Dear MSCA Faculty and Librarians,
We have received a number of questions about holding office hours remotely this fall. At this point there are no agreements with presidents to temporarily suspend contractual provisions regarding office hours. The contract requires that during office hours a faculty member “shall be available in their office” (Article XII, Section A(3), bottom of page 200).
“During periods of normal activity in the academic year, faculty members shall maintain at least three (3) posted office hours per week, on at least two (2) separate days and during such hours shall be available in their offices to advise students on academic matters by appointment or otherwise.”
It is the union’s position that, if the administration is not willing to allow faculty to hold office hours remotely, then the faculty member can ask students to attend office hours online (via Zoom, etc.), while the faculty member is physically present in their office for the office hours. We realize this may be increasingly more reasonable given the spread of the COVID delta variant.
In addition, the contract also allows for faculty and librarians to request “alternate work arrangements” (Article XII, Section H – page 215) on a case-by-case basis:
“At the request of a unit member, any University may, on a case-by-case basis and at its sole discretion, make arrangements that allow a unit member to perform some or all of his/her duties and responsibilities at a location other than his/her regular, campus location. Every such arrangement shall be made with the Vice President and memorialized in a written agreement.”
We hope this helps clarify the options available for office hours this fall.