4.3.3 Faculty Workload Policies

"The University of Delaware exists to cultivate learning, develop knowledge, and foster the free exchange of ideas. State-assisted yet privately governed, the University has a strong tradition of distinguished scholarship, research, teaching, and service that is grounded in a commitment to increasing and disseminating scientific, humanistic, and social knowledge for the benefit of the larger society. Founded in 1743 and chartered by the state in 1833, the University of Delaware today is a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, and urban-grant university.

The University of Delaware is a major research university with extensive graduate programs that is also dedicated to outstanding undergraduate and professional education. UD faculty are committed to the intellectual, cultural and ethical development of students as citizens, scholars and professionals. UD graduates are prepared to contribute to a global society that requires leaders with creativity, integrity and a dedication to service.

The University of Delaware promotes an environment in which all people are inspired to learn, and encourages intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, free inquiry and respect for the views and values of an increasingly diverse population.

An institution engaged in addressing the critical needs of the state, nation and global community, the University of Delaware carries out its mission with the support of alumni who span the globe and in partnership with public, private and nonprofit institutions in Delaware and beyond." (Mission Statement, approved 2008).

Faculty workload is assigned in support of the academic programs of our departments, schools and colleges. Within this framework, all academic units must have written and approved workload policies. The procedures for development and approval of unit workload policies are stipulated in "Approval of a Unit's Workload Policies."

A unit's workload policy must be congruent with academic program needs and in compliance with all university policies and collective bargaining guidelines.

Evaluation of academic program needs must include course requirements of the academic unit, teaching availability of full-time faculty, the non-instructional responsibilities of the academic unit, and the contributions of the unit within the college and the university.

It is recognized that, depending upon their responsibilities and priorities, academic units will vary in the relative balance of teaching, research and service assignments to faculty.

Periodic Review of Workload Policies: Over time the needs of academic departments/units will change necessitating periodic review and possible modification of workload policies. Departments/units may modify their policies at any time following the procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook.The recently approved Collective Bargaining Agreement (July 1, 2005-June 30, 2008), Article XI, 11.3 stipulates that: ".beginning July 1, 2002, all academic departments must review their workload policies to maintain congruence with academic program needs (following procedures outlined in 11.2 above) as well as to assure compliance with all university policies and collective bargaining guidelines." It is further stipulated that: "By June 30, 2003, academic units and chairs must present their workload policies, whether revised or not, for review and approval by the appropriate dean, the AAUP Contract Maintenance Office, and the Provost."

Workload policies must also be reviewed as part of the unit's regularly scheduled Academic Program Review and/or periodic review for accreditation or re-accreditation.

Alignment of Workload with Other Policies: The University seeks alignment and consistency between workload policies and other policies related to faculty contributions and evaluations.

As stipulated above in  "Consistency between Workload Policy and Other Policies," the University strives for consistency among workload policies, promotion and tenure policies and decisions, faculty appraisals by the department chairperson or college dean, merit salary award policies, and initial contract and contract renewal decision policies.

Expectations of All Faculty: All faculty, whether tenure track or non-tenure track, must meet general University expectiations. These expectations include participation in and contributions to:

  • Regularly scheduled undergraduate and/or graduate instruction;
  • Advisement, mentoring, and academic supervision of students;
  • Faculty governance and the development and effective conduct of the academic program as defined by departmental and college by-laws;
  • Other responsibilities expected of all faculty on the basis of approved departmental and college by-laws or as set forth by the College or University Faculty Senate or as otherwise stipulated in University policy.
    • The Administration and the AAUP will come to agreement on a unit-by-unit basis on the general University expectations that apply to faculty on non-administered workloads.

      Expectations of Tenure-Track Faculty: Faculty holding tenure track positions are expected to perform the activities enumerated in the unit's approved Promotion and Tenure document.

      Research and publication are a significant part of each faculty member's total contribution as a member of the academic community. Faculty members must be engaged in some form of creative activity in their academic fields, and it is expected that creative activity will be evidenced by publication or other forms of scholarly output, which not only signifies the completion of scholarly inquiry but makes it available to other scholars. The number and frequency of publications [or other forms of scholarly output] will vary with the individual, the field of study, and the proportion of time devoted to research; however, no faculty member can be excused from research and scholarly productivity on the grounds that all available time is devoted to other activities.

      Conversely, teaching, advising, committee responsibilities, and community service are not to be neglected on the ground that research and publication have a higher priority. Each faculty member is expected to make a balanced contribution to the University.

      Administered Workloads: Twelve credit contact hours or 18 teaching contact hours per week per semester constitutes a 100% workload for the semester for the academic year as described in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article XI.

      In practice, however, the University adheres to a policy of "administered" teaching loads, particularly in the case of tenure-track faculty. Under this arrangement department chairpersons and deans are encouraged to vary the teaching loads of individual faculty members so long as the total teaching obligations are met with the teaching personnel available. This flexible arrangement makes it possible for the chairpersons to make assignments of individual faculty members on a semester-to-semester basis to stimulate research and scholarship or to provide for unusually heavy committee assignments.

      The policy of administered workloads carries a responsibility for the effective implementation by the departmental chairperson or other academic unit head. Workloads are to be administered to reflect an optimal utilization of the talents and contributions of the faculty in accord with the academic program needs of the department and the faculty's opportunities for continued professional development and achievement. Unit workload policies must stipulate how the policy of administered workloads will be implemented.

      Administered workloads are not automatic, but must accord with the actual contributions of the faculty members who are assigned such workloads. Thus, workload assignments to support research and scholarship must, over time, be reflected in research and scholarly productivity commensurate with that workload responsibility.

      When a faculty member's administered workload assignment does not comport with his/her actual research and scholarly contributions, the chair may increase the teaching or service components of that faculty member's workload. In such an instance, the faculty member may request a review of his/her research quality and productivity and the chair will appoint an ad-hoc committee for that purpose. The composition of the review committee will be decided by the chair and its recommendation will be advisory.  Alternatively the chair may appoint such a committee, in the absence of any request from the faculty member.  In all cases, the faculty member will have the opportunity to submit any evidence deemed appropriate to the committee's tasks.  The recommendation(s) of the ad-hoc committee are advisory; the chair has final responsibility for any change in a faculty member's workload.

      (Approved by the Provost and the AAUP Executive Council, 12/01/03)

      Workload Policy Statement and the Composition of Workload: The workload policy statement must describe the expectations of faculty regarding teaching, scholarship and service, the composition of faculty workload in that unit, and the basis for that composition.

      The composition of workload must be congruent with all University policies and Collective Bargaining guidelines. The composition must also be congruent with the mission and academic program responsibilities of the unit, the terms of appointment of the faculty member, and the contributions of the unit within the college and the University. For tenure-track faculty, the composition of workload also must be consistent with promotion and tenure guidelines. For these reasons and given that units implement a policy of administered workloads, the composition of workload varies among and within academic units.

      The policy statement must include a description of the composition of workload that reflects the application of a consistent metric for assignments of annualized efforts in teaching, scholarship and service. The metric must conform in all respects to University policies and the Collective Bargaining Guidelines.

      Workload policies must describe the following:

      • The composition of the typical administered workload for tenure-track faculty, stipulating the correspondence by distribution of effort to the total workload of 12 credit hours or 18 teaching contact hours per semester ;
      • The conditions for variation from that typical workload for tenure-track faculty; that is, how the policy of an administered workload will be implemented;
      • The composition of the typical workload for each type of non-tenure track faculty within the unit (instructional, clinical, public service), stipulating the correspondence by distribution of effort to the total workload of 12 credit hours or 18 teaching contact hours per semester;
      • The conditions for variation from that typical workload, if any, for each type of non-tenure track faculty in the unit;
      • The differences in workload responsibilities for faculty on different types of appointments (such as 9-month, 10-month, 11-month, 9 plus 1, 9 plus 2 appointments).
      • The manner in which workloads will be administered for sponsored program responsibilities and assignments to other restricted sources of support, and for other special circumstances appropriate to the unit that might reduce instructional workload. A college approved instructional buy-out policy should be referenced as appropriate. (Approved by the Provost and the AAUP Executive Committee, 06/13/02)