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Addressing concerns about faculty obligations

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In an early November email, faculty members were invited to participate in a three-night event entitled "Library After Dark" at the end of the month. According to organizers, the event is designed to provide students with more study time as they prepare for finals and complete final projects and papers during extended hours in the Elizabeth Sturm Library. Despite these great objectives, several faculty members expressed concern about the late notification, inadequate tutoring center staffing, and "workload creep." Department chairs commented that the communique appeared to obligate every academic department to staff a table during the three nights of the event. In a group discussion, the chairs said they did not feel comfortable asking department members to add another workload activity. They expressed concerns that they would be blamed if limited faculty involvement led to a poor student experience.

Contractual Obligations

In the most recent collective bargaining negotiations, TMCC-NFA worked hard to empower faculty members in their annual plan. The only activities faculty are required to complete are those in the Satisfactory category. All other activities are at the faculty member's discretion. 

Simultaneously, the contract also gives faculty members great flexibility to adapt their annual plans through the year without the need for administrative approval. Individuals can add an event like this in place of one that was submitted to their deans. 

TMCC-NFA encourages anyone who wishes to participate in events like Library After Dark to do so and get the appropriate credit in their annual performance review.  No faculty, however, are obligated to participate. 

In addition to the concerns mentioned above, individuals expressed a need for greater faculty direction in planning for all events that require faculty participation. Avoiding such "surprises" requires adequate advance planning and distributing a schedule of tabling events at the beginning of the academic year. 

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