I hope all is well with you, and that your spirits are lifting with the blossoming of spring and the availability of vaccines.
As we near the end of this academic year, I will share information about a few key initiatives that will begin next fall. This email provides you with information about plans to develop a campus academic workload policy. Such a policy will help address a need identified last summer by our Faculty Success Design Team, to provide greater clarity about teaching and research expectations for faculty who must balance broadly different responsibilities while also advancing the knowledge base of various disciplines. Such a policy will also help us address requests for information about our faculty activity by the Kansas Board of Regents.
We will organize a small work group to take the lead in developing the new campus academic workload policy. The attached document presents the charge for development of a campus academic workload policy and subsequent alignment of unit academic workload policies.
The goals of this initiative are to:
- clarify expectations for faculty work and ensure fair and equitable workload among faculty,
- ensure our expectations are aligned with good practices and competitive with our peers,
- align expectations and faculty support to provide appropriate professional development and regular and meaningful assessment of research and teaching,
- encourage us to build the strongest faculty possible,
- provide us with information that will allow us to better tell the story of our value, excellence and the scope of our work to our stakeholders and constituents, and
- demonstrate our shared commitments to tenure and stewardship at KU.
I anticipate this effort will take about a year, with the committee being formed this spring, the work primarily taking place in fall, and unit alignment to follow in spring 2022. Our work group composition will strive to provide balanced representation across positions and ranks, as well as academic units.
Chris Brown, Vice Provost for Faculty Development, will facilitate this effort, working closely with the Faculty Senate President and a Dean who will serve as co-chairs. Together, they will invite team members as outlined in the charge.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Thank you again for your unprecedented efforts over the past 14 months during the most challenging of conditions. You’ve made contributions that advance your academic discipline and provided heartfelt care to our students as they have made progress toward their degrees.
Please accept my deep appreciation for all you do for KU.
Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor