Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Increased pressures, class sizes taking their toll on faculties in academia

In academia, December is the cruelest month.

It’s the time of year when professors, long believed to be persons of substantial leisure, mark hundreds of exams and essays, write course outlines for the winter term, battle deadlines for recommendation letters and try to catch up on their own research.

The cost of succeeding at doing it all has been an especially acute topic of conversation among faculty worldwide this month. In early December, the circumstances of the September suicide of Stefan Grimm, a professor at London’s Imperial College, became public. Dr. Grimm had been under intense pressure to meet research targets, and his death raised questions about the role of the college. Many professors say that while Dr. Grimm’s suicide cannot be blamed on the institution, they too have grappled with how to maintain their mental health while balancing research, growing class sizes and administrative commitments.  (more...)


A case study:

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