Charlotte, North Carolina
June 20, 1999
June 20, 1999
June 23, 1999
4.264.1 - 4.264.7
Warren R. Hill, Dean Weber State University
This paper examines some of the concerns involved with faculty workload and raises issues dealing with both how to measure what faculty are currently doing as well as attempting to determine what faculty should be doing. The issues involved are multifaceted and complex and this paper seeks to look at them from several different aspects.
I. Why the Increased Emphasis on Faculty Workload?
There are a number of reasons why there is an increased emphasis how faculty spend their time. This section examines several of these reasons and attempts to provide a background and basis for why it is important for those of us who are administrators to look carefully at both what faculty do and how they do it. Perhaps the overriding reason why faculty workload has come to fore is that many institutions are now and have been for some time facing significant fiscal constraints. This in turn has prompted many people including legislators (for public institutions), boards of regents, boards of trustees, high level administrators and others to ask, $Are faculty operating as efficiently as they could or should?#
Part of the question of efficiency is due to the surge in costs at most higher education institutions. To document but a few of the cost increases, in the twelve year period from 1980 to 1992, professional salaries have gone up 102%, fringe benefits have increased 167% and the cost of library acquisitions have risen by 138%. 5 To offset some of these increases, resident undergraduate tuition in just the five year period from 1991 to 1995 in public colleges and universities has increased an average of 40%.3 Comparing the increase in state spending for higher education across the country for roughly that same period (1990 to 1993) showed an increase of only 1%.4 Increased costs coupled with little or no increases in fiscal support have placed significant restraints on many institutions.
Another reason for the emphasis on workload is in anticipation of the apparent glut of upcoming students. This increase is being driven in part by the recognition of the economic value of a college education at any level, associate, bachelor or graduate. There are also increasing numbers of non-traditional learners coming back to school or going to school for the first time in order to upgrade their skills or to obtain a degree (or another degree). For example, the number of high school graduates is expected to increase 30% from 1992 to 2008. 5 It is further anticipated that because of the economic factors associated with a college degree, high school graduates rate of attending will likely increase. Higher education s ability to handle this huge influx of students given the continued paucity of resources calls into question our reliance on $business as usual.#
Hill, W. R. (1999, June), Faculty Workload Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. https://peer.asee.org/7672
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