Letter: A lecturer's lot is far from a lazy one

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The Independent Online
Sir: Helen Winnifrith's vitriolic comments about the working habits of university academic staff should not go unchallenged.

All academics with whom I am acquainted have the same extended working week (five days plus some evening and weekend time) as pertains in any other profession. Furthermore, this applies equally to term-time and to 'vacations', the latter a damaging misnomer which our profession could well do without. In that time, we carry out teaching (undergraduate and postgraduate) and research, both of which are required of us by our employers.

In a thriving science department, much of that research has either direct or potential economic value. To denigrate this activity as being outside the proper remit of the university academic, and to suggest that most of us are being handsomely rewarded for doing very little is a travesty of the truth.

Yours sincerely,

KEITH LEPPARD

Biological Sciences

University of Warwick

Coventry

24 June

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