Being An Academic In A Time-Impoverished Age
I should like to introduce this chapter with a few brief quotations from ‘Academic Identities and Policy Change in Higher Education’, which is perhaps one of the key works of Mary Henkel.
Today’s academic moves in multiple time frames. An email arrives: perhaps a reply can wait until later in the day, but that reply is expected in the day. Even before that, there is a class to teach; and, while the class is part of a continuing commitment, still some preparation was undertaken the previous evening. The phone goes as our academic gets up to go to the class: is it left ringing or is it answered? Its ringing tone presses on the academic’s professional conscience. In our academic’s mind, too, are insistent thoughts about the deadline in a fortnight’s time by which a research proposal has to be submitted; and the drafting of that proposal has called for a three-year programme of activity to be specified. Prior to that is a further deadline in the next week by which some thoughts on the departmental learning and teaching strategy will have to be put down on paper (for our academic has a coordinating role in that respect, working directly to the Dean of the Faculty).
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