Faculty members at CSU are expected to do more than just
“Our faculty are out acquiring new knowledge that is used in our
classrooms and other classrooms around the country,” said C.W.
Miller, chair of the Faculty Council. “It’s absolutely a fact that
our faculty do other things than teach.”
The Colorado Commission on Higher Education recently released a
Quality Indicator System report comparing CSU to other higher
education institutions in Colorado and around the country.
The faculty teaching workload category compares the average
number of hours per week faculty members spend interacting with
students. This includes lectures, laboratories, seminars, field
instruction, studios and online delivery of courses.
Compared with peer institutions around the country, the CSU
faculty as a whole is rated slightly above average in this
category. Tenured and tenure-track faculty at CSU closely reflect
the national average of hours per week spent with students.
Tenured faculty spend about 8.5 hours per week with students
while tenure-track faculty spend about 7.8.The national average is
between 7.8 and 8.1 hours per week. Other full-time faculty
members, who are not expected to do research, spend 14.3 hours per
week interacting with students.
“When you average all of the faculty together, CSU does better
than the benchmark,” said Joan Ringel, spokesperson for the
Several other institutions in Colorado showed higher results in
this category. Tom Milligan, director of university relations at
CSU, said this is because they are not devoted to the same sort of
research practices as CSU.
“Our faculty aren’t just teaching,” Milligan said. “They’re
doing things like trying to cure cancer or conducting AIDS
Some students at CSU support their professors’ research
“It adds a lot to their ability to teach,” said Natasha Davis, a
junior natural resources management student. “I think everyone
benefits from it.”
Some professors say they are doing everything they can to keep
up with their research and still make themselves available to
“I would say that I spend a substantial amount of time with
students despite the fact that I have substantial research
projects,” said Kevin Lear, associate professor of electrical and
computer engineering. “I can’t think of any professors I know that
don’t spend more than forty hours a week at this job and they’re
not goofing around.”
Milligan agreed that CSU faculty members have a tough job
“A faculty position at CSU is different than a faculty position
at Front Range or Metro,” Milligan said. “We do more than just