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Striving To Balance The Faculty Load

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.896.1 - 6.896.4



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Thomas Salem

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3575

Striving to Balance the Faculty Load Thomas Salem Elizabethtown College


New colleagues in engineering education are faced with an assortment of time demands and constraints. Typically, these demands may be grouped into four broad categories: professional growth, service activities, pedagogical development, and personal life. Obtaining a balance in these areas is critical for personal health and well being. This paper will explore three primary activities that have significantly impacted my efforts to balance the faculty load.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of industrial and academic settings. These experiences have been spread across the spectrum of large Fortune 500 corporations to smaller private companies and large state universities to small private colleges. Along the way, I’ve observed many successful people – employees getting promoted and faculty gaining tenure and have been able to discern some common personality traits, characteristics, and work habits that have contributed to their success.

From this basis, I’ve focused on three primary activities to achieve a successful balance in my load. The first step is to know yourself – your goals, requirements to achieve your goals, and your personality (or more broadly, how you work). The next step is to organize yourself – develop a detailed action plan, wisely choose how and when to invest your time, and work with your strengths while correcting areas of weakness. The final step is to manage yourself – don’t rely upon a boss or a colleague to lead you to success, develop mentoring relationships, and keep these activities alive and ongoing.

Personal well being

Life is a delicate balancing act among a wide variety of competing demands for your time and personal resources. A well-balanced life will promote inner peace and health, while a life lived on the ragged edge can be quite damaging.1 Successful people regardless of their professions are continually challenged to define and strive toward this healthy balance.2 One thing is certain, a formula that seems to work well for one person is not guaranteed to work for another. Thus, the arduous search for personal well being is solely an individual journey.

Defining the faculty load

The faculty load is traditionally divided into three principle categories along the lines of teaching, research, and service. These components may be described in differing terms such as pedagogical development or professional development, but the fundamental essence of the work

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Salem, T. (2001, June), Striving To Balance The Faculty Load Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9800

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