[Date changed–posted 1/5/23 (last revised 8/11/17)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 32.18: Academic Workload Calculation
DATE: January 5, 2023
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish rules for calculating the statutory workload of faculty in order to comply with Sections 51.402 and 51.403 of the Texas Education Code. This OP is a mechanism for ensuring that each faculty member meets the statutory teaching load minimum.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in April of odd-numbered years by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President with substantive revisions presented to the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP) by May 31 and to the Board of Regents for approval.
1. The workload of faculty members encompasses a variety of teaching, research, technology transfer, and service activities. Teaching load, the number of credit hours taught or equivalent duties assigned to a faculty member, is but one aspect of faculty workload. In carrying out their responsibility to distribute workload, unit heads (chairpersons or comparable academic administrators) and deans must assign teaching loads such that:
a. Overall workloads are distributed as equitably as possible and in a fashion that is consistent with the unit's mission;
b. The university meets its instructional obligations for both undergraduate and graduate programs;
c. Each faculty member meets statutory minimum teaching load requirements; and
d. Faculty participation in research, technology transfer, and service is accommodated.
2. In compliance with Sections 51.402 and 51.403 of the Texas Education Code, the minimum teaching load for faculty members paid 100 percent from funds appropriated for instructional purposes is equivalent to 18 semester credit hours of instruction in organized undergraduate and/or graduate classes each nine-month academic year. For purposes of this document, 18 semester credit hours of organized undergraduate and/or graduate instruction equals 18 hours of teaching load credit.
3. For faculty members with less than full-time appointments from funds appropriated for instructional purposes, the minimum teaching load is proportionally less. When more than one instructor teaches a single course, the teaching load credit will be apportioned according to the effort expended. Normally, extended learning courses, freshman seminar courses, and other courses compensated outside regular faculty salary are not counted as part of a faculty member's minimum teaching load. Credit for teaching in summer sessions that is uncompensated by funds appropriated for instructional purposes will be applied to the following academic year.
4. A reduced teaching load may be granted if classes do not materialize because of insufficient enrollment and when additional classes or equivalent academic work cannot be assigned to the faculty member. This exception will not be made for any particular faculty member in successive years.
5. The responsibility for assigning teaching duties rests with unit heads and deans. The Office of the PSVP monitors these assignments for compliance and equity and provides appropriate reports in accordance with state requirements and the Regents' Rules.
6. In calculating teaching load, the equivalencies in the following section will be applied. Normally, a faculty member paid by funds appropriated for instructional purposes will comply with the statutory teaching load requirement by serving as the instructor of record for four or more organized courses in an academic year. In no case, however, will a faculty member paid full-time from funds appropriated for instructional purposes teach fewer than two organized courses in an academic year without the approval of the PSVP.
*In accordance with Section 04.06, Regents' Rules, October 9, 2015
a. One semester credit hour of organized graduate instruction is equal to 1.5 semester credit hours of organized undergraduate instruction.
b. Teaching load credit for a large class that requires extensive grading and evaluation of student work is equal to the number of semester credit hours of the course weighted as follows: 1.1 for 60–69 students, 1.2 for 70–79 students, 1.3 for 80–89 students, 1.4 for 90–99 students, 1.5 for 100–124 students, 1.6 for 125–149 students, 1.7 for 150–174 students, 1.8 for 175–199 students, and 1.9 for 200–249 students. Unit heads will review classes with more than 250 students enrolled for possible additional teaching load credit.
c. Teaching load credit for courses designated as writing intensive is equal to the number of semester credit hours of the course weighted as follows: 1.1 for 15–19 students and 1.2 for 20 or more students.
d. One class contact hour of laboratory or discussion section teaching (e.g., science and engineering laboratories and performance classes subject to minimum student enrollment requirements) in courses scheduled to meet more hours per week than the semester credit hour designation of the course is equivalent to .67 teaching load credits. If a course is a combined lecture/laboratory class that includes a laboratory for which no separate registration is required, the load credit will be assigned in the same manner as specified in this policy for lecture classes and laboratories.
One class contact hour of professional studio (professional as defined by State of Texas professional licensure requirements), subject to the minimum student enrollment requirements, in courses scheduled to meet more hours per week than the semester hour designation of the course is equivalent to .75 teaching load credits.
e. One class contact hour of teaching in one-on-one, private-instruction performance or activity courses, which are not subject to minimum enrollment requirements (e.g., studio courses), is equivalent to .5 teaching load credits.
f. Faculty members developing courses primarily for electronic delivery, as part of the normal teaching load, will be granted teaching load credit equal to the course semester credit hours for one semester before the course is to be delivered. The first semester the course is taught by electronic means, faculty members will receive teaching load credit that is 1.5 times the semester credit hours of the course. Faculty will receive normal workload credits for the second and subsequent offerings of these courses.
g. One semester credit hour of organized instruction in a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board designated field-based course is equal to 1.5 teaching load credits.
h. Teaching load credit for doctoral dissertation direction will be granted to graduate student committee chairpersons on the basis of .33 of the semester credit hour enrollment in their dissertation courses or, at the discretion of the unit head, on the basis of 1 credit per doctoral student. Teaching load credit for master's thesis direction will be granted to graduate student committee chairpersons on the basis of .2 of the semester hour enrollment in their thesis courses or, at the discretion of the unit head, on the basis of .6 credits per master's student. Normally, no more than six teaching load credits per semester can be counted toward the statutory teaching load through chairing dissertation or master's committees. This credit may be increased to nine hours with the approval of the line dean and the Dean of the Graduate School.
i. Teaching load credit to members of thesis and dissertation committees will be granted (in addition to any directed study credits for which the student is appropriately enrolled) on the basis of .5 credits per student to be awarded once per student after the student files the Statement of Intent to Graduate.
j. Teaching load credit for individual instruction classes (e.g., individual research projects, student teaching supervision, clinical or intern supervision) will be granted on the basis of .3 of the course semester credit hour designation for individual graduate instruction and .2 of the course semester credit hour designation for individual undergraduate instruction per student enrolled. In no case will individual instruction in a single course generate more teaching load credits than if the course were taught as a regularly scheduled, organized class.
k. Teaching load credit will be granted to a faculty member for coordinating several sections of a single course and/or supervising teaching assistants or graduate part-time instructors who are in charge of a course on the basis of .2 teaching load credits per section coordinated and/or supervised up to a maximum of three teaching load credits.
l. When a faculty member is responsible for developing a new course (lecture, laboratory, studio, etc.), one additional teaching load credit will be assigned in the first semester the course is taught. Additional teaching load credits, up to a total of two, may be granted upon approval of the unit head.
m. When a faculty member is teaching a course (lecture, studio, etc.) that he or she has not taught in the last five years, .5 additional teaching load credits will be assigned in the semester that the faculty member resumes teaching the course.
n. A new tenure-track faculty member, in the first two years of teaching, will be given three teaching load credits per semester for faculty development.
o. Teaching load credit may be granted for a faculty member who is a department chairperson, area coordinator, or head of a comparable unit, up to a maximum of six hours of teaching load credit.
p. Up to three teaching load credits per semester may be granted, with prior approval of the line dean, to faculty members for significant administrative responsibilities, for significant academic advisement, and for duties associated with appointment as an associate chairperson or other non-teaching academic service to the department.
q. Up to three teaching load credits per semester may be granted, with prior approval of the line dean, to a faculty member who is engaged in significant peer-reviewed research or service such as development of a major research proposal (e.g., an interdisciplinary proposal or one involving several co-principal investigators) or an equivalent effort in unfunded research, leadership in a major professional organization, editorship of a professional journal, service as President of the Faculty Senate, chairing university committees, service as director of a university-sponsored center or institute, development of a significant interdisciplinary program, or a major teaching-related professional development activity.
r. With the approval of the President, limited teaching load credit may be granted to carry out major responsibilities, not covered above, that are performed in the best interest of the institution's instructional programs as determined by the President. Teaching load credit granted by the President of the university for such purposes is limited to one percent of the total semester credit hours taught at the university during the previous year.
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