1. What are the institution’s workload policies? What are the unit’s workload policies? What is included in the workloads of faculty (e.g., hours of teaching, advising of candidates, supervising student teachers, work in P-12 schools, independent study, research, and dissertation advisement)? How do workload policies differentiate between types of faculty positions?
From 2006-2009, the academic division of Millikin University embarked on a faculty salary mid-point project to bring university faculty salaries in line with Millikin’s peer and aspiration institutions. In year one, 2006-07, adjustments were made for longevity and salary compression among ranks. In year two, the first of two midpoint adjustments were made to bring salaries to the median salaries by rank in comparison with peer schools. The second adjustment was just implemented for academic year 2008-2009, effective July 1, 2008. The Peer and Aspiration Institutions list was revised in 2006 using criteria developed by the President’s cabinet to allow for more meaningful comparisons of a wide variety of institutional parameters, including those tracked for benchmarking and reported to the Millikin University Board of Trustees quarterly. The unit’s workload policies are in line with the institution’s workload policies. Each full-time faculty teaches 12 credits per semester for a total of 24 credits per year. Included in the overall workload of faculty each semester is 4 classes (each class is 3 credits) or the equivalent of 12 credits, as some courses are 1 or 2 credit courses.
The workload also includes between 25 to 40 advisees, which are seen periodically throughout the semester for academic advising. If a full-time faculty is assigned student teachers, then this is considered part of their work load. 1.5 students is equal to 1 credit hour. Full-time faculty are not given the responsibility of supervising student teachers very often as there is drive time to the school sites which are sometimes up to 30 miles on way. This takes valuable time away from the full-time faculty member.
Work in P-12 schools is on-going for full-time faculty. Our students are expected to complete sophomore and junior year blocks, where courses are co-requisitely taken and they include an internship in P-12 settings. Full-time faculty teaching these block classes are required to accompany, supervise, observe, discuss with clinical faculty, and de-brief with each teacher candidate on a regular basis throughout the block semester.
Full-time faculty are discouraged from doing independent studies or directed studies with students unless absolutely necessary. Careful advising and an accurate four year plan alleviate the need for numerous directed studies. However if a faculty is asked to supervise a James Millikin Scholar’s honors research project, they are always thrilled and honored!
Full-time faculty, especially if they are pre-tenure, are encouraged to have a scholarship agenda that includes specified weekly time set aside for reading and writing. This time should be outside of the office hours and most appropriately in a library setting that is free from distractions and interruptions. The chair of the unit discusses each full-time faculty’s yearly growth plan and evaluates their progress each year.
Among full-time faculty in the unit, there are two lecturers. The lecturers do not have a terminal degree. They teach the same number of credits and advise the same number of students. However, they do not serve on university-wide committees, but serve on departmental committees. They are not required to have a scholarship agenda. However, they are encouraged to participate in professional development activities such as conferences, workshops, institutes, and seminars in their fields.
2. What are the workloads of faculty for teaching and clinical supervision?
All full time faculty in the SoE teach in both the traditional undergraduate program and in the PACE-delivered format. Faculty in the SoE, as in all department areas of Millikin University, teach the equivalent of 12 credit hours per semester (standard of 4 courses each semester, 3 credit hours each). Advising is considered part of teaching and is evaluated under this category. Credit is assigned for supervision of student teachers based upon an equated system of 1.5 students equal to 1 credit hour. (3 credits is 5 student teachers) Since the SoE has no graduate programs, credit for individualized internships or independent study is not assigned workload credit, nor is this required of any faculty. Millikin’s commitment is education requires that at least 50% of the major coursework at the remote sites will be taught by full time faculty, thus students are assured of a high quality education consistent with a Millikin degree, regardless of location.
3. To what extent do workloads and class size allow faculty to be engaged effectively in teaching, scholarship, and service (including time for such responsibilities as advisement, developing assessments, and online courses)?
All full-time faculty members in the SoE serve as advisors for certification candidates majoring in Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education. Candidates for secondary or special certificates are advised by faculty in the respective areas, some of whom sit as representatives of CTEP. All faculty members involved with teacher education programs speak with potential recruits. Administrative assistants in the respective areas ensure that students interested in teacher education are placed with advisors associated with CTEP, who are aware of policies and procedures. Decisions regarding transfer classes are made by the Registrar in collaboration with department chairs.
Concerns regarding faculty workload across the university resulted in the funding of a Nyberg, a special summer work group to evaluate workload of faculty and to recommend proposals that might move faculty workload to 4:3 loads. A 4:3 load would result in faculty teaching 4 classes one semester and 3 classes the following semester, or vice versa. The SoE was represented by a faculty member on this summer Nyberg group. The work of this group was presented to the full faculty at the fall faculty workshop in August 2008 and their report served as a springboard for administrative analysis in the 2008-09 academic year. Since that time, shortfalls in budgets have prevented any kind of progress toward a 4:3 load.
Full-time faculty manage to balance their teaching, scholarship and service. Teaching four classes per semester and advising 25 to 35 students is an average workload. Class sizes are generally 15 to 25 students. Scholarship most often entails an action-research project within the clinical sites where internships are supervised by faculty. Work is presented at conferences and articles published around this action-research. The development and maintenance of program assessments, the maintenance of program reports, development and maintenance of block sequences, on-going development of school faculty all contribute to the large service expectations of full-time faculty. In addition to these programmatic service expectations, full-time faculty in the SoE also take positions on university-wide committees, adhoc committees such as search committees, participate in Senior Preview Days, PACE Recruitment Open Houses, and sponsor student-run organizations.
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?
The Director of the unit interviews and hires part-time faculty. The remote-site coordinator takes part in the interviewing and hiring of part-time faculty in collaborating with the Director. The part-time faculty are initially given the textbooks and syllabus for the course they have been hired for, but in time may change both if they consult with other full-time faculty teaching the same course. The Director explains the schedule and meeting times and policies that represent the unit’s standards and expectations. Full-time faculty are asked to mentor part-time faculty. This is to ensure that part-time faculty understand the coherence and quality of our overall program and can conceptualize where their course fits in to the overall program. The full-time faculty mentors the part-time faculty before the course begins to ensure that candidate and program assessments remain the same. Mentors and the part-time faculty are in touch throughout the semester.
Part-time faculty are also invited to SoE professional development events such as Evaluation and Accreditation dinners, Clinical Faculty workshops, Livetext and Moodle trainings, and brown-bags. They give input regarding classes and are asked to serve on summer ad-hoc curriculum development committees. Part time faculty are evaluated by the students each semester, just as full time faculty are. However, part-time faculty do not participate in a yearly self-evaluation process with the chair/director.
5. What personnel provide support for the unit? How does the unit ensure that it has an adequate number of support personnel?
Three qualified full-time personnel provide support for the unit. There are two classified support staff for the unit. The SoE administrative assistant assists faculty and candidates with scheduling, registration, advising, room requests, materials, website management and supervises the work-study student workers. The office manager assists with certification, payment of school faculty, other budget expenditures, compiling reports, and managing the candidate checkpoint database.
The Field-Placement Coordinator, classified as a full-time, non-tenure track faculty member, places all candidates in all internships and student teaching placements, hires and manages the clinical faculty and their assignments, and provides professional development workshops for school district personnel and clinical faculty.
There are also two part-time remote-site field placement coordinators that work closely with the full-time field placement coordinator to assure that all internships and student teaching placements are made in a timely manner at high quality sites. Two student workers are employed part time. One student worker assists the Assessment Coordinator in Livetext data management. The other student worker assists the administrative assistant in copying, filing, sorting, collating, cleaning and other general office duties.
The unit has never lacked adequate support personnel. When there is a real need, the director presents a rationale to the Dean who seeks the support and funding from the VPAA. Because of the growth in teacher education programs, both in Decatur and at remote sites, and because of the demands of seeking national accreditation for our programs, Millikin University’s VPAA is dedicated to supporting the SoE with adequate support personnel.
6. What financial support is available for professional development activities for faculty?
There is one endowed professorship from the James Millikin Estate, available to education unit faculty. This professorship is selected in the even years for a 2-year term. Education faculty submit proposals for research projects that will not only enhance their own teaching but will give our students an opportunity to participate in an innovative project. The education faculty that is awarded the professorship receives a one course reduction each semester for two years and $2500 for travel and materials.
There have been faculty development funds available from the Office of Academic Affairs, available to all university fulltime faculty. During the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 academic years, the funds were partially reinstated after a two year freeze associated with the university’s financial difficulties experienced in 2003-2005. Each full time faculty had $750 per year allocated for support for development activities. This money was usually spent to travel to regional annual professional meetings so faculty could stay current with best practice and new research. However, in the winter of 2008 after experiencing some budget shortfalls, the university rescinded any unspent professional development money. We currently do not have any professional development dollars available for faculty.
In addition to university faculty development funds from the Office of Academic Affairs, faculty in the SoE unit have had some professional development funds available to them through an endowed fund established for this purpose through the James Millikin Estate. The Director of the SOE oversees and makes allocations from this fund on an annual basis. All SoE faculty were each receiving $500 to augment travel to conferences, purchase books and materials and subscriptions. Because the available money was interest from an endowed account and the principle was drastically reduced during October, 2008, these dollars are currently not available.
Faculty active in scholarship, development, and service work have also secured grant funds to promote collaborations in the DPS-61 district. The Associated Colleges of Illinois Center for High Needs School and the State Farm Service Learning Fellowship are two funding agencies that have provided our faculty with funds to support research projects. These grant projects have worked to strengthen the teaching mission of the SOE and help implement current best practices.
Faculty may apply for a one-semester sabbatical at full salary or a one-year sabbatical at half-salary. Faculty are eligible if they have received tenure and have taught at the university for 7 years. Sabbaticals are competitive based on the merit of the faculty’s proposed research. The Committee on Scholarship and Faculty Development recommends the awarding of sabbaticals to the president of the university. The number of sabbaticals awarded each year are based on the university’s ability to allocate the money not only for the faculty member, but for the adjunct faculty to teach the courses that the fulltime faculty will not be teaching.
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