TEACHING AS DEFINED IN OUR POSITION DESCRIPTIONS
Teaching responsibilities include developing, renewing, and delivering a portfolio of courses in the college’s curriculum consistent with the COE Teaching Workload Guidelines. Teaching responsibilities also include advising and mentoring students in areas such as projects, professional aspects of the field, and course selection; conducting student assessments and proper documentation to support accreditation; participating as a committee member for graduate students; holding office hours; supervising teaching and learning assistants; and similar activities related to the academic success of our students.
TYPICAL POSITION DESCRIPTIONS
Tenured and tenure-track faculty. A typical position description (PD) for tenured and tenure track faculty members in the College of Engineering has a 50% commitment to Teaching, 40% commitment to Research, and a 10% commitment to Service. The course load normally consist of four distinct courses, with an expectation that these consist of a mix of large and small, graduate and undergraduate courses, as well as potentially a mix of modalities. Normally, blanket numbered courses (e.g., 40X, 50X) are not counted in the Teaching workload.
Instructors. A typical PD for an instructor in the College of Engineering has a 90% commitment to Teaching and a 10% commitment to Service. For 9-month instructors, the teaching workload normally consists of seven courses, with an expectation that these typically consist of large undergraduate courses with potentially a mix of modalities. For 12-month instructors, the typical number of courses taught is proportionally increased. Normally, blanket numbered courses (e.g., 40X, 50X) are not counted in this workload.
Minimum course release for tenure-track faculty. Course release is provided to tenure-track faculty to assist in establishing their careers. The amount of course release varies and is stated in their offer letters. At a minimum, new tenure-track faculty will be given at least one course release per year for their first three years of employment. This course release does not affect the PD.
FACTORS AFFECTING TEACHING WORKLOAD
Research activity and service. As noted above, a typical PD for tenured and tenure-track faculty members includes Teaching, Research, and Service. There are exceptional cases when changes to the Service and/or Research portions of the PD can be made at the discretion of the school head. For a faculty member taking on substantial internal or external service duties, a school head may increase the Service commitment in the PD and lower the Teaching commitment, resulting in fewer course assignments. Likewise, for a faculty member exhibiting sustained very high research activity relative to the school, a school head may increase the Research commitment in the PD and decrease the Teaching commitment. Conversely, a faculty member exhibiting sustained very low research activity relative to the college may have the Research portion of the PD decreased and the Teaching portion increased, resulting in more course assignments. Assessment of sustained level of research activity will be made in a holistic manner by the school head. Indicators of research activity include annual research expenditures; direct supervision of M.S. students, Ph.D. students, and post-doctoral scholars conducting research; and dissemination of research results in archival scholarly publications.
Course development. Effort on course development is included under the Teaching portion of the typical PD. However, at the discretion of the school head, significant additional effort towards a course development may count as the equivalent of up to one course assignment.
Partnership with Ecampus. The College of Engineering partners with Ecampus for the development, redevelopment, and delivery of online courses. Consistent with our partnership with Ecampus, conversion of a course to online format or redevelopment of an existing online course may count as the equivalent of one course assignment. Alternatively, summer or overload compensation may be available.
Courses without synchronous lecture sections. There are courses that do not include synchronous in-person lecture sections, such as online or some hybrid courses. In these cases, multiple sections of the same course, given in the same modality and taught in the same term, may be combined by the school head to form the equivalent of one course for the purposes of the teaching workload.
Course buy-out. With approval of the school head, a faculty member may buy out of a course for one-tenth of their 9-month salary and OPE. Request for such buy-out is normally made when course assignments are being developed during the academic year preceding the buy-out. Any buy-out should be reflected in an update to the faculty member’s PD.
Minimum course workload. Because faculty are essential to the education mission of an R1 university, all full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty are expected to teach a minimum of two courses per year. Part-time tenured and tenure-track faculty are expected to teach a minimum of one course per year.
ASSIGNMENT OF WORK BY SCHOOL HEAD
Teaching workload assignments are the responsibility of the school head. The responsibility of the head is to ensure that the total work assignment is administered appropriately and equitably, in accordance with the PD, considering the needs of the university and its students, and the amount of faculty FTE available to meet those needs. The school head has the prerogative to make decisions in exceptional/unusual circumstances that may result in greater or fewer than the typical four course assignments. To ensure continuity and equity across the college, school heads will regularly review such decisions together with the dean.
PROCEDURE TO ADDRESS EXCESSIVE TEACHING WORKLOAD
If an academic faculty member believes that they have an excessive teaching workload, they should talk to their supervisor (typically the school head). As an alternative, the instructor or faculty member may talk to the associate dean for faculty and staff advancement.