
And I say teaching because so many of us who are teaching aren’t officially professors. Most of us are not salaried professionals, but hourly workers, being paid for only the hours taught. Because of that, the “other” work that needs to get done in higher education is falling increasingly on the shoulders on those who are “fortunate” enough to be on the tenure track. Yes, we are salaried professionals who get paid an “annual” (but in most cases, nine-month) salary to do a job that increasingly never ends: serve students, do research, reform curriculum, advise graduate students, supervise student groups, sit on committees…the list keeps growing and growing while salaries remain stagnant and 24 hours still remains as the length of any given day.
But you know all of that, you’re here, you’re reading my blog, perhaps regularly, perhaps not. We know what we do. We know what the majority of us are doing, anonymously, thanklessly, and increasingly for lower and lower pay. The arguments and observations I’m making here are not new; I’ve made them here and elsewhere, and so have others, more eloquently than I. So why are we still having this discussion?
We need a Day of HigherEd (hashtag #dayofhighered). While many of us have written posts broadly outlining what we do in a day (and how disgusted we all are by the at best misleading and at worst dishonest portrayal of our work), few of us have ever taken the time to actually record, in minutia, what we do as professors from the moment we wake up to the minute we fall asleep. All the work we do that contributes to our job as educators.