I don’t think any Bush is qualified to understand how higher education works. Jeb!s latest gaffe:
There are a lot of beautiful buildings being built on college campuses, but you can’t get a course on Friday afternoon. And a professor, tenured professor, may not be teaching many more courses than one per semester.
Those lazy liberal elites! Except that he’s all wrong.
Some professors do teach one course, or even less, per semester. But those faculty have instead exchanged teaching responsibilities for greater research, lab management, and grant-writing responsibilities. Many universities allow you to buy out of teaching obligations with grant funds, but that isn’t escaping any work at all.
Anybody who knows anything about how universities work would know that what matters in the accounting is contact hours — I’m supposed to have a certain number of hours working with students directly every week, in class or in lab. It doesn’t matter when those hours happen, although we try to distribute them to meet student demand. We teaching faculty, in the hours we aren’t engaged with students, are tied up in lecture prep, grading, etc. (also, office hours don’t count as contact hours). If I get a lighter class load on Friday, it means I’ve got a heavier load other days of the week.
My current load is: two 65 minute lectures on Monday and Wednesday, three 50 minute lectures on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and two 3 hour labs on Tuesday and Thursday. I also work with our senior seminar students, which is an additional two hours a week. All those classes require additional hours of prep, and fluctuating amounts of work on grading. The lab requires lots of set up time — I started setting up fly crosses back in December. I was doing prep work on Christmas.
This is also work that gives many people the heebie-jeebies — public speaking? Seven times a week? That would horrify a great many Americans. One of the few jobs that probably requires more public speaking is politician, but there’s a difference between that and professorial work. We’re required to know what we’re talking about, and be accurate.