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College of Arts & Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences Workload Policy

The Ohio University College of Arts and Sciences prepares students for successful lives by advancing their personal and intellectual growth through a 21st century liberal arts education. Our scholarly work generates knowledge and understanding, forms the core of our graduate programs, and engages all students and faculty in a culture of exploration. The College’s faculty, staff, and students aspire to meet the imperatives of tolerance, curiosity, and deeply informed engagement with a diverse and changing world.

--Mission of the Ohio University College of Arts and Sciences

(AY 2014‐15)

The mission of the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) encompasses an ambitious and multi-faceted blend of activities involving research, graduate education, undergraduate liberal arts education, and service for our majors and for students from across the university. The college and departmental workload policies seek to create a transparent and equitable means to array, discuss, and assign the different roles and duties that we undertake as members of the professoriate and contributors to the college mission.

The diverse nature of academic departments within the college and the faculty roles within departments engenders the need for flexibility in both departmental policies and individual work assignments. Therefore, it is necessary that each department articulate its own departmental workload policy and ensure that the workloads for individual faculty members are consistent with that policy. All department policies must include the elements of the College’s Workload Policy Template and be consistent with the Faculty Handbook, the Policies and Procedures of the Ohio University and, when applicable, college policies expressed in this document.

As per the Faculty Handbook, both the Dean of CAS and the Executive Vice President and Provost are expected to undertake periodic review and approval of department workload policies. The college is a complex and multi-faceted organization facing an array of challenges and circumstances; should department chairs face a compelling need to deviate from written policies, they should contact the Dean’s Office for authorization to do so.

Workload and the TRS System

Faculty workload is defined as the total range of activities provided by faculty in the form of Teaching, Research, and Service (TRS) and in all cases a full time faculty member’s effort is expected to sum to 100%. Professional development activities must be a component of workload for all full-time faculty members. In the typical case, a Group-I faculty member’s TRS consists of 40% teaching, 40% scholarship/research and 20% service (40:40:20). Probationary Group-I faculty should ordinarily assume a 40:40:20 TRS distribution prior to tenure and promotion. With the exception of a very few specialized and dean-­‐approved cases, weightings for Group-­‐I TRS will have minima of 20, 20, 10, respectively and maxima of 70, 70, 60, respectively.

A Group-II faculty member’s normative workload is 80% teaching and 20% service (80:0:20 TRS), but may vary to 100:0:0 depending upon department needs, with the recognition that for all Group-II faculty, the Faculty Handbook stipulates that research (R) should always be 0.

For all faculty, it is recognized that teaching workload does not consist solely of formal instruction in credit-bearing courses, but rather includes a variety of activities involving all forms of interaction with students.

TRS should serve as the basis for workload assignments, annual faculty evaluation, and various departmental and college decisions that optimize the impact of faculty contributions to the mission of the college and university. The balance of the three elements of workload varies among both departments and individual faculty as a function of different strengths, interests, and departmental need. Departments are encouraged to use adjustments in the formal TRS weighting as a mechanism to recognize and reflect these different contributions. As delineated in the College Workload Template, each departmental workload policy will clearly define the department’s default TRS, the ranges of permissible variations, the mechanisms for annual review and assignment, the processes for assessment and appeals, the role of the chair and committees, and a statement on how norms vary by faculty group.

Workload policies must be consistent with department promotion and tenure guidelines, and closely linked to annual merit raise procedures. Promotion and tenure committees and merit raise committees must be informed of each faculty member’s workload assignments prior to review. Similarly, merit raise weighting procedures should match each faculty member’s assignment.

Core Definitions and Principles

Teaching. Activities that include instruction of scheduled classes, seminars, laboratories, supervision of thesis and dissertation research, and advising. Professional development in pedagogy (advanced workshops, training, conference attendance, etc.) would also fall under this category (for Group‐I and ‐II faculty).

Research. Activities associated with the generation and presentation of scholarly work through publication, colloquia, seminars, and conferences. Professional development in scholarly areas (advanced workshops, training, conference attendance, etc.) would also fall under this category (for Group I faculty only).

Service. Activities involving leadership, administration or significant participation in governance or non-teaching and non-research university functions at the (a) department, (b) college, (c) university, (d) professional association or (e) community levels. Community service must be directly related to a faculty member’s professional role in order to be considered part of workload.

Overloads: Overloads are special contracts issued for teaching or other duties that are performed over and above the normal workload. The College strongly discourages the use of overload teaching assignments for full-time faculty. Nonetheless, it is recognized that overload contracts are occasionally necessary to meet unexpected curricular needs.

The Faculty Handbook holds that academic year overload contracts shall only be issued when:

"The individual under consideration is able to complete all contracted duties and assignments adequately; the time and attention required by the overload assignment does not interfere with proper completion of the regular full load. The overload assignments of the individual under consideration will normally require in total no more than ten hours per week, although a heavier load may be acceptable for a short period. The individual predictably will earn from all sources connected with Ohio University no more than twenty-five percent (25%) beyond the salary amount specified for his/her full time services to the institution.”

College policy interprets this to mean that full time faculty may teach no more than a single 3 or 4 credit hour course on overload per semester in the nine‐month academic year.

Summer and Online

Neither the Faculty Handbook nor college policy set limits on summer teaching for faculty who are on nine-month contracts—Department chairs are limited to one course per summer and should ensure that their own course does not compete with opportunities for other departmental faculty. Department workload policies must address the mechanisms for assigning summer courses. Online and summer courses may be taught “on load” (that is, as part of the regular academic year workload) as long as written agreements are consistent with departmental, college, and university guidelines and explicitly account for the faculty member’s full participation in the teaching, research, and service mission during the regular academic year.

Revised: 24-NOV-2014

Departmental Workload Policies


Faculty workload is defined as the total of the instructional, scholarly, and professional service activities that faculty provide to the university. A broadly encompassing and detailed workload policy recognizes the contribution that each faculty member makes to the institution.

As a college that offers a major portion of the general education curriculum, a substantial range of undergraduate majors, and a large number of graduate programs, we recognize a need for faculty workloads to be flexible both within and between departments. Our academic programs vary in their goals and missions and in the constituencies that they serve.  Consequently, our workload policy must enable academic programs to serve their constituencies (their students, their disciplines, the citizens of the state of Ohio) within boundaries that are widely accepted by the university community.  Therefore, it is necessary that each department articulate its own framework and associated boundaries in a department workload policy and that the actual workloads for individual faculty members are consistent with this policy.  Factors that may influence workloads between departments might include labor intensive pedagogies, involvement in graduate programs, disciplinary norms, involvement in the provision of general education, and the requirements associated with the variety of scholarly and creative activities. These department policies must be approved by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the provost.

When considering individual workloads within departments, the balance among the three major elements—teaching, scholarship, and service—that define workload for individual faculty will also vary.  Faculty and their chairs or directors will regularly assess individual workloads and reach agreement on any changes to those workloads.  The portion of the workload assigned to instruction will vary, on average, from 3 to 12 credits per term depending on a variety of factors such as involvement in the supervision of graduate students, level of scholarly productivity, and assignment of administrative duties.  Individual workloads are determined in the department and subject to the approval of the dean’s office.

Workload policies furthermore must be consistent with department promotion and tenure guidelines and linked to merit raise procedures. Promotion and tenure committees and merit raise committees must be informed of each faculty member’s workload agreements. Similarly, merit raise weighting procedures should match faculty member’s assignments.  It is expected that every tenured/ tenure track faculty member will be involved to some degree in all three areas of work – teaching, research, and service. Therefore, with the exception of specialized cases, weightings for teaching, research, and service will, at a minimum, be 20%, 20%, and 10% respectively. Similarly, maximum weightings for any individual would be, 70%, 70%, and 60% respectively. Workload policies also must recognize the validity of negotiations with new faculty for temporary workload adjustments during the probationary period so that programs can remain competitive in their efforts to recruit new faculty.

Before implementing the workload policy for each academic year, deans will present that policy to the Executive Vice President and Provost. Workload implementation must be approved annually by the Executive Vice President and Provost before it can take effect.

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