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Release: May 16, 2001

Report says UI faculty teach more, work more than faculty at peer universities

IOWA CITY, Iowa -Tenured and senior faculty members at the University of Iowa still spend more time teaching and all together more hours working than do faculty at similar universities across the country, according to the UI's annual Faculty Activity Report prepared for the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

The report shows that in 1999-2000 full-time faculty at Iowa spent about 10 percent more time teaching than the latest national average for full-time faculty at public research universities. Faculty at Iowa worked an average 58.2 hours a week, compared with the latest national average of 56.4 hours for public research university faculty. These figures are comparable to comparisons from previous years.

"Faculty members as a group are passionate about their areas of expertise," says UI Provost Jon Whitmore. "They have devoted their lives to pursuit of knowledge, which means they work long hours and with great concentration. Iowa’s faculty seem to go just a little farther."

Other highlights of the annual Faculty Activity Report:

* Tenured and tenure track faculty taught more than 60 percent of student credit hours, with about 24 percent taught by non-tenure track faculty and 15 percent taught by graduate teaching assistants. The comparison does not reflect the number of hours that graduate assistants work in discussion sections and laboratories classes. Included in the category of non-tenure track faculty are a number of visiting and clinical faculty members whose academic qualifications are similar or equivalent to those of tenure-track faculty,

* The number of research applications and awards received both increased in 1999-2000, even though the overall dollar value of research awards decreased. Faculty at Iowa attracted more than $250 million in research awards last year, the report shows.

A separate report on faculty consulting shows that more faculty are consulting than in previous years, though the average number of days spent consulting has dropped slightly. According to the report, about 30 percent of full-time University of Iowa faculty report that they have acted as consultants during the two-year period 1998-2000, compared with about 20 percent in the previous two-year period. Most of the increases reported were in the colleges of Medicine, Law, and Business. The average number of days spent consulting by those involved dropped from 3.7 to 3.1 each year.

The term "consulting" includes many activities beyond traditional consulting for industrial corporations, Whitmore says, and many of these activities benefit local communities and the state of Iowa. Examples include providing legal expertise to the State Department of Education, developing new hiring methods for the Iowa state government, providing advice and consultation to the Peace Corps, serving as an expert witness, providing continuing education programs in the Health Sciences, providing television election commentary, writing manuals for instructional software, and acting, directing, designing, or stage managing for professional theatres.