Faculty Loads

23 03 2011

So today, I filled out my faculty load sheet for this academic year. My chair said that ideally he wants my load to be about 35-40% teaching, 10% service, and 50-55% research/scholarship. With this being my first year teaching, this was mainly a formality to see where I stand and what I have to look forward to in the future. It was all on an excel spreadsheet, so I just had to plug in my numbers and it calculated the percentages for me based on the total number of hours in the school year. It appears as though I only taught/prepared for teaching 21% of the time!
Now, those of us who knows what it takes to prepare for a lecture…that number is ridiculously LOW! Even my chair said that in actuality it is probably somewhere around 45-50%, especially since these were all new preps. Regardless, he said these numbers don’t really mean anything to him or our dean, they are just something at which the people on the university level can look, and to see where we need to adjust our faculty loads for next semester to bring our numbers in-line with our goal.
During my little talk this morning we also talked about my course load for the Fall and how we can boost my teaching hours. It looks like I will having a few more lectures as well as Co-Coordinating one of the courses in which I will be teaching (co-coordinating gets you an extra boost in the way that the hours are counted). Needless to say, it looks like next year is going to get a little more intense, but I am ready. What type of faculty load to you all carry?
We also talked about my professional development (i.e. going to meetings for FREE)! This is a HUGE perk of my job, and I love it! The college will generally send us to one professional meeting a year, and maybe one or two more depending on whether or not you are presenting anything at that meeting. So far we have several meetings lined up for me to go over the next several years; ACS, ICAAC, AAPS, and PITTCON.
Needless to say, things are starting to get exciting around here!

Stay tuned for more big news coming soon…


Spring Break and Pi

14 03 2011

Ahhh, Spring Break is finally here! Oh wait, I don’t really get a spring break. It is nice to not have the students around the building, but most (those that didn’t take vacation) of the faculty are still around hanging out in our offices doing some “work.” It will be a most enjoyable week.

I was making my daily rounds to various blogs, and came across the post from Gerty-Z that got me to thinking about my experiences during my interviews. I posted this in the comments:

I am a male, and was on the academic job market last year. I had two on-site interviews, and during both I was asked about my family situation. It didn’t bother me to answer because my wife is not a scientist and would have no problem finding a job in any city in her line of work. At the job I ending up taking (at a private institution), they actually invited my family to come to the interview with me. It was within driving distance, so it wouldn’t really cost them anything extra. They did this because family is very important to our university and college. They wanted to make sure my spouse found the city and amenities to her liking as well.

We actually just had another candidate come up and interview for a position last week. She has a family, and her husband actually came up here with her to the interview. He is a non-scientist as well, so he was mainly coming to check out the area and see what job opportunities he would have.

That being said, I came into the interview expecting to be asked this question, because every blog I read said they would ask (legal or not). I’ve always wondered how they get away with this when it is clearly illegal. Now, if someone puts the information out there for the world to see in there cover letter, that is their problem.

So, what are your thoughts on this issue?

Happy Pi Day everyone!!

A Great Experience

4 03 2011

My seminar at my undergraduate alma mater yesterday when great! It was so nice being able to share my experience in graduate school and how I became interested in teaching with a group of undergrads and my old professors. Now that I am thinking about it, this was the first time I have ever really shared about my experience in graduate school in its entirety, and it was amazingly therapeutic.
You see, for the most part graduate school was a rather nice experience, but there were times when I just wanted to give up and call it quits. My work sometimes seemed so repetitive and then of course there were the times when nothing would work for months on end. I guess I never really vented those thoughts and frustrations openly in the past.
I told the group from the get-go that I was going to open and honest with them, and I was. I think they really responded and appreciated that aspect of my talk. I feel as though my old professors did as well. They thanked me afterwards because they said the students need to know exactly what they are getting in to with graduate school as many of them (including myself) did not.
I am glad that it went well, but now it is over and I must prep for my next lecture…have fun everyone!

Invited Seminar

2 03 2011

Last semester my undergraduate institution invited me over to give a seminar to their undergraduates. Well the time has finally come…it is tomorrow! I am very excited and a little nervous. I am going to be talking about career paths for chemistry majors and talk more in depth about my experience in graduate school and applying for academic jobs. Hopefully it will get some kids to thinking about what they want to do when the grow up.
I’ll post a recap on Friday!
I know what you are thinking. Two posts in one week?! Yes, it is possible.