Sunday, April 16, 2017

Can we reduce our teaching loads?

Nothing could do more for our College than a transition to the 3-3 teaching load. We could build a stronger scholarship record, do more to improve programs and develop new ones, and try more innovative things. While the CBA contract specifies a 24-unit per year load, nothing in it prevents us from funding additional release time with our own money. The mechanics of such a program have been tried in many universities: a faculty member would apply yearly for reduced teaching load and promise a specific deliverable to advance the glory of the College – a paper sent to a good journal, a grant application, or a completely new program. If you do not fulfill the promise, you’re not eligible for another reduced load until you do.

We have about 77 faculty members in tenured and tenure-track positions. Let’s assume only 50 of them would want to apply for reduced load. That is about 100 extra courses a year we need to reassign to our part-timers to teach. I think we pay our temporary faculty about 5K per course, plus some benefits; the cost of one reassigned course is roughly $6000. In other words, to do this, we would need about 600,000 a year. The program can start small – with probationary faculty, or with the best proposals, so we do not have to find 600K right away. Also, remember, these are very rough estimates.

Is $600,000 a lot of money? Yes, especially if it is an annual expense. On the other hand, just one off-campus cohort of 20 masters students should generate at least $60,000 the College, however you share the profits with CCE and with the University. Five of such cohorts will get us half the total we need. We can probably increase our fundraising and grants activities as well, and sell some applied research services. In other words, 600K a year is attainable. It could take us 4-5 years to get there, but it could be done. How is this for a vision? 

1 comment:

  1. I think having a 3-3 teaching load and serving 120 students is absolutely do-able. What I don't understand is our service requirement, 30% of our activities are related to service. Much of my advising of undergraduate and graduate students does not count as teaching nor service and for me it often doesn't count as research either because students are not turning their work into manuscripts or conference presentations. How can we reduce our service requirements to provide us more time to do our research? In addition, how can we make mentoring and advising our undergraduate and graduate students, work we already do, count for teaching, service?