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Policy on Faculty Workload

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Policy 219

1 Introduction

1.1 In accordance with UNC Policy 400.3.4 the purpose of this document is to ensure that Appalachian State University (ASU) has an established process to monitor faculty workloads and to approve significant or sustained variations from expected teaching loads. This document includes the criteria and the approval process for assigning instructional loads in relation to increased administrative responsibilities, externally funded research, including course buy-outs, and additional institutional and departmental scholarly/creative and service obligations. The policy was formally developed in response to General Administration Charge on Faculty Workload Policy 400.3, but it codifies practices and procedures that have been in place for a decade or more.

2 Scope

2.1 This policy covers tenured and tenure track faculty members.

2.2 The UNC Policy Manual 400.3.4 includes the statement that “given the complexity of faculty work activities, individual faculty teaching loads are best managed at the department and school level, and not the system or state level. However, to ensure meaningful comparisons of faculty teaching load over time and across peers, all campuses shall adopt a standard methodology for collecting data on teaching load.” Section 4.6 addresses the requirement for a standard methodology for collecting teaching load data.

2.3 The basis of this policy arises from the University of North Carolina Policy Manual (UNC POL), specifically Chapter 400; the Appalachian State University Faculty Handbook (ASU FH); and national accreditation standards for the respective academic programs.

3 Definitions

3.1 Professional Workload for Faculty

Faculty workload includes the entirety of a faculty member’s responsibilities, and is defined in the ASU Faculty Handbook in this way: “The professional workload for full‐time faculty members includes teaching; scholarship and/or creative activities; and professional, university, and community service relevant to faculty expertise” (ASU FH 6.1.1).

3.2 Teaching Workload

UNC POL 400.3.4 defines the “standard faculty teaching load measured by number of organized class courses a faculty member is assigned in a given academic year” as six class courses (18 credit hours) for a Masters (Comprehensive) I institution such as ASU. The standard practice across ASU colleges and academic departments is to assign faculty 18 credit hours or the equivalent of classroom instruction per academic year due to the university expectation of demonstrable productivity in scholarship/creative activity and service. This practice is consistent with UNC POL 400.3.4.

3.3 Instructional Expectations

ASU Faculty Handbook Chapter VI “Faculty Workload and the Instruction of Students” in section 6.1.2 defines instructional expectations broadly including direct classroom, lab, and studio teaching as well as class preparation, student evaluation, scheduled and unscheduled office hours, and meetings related to curriculum development, syllabus preparation, and program evaluation. Section 6.1.2 states that “for each formal instructional credit/contact/load hour, faculty members typically spend two to three hours in preparation for teaching.”

3.4 Differential Instructional Responsibilities

Although the language in UNC POL 400.3 and ASU’s Faculty Handbook varies slightly in terminology, the intent of both is to develop criteria that include differential instructional responsibilities resulting from administrative duties; scholarship and/or creative activity; externally funded research, including course buy-outs; and special assignments including additional institutional and departmental administrative and service obligations.

3.5 Course Overload

A course overload is a teaching workload assignment that exceeds the expected teaching load for the department. A faculty member may receive additional pay or alternative compensation, such as a subsequent course reduction, for overload assignments.

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 College-Level Faculty Workload Criteria

4.1.1 ASU’s Faculty Handbook 2.6 states that “the dean has general administrative oversight of all matters affecting the strength of the college/school….” The development of college-level criteria for faculty workload shall reside with the dean in consultation with department chairs or their equivalent. The purpose of the college-level workload criteria is to provide general guidance and equity within the college for departments and programs. The Provost will approve college-level workload criteria.

4.2 Departmental Faculty Workload Guidelines

4.2.1 Based on this policy and consistent with the college-level workload criteria, departments will develop and maintain written guidelines which “outline any differential instructional responsibilities resulting from administrative duties, scholarship and/or creative activity, and other special assignments” (ASU FH including externally funded research, funded course buy-outs, and additional institutional and departmental administrative, scholarly, and service obligations. Departments will also “outline relevant course load equivalencies for lab, clinical or studio courses, and for oversized courses” (ASU FH “Department workload guidelines will be developed by the department’s tenure-line faculty in consultation with the unit administrator and dean and be voted on by the tenure-line members of the department” (ASU FH Departmental guidelines that vary significantly from expected minimums will require approval by the dean.

4.3 Assignment of Individual Faculty Workload

4.3.1 In accordance with Faculty Handbook 4.3.2, the department chair is responsible for planning the workload of each faculty member on an annual basis, arranging the various faculty responsibilities equitably and effectively within the department. When assigning individual workloads, department chairs consider a variety of factors such as student, program and departmental needs as well as faculty expertise, preferences, productivity, and goals. Duties “may vary by academic discipline, college, program, school and departmental missions, and over time in an individual faculty member’s career” (ASU FH Instructional assignments that vary significantly from expected departmental and college minimums will require approval by the dean. The dean shall approve instructional assignments that vary significantly from expected department and college minimum loads. The dean shall consult with the Provost as needed.

4.4 Joint Appointments

4.4.1 In accordance with Faculty Handbook 3.10, faculty may hold joint appointments in more than one department. For faculty holding joint appointment, the administrator of the faculty member’s “base” or primary department, in consultation with the administrator of the unit to which the faculty member is jointly appointed, will plan the workload of the faculty member.

4.5 Annual Review of Faculty

4.5.1 Faculty members will include their instructional responsibilities, scholarship and/or creative activity, service, administrative, and other special assignments in their annual reports. They will also assess progress on the goals set in the previous annual review. The department chair’s annual review of faculty will be based on the year’s assigned duties and goals. For more information, see Faculty Handbook 4.3.2.

4.6 Monitoring and Reporting on Faculty Workload

4.6.1 The University will monitor and report on faculty workload in accordance with UNC Policy Manual 400.3.4 and 400.3.4[R].

5 Additional References

Appalachian State University Faculty Handbook, specially sections 6.1 Faculty Workload; 2.6 The Dean of a College/School; 3.10 Joint Appointments, and 4.3 Evaluation of Faculty and the “Pilot Faculty Annual Performance Evaluation 2013-14.”

6 Authority

UNC Policy Manual 400.3.4 Monitoring Faculty Teaching Workload...
UNC Policy Manual 400.3.4[R Regulations Related to Monitoring Faculty Teaching Workloads.]
Appalachian State University Faculty Handbook, especially section 6.1.
National accreditation standards for separately accredited academic programs.

7 Contact Information

8 Original Effective Date

June 9, 2014

9 Revision Dates