On Tuesday, Ohio House Bill 59, the state budget bill, was released in its entirety. The bill includes policy that calls for increasing workload for full-time faculty at Ohio’s public colleges and universities. Please note that if you are reading the full text of the bill, anything that is struck through indicates language that is eliminated and anything that is underlined indicates new language. Specifically, the bill revises Section 3345.45 of the Ohio Revised Code to contain the following provisions:
(C)(1) The board of trustees or managing authority of each state institution of higher education, as defined in section 3345.011 of the Revised Code, may choose to modify its faculty workload policy adopted under division (B) of this section, or to adopt a faculty workload policy if it does not have one, to increase the instructional workload of each full-time research and instructional faculty member. The faculty workload policy, if adopted, shall require each faculty member, who was a full-time research or instructional faculty member during the 2012-2013 academic year, to teach at least one additional course during the 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 academic year from the number of courses that faculty member taught during the 2012-2013 academic year. Each academic year thereafter, each such faculty member shall maintain, at a minimum, the same instructional workload as during either the 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 academic year, whichever is greater.
(2) The faculty workload policy, if adopted, shall require each faculty member who was a full-time research or instructional faculty member during the 2012-2013 academic year but was on paid sabbatical leave provided for in the faculty member’s contract to teach at least one additional course during the 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 academic year from the number of courses that faculty member taught the last academic year during which the member was not on paid sabbatical leave. During each academic year thereafter, the faculty member shall maintain, at a minimum, the same instructional workload as during either the 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 academic year, whichever is greater. If the faculty member is on paid sabbatical leave during the 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 academic year, the requirements of this division shall take effect, if the faculty workload policy is adopted, the next academic year during which that faculty member is not on paid sabbatical leave.
(3) The faculty workload policy, if adopted, shall require faculty members hired for the first time by an institution of higher education during the 2013-2014 academic year, or hired for the first time in any academic year thereafter, to maintain a comparable instructional workload to that of other faculty members at the same institution whose workloads have increased as a result of this section.
By placing such measures in the state budget bill, the unspoken assumptions seem to be that faculty do not work hard enough, or that there will be cost-savings in making faculty teach more courses.
We see this happening at a time when full-time tenure track faculty are outnumbered by administrators by nearly two to one, and instructional salaries at Ohio’s colleges and universities account for a mere 15 to 20 percent of universities’ total budgets. [According to IPEDS data synthesized by Prof. Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP President and Economics Professor at Wright State University.]
The Ohio Conference AAUP is opposed to any measures imposed by the state that try to arbitrarily standardize faculty workload across institutions. Workload issues should be decided at each individual campus, and should take into account the myriad of obligations of the professoriat, including research and student advising.
We will be partnering with like-minded organizations to have this language removed from the budget, and will continue to keep our members updated throughout the legislative process.