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Workload Equity

The distribution of faculty workload can become unequal, with consequences for faculty productivity, advancement, and retention. This reference list contains the latest research on faculty workload inequities and the policies and practices academic units can use to enhance fairness in workload distribution.

Authors: O'Meara, K., Kuvaeva, A., Nyunt, G., Waugaman, C., & Jackson, R.

Guided by research on gendered organizations and faculty careers, we examined gender differences in how research university faculty spend their work time. We used time-diary methods to understand faculty work activities at a microlevel of detail, as recorded by faculty themselves over 4 weeks. We also explored workplace interactions that shape faculty workload. Similar to past studies, we found women faculty spending more time on campus service, student advising, and teaching-related activities and men spending more time on research.

Authors: O'Meara, K., Culpepper, D., Misra, J., & Jaeger, A.J.

This report summarizes the authors’ findings and insights learned 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, drawing from theories of behavioral economics and the principles of equity-mindedness. Using a randomized experiment with treatment and control groups, we found that there are actions that academic units can take to promote workload equity.

Authors: Wood, J. L., Hilton, A. A., & Nevarez, C.

This study examined faculty participation in service in the Arizona public university system among faculty of color and White faculty. Data were utilized from a survey of faculty in the colleges of education at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and University of Arizona. Independent t-tests revealed that faculty of color were more likely to be engaged in liaison-related service than their White counterparts. Findings also illustrated that faculty of color were more likely to be involved as leaders in professional organizations.

Authors: Guarino, C. M., & Borden, V. M.

This paper investigates the amount of academic service performed by female versus male faculty. We use 2014 data from a large national survey of faculty at more than 140 institutions as well as 2012 data from an online annual performance reporting system for tenured and tenure–track faculty at two campuses of a large public, Midwestern University. We find evidence in both data sources that, on average, women faculty perform significantly more service than men, controlling for rank, race/ethnicity, and field or department.

Authors: Winslow, S.

This article focuses on faculty members’ allocation of time to teaching and research, conceptualizing these—and the mismatch between preferred and actual time allocations—as examples of gender inequality in academic employment.

Authors: Misra, J., Lundquist, J. H., & Templer, A.

This study explores how faculty at one research-intensive university spend their time on research, teaching, mentoring, and service, as well as housework, childcare, care for elders, and other long-term care. Drawing on surveys and focus group interviews with faculty, the article examines how gender is related to time spent on the different components of faculty work, as well as on housework and care. Findings show that many faculty report working more than 60 hours a week, with substantial time on weekends devoted to work.

Authors: Misra, J., Kuvaeva, A., O'Meara, K., Culpepper, D., & Jaeger, A.J.

Faculty workload inequities have important consequences for faculty diversity and inclusion. On average, women faculty spend more time engaging in service, teaching, and mentoring, while men, on average, spend more time on research, with women of color facing particularly high workload burdens. We explore how faculty members perceive workload in their departments, identifying mechanisms that can help shape their perceptions of greater equity and fairness. White women perceive that their departments have less equitable workloads and are less committed to workload equity than white men.

Authors: Griffin, K. A., Bennett, J. C., & Harris, J.

Little work has addressed the ways in which race and gender intersect and shape Black professors' experiences as they seek professional advancement. Framed by critical race theory, this qualitative study uses discourse analysis to analyze the narratives of 28 Black professors employed at two research universities. Findings suggest that faculty perceive race and gender influencing their evaluations for academic advancement , with key gender distinctions in discourses about teaching and service in relation to professional success.

Authors: Arnold, N. W., Crawford, E. R., & Khalifa, M.

Faculty who have been historically excluded from participating in academia present a unique quandary for those who have traditionally held power at the university. This article explores the promotion and tenure (P&T) process of Black faculty using a psychological construct to examine how racial micro-aggressions manifest and articulate themselves through individual and organizational phenomena such as Racial Battle Fatigue (RBF). We applied a psychological approach to narrative inquiry to examine how two faculty of color experienced the P&T process.

Authors: Hanasono, L. K., Broido, E. M., Yacobucci, M. M., Root, K. V., Peña, S., & O'Neil, D. A.

Although the demand for faculty service has increased substantially in recent years, the workload is not shared equitably among tenure-track faculty (Guarino & Borden, 2017; Pyke, 2011). Women faculty tend to spend more time on service activities than men, and they tend to perform important yet less institutionally recognized forms of service like mentoring, committee work, emotional labor, and organizational climate control (Babcock, Recalde, Vesterlund, & Weingart, 2017; Misra, Lundquist, Holmes, & Agiomavritis, 2011).