Guest Post: Heather's Hubby... new rant

...but you get your summers off!

I don't know how many people in the last week have been telling me that it must be great to be a professor because I get my summers off.  Summers off?  When?  How? Where?  I would love to have my summers off. 

What a lot of people do not understand about being a professor is that teaching is actually only about 40% of my job.  Research and something 'they' call service makes up the other 60% which in reality eats up much more time.  Thus, this is why summer is actually busier for me that during the 'school year.' 

For instance, last year I published the following articles:

Zhang, L., Pan, B., Smith W.W., & Li, X.  (2009). Travelers' Use of Online Reviews and Recommendations: A Qualitative Study. Information Technology &Tourism. (11)2 157-167.

Smith, W.W. & Pan, B.  (2009). Purchase Involvement of Travel Products and Segmentation of Student Travellers.  Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research. 20(2) 331-343

Smith, W.W., Pan, B., Li, X., & Zhang, L. (2009). The Use of Geographic Skills in Dealing with the Foreignness of a Destination. Tourism Geographies. 11(3) 351-369.

Li, X., Pan, B., Zhang, L. & Smith, W.W. (2009). Online Information Search and Image Formation: Insights from a Mixed Method Study. Journal of Travel Research. 48(1) 45-57.

Smith, W.W., Carmichael, B.A, Litvin, S.W., & Nadav, S.A. (2009). Non-Travelers: The Flip Side of Motivation - Revisited. Tourism Recreation Research. 34(1) 91-93

Zhang, L., Smith, W.W. & McDowell, W.C. (2009). Examining Digital Piracy: Self-Control Punishment and Self-efficacy.  Information Resource Management Journal. 22(1) 24-44.

For each of these projects: 1) I had to get the money to first conduct the research (it is very expensive); 2) then I had to conduct the research itself (including all of the background reading and sourcing - last year I read somewhere in the area of 200 research articles as well as the data collection); and 3) then conduct the analysis of the results and write up each paper (think writing a 30 page term paper times five or six in a four month window).  Then even with doing all of this work, a journal can still easily reject an article.  Some of the journals I submit to only accept 3% to 5% of all of the articles submitted.  The work you are doing better be good.

The point of this rant is to give you an idea that summers off for professors are a misnomer.  While, like all professions, there are some that do not put the time and effort in, the majority of people I know and respect work hard year round.  In many countries around the world, being a professor is a prestigious occupation yet in the USA many professors could make more working at Ruby Tuesdays. 

In total, I do love my job and the freedom that comes with it.  It provides me with a ton of opportunities to do what I love (explore the world around me).  I just wanted to share what the reality is.