Committee Overview

The Office of the Provost, the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs, and Faculty Senate are partnering to strengthen equity outcomes within and across departments and units by bringing greater clarity and transparency to three interrelated areas:

  1. Faculty responsibilities and expectations,
  2. The decision-making processes by which department and unit heads assign faculty responsibilities and set faculty expectations, and
  3. The standards by which faculty responsibilities and expectations are measured, assessed, and rewarded.

The Faculty Workload Equity Committee will be seated in Fall 2020 with a 15-month charge. We anticipate an initial meeting of the committee in November followed by a joint meeting of the committee and the Dean’s Council with the Provost.

Committee Co-Chairs:
Sarah Pessin, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Kate Willink, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Committee Members:
Brian Gearity, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Renee Botta, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Dean Saitta, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Hava Gordon, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Rick Leaman, Daniels College of Business
Jae McQueen, Graduate School of Social Work
Erin Elzi, University Libraries Michele Tyson, Morgridge College of Education
Deb Ortega, Graduate School of Social Work
Brian Majestic, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Oliver Kaplan, Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Brad Davidson, Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

Committee Charge

Mission:

The Office of the Provost, the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs, and Faculty Senate are partnering to strengthen equity outcomes within and across departments and units by bringing greater clarity and transparency to three-interrelated areas: (1) faculty responsibilities and expectations, (2) the decision-making processes by which department and unit heads assign faculty responsibilities and set faculty expectations, and (3) the standards by which faculty responsibilities and expectations are measured, assessed, and rewarded.

Outcomes:

  1. Ensuring all faculty have a clear, explicit, and transparent understanding of their job responsibilities and expectations. This contributes positively to all faculty and can be especially supportive of faculty from under-represented constituencies who might be less familiar with some of the unspoken/unwritten rules, expectations, and boundary-setting related to success in the academy.
  2. Avoiding disproportionately burdening some faculty over others. For example, research shows that women and faculty of color disproportionately engage in service and that this work is often undervalued in annual reviews and during tenure, promotion, and reappointment This has consequences for tenure, promotion, and reappointment.
  3. Aiming to become more mindful about either helping avoid or helping reward “invisible labor”.

Process, Structure & Timeline:

The Faculty Workload Equity Committee will be seated in Fall 2020 with a 15-month charge related to the following four initial steps to be conducted through various sub-committee structures:

  1. Collecting: We start at the department-level collecting existing policies, procedures, by-laws, and other written documentation related to faculty workload requirements and expectations.
  2. Compiling: Informed by relevant scholarship and national best practices, and working with DU’s office of Institutional Research and VPFA Data Governance Board, we compile the material into relevant reports, graphs, infographics, and/or dashboards to help us get a hold on the data, including by way of comparisons and contrasts, and/or other helpful organizing principles.
  3. Comparing: We then compare our practices with national best practices and make concrete recommendations (if and as appropriate) for ways we might increase clarity and transparency towards increased equity. The recommendations will also address ways to ensure that workload policies and best practices align with institutional resources and annual faculty review and merit structures. We aim to produce these recommendations by October 2021.
  4. Coalescing: Based on our recommendations, in October/November 2021 we create an initial set of opportunities for productive departmental and unit-level growth in areas of workplace equity; this might include intra- and/or inter- departmental/unit workshops, Chair/Director trainings, a symposium, and/or visiting speakers. In way of deepening and widening the work across campus, we also set follow-up goals for next steps (and possibly a new committee) for AY 21-22.

The committee will also develop strategies for effective feedback loops with FSEC (including Personnel and APC), ODEI, OTL, IR, Deans, and other key constituents.