New Additions to Faculty Handbook Include Revisions in Faculty Workload

The “triple threat” faculty workload system may be replaced by a new, more flexible, point-based system that is currently being trialled for the 2014-2015 school year. Unlike the previous system of a “triple threat” structure that requires teaching, coaching and residential involvement such as house counseling or chaperoning a dance, the new system will provide a flexible structure that allows for more freedom in faculty jobs. According to Patrick Farrell, Dean of Faculty, each faculty member must fulfill the same number of points in the new system, with each duty being equivalent to one point. For example, a faculty member interested in coaching a math team could do so instead of having to coach a sport. Previously, he or she would have had to coach a sport in addition to teaching and being involved in residential activities; coaching math would therefore have been a fourth duty. With the exception of the Admissions and College Counseling Departments, all faculty members have been trialling the system since this September and will continue to until June. The new system was put in place in response to faculty sentiment that the previous system of accomplishing three tasks was unfair and unbalanced, due to considerable discrepancies in time consumption, said Farrell. Additionally, this new system provides faculty with the freedom to prioritize their commitments, giving them the opportunity to focus their duties on their areas of interest and expertise, Farrell said. Farrell noted, however, that the new point system did not work well for people in the College Counseling, Admissions and Theatre Departments. “Those things become a little bit more difficult to calculate out accurately,” he said. Farrell said he hopes to have all faculty members in those three departments who are not currently trialing the program try out the new model by the 2015-2016 year. The new system was proposed last year by the Distribution of Faculty Workload Committee, consisting of five elected faculty members: Kathryn McQuade, Instructor in English, Fernando Alonso, Director of Outreach and Summer Session, Clyfe Beckwith, Instructor in Physics, Caroline Odden, Instructor in Physics, and Daniel Schneider, Instructor in Mathematics. The policy has been added to the “Faculty/Administrator Supplement” that was published this month. The supplement, which is updated and released annually, is a Blue Book equivalent for faculty and staff that is part of the “General Policies Handbook,” Farrell said.