Miami University’s Strategic Priorities Task Force (SPT) “Recommendation 16” suggests the current workload distribution among Miami educators needs to be reformed.
The recommendation reads, “The faculty workload policy was designed to increase faculty productivity and fairness,” and says the policy’s enforcement would decrease the chances of an “across-the-board increase in faculty teaching loads.”
It promotes even distribution of work among all levels of educating faculty.
Chris Makaroff, co-chair of the SPT, said without the necessary policy enforcement, professors may be required to teach an additional course per year.
“(The faculty workload policy) is to balance out and to make sure everyone is carrying their fair share of the load,” Makaroff said.
He said everyone should be contributing the same amount of work to the university.
“Provost Herbst worked with deans to come up with a differential workload policy that took into consideration teaching and mentoring students,” Makaroff said.
The faculty workload policy was established in 2007 to ensure all teaching faculty, whether a dean of a department or a biology professor, are contributing the same amount of work.
A 2007 memo from former Provost Jeffery Herbst said, “…the (new workload norms) document asks that chairs begin immediately to consult with deans on a number of issues, including those faculty who have a higher or lower course load than the university norm and reduction in teaching loads for departmental service.”
The faculty workload policy states, “Chairs must ensure that there is a legitimate reason for any faculty to have a teaching load lower than the university norm. There cannot be across-the-board exemption.”
Senior Associate Dean Phyllis Callahan, a member of the SPT, said this recommendation is not reprimanding faculty who have not enforced the policy.
“This recommendation is reiterating that this policy needs followed,” she said. “The task force does not assume that this policy was not enforced.”
Junior Bill Konyk said the SPT recommendation sounded more like a bureaucratic action than a solution, but he agreed with Callahan on the purpose of the recommendation.
“It sounds like it restates their position that the policy is valid and needs to be enforced, but I’m unsure how much it will do,” Konyk said.