Faculty Work, Student Success

October 16, 2014 / Phil Lesch

Inside Higher Ed
October 16th, 2014

Lots of faculty members outside research universities say that teaching a full course load takes up most of their time, service obligations eat up the rest, and research is something they must pursue largely on their own. A preliminary study of how faculty members actually spent their working hours at Boise State University, for example, found just that.

Lots of faculty members also say that the system has to change – that it’s unsustainable and incentivizes the wrong things – but they aren’t sure how. Which duties to keep? Which to take away?

The College of New Jersey, a public liberal arts institution near Trenton, might provide some insight. Professors there say that a radical overhaul of the curriculum, centered on undergraduate research and the teacher-scholar model, has benefited both students and faculty members. The faculty members say that, unlike many of their peers elsewhere, they’re credited for how much work they do, and what kind. That, in turn, encourages them to take risks in their research and teaching in ways that help students.

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