Professors are the backbone of
university life, but have you ever
wondered what else they do besides
Seeing your professor out and
about can be as startling as a dog
playing the piano. It’s easy to forget
that they have their own lives outside
of school. One of the big pieces in the
professor puzzle is research.
Professors often have loads of
work to do in addition to grading
papers. Whether they are in the
communication department, the art
department, or any department in
between, they have a good deal of
other duties to perform. Those who
contribute to scholarly journals have
a lot of research to do after class ends.
Tamás Bodor, professor of
communication at the University of
Wisconsin - Stevens Point, describes
the process of getting published in a scholarly journal as a lot of pressure.
It is often a requirement for a
professor to publish something
in a scholarly journal, as it helps
them get a promotion or tenure. It’s
understandable that this puts the
professor under a lot of stress to do a
proper job with their projects. Often,
a promotion is based on the quality
and quantity of scholarly articles being produced.
In research, the first thing a professor must do is find a topic
of interest to them. Passion is the
motivator for diving into research and
writing something worth reading.
During this process, professors do
a lot of reading, journaling and
gathering information. Much like
students, they look to libraries for
relevant texts and data.
After all the important pieces of
information are collected, they must
be constructed into a project worthy
of a prestigious journal. This editing
process is only the beginning.
It can take up to a year to see an
article finally go to print. First, it’s
sent out to the editor, who in turn
sends it out to be peer reviewed. The
people reading the article are often
experts in their field. They send it
back to the editor after including
notes for revision.
An article can go through
multiple revisions before it sees the
light of day. It’s very rare for an
article to only have one draft. After
receiving the revision comments, the
editor either approves or denies the
new draft and the article finally gets
its day in the sun.
Where do professors find the time
to do all this?
“I am able to write and research
over the December breaks and in the
summer,” said Kristi Roth, director of
physical education at UWSP.
“Manuscript preparation can
take on average 20 hours for a short
article,” Roth said. “Book publications
take about three months to develop
the proposal and one year to develop
Roth is an author herself. She
recently wrote the 12th edition for a
textbook as well as creating an e-book
with her students for students with
It’s a point of pride to have our
professors lend their voices to the
scholarly debate. If you’re interested
in your professor’s subject, check out
what they’ve written.
“I hope students understand
that all effective professors have to
spend significant time preparing for
class,” Roth said. “Understanding
and generating trends in their fields
is time consuming, but results in a
better education for students.”
Professors are a lot more like
students than one would think. Both
are under deep-sea levels of pressure
and both have to have their projects
under scrutiny. Maybe we should just
have a campus-wide group hug as we
all struggle to stay afloat.