Faculty Workload (A-18)
I. GENERAL POLICY
The faculty workload policy is intended to balance student, institutional, and professional interests in an equitable manner. Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) is, above all, focused on teaching excellence. Individual workload responsibilities should be designed to support this priority. The workload policy applies to all full-time university personnel who hold faculty rank and whose positions are listed in the annual budget. The same calculations shall also apply to part-time instructional personnel.
The normal faculty workload assumes the performance of teaching, research/scholarly/creative, and service activities. The distribution of effort among these three categories is reviewed on an annual basis by the department/school/division (hereafter referred to as “department”) chair/director (hereafter referred to as “chair”). In all cases, student instructional needs shall be the determining factor in arranging workload schedules. While one category of performance activity may dominate in an academic year, faculty must fulfill departmental expectations in all categories. The provost and vice president for academic affairs (VPAA) may allow departures from workload standards when in the interest of the university.
II. Workload Allocations
Faculty members are expected to perform an equivalent of eight (8) teaching units of work during the regular (Fall and Spring semesters) academic year. In general, a three credit hour course equals one teaching unit and eight teaching units correspond to an eight course teaching load. Additionally, faculty members are expected to engage in research/scholarly/creative and service activities at levels that are appropriate to their rank and departmental tenure/merit criteria. Within reasonable limits, certain supplemental instructional activities—such as independent studies, internships, advising, and thesis/dissertation supervision—are also considered part of a regular workload.
Any work that exceeds normal expectations in the categories of research/scholarly/creative accomplishment and service constitutes an opportunity to request a course load reassignment with the department chair. Reassignment is not automatic but depends upon student and departmental needs. Each reassignment, whether for a single semester or an academic year, must be approved by the appropriate dean and the provost and VPAA. The written request for reassignment must identify the work that shall be produced and demonstrate that an amount of work equivalent to the instruction of a three credit hour course shall be performed. A faculty member is not limited to a single reassignment request per semester if adequate justification exists.
Section 51.402 of the Texas Education Code governs the allocation and calculation of workload assignments. Each college shall define the equivalencies for Teaching Load Credit (TLC) with teaching units in a manner that addresses its mission. Colleges shall consider the number of students, the method of the teaching/learning experience in regard to the delivery, preparation time, methods of evaluation, and level of supervision for laboratory and practicum in the determination of this formula. The appropriate dean and the provost and VPAA must approve each college’s TLC equivalency guidelines. A perfect match between TLCs and teaching units is not mandatory because normal workload patterns vary by department and college. Department/division chairs are responsible for converting TLCs and other activities into teaching units. Course contact and credit hours are derived from the faculty-to-student interaction matrix contained in the course inventory file.
The instruction of a course overload, when at the invitation of a department/division chair, may qualify a faculty member either to additional compensation or to a teaching load reduction in a subsequent semester.
A dean may also propose a reduction in teaching load for a faculty member in other circumstances, including:
- for chairing an academic department or division (Policy E-7A);
- for performing administrative duties in support of a department/college/university;
- for preparing course material during the first semester and/or year when included as part of the initial tenure-track contract.
All teaching load reductions must be approved by the provost and VPAA.
Department chairs are responsible for assigning faculty workloads and for verifying the accuracy of workload reports for each faculty member in the department.
Deans monitor and approve faculty workloads under their authority and review workload reports submitted by chairs, and may require department offices to input and update faculty workload data in the university’s administrative software system.
The provost and VPAA supervises and approves workload reports. If the department chair and dean cannot resolve a dispute over the equity of a workload issue, faculty members may appeal to the provost and VPAA for a final decision.
The president submits the Faculty Workload Reports to the Board of Regents for its review.
Cross Reference: Texas Education Code §51.402; SFASU policies A-18A Summer Teaching Appointments, A-37 Overload Assignments, E-6A Chair Appointments, E-7A Chair Teaching Load, and E-9 Compensation in Excess of Base Salary
Responsible for Implementation: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Contact for Revision: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs