Let’s Stop Glorifying Busy

Chances are if you run into someone on campus then the conversation will go something like this.  “Hi, how’s it going?”  “I’m so busy!” “Yep, me too!  It must be that time of the semester.”  It doesn’t matter when this conversation occurs because it is always that time of the semester.

A study by John Ziker from Boise State University even provides data on how busy we are in higher education.  In a blog post, Ziker found that professors at Boise work 61 hours per work and spend 17% of their time in meetings.

The collective response from most of higher education was, “See Forbes, being a professor isn’t the easiest job in America!”

My response was that this is terrible and we’ve got to be more productive with our time.  The work of a faculty member, administrator, or nearly anyone in higher education does not require that we spend over sixty hours a week.

Photo credit: Peter Kuo

The curse of knowledge work (which most of us in higher education are engaged in) is that it can largely be done anytime and anywhere.  For too many of us that turns into all the time and everywhere. 

My TEDx Talk: Why Businesses Should Work Like Universities

The rhetoric surrounding higher education- from governments to businesses to parents and students- questions why higher education can’t be more business-like— efficient, cost-effective, and innovative.  However, when you take a closer look into past, present, and potential successes of both universities and businesses. It becomes evident that the better question is “Why aren’t businesses striving to be more like universities?”