Faculty Activities at Iowa's Public Universities
In odd-numbered years, like 2021, the Board of Regents receives the Faculty Activity Survey, which includes information on how faculty members at Iowa’s public universities allocate their time. These survey reports illustrate the breadth and variety of faculty activities and highlight differences in emphasis between the universities.
Faculty members at all three institutions reported working far more than 40 hours per week, on average. Faculty at Iowa’s public universities work an average of 53.43 hours per week, with University of Iowa Faculty working slightly more and Iowa State and University of Northern Iowa faculty working slightly less. Tenured and tenure-track faculty, on average, report working four-to-six hours more per week than non-tenure track faculty.
The vast majority of faculty time is spent on student instruction or scholarship and research. Student instruction, which includes classroom and online teaching, mentoring and advising, among other categories, accounts for an average of 20.5 hours per week for tenured and tenure-track faculty at the University of Iowa, 23.4 hours per week at Iowa State and 32.4 hours per week at UNI.
The difference in those numbers, largely, can be accounted for by research activities. Tenured and tenure-track faculty at UI and Iowa State report spending an average of 22.3 and 21 hours per week on scholarship and research, compared to 9.9 hours per week for faculty at UNI. This variance reflects the different missions of the universities: UI and Iowa State are American Association of Universities research institutions, while UNI is a comprehensive regional university.
Major differences can be seen with clinical track faculty when compared to tenured and tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty, as well. Clinical track faculty at UI and ISU report spending just 11-15 hours per week on student instruction, but put in 16-28 hours per week delivering clinical services and doing administrative tasks related to those clinical services. These clinical services, including services at UIHC and the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine, among others, are vital to Iowans across the state.
Faculty at all three institutions report spending about an hour per week on professional development and around an hour-and-a-half on community engagement and outreach, which includes consultations, providing technical assistance, and delivering presentations and workshops, among others. Further, faculty report spending six-to-seven hours on administrative duties, which include mentoring other faculty, serving on editorial boards, faculty governance and assisting student organizations, among others.
Faculty at Iowa’s public universities are dedicated to their institutions. The faculty activities report clearly demonstrates that faculty members are engaged in advancing learning and discovery at the Regents institutions.