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Monitoring the Impact of 2:2

By John Hess, English


The pilot conversion in the College of Liberal Arts to move all tenure-track and tenured faculty in CLA onto a standard 2-2 teaching schedule began this semester, and, with your help, the Faculty Staff Union (FSU) will be carefully monitoring the effects of the conversion on all faculty, including non tenure track. While the implementation of the new policy is likely to have a major impact, the Dean’s Office has indicated that no official monitoring is planned.

In order to successfully monitor the implementation, the FSU needs your cooperation.  First, we need to collect accurate information about what is actually going on in each department to compare with the figures the Dean’s Office provides us.  Second, we would like to know your experience of teaching large-enrollment sections.  Third, we need to know if the increase in large-enrollment sections in your department has meant that the number of sections of a particular course (probably an introductory level course required for majors) has been reduced, thus making it difficult for students who will now have only one option of time and day instead of perhaps three or four.  Finally, we need to begin to assess the effects of cap increases on your pedagogy and your working conditions, especially perhaps the time it takes for grading.  Is the increase affecting your work conditions?

Just to refresh your memory, there were several preconditions the conversion to 2:2 had to meet.   Above all, the move had to be “revenue neutral.”  This neutrality was to be achieved in two ways: primarily through the creation of large-enrollment sections and secondarily by assuring “the number of seats [Departments] made available to students after the move to a 2-2 remains stable or increases.”  That is, more large sections and/or increased class caps.  This is all to be implemented “by reducing the number of sections offered and increasing enrollments in those remaining, rather than by creating new sections taught by NTTs.”  The only pedagogical consideration mentioned in the conversion agreement is that “Instructional workload is brought in line with our aspirations to become a Carnegie Research-Intensive High institution.”   There is no discussion in the agreement, nor has there been any, at least publicly, of the effects of this move to large-enrollment sections and of an increase of cap size on the learning experience of the students and pedagogical experience of the faculty. 

The initial fear of many was that costs of the conversion would disproportionately fall on the NTT faculty.  Though the conversion agreement reasoned “that the conversion to 2-2 must be done without creating new NTT sections . . .  precisely because the natural tendency of converting to 2-2 would be to create more NTT sections, rather than fewer,” one of the fears the Task Force felt needed to be monitored was “the unlikely event” that a “decrease” in NTT sections could result from the implementation of the 2.2 plan.  With your help, the FSU will carefully monitor that “unlikely event.”

The NTT Task Force observed “that many CLA NTT faculty members are wary of potential effects the 2-2 implementation may have in future semesters, even if there are no concerns in the initial conversion semester. We ask that a committee be established to monitor the impact of the transition on NTT faculty for the next few semesters.” (emphasis added). 

Please contact with any responses or questions.  Of course, all responses will be kept confidential.  The FSU and the administration will assess the agreement in three years and we would like to make sure it is fully and thoroughly vetted before signing off. ▪

Note: (All reports referred to are available on line at