Steamed up for day at the coalface

May 13, 2005

Name: Alex Haslam Age: 42 Job: Professor of social and organisational psychology

What is your background? I studied psychology at St Andrews University, spent a year at Emory University, Atlanta, US, before doing a PhD on a Commonwealth Scholarship at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, where I met my wife. My first job was at the University of Sydney, then I worked my way up to reader at the Australian National University, Canberra. I moved to Exeter University in 2001.

What are your working hours? I arrive about 7.50am (steamed up from Thought for the Day ), eat at my desk and leave about 5pm.

How many students do you teach? 115 undergraduates, ten on an MSc course in advances in organisational psychology. I supervise the project work of five undergraduates, five MSc students and four PhD students.

How many staff do you manage? I am managed by a research team of six postdocs, six research assistants, two other professors and two lecturers.

What has been your biggest challenge this year? I am editor of the European Journal of Social Psychology , and earlier this year one of our associate editors died suddenly.

How did you deal with it? We organised a tribute issue - hard work, but it focused our efforts.

What has been your worst moment in university life? Seeing students with talent leave the profession because they cannot get financial support. On a personal level, an anonymous reviewer described the first paper I submitted as "not so much bad as completely ill-informed".

What is your office space like? A mess. But the view from the window is wonderful.

Which university facilities do you use? A parking spot, the Northcott Theatre, the library and the research grants office. Do you socialise with people at the university? Yes, quite a lot. Good meals, a lot of chortling.

Who are your most difficult customers? Our work gets a lot of flak from anonymous reviewers (particularly those recruited by US journals).

What is your best excuse for bad behaviour? Being an anonymous reviewer for a US journal.

Do you interact with other departments? Yes, sociology, biology, management, sports science and linguistics. Exeter is small and friendly, so interdisciplinary collaboration is more viable than it has been elsewhere.

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