Monday, November 6, 2017

The Life of an Academic and Squeezed Budgets

The life of an academic is about using one's brain. There are long-hours involved but often the reward is to help people improve their lives and learn valuable skills they can apply in the workplace. If you are an academic engaged in scientific research there is the added benefit of offering new ideas and thoughts to the world.

The academic life is not for everyone. With squeezed state budgets and inability of many private colleges to meet budget shortfalls the "academic" is disappearing for short-term underpaid, and often ineffective adjunct work. Those with the most knowledge are finding fewer opportunities.

Knowledge is something that has been part of academic life all the way from early philosophers all the way to modern professors. This knowledge costs money and time. New knowledge doesn't come easily and often takes years of planning. It is hard to get a $$$$ out of it.

States often find that new knowledge is something they can't afford and push universities to adapt and change quickly. The easiest thing to do is get rid of full-time professors and the knowledge they offer. In the end, our nation becomes dumber with less prospects for future knowledge and innovation.

Therefore, academics should not expect "doors" to be open for them with plentiful opportunities. They should expect to work long hours, fight against diminishing wages, and be expected to produce more. Research becomes practical and profitable and professors do not have the luxury of often thinking about long-term solutions to long-term value that don't have market return.

The life of an academic is still a wonderful proposition for those who enjoy using their brains. It offers a chance to work on something that can impact society and it allows for one to influence the lives of their students. They are advancing their fields, their nation, and the people they come in contact with. How much is that worth?

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