Friday, 11 May 2012

Inequitable distribution of teaching responsibility: Follow up

Some time back I had raised the issue of apparent disparity in the teaching load of faculty members in academic departments of the institute and the rules for sharing of teaching responsibilities amongst faculty colleagues. I did
not receive even a single response pointing to a regulation governing the
distribution of teaching load! Subsequently, I collected information about
the distribution of teaching load in a typical semester in various
departments and prepared a summary which is appended at the end of this
text. In working out these numbers, I have given a greater weightage to
the lecture hours followed by tutorial and practicals in that order to
decide the listing under Minimum/Maximum load. Further,
the hours devoted to B.Tech./B.Arch. projects have not been counted in as
this information was not available for all departments. While statistics such
as these provide some basis for comparisons they donot protray the whole
picture. A major omission is the latent effort put in by the course instructors
in core courses with large under-graduate population. The massive effort that
goes in the evaluation of students registered for these courses is not
reflected in these cold figures of weekly contact hours (L+T+P).

As far as the total contact hours are concerned, the disparity is most
glaring in the Architecture and Planning Department. The Professors put
in about 8 Hours (L+T+P) per week on average while Asst. Professors put in
about 18 Hours on average. Moreover, the Professors are primarily involved in
teaching of Post-Graduate courses while the youngsters take up the bulk of
under-graduate courses. Regarding practicals/tutorials in architecture, I
can say from my limited exposure to architecture during my undergraduate
training that these are not "canned" practical sessions based on
experimentation, observation, data collection and interpretation. Each student
needs to develop an independent solution for a set of design constraints. In
this respect the supervisory control and guidance to nurture the individual
thought process is very important leading to an increased involvement of the
course instructor/tutor.

In chemistry department, most of the senior colleagues engage only 1 or 2
lectures per week. Their contact hours are beefed up by a corresponding
increase in the practicals where---I am sure---they must be ably supported
by their research/teaching assistants. The younger colleagues are required
to put in more lecture/tutorial hours in comparison.

The younger colleagues also put in relatively more teaching effort in
Civil, Chemical, Mech. & Ind. Engg., Mathematics and Physics as the summary
suggests, whereas the electrical and electronics and computer engineering
departments appear to follow the policy of equal sharing amongst all faculty
members. However, the senior colleagues in electrical engg. and mechanical
& industrial engg. are primarily involved in postgraduate courses whereas
the undergraduate courses are handled by the younger colleagues. This
trend of senior colleagues distancing themselves from undergraduate
teaching is unfortunate in my opinion. The young and impressionable minds
of the undergraduates deserves the experienced handling of the senior

I hope that this summary and analysis will lead to an in-house discussions
and rationalization of the sharing of teaching responsibility between faculty
colleagues within a department.

    Weekly contact hours (L-T-P) of faculty members in some departments
Architecture and Planning
                         Minimum            Maximum         Average
Professor                  3-2-3             6-1-1          4.2-1-3
Assoc. Professor      1-2-6             3-2-6          2.4-1.7-6.7
Assistant Professor  2-5-9             4-6-6          2.7-3-11.4

Civil Engineering
                         Minimum            Maximum         Average
Professor                 0-3-2              4-3-0           2.3-2.2-1.9
Assoc. Professor      3-0-6              4-7-0           3.1-4.2-2.7
Assistant Professor  2.5-0-8            4-8-0           3.0-4.9-2.8

Chemical Engineering
                         Minimum            Maximum         Average
Professor                  3-0-3              3-0-6         3-0.5-4.8
Assoc. Professor      3-0-9              6-3-4         4.4-1.6-6.2
Assistant Professor  5-2-7              6-0-10        5.5-3.6-5.8

                         Minimum            Maximum         Average
Professor                  1-2-8              4-3-4         2-1.6-7.6
Assoc. Professor      3-0-10             5-3-4         4-1.5-7
Assistant Professor  2-4-10             5-5-6         3.4-7.6-7.7

Electrical Engineering
                         Minimum            Maximum         Average
Professor                  3-0-4              6-2-8           4-2-6
Assoc. Professor      3-2-2              6-3-6           4-2-6
Assistant Professor  3-0-8              5-6-4         3.1-2.2-8.2

Electronics and Communication Engineering
                         Minimum            Maximum         Average
Professor                 3-1-5                 6-0-5          4.7-1.2-3.4
Assoc. Professor     3-4-2                 6-2-3          4-3.3-2.7
Assistant Professor 3-3-5                 6-5-0          5-3.2-2.4

                         Minimum            Maximum         Average
Professor                 5-2-0              6-2-0           5.8-2.2-0
Assoc. Professor     6-3-0              6-3-0           6-3-0
Assistant Professor 8-3-0              9-2-0           8.4-2.6-0

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
                         Minimum            Maximum         Average
Professor                 3-1-4              6-2-2           3.3-2-4.2
Assoc. Professor      3-2-6              6-3-6           4.4-3.4-4.8
Assistant Professor  3-1-8              9-2-8           4.9-1.8-7.1

                         Minimum            Maximum         Average
Professor                 4-0-2              4-2-3           4-0.9-2.9
Assoc. Professor     4-0-4              5-0-4           4.3-0-4.3
Assistant Professor 5-0-6              6-1-4           5-1-5.5
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