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Being Faculty Statement

Rosy Glasses Need read no further.

I believe that faculty members, like the graduate students they were at one point in their professional development, must be many things to many people. They must be time managers in order to fulfill all of the roles that are visited upon them. They must be instructors, role models, advisors, and mentors to their students (and sometimes their colleagues). They must contribute to their community. They must figure out when they can sleep, especially when finals start to roll around.

Though it is very easy to list different roles that faculty members play (please see below), it seems very difficult to actually achieve the equivalent of a faculty gold star. They have to focus on students, but then they are told that they need to focus on their research because they’ve spent enough time and effort teaching….it’s time to focus on tenure.

Faculty members have to work in a subculture that few outsiders understand, and even fewer appreciate. Professors get threatened with the chair of the department, the dean, the provost, and the president of the university because students (or helicopter-ing or lawnmower-ing parents) fail to understand that the grade earned is a direct result of the quality of the work submitted, not a record of the amount of time spent on task. Graduate students, the next generation of faculty members, are sometimes treated with disdain by faculty and undergraduates alike.

Gaining entry into academia as a faculty member is the culmination of years of work. It is being handed the shit end of the stick; make that lots of sticks. It is confusing and scary to finally be the one on the other side of the syllabus, the one leading a research group. And, the words of Ted Mosby, being a faculty member is ultimately “ineffable.”


What is a faculty member? What do they do?



Professional affiliations


Conference presentations

Grad Student Advisor



Meet accreditation requirements


Continue learning

Gain Tenure



Conference attendance




Grant Writing

Committee Work





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