Miami, FL

Female, 33

As a tenure-track member of a university faculty, I’m one part teaching, one part research. Teaching-to-research ratios vary from school to school. At a research-focused school, professors are judged largely on their research productivity – the # of journal articles, chapters, and books they publish, as well as the prestige of the publications. At a “balanced” school, professors are required to teach more and have less rigid research requirements. Ask me anything about being a college professor.

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22 Questions


Last Answer on May 17, 2012

Best Rated

How well do I need to know my professor to ask for a letter of recommendation?

Asked by Rj over 11 years ago

Most professors will say yes regardless. We all have a standard recommendation letter we use and then try to personalize it. A better review will come from a professor who knows you.

Is there a solid camaraderie amongst professors at your school, or do they mainly keep to themselves?

Asked by Belindathegreat over 11 years ago

Research is a fairly solitary activity. At a more researched-focused school it may be the case that some professors don’t come to campus five days a week and/or go leave the college town for months at a time, particularly in the summer. That being said, for some professors one of the benefits and reasons to work on campus is in order to enjoy the company of others. There is certainly camaraderie across the field – at conferences and such. But on a daily basis it can be a fairly solitary career.

What credentials are required to become a professor?

Asked by Amanda over 11 years ago

A Ph.D. is absolutely necessary. There are some adjunct faculty or lecturers without one. But almost all tenure-track professors have the terminal degree.

How much do professors care about their scores and reviews on professor ratings websites?

Asked by Operator999 over 11 years ago

If it's not related to the school we don't care at all. Ratings gathered by the school matter because this is what we are judged on in terms of keeping our jobs.

What's your school's policy on professor-student relationships?

Asked by Jaymee over 11 years ago

I wouldn't know because I'm not interested. But I suspect it's probably not a smooth move if I want to keep my job.

Have you date (or would you date) other professors at your school?

Asked by bagger lance over 11 years ago

Hypothetically sure. In reality it hasn't happened and I would wager against it happening.

What drew you toward teaching?

Asked by SethT over 11 years ago

My path to becoming a professor was not the typical one. In my field virtually everyone getting a PhD is intending to become an academic. This was not necessarily the case with me. I had an idea of what I wanted to learn and a PhD in my field seemed the best way to learn this material. Then, once entering the world of academia and seeing what it was like, I found I really enjoyed it and so I decided to pursue an academic career.