Just a moment, the train's coming

September 7, 2007

Name: Mike Marinetto

Age: 38

Job: Lecturer, Cardiff University Business School.

Salary: £36,000- £37,000 a year.

Education/ background: Undergraduate studies at York University then postgraduate doctoral research at Westminster University.

Working hours and conditions : I try to work a normal-type day (9ish to 5ish). One of the things I like about university life is that the academic year has different rhythms, with variable ebbs and flows.

Number of students you teach: This academic year I have taught more than 400 students.

Biggest bugbear this year: The research assessment exercise has only reinforced the professional ghettoisation of university academics. As such, academic research and writing, with its esoteric and dense prose, is meant for professional advancement rather than communicating with the public at large - who, after all, pay for universities.

How you solved it: I think digital technology and web-based media offer significant opportunities for helping to give our work as academics a wider public profile without relying simply on the mainstream media.

Worst moment in university life: I nearly had an armed insurrection in an organisational behaviour seminar when one of the students refused to take part in a revision exercise I had devised. I also embarrassingly nodded off during a university graduation ceremony two years ago.

What is your working space like? I am housed in a 16ft by 8ft office on the third floor of the Aberconway building, overlooking the railway line, which means I have to stop my conversation, phone call or thought process every 15 minutes as the train hurtles up to Treorchy.

What university facilities do you use? I use the music library - it stocks Wired magazine and has a great collection of modern jazz.

Do you socialise with people at the university? I am not prolific when it comes to socialising, but I go to the occasional concert or film with friends from my own department. One of my colleagues ended up elbowing me as I fell asleep during a concert by the renowned " kosmische musik " pioneers Faust.

Best excuses for bad behaviour you have heard: I give 100 per cent to this organisation: 10 per cent on Monday, 15 per cent on Tuesday, 20 per cent on Wednesday...

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