Home > Educational Leadership, Higher Education, Teaching & Learning > How to Justify Our Paychecks

How to Justify Our Paychecks

By Stanley N. Katz

“Faculty productivity” is hot. In part, that’s due to what I think of as “the Texas wars.” First came the skirmish at Texas Tech University in 2008, when faculty objected to a report commissioned by the chancellor on whether tuition was rising because faculty weren’t in the classroom enough. Next was a controversial report last year on the Texas A&M system, comparing faculty salaries with the amount of money generated through teaching. Now the Regents’ Task Force on University Excellence and Productivity has created its own metric, published recently online as an 821-page spreadsheet for the University of Texas system.

But the issue isn’t limited to Texas. During the A&M uproar, a spokesman for the American Association of University Professors was quoted as saying that tough times are leading a number of states to look at faculty productivity. And it is important to remember that the topic is part of a larger public concern with accountability in higher education. This month the Miller Center of Public Affairs, at the University of Virginia, released a report calling on colleges “to focus on productivity.” Echoing the message of the Obama administration, it noted that “at a time of budgetary stresses, colleges must be rewarded by both state and federal governments for producing more graduates.” It isn’t clear, however, how such productivity is to be measured. By the annual number of degrees awarded? Within how many years after matriculation?

The same kind of confusion is at the root of debates on faculty productivity.

Continued at: http://chronicle.com/article/How-to-Justify-Our-Paychecks/128027/

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  1. June 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm

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