The Academic Back Street


Lawrence A. Curtis
University of Delaware, Lewes, DE, USA

BISAC: FIC000000
DOI: 10.52305/NNXB5471

This is a novel about the all too common practice in higher academia of hiring part time, non-tenure track faculty to teach students. The faculty hired in these situations often cannot pursue research even though they likely have a Ph.D. This fictional story is mostly set in the 1970s. It follows the tumultuous career of a professor interested in teaching and doing research in biological science. The people who administered the university at the place of his employment expressly do not want faculty to be involved with research. The professor in the story owns a Ph.D., which is a research degree. He holds that being involved in research adds a beneficial dimension to his teaching. Problems arise when he decides to undertake a research problem at his own expense and on his own time. A marine invertebrate zoologist, his search for knowledge centers on the marine organisms that have settled on a lengthy set of pier pilings. When this ultimately leads to publications by himself and with students, his bosses at the university find that seriously troublesome and they try to make him cease. Dire consequences result.

The author is a marine biologist and has taught university students for years. So he has extensive experience with this subject area. Of course, what is supposedly found out in the research undertaken in the story is fiction. On the other hand, the marine organisms investigated are real enough species. While the research findings of his main character may be imagined, the approaches to formulating questions and ways to answer them are very much as they might have been in reality. What this author creates here is a telling of the troubles, trials, and tribulations that may come from pursuing new knowledge.
(Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. College is First

Chapter 2. The College Environment

Chapter 3. A Master’s Degree is the Next Thing

Chapter 4. A Ph.D. Degree is Sought and Obtained

Chapter 5. Beginning Faculty Work at an Unenlightened University Branch

Chapter 6. Some Success with a Research Problem: Seeds of Problems to Come

Chapter 7. A Discovery of Interest to Mankind

Chapter 8. My World Gets Smeared

Chapter 9. Apocalypse, the Spring Semester of Year Five at Visitopolis

Chapter 10. The University’s Local Branch Gets Under Way Anew

Chapter 11. Teaching, Research Proposals, and a New Abode Occupy My Time

Chapter 12. A Last Research Summer at Visitopolis Gets Underway

Chapter 13. An Undergraduate Investigation Takes Precedence

Chapter 14. Boeuf Bourguignonne and a Confession

Chapter 15. Snails, Fan Worms, and a Hint of Tangling Wire to Come

Chapter 16.The End of My Last Summer at Visitopolis Arrives

Chapter 17. The Wire Strangles Me: Goodbye to Visitopolis


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