Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Policies-11

05-5 Policy for Establishing Workloads for Faculty

1.0  Purpose

1.1         The responsibilities of members of the faculty are excellence in teaching and in scholarly achievement, or for a faculty member in the creative or performing arts, in creative professional achievement.  Faculty also undertakes, as a secondary responsibility, non-instructional service to the department, college, and/or University and/or service to the public and/or service to their profession that benefits the University.

1.2         The duties or workload established for each faculty member shall reflect the full scope of these responsibilities.

1.3         The duties or workload of each faculty member shall be reasonable and fair.

2.0  Criteria for Defining Faculty Responsibilities

2.1         In establishing professional assignments of faculty, assessments of teaching, scholarship (or creative achievement), and service shall be made in accordance with departmental, school/college, and university factors that have been established to elaborate these activities for purposes of tenure, promotion, and selective salary increases.

2.2         In establishing professional assignments, the qualitative standard for assessing a faculty member’s performance is the standard of excellence, as elaborated in the University promotion and tenure factors.

2.3         In establishing professional assignments within a unit, the quantitative standard for assessing a faculty member’s performance, especially in course load and scholarship, is the normal amount of activity undertaken by a faculty member in that unit who is meeting excellently the criteria of teaching, scholarship (or creative achievement), and service within the department or school/college.

2.4         In establishing the professional assignments, the standard for evaluating both the quality and the extent or scope of a faculty member’s performance varies by a faculty member’s rank, as elaborated in the University promotion and tenure factors.

3.0  Assignment of Professional Responsibilities

3.1         A faculty member’s total performance of his/her responsibilities should be reviewed in establishing his/her duties in each of the three areas of teaching, scholarship (or creative achievement), and, secondarily, service.

3.2         With few exceptions, the norms for teaching loads within individual units at Wayne State University are set to allow a faculty member to also achieve excellence in scholarship (or creative achievement) and, secondarily, in service.  Moreover, in fulfilling its mission, Wayne State University places strong emphasis on teaching.  Therefore, the teaching responsibilities of faculty members normally should not be reduced to allow them to perform other responsibilities.

There may, however, be limited circumstances in which the reduction of a faculty member’s teaching load is warranted.

The following suggest, but do not exhaust, the circumstances in which the reduction of a faculty member’s teaching load is warranted.

3.2.1  In some academic disciplines, a newly-appointed faculty member may have a reduced course load for one or two semesters to allow him/her to develop courses (especially if the faculty member is new to university teaching) or to set up laboratories or other facilities necessary to establish his/her program of scholarship (or creative achievement).

3.2.2  A faculty member may have a reduced course load where he/she has an external or internal grant, gift, allocation or award that provides compensation for scholarship or service explicitly stated to be in lieu of normal teaching responsibilities.

3.2.3  A faculty member’s normal teaching responsibilities entail advising students, including those in his/her courses and those who may be assigned by the University, college, or department for advising assistance.  A faculty member’s course load should not be reduced to conduct advising.  When, however, a faculty member is given special administrative responsibilities for advising, such as the assignment to serve as the general undergraduate or graduate advisor for a department or school/college, the dean may approve a reduction in a faculty member’s course load.

3.2.4  A dean may approve a reduced teaching load for certain administrative responsibilities, but this should be done sparingly in order to avoid substituting administrative activity for more important teaching responsibilities.  Normally department chairs receive a reduction in course load to meet their administrative responsibilities.  Occasionally such reduced course loads are also given in large or complex departments to persons who serve as deputy, associate, or assistant chair and, in even rarer cases, to persons who head specific academic programs within a large department.  Occasionally, a faculty member may teach a reduced number of courses to provide some short-term, extraordinary service, such as preparing an accreditation self-study or some other major activity bearing on the academic unit’s overall program.  Wherever possible, it is preferable to provide administrative attachments or bonuses to faculty members for undertaking these responsibilities, in order to assure that the University’s teaching program is fully supported by ranked members of the faculty.

3.2.5  A dean may approve a reduced teaching load, in rare circumstances, for a faculty member to pursue scholarship (or creative achievement), even where he/she does not have a grant, contract, allocation, or award to support scholarship or creative achievement beyond that contemplated by the normal faculty workload.

3.2.6  A faculty member’s course load should not be reduced to allow him/her to perform service responsibilities, except where such activity is supported by a grant, contract, allocation or award to allow reduction of teaching activity for this purpose or in the circumstances described in 3.2.4 above, since service, while important, is of lesser importance among faculty responsibilities.  A dean should consult with the provost before making a reduced course assignment for other service activities.

3.3         Faculty members may at certain periods in their service to the University reduce their activities in scholarship (or creative achievement) and/or service below the normal levels in their academic unit and below the expectations established by department, school/college, and University factors for persons holding their academic rank.

In these circumstances, a faculty member may make a substantial contribution to the University’s educational program for students as well as to the curriculum by teaching one or more courses beyond the normal course load in the academic unit.  In some situations, the faculty member may make his/her additional contribution to the instructional program by assuming additional responsibilities that are generally defined as part of the teaching or instructional program, but that do not involve teaching additional courses.  Suggestive of these instructional, non-course activities are unit-wide advising responsibilities (e.g., as undergraduate or graduate advisor), and special or additional supervision responsibilities for students in clinical settings.  In considering the additional contributions that a faculty member may make to the instructional program, preference should be given, however, to teaching an additional course or courses because this will normally achieve the greatest educational impact for students.

In determining what number of courses a faculty member may be requested to teach, the extent of his/her activities in scholarship (or creative achievement) and service must be considered.  Hence, a faculty member whose program of scholarship (or creative achievement) is below the normal expectation for his/her rank in his/her academic unit, but who nonetheless continues to maintain some program of scholarship, should be requested to undertake some additional instructional activity, but not as much as would be appropriately requested of a faculty member who undertakes little or no scholarship (or creative achievement).

(This university policy does not mandate this review process when a chair or dean assigns a faculty member a shift in courses as a result of departmental/college needs, nor is this process required to meet the emergency scheduling needs of the department/college.)

Given the secondary importance of service in faculty responsibilities, a faculty member should not be requested or allowed to substitute extensive service activities for his/her responsibilities in scholarship (or creative achievement) or teaching.  Hence, a faculty member who does not maintain a level of activity in scholarship or creative achievement that meets departmental expectations should be requested to undertake additional instructional activity, preferably course teaching, but should usually not be asked to undertake additional service responsibilities in lieu of scholarship.  There may be rare exceptions to this general rule, and a dean should make a request that a faculty member undertake additional service activity in lieu of scholarship only after consulting the provost.

3.4         A faculty member who has reduced his/her activities in scholarship (or creative achievement) and/or service, and who has undertaken additional instructional responsibilities in lieu of these activities, may subsequently wish to once again undertake full activities in scholarship (or creative achievement) and/or service.  In such circumstances, the dean should work with the faculty member and, where appropriate, department chair to modify additional instructional assignments to assist and encourage the faculty member to reestablish his/her program of scholarship (or creative achievement) and/or service.

3.5         Selective Salary Increases

3.5.1  It is the policy of the University administration in the allocation of president’s/deans’ selective salary increases to consider additional instructional assignments undertaken pursuant to this policy in lieu of scholarly or creative achievement.

3.5.2  While excellence in both teaching and scholarship (or creative achievement) as well as secondarily in service is the standard for selective salary increases, a faculty member who has undertaken additional instructional responsibilities in lieu of scholarly or creative activities, and whose professional performance meets the standard of excellence, should be recommended by the dean for salary consideration greater than would be appropriate if the faculty member were assuming only the normal instructional load and was not meeting standard expectations in scholarship (or creative achievement).

4.0  Evaluation of Faculty Performance

4.1         The evaluation of a faculty member’s performance, for the purpose of establishing his/her professional duties, should rely (a) on materials in his/her personnel file; (b) on his/her resume as submitted for annual selective salary review, for annual performance review, or for other purposes or as submitted in response to a direct request from the dean or department chair; and 9c) on any other periodic evaluations of the faculty member that may be made by faculty committees and administrators that are available to the faculty member.

4.2         In evaluating a faculty member’s performance for the purpose of establishing his/her professional duties, a dean or department chair (in departmentalized colleges) may request specific appropriate materials about professional performance.

4.3         The dean or department chair (in departmentalized colleges) shall request   the advice of a peer faculty committee [see Section 6.0] in evaluating the performance and total workload of a faculty member.  This can be accomplished in one of the following ways:

a.   The dean or department chair (in departmentalized colleges) may make an evaluation of the faculty member’s overall performance and develop a recommendation with respect to appropriate workload, and then submit this evaluation to the committee for its review and advice.

b.   The dean or department chair (in departmentalized colleges) may request the committee to make an evaluation of a particular faculty member’s performance or the performance of all faculty members in the unit for the purpose of recommending workloads to the dean or department chair.

The evaluations and advice or recommendations of peer committees, if provided, should be given substantial weight by the dean or chair.  These evaluations, advice or recommendations are, however, not binding.

In the event that a faculty peer committee declines to give advice about faculty workload or declines to participate in evaluation of faculty members for this purpose, the department chair and/or dean may conduct such evaluations and make workload assignments without peer committee advice.

4.4         The dean or department chair (in departmentalized colleges) must share the evaluation and the proposed workload assignment with the affected faculty member and give that faculty member an opportunity to comment.

Although professional responsibilities are identified as excellence in teaching, excellence in scholarship (or creative professional achievement), and, secondarily, excellence in service, the dean or department chair should consider a faculty member’s verifiable response that his/her performance of professional duties has been adversely affected by such circumstances as a temporary period of illness or other temporary personal dislocations.  In such situations, the deferral of requests to a faculty member to undertake additional instructional contributions should be for a reasonable time to allow these personal circumstances to pass; in deferring a proposed change in professional duties, a chair or dean should also remind the faculty member of the need for attention to his/her professional responsibilities.

Before making a final assignment of professional duties, the dean or department chair (in departmentalized colleges) shall also consider any other comments that a faculty member may make about his/her evaluation or the proposed change in professional duties.

4.5         For the purposes of determining whether a change in professional duties is appropriate, the evaluation of a faculty member’s professional performance should be based on the previous three years’ service.

4.6         A change in professional responsibilities resulting from the evaluation of a faculty member’s performance shall be for a period of two years.  There may be a subsequent modification of the new professional duty assignment by mutual consent within the two year period, but there shall be no unilateral change in professional duties during that period.

4.7         Before the end of the two-year period, a new evaluation shall be conducted to determine appropriate professional responsibilities according to the procedures and criteria in this university policy.

5.0  Schedule for Evaluations and Assignment of Professional Duties

5.1         The dean or department chair (in departmentalized colleges) shall share his/her evaluation with the faculty member promptly after completing it and shall, if possible, also share his/her proposed assignment of professional duties at the same time.

5.2         In any case, however, the dean or department chair shall advise a faculty member of any proposed change in his/her professional duties by January 15 for assignments for the following spring or summer semesters, by February 15 for assignments for the following fall semester, and by September 15 for assignments for the following winter semester.

6.0  Consultative Committees [See Section 4.3]

6.1         The dean or chair (in departmentalized colleges) will usually seek the assistance of the unit promotion and tenure committee in making the evaluation of performance that will be used to assign professional duties.

6.2         Alternatively, the dean or chair may seek the assistance of another committee in the unit, such as a budget committee, personnel committee or salary committee, when that committee has, by established rules or practices, been responsible for providing advice about the professional duties of faculty members.

7.0  Appeal of Professional Duty Assignments

7.1         Appeals of professional duty assignments may be taken pursuant to Article XXIV of the collective bargaining agreement between Wayne State University and the American Association of University Professors-AFT.

8.0  Duration

8.1         This university policy is revocable by the president at any time and without notice.

9.0  Effective Date

9.1         This university policy is effective upon issuance.

9.2         Executive Order 90-4 is hereby revoked, effective immediately.