The Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTF) Workload Committee was created to provide NTTF with the opportunity to participate in internal governance by developing written policies that affect our responsibilities as faculty in the College of Education (CoE) at the University of Oregon. From the beginning, we recognized that fundamental differences currently exist in the workloads assigned to NTTF across the various departments in the CoE. For example, some departments assume that teaching a 3 credit course = .13 FTE, and teaching a 4-credit course = .14 FTE, whereas other departments assume that teaching a 3 credit course = .09 FTE and teaching a 4-credit course = .13 FTE, and other departments have no set standard. In addition, there is no consistent approach across departments to determining FTE for supervision and practicum. The end result is that we have been unable to ensure equity in workload across the CoE. In response, the Dean asked the NTTF Workload Committee to develop a new policy for the CoE.
Goals of the Policy
The goals of the NTTF Workload Committee were as follows:
- Achieve equity in workload assignments across all departments in the CoE;
- Achieve complete transparency in workload assignments;
- Maximize each NTTF’s skills and abilities in serving the student body; and,
- Ensure the needs of each department are met in the most efficient manner possible.
Assumptions of the Committee
Our guiding assumptions were as follows:
- The policy applies to all NTTF contracted on a 9-month basis (no formal policy has yet been established for summer);
- Total workload is divided into instruction (teaching, supervision), scholarship, service, and administrative tasks, although we recognize that not all four components may apply to every NTTF;
- Every NTTF has a Position Description that outlines the FTE allocated to each component of the workload (provided by or developed with the Department Head or other administrative representative); and,
- Workload is determined in the annual Workload Planning Session.
The Annual Workload Planning Session
During the Workload Planning Session, the faculty member meets with the Department Head or other administrative representative to discuss the current year's planned vs. actual workload, the workload projections for coming year, and changing departmental needs. Using the CoE FTE Calculator, the faculty member estimates the FTE associated with the planned instructional, supervisory, scholarly, service, and administrative responsibilities for the coming year. This FTE estimate is discussed during the Workload Planning Session and can be used to guide the final decisions regarding workload for the coming year. The end result of the Workload Planning Session is a shared understanding of workload for the coming year.
The CoE FTE Calculator
The CoE FTE Calculator is an Excel spreadsheet file that accepts input parameters and makes an estimate of the FTE required to complete a set of tasks (e.g., teaching a set of classes, supervision, service activities, etc.). To arrive at this estimate, the FTE Calculator makes assumptions regarding the various tasks that comprise each of the workload categories. For example, the FTE Calculator accepts number of credits for a given class, the projected number of students, and the potential amount of GTF support, and estimates the FTE required to teach the class. Given the inherent variability across different classes, the FTE Calculator provides a range of estimates, from less intensive to more intensive classes.
The FTE Calculator has a series of worksheets (represented by tabs at the bottom of the window) that cover the breadth of the different roles and responsibilities of NTTF. There are 9 "Teaching" tabs that can be used for the different courses that you teach, as well as tabs for different types of supervision and tabs for scholarship, service, and administration. The FTE Calculator can be downloaded here. A detailed explanation of the FTE Calculator can be found here.
There is often a significant amount of variance in the time required for the various NTTF activities, and the FTE Calculator cannot possibly hope to capture all these sources of variance. Thus, flexibility must be granted to the Department Heads in assigning faculty workloads in order to meet their departmental commitments. The FTE Calculator is not intended to replace these judgments but to inform them, ensuring that both faculty and administration have a shared understanding of workload and a shared commitment to equity and transparency.
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