Faculty Want Limits to Distance Education Workload

Summary: A faculty union in Massachusetts is working to establish a collective-bargaining agreement with the University of Massachusetts to ensure its members are not overloaded with extra work when they teach in the university's distance education program. Understanding that distance education programs often require significant additional work from faculty, the Massachusetts Society of Professors wants an incentive system to attract faculty, rather than a coercion system, according to the president of the group. Professors are paid extra when they develop distance education courses or teach them, but other issues will face negotiators, including enrollment caps and the potential for administrators to "eavesdrop" electronically on a distance education course without the professor's knowledge. Chronicle of Higher Education, 12 September 2002