Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why do professors become department heads?

Here's a mystery: Why do professors, who have about the best job in the world, become administrators (e.g., department heads)? I was talking to a friend who might have to serve as a head, and he's trying to figure out how to get out of it. Basically, you take one of the best things about being a professor--autonomy--and give away for a management position with very little power (managing tenured professors = herding cats) or increased pay.

Here's a comic in honor of my friend:


Jay Livingston said...

Boy, leave it to a religious guy to bring up a pesky existential question I've been trying to avoid thinking about for the past many years. I probably had a legitimate reason for taking the job in the first place (I wish I could remember what it was). But after that, it was mostly inertia.

Brad Wright said...

Inertia... that's certainly the cause of many things in my life, both good and bad. Do you enjoy the job?