Taught by FT % (update)

Standard

SSC colleagues, this is a requested update with current data to a previous post on overloads and the institutional measure for hours taught by full-time faculty (see here for our previous post).

Below are the most recent data on full-time overloads taught, listed by number of credit hours and division.1

Fall 2016 Spring 2017 Fall 2017 Spring 2018
Arts & Sciences 362 387 389 298
Business & IT 293 327 315 298
Engineering Tech 107 112 116 80
Health & Public Service 41 40 60 63
Total Overload Hours 803 866 880 739

Some additional numbers to consider in conjunction with these figures :

    • The SSC-reported percentage of classes taught by FT faculty for Spring 2018 is 54%.2
    • Approximately 6591 course hours were taught by all faculty in total for Spring 2018.3
    • These data together suggest that between 19-21% of our reported “Taught by FT” rate reported for the College is in FT overloads.4
    • By comparison, Fall 2013 data indicates 7583 total course hours and 702 credit hour overloads. So despite decreasing enrollment over time and a decrease in the total number of course hours offered, overloads taught have increased.

What does the “Taught by FT” percentage reflect? If this rate is consistently used across higher education as one comparative measure of quality, value, use of financial resources, and an institution’s investment in both education and its workforce, then we really should consider the entire context from which that measure is derived.

It certainly seems misleading to institutionally report a 54% rate without accounting for the proportion which is actually paid at the already-exploitative adjunct wage — this is, by definition, part-time labor. It is also incomplete to report such a rate without any explicit recognition that overloads by nature chip into the additional time and resources that are intended to be reflected by an educational institution’s “Taught by FT” statistic.

None of this is to suggest that FT overload possibilities should be outright eliminated, but simply that there is a broader context to discuss and those are conversations worth having. In particular, consider the email explanation recently sent by the college which cited the current Taught by FT percentage in response to a stated faculty concern about reliance on part-time rather than full-time labor. Yet our own institutional overload data suggests that we are increasingly reliant on part-time labor in the form of FT overloads as well as increasingly looking to adjunct faculty when we do hire, as indicated by our own hiring data.

We would also wonder if there are not similar structural issues with over-reliance on part time workers on the staff side as well.

~Our thanks to those of you who continue to inquire about these issues.


1 Figures obtained from requested summaries for each of the academic division deans via public records request. [back]

2 Figures obtained from the strategic measures dashboard on mystarkstate, only the current and previous year rates available — the internal Key Performance Indicators (KPI) summaries, which typically provide more specific listing by each semester over time as well as a comparison to the mean % for other OH community colleges, are not yet available beyond the 2014-2015 fiscal year. However, it’s reasonable to assume that for the additional semesters aside from Spring 2017 (56%) and Spring 2018 (54%), the percentages would be similar and fall into the mid-50s range. [back]

3 Estimated by extrapolating from the 54% “Taught by FT” rate for the most recent Spring 2018 semester, assuming standardized contact/credit hours and figuring average contract load (15) by number of full-time faculty (188) plus total overload hours (739). Stark AAUP requested to confirm the specific number of total course hours taught but received no official response, hence the estimation. [back]

4 Unfortunately, due to the possible variance that results from tracking in both credit hours and contact hours as well as possible variance in individual FT contract loads, it’s challenging to get an exact proportion. The suggested percentage accounts for both lower and higher range ends of credit + contact hours. [back]

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