Departmental Compensation for University College and General Education Courses
Beginning in 2009-2010, two kinds of compensation or "buyouts" will be available for departments and programs whose faculty members will be reassigned to teach University College courses. These courses include UCO 1200 (First Year Seminar), Watauga College courses, Honors courses, and courses in interdisciplinary programs with the prefixes SD, WS, AS, and GLS. Buyouts are not provided for courses with departmental prefixes.
- It is important to keep in mind the distinction between buyouts that include only funds ("a" below) and those that provide lines or portions of lines ("b" below) in addition to funds. Both funds and lines or portions of lines are required for faculty positions that are 3⁄4-time or above and that provide benefits. Part-time faculty members at half-time or below may be hired on a per-course basis without being assigned to a line. Both kinds of buyouts must be requested by department chairs through the department chair's dean. Student credit hours go to the department of the faculty member teaching the course, not the department or program of the course itself. All reassignments will need to be approved by both the faculty member's department chair and the program to which the faculty member is to be reassigned.
- University College will provide the traditional per-course buyouts, according to which departments are compensated at the rate of $1125 per credit hour for replacement by part-time faculty with terminal degrees (PhD, MFA, etc.) and $1012 per credit hour for part-time faculty with master's-level degrees. These buyouts provide pay, but they do not provide faculty lines or portions of lines. The funds will come from a line that is held for this purpose in University College.
- To the extent that faculty lines are available, a college or school will be provided a line with $40,000 attached for each faculty FTE ("full-time equivalent") that it contributes to University College courses. This is the policy being followed for the first-year seminar in 2008-2009; it will be expanded to other UC courses in 2009-2010. These lines will be rounded to the nearest whole number; for example, a college providing 2.75 FTEs will be allocated three lines; a college providing 1.25 FTEs will be provided one line. An FTE will be calculated at 24 credit hours per academic year for a reassigned non-tenure track faculty member and at 18 credit hours per academic year for a reassigned tenure-track faculty member. These lines will be allocated to colleges; departments will need to negotiate with their deans to receive a line or portion thereof. Lines are allocated on an annual basis, so if a college increases its contribution to University College courses after the annual position allocations have been made, University College will pay for that increase at the per-course rate as in "A" above, and the transfer of lines will occur beginning with the next academic year. In most cases, if a college reduces its contribution to University College courses after the annual position allocations have been made, University College will not ask for position funds to be returned, but if the reduction is permanent, it will be reflected in the subsequent year's position allocation.
Here are some examples of how such lines can be used:
- Faculty member X is reassigned to a combination of UC courses for three years. The department receives a line for that three years, which could be used to hire a post-doc or ABD in the faculty member's area of specialty. This would be useful in small departments, where the loss of a faculty member may mean the loss of a necessary area of expertise.
- A department promises the equivalent of one FTE (which could include one or more faculty members) to University College courses for a three-to five year period. In return, the department receives a line that could be split up to bring four 3⁄4-time faculty members to full-time for that period.
- A department promises the equivalent of one FTE (which could include one or more faculty members) to University College courses for an indefinite period of time. In return, the department receives a line that could be used for a tenure-track position, with the additional salary negotiated with the college and Academic Affairs.
- Other benefits to faculty members and departments for participating in the new general education program:
- Faculty members will have the opportunity to develop interdisciplinary first-year seminars in their areas of interest that can be taught for three years running, if the faculty member and the department agree.
- Faculty members will have access to travel money from University College for conferences related to general education and pedagogy.
- Faculty members will have access to professional development opportunities, such as the general education institute being offered May, 2008.
- The perspective/theme structure allows departments to calibrate the nature and extent of their participation in general education, unlike the old system in which a department was often committed to a large and predetermined number of sections of a core curriculum course.
- Departments that previously did not participate in general education will have the opportunity to do so.