Time Allocation, Balance and Equity

Examples for Documenting and Evaluating Faculty Service
Office of Academic Affairs (2005). Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
Sample rubrics for faculty service to the university, the community and the profession.

African American Faculty Balancing the Triumvirate: Teaching, Research & Service
Patitu, C.L., et. al. (2000). National Association of Professional Affairs Professionals Journal
Issues regarding African American faculty at predominantly white research institutions.

I’m Swamped
NEXT (Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching, University of Washington
Stories of practice about achieving balance, with links to specific strategies faculty members have used successfully.

Outstanding Faculty Service – Susan Avanzino
Academic Senate, California State University Chico
This site offers one example of a California State University faculty member who was recognized for outstanding service.

Revisiting Faculty Service Roles – Is “Faculty Service” a Victim of the Middle Child Syndrome?
Brazeau, G.A. (2003). American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, Vol. 67, Iss. 3, Art. 85
CSU f aculty service in the Health Sciences has not received extensive consideration, and has been lost in the efforts to evaluate faculty workload.

Issues in Scholarly Service

Demands on faculty time
Given the demands on faculty time, and the primary role of the colleges and universities, there are some key issues that arise concerning the amount and scope of faculty service that is optimum.  These usually center around prioritization of competing demands.  What counts as scholarly service? Do basic research and preparation of students for the work force compete with social problem solving, activism and criticism?  Do obligations to state and national governments outweigh those to community groups due to the sources of funding for many campuses? In what cases should faculty consultant work count as service for the reward system?  These are the sorts of conversations that take place over the best uses of faculty time.

Disparity of time spent on service
Each campus, college, or department differs with respect to expectations for faculty members and service.  Some faculty members report great differences in service responsibilities among peers for a variety of reasons. New faculty members need to stay aware of the amount of time they are expected to spend on service, how to decide where and when to serve, and how to use time most effectively.  Rather than concern yourself with how much service colleagues are engaging in, an effective strategy is to examine the balance between the time you spend on teaching, research and service to ensure a ratio that meets the expectations at your campus.

Balancing service with teaching and research
All three areas of faculty responsibilities are important, and much has been studied and written about how to achieve balance among them.  Finding balance begins with knowing how much time is actually being spent on each, and accomplished faculty members have determined ways of keeping track and readjusting when necessary.  One suggestion is to tally the relative time you have spent in the last few months on each activity by going through your calendar and categorizing the hours, including planning and reading time, on each.  Then compare your results to the expectations of your department or campus. At different times in a faculty member’s career the ratio of teaching, research and service may change.  Each individual has some areas of strength and other areas for improvement, and spending time on the weakest area may result in a better rounded curriculum vitae. 

Strategic decisions about service
Professional goals, program priorities, and departmental expectations are all key ways to frame decisions about when, to what extent and how to engage in service.  Look to program, college and university missions when appropriate, see if the service moves a research agenda forward, supports a teaching philosophy, or fits within a predetermined set of guidelines you have set as you move towards tenure.  The better aware new faculty members are of expectations, actual time being spent, and areas that need to be improved, the more informed choices they will make concerning the balance of their work responsibilities. If you are unable to rationalize why a service activity is an important way to spend your time, perhaps it isn’t.

Possible question to ask about Issues in Scholarly Service:


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