Faculty Workload Policy for Springfield and Mountain Grove Campuses

Definitions

The term "Equated hours" is used to refer both to credit hours of teaching and to time assigned to activities that are equivalent to credit hours of teaching. The work involved in any activity worth three equated hours will have been determined to be equivalent to the work involved in having sole responsibility for instructing a one semester non-laboratory three-hour undergraduate class with enrollment at typical numbers or with responsibilities that do not significantly increase normal workload.

"Standard workload" is 24 equated hours across an academic year (Fall and Spring) with the exception of instructors without a service component. The conceptual framework for this standard workload is a total workload of 30 equated hours with six equated hours being allocated for maintaining currency in one's field, advising duties, and normal department, college, and University service activities. The reference to standard workload in this policy is only applicable to nine month academic appointments.

"Overload" is determined by evaluating the workload assigned to a faculty member in relation to the standard workload as configured for that faculty member. Thus, if a faculty member with a typical nine-hour semester teaching load is asked to teach additional coursework during a semester, then that faculty member's workload might be considered overloaded. However, even within a department all courses are not automatically equal.

Reason or purpose for the policy

Missouri State University recognizes and supports the important work that faculty members do in and outside of the classroom to impact academic disciplines, students, the University, and communities. In support of that commitment, the following workplace policy was drafted to guide department, college, and University decisions related to the fair and prudent allocation of faculty workload.

Policy statement

All six colleges, the Library, and the Darr School of Agriculture are required to create and maintain a workload policy approved by the Provost that defines the appropriate teaching load equivalence of courses and teaching-related activities (including contact hours) and define what constitutes "research active" faculty. In constructing these policies, these college/units are expected to use selected terms and definitions outlined in this document. Academic departments may develop their own workload policies, but the policies must align with the college/unit level plan. These terms include “equated hours,” “standard workload,” and “overload.”

"Equated hours" is used to refer both to credit hours of teaching and to time assigned to activities that are equivalent to credit hours of teaching. The work involved in any activity worth three equated hours will have been determined to be equivalent to the work involved in having sole responsibility for instructing a one semester non-laboratory three-hour undergraduate class with enrollment at typical numbers or with responsibilities that do not significantly increase normal workload. Academic Department policies regarding how equated hours are assigned to particular activities are to receive majority approval in departments, be aligned with the college/unit plan and approved by the Department Head and the Dean/Director. The process for creating the workload policy should be transparent. Changes made to the college/unit and/or Academic Department workload policies by any level of academic leadership should be documented, made available, and communicated to the faculty impacted by the change. All college/unit and/or Academic Department workload policies must be posted on their respective websites upon Provost approval of the college/unit level plans. Workload policies must be reviewed every three years at both the college/unit and Academic Department level when applicable.

“Standard workload” is 24 equated hours across and academic year with the exception of instructors without a service component. The conceptual framework for this standard workload is a total workload of 30 equated hours with six equated hours being allocated for maintaining currency in one’s field, advising duties, and normal department, college, and University service activities. The departmentally-approved activities of each faculty member will often vary, and in many cases the standard workloads for individual faculty members will also vary. Research-active faculty members are typically granted a three-hour reassignment per semester to promote scholarly endeavors at the University, resulting in an equated 18-hour instructional workload for an academic year. Research and other agreed upon activities are negotiated between the Department Head and the faculty member, with the approval of the College Dean/Director.

The University supports rigorous curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and clearly and strongly supports faculty involvement in mentoring student research. Thus, the construction of viable workload policies, equitable both within and between colleges/units and/or departments, requires that workload policies address specific courses and the workload of each, program development, coordination, and supervision, individualized research or readings supervision, thesis supervision, extensive off-campus travel associated with job duties, and other activities valued by the college and/or department that increase a faculty members workload (i.e., as measured in equated hours).

“Overload” is determined by evaluating the workload assigned to a faculty member in relation to the standard workload as configured for that faculty member. Thus, if a faculty member with a typical nine-hour semester teaching load is asked to teach additional coursework during a semester, then that faculty member’s workload would be considered overloaded. Any faculty member with a workload assignment that exceeds, according to college/unit and/or Academic Department workload policy, 25 equated hours shall be compensated for being on overload status. It may be reasonable, that as a function of college/unit and/or departmental workload policies, a faculty member's standard instructional load may deviate one to two hours above or below nine hours for research active faculty and 12 hours for non-research active faculty. Where a minority of the faculty is performing duties that substantially increase their workload, it is the Department Head's responsibility to ensure the policy is fair and equitable.

Faculty members who are requested to teach overload course assignments have the right to refuse such assignments. If a faculty member chooses to accept an overload assignment, then that faculty member is entitled to overload compensation, to future workload reductions, or to another compensation arrangement mutually acceptable to the faculty member and Department Head. Faculty who receive overload compensation will receive a minimum instructional salary based on a scale of 2 ½% of a nine month base salary per credit hour unless otherwise negotiated with the unit's direct academic administrator or College Dean. Faculty who choose to accept an overload assignment will be permitted to renegotiate prior established merit weights for teaching, research, and service if applicable.

If a substantial proportion of faculty disagrees with the content of the college/unit and/or department policy or with changes made to the policy by the Department Head or College Dean they should attempt to resolve differences of opinion with the focal/relevant academic administrator. If a resolution is not possible then the faculty member may submit a written appeal to the Provost for consideration. Faculty who believe the college/unit and/or Academic Department policy is not being applied equitably may use the normal appeals process outlined in the Faculty Handbook.