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6c. Personnel

6c.1. What are the institution's and unit's workload policies? What is included in the workloads of faculty?

The UAA Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) for United Academics (UNAC) and University of Alaska Federation of Teachers (UAFT) faculty define and specify workload policies in Articles 13 and 5, respectively (Std6c.Exh9). Specifically, the workload for tripartite faculty may consist of three parts: teaching, research, and service. While the assignment of specific workload responsibilities is approved by the dean in consultation with the department chair and the faculty member, all full-time members of the bargaining unit are responsible for 30 workload units per academic year. In general, tenure-track faculty workloads are tripartite. Standard distribution for a semester workload is 3 parts teaching (9 workload units equating to 9 course credits); 1 part research (3 workload units); and 1 part service (3 workload units). Individual faculty workloads may vary from this pattern depending on such factors as program need, class schedules, external funding, etc. All members of the faculty must maintain and post office hours and be available for student advising, although workload credit is not typically designated. Those members of the faculty who supervise candidate interns or who complete other special assignments in P-12 schools receive workload credit. Faculty may offer independent or directed study courses to individual candidates with the department chair’s approval, but workload credit is not typically designated. Faculty who assume administrative duties receive workload credit.

Some members of the faculty have workloads that are bipartite. This is particularly true for term faculty, as well as faculty at the community campus sites (members of UAFT). These workloads consist of 4 parts of teaching (12 workload units) and 1 part of service (3 workload units). Workload policies for adjunct faculty are stipulated in Article 11 of the United Academic – Adjuncts (UNAD) CBA (Std6c.Exh9).

6c.2. What are the faculty workloads for teaching and the supervision of clinical practice?

In general, tripartite faculty members teach 9 credits each semester and 18 credits over the course of the academic year, while bipartite faculty teach 12 credits each semester and 24 over the course of the academic year (Std6c.Exh10). Faculty receive workload credit for clinical supervision. The initial programs also employ clinical faculty as part-time employees trained in and dedicated to the supervision of the clinical practice. Teaching workloads may be reduced to allow faculty members to provide leadership to a program, assume responsibility for a major curriculum project, or participate in grant activity.

Departments vary in their policies for supervision and the assignment of workload credits. The Department of Teaching and Learning provides 1 workload unit (the equivalent of 1 credit of teaching units) for the supervision of 2 initial program interns who receive regular and frequent observations. The Counseling and Special Education Department assigns 3 workload units for up to 10 interns per semester. In the Department of Educational Leadership interns complete their field experiences as cohort groups and internship seminar is highly integrated with the field experience. Faculty in this program assume responsibility for both seminar and supervision concurrently, and are assigned 6 workload units for up to 20 candidates.

6c.3. To what extent do workloads and class size allow faculty to be engaged effectively in teaching, scholarship, and service?

COE’s dean has established reasonable expectations for class sizes for all courses. Face-to-face lower-division (freshman and sophomore level) courses are capped at 30 candidates and upper-division (junior and senior level) at 25. Face-to-face graduate courses are also capped at 25. Without regard to level, synchronous distance courses are capped at 20 and asynchronous courses at 25.

Tripartite faculty workloads consist of 5 parts: 3 parts teaching, 1 part service, and 1 part research. Bipartite faculty workloads consist of 5 parts: 4 parts teaching and 1 part service. In other words, the typical tripartite faculty member is assigned work in teaching for 60%, research for 20%, and service for 20%. The typical bipartite faculty member is assigned work in teaching for 80% and service for 20%. This distribution of work allows faculty to be effectively engaged in all aspects of their work.

Additionally, advisement of candidates and teaching independent or directed studies are both considered as part of the teaching load and conducted with no additional workload credit. In general, assessment and curriculum work is considered part of a faculty member’s workload with no additional workload credit. However, depending on the nature and scope of the work, faculty may be provided with workload credit for the development of curriculum, handbooks, and assessment plans and reports. For example, the development of online courses has, in practice, been supported with workload credit that is equal to the credit of the course being developed, i.e., a one-time allocation of 3 workload units is provided to the developer of a 3-credit distance course.

6c.4. How does the unit ensure that the use of part-time faculty contributes to the integrity, coherence, and quality of the unit and its programs?

Members of the part-time faculty are selected based on consideration of their academic and professional experiences and the needs of the program. They strengthen programs by supplementing the expertise of the existing faculty and providing invaluable perspectives that come from the day-to-day practice, or long-time service, in the field. P-12 practicing professionals are often recruited by programs with clinical components, and are frequently employed on a continuing basis to better ensure consistency and quality of instruction.

The practices for the integration of part-time faculty vary somewhat across departments. The Department of Counseling and Special Education hosts adjunct faculty meetings once each semester. Faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership, where interns are often grouped into school district cohorts, work closely with adjunct faculty assigned to teach courses to the cohort interns. The Department of Teaching and Learning invites part-time faculty to its meetings and program orientations.

Adjunct and other part-time faculty members are included on program and department listservs and COE maintains an adjunct page on the web site. All departments provide mentoring to adjuncts, including the provision of the course syllabus, a discussion of the required assessments and texts, reference to the appropriate program handbook, and an orientation to the conceptual framework. Adjuncts are expected to participate in the University’s course evaluation system, and, in the event of unsatisfactory evaluations, adjuncts may be mentored or otherwise coached about effective teaching practices, or not rehired.

6c.5. What personnel provide support for the unit? How does the unit ensure that it has an adequate number of support personnel?

The University provides an extensive network of personnel who support faculty, administrators, and candidates (Std6c.Exh12). COE supplements this by providing college-specific support personnel who interact with the larger network. In the Dean’s office, the support personnel include the Dean’s Assistant, Associate Dean’s Assistant, Fiscal Manager, Fiscal Technician, and Data Manager. These individuals not only support the Dean’s office but provide support to department chairs and department administrative assistants. At the department level, administrative assistants support all aspects of the department work, including assisting candidates, coordinating schedules and book orders, preparing materials, facilitating room arrangements, and responding to hundreds of questions on a daily basis. The Office of Clinical Services and Certification employs an administrative assistant, academic success coordinator, recruitment and retention coordinator, and part-time student information specialist. These personnel provide support almost exclusively to candidates including the processing of institutional recommendations for graduates, academic guidance, retention services, and general program information.

The Professional and Continuing Education Office (PACE) facilitates non-degree related courses for professional development of school personnel. In brief, 2 individuals provide support to PACE instructors and 2 other individuals provide support to those taking courses.

The Alaska Educational Innovations Network employs two support personnel. Their services are solely related to grant activities, which include support to COE faculty and candidates who engage in grant activities.

The level of personnel support for the unit is managed by the Leadership Team, which evaluates needs on a regular basis. Various part-time and temporary personnel, often student workers, are employed for special projects or during extraordinarily busy times.

6c.6. What financial support is available for professional development activities for faculty?

UAA dedicates funds to assist faculty with professional development. Some of these funds are competitively awarded and others are available just by virtue of employment status. Chapter IV of the UAA Faculty Handbook provides information on the Faculty Development Fund, which supports faculty who may be presenting papers at a professional conference or traveling to work on a research project. Chapter V of this handbook provides information about sabbatical leaves, which are encouraged and well supported by UAA. The Center for Community Engagement and Learning offers minigrants and the Selkregg Award that support research and creative activities related to the community and service learning. The Technology Fellows Program provides financial support to faculty selected to participate in intensive workshops on using innovative technology to enhance instruction.

UAA also sponsors the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFÉ). CAFÉ offers a wide array of free professional development opportunities, primarily utilizing campus expertise but also including guest speakers and focused professional development initiatives made possible through external funding. In addition to this significant investment in professional development, all faculty receive tuition waivers for up to 12 credits per academic year. Adjunct faculty also receive tuition waivers in the amount of 3 credits per semester of employment.

COE provides additional support for professional development in various ways such as paying for books, conference registrations, memberships in professional organizations, subscriptions to professional journals, and travel. Typically, full-time faculty members are provided with $500 for professional travel each year. New faculty receive $1,000 their first year of employment. If funds are available, more may be allocated. COE also provides support for the professional development of mentor teachers by allocating funds to pay for mentoring courses.