Universities hiring teaching-focused professors

September 5, 2013

The Globe and Mail this week reports on the growing number of teaching-focused instructors that universities are introducing into their faculty. York University is leading the trend with the most expansive of such initiatives, planning to bring in about 200 teaching-focused instructors over the next several years. Traditionally, professors are expected to spend about 40% of their time teaching, another 40% doing research, and their remaining time doing committee or community work. The new brand of instructor spends about 80% of their time teaching, with either no or very little research requirements. Some faculty associations say this type of teaching stream “creates a harmful class system among colleagues,” and say that teachers who also do research bring something more to the classroom. York provost Rhonda Lenton says that the new type of professor allows the university greater flexibility in how workload is distributed. The Globe and Mail article adds that for students, teaching-focused faculty means instructors who are more attentive and who can share best practices with colleagues. Globe and Mail