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UI faculty face new rules for teaching more classes

BY ALYSSA BERGAMINI | FEBRUARY 15, 2012 6:30 AM

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University of Iowa faculty members have established a new teaching policy that would prevent professors from taking on too many classes.

UI Associate Provost for Faculty Tom Rice said administrators felt some professors were taking on too many classes in order to earn extra money.

"News came up when we paid tens of thousands to teachers," he said.

Currently, faculty members have certain teaching requirements that are designated in their employment conditions.

Faculty Senate members voted unanimously in favor of the revisions.

In the revised extra-compensation policy, faculty members can only teach two additional courses in addition to their normal requirements.

Rice said the Senate members decided the language in the policy about the process needed to be clarified.

The policy also did not specifically address certain discrepancies such as unequal pay to student ratio among courses taught by professors.

For example, Rice said, if one teacher taught a class with 100 students and another with a class of 36, they would get roughly the same pay.

"Sometimes, this has to happen," he said. "But [the overload policy] allows for exception."

The new policy states faculty members must maintain regular teaching responsibilities on top of their extra courses. Department executive officers, heads, or supervisors must be notified by a faculty member of the additional teaching responsibility.

Faculty who teach semester-break courses will also receive overload compensation.

Faculty members also voted to remove a portion of the policy requiring faculty to get approval to teach additional courses.

Some said professors shouldn't have to be approved to teach extra classes.

UI History Professor Katherine Tachau said the request portion of the policy was unclear.

"We shouldn't have to figure out what the intent is," she said. "We should make it clear to faculty what is and isn't allowed."

But others thought faculty should be required to get approval.

"I too am not very happy with the [language of the request policy] because it is not stated clearly," said Diane Finnerty, director of faculty human resource and development in the Provost's Office. "… We've recently been discovering that the approval is necessary based on [teacher] needs."

Finnerty said staff not covered by the extra-compensation policy should still be allowed to submit formal requests.


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