When Service Becomes Subjection and Overload Becomes Overworking
Updated: Feb 15, 2021
We understand and uphold the principle that service to the university, our respective disciplines, and our community is a key component of faculty life, shared governance, and the stewardship of the world around us.
As an institution, however, FSU has developed an unhealthy culture of service that regularly morphs into subjection, especially with regard to departmental, college, and university service. Examples include:
Chairs and deans refusing to pay overloads for courses, requiring that the overloads become “service” instead; additional unaccounted-for load irregularities above the 3-3 requirement
Reduction in tenure and tenure track positions, consolidating service to a smaller and smaller group of faculty from those lines
Excessive ad hoc committee creation in recent years
Committee workload imbalances created by administrative inefficiencies
Preference by chairs and other administrators for service to the institution and not to the discipline or community
Unpaid asks of public-facing faculty, particularly in the arts and sciences, to provide programming, technical support, or performances that benefit the campus community
Service is frequently weaponized on campus, particularly with junior faculty who are pressured to believe they must serve excessively in order to achieve tenure, and especially among programs administrators assert must produce more in order to justify their value on campus. The result is an unjust landscape of servitude across the campus and an inequitable and imbalanced reality between individual faculty and departments.
This injustice and inequity could be addressed with proper resourcing and strong, compassionate administrative leadership. We call on the University to provide these things.
Blog posts are written by individual FSU-AAUP members and do not necessarily reflect the entire membership.