I have a question regarding teaching load at R1. I am hoping to find a job with a 1+1 effective teaching load, if possible. How viable is this in basic, cognitive area? It seems hard to find this out based on job add or web info. My limited experience is that 2+1 is more common. (I would not mind 2+1 if one of them can be fulfilled by a lab meeting to bring the effective teaching load to 1+1). Can you share your experiences and advice? Thanks all!
Date: 21 Apr 2015 01:30
Number of posts: 29
RSS: New posts
Sounds pretty tough. Most R1s are 2-2 or 2-1 at best. And I'm not sure how lab meetings might fill a class requirement. The reason why you're having trouble finding this gig is likely because it doesn't exist.
I am in the cognitive area at an R1 with a 2-1 teaching load. The primary way to get a reduced load would be to buy out a course with a grant.
I think you're unlikely to find many places with a 1-1 teaching load by default.
My department head would laugh at me if I tried to use my lab meeting to fulfill part of my teaching load.
I am at an R1 with a 2-1 load. There certainly are ways to wangle this into a 1-1. First, of course, get a grant to buy you out of a course. Keep in mind that NSF doesn't do course buy outs (and that might be where a "basic cognitive" person would apply?). Also. yes, you can try to set up your lab meeting as a course. Students often hate that because then they have to register and pay for it but it is possible. Some departments have weekly brown bags and the faculty who organize them get a course credit for that. You can also set up a seminar that is more like a journal discussion group that you would do anyway. (Again, students hate to pay for these things you'd do anyway but it is a way to toward a reduced load). Some schools also grant a course reduction for journal editing, depending on how many manuscripts you handle a year. Honestly, even at a place with a 1-2 load, the load for beginning faculty is never that. Typically it is more like a 0-1, 1-1, and then 1-2. In a department of about 40 people, I know of very few who actually teach two courses in the same semester. So with grants and what not it is possible.
I don't think it's that hard to get yourself to an effective 1-1 load. As BeenThere describes, there are ways to cut your load down with other activities other than the obvious — grants. Where I went to graduate school, faculty were loaded double for large lectures, so they never taught two classes in a semester when they taught a lecture. In my experience lots of professors have done a journal club class and a lab meeting class. You don't have to have everyone attending register, but just enough to meet your minimum number of students (could be, say, 5). I'd even push back on what BeenThere said about students paying. Undergraduates (if you have any and let them in to this type of course) want credit for whatever they can get credit for, so they'll take it for credit. Graduate students might already have tuition covered through their package, and might also be looking to take the fewest number of courses in order to focus on research.
I don't teach at an R1 but have spent a lot of time at various R1s where many of the faculty found a way to teach no more than one class per semester. Even at an R2 for which I was offered a position recently, I was told that a certain number of independent study students was equal to a course, and the number was actually quite low. I didn't take the offer for other reasons, but I realized I could have easily gotten to a 1-1 (from a 3-2) given how many research students I usually take on. I'm not sure they would have let me — they want courses covered — but technically it was quite possible.
Oh and as others said, you usually don't get into the full load until a few years in at an R1. I can't tell you how many of my friends accepted R1 jobs and didn't teach a single class until their second year!
The load at best is 2-1, but the recent hires in our dept have been slapped with a 2-2 load.
Then you use grant money to buy out of classes. I'm a tenured faculty at an R1 in cognitive and my effective load is 1-0 because of grant funding
if you all hate teaching so much, why the heck are you hogging the tenure-track university professor jobs? just go be a researcher somewhere already!
from the comments on here and another thread, i definitely will encourage my children to look at SLACs in addition to R1s, and strongly encourage them to go to a SLAC unless they have a really compelling reason to go to an R1. some of the R1 faculty attitudes towards teaching on here are atrocious. as a parent of several future collegians (god willing), i wonder why i would be spending thousands of dollars a year to pay someone with little interest in teaching and an almost obsessive focus on their own narrow research interests to half ass it when teaching my child.
i went to an R1 and thankfully it was inexpensive for my parents (plus i worked to help defray costs so i wasn't bugging them for $$ all the time). still, wonder if i would have gotten a much better education elsewhere.
it's people like this that make academia look terrible.
To concerned parents out there re: R1 teaching. Just because someone does not over prioritize teaching relative to research (Service is also a big part of the job as well) does not necessarily mean the courses they teach are sub-par, your child is being cheated, people are bad, etc…I would not discount the role research plays in 'teaching' either. Some of the most important educational experiences a student can receive are 'in the lab'. While it is true that some SLACs offer research opportunities, these experiences are often limited by available resources to a greater degree than at an R1. One sad thing that *should* concern parents is the sky-rocketing cost of tuition at state institutions. More and more students are having to really scape the $ barrel to get through.
Not to be snarky. But, @formerR1, you do know what R1 stands for, right? Research 1. So, it is not as if professors hate teaching. They are evaluated most heavily on their research productivity, including grants and publications. Faculty with active productive labs provide learning opportunities for students outside of the classroom. I like teaching (most of the time). But, the grant dollars and producing high-quality science are apart of maintaining R1 status. Your child likely gets the benefit of that in ways they don't understand (and you). Mentoring students in my lab-prepares them for the top graduate programsand is MUCH more time intensive than teaching a lecture. Now, there are people at every type of University that aren't committed to teaching. That is what you should focus onNot the assumption of faculty at R-1 Universities are not invested in teaching.
As a SLAC prof who loves teaching, I would like to say that while I would certainly actively encourage my children to attend a SLAC over an R1 (for a number of reasons), if *I* could get a 1-1 at a SLAC (lol), I would totally take it! I put a tremendous amount of time into class prep (even for classes I've already prepped), and a 1-1 would allow me to be incredibly adventuresome as a teacher (offering new classes more frequently; allowing my courses to change with cutting-edge findings etc…), and to give students a level of feedback that I can't in my current position. I am inherently skeptical of people who try to "get out" of teaching, but hoping for a lower teaching load doesn't always equate half-assing teaching.