TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, December 15, 2017

Faculty Object To University Of Wisconsin Tracking Teaching Hours: 'The Packers Don’t Just Work Three Hours On Sunday'

UWCapital Times, Regents Proposal: UW Will Track Professors’ Teaching Hours Starting in January:

The teaching workload of University of Wisconsin faculty and other instructional staff will be monitored starting in January, but no other parts of their jobs will see the same scrutiny, according to a proposal before the Board of Regents for approval Thursday.

The “Teaching Workload Policy” calls on UW System administrators and chancellors of individual campuses to develop policies for monitoring the number of hours spent teaching, rewarding faculty and instructional staff who teach more than a “standard academic load,” and publishing aggregate data on teaching hours on the UW System’s Accountability Dashboard website.

Details on how teaching workload data might be collected or what would constitute a “standard academic load” were not included. ...

UW-Madison faculty members have raised concerns about the provision, saying that hours in the classroom represent only part of a professor’s job.

“The Packers don’t just work three hours on Sunday,” is how UW-Madison associate professor of education Nicholas Hillman put it in February in a tweet.

Hillman said he spends more time grading papers, giving thorough feedback and meeting with students than he does in the classroom, Hillman told the Capital Times. Add to that time spent advising students, responding to email questions and preparing class notes, he said.

UW-Madison officials also point out that many faculty members conduct research and are responsible for reaching out to the state’s citizens to share their knowledge.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/12/faculty-object-to-university-of-wisconsin-tracking-faculty-teaching-hours-the-packers-dont-just-work.html

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Comments

These policies are just the latest attack on higher education. UW law will certainly have more difficulty recruiting qualified law professors. No double Ivy law grad, with an Article III clerkship, working at a prestigious law firm, will sacrifice a partnership to teach at an obscure state law school, if they will be discouraged from researching and writing in order to put in more hours in the classroom. Law school is not a trade school. The reputation of UW law will suffer when the school recruits less qualified professors who are unable, because of time constraints and lack of talent, to produce quality legal scholarship.

Posted by: Scholarship | Dec 16, 2017 8:22:19 AM

Maybe Aaron Rodgers can pick up the slack

Posted by: mike livingston | Dec 17, 2017 7:02:09 AM

"No double Ivy law grad, with an Article III clerkship, working at a prestigious law firm, will sacrifice a partnership to teach at an obscure state law school, if they will be discouraged from researching and writing in order to put in more hours in the classroom. "

Maybe spend some time researching run-on sentences and comma usage there, sport. Also I like how openly disdainful you are of the notion that law school professors should spend time teach law. Hard to decide whether this is parody or a venal prestige-monger showing his/her (but almost certainly his) true colors.

"Obscure state school"

Otherwise known as the 10th highest-ranked public university in the country by USNWR and 2nd-highest in the Midwest after Ann Arbor. Just because McKinsey doesn't routinely hire there doesn't negate the school's existence.

"Law school is not a trade school."

That's one of the biggest problems for law school graduates and the legal employers who increasingly refuse to train them.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Dec 17, 2017 9:29:27 AM

Let's be precise: Everyone knows that the Packers work only 60 minutes a week. There's a clock measuring their work time by the second, for crying out loud! It's more like 30 minutes maximum because none of them play both offense and defense. 3 hours... what an exaggeration!

Posted by: AMTbuff | Dec 19, 2017 12:57:45 PM

Unemployed Northeastern - last time I checked, Iowa was in the Midwest. Minnesota too.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 20, 2017 10:01:46 AM