Faculty Teaching Loads

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University Policy Number 3008


Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure:

Offer Letter Templates (see Section V. below)

Related Law & Policy:

Faculty Handbook;
Administrative/Professional Faculty Handbook

I. Scope

This academic policy governs the teaching load of all tenured, tenure-track, and term faculty with instructional appointments, as well as tenured faculty who also have an administrative faculty appointment.

II. Policy Statement

 A. College-level policies. Each college-level academic unit shall publish guidelines that establish ordinary expectations for teaching loads, and ensure that faculty teach regularly in accordance with those guidelines. The guidelines shall align local academic unit plans and institutional needs.

B. University-wide Requirements. Although teaching loads may vary, all college-level academic units must ensure the following:

  1. Obligation to Teach. Each faculty member with an instructional appointment must teach regularly.
  2. “Buyouts.” Research grant “buyouts” may be used to reduce but not eliminate teaching responsibilities in a given year, except when the circumstances of research would preclude that (e.g., travel abroad to a remote region). In such circumstances, teaching responsibilities may be rearranged on a case-by-case basis but arrangements must reflect the principle of a balance between research and teaching.
  3. Service. All tenured, tenure-track and term faculty are expected to perform some university or professional service and student mentoring (appropriate to rank and appointment) without impact on the standard teaching load.
  4. Department Chairs. Faculty who serve as the head of a local academic unit (other than deans/directors) shall receive a reduction in teaching load of at least one course per semester, but shall maintain a minimum 1/1 teaching load. Further reduction in teaching load must be approved by the Provost.
  5. Other Service. A reduction in teaching load shall be assigned on the basis of service only in cases where the obligation is significant and labor-intensive, and, except for service as a department chair (or equivalent), no single grant of reduction in load shall exceed one year.
  6. Professors with named appointments, including University and Distinguished Service Professors, shall not receive teaching load reductions as a function of the title or appointment.
  7. Beginning in the 2015-16 academic year, associate deans and associate provosts with tenured faculty appointments normally shall teach at least one course per year without additional remuneration.
  8. Teaching load reductions shall not be used as a form of faculty compensation in lieu of an increase in salary.

C. Faculty Reviews

College-level academic units shall review the teaching loads of all instructional tenured, tenure-track and term faculty members in conjunction with annual evaluations to determine whether they are active in research. Those faculty whose research activity is limited shall be expected to assume a proportional increase in teaching activity.

III. Definitions

College-level academic unit: For purposes of this policy, a college-level academic unit refers to any of the eleven major instructional units that have tenured and tenure-track faculty directly and specifically appointed to them (or their subdivisions) by the Board of Visitors.

IV. Compliance

  1. College-level academic unit policies will be reviewed annually by the deans and the Office of the Provost.
  2. Deans and directors of college-level academic units shall ensure that their units remain in compliance with this policy. If necessary, the Executive Vice President & Provost may address non-compliance through performance reviews or other measures as appropriate.

V. Forms

Offer letter templates include the appropriate language for establishing individual teaching loads. Offer letters may be downloaded from these linked pages:

VI. Dates:

 A. Effective Date:   

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Executive Vice President & Provost.

B. Date of Most Recent Review:



VII. Timetable for Review

This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed.

 VIII. Signatures


______/S/________                                  __6/11/2014__

Peter N. Stearns                                                 Date

Provost and Executive Vice

President for Academic Affairs