Faculty Overloads

Developing Equitable and Effective Faculty Teaching, Advising, Service, and Research Workload Policy and Practices

The largest single expense at a university is faculty salaries. It is the responsibility of the administration to ensure that faculty human resources are managed well from fiscal, resource optimization, and faculty morale perspectives. To achieve this requires a clear definition, communication, and implementation of workload policies and management practices in teaching, advising, research and scholarship. By studying this article and its linked resources, and by using the associated shared files, you will be able to:
• Describe the different components of faculty workload, workload effort distributions, and how they are used in the faculty evaluation processes.
• Describe how faculty workload varies with appointment type, rank and may evolve with seniority.
• Create a concise table that communicates clearly to the faculty, expected teaching, research, and scholarly workload by appointment type, rank, and administrative appointment.
• Explain the advantages and disadvantages of faculty overloads and create an appropriate policy to manage it.
• Explain how courses vary in type and the impact student enrollments and course caps have on workload.
• Explain the impact of new course development, development for a new form of delivery, team teaching, and the number of unique course sections taught per semester have on faculty workload.
• Develop an equitable policy to ensure faculty receive credit for all appropriate aspects of their teaching effort and ensures individual faculty workload is evenly distributed across different departments and colleges.
• Explain the relative advantages and disadvantages of staff vs. faculty advisors, and good practices for placement and workload for professional staff.
• Develop a policy for faculty advising workload and how it might be interchangeable with teaching workload.
• Explain the various components and relative demands of faculty service, the impact of career stage on faculty participation, and how service expectations at the department, college, and university levels can be balanced.
• Explain the role of scholarship within higher education, how productivity is measured, and how expectations can be clearly communicated.
• Develop a policy that enables chairs to flexibly manage faculty workload so that assignments cater to the strengths of individual faculty but overall departmental productivity is maintained.
• Develop a plan and implement a process to have faculty workload reviewed at an institution.

Strategically Managing Allocation of Faculty Lines and Types Across Departments and Colleges – A Risk Based Model

Ensuring that faculty resources are most effectively applied across the colleges and departments of the university is a very important responsibility of the Provost/VPAA. These decisions can have a big impact on a department and are therefore very closely watched, and politically very sensitive. By studying this article and its linked resources, and by using the associated shared files, you will be able to:
• Explain how and why the available budget for hiring faculty positions can vary throughout and between years.
• Explain the impact of having a high number of adjuncts, or many faculty working overloads, can have on a department and how measuring this can help determine changing the number of full-time positions is justified.
• Explain how departmental course scheduling efficiency can be measured and factors that affect this measure, including how course caps are set.
• Make a case to automatic fund and schedule additional sections of courses experiencing student demand, in efficiently scheduled departments.
• Determine the breakeven enrollment number for courses beyond which it is profitable for an additional section to run.
• Develop a free market-based model for faculty hiring in which adjuncts/overloads initially absorb demand and are then converted to full-time positions.
• Develop a growth-rate based assignment of faculty appointment types within departments to manage risk.
• Develop guidelines for the appointment rank of new faculty based on strategically targeted distributions.
• Explain how accreditation standards may affect faculty hiring.
• Develop a spreadsheet-based model for predicting and prioritizing allocation of new and vacant faculty lines to departments across the university.
• Explain the constraints and the factors which must be considered when making faculty line allocation decisions.
• Develop a plan and a transparent process for making decisions on line allocation that is based on data but balanced by considerations of human impact.