As many academics turn their attention to marking, lecturers with full time or permanent departmental responsibilities also increasingly have to turn their attention to administrative tasks. As secretarial and admin teams are phased out across universities, lecturers and professors are left doing more and more administrative duties. How does this affect workload and what skills are needed to complete these tasks?
Piles of marking aside, one of the tasks I have to do this week is begin to enter my students’ marks from across the year onto an electronic database. This is something that, until recent times, would have been done by an administrator or secretary and now, with no extra pay or recognition, lecturers have to do it for themselves!
I don’t mind this part of the job, but it’s time consuming and takes me away from my research and student-focused activities that are, to be frank, much more exciting. Some scholars find this time of year very challenging partly, it seems, because they haven’t been organised throughout the year. Being able to complete admin tasks quickly and easily is entirely down to keeping clear and logical records. If you don’t even understand your own filing system then you’ll struggle now!
The cliche of the disorganised scholar with his head in the clouds is only partly true; most of us can function normally in the real world, believe it or not! But we could all do with a reminder to keep our records in order, whether they be paper or electronic. That way we can quickly complete the mundane tasks and move onto the more exciting work of summer research (and exam marking!).