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IV.       Resources

 

            The intellectual vitality of the university depends heavily upon the quality and energy of its faculty.  In an institution where faculty are devoted to students as well as research and scholarship, it is not surprising that many should be wary of “unfunded mandates,” and of new demands and expectations.  The one thing all members of the faculty would agree upon is that too many demands are being made upon their time.  It takes time— time outside the classroom, and in many disciplines, away from campus— to pursue the research and scholarship that have made our faculty so impressive.  It takes time, as well, to prepare classes, to meet with advisees, to hold office hours, to attend departmental and university wide faculty meetings, to participate on committees, to supervise theses, to oversee graduate student exams and dissertations.  As we devise strategies to strengthen the bonds between faculty members and undergraduates, the Task Force is mindful that many of its recommendations will require still more time, commitment, and effort from the faculty.  The Task Force feels strongly that Tufts cannot simply expect faculty to absorb additional responsibilities and demands without the resources and support that they need.  We must find ways to increase the time available for faculty to meet the numerous responsibilities that are being placed upon them.

 

We therefore urge the administration to monitor carefully how the Task Force recommendations affect the faculty and to find appropriate and imaginative responses to the increased expectations. Among the possibilities for reducing the demands upon faculty time are: finding ways to shift tasks currently done by faculty to members of the administration or staff; reducing the amount of faculty time given over to meetings (departmental meetings, chairs meetings, committee meetings); creating options for more frequent sabbaticals, or for course reductions for faculty supervising a certain number of theses or dissertations; hiring additional faculty.  We recognize that there are real constraints— of money and space alike— to adding new faculty.  Whether or not we increase faculty size, the University must find ways to assure that faculty members can devote themselves to their most important responsibilities.  Creating a greater synergy between teaching and research is clearly part of what the Task Force envisions; but the burdens and opportunities posed by these recommendations must be distributed carefully.  All of us share the goal of making Tufts University second to none; that the University has achieved the level of international recognition that it now enjoys is a tribute, in no small part, to the extraordinary devotion, hard work, and passion of its faculty.  If we are to do still more, then the administration must provide the resources— in terms of salaries, staffing, and time— that we recognize as indispensable to making the vision of the Task Force a reality.

 

 

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