Teacher audit

October 29, 2004

Name : Paul Freathy
Age : 42

Job : Professor of retail management and director of the Institute for Retail Studies at Stirling University.

Salary : A pittance given my skills, charm and boyish good looks.

Qualifications : BA, MA, PhD.

Experience : Worked in personnel and training for an electronics company in London before undertaking a masters degree at Warwick University and a PhD at Manchester University. Joined the IRS in 1989 as a lecturer, became a senior lecturer in 1996 and professor in 1998. The IRS is a self-funding unit within the university that provides research, teaching and consultancy services to the retail sector. We are required to travel to wherever there are educational or research opportunities. Over the past 14 years, I have been involved in national and international activities across Europe, Africa, the West Indies and throughout SouthEast Asia.

Hours spent teaching : Impossible to say as no two weeks are the same.

Hours on red tape : Yes, unfortunately.

Hours on research : Research is the internal policeman of the academic.

There is always a voice telling you to think about the next publication or the next research application. So whenever and wherever there is an opportunity to work on research you tend to take it. Attempting to quantify the hours spent on research is a difficult (and ultimately pointless) exercise.

Teaching bugbear this past year : Students turning up for lectures at 9.15.

How did you solve it? I locked the doors at 9.10.

Worst teaching moment? Running a five-day management development course for 50 retail managers in Indonesia when the company's laptop I was using caught fire and melted my disk. I discovered then that crying uncontrollably is an excellent way to gain sympathy from an international audience.

Funniest? Thinking I recognised a mature student on a part-time access course and asking him whether he had played rugby against me for the local 3rd XV. He turned out to be a current Scottish International and former British Lion (fortunately with a sense of humour).

Teaching tip? Some academics get intimidated teaching individuals from industry. Don't feel that you need to know everything, accept that you will learn as much as they will in the teaching sessions. It is more of an exchange of knowledge, ideas and experience than anything else.

Outside interests : Like many Celts, I have a passion for rugby and I am still available should the chairman of the selectors be looking for a 42-year-old Welsh exile to play in the forthcoming Six Nations Championships. I also hope to become more involved in rugby administration and am looking to take up a coaching position with a team that needs help (but not England).

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