What is a typical full-time academic appointment?


This depends on the institution, its priorities, degree(s) conferred, and the other contractual duties that are assigned through the appointment. Typically it will involve teaching, scholarly activity and service.

Teaching Obligations: Interior design faculty teaching loads can vary significantly. During an interview process, you should inquire what a typical appointment involves, and what the particulars of your contract would look like regarding the number of courses per semester, or quarter. In particular, it is wise to understand the number of different courses you will teach during any given semester so that you know how many course preparations are required simultaneously.

Institutions of higher education are expected to demonstrate that students are learning the necessary information that will equip them for successful careers after they graduate. This involves more detailed analysis of the course materials (the inputs) and then the outcomes from student work. As an academic, you will be expected to demonstrate your effectiveness in instruction by providing evidence of what your students have learned in your classroom.

Scholarly Activities: Many institutions also include scholarly outcomes in the appointment. Scholarship expectations should be clearly defined regarding the type of scholarship that is viewed as acceptable (See also; What is scholarship?). If you are expected to produce scholarly work, then you will want to have a clear understanding of the amount of time you can use to focus on these outcomes.  Most all academics with scholarship expectations find that they have to use their summers (or other breaks during the academic calendar) to get enough done to fulfill their scholarship expectations, even though they may not be on contract during these times.

Service Obligations: One of the rights and privileges of academic life is the role of self-governance in guiding the direction of the academic mission of the institution. This responsibility comes with the expectation that faculty participate in service obligations, and these expectations are a common component of an academic appointment. Service may include a variety of committee assignments or expectations for other institutional and/ or professional service work.