Annual Activities Report, or There is a Lot to this Higher Education Stuff

1 Jun

Teaching in higher education is a great job. I get to talk about history and, hopefully, fill the minds of students with information that they need to know. It is great to have a student come up after class and ask a question. It is great when they show interest in what we are talking about. There is great satisfaction in being a teacher.History Teacher

However, higher education is about more than teaching. We are expected to serve the university as members of various committees. We are expected to take part in scholarly activities outside of the classroom. We are expected to serve the surrounding community.

At the end of each academic year, we turn in an Annual Activities Report to our dean. It is a way for the administration to know that we are doing our jobs. I just finished my report and realized that it has been a very busy year.

In the Fall of 2013, I taught four classes and one directed study. Three of the classes were surveys over the first part of American history, and one was the history of Latin America. Enrolled in those courses, were 132 students. I also taught four classes in the Spring of 2014. Three were surveys over the second part of American history, and one was the Expansion of the United States, my specialty. Those classes had 118 students. In addition, I was an advisor to 18 students in the Fall and 12 students in the Spring.

In October of 2013, I attended the conference of the Western History Association in Tucson, Arizona. It was an awesome experience. I was also able to raise $15,000 for faculty development.

Did I mention committees? During this academic year, I have served on the Faculty Senate, the GEC (General Education Core) Committee, the Athletic Committee and the Athletic Compliance Committee. Those last two are part of my duties as Faculty Athletic Representative.

As Faculty Athletic Representative, I have also attended meetings of G-MAC, the conference that we are moving into. That is part of our move to Division II of the NCAA. There are several sports on campus, and I have been to games of  baseball, soccer, softball and football.

Oh yeah, I am also the Pi Gamma Mu sponsor, which is the national honor society for the Social Sciences. We also have Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society for History.

It seems as if there is always something to do on campus, but there are also plenty of things going on around town. I have spoken to the members of the First Presbyterian Church and been interviewed by three of Nashville’s television stations. Also, I have been interviewed by The Nashville Business Journal, The Tennessean, The Lebanon Democrat and The Wilson Post. I also wrote an article for Lebanon Living magazine.

Community service? There is a lot there, as well. I am a member of the board of directors for the James E. Ward Agriculture and Community Center, Fiddler’s Grove Historic Village and the Buchanan Historic Home. I am also on the Lebanon Regional Planning Commission and am a member of the Rotary Club.

When I entered higher education, I knew that I would be teaching history. This other stuff came as a surprise. The other surprise? I like doing all of this stuff.

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6 Responses to “Annual Activities Report, or There is a Lot to this Higher Education Stuff”

  1. Lunar Euphoria June 2, 2014 at 00:12 #

    I can’t imagine teaching four classes. The most I’ve ever taught is two, plus a clinic class and/or independent study – and that seemed nearly overwhelming with all the rest (research, committee. conferences, etc.). I enjoyed my time immersed in academia, but attempting to balance the tenure race with a family/personal life was nearly my undoing. It ultimately proved more of a sacrifice than I was willing to make.

    • Rick June 2, 2014 at 00:24 #

      We are mainly a teaching university with a small faculty. That means more classes. They would like for us to publish more, but, with the teaching load, it is tough to do. Actually, I like the classroom part of the job. It is the other stuff that adds up.

  2. Andrew Petcher June 2, 2014 at 04:43 #

    I envy you. When I was at University I wanted to be a teacher but when I graduated I didn’t feel sufficiently mature enough to hold such a responsible position. When I did finally consider myself mature enough it was too late and I couldn’t afford to switch careers.

    • Rick June 2, 2014 at 13:04 #

      I started this job later in life. I was lucky to be able to do that.

  3. DyingNote June 2, 2014 at 07:17 #

    You lead a busy life, Rick. But it sounds like fun if you like it.

    • Rick June 2, 2014 at 13:05 #

      It is a lot of fun.

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