On this last point, this is the reason I don't have a problem with T&P criteria that stipulate quantities of books, articles and book chapters as guides to 'excellence' or otherwise. It's helpful to have transparent guidelines of what is expected of us in our jobs. Moreover, in my mind, setting the standard at a reasonable level does not, by definition, necessarily mean we are succumbing to some sort of 'neoliberalized' university management or betrayal of the university, as long as we control that standard.
The reason I raise academic productivity as an issue is that I've noticed how much more productive I've been since moving to Canada from the UK. Maybe it's because I'm entering (or am already in) my mid-career stage, but I've found I have been able to do more over here despite generally having far more teaching than in the UK. Part of the reason for this is that my teaching in Canada is mainly contact teaching hours (i.e. two 12-week terms @ 5-8 hours per week contact time), while in the UK there is a considerable administrative load outside of actual facetime that whittles away at research time (e.g. double marking, exam boards, etc., etc.).
So, I did some basic maths to understand why ...
- My time is split 40% (research), 40% (teaching) and 20% (service);
- So, I owe 1 day a week all year to service (which is one reason why we should all be in work at least one day a week);
- I then have 4-week annual leave;
- I'm left with 48 weeks, half of which is termtime and the other is non-termtime;
- If I assume I teach only in termtime and research in non-termtime, then that's my 40% for teaching and research;
- Consequently, I get 24 weeks a year to do research; or, 96 full days.
- To me, coming from a UK context, that is fantastic, no matter that I have higher teaching contact hours;
- With 96 full research days, I can carry out actual research (e.g. interviews, stats analysis) and write it up each year (or last year's research more like);
- To me, that's a phenomenal amount of time - if I wrote at my usual rate for even half that time I would be able to produce a hefty book each year.