On the face of it, college professors may appear like academics who simply turn up for a couple of hours per day to speak about their chosen subjects to their keen university students. In order to find out if this was the case, I spoke to the wonderful Kevin Rolle, Executive Vice President at Alabama University and a man who has given over 25 years of his life to education. I spoke with Kevin about the key tasks and responsibilities which a college professor has, in an effort to dispel the notion that they don’t work very hard for their money.
Unlike with State schools, universities merely offer guidelines on what should be taught in the classes of the students and this puts the onus straight onto the college professors. During the summer months when everyone is having fun and enjoying a break, professors are hard at work putting together a strong and creative syllabus which they will teach their students in the coming year. These curriculums will need to be ever-changing in order to meet with any new criteria and this is just some of the hard work, which nobody sees.
Because of the high level of education which professors are giving, they must remain a student in their chosen field and ensure that they work hard on maintaining the knowledge which they have. Every subject from business and science, to math and fashion design, is in a constant state of change and the very best professors are the ones who always have their finger on the pulse.
One on One
Something which you may not see very often but something that does happen, is university professors spending individual time with a student. Professors are reflected by the results of their students and ti is their responsibility to make sure that anyone who is struggling or having a hard time, is given the attention that they need.
College professors are very much part of the overall faculty in the university and with that comes additional responsibility and time commitments. Many professors are encouraged to take on additional responsibilities to the student body or other aspects of college life and this can suck up a great deal of time each week. Universities are about creating a community which runs itself and professors play a key role in this. As part of their role within the university, professors will need to help make budget decisions, play a role in the hiring or firing of people and look forward to new opportunities for the college.
And finally, professors need to get marking and this is one of the most time consuming aspects of the job. The level of marking which professors sometimes have is absolutely incredible and spending their evenings getting papers marked is a regular occurrence for a university professor. This is where the real hard work comes in as after finishing their day job, a night at home raking through papers is the next task for professors all over the country.