2,660: Faculty Workload Policy

Revised: May 2012

This policy provides guidelines for instructional faculty and for department chairs, deans, and others responsible for faculty workload. The Board of Regents' policy (Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 3) regarding the teaching portion of workload is that university faculty are expected to teach six courses per academic year (three + three), with the teaching workload for faculty who are heavily involved in doctoral programs or research being reduced equivalent to the increase in doctoral-level instruction and/or research.

"Workload" consists of teaching; scholarly research, creative activity, and/or professional development; and service. The scholarly research or creative activity assignment is a critical feature of the culture of a research university, and it is expected that all tenure-track and tenured faculty will maintain a program of research, scholarship or creative activity. All non-tenure-track faculty on continuing appointments, such as lecturers, are expected to maintain a program of professional development appropriate to the area in which they teach.

The distribution of responsibilities in these areas for each faculty member is to be specified in an individual statement of professional responsibilities, or "role statement," to be determined by the faculty member in consultation with the department chair (or equivalent). Role statements are prepared annually, at the beginning of the calendar year or term of employment. The distribution of responsibilities in an individual faculty member's role statement may vary from one year to the next. If it becomes necessary to change the distribution of responsibilities significantly during the calendar year, the faculty member and chair should revise the role statement. The distribution specified in the annual role statement must be considered during the faculty member's annual evaluation.

The policy is designed to be flexible enough to enable faculty to do the varied tasks that are required throughout the University and to credit them appropriately for that work. In particular, it is designed to recognize and account for the many activities necessary to the work of the University that do not appear in tabulations of student credit hours, including service on graduate students' committees at the master's and doctoral levels, mentoring of graduate students, formal advising of undergraduate and graduate students, and formal assessment of instructional programs. It is also designed to recognize certain non-instructional aspects of workload, including varied expectations in scholarly research, creative activity, and/or professional development for different kinds of faculty positions.

Department chairs (or equivalent) are responsible for determining individual faculty teaching loads and the "equivalent teaching load credit" of other activities associated with instruction to which a faculty member may be assigned. Deans are responsible for review and the maintenance of equity in teaching load and other assignments within the college. The Executive Vice President & Provost is responsible for equity in assignments within the University.

The teaching load specified by the Regents may be adjusted when faculty have responsibilities that have been approved by their department chair (or equivalent) as having "equivalent teaching load credit." Reassignments from the expected teaching load will be specified in faculty role statements. Role statements will also specify the appropriate assignment for faculty holding "A" rather than "B" contracts.

  1. The following guidelines explain when such teaching reassignments might occur. They are meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive. All such reassignments are specified in faculty role statements.
    1. Faculty in departments with master's degree programs who are actively involved in those programs may be reassigned to mentor graduate students and serve on their committees. Faculty who are actively involved in an interdisciplinary graduate program may be reassigned to mentor and serve on the committees of graduate students in that program. Pre-tenure faculty may be reassigned to begin mentoring graduate students.
      Determinations of the involvement of individual faculty members in master's and doctoral programs must take into account the following: chairing of graduate committees, service on graduate committees in one's own department or program, service as outside members of graduate committees in other programs, formal advising responsibilities, oversight for independent studies and internships, extensive graduate-level teaching, and the nature of graduate mentoring in the discipline.
    2. Faculty with major administrative assignments, such as department chair or director of a large instructional program at the graduate or undergraduate level, may have a portion of their workload reallocated.
    3. Faculty with substantial formal responsibility for undergraduate advising; independent studies, internships, or undergraduate research; or assessment or performance assessment may be reassigned to those responsibilities.
    4. Faculty whose teaching assignments include one of the following may be reassigned:
      • courses requiring extra contact hours, such as studio-based and lab-intensive courses
      • very large classes with limited teaching assistant support
      • multiple new preparations or formal responsibility for new curriculum development
      • off-campus or non-traditional teaching responsibilities
  2. The following guidelines explain when other kinds of workload reassignments might occur. They are meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive, and to take into account the different kinds of instructional faculty positions at the university. Such reassignments may include an increase in the load of activities associated with instruction. All such reassignments will be specified in faculty role statements.
    1. Faculty in continuing non-tenure-track positions that do not have a substantial expectation of scholarly research or creative activity may be reassigned.
    2. Tenured faculty may request to be reassigned in lieu of a portion of the standard expectation of scholarly research or creative activity.
    3. Faculty in full-time positions that are renewable contingent upon funding and have no expectation of scholarly research or creative activity may be reassigned.