The Sort of Thing that Gives Professors a Bad Name.

She teaches only one course a semester at the University of Florida.

In the sort of dinky program that assures small classes.

And she’s complaining.

Because her university wants her to teach two.

UF’s authority to change the agreement under which faculty are hired without their consent was questioned Thursday in a six–hour arbitration hearing.

UF and the faculty member in question each presented evidence concerning the university’s right to adjust her course load without her permission.

When Florence Babb, an endowed professor and graduate coordinator of UF’s Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, received her agreement letter in March 2004 outlining the terms of her hire, it determined she would teach one course per semester and promised her a research assistant.

Endowed faculty are expected to increase the university’s prestige with their contributions and research, and thus they often have lighter teaching loads.

Last March, Babb was informed via a letter from then–interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Joe Glover, that her teaching load would be increased from one course per semester to two courses per semester “because of the state’s fiscal difficulties and the severe budget cuts applied to UF.” Babb said to her knowledge she was the only endowed professor to receive such a letter at that time. She was also relieved of her research assistant. Babb said the lower course load allowed time to conduct research.

She filed a grievance in April 2008 and said that UF violated an agreement it has with the United Faculty of Florida, or UFF, the faculty union…

Icing on the cake: Her grievance will cost the university a lot of money.

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