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could be realized over the
last two fiscal years. And
they agreed to enroll an
additional 940 students
without additional state
money in the 2005 fiscal
USM increased its
faculty teaching load
by ten percent, always
a difficult step for any
university or system of
universities. “There was
tremendous hostility
in legislatures across
the country, whose
members think that
faculty teach two or three
hours a week and then
go off on our boats or
whatever,” said Stephanie
Gibson, professor of
communications design
at the University of
Baltimore and a member
of the Council of
University SystemFaculty.
The changes were “a
response by the regents to
try to address that.”
“We spent many hours at the regents’ meetings explaining
that there was more to the workload than teaching,” said
Martha Siegel, who has taught mathematics at Towson
University for 30 years and heads the systemwide faculty
The ten percent workload increase, which began to be
implemented last year, does not apply to individual faculty
members but to every academic department, systemwide.
Typically, faculty workload includes teaching, preparation,
advising, serving on committees, research and other activities.
Faculty at research institutions (the flagship campus at College
Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County) are
expected to spend half of their time on instruction—that is,
five or six three-credit classes a year—and the other half on
research and public service.
At “comprehensive” institutions such as Towson, located
just northeast of the Baltimore city line, faculty are expected to
expend two-thirds of their effort on instruction (seven or eight
three-credit classes a year) and the remaining time on research
and public service. The regents said that by this fiscal year
(2006), faculty at each institution should be halfway toward
those goals.
While faculty workloads were very heavy at some
campuses (for example, Coppin State University, inWest
Baltimore), others had fallen below the new requirements.
Towson, under pressure to hire more faculty because of rapid
enrollment growth, was offering lighter teaching loads to
attract new people.
After Robert Caret returned to Towson as its president
in 2003 (he had
been at the school
for 21 years
before becoming
president of
San Jose State
University), he
imposed the
tighter workload
standards, in
effect taking back
what the faculty
thought it had
been given. “I said that we can’t be a campus of 20,000 and be a
small liberal arts college,” Caret said. So lighter teaching loads
would be granted only to faculty members whose research
productivity warranted them.
“The faculty was not happy at all” with the ten percent
workload increase, Martha Siegel said. The feeling was that
the system should increase the number of tenure-track
faculty, since they do most of the advising and committee
work. Instead, the systemwas hiring less expensive part-time
and adjunct faculty. Siegel also pointed out that professors
who once taught classes with 20 students nowmight have 35
students but still received credit for just one teaching unit.
“Workload is the biggest issue onmy campus,” Stephanie
Gibson said. “It’s partly because the pay isn’t always
commensurate with time and effort expended, but it’s also that
there’s just so much work. The number of administrative tasks
that we’re asked to do seems to increase exponentially every
This is not to say that pay isn’t a faculty concern. “Salaries
are my biggest issue,” said Dennis Coates, an economics
professor representing UM-Baltimore County on the
University System of Maryland faculty members were
“not happy at all” with a recent ten percent workload
increase, says Martha Siegel, who heads the systemwide
faculty council.
The University System
of Maryland streamlined
some administrative
procedures to provide
more money for
academic priorities.
Both enrollment and state financial support have risen sharply
since Stanley Battle became president of Coppin State
University, in West Baltimore, in 2003.