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Workload Model 2

Draft Policy on Faculty Load


The Current Situation

At Southern Polytechnic State University, faculty are given one of three possible classifications, which affect their teaching load:


            T1:       Faculty with graduate faculty status and who teach at least 3 graduate courses during the fall and spring semesters.  T1 faculty teach a course load of 9 credits per semester, and have an “enhanced” expectation regarding scholarly activity.


            T2:       Faculty who do not meet the above conditions, and have a “standard” expectation regarding scholarly activity.  T2 faculty teach a course load of 12 credits per semester.


            T3:       Faculty who have no required expectation regarding scholarly activity.  T3 faculty teach a course load of 15 credits per semester.


The criteria for T1/T2/T3 status are problematic for a number of reasons. 

  • While T1 faculty have an “enhanced” expectation regarding scholarly activity, this enhanced expectation is neither clearly defined nor enforced. 
  • T2 faculty have no opportunity for reduced course load, even if performing exemplary scholarly activity.
  • Many departments do not offer graduate programs, hence, their faculty cannot obtain T1 status.
  • Some programs offer insufficient numbers of graduate courses to meet the T1 requirements.  In order that faculty obtain T1 status, more courses than are needed are sometimes offered.
  • The conditions for T1/T2/T3 status are often ignored when course schedules are established.
  • Some T3 faculty teach graduate courses, and argue that they should receive a reduced course load.  Some departments have allowed T3 faculty a reduced course load, while others have not.


Draft Proposal

In this draft, we propose the following:


1)      The issues of graduate faculty status, research expectation and teaching load are hereafter decoupled. 


2)      All faculty will continue to be evaluated as to their graduate faculty status if they are to teach graduate level courses.  The evaluation will be carried out by the graduate program committee, as before.


3)      Graduate level courses will carry the same course load value as undergraduate courses. 


4)      All faculty members will be designated as either T2 (having an expectation for scholarly activity) or T3 (having no scholarly activity expectations).  The standard teaching load for T2 faculty will be 12 credits per semester and for T3 faculty will be 15 credits per semester.


5)      All T2 faculty will be eligible to apply for a course load reduction of up to 3 credits per semester to support their scholarly activities.  Applications will be collected in December for course releases in the following academic year. 


6)      The application for research support must include research plans for the upcoming year, a narrative on the importance of the proposed research, and a narrative detailing the outcomes of any research previously receiving a course-load reduction.


7)      A committee consisting of the four school deans and three elected members of the faculty will prioritize those proposals that are viewed as sufficiently meritorious, based on (a) promise of being able to successfully complete the research and (b) positive results of prior funding.  Up to 58 semester-courses of course-load reduction (or the cash equivalent) will be funded in any given year.  No member of the committee can submit a proposal. [Or:  No member of the committee can vote on any proposal from their school]


8)      Faculty selected for course-load reduction will be classified as T1 for the semester(s) in which they receive the course-load reduction.


9)      Course-load reductions will only be funded in the fall and spring semesters.