Though many people may not realize it, faculty are usually required by their university to do more than teach. I’ve always enjoyed teaching, which to me is essentially taking ideas that excite me and sharing them with students. In addition to this, faculty usually must also conduct academic research and writing. This is often the activity most valued by the university, though to many people outside of academia this may seem like superfluous activity. The third arena is service, which is usually the least acknowledged of the three primary duties. Service activities can be directed toward one’s department, university, profession, the community, or some other larger population or organization. My university has written into its Mission and Values a commitment to the local urban community and the greater public good.
I’m prepping for the the coming academic year, and going on tour for academic conferences (this must be how Bono feels). I’ve been to Montreal many times, and always enjoyed the beauty of that city. Madison and Portland are new, and I’m looking forward to seeing them for the first time.
• October 22-23, 2011: Hmong Diaspora Studies Institute (Madison, Wisconsin)