[T]he absolute worst teaching schedule possible for an academic who has a research expectation features 1-2 hour breaks between classes. As currently constituted, my schedule for the fall, with classes at 9:30 (MWF), 12:30 (MW) and 4:30 (MW), seems almost explicitly designed to ensure I will not be productive at all on Mondays or Wednesdays. On the other hand, at least that leaves plenty of time for the other useless academic time-suck office hours. (You almost cannot imagine the cheer that went up when we learned that we only have four scheduled office hours per week required next year rather than our current six.)
And no, he’s not trying to hide from the students:
In point of fact, I actually go out of my way to encourage students to visit during office hours or meet with me before or after class if they need to discuss something with me; while I frequently talk to students immediately prior to or after class, the number of unique office visitors I see in a semester is usually countable on one hand. And most of them have already told me they are coming to visit, thus defeating the point of having “drop-in” hours. If anything, I’d prefer it if more students did come to my office hours unannounced, but since virtually none bother it seems like a waste of time for all involved.
I’m not any kind of academic, but in my particular workplace, one of the few ways to get any work done is to dodge meetings, no matter how brief they may be or how “important” they’re believed to be. I suspect this is probably close to being a Universal Truth.