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ACADEMIC Workload Management: Changing Cultures. National Academic Workload Management Conference – 12 December 2-13 Terry Threadgold Cardiff University. Some Essentials (in retrospect). Senior academic leadership

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Academic workload management changing cultures

ACADEMIC Workload Management: Changing Cultures

National Academic Workload Management Conference – 12 December 2-13

Terry Threadgold

Cardiff University


Some essentials in retrospect
Some Essentials (in retrospect)

  • Senior academic leadership

  • Team work and administrative support across the institution (HR, Finance, Planning, Research and Consultancy and IT)

  • Data collection systems able to be linked with an all-university system for allocating and recording workload.

  • Consultation (with staff and union), taking time to listen and to move towards guidelines and consistency.


Benefits
Benefits

  • A robust evidence base for costing and pricing academic work and managing resource: clarity about what resource is actually needed to deliver what is being delivered and then decisions about priorities.

  • Transparency, equity and positive performance management lined up with strategic goals and direction.

  • Working with ‘managed time’ to set clear expectations within that framework.

  • The added benefit of TRAC compatibility and accurate reporting to government and funders.


Specific issues at cardiff
Specific Issues at Cardiff

  • Russell Group, research intensive with a medical school and more vocational teaching then many RGs (e.g., Social Work, Centre for Professional Legal Studies, Journalism, Nursing and Midwifery, Dentistry, Optometry, Pharmacy)

  • Academic contract: 35 hour week. 1510 hour ‘managed’ year.

  • Need to workload plan/allocate for T and R, T and S and R contracts as well as clinical staff jointly managed with the NHS.


The journey s o far
The Journey So Far

  • 2010 scoping exercise to see what 27 schools were already doing.

  • 2011 Project group: work with five schools with already well developed models (including research but none including engagement/impact/consultancy/knowledge transfer; no T and S pathway) to map workload categories to TRAC list and develop a draft framework: published Jan 2012.

  • 2011 TT as PVC began to work with Finance on TAS and TRAC return. Meetings with 27 HOS annually on TAS results 2011-2013: translating TRAC for Academic staff especially re: institution/own funded research, scholarship, Other and General Institutional Support.


The journey 2
The Journey (2)

  • Draft Framework published Jan 2012, asked for volunteers for a project to pilot it in 2012-13. 14 schools took part. 10 developed full models.

  • A project group including the leads in each of the 14 schools, met six-weekly during the pilot year to share issues and good practice.

  • T and S pathway in place and 3 schools worked in detail on managing workload in this context.

  • We were still not too prescriptive and allowed schools working to the framework and in consultation with their staff to tell us what tariffs had been agreed (surprising amount of consistency here)


The journey report on pilot 3
The Journey: Report on Pilot (3)

  • Early 2013 - Detailed collection of data and workload information from all pilot schools: TRAC translation document, report on pilot (including tariffs, and issues): sent to all HOS and UCU in May 2013 for feedback.

  • Response to Feedback, Draft Workload Policy, Guidelines on Tariffs, plus common workload templates now being developed for sign-off in Dec-Jan by UCU and UEB.

  • All HOS already required to continue pilot into 2013-14, either (1) to review and adapt or (2) to begin data collection and consultation if not previously involved.


The journey 4
The Journey (4)

  • Summer 2013 beginning to look for a university-wide, consistent IT solution (with TRAC compatibility if possible) for allocation and reporting of workload.

  • Sept 2013 beginning to work with UWE on LFHE/HEWCE developed TRAC compliant: some real compatibility, but a number of transferability issues.

  • Also looking at other solutions and benchmarking with Russell Group universities.


The journey all change
The Journey: All Change!

  • 2012-13 – a new VC and a university restructure from 27 schools to three colleges.

  • New data collection and management systems, new college leadership and structures.

  • New Governance Group to be chaired by DVC. Will train managers, deal with probation and appraisal training, rule on exceptions and changes once full policy and tariffs signed off and in place.


Working with ucu
Working with UCU

  • Summer 2012 first dedicated meeting on workload with UCU, although progress shared with them throughout via JCNF which TT as PVC co-chaired.

  • A number of UCU representatives or members working on the pilot project: although not as union members.

  • Meeting again in August, November 2013 (specifically on workload) to agree a final policy for the university. Next meeting in January 2014.

  • Agreed to work in partnership, with 2 UCU representatives members of the Workload Governance Group going forward.


Workload categories mapped to institutional strategies all academic contracts and trac
Workload Categories: mapped to institutional strategies, all academic contracts, and TRAC

  • Teaching and Support for Teaching

  • PGR Supervision and Examination

  • Research, Research Related Scholarship and Support for Research

  • Scholarship (teaching related) and CPD.

  • Engagement, Consultancy and Knowledge Transfer

  • Academic Management and Administration

  • Good Citizenship/ General Academic Duties

    Note: T and S and R only staff do not work to all of these categories.


Issues
Issues academic contracts, and TRAC

  • Culture change re development of staff, and promotion to full potential: T and S pathway, part-time staff and R only staff.

  • Training academic managers to understand different kinds of scholarship and to allocate workload appropriately.

  • Minimum and maximum workload hours for many of the categories to ensure that every staff member does what is needed to meet promotion guidelines but is not overloaded or underloaded in specific areas.

  • Workload process linked directly to probation and appraisal for all staff.

  • Categories to be discussed and agreed in probation and appraisal with a different kind of process (both projected and retrospective) for: research (T and R), Scholarship (T and S) and Engagement/knowledge transfer etc. (all pathways).


E g research workload same for scholarship t and s and engagement
E.g., Research Workload academic contracts, and TRAC(same for Scholarship (T and S) and Engagement)

  • Targets discussed, agreed and reviewed in probation and appraisal.

  • Tariffs for research : e.g., writing grant applications, conference presentations, refereed article, monograph etc, part of workload model.

  • Bundle of research (scholarship, engagement) time allocated in the annual planning cycle.

  • Pre-allocation of time where known: e.g., time allocated to a particular grant, conference attendance and presentation, writing of a grant etc..

  • Outputs and all research activity reviewed at end of annual cycle (retrospectively) to ensure bundle is well used: outputs/ delays etc. reviewed across a 3 year cycle.


Some very tentative conclusions around research equality and workload
Some Very Tentative Conclusions Around Research, Equality and Workload

  • In most areas first attempts at allocation and recording have shown that approx. 2/3 of workload is about where it needs to be. The other 1/3 of staff tend to be either underloaded or overloaded (very rough estimate).

  • This requires management (and the training of managers) and much more focussed work on probation and appraisal and the links with workload.

  • With T and R the overload outside of ‘managed’ time tends to be research related and within ‘managed’ time to be teaching or administration related.

  • With T and S the underload tends to be in the scholarship area


Tentative conclusions cont
Tentative Conclusions cont. and Workload

  • Gender difference in workload allocation: all of the issues in the recent LFHE Report on this are evident in what we have found to date. This has particular impact on women’s research careers.

  • The same can be said of disability and serious illness or other complex personal circumstances: ‘reasonable adjustments’ and staff themselves seem to find it easiest to remove research/scholarship workload and continue with Teaching and Administration. Again this has implications for research and teaching careers and requires much better management.