Indiana Jones seemingly is able to ditch class at will and travel around the world for weeks at a time without risking losing his official job as a professor. How is he able to do this? It isn't like he has some TA that will handle everything for him otherwise he wouldn't be getting mobbed by students. Does he have some sort of standing agreement with his university that allows him to take unlimited time off?

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    My interpretation is that this was written to intentionally make fun of how tenure and research position work at universities
    – DForck42
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 16:45
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    @DForck42 that very may well be the out of universe reason but I'm looking for an in universe explanation.
    – Erik
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 16:51
  • You can work as a university professor and hardly ever step into a classroom, sometimes never. Consider the guys from Big Bang Theory(hate that show) they’re all doctors and work for a university, but don’t teach. Indi can also skip teaching summers classes, two months out of the year to do these expeditions. Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


Let's pretend you're the Dean of a Univeristy, and take the example from Last Crusade, where Indie seems to run off to find his father..

If you were a world famous Historian/Archaeologist, who recovered THE ARK OF THE COVENANT...

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Uncovered an ancient Thugee cult embroiled in a government conspiracy involving a child slavery ring (remember the Prime minister is at that dinner!)

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As well as recovering endless artifacts and returning them to their museums, and your star professor needs time off to perform another such excursion..

Are you going to say no?

What will you gain from this, other than his resignation, and the loss of a major asset to the university?

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    My interpretation of the Ark was it was classified so his university wouldn't know about it. In general your answer says his celebrity status protects him, which is the only explanation I could think of as well so you have my +1.
    – Erik
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 17:07
  • @Erik, I'd shy away from saying celebrity, but in the same spirit it's more about reputation. I doubt there is a more prestigious archaeologist in the academia, he's top of his field. It would be churlish to deny him any opportunity to perform the duties that put him there, and a discredit to any institution trying to stop him. It would be counter intuitive. Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 8:14
  • That is a great point. Einstein was a celebrity and had high reputation. Indiana Jones almost certainly has a high reputation, but like Paul Erdős he might not be very well known outside of his field.
    – Erik
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 15:22


No, they’re beautiful. The Museum will buy them as usual. No questions asked.

Indiana worked for the university, which owned the museum. His adventures were usually procuring items for the museum so no doubt he travelled on expenses, let alone getting time off.

  • If he was working for the museum then why was he selling the artifacts? I always assumed that quote was proof he was freelancing not an employee with an expense account.
    – Erik
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 2:30
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    Indeed...Brody did not work for the University but a completely separate Museum.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 6:08
  • Wrong, Brody was Dean of Archaeology at Marshall University. The fact that the University bought items from Jones is irrelevant, Jones was still employed on the University's behalf to find items (even if it wasn't an official part of being a professor) and so would have had time for his adventures sanctioned by the university. And this is the question, how did he get time off. Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 15:42

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