Teaching Assignments and Workload including Workload Equivalences and Related Procedures

  1. Role and Responsibility of the Faculty

    Research, Teaching, Service: Service on Department, Campus, College and/or University committees is expected as a normal part of a faculty member’s contributions in accord with the terms and condition of his/her letter of appointment. Faculty members make their contribution in research, teaching, and service.

    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 in peer reviewed journals, 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. Most of the Department faculty members are expected to be either full or associate members of the graduate faculty. All faculty members on the Kent Campus are expected to be involved in significant research activity, serve on graduate student committees, and direct graduate student research. Supervision and direction of undergraduate research projects and theses is part of the teaching function.

    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.

  2. Faculty Code of Ethics

    All members of the Department faculty are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards as teachers, scholars, university citizens and colleagues.  The University policy regarding faculty code of professional ethics can be found in the University Policy Register.  (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-17)

    Policy on Non-Exploitation 

    Members of the Department of Geology at Kent State University must not exploit persons over whom they have direct or indirect supervisory, evaluative, or other authority such as students, supervisees, employees, or research participants.  Specifically, members of the department should not directly or indirectly supervise or exercise evaluative authority over any student with whom they have romantic, sexual, or non-KSU employment relationships. Members of the department should recognize that external financial, romantic, or sexual relationships with individuals vulnerable to manipulation, such as current students in their programs or employees under their supervision, may create the appearance of, or opportunities for, favoritism and/or exploitation, and thus such relationships should be avoided.


    In the event that a member of the Department enters into a potentially exploitative relationship that is covered by the above policy it is that member’s responsibility to remove themselves from having any supervisory, instructional, or evaluative authority in that relationship and to disclose the relationship to the Department Chair. 


    Failure to comply with this policy may result in discipline or dismissal according to the institutional rules and policies appropriate to the individuals involved. 

  3. Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents

    All full-time tenured and tenure-track 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 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 member with a statement of her/his workload. Every attempt is made by the Chairperson to maintain the average load per semester assigned to the Department by the Dean. However, it is understood that exigencies of staffing and demands of enrollment may require a greater load for a given semester which may be balanced out by a lighter load on a preceding or succeeding semester. In the interests of a high standard of teaching and the desirability of faculty involvement in research and service activities, the teaching of extra courses and overloads is discouraged. Overload assignments (that is, classroom teaching assignments which total more than 24-semester credit hours per academic year) will be made only in unusual circumstances, such as a sudden and unexpected staffing need, the unavailability of a qualified temporary appointee, or the necessity for a specific faculty member's expertise in a relevant course. Such assignments require the agreement of the faculty member and the approval of the Department Chairperson and Dean.

    The first obligation of the Department is teaching; therefore, staffing of service courses and courses required for graduation at the baccalaureate and at graduate levels has first priority.

    Workload credit for lab instruction.  Normally, the workload credited to the faculty member will be the credit hours for the course, with TA assistance provided for courses with labs. If a faculty member is in charge of a laboratory course or CORE lab with no TA assistance so that they have to be present in the lab the entire time, then the workload of the assignment is equal to the lab contact hours rounded to the nearest half-workload credit. For example, for a 1-credit hour lab with 1.6-2 hours of contact, the faculty member would receive a total of 2 workload credit hours. If enrollment requires more than one lab section per course, then the faculty member will receive one additional workload credit if assigned a TA, or incrementally more credits based on lab contact hours if not assigned a TA. The maximum allowable lab workload credits will be 4 per semester.  This lab workload equivalency is only advisory for RC faculty.

    All faculty course load decisions are made by the Chairperson following consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee, are subject to the Dean's approval, are reviewed periodically, and follow the Load Policy in the Kent State University Policy Register and in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    Teaching Load Limits. Normally, no full-time faculty member teaches more than four classroom courses per semester. Newly hired full-time tenure-track faculty members, entering as assistant professors, receive reduced formal course teaching loads during their first year in order to facilitate preparation of their courses, organization of their laboratories, and initiation of their research and graduate teaching programs. For all new full-time TT faculty at the Kent Campus, the teaching load assigned during the first year involves one course per semester.

    Workload Equivalencies. 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 common workload equivalencies are given in the table below. Situations may arise in which course equivalencies are appropriate. When such special circumstances arise, the Chair may assign an equivalency after consultation with the FAC.

    Table 1. Common Workload Equivalents Table

    Title / Name of Assignment

    Load Equivalent



    Brief Description of Duties

    Assistant to Chair



    See I.B.2.B above

    Graduate Studies Coordinator



    See I.B.2.C above

    Large lecture classes (>150)


    when taught

    exceptional demand on the lecturer's time: student consultations, scheduled help sessions, e-mail correspondence, etc

    Graduate Preceptors



    See I.B.2.D above

    Undergraduate Advisors



    See I.B.2.D above

    Writing Intensive




    Instruction of WIC for majors.

    Additional Labs


    as needed

    For large major courses with labs

    RC labs


    as needed

    For major labs without TA assistance




    Service to the College




    Service to the College

    Internship/employment coordinator



    See I.B.2.D. above



  4. Teaching Assignments and Class Schedules

    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 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 member may request review by the FAC which will make a recommendation to the Chair.

    Scheduling of classes is the responsibility of the Assistant to the Chair with approval of the Chair. The primary consideration for scheduling classes is student need with regard to meeting program or major requirements within a reasonable time frame. In addition, the scheduling of some classes may be determined by the need to serve nontraditional students.

  5. Summer Teaching Assignments

    Each year, prior to preparing the schedule for the succeeding summer session, the Chairperson distributes notices to full-time faculty requesting information as to their availability for Summer school teaching. Summer teaching cannot be guaranteed to any faculty member, although every effort is made to include all faculty wishing to teach during the summer. The size, content, and staffing of summer courses are dictated by budgetary constraints and curricular needs. Courses offered during the Summer Session are generally those with the possibility of large enrollment. Courses must have enrollment sufficient to “break even” (defined as salary + benefits + University tax). When more faculty request full-time Summer teaching than the budget or the needs of the program will accommodate, the Chairperson, in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee, distributes the teaching based on the following criteria:


    1. relative qualifications of the faculty member to teach a particular course
    2. the faculty member's overall effectiveness in teaching,
    3. recency of which the individual faculty member has been denied the opportunity to teach during previous Summer Sessions,
    4. the success (viewed positively) that the faculty member has had in obtaining extra-departmental summer support, and
    5. the recency with which the faculty member has relinquished the opportunity to teach during the Summer Session.


  6. Other Faculty Duties

    1. 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 assigned to them and to other undergraduate students who seek such advice, as needed.

      Graduate advising is initially conducted by the Graduate Coordinator for entering graduate students and then by the student’s “major professor” and thesis/dissertation committee members once selected or appointed. The advisor provides information on academic matters, course scheduling, and matters related to the interaction of the student with other members of the Department. In order to assist in student advising, faculty members should maintain current knowledge of University, College, and Department programs and requirements.

    2. 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.

    3. Grades and Student Records

      Faculty members must inform students of their progress throughout the semester. Midterm (first year student) and final grades are a 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 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., graded papers, exams and other coursework not picked up by the student) should be retained by the faculty member for one (1) year 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 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 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.

    4. Office Hours

      Paragraph revised to conform to revised University Policy (5/22/2017) on Faculty Office Hours.

      Faculty members are expected to be available for consultation through office hours either in person or electronically at least five (5) office hours per week (See University Policy Register 3342-6-18.101). Office hours shall be posted in the departmental office from the beginning of classes until the completion of the final assessment for the course and communicated to the faculty member's students. If a student, for a legitimate reason or reasons, is unable to meet during the faculty member’s scheduled office hours, the faculty member shall make appointments to meet with the student at an alternate time.

    5. 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 and to teach the Freshman Colloquium course when it is assigned to them.

    6. Student and Peer Evaluation

      A Student Survey of Instruction (hereafter “SSI”) is required in each course in each semester as one measure of effectiveness in the classroom. Teaching evaluations 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. 

    7. Syllabi

      Faculty members are expected to provide students 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.

  7. Sanctions

    A sanction is a documented corrective action in response to a faculty member's unsatisfactory performance of his/her duties and responsibilities as a member of the faculty. (See CBA Article VIII). 

  8. Workload Summary Reports

    All faculty members are required to provide current curriculum vitae (CV) annually to be kept on file in the Department office.

  9. Faculty Leaves

    Faculty members may request a leave of absence for a legitimate professional or personal reason. Such leaves may vary from one semester to one year in length.  Leaves of absence involve no compensation from the University and such time or leave does not count toward meeting promotion or tenure time limits.  Requests for leaves of absence should be initiated as early as possible so that scheduling of courses and hiring replacement faculty can be accomplished. 

                All leaves, sponsored or unsupported, personal or professional, are subject to the approval of the Chair, the Dean, and the Provost. University leaves include but are not limited to:

                1.         Research leaves (See UPR 3342-6-11.8).

                2.         Leaves of absence without pay (See UPR 3342-6-11.9).

                3.         Faculty Professional Improvement Leaves (See UPR 3342-6-12).

                4.         Research/Creative Activity appointments (See UPR 3342-6-15.3).

  10. Faculty Absence and Travel Policy

    Faculty members who will be absent from campus for professional or personal reasons must submit a Request for Absence Form with the Chair. The request should be made at least two weeks prior to the planned absence and is subject to the approval of the Chair and the Dean. Arrangements for any classes to be missed during the absence must be addressed to the satisfaction of the Chair before approval will be granted.

    Attendance at professional meetings is encouraged and approved travel expenses incurred in attending such meetings will be reimbursed when approved prior to travel according to the University's travel policies and are subject to the availability of Department funds.

  11. Faculty Sick Leave

    The Chair is responsible for keeping complete records of faculty sick leave; however, faculty members are also required to submit the appropriate sick leave forms to the Chair.  Sick leave forms should be completed and submitted to the Chair within forty-eight (48) hours after an absence. (See UPR 3342-6-11.1)

  12. Outside Employment and Other Outside Activities

    Faculty members may engage in professional activities outside the university provided the activities do not interfere with the faculty member's teaching, research, or service responsibilities to the Department, Campus, College, or University (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-24). These activities must not compete with nor pose a conflict of interest with University activity or the faculty member’s employment with the University and must be approved in advance by the Chair and the Dean. Each academic year, each faculty member must disclose and seek approval for all outside employment or other outside activities on the form provided by the University. Any outside employment or other outside activities are subject to the Faculty Code of Ethics and the University’s conflict of interest policies. (See University Policy Register 3342-6-17 and 3342-6-23)

  13. Copyright Restrictions

    All faculty members should be aware of current copyright laws which restrict the copying of published materials. For further information, contact the University’s Office of Legal Affairs.

  14. Academic Misconduct

    The University policy regarding misconduct in research and scholarship and the Administrative policy and procedures regarding allegations and instances of misconduct in research and scholarship is included in the University Policy Register. (See, University Policy Register 3342-3-05 and 3342-2-05.01)