My research–teaching–service split, 2019–2021

Faculty time accounting

The job of a professor is traditionally split into three categories: research, teaching, and service. For example, I'm evaluated for promotion in those three categories. What exactly goes in each is sometimes fuzzy, but roughly:

Some faculty jobs officially specify the expected split between these categories. For example, when I worked in Denmark, my contract specified 40% research, 40% teaching, 20% service. My current contract doesn't specify, beyond that my normal teaching load is two courses a semester, and I'm expected to do all three categories. In practice my understanding is that research is weighted the most of the three for purposes of tenure and promotion, but that isn't formalized. Regardless, I'm curious what my actual split has turned out to be.

I started my current tenure-track job in January 2019, and have been keeping an approximate time log since then, noting how many hours I spend each day in a more specific set of categories like "course prep", "paper writing", "office hours", etc. Below I aggregate those categories into the traditional teaching/research/service split, broken out by semesters and inter-semester breaks. I'm defining a "semester" for this purpose as starting one week before the first day of classes, and ending on the day that grades are due. For our academic calendar, that makes semesters a little over 4 months long.

Below are the results for my first three full years here:

2019Spring semester 29%41%30%
2019Fall semester 39%24%36%
2019Summer/Winter breaks58% 5%37%
2020Spring semester 27%39%34%
2020Fall semester 26%44%30%
2020Summer/Winter breaks58%12%30%
2021Spring semester 43%33%24%
2021Fall semester 28%38%34%
2021Summer/Winter breaks68% 3%29%

Unsurprisingly, teaching is concentrated within the academic year, and typically takes 35-40% of my time, with the exception of Fall 2019, when I had a 1-course teaching reduction as a new faculty member. Service averages around 30%, without any real change between the academic year and breaks. Research varies inversely with teaching, constituting the majority of my time outside of the academic year, and dropping to 25-40% within the academic year, with a decent amount of variability between semesters depending on how much time other obligations leave for it.