Faculty Workload Report and Report Appendix

CSU Faculty Workload Over Last Decade Studied

A comprehensive California State University faculty workload study released today (February 20, 2002) shows that standard teaching measures (number of classes, students and course preparations) have remained constant over the last decade, and that student interaction remains an important and positive part of the faculty agenda.

"CSU faculty members are hard-working, committed to their students, engaged in a wide range of scholarly and creative activities, and energetic in reaching into their communities," said David Spence, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. "In fact, an overwhelming number of faculty members indicate they routinely use teaching strategies that enhance individual student learning."

The study was conducted by the Social and Behavioral Research Institute at CSU San Marcos under the direction of Richard T. Serpe. Chartered by the CSU Academic Senate, the California Faculty Association, the CSU provosts, and the CSU Chancellor's Office, the study follows up on a similar one conducted in 1990.

It was designed to identify the ways in which the work of the 22,200 CSU faculty members has changed both quantitatively and qualitatively during the past 12 years. The results are based upon a survey conducted in spring 2001 that yielded responses from a scientific sample of 2,547 CSU faculty members at 22 campuses. Approximately two- thirds of the respondents were tenured or tenure-track faculty, while the others were lecturer faculty.

The survey shows that the tenured and tenure-track faculty members are working in excess of 50 hours per week on CSU-related activities, which is about two hours per week greater than in 1990. The amount of time spent on teaching and student advising has remained constant over the decade. The growth in overall time is largely explained by increases in the time spent on scholarly and creative activities, and on program development to meet the changing needs of an increasingly diverse student population.

It is also apparent that CSU lecturers are involved in most of the activities performed by the tenured and tenure-track faculty including engagement with their students, and scholarly and creative activity. Indeed, the instructional and scholarly workload elements of lecturers in this study look much like those of the tenured and tenure-track faculty despite lecturers having lower compensation and less job security.

The decade of the 1990s saw great change in California higher education and a variety of new challenges for CSU faculty. A larger and more complex student body, the incorporation of technology into teaching and learning, and broad social and economic change challenged the faculty to increase program development and outreach to the community. Simultaneously, declining levels of state support have encouraged greater faculty involvement in fund raising for new educational initiatives and research.

The vast expansion of the knowledge base and the infusion into the CSU of younger faculty members have led to greater emphasis upon scholarship and professional development. Throughout this evolution, the study shows that the faculty has been remarkably dedicated and consistent in addressing the needs of its students and in achieving the mission of the CSU.

This spring, the CSU will conduct a similar survey of tenured and tenure-track faculty members at many U.S. universities that are comparable to CSU campuses. A second study containing the results of this survey and allowing a comparison of CSU faculty with national faculty will be available in fall 2002.

PDF electronic versions are available of both the complete current study, including text and data tables/charts, and the appendix containing the faculty surveys.

Contact: Gary Hammerstrom, 562-951-4718, ghammerstrom@calstate.edu
Or CSU Public Affairs Office, 562-951-4800.

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Last Updated: 20 February 2002

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