Overworked faculty: Job stresses and family demands

  • Jacobs J
  • Winslow S
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Abstract

Do professors put in very long workweeks solely out of a love of their work, or do expectations for teaching and publishing essentially require a sixty-hour workweek for the successful completion of the job? How do faculty members reconcile the demands of an academic career with the realities of family life? Drawing on a large national survey of postsecondary faculty conducted in 1998, the authors examine the length of the workweek by analyzing its relationship to faculty dissatisfaction with their workload. The authors find evidence that many professors are dissatisfied with their workload. Moreover, dissatisfaction increases among those working the longest hours. The data also indicate that very long hours on the job greatly contribute to research productivity. The very long hours demanded by faculty jobs thus pose a dilemma for parents who want to spend time with their children and their families. The authors conclude by suggesting that the challenge is to create a set of expectations for academic employment that are compatible with responsible parenting in dual-career couples.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Faculty jobs
  • Work-family conflict
  • Working parents
  • Working time
  • Working women

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Authors

  • Jerry A. Jacobs

  • Sarah E. Winslow

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