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Today's top news stories for March 10, 2009.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Study: professors under duress as well
While student anxiety is commonplace in post-secondary education, professors feel the burn too.

Christin Moeller, a graduate psychology student at the University of Windsor, is examining stress experienced by professors.

“An abundance of research projects indicate that academic work stress has become a significant concern to both universities and faculty alike,” Moeller said.

“Numerous ill-effects, such as decreased job satisfaction, diminished productivity, higher turnover intent and various health problems have been reported as issues related to stress.”

Moeller’s ambitious study is under the supervision of Greg Chung-Yan.

“Given that professorships are structured differently from many other jobs, [it is interesting to find] out how colleagues cope with unique challenges in their job,” Chung-Yan said.

Moeller said it is imperative to remember professors are positioned in the dual role of being the educator and constantly furthering their education through personal research.

The idealized image of a professorship is often one where holding tenure is assumed, pay is more than substantial and work hours are flexible. However, in many cases, the opposite may be true.

“Work overload, insufficient recognition and inability to keep up with developments in one’s own field are frequently mentioned challenges by university professors,” Moeller said.

The fast pace of academic life, where personal deadlines take top priority, make it easy to overlook the obligations professors must honour.

The potentially broad scope of this study is likely to yield fruitful results in discovering the origins of stress within university faculties. By knowing the root of the dilemma, steps to reduce stress can be taken.
" Jake Miller,
The Lance (University of Windsor)

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