Faculty Workload Ratio

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Faculty Workload Ratio

I am a new faculty in a community college two-year program.  What does the standard workload calculation of the lecture credit mean?  The union handbook is vague and has no definition of what the 1:1 ratio means. Is it one hour of teaching or contact to 1 hour of prep? I have asked other faculty and no one seems to know. For something that is stands, I would think that there is information out there.

Specializes in oncology.

You need to read the union contract (which I assume is in addition to the union handbook). I am retired now but there were faculty reps from each department that should be helpful to you. Where is the chart showing the pay scales for different levels of faculty education attainment? What is the union representing you?

Have you officially started the job - some schools do contract letters, others have formal contracts, there should be start and stop dates etc,

Is your 'lecture hour' 50 minutes or 60? How is clinical workload calculated? They may not be the same


I have asked other faculty and no one seems to know.

Are you saying no one knows what they are being paid for? How can there be equity across departments? One more thing to add - I have never had 'prep time' for lecture or clinical count as paid hours. I don't know about your contract though

Thank you for responding and for the advice to look back at the contracts. Nursing education is very different from the clinical setting.  

The Union contract states lecture is 1:1, lab/lec, 1:0.89 and clinical 1:0.75.  I have started the contract on Sept 2 which states 35 hours per week for a total of 180 days from Sept-June (School year). Terms run for 11 weeks.  The school employee is represented by AFT professionals. 

I did not specify the definition of "Prep" I was referring to grading, lab set up, lab clean up, equipment repair, drive time, exam proctoring, faculty meetings, conferences, student exam reviews, student mentoring, nursing technology software setup and monitoring, learning management system set up and monitoring, textbook reviews, administrative planning, and the vague catch all of "Shared Governance" 

Specializes in oncology.

I tried to write what your contract with the college should pay for:

  • times lecturing at the front of the class
  • time spent proctoring a test at the front of the classroom
  • clinical time your contract is at 0.75 ( in a perfect world; should be one 50 minute hour equals one course hour) which means you are not getting paid for every minute you spend with students (most likely your contract was negotiated with faculty who teach straight 50 minutes/per hour courses - ie. don't understand you do not get breaks, go to the bathroom and most of all--spend one hour per clinical day doing assignments, flagging nursing staff to 'say you have a student' and more. What is your time per 50 minute hour for a 12 hour shift with students? Calculate that for next contract
  • you are should NOT get paid for meeting with students outside of the podium, reviewing tests etc That is part of 'teaching load'

Your contract was probably written by faculty who lecture for 50 minute hours x3 50 minutes  a week. Lab seems to be better compensated (if I understand your %)  and that seems to go along with science-based courses.  (only advice here) would I rock the boat as a first year nursing faculty (no). But contracts expire and if you can get  faculty (especially lab, clinical based faculty to realize they are supposedly only  paid at the job per hour at 0.75% to 0.89% ) for clinical practice ...well....

Do you get paid to cover a clinical for a sick instructor, bereavement etc? You are going to laugh but (in a non-union job) I covered 3 maternity leaves with no pay because I was single, no children and assigned to the job, not when she was going into labor--NO when she delivered. Don't' be me!  (is the contract based that faculty just cancel class --- no- canceling clinical is not an option unless the college is on strike or snowed in (how much geography does the college cover?)

I do not want to say it is a problematic contract -- I loved teaching (I am retired) and felt I made serious, important, genuine contributions to nursing, community, my state and most of all with students. My connections with graduated students who are now RNs, a lot of NPs etc are enormous! 

My husband was recently hospitalized and after 3 -6 RNs (and other management nursing people ) I interacted with came into his room (oops by accident - no confidentially break)  he said " I see why you were all consumed with your job! and now it comforts me". 

PS the First Year is the worst. When my mother-in-law moved in with us (first year of new job) I put a BIG calendar up on the wall to show every minute I would be gone! I included all committee times, test reviews, anything I had scheduled with pay or without. Did it help? probably not! 

Specializes in oncology.
ohtay said:

the vague catch all of "Shared Governance" 

 Upon rereading your post I saw the quote above:

Shared Governance will be your friend if you truly want to teach and it is not vague-- They will provide all the freedoms (may be not all the $ you want)  please don't disparage this. But with freedoms come responsibilities and obligations.  If you accepted this teaching position until you get an NP job  please do not undermine us. Our nursing administration when I retired stopped hiring NPs (we saw college transcripts) Here are the real problematic areas for NPs thinking they can teach until something better comes along:

  • I have had too many "new faculty" complain about the test bank established (when they can add to it) This is why it is so difficult for NPs/general MSN grads to think they know how to teach -They have no education courses on curriculum construction, implementation and student evaluation,
  • A lecture should come from at least 3  content sources and be engaging.  developing lectures as "just using the Power Points provided by the book company "- snooze  the students and frankly is no incentive  for students to show up to class. Jazz up your class! at Jeopardy Power Point Games -divide the students in to 'teams'...lots of other things to do. 
  • Do you  complain about student performance with outlandish expectations when such as I  was  students I was " running the hospital at this level" OR
  • "skills are easily learned from textbook pictures" OR "The way I was taught/do these steps with a dressing change  it is sacrosanct" OR don't bother to learn how skills lab teaches and evaluates
  •  OR my favorite : When you ask the faculty in the next course about student needs  The faculty in the next course will say "fail them now. before they get to me" . Because - they never fail anyone 

Thank you for the information it has been helpful.  I took the job due to a quest for a place to belong and ended my nursing career after a national disaster and a death forced a move to a new area.  I am committed to the next 15 years with the school if the work environment can be less of a "constant blame game".  Some of the issues are COVID-19 recovery and some of it is faculty working in a constant state of "Short Staffed" just like everywhere else.  I enrolled and am currently in an MSN with a focus on education.  I am about halfway through increasing my own educational level because it was a requirement for long-term employment. I am committed however I have no space in my life for negative self-serving people (Unless they are students, HAHA).  

Thanks for the information it will help me calculate my workload form 

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