What my department colleagues and students are doing on #dayofhighered

Lee Bessette has called for a public description of an ordinary day in higher education today, a Day of Higher Ed. I firmly believe in this type of descriptive transparency, so here goes, in a way: I will skip my activities as a chair today, other than noting that my week is looking like the giant List of Tiny Detail To-Dos for the summer schedule, fall schedule, tasks related to accreditation, tying up loose ends on budget discussions, trying to secure early commitments for external reviews for tenure and promotion cases coming up next year, and a half gazillion other things including a meeting for a curriculum committee I’m on. Beyond that laundry list, let me list some of the activities of my colleagues, students, and staff (denoted here by letters):

  • A taught a graduate seminar in the counselor education program this afternoon, and I overheard A discussing program and professional issues in A’s office this morning with B and C.
  • D, E (an advanced doctoral student), and F (an adjunct who works elsewhere at USF) are teaching this evening in counselor education.
  • F and G (graduate students) taught undergraduate elective classes in the early and mid-afternoon, respectively.
  • H taught an undergraduate class in educational psychology this afternoon. J (a graduate student) taught a different undergraduate ed psych class, also this afternoon. H and I talked about a few career-oriented things in the afternoon.
  • K and L taught classes in school psychology this morning; M, N, and O taught school psych classes in the afternoon.
  • P taught three lower-division classes that are teacher-ed prerequisites, all this afternoon back-to-back.
  • Q taught two lower-division prerequisites this morning (different from P’s), and Q is teaching a third section of that class this evening.
  • R and S are teaching advanced graduate classes in social foundations this evening.
  • T (an adjunct, employee elsewhere at USF, and recent graduate from the college) is teaching a class this evening in the student affairs program.
  • I saw the Table of Contents this afternoon for an issue guest-edited by R. U told me of a book manuscript acceptance, and U and I later had a discussion about graduate-student hiring for summer and fall.
  • V talked to me this morning about summer funding from a grant project V is collaborating on. We also talked about a few other, miscellaneous issues.
  • W and I talked about some teaching options for the summer to address departmental needs.
  • X emailed me enthusiastically about an encouraging R&R (revise-and-resubmit) letter from an editor received today.
  • I did not have a chance to talk with Y, whom I saw in passing, because Y was busy for a long time talking one-on-one with students.
  • Z and I talked about the summer, graduate student funding, and a few details for Z’s program.
  • AA (a graduate student) emailed me with a unique and very reasonable need for the summer course AA is teaching, and we’ll probably go back and forth trying to problem-solve (I think we’ll address the need eventually, probably quickly).
  • I did not see BB, CC, or DD today (the only full-time department faculty I have not previously mentioned).
This does not capture the bulk of grading, informal mentoring, or other activities I would not normally observe, and it does not touch on the huge amount of work in the background conducted by staff, which included (as a small smattering) starting/continuing the process for generating appointment paperwork for summer (for graduate students and adjuncts), addressing issues with travel reimbursement, addressing some lagging budget issues, transferring data between computers (or between a desktop and the server storage on campus).
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