head of department, day 1
I just spent four solid hours head-of-departmenting, and my to-do list for tomorrow is still long as my arm. For tonight, too, actually. I haven’t even started on the teaching to-do list.
What heads of departments do? Well, today I’ve tried to understand the budget, I’ve had lots of people in my office, I’ve answered emails about issues ranging from booking a room at a time that suits other classes, accreditation for courses taken in Romania, contracts for MA students and a need for more shelves in the student labs, all the way through budgets and who’ll teach what next semester and preparing comments to a memo on how the administration might reorganise and ending up with basic discussions about the future of the discipline. The latter – the future, that is – has become rather an urgent question because the humanities faculty is reorganising in the next few months. Oh, I did twenty-five minutes of work for ELiNOR, as well (bills, getting the blog set up, email). Organising and preparing teaching comes in addition, of course, as does supervising MA students. And I’m supposed to be spending 50% of my time on research!
I’m paid to work a standard 37,5 hour week, that means 18 3/4 hours a week on research and 18 3/4 hours a week on teaching and administration. Of course there’s less teaching in summer, though advising and planning always needs to be done.
I’ve already started recording how much time I’m spending on what. I’m going to need to know when I ask the dean how to prioritise my time.
(Btw, I know lists of look-how-much-I-did-today are frightfully boring. Someone asked me, though, whether I would be blogging being head of deparment as I blogged getting my PhD, and so I thought I’d see what it would be like if I did. I’m not sure whether I’ll continue. There are a lot of things that can’t quite be blogged because noone quite knows yet and, well, you know. Stuff.)