Campus Senate debates teachers’ time spent on research

The Campus Senate discussed UIS faculty workload at their Dec. 1 meeting, addressing concerns about instructors receiving work for non-instructional work.
Faculty members can currently apply for non-instructional assignments, allowing them to pursue research, publication or other creative opportunities. Their proposals must be approved by the Deans and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
UIS Vice Chancellor and Provost Dennis R. Papini has previously stated faculty members should spend 40 percent of their time teaching, 40 percent enhancing scholarship and academic excellence, and 20 percent service.
But Ranjan Karri, the Senate Chair, took issue with the fact that teacher equally split their time between instruction and research, saying that “teaching [should] come first, teaching and scholarship come next.”
He did recognize, however, that exceptions should be made under certain situations.
“Faculty may choose to allocate more time to service to campus, and reduce their scholarship and forms of service — ideally for specific period of time over their career, not indefinitely,” he said.
Hua Chen, associate professor of Biology, indicated that there needs to be a transparent process to decide when faculty can pursue non-instructional obligations.
Other items discussed at the Dec. 1 Campus Senate meeting:
After the old business was handled, the senate moved to the new business: resolution 47-5 Personnel Committee Membership for Faculty Administration, and Computer Science program report.
•The Campus Ombudsperson and full-time administrators “are not eligible to serve on personnel committees.”
•Sviatoslav Braynov, Department Head and Associate Professor of Computer Science Program, said that the Computer Science Program is short on faculty, saying that the major has 72 sections and only has 9 faculty members, when it should have 24. She also called for the expansion of lab resources and for additional administrative support.
The next Campus Senate meeting is set to take place Jan. 19, during the first week of the Spring semester.