CALS DDO - Faculty/Staff Policies and Procedures - CALS Faculty Teaching Load Policy

This document outlines the teaching load policy for faculty in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Approved by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Academic Planning Council: November 3, 2020
Revision date: September 28, 2020
Effective date: No later than July 1, 2022


The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) teaching load policy follows the campus-level Faculty Educational Workload Policy; section 1 of which states, 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison policy is that, on a campus-wide basis, workload is expected to average two group classroom instruction sections and two individual sections each semester (usually classified in the x90 - x99 course series of the timetable), for each full-time equivalent instruction position. 
  1. Educational workload will, however, vary by school or college, and among departments within a college, as well as among individuals. 
  2. Schools, colleges, and departments may use other measures of workload, such as average course credits, weekly credit hours, weighted student contact or credit hours per instructional FTE course enrollments, or others to establish classroom workload policy. 
This policy outlines the CALS expectations referred to in points A and B for faculty members appointed in all CALS departments. Departments are expected to develop their own department-specific teaching load policy consistent with the campus and CALS policies. Department policies should include a process by which teaching load expectations for individual faculty are annually reviewed. Faculty performance reviews (e.g. post-tenure review, promotion) should incorporate teaching load expectations. Department teaching load policies, per campus policy, must be approved by the dean and shared with the provost. 

In CALS, group instruction of undergraduate and graduate students is central to our mission. We also recognize the varied ways in which we advance student learning and success beyond the classroom, such as through mentoring, advising, and teaching-related service. Moreover, faculty at different points in their career may engage in teaching differently to accommodate other activities. As such, the teaching load for individual faculty may be adjusted for other types of activities or service. This policy (1) sets minimum expectations for group instruction by individual CALS faculty, (2) gives guidance to departments on the type of additional activities that impact group instruction expectations beyond this minimum expectation to align with the UW-Madison teaching load policy, and (3) authorizes and directs departments to create transparent policies for how teaching loads are distributed among their faculty. 

Regardless of variation among individual faculty teaching loads, CALS' departments are responsible for meeting their instructional obligations and ensuring the equitable distribution of teaching among their faculty. Departments should also consider how changes to group instruction course assignments will impact its overall performance on Credit Follows Instructor (CFI), a key campus and college teaching metric related to budgeting and the allocation of other teaching resources. 

At minimum and irrespective of substituted activities as suggested below, each faculty member is expected to teach a minimum of one three-credit group instruction course or equivalent per year. The following exceptions may, however, reduce the minimum expectation. 
  • Substantive commitments (e.g. >75% administrative appointment, Extension funded appointment, government service) may preclude group instruction expectations entirely.
  • Significant commitments (e.g. 50-75% Extension funded appointment, administrative appointment, government service) may reduce the minimum group instruction expectation to one 3 credit course, or equivalent, every other year. While not a formal appointment, department chairs would typically fit in this category of "significant" commitment. 
  • Approved sabbatical, research, or other leaves of absence may preclude group instruction expectations, but that will depend on the length of leave taken and/or the portion of appointment dedicated to the leave. If an exception exceeds two continuous years, approval by the department Executive Committee and the dean are required. 
As part of their policies, departments will identify activities that can substitute or reduce teaching expectations as defined in the campus policy. However, department policies cannot reduce the teaching loads below the CALS minimum expectations. Activities that might substitute for group instruction could include: 
  1. High level of graduate student mentoring and advising
  2. Exceptional undergraduate advising level 
  3. High level of undergraduate mentoring in independent research 
  4. Instruction in high touch/high impact courses (e.g. labs, field studies, writing intensive) 
  5. Instruction in high enrollment courses (e.g. >100 students enrolled)
  6. Development of curriculum or courses (e.g. new courses, online courses)
  7. Instruction in courses that do not generate CFI (e.g. summer courses, study abroad courses)
  8. Instruction in non-credit bearing activities (e.g. outreach activities, educational workshops/seminars, etc.)
  9. Tenure status (e.g. teaching relief for new faculty member)
  10. Exceptional research effort
  11. Exceptional outreach effort
  12. Exceptional Extension effort
  13. Exceptional service effort
  14. Special assignments (e.g. administrative or other special assignments)
Some activities (e.g. research) could be considered an alternative activity for which departments could require buyout. Funds from the buyout would be used by the department to meet instructional obligations (i.e. hire instructors to cover teaching load). However, a buyout is not an option to reduce group instruction load below the stated CALS minimum expectation. 

This policy does not address teaching load policies for instructional academic staff. That policy will be developed subsequently. 




Keywords:college of agricultural and life sciences, deans office, deans, admin, agriculture, faculty,policies, policy, procedures, teaching, load, instruction   Doc ID:107943
Owner:Zoe H.Group:CALS Dean's Office
Created:2020-12-16 17:28 CDTUpdated:2021-01-27 16:42 CDT
Sites:CALS Dean's Office
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