Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bonus Thirsty

As my system is currently debating this topic, what kinds of rules or restrictions do you have regarding faculty workload? Is there a maximum number of credits faculty are allowed to teach? Is there a minimum number of hours or days a campus presence is expected? Do loads balance over the course of a year, or do you have absolutes which you must meet each term? Does summer count toward anything?

Our faculty are getting very upset over these issues because everything is changing and more emphasis seems to be going toward face time than actual productivity. The load balancing issue is also contentious because it's screwing up some people's pay.


  1. Hmm, let's see. We are required to "process" about 150 students a year, over a 2-2 load on the quarter system (so 1 quarter is a "zero" load). If you want to teach overload courses, bully for you, but it isn't encouraged as I am t an R1. You have to do 2 office hours, each on separate days of the week at a different time (so M 1-2 and W 9-10, or some such thing). And you are expected to meet with grad students, supervise undergrad/grad theses and independent studies, etc. Summer school counts for nothing but pays well. You are required to do a fair amount of committee/service work on the level of the department, the division, and the campus.

    Thus far, except for the increases in student credit hours required, the workload is pretty decent. The service requirements are what's getting harder and harder.

  2. Our loads are currently set department-by-department, with goals from the Delaware study of comparable institutions.

    Summers get extra pay, at quite a low rate. As a Master's-granting department, the basic load, with some level of research, is typically 5 courses per year, around 450 student credit hours.

  3. 4-4 load plus overloads, no overload pay, 6+preps per year; summer teaching is a badly distributed perk.

    Is there a maximum number of credits faculty are allowed to teach?
    Not to my knowledge. But we only get paid for 4 courses a term.

    Is there a minimum number of hours or days a campus presence is expected?
    Aside from office hours minima, no explicit requirements on in-person presence. Obviously, class time counts, unless you're teaching online.

    Do loads balance over the course of a year, or do you have absolutes which you must meet each term?
    No explicit balancing, but some Chairs do try to give hard-working faculty a break now and then. Not very consistent, and if you try to negotiate for it, can get a reputation....

    Does summer count toward anything?
    Money. And it rotates: you're less likely to get the summer gig the next year.

    BION, this is a union shop, too.

  4. My California community college: 5/5 workloads, 2 overload classes per semester permitted (or more with an OK from the Dean and VPAA). No required 5-day workweek. "Balancing" is OK and even necessary (within reason). Summer sessions don't count.

    1. This sounds a lot like my Eastern community college, and we can add summers for extra pay. I'm currently teaching my usual 18 credits plus 3 more in overload (1 2-credit lab, 1 1-credit seminar), and I'm doing it all on Tues, Wed, Thurs. Almost all our faculty take overloads, some take quite a bit.

  5. 4/4 load (12 credits); summer $ is extra when courses are available, and $ depends on whether or not you are adjunct or tenured. Limit 3 preps per semester. Overloads possible with departmental approval.

    Office hours= 4 per week (1 per course). No regulations on when. Mine are staggered between the 4 days I teach, and Fridays by appointment only.

    Adjuncts in my part of the UW System are paid 80% of full-time TT salary (no expectation of service), pro-rated by # of credits they teach. Full-time adjuncts receive full-time benefits (one thing Wisconsin got right); part-timers are eligible (and receive) full benefits at 40%. [BTW, my job in the UW System was the first time I'd ever been paid a living wage, with benefits, as an adjunct.]

    No union faculty here. Class sizes have gone up in recent years (10%). We have been doing "more" with way less (as I suspect the rest of you have as well) and the trend doesn't show any signs of abating.

    1. I suspect that if cuts continue, adjunct pay will go down, and they will lose (or pay for) their benefits.

      Also note that full-time faculty pay is about 20% below the national average. I am tenured, and my W-2 indicates that I made $42,637.55 last year for my 4/4 load.

  6. "Face time" is more easily measurable than "overall productivity" for the auditing chimps, so that is what they will want to measure. It is more efficient.

    @BC - Adjunct pay at the schools I teach for is already going down. The numbers are the same at one school (so with inflation actually lower) and actually lower at another school than when I started at those schools years ago.

  7. I am paid hourly (for 8 hours of work per week) - the time I am actually in the classroom. If we go over a certain number of hours, then, heaven forbid, we'd have to get benefits, want to keep our jobs, relax, get to know our colleagues - and the admin would stop yelling at me to not use that equipment or touch that form, because those are for faculty only! (Year 4 and I know 3 people). I end up spending over 40 hours/wk doing office hours, grading, emailing, tutoring, updating, etc., and suddenly what seemed like a good hourly wage is barely over minimum.


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