Report: Most faculty not compensated for overloads, independent study courses

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A faculty senate committee published a report that says most faculty members arent being paid for overload or independent study classes despite explicit policy standards.

The Faculty Affairs Committee presented a survey the committee conducted on work overloads and independent studies to Faculty Senate on Feb. 21. It concluded that at least 53 percent of the faculty who taught overloads did so without compensation of any kind.

Mark Frank, chair of Faculty Affairs Committee, said that the unusual amount of overloads being uncompensated triggered the committee to do its research.

Theres a specific policy that says faculty should get a course reduction in a future semester, Frank said. If not that, some sort of monetary payment for the course.

The academic policy on Instructional Overload Assignments discourages instructional overloads. However, when the departments deem one necessary they should reduce the faculty members work load the following semester or pay them for the class to the extent possible.

Of the 320 faculty surveyed, 25 percent reported teaching an overload in the past year.

More than 78 percent of those who taught overload classes were either asked and agreed to the course, or volunteered. Less than seven percent said they were pressured into it.

The report also states that nearly 95 percent of professors participating in independent study classes didnt get compensated either. Although there is no policy saying that independent study professors should get compensated, the committee felt that that policy should be changed.

Along with the report, the committee also recommended changes to Sam Houston State Universitys Academic Policy Statement. The change included allowing 10 undergraduate or five graduate independent study programs to equate to one future credit class workload for professors.

The motion to send this recommendation to Provost Jaimie Hebert came through a unanimous vote during the faculty senate meeting. Hebert was unable to be reached by press time.

If approved by the provost, the recommended changed must be approved by Academic Policy Council and President Dana Gibson before it becomes policy.