Teaching Assignments and Workload Including Workload Equivalencies and Related Procedures

  1. Role and Responsibility of Faculty Members

    Research, Teaching, Service: Each Faculty member is expected to contribute to the Department, Campus, College and the University according to the terms and condition of his/her letter of appointment.  Some Faculty members make their primary contribution in teaching while others emphasize research.

    Scholarly activity is expected of all Faculty members, although the extent and/or type of activity may vary with the terms of each Faculty member’s assignment and campus location.  Faculty involved in research and the graduate program are expected to present evidence of their endeavors as witnessed by publication, proposals submitted for extramural funding, and dissemination of research in various venues as appropriate to the discipline. Activity in professional organizations and the training of graduate students is also expected.

    Not all Faculty members contribute to the Department in the same manner.  A Faculty member whose primary responsibilities are undergraduate teaching and undergraduate programs may teach and serve in a greater diversity of courses than a Faculty member who is also a member of the graduate Faculty.  Supervision and direction of undergraduate research projects and theses is part of the advising function. Most of the Department Faculty members will be either a full or associate member of the graduate Faculty.  All Faculty members are expected to be involved in significant research activity, serve on graduate student committees, and direct graduate student research.

    Service to the University is a responsibility of each Faculty member.  Department, Campus, College, and University committee or task force membership is expected as a normal part of a Faculty member’s contributions.  Special or outstanding service above and beyond that which is typical may be considered during the review of a Faculty member, but service alone will not reduce the expectations of quality teaching and scholarly activity.  Public service is encouraged and recognized as a part of the professional responsibilities of each Faculty member, although contributions in this area can be expected to vary widely due to the nature of the various disciplines within the Department.

    (TBD) Each Faculty member is expected to contribute to the University and Department in three areas:  teaching, research, and service.  High quality teaching is expected of all Faculty members. 

    Supervision of graduate research projects, including thesis and dissertation work, is expected from all Faculty holding graduate Faculty status, and is part of the teaching function for those Faculty.  All Faculty are expected to supervise undergraduate research projects.

    Being a doctoral-granting Department, the Department expects research and scholarship of all Faculty members.  Additionally,  when appropriate seeking extramural financial support for research and training of students is expected.

    Service on Department, College, and University committees is expected of all Faculty.  Participation in Departmental functions such as Colloquia, Awards Day, Honors Programs, Commencement and the like are considered necessary evidence of colleagueship and Department support.

  2. Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents

    All full-time Faculty of the Department are expected to carry a maximum workload of twenty-four (24) credit hours per academic year.  Full-time non-tenure track faculty members are expected to carry a maximum workload of thirty (30) credit hours per academic year.  (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-18)  The workload for each individual Faculty/faculty member is assigned by the Chair with the approval of the Dean.  The FAC shall advise the Chair on issues related to teaching assignments, class schedules and the appropriate application of workload equivalents. The Chair shall provide each Faculty/faculty member with a statement of her/his workload.

    In addition, the Chair may, in consultation with the FAC and with the concurrence of the Dean, assign workload equivalencies for specific duties which are considered essential to the academic mission of the Department.  The Department’s expectations and specifications for such workload equivalencies is given in the table below
    Table 1. Workload Equivalents Table

    Title / Name of Assignment

    Load Equivalent



    Brief Description of Duties

    Graduate Studies Coordinator



    (see section IIIB3)

    Undergraduate Studies Coordinator



    (see section IIIB2)

    Graduate Faculty Service and Instruction



    (see section IVF1-2)

    Graduate Faculty Research



    (see section IVF3)

    Probationary Faculty Years 1 and 2



    (see section IVF4)

    Large Enrollment Section (n>150)



    Teaching a large section is equivalent to 3 or more courses.

    In the interest of maintaining a high standard of teaching and the desirability of Faculty involvement in research and service activities, overload assignments are strongly discouraged.  Overload assignments (i.e. workload assignments which total more than twenty-four (24) credit hours per academic year for Faculty and which total more than thirty (30) credit hours for full-time non-tenure-track faculty) will be made only in unusual circumstances.  Such assignments require the agreement of the Faculty/faculty member, and the approval of the Chair and the Dean. 

    The Department of Sociology is a graduate as well as undergraduate Department that emphasizes research and scholarship on the part of the graduate Faculty.  Graduate Faculty typically teach courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level and high quality teaching is expected from all Faculty.  Given the need for all Kent regular Faculty to participate in the graduate program, which is built upon a continuing program of research and scholarship, as well as the undergraduate program, the following guidelines apply to the Kent campus in particular.  Workload practices for regional campus Faculty are determined by each campus, guided by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and University and campus policies.  All Faculty workload assignments must be approved by the appropriate dean.

    Regular Faculty members with assignments and responsibilities beyond those of purely undergraduate teaching may receive reallocation of workload per the following guidelines.  Reallocations may be for the equivalent of three to eighteen hours of instructional assignment.  Except under extraordinary circumstances, every Faculty member will teach at least 3 credit hours per semester.

    Each academic year, Faculty with graduate Faculty status (associate or full) may receive up to three (3) credit hours equivalency for each of the following:

    The usual and customary service duties associated with being an active member of the graduate Faculty.  These duties include, but are not limited to, serving as the graduate representative or moderator at thesis or dissertation defenses, service on comprehensive examination committees, including the preparation, administration and evaluation of the examinations.  Also expected is service on the doctoral specialty area committees.  Service on the Department Graduate Education Committee, on the Joint Doctoral Program Executive Committee, and similar assignments is also included.  Activities associated with the professional development, collaborative research, and the placing of graduate students in professional positions.

    1.  The usual and customary instructional expectations associated with being an active member of the graduate Faculty.  These include, but are not limited to, mentoring students, directing theses and/or dissertations, and serving as a member of a thesis and/or dissertation committee, or as an outside Faculty member of such.  Revisions of existing courses and the preparation of new courses are included.

    2.  The usual and customary activities associated with research, i.e., being an active scholar and researcher.  The Faculty member is expected to maintain an ongoing and active research agenda and to disseminate the results of same through presenting papers at professional meetings, publishing articles in refereed scientific journals, chapters in scholarly books, and/or monographs or complete books, etc.  Research activity with graduate or undergraduate students.  The Faculty member is also expected to seek extramural funding as appropriate, and if funded to successfully conduct the sponsored project.

    3.  Chairperson:  Four courses (twelve hours) minimum.  Further adjustments must be approved by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  Coordinators for Undergraduate Studies and Graduate Studies:  Two courses (six hours).  Further adjustments must be approved by the chairperson after consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee. Committee chairs with heavy loads:  Adjustments may be requested to the Faculty Advisory Committee and the chairperson.

    4.  Assistant professors in their first and second years will normally carry a four course (twelve hour) teaching load per academic year.  

    The combination of load adjustments for graduate Faculty service, instruction and scholarship will not normally exceed three courses (nine hours) in an academic year.  Unusual opportunities, responsibilities, or assignments, above and beyond the normal expectations, may be the basis for requesting an additional one course (three hour) equivalency load adjustment.  Such requests will be made to the chairperson and the Faculty Advisory Committee under criteria to be established annually by the FAC.

  3. Workload Reports (Collective Bargaining Agreement, See CBA Section IX.2.D)

    Before the conclusion of each academic year, each continuing tenured Faculty member is to prepare and submit an annual workload summary report.  This report is to identify and update the Faculty member’s efforts, accomplishments, scholarly contributions, ongoing professional activities, service and interests during that academic year.  These reports will become an ongoing record of each Faculty member’s professional activities providing information related to grant activities, collaborative scholarship and teaching activities.

    The annual workload summary report submitted electronically to the Chair by the Faculty member shall be in the form of an annual updated curriculum vitae and the course syllabi for each course or section of course taught by the Faculty member during that academic year.  The Chair shall add to the report copies of the summaries of course evaluations for each course section taught during the academic year.                                                                  

    The purpose of this report is to document the workload, including utilization of the specified workload equivalencies, for that academic year.  Any other use of the report requires the consent of the Faculty member.

  4. Teaching Assignments and Class Schedules

    Faculty/faculty members are assigned to teach specific courses by the Chair.  The primary considerations for course assignments are prior teaching experience, subject expertise, and shared responsibility among the Faculty/faculty for service and introductory courses.   Questions regarding teaching assignments should be addressed to the Chair.  In the case of a dispute or request for reassignment the Faculty/faculty member may request review by the FAC which will make a recommendation to the Chair.

  5. Summer Teaching Assignments

    The Chair welcomes requests for summer teaching assignments from all full-time Faculty members, qualified graduate students, and members of the part-time teaching pool.  Summer teaching cannot be guaranteed to any individuals in the above list and most summer teaching assignments are for a partial load.  The size, content, and staffing of summer courses are dictated by budgetary constraints and curricular needs.   The Department will endeavor to distribute summer teaching opportunities equitably among members of the bargaining unit without regard to academic rank. Faculty members may elect not to accept a summer assignment.

    See also CBA Article IX, Section 3.

  6. Other Faculty/faculty Duties

    Advising: Faculty are required to advise and counsel undergraduate and graduate students on academic matters. Individual Faculty members are responsible for providing academic counseling to undergraduate students  as needed.  Student advising at the graduate level is primarily conducted by the student's advisor and/or the graduate coordinator  In order to assist in student advising, Faculty members should maintain current knowledge of University, College, and Department programs and requirements.

    Final examinations:   Final examinations in all courses must be offered at the time and date specified in the University’s schedule of final examinations.  Changes of the time and/or date of a final examination require prior approval of the Chair and the Dean, but in any case, the exam must also be offered at the time scheduled and publicized by the University for those students who desire to take the exam at that time.

    Grades and Student Records: Faculty/faculty members must inform students of their progress throughout the semester.  Grades are a Faculty/faculty member's responsibility and should be assigned fairly and objectively.  Submission of final grades must comply with University Policy, including but not limited to the deadline for the timely submission of grades.  Failure of Faculty/faculty members to provide grades in compliance with University Policy will be taken into consideration in reappointment, promotion, tenure and merit decisions. Materials used in computing grades (e.g., exams, papers, reports, etc.) should be retained by the Faculty/faculty member for five (5) years after final grades are submitted.  Students have a right to inspect the written work performed during a course and discuss the grade with the Faculty/faculty member.

    All members of the Department must comply with all laws and University Policies which govern the privacy of student education records, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  These regulations require, among other things, that Faculty/faculty members keep thorough academic records and forbid the posting of grades by name, social security number or any other system which might identify a student with her/his education record.

    Office Hours: Faculty/faculty members are expected to schedule and attend at least five (5) office hours per week (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-18.101).  The office hours shall be posted on the Faculty/faculty member's office door and communicated to the Department office as well as to the Faculty/faculty member's students.  If a student, for a legitimate reason or reasons, is unable to meet during the Faculty/faculty member’s scheduled office hours, the Faculty/faculty member shall make appointments to meet with the student at an alternate time agreed to by both the student and Faculty/faculty member.

    Participation in University Activities: Faculty members are expected to participate in recruitment programs, graduation ceremonies and other activities which are appropriate to their role as a faculty member in the Department.

    Student and Peer Evaluation:  A Student Survey of Instruction (hereinafter “SSI”) is required in each course in each semester and will be conducted under the auspices of the Chair pursuant to applicable University policies and procedures

    Probationary Faculty members are required to undergo peer review of teaching during each year of the probationary period.  

    Syllabi: Faculty/faculty members are expected to provide students and the Department with a syllabus which includes the subject matter to be covered in a course, a listing of assignments and/or reports, approximate dates of examinations, grading standards, attendance requirements, and other pertinent details of the conduct of the class.