Week 1: Responsibilities

Work Load


Professors split their work between the following obligations:

For class responsibilities: 



Depending on the university, a professor is required to generate a large amount of original research, especially research that can bring in money for the university. Professors read, write, travel, and experiment to generate the research. Some professors run labs or departments as well. 

All professors must participate in the culture of the university as members of assorted committees, such as program development, finance, employment, advising, public health, departmental, cross-departmental, and university-wide initiatives. 

Tenure: A Controversy


Employment status which prevents employees from being terminated except under extraordinary circumstances.

Intellectual Inquiry

Sustains the intellectual freedoms of society; despite controversies, an academic needs to be able to ask the hard questions to promote social progress.

Academic Freedom

Ability to research, write, and publish without fear of repercussions by one's employer


Prevents academics and their research from controlled by outside institutions.

Tenure is often controversial, because it prevents professors from being fired. Professors who are lousy teachers or behaving unethically can not be easily removed. However, tenure means university professors have the freedom to engage in meaningful work on controversial situations. Progress cannot occur if a person cannot ask important questions, discuss issues freely, and bring their findings to the general public. 


“Responsibilities of the Faculty Members,” NYU 

Role of the Faculty Member,” University of North Georgia

Roney, Lisa. (December 13, 2017). “What do Professors do all day? (I’ve Been Trying to Answer Most of My Life).” University of Central Florida.  https://www.ucf.edu/news/what-do-professors-do-all-day/ 

 “Statement of Professional Ethics,” American Association of University Professors. https://www.aaup.org/report/statement-professional-ethics

“Tenure.” American Associate of University Professors. https://www.aaup.org/issues/tenure