What it Means to be a Faculty Member

Librarians at the University of Hawaii are classified as faculty. This is true of many academic institutions, although there are many institutions where librarians are not faculty. I feel that faculty status for librarians is justified, because our jobs require the exercise of a great deal of professional judgement, and our decisions and actions have a direct effect on the educational experience of our students. I personally feel that one of the most important things you can learn in college is the how to teach yourself new things after you leave college, and librarians teach students the information literacy skills necessary to do that.

Faculty members are classified as salaried professionals. This is because our job responsibilities are too complex and varied to be quantified by time. Rather than being paid by the hour, we have broadly defined duties, and are paid a fixed salary to spend however much time is necessary to get the job done. Many faculty members, myself included, work more than fifty hours a week.

Faculty have wide latitude to exercise their professional judgement while performing their duties.

Faculty are generally in 9-month or 11-month positions. 9-month faculty work during the academic year, mid-August to the following mid-May, and are off during the summer. Faculty may be paid extra (called an "overload") to work during the summer, or at other times of the year their services may be required. Most, if not all, 9-month faculty choose to have a portion of their pay held back during their duty period, so they can receive regular paychecks throughout the year, which simplifies finances and assures accrual of a full year of service credit toward retirement. 11-month faculty work throughout the year, but receive 21 days of vacation leave credit per year. Paradoxically, while we are not eligible for overtime pay for all the long hours we put in, time off is measured by the hour.

For my first seven years at LCC, my position was a 9-month appointment, and I regularly got six weeks of overload (usually at 75% of my regular salary) to work during the summer. In 2000, I was converted to 11-month.

Faculty are appointed to their positions by the university's Board of Regents. The faculty labor union is the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly.

Faculty at the UH community colleges are expected to perform service to the college, by doing things like serving on committees, taking on special projects, or participating in campus events. We are also expected to perform community service. All faculty are expected to engage in activities to develop our professional skills and remain current with developments in our fields.

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Rev. Aug. 1, 2004