Maybe this admin thing won’t be so bad after all. Today’s time use was 60% teaching, 15% administration and 25% research, for a total of 7:54 hours. This blog post is being written in my spare time. Unfortunately the research was all research administration, filling out a form, suggesting reviews, writing a review, oh, and there was some ELINOR administration in there too. But I’m thinking the administration load may drop as I get the hang of it. Or as I don’t have time for it.

I’ve been getting complaints that this is too boring, kind of like a diet blog with nothing but logs of calories eaten and grams gained or lost. Maybe if I work at it I can write the Bridget Jones’ Blog of head-of-departmentship, starting each day with my stats and somehow making it such a must-read that everyone on the internet has to stop by every morning?

Or maybe not.

10 thoughts on “head of department, day 3

  1. vika

    I haven’t been bored yet. I’ve thought that perhaps after you’ve settled into the admin position, administrative work will come in spurts — but mostly be quite manageable. That’s been my experience, anyway, with the current job.

    If you really feel like spicing it up, perhaps you could write about pitfalls to watch out for, when administering an academic group?

  2. EDR

    Keep up the time-management accounting. From a U.S. perspective, your figures provide rich fantasy material. I’m afraid that here the 40-hour-work week is pretty much an imaginary construct for many Americans. I don’t have figures, but I think 50-60 hrs/wk. is a typical work week for most Americans, who either hold multiple jobs to make ends meet or work ‘extra’ hours at their professional jobs to make sure that they don’t lose their positions. Academics, of course, are no exception. Personally, I think America could learn from Scandinavia, which seems to stress quality of life over quantity of work (productivity).

    Sending this via Chicago (‘the city that works’)



    P.S. I got my Tinderbox issue resolved.

  3. mark bernstein

    not bored

  4. Jill

    Fantasy? Yes, I see Lisbeth works 10-12 hour days… I’m in awe of that – and also I wonder why my first impulse is to apologise for not working that much. But I just refuse to. Maybe I would if I were single and childless, but I’ve spent the last eight and a half years caring for a little girl, and it’s just not possible. I don’t want to, either – though I’ll admit that in research periods I’ve often loved just lounging in it all, reading more and more and living it entirely, oh and of course sometimes the vaulting ambition of working insanely and trying to become an academic superstar who’s flown business class around the world weekly. Haven’t we all? (Well, uh, ok, maybe not!) But when I retire, I don’t want them to say “She gave everything to her job.”

    Actually, although Americans reportedly work for weeks more a year than anyone else, it seems the average work day is only a tiny bit longer than the standard Norwegian 7 1/2 hour (not including lunch) workday: “Employed persons worked 7.6 hours on average on the days that they worked.” (America Time-Use Survey) Do you think we like to exaggerate how much we work?

    Our grandparents and great-grandparents and unions and the labour and feminist movements fought hard to get the workday down from 12 hours to something more humane. I am so grateful to them!

  5. Diane

    Not boring! But don’t go by me, I actually enjoy diet blogs. 🙂

  6. William Wend

    I love reading about this stuff!!

  7. Scott

    Totally bored! But I think you’re hot.

  8. Elin

    Hmm! You need a ….research assistant!! You know, one of those you can yell at when something goes wrong etc. At MIT, we the “research” assistants actually made our department head’s (and other presenters) powerpoint presentations for their talks…
    Think of all the time you could save:-)
    Not to mention how spicey your blog would be, when you blog’em~!

  9. Clancy

    As much as the “Bridget Jones, Department Head” idea appeals to me — and I am enjoying these posts — I feel I must remind you of something you wrote earlier

    “Such a dry list of words I use. Note to self: write more about tears, joy, strawberries, blood and laughter.”


  10. Jill

    I had some lovely strawberries the other night. Thing is though, between the living it and the writing it….?


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