Workload Principles and Guidelines


Workload Principles and Guidelines

For Regular (tenured and tenure-track) Faculty
College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota



Introduction

The College of Liberal Arts is dedicated to promoting excellence in scholarly research or other creative work, teaching, and service in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. This statement of workload principles is designed to encourage outstanding scholarly and creative achievement; to provide excellent undergraduate and graduate education responsive to curricular needs; and to advance effective service to the University and the community. The college must be appropriately flexible in responding to the needs of a diverse group of departments and faculty members while establishing normative standards for equitable distribution of effort across the faculty.


General Expectations

Each CLA faculty member is expected to accomplish superior teaching, scholarly research or other creative work, and service, though the proportion of each activity in the workload of an individual faculty member may vary somewhat from one academic year to the next. The annual review of probationary faculty is the vehicle for providing feedback to probationary faculty on how well they are meeting these expectations. The Post-Tenure Review process is a vehicle for providing feedback to a tenured faculty member who experiences a persistent diminution in one or more areas of responsibility, and for assigning additional responsibilities in other areas so that a faculty member will have a full workload. (For more information, see Faculty Tenure, Section 7.a., “Review of Faculty Performance” (PDF)


I. Scholarly Research and Creative Work

Each CLA faculty member is expected to attain national recognition for scholarly research or other creative work relevant to her or his field or discipline. The unit's statement of indices and standards (mandated by section 7.12 of the Regulations Concerning Faculty Tenure) is critical to ensuring quality in scholarly research or other creative work. In making recommendations for promotion and tenure, the CLA Promotion and Tenure Committee and the Dean will evaluate the quality of the candidate's scholarly research or creative work in light of the unit's 7.12 statement.

After a faculty member has earned tenure, she or he is expected to continue to make significant contributions to the field or discipline. The chair or director of each unit shall take appropriate steps under the Post-Tenure Review process to assure that any colleague who suffers a persistent diminution in scholarly research or creative work has a full workload.


II. Teaching

Please note: The change to a single allocation model has an impact on continuing collegiate discussions about minimum course enrollment and team teaching. This section is under review.

Each CLA faculty member is expected to be an excellent teacher and mentor. Each faculty member is also expected to participate in an appropriate mix of teaching activities that involve the offering of courses as well as advising undergraduate and graduate students; supervising of M.A. theses and dissertations; serving on M.A. and preliminary examination committees; supervising undergraduate and graduate research projects, etc. As part of the unit's submission of annual faculty activity reports, the chair or director shall inform the Dean of any colleague who suffers a persistent diminution in his or her teaching activities and shall take appropriate steps under the Post-Tenure Review process to ensure a full workload.

Except as indicated in Section II.B. below, each 100%–time, 9-month faculty member shall teach four semester courses each academic year within the college. (Except by special arrangement with the Dean, a “course” for this purpose shall carry at least three credits.) In the event that a course is canceled because of insufficient enrollment (see below Section II.A.), the chair or director of the unit shall assign the faculty member a substitute course within a year. Each faculty member's teaching portfolio will normally include both undergraduate and graduate courses.

Authority to assign members of the faculty to teach specific courses rests with the chair/director of the unit in which the faculty member's tenure home resides. This authority includes determining whether a faculty member may teach courses on an overload basis (beyond the faculty member's standard four courses taught during the academic year) during the academic year, during the summer terms, and through distance education. Faculty who teach courses in CLA but outside the unit in which their tenure home resides must have received permission to do so from their own chair/director and the chair/director of the unit in which the course is to be offered. Chairs/directors also have the authority to decide whether a faculty member may increase his or her teaching schedule by teaching an additional course in one academic year (e.g., five courses) so he or she can teach one fewer course (e.g., three) in the following academic year. Chairs and directors who wish to teach an overload course during the academic year or teach during a summer term must obtain permission to do so from the Dean.


II.A. Minimum Course Enrollment

Please note: The change to a single allocation model has an impact on continuing collegiate discussions about minimum course enrollment and team teaching. This section is under review.

In order for a course to count as part of a faculty member's normal workload, it should meet the following minimum course enrollments:

  • 1000 level courses: 15 students
  • 3000-4000 level courses: 10 students
  • 5000-8000 graduate level course: 5 students

The unit and college will monitor enrollment figures before the semester begins and cancel courses that do not meet the minimum course enrollment. Alternatively, faculty may elect to offer courses with enrollment that is below the minimum, but these course will not count toward meeting the faculty member's workload requirements. The college recognizes that enrollments for graduate courses will vary depending on the needs of the graduate program. However, any course enrolling fewer than the minimum number of students will require written approval from the college.


II.B. Reduced Teaching Load –
Course Releases, Course Buyouts

There are several circumstances under which a faculty member may teach less than the full complement of four courses. In all such circumstances, the College of Liberal Arts affirms its commitment to undergraduate and graduate education, and the principle that faculty are expected to teach at least one course per academic year, unless on an authorized faculty development leave or unpaid personal leave. Approval for such leaves resides with the Associate Dean for Arts & Humanities or the Associate Dean for Social Sciences.

The college does not provide course replacement funding in all course release situations. Units should refer to the college’s Replacement Teaching Funding Guidelines for information on the specific circumstances in which Temporary Instructional Needs (TINs) funding may be requested.

  1. Administrative Course Releases.  To facilitate the ability of the faculty to assume administrative responsibilities in support of an academic unit and its graduate and undergraduate programs, the college will annually allocate to each academic unit a fixed number of course releases for the chair/director to assign to members of the unit who perform these administrative duties (e.g., chair/director, DGS, DUS, director of language instruction).
    • Administrative course releases may not be carried forward for use in future years. 
  2. Regents Professor Course Releases.  The College of Liberal Arts recognizes its regents professors by providing them one course release per year for the period they hold the regents professorship.
    • The course release provided to a Regents Professor may not be “banked” for later use.
    • Regents professors are expected to teach at least one course per academic year, unless on an authorized faculty development leave.
  3. Course Buyout.  With the approval of their chair/director, faculty may use funds provided by external grants or other external sources to buy out of a course that would otherwise be considered part of the faculty member's regular teaching load during the academic year.
    • A single course buyout requires a 25% commitment of the faculty member’s effort for the academic year, and a funding commitment of 25% of the faculty member's base salary and corresponding fringe.  An external grant must provide funding to cover at least 12.5% of the faculty member’s base salary and corresponding fringe, but the college strongly encourages units to request the maximum level of financial support possible from the external grant.
    • The chair/director will work with the principal investigator and/or the faculty member to determine what level of financial support (between 12.5% and 25% of the faculty member’s base salary plus corresponding fringe per course buyout) is appropriate to request in the grant. If course buyout funding of at least 12.5% (but less than 25%) is secured from an external grant, the course buyout will be allowed, with the regular source of the faculty member's salary and corresponding fringe continuing to fund the portion of the faculty member's salary and corresponding fringe necessary to reach the 25% effort level required for the course buyout.
    • O&M funds released from the portion of the course buyout provided by the external grant (which can range from 12.5% to 25% of the faculty member's base salary plus corresponding fringe) must first be used to fund replacement teaching. The department should transfer funds to the instructional funding program (20031) based on the actual cost of replacement teaching, or the departmental average cost per course if the course is not replaced. Any remaining funds stay within the unit under the direction of the chair/director to support faculty research, graduate students, and research infrastructure.
    • Course buyouts are to be scheduled in consultation with the chair/director of the unit. Unit heads should manage course buy outs in a fashion that protects their unit's undergraduate and graduate curricula and minimizes the cost of replacement teaching.
    • Faculty are expected to be fully engaged with scholarly research or other creative work, and to be advising and participating in appropriate service and governance activities throughout the period of their paid appointments, whether teaching in a given term or not.
    • Faculty using funds to buy out of teaching are expected to teach at least one course per academic year.
  4. Non-Administrative Course Releases. In the case of course releases for non-administrative reasons, including research course releases provided by the college, Imagine Fund course releases, or other course releases or reductions in teaching, the following general principles will apply:
    • Faculty utilizing course releases are expected to teach at least one course per academic year.
    • Course releases are to be scheduled in consultation with the chair/director of the unit. Unit heads should manage the granting of course releases in a fashion that protects their unit's undergraduate and graduate curricula and minimizes the cost of replacement teaching.
    • Faculty are expected to be fully engaged with scholarly research or other creative work, and to be advising and participating in appropriate service and governance activities throughout the period of their paid appointments, whether teaching in a given term or not.
    • In the case of IAS fellowships and other University fellowships or course releases that amount to a teaching-free semester, faculty must return to University service immediately following the fellowship/teaching-free semester for a period of time at least equal to the period of the fellowship/teaching-free semester and at the percentage of appointment held during the fellowship/teaching-free semester.
  5. Teaching-Free Semester Following Administrative Service. The teaching-free semester provided by the college in recognition of administrative service (e.g., chair or director, associate dean) will not be subject to a return to service requirement.

II.C. Faculty Development Leaves

In keeping with the college’s commitment to undergraduate and graduate education, faculty are expected to return to service immediately following all faculty development leaves. The College of Liberal Arts affirms the principle that faculty are expected to teach at least one course per academic year, unless on an authorized faculty development leave. Faculty development leaves include University sabbatical leaves and single semester leaves, and CLA Faculty Development Leaves. Approval for such leaves resides with the Associate Dean for Arts & Humanities or the Associate Dean for Social Sciences.

The College of Liberal Arts adheres to University and collegiate policies, procedures and guidelines concerning faculty development leaves. The following is a summary of the return to service requirements for faculty development leaves.

The college does not provide course replacement funding in all faculty development leave situations. Units should refer to the college’s Replacement Teaching Funding Guidelines for information on the specific circumstances in which Temporary Instructional Needs (TINs) funding may be requested.

  1. Sabbatical Leaves.  Sabbatical leaves are governed by University policy, which provides that faculty must return to University service immediately following the leave for a period of time at least equal to the period of the leave and at the percentage of appointment held during the leave.
    • http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/hr/Leaves/FACLEAVES.html
    • In the case of a sabbatical leave, the return to service requirement is one semester or two consecutive semesters, depending on the length of the sabbatical leave.
    • A sabbatical leave may not immediately follow or precede any other faculty development leave.
    • The return to service obligation must be fulfilled immediately following a sabbatical leave.
    • Faculty requesting a CLA Faculty Development leave, who are eligible for a sabbatical leave, are expected to take the sabbatical leave.
  2. Single Semester Leaves.  Single semester leaves are governed by University policy, which provides that faculty must return to University service immediately following the leave for a period of time at least equal to the period of the leave and at the percentage of appointment held during the leave.
    • http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/hr/Leaves/FACLEAVES.html
    • In the case of a single semester leave, the return to service requirement is one semester.
    • A single semester leave may not immediately follow or precede any other faculty development leave.
    • The return to service obligation must be fulfilled immediately following a single semester leave.
  3. CLA Faculty Development Leaves.  CLA faculty development leaves are governed by collegiate rules which stipulate that faculty must return to University service immediately following the leave for a period of time at least equal to the period of the leave and at the percentage of appointment held during the leave.
    • CLA Faculty Development Leave (CLA)
    • In the case of a CLA faculty development leave, the return to service requirement is one semester or two consecutive semesters, depending on the length of the CLA faculty development leave.
    • A CLA Faculty Development Leave may not immediately follow or precede any other faculty development leave.
    • The return to service obligation must be fulfilled immediately following a CLA faculty development leave.
    • Faculty requesting a CLA Faculty Development leave, who are eligible for a sabbatical leave, are expected to take the sabbatical leave.

II.D. Phased Retirements, Reduced Appointments

Phased Retirements.  The Phased Retirement Program is a voluntary internal University retirement program designed to facilitate change within units by providing compensation in return for tenure or continuous appointment resignation.

  • At levels proportional to their paid appointment, tenured faculty on phased retirement are expected to maintain an active program of scholarly research or other creative work, to engage with students through teaching and advising, and to participate in appropriate service and governance activities throughout the period covered by the phased retirement agreement.
  • http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/hr/Benefits/PHASEDRETIREMENT.html

Reduced Appointments.

  • At levels proportional to their paid appointment, regular faculty whose appointments are less than 100%-time, either on a recurring basis or because of a temporary reduction, are expected to maintain an active program of scholarly research or other creative work, to engage with students through teaching and advising, and to participate in appropriate service and governance activities throughout the period of the reduced percentage appointment.

III. Service and Outreach

Each faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts is expected to engage in service that contributes to the well-being of his or her unit, the college, and the University. This service includes activities such as participating on departmental, college, and University committees and governance bodies.

The College of Liberal Arts also serves an extended community that includes the citizenry of the state, as well as national and international professional organizations. Service and outreach to that extended community are also an integral part of the mission of the University and the College of Liberal Arts.

Each member of the faculty is expected to engage in service and/or outreach activities on an annual basis. Service or outreach activity shall not abrogate a faculty member's basic responsibilities to teach, conduct scholarly research or engage in creative activity. As part of the unit's submission of annual faculty activity reports, the chair or director shall inform the Dean of any colleague who suffers a persistent diminution in service and/or outreach activities and shall take appropriate steps under the Post-Tenure Review process to ensure a full workload.


Effective December 1993
Revised August 1998; August 2002; July 2011; January 2012