Last week we got an email from our HR department informing us that we are adopting the American ‘professor’ system of academic titles. So now I’m an Associate Professor! Personally, I’m glad this change has been made and it’s not because I’ve always fancied being a professor. No, it’s more to do with the fact that the ‘lecturer’ title is inaccurate; it does not convey what academics actually do.
Last academic year, for example, I gave about 98 lectures. Even if every lecture required, say, 4 hours of additional work (preparation, problem sets and solutions, assessments etc.), my effective lecturing time would only amount to about 25% of my total working time, which involves laboratory teaching, project supervision, personal research and administration. And meetings; lots of them.
Hopefully one of the (long term) benefits of this change will be a decline in the number of people who say “it must be great to have the summer off”.