REG - 10.05.1 Faculty Teaching Workloads Regulation

Responsible Office:
Academic Affairs
Office of the Provost,, 919-530-6230
Effective Date: September 18, 2014; Revised: November 8, 2017


1. Purpose

1.1  As required by House Bill 229, Section 15.9 entitled, Rewarding Faculty Teaching (1995 Session of the General Assembly), the Board of Governors is required to design and implement a system to monitor faculty teaching workloads on the campuses of constituent institutions. UNC Policy Manual 400.3.4 (Monitoring Faculty Teaching Workloads) mandates that "All campuses and constituent institutions will develop and implement policies and procedures to monitor faculty teaching loads and to approve significant or sustained variations from expected minimums. Policies must include the criteria and approval process for reductions in institutional load attendant to increased administrative responsibilities, externally-funded research, including course buy-outs, and additional institutional and departmental service obligations."

1.2  While the Board of Governors recognizes in this policy that individual faculty teaching loads are best managed at the department and school level and not the system or state level, they also are requiring all campuses to adopt a standard methodology for collecting data on teaching load, in order to ensure meaningful comparisons of faculty teaching load over time and across peers.

1.3  For reporting purposes, the Board of Governors selected the National Study of Instructional Costs & Productivity (The Delaware Study) as the tool of choice for data collection that would allow for the annual review and monitoring of instructional teaching loads for full-time equivalent faculty within the University.

1.4  The purpose of the below noted regulations and procedures is to define how North Carolina Central University (NCCU) will implement the Board of Governors’ mandate to monitor teaching loads among faculty and to develop processes for approving significant and sustained variations from the expected minimum teaching loads.

2. Definitions

2.1  Instructional Teaching Load: The number of courses or semester credit hours each full-time faculty member is expected to teach in a semester or an academic year.

2.2  Standard Annual Instructional Teaching Load: The number of organized class courses a full-time faculty member is assigned in a given academic year.

2.3  Course Overload: An instructional workload assignment that exceeds the expected teaching load for the discipline/department; faculty may receive additional pay or alternative compensation (such as a subsequent course reduction) for overload assignments.

2.4  Course Reduction: a reduction in the faculty member’s normal instructional teaching load to allow time for work on non-instructional activities.

3. Faculty Instructional Teaching Load Assignments

3.1 Standard Teaching Load

3.1.1  UNC Policy Manual 400.3.4 establishes that the standard annual instructional teaching loads will be differentiated to accommodate the diverse missions of the individual campuses. Standard faculty teaching load, measured by the number of organized class courses a faculty member is assigned to teach in a given academic year, will be no lower than the following: Research Universities I - 4 Doctoral Universities I - 5 Masters (Comprehensive) I - 6 Baccalaureate (Liberal Arts) I - 8 Baccalaureate (Liberal Arts) II - 8

3.1.2  The instructional teaching load for individual faculty members will vary from this average load depending on the nature of the faculty member’s appointment: e.g., responsibilities in teaching, research, extension/engagement, service and other. Teaching workload may also reflect the faculty member’s appointment type (tenure-track/non-tenure track or research/teaching) as well as level of performance in teaching and other responsibilities.

3.1.3  As established by Section 4.4.6 of the Faculty Handbook, the normal instructional teaching load at the university is 12 hours a semester for undergraduate courses and 9 hours a semester if teaching only graduate courses. The instructional teaching load of faculty in professional schools is based on accrediting body requirements.

3.1.4  In addition to instructional teaching load, UNC Policy Manual 400.3.4 specifies that the teaching workload also includes developing materials for a new course, developing courseware or other materials for technology-based instruction, supervising undergraduate research and master’s thesis and doctoral dissertations, directing students in co-curricular activities such as plays, preparing and equipping new laboratories, supervision of teaching assistants, and academic advising.

3.1.5  Faculty also engage in service activities that inform classroom teaching and student learning. These activities may include responses to requests for information, advice, and technical assistance as well asinstruction offered directly through continuing education. Service includes training and technology transfer for business and industry, assistance to public schools and units of government, and commentary and information for the press and other media. Service also includes time spent internal to the university which may include participation in faculty governance, serving on search committees for new faculty, and preparing for discipline accreditation visits.

3.1.6  As defined in Section 4.4.6 of the Faculty Handbook, the total workload for each full-time faculty member is ordinarily composed of the following: Classroom teaching Academic advising Discipline-related scholarly activities Appropriate committee assignments Possible administrative duties Professional development activities Course and curriculum development

3.1.7 Within this framework, the classroom teaching assignments for a faculty member may vary from semester to semester, and may differ from one faculty member to another. Workload is also calculated differently based on graduate or undergraduate course assignments. Courses that are not conducted in regularly scheduled class meetings, such as readings, special topics, problems or research courses, including dissertation/thesis research, and individual lesson courses (typically in music and fine arts) are excluded from the instructional teaching load calculation reported for the Delaware study. However, these courses are included in the total workload calculation for a faculty member.

3.2 Reduction in Instructional Teaching Load

3.2.1 UNC Policy Manual 400.3.4 identifies the following possible grounds for course reductions from the expected instructional teaching load: increased administrative responsibilities, externally-funded research- including course buy-outs-and additional institutional and departmental service obligations.

3.2.2 Any significant and sustained variations from a reduction in the expected minimum teaching load at NCCU may be made for the purpose of improving the quality of instruction and research. Such reductions in instructional teaching load are made by the chairperson and approved by the dean.

3.2.3 The dean of each college/school, in consultation with the department chair will establish criteria for the expected workload including justifications for course reductions. If the course reduction is designed to foster scholarship, there will be a documented mutual agreement between the chair and the faculty on the deliverables/expectations associated with the course reduction. The agreement will clearly state the repercussions of not meeting the deliverables/expectation. Faculty teaching workloads may vary in relation to major responsibilities and overall assignment of duties, disciplinary standards, class sizes, contact hours, and accreditation or certification requirements.

3.2.4 The department chair in consultation with of her/his dean is responsible for defining individual workload assignments for each member of the faculty consistent with university guidelines. The dean must approve individual teaching assignments that vary significantly from expected minimum instructional teaching loads.

3.2.5 For faculty holding a joint or interdisciplinary appointments, the department chair of the faculty member’s primary academic department, in consultation with the department chair to which the faculty member is jointly appointed or the interdisciplinary programs to which they are assigned, will define the workload expectations.

3.2.6 As required by the Board of Governors in its Academic Integrity Guidelines (UNC Policy Manual 700.6.1[R]), institutions must develop guidelines for the number of undergraduate independent studies courses a faculty member may teach per term. NCCU’s policy indicates that a faculty member may teach no more than one (1) undergraduate independent study course in addition to the normal teaching workload. This excludes courses during the summer months.

3.3 Course Overloads

3.3.1 Since faculty members have scholarship and service responsibilities as well as teaching assignments, overloads should be assigned and accepted carefully so that faculty members do not become overextended. With the same cautions applied to external professional activities for pay, the priority must be on faculty meeting their regular campus professional responsibilities.

3.3.2 As required by UNC Policy Manual 300.2.13, constituent institutions must have policies or regulations in place to address requirements and procedures for special payments. The NCCU Policy on One-Time Payments and Overloads (see related policies section above) states that course overload may be granted for a faculty member to undertake additional duties on campus beyond their regular contract.

3.3.3 The overload may occur in the academic unit of the faculty member’s regular employment or in an academic unit outside the faculty member’s regular employment. In either situation, the activity must be approved in advance by the department chair, dean (or director), and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The dean should provide a brief justification for the overload at the same time it is requested.

3.3.4 Course overloads are initiated by the department chair based on the needs of the unit on a semester-by-semester basis. A faculty member is allowed only one overload course (maximum of 4 credit hours) per semester during the fall and spring semester. In cases of extenuating circumstances, the Provost may approve more than one overload course for a faculty member during a semester.

4. Monitoring and Reporting on Faculty Instructional Teaching Load

4.1 For reporting purposes, the University will use the National Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity (Delaware Study) Data Collection Form for full time equivalent faculty within the University.

4.2 The Delaware Study provides comparable teaching data at the discipline/department level (not for individual faculty members) using the following faculty categories:

4.2.1 Regular tenure or tenure-track faculty Regular faculty are defined as those individuals who are hired for the purpose of doing teaching, and who may also do research and service. They are characterized by a recurring contractual relationship in which the individual and the institution both assume a continuing appointment. These faculty typically fall into two categories: Tenured and Tenure-Eligible: Those individuals who either hold tenure, or for whom tenure is an expected outcome. At most institutions, these are full, associate, and assistant professors. Non-Tenure Track Faculty: Those individuals who teach on a recurring contractual basis, but whose academic title renders them ineligible for academic tenure. At most institutions, these titles include instructors, lecturers, visiting faculty, etc.

4.2.2 Supplemental faculty Supplemental faculty are characteristically paid to teach out of a pool of temporary funds. Their appointment is non-recurring, although the same individual might receive a temporary appointment in successive terms. The key point is that the funding is, by nature, temporary and there is no expectation of continuing appointment. This category includes adjuncts, administrators or professional personnel at the institution who teach but whose primary job responsibility is non-faculty (e.g. dean, provost who may teach a course), contributed service personnel, etc.

4.2.3 Teaching assistants Students at the institution who receive a stipend strictly for teaching activity. Includes teaching assistants who are instructors of record, but also includes teaching assistants who function as discussion section leaders, laboratory section leaders, and other types of organized class sections in which instruction takes place but which may not carry credit and for which there is no formal instructor of record. For purposes of this study, do not include graduate research assistants. If a graduate assistant's FTE is split between research and teaching, only report the portion of their FTE that reflects their teaching activity.

4.3 NCCU will use the Delaware Study data definitions, common definitions of instructional formats, and reporting timeline cited in UNC Policy Manual 400.3.4 [R] (Regulations Related to Monitoring Faculty Teaching Workloads).

4.4 For reporting purposes, the instructional workload is derived by the number of organized class courses (a course which is provided principally by means of regularly scheduled classes meeting in classrooms or similar facilities at stated times) a faculty member is assigned in a given semester. Courses that are not conducted in regularly scheduled class meetings, such as readings, special topics, problems or research courses, including dissertation/thesis research, and individual lesson courses (typically in music and fine arts) are excluded from the instructional teaching load calculation reported for the Delaware study.

4.5 Faculty members will include their teaching workload in their Annual Performance Evaluation as stipulated in the Faculty Handbook (Section The department head/chair/director’s Annual Performance Evaluation of faculty members shall be based upon the assigned duties during the respective academic year. If a faculty member was granted a course reduction, the evaluation will address whether the productivity outcomes expected as a result of the reduction were met. If a faculty member was granted a course overload, the evaluation will address the impact of the additional course on the faculty member’s overall productivity.

4.6 To systematically monitor faculty teaching workloads (including independent studies, overloads, and course reductions), the Office of the Provost directs all deans or designees to review and approve faculty teaching loads through an analysis of class schedules/enrollment no later than a week prior to classes being rolled out for the fall and spring semesters. Department chairs will review workload data based on feedback from the deans and will reassign faculty equitably for future semesters to ensure faculty meet their workload expectations.

4.6.1 In case of high enrollment or canceled courses, the department chair with approval of the respective dean may make adjustments to the faculty member’s total workload.

4.6.2 As part of the annual report submitted by deans to the Provost, the following information is included: number of faculty members assigned course overloads, number of course overloads per faculty member, number of faculty members assigned course reduction and the basis for the course reduction, summary information on whether expectations/outcomes related to course reduction were met, and modifications planned, if any.