Friday, January 4, 2008

Someone Wonders If Profs Are Expected To Market Their Classes.

I don’t know about the rest of the professors here on but I didn’t go into this racket so I could become a salesperson. I went into teaching because I enjoy learning, discussing, and studying in my field.

Does anyone else face having to mount a PR campaign every term so that they get the ‘numbers’ so their classes will run? Does anyone else have the problem that to the administration the quality of the academic experience doesn’t matter, just the sheer quantity of students in your classroom? Is anyone else dismayed at the prevalent attitude among the administration that popularity equals large class enrollment equals education?

Does anyone else find that the "one size fits all" model mean that you are constantly justifying the existence of your small classes, small because your field requires seminars, workshops, studios, not lecture courses? If the administration wants us to stuff our classes, then I think they need to appoint each department their own marketing staff.

Should I have chose between preparing my classes and doing research or creating posters? Should I worry that my salary is being tied to how many ‘customers’ I can drum up?

I just want to teach!