Teachers’ workloads to increase

Jelissa Burns, Reporter

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UW Oshkosh professors in the College of Letters and Science are expected to increase their workload, teaching three classes the first semester and four classes the second semester.

Due to cuts in state funding for higher education and frozen tuition rates, the university is attempting to cut about $8 million from their budget over the next two years. This proposal was made as an effort to reduce the university’s payroll by about $1 million.

Miles Maguire, professor of journalism, is among a number of professors who are affected by the workload increase.

“If you think about it, a university is not like a factory that’s running 24/7, 365,” Maguire said. “Someone might say, ‘Well, it’s just another class,’ but in that 14-week semester, it’s a 33-and-a-third-percent increase. It would be like if someone told you, ‘You have to take another class; it won’t count towards graduation, but you have to take it.’”

Maguire said that this change for professors could affect the learning experience for students during class.

“If you hand in something in a reporting class, I could edit it for hours and hours, and I would,” Maguire said, “but if I’m teaching more and I have more students, I can’t. I think the university would like to say that this won’t affect the student experience, but I don’t see how you can avoid that.”

History professor Stephen Kercher said that this could even have an effect on teaching.

“You become a better teacher when you are engaged, and deeply engaged, in your own work,” Kercher said, “so when the balance is tipped away from that good balance of teaching and research and more towards teaching, I do think that over time [the quality of teaching] will suffer.”

The United Faculty and Staff of Oshkosh stated on Facebook that this increased workload for professors is not a good solution.

“Good working conditions for faculty and staff are things that benefit our students and the state.”