Bill increasing UNC professors’ course loads will get more study (Audio)

A controversial Senate bill that would have sharply increased the workload of UNC professors was reworked before being unexpectedly shipped off to a study commission on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 593 originally would have required all UNC professors to teach no fewer than four courses a semester. Teaching less than eight courses a year would see that professor’s salary reduced.

On Tuesday, Senator Tom McInnis presented a substitute proposal to his bill leaving STEM professors at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University (the state’s leading research universities) at their current workloads. Other schools in the UNC system would see their teaching loads go from five courses a year to six.

The Richmond County freshman senator said his proposal could save North Carolina between $60 and $80 million.

McInnis also told members of the Senate Education Committee that students should be treated as “the most important customer” in the UNC system and not saddled with courses taught by “student teachers.”

Senator Jerry Tillman, the committee chair, announced SB 593 would be turned over to a Legislative Research Commission for further study. And with the crossover deadline set for Thursday, McInnis’ bill will likely not re-emerge this session.

To hear Sen. McInnis speak about the need to increase the quality of instruction at North Carolina’s universities, click below:

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