Tools, Webinar Address Equity Concerns and Faculty Workload
January 11, 2021

​​Faculty leaders and academic administrators who want to reform faculty workloads with equity in mind will find new tools and research available from ACE and can also register for a corresponding webinar happening this week.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked concerns among faculty about reasonable workloads. The paper, “Equity-Minded Faculty Workloads: What We Can and Should Do Now,” provides examples of policies and practices that promote equity-minded workplaces as well as tools, such as the Equity-Minded Faculty Workload Audit.

The Jan. 13 webinar, Equity-Minded Faculty Workloads by Design, will go deeper into the research and explore the unequal distribution of faculty workload and how that shapes faculty member experiences. Attendees will learn about evidence-based policies and practices used to identify inequalities, assess unit needs, and redesign workload with equity in mind.

“One of the most important, but often overlooked, areas in which inequity can arise is within the distribution of faculty labor,” the authors write. They cite research that shows minority faculty are disproportionately called upon to do diversity work and mentoring, while women faculty do more teaching and service. “These activities are vital to the functioning of the university, yet they are often invisible and unrewarded,” they add. 

The report’s authors are KerryAnn O’Meara, professor of higher education and special assistant to the president for strategic initiatives, University of Maryland; Dawn Culpepper, faculty specialist, ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence and PhD candidate in higher education, University of Maryland; Joya Misra, professor of sociology and public policy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Audrey Jaeger, W. Dallas Herring distinguished professor and executive director of the Belk Center for Community College Leadership, North Carolina State University.

The findings and insights are derived from the Faculty Workload and Rewards Project (FWRP), a National Science Foundation ADVANCE-funded action research project. The FWRP worked with 51 departments and academic units to promote equity in how faculty work is taken up, assigned, and rewarded. Using a randomized experiment with treatment and control groups, the researchers found that there are actions that academic units can take to promote workload equity.

The treatment groups participated in a four-part workload intervention that included training on workload inequity, creating a faculty work activity dashboard, developing an equity action plan, and individual faculty professional development on managing time-use. Based on this research, the report makes recommendations for how academic units can promote workload equity. Action-oriented resources that complement the report are available on ACE Engage®.

Click here to see the recommendations and read the full paper.

Click here to register for the webinar, happening on ACE Engage. ​

​Webinar: Equity-Minded Faculty Workloads by Design

Jan. 13, 2021  at 12:00 p.m. ET