Recently, many departments and employing units received notification that they need to begin crafting workload policies for their unit. This will be a major project for our campus and is part of our ongoing efforts to develop and document policies on our campus. Deans and department heads will be providing input in this process, but in the spirit of shared governance and the collective bargaining agreement, the primary responsibility for developing these policies rests with faculty. To facilitate this important work, United Academics has some crafted some general guidelines for crafting NTTF workload policies; to access them, please click here.
A team of union leaders has been working with a university administration team to help deans develop their policies. Through the course of that work, we looked at draft policies from the deans and worked to identify areas that are particularly problematic. Because these were internal university administration documents, the union’s role was to identify and advise about areas of the draft policies that were in conflict with the Collective Bargaining Agreement or might be particular problematic for faculty. We identified several areas in the several documents and gave the university our feedback.
When we were reviewing these documents, we were particularly emphatic that deans needed to respect the fact that these are to be faculty-developed workload policies and their input was only supposed to be a starting point for the faculty discussions.
To be clear, the union is dictating no policies and no provisions of any policies. Through bargaining, the university and the union agreed that departments and units should retain local control over many policies, including workload. The university and the union agreed that the faculty in each unit should develop these policies using input from their deans. The deans are supposed to be providing general guidelines to help with this work. It is true that deans will have the right to modify faculty-developed policies, but they will only be able to do this after the faculty develop their unit policy and they will have to meet with the faculty to explain their decisions. We strongly encourage all faculty to substitute whatever course load makes sense for your unit for the dean’s draft language.
If you have additional questions about NTTF workload, please contact the office at info[at]uauoregon.org.