Bradford tears up teach-only contracts

September 21, 2007

Bradford University has abolished teaching-only contracts after a policy group agreed that all staff should be able to engage in at least some scholarship.

Bradford was one of the first universities to draw up a contract for staff who were not involved in research.

The contracts are now in wide use across the sector.

But a university spokesman this week confirmed that Bradford's "workload model group", set up in 2005, had recommended that the contract be abolished with effect from this academic year.

A University and College Union spokesman at Bradford said that "everyone should be involved in some scholarly activity", although the balance of work will vary.

"The contracts were being over-used. Many departments were advertising posts as either teaching-only or as lecturer with a high bar in terms of prior research experience," he said.

Staff at the university were also finding the use of the contracts a barrier to progression, with staff who had obtained PhDs denied promotion to senior lecturer for not meeting the research threshold.

The university has developed a set of "guiding principles" around workload. These originally stipulated that all staff research activity had to be paid for by external funding; however, this has also been scrapped after talks with the UCU.

Jeff Lucas, the deputy vice-chancellor of Bradford University, said the "guiding principles allow a variable balance between teaching, research and administration for all members of academic staff".

He added that the principles limit contact with students to 16 hours a week.

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