Jan 222004
 
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

Faculty members at CSU are expected to do more than just

teach.

“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

CCHE.

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

research.”

Some students at CSU support their professors’ research

efforts.

“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

students.

“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

description.

“A faculty position at CSU is different than a faculty position

at Front Range or Metro,” Milligan said. “We do more than just

about anybody.”

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