Statement on Faculty Workloads

Should every unit in the College of Arts and Sciences have the same teaching load?

No. Of course not. And yet, over the past few weeks, the associate deans in CAS have edited and returned policies, crafted at the departmental level in thoughtful consultation with faculty of all ranks, to establish the professional responsibilities—or workload—for our non-tenure-track colleagues. They show every sign of rolling out a similar plan for tenure track faculty. The deans have disregarded the nuance of faculty input and imposed uniform policies on the departments instead. In particular, the CAS deans have sought to compel all departments and units in the Humanities and Social Sciences divisions to accept a one-size-fits-all, nine-course workload for career non-tenure-track faculty and a ten-course workload for adjunct faculty. For departments and units in the Natural Sciences division, the CAS deans have decreed an across-the-board six-course load for NTT faculty. We do not yet know why the CAS deans think that standard NTT workloads should be higher in some divisions than others.

Nothing in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) requires uniform workloads, either for tenure-track or non-tenure-track faculty. In some of their first discussions about unionization, the members of United Academics agreed on the fundamental principle that any bargaining agreement should honor and respect the rich diversity of disciplines and pedagogies that make any university, including the University of Oregon, an environment of lively intellectual exchange and learning. We recognized at the outset that the content and demands of teaching, as well as it balance with research and service, vary enormously across campus, and that any attempt to enforce a uniform standard would flatten and homogenize that rich diversity. This spirit is what we bargained. The CBA says workload policies should be faculty-developed at the unit level. Unfortunately, it appears that the CAS deans have decided to ignore not only the spirit of the CBA, but also the diversity that makes us the University of Oregon

What can you do?

  • Support United Academics’ bargaining team: at the Thursday, February 26, session, your bargaining team will propose new language for the “Salary” article in the CBA, that will require any increase in workload to be matched by a corresponding increase in salary. Bargaining will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Ford Alumni Center, Room 403.
  • Express your views to Provost Frances Bronet and to the Vice-Provosts for Academic Affairs, Doug Blandy and Barbara Altman: By undoing the work of implementation and faculty consultation, the interventions by CAS violate basic principles of shared governance—principles that both the administration and the union agreed to in our CBA.
  • Get involved! United Academics is only as strong as its members are engaged. As a first step: attend United Academics’ General Membership Meeting on March 3, 2015, in Gerlinger Hall, 5:00-7:00. You can also volunteer to serve as a United Academics steward in your department or unit: call Kristy at 541-686-4714 or email at


UPDATE: This statement has been revised to reflect new information about workload policies in the Natural Sciences.

Two LERC Trainings

Health Care Bargaining Conference
June 12, 2014 – June 13, 2014
White Stag Building – Portland, OR

Health Insurance: It’s a New World Out There!
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is coming to Oregon. This path-breaking law contains many provisions that will profoundly affect how unions bargain health care for their members.
This conference is designed to help union leaders and staff meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the ACA. Topics will include reporting requirements under the new law, the role of health care exchanges, the implications of ACA for existing union health care plans, and how to develop effective union bargaining strategies in an “ACA world.”

Organizing for Justice in the Inequality Economy: A Community Scholars Class for Union, Community, and Student Activists
UO Campus – Eugene, OR
Instructors: Raahi Reddy, LERC,
and Professor Dan Martinez HoSang, UO Dept. of Poli/Sci

Wealth and income disparities have skyrocketed and are now at their highest level in more than 80 years. U.S. workers, like many around the globe, are toiling longer hours for lower wages—facing rising debt and deepening insecurity.

But in every corner of the country, workers, students and communities are fighting back—organizing to abolish the inequality economy and replace it with a humane and sustainable future that leaves no one behind.

This day-long workshop will help you to understand some of the deeper structural foundations of the inequality economy—how it developed, who has benefited and why so many of us are losing out. Our class will examine the way companies like Wal-Mart and other low-wage employers exploit inequities in race, gender and national origin to expand their power. We will unpack the ways these trends are impacting public sector workers and the social safety net.

More information and registration at the LERC webpage or call 541-346-5054.