The Recession Isn’t Over Yet

Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, has proposed in his budget bill that boards of public colleges and universities be given the ability to unilaterally increase the workloads of faculty members.

The proposed change modifies the state code that governs the function of boards at public institutions. Should the budget pass, the code would state that boards “may choose to modify [colleges’] faculty workload policy” to require all full-time faculty members to teach one additional course in one of the next two academic years. The increased workload then becomes the new minimum for faculty members to maintain. Faculty members at most public colleges and universities are unionized, and have workload provisions in their contracts, but the proposal would permit the boards to ignore those provisions.

Hours in the Classroom,” Carl Straumsheim

Technically, of course, the recession ended a few years ago, as soon as the economy began to show positive growth in 2009. Politically, though, the recession won’t be over in higher education until administrators stop using their fiscal power to try to undermine what they see as faculty privileges. Why do we never hear of administrative work loads rising?

Never mind that these so-called privileges, such as a course load that allows research, (already much too rare) contributes to the university’s mission as an institution that produces knowledge (and status) as well as teaches. These guys will always try to kill the goose that laid their golden eggs; it’s second-nature to the contemporary U.S. oligarchy.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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