Faculty Workload Policy

OFFICE OF RECORD: Vice President for Academic Affairs
ISSUED BY: Workload Committee
APPROVED BY: COHE Workload Committee - see end of document                                           02-46-00
EFFECTIVE DATE: Last Revised April 2013

Faculty Workload Policy

The faculty workload policy of Dakota State University is stated in sufficiently broad and sufficiently specific terms to allow for the fulfillment of the mission of the University while respecting the rights and prerogatives of faculty unit members and administration. The genuine realization of the spirit of the policy pivots on the mutual respect and goodwill that should characterize colleagues having complementary responsibilities.

Section I. Workload during the Academic Year

All faculty members are expected to fulfill the basic professional responsibilities of the mission of the institution as outlined in the Interim Terms and Conditions of Employment, January 2012, Section 10.3. Per that document, the standard two-term workload for faculty unit members requires 30 credit hours of undergraduate instruction, or its equivalent, per academic year. 

IA. Faculty Unit Members Holding Professorial Rank

While the standard workload is 30 workload units per academic year, reasonable release time is granted to faculty unit members who hold professorial rank and who actively engage in research, scholarship or creative artistic activity or who actively pursue professional service activities related to their disciplines. Ordinarily, reasonable release time is the equivalent of six credit hours of undergraduate instruction, or its equivalent, per academic year. The institution may adjust this workload requirement to ensure that faculty unit members have adequate time for research and scholarship or service or as deemed necessary by the institution and as specified below in this workload document.

The normal full-time teaching load is 24 semester credit hours for each academic year (fall and spring). Faculty whose teaching load exceeds that requirement (and who are actively engaged in research, scholarship or creative artistic activity and who actively pursue professional service activities related to their disciplines) may qualify for overload pay when their teaching load exceeds the 24-credit requirement in any given academic year. (See Section III below for a discussion of overload compensation.)

IB. Faculty Unit Members Holding Lecturer Rank

The standard two-term workload for faculty unit members who hold lecturer rank will be based solely on undergraduate instruction, although up to 3 credits of release time per academic year may be assigned for service functions. Faculty whose teaching load exceeds 30 credits (or 27 credits if they have been given 3 credits of release time for service obligations) may qualify for overload pay when their teaching load exceeds that limit in any given academic year. (See Section III below for a discussion of overload compensation.)

Faculty unit members who hold lecturer rank are exempt from shared governance and other university service obligations, although three credits of release time for service obligations may be provided as compensation for service obligations. Faculty unit members with lecturer rank may be assigned graduate teaching responsibilities when approval is received from the college dean, the Graduate Council and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. (See Section II for the equated workload credit assigned for graduate courses.)

IC. Faculty Unit Members Holding Librarian Rank

Faculty unit members assigned to positions in the Karl Mundt Library will normally not be required to work on more than five (5) calendar days per work week unless the assignment is mutually agreed to by the administration and the faculty unit member. A faculty unit member will not be required to work more than seven (7) consecutive days, unless mutually agreed to by the administration and the faculty unit member. Where faculty unit members holding librarian ranks also hold lecturer or professorial rank, workload expectations for the librarian positions will be adjusted to accommodate teaching or research responsibilities.

Faculty unit members assigned to positions in the Karl Mundt Library will normally average forty (40) hours during any work week. The work week, for purposes of this document, will begin at midnight Friday and end at midnight the following Friday.

Section II: Calculation of Teaching Workload

Unless an equated formula is stipulated below, the semester credit hours of the course will be used to determine the course's value in the faculty unit member's teaching workload (regardless of type of rank held for the faculty unit member). The semester credit hour teaching load of a faculty unit member is determined by adding the semester credit hours and the equated workload credits of the assigned courses. Equated workload credit for the courses designated below will be calculated using these formulas:

  1. Science laboratories (Instructional Methods C and L): 3 contact hours equal 2 equated workload credits.
  2. Clinical experiences (Instructional Methods G): 2 contact hours equal 1 equated workload credit.
  3. Applied music courses (Instructional Methods M): 3 contact hours equal 2 equated workload credits.
  4. Studio art courses (Instructional Methods A): 3 contact hours equal 4 equated workload credits. (Note: presumes 150-minute class period with an additional 150-minute studio requirement for students, without direct supervision of instructor)
  5. Graphic arts courses (Instructional Methods A: 3 contact hours equal 4 equated workload credits. (Note: presumes 150-minute class period with 150-minute lab requirement for students, without direct supervision of instructor)
  6. Wellness activity courses (Instructional Methods P): 2 contact hours equal 1 equated workload credit.
  7. Independent Study Courses / Mentored courses (courses in the x9x series, with the exception of x92. (See Section III for overload calculations on low-enrolled courses.): (.10) x (semester credit hours of the course) x (number of students being mentored) equals equated workload credits.
  8. Supervision of formal research experiences:
    • Undergraduate research supervision: (.10) x (semester credit hour of course) x (number of students enrolled) equals equated workload credits.
    • Master's-level research supervision: considered part of the unit faculty member's formal research workload and not considered as part of the unit faculty member's teaching workload.
    • Doctoral-level research supervision: considered part of the unit faculty member's formal research workload and not considered as part of the unit faculty member's teaching workload.
  9. Instructor of Record:
    • Supervision of 1 graduate teaching assistant equals .67 equated workload credit (regardless of course credit hours)
    • Supervision of 1 graduate lab assistant equals .33 equated workload credit (regardless of course credit hours)
  10. Graduate Courses: (1.33) x (semester credit hours of the course) equals equated workload credit.
  11. Supervision of multiple-section courses (if responsible for development of standardized content, assessment, and syllabus for the course): 1 equated workload credit for each multiple-section course supervised.
  12. Supervision of student teaching:
    • Elementary Education and K-12/Secondary Education: 1 student = .67 equated workload credit.
    • Elementary Education / Special Education: 1 student = 1 equated workload credit.
    • Level III: 1 credit hour = 1.125 workload credit.
  13. Remedial Math courses taught in Math Success Center following the Math Emporium Model: 3 contact hours + 2 hours supervision in Math Success Center equal 3 workload credits.

These factors may be considered at the college level and may be used to displace a proportional amount of the normal, full-time teaching workload assignment, upon authorization by the Vice President for Academic Affairs:

  • class size and other related classroom issues;
  • institutional committee chairmanship;
  • responsibility for institutional projects;
  • heavy advising load or college recruitment responsibilities
  • guidelines of external accrediting agencies
  • a strong research agenda that supports the university's mission

If an agreement cannot be reached at the college level by the dean and the faculty unit member relative to the faculty unit member's teaching workload, the faculty unit member may request a review by the VPAA. If the faculty unit member's request for change is denied by the VPAA, the faculty unit member may request a review by the Ad Hoc Workload Committee. Recommendations made by this committee will be given very serious consideration by the administration.

 IIB. Academic Advising

Academic advising is recognized as part of a faculty unit member's teaching workloadand generally will not exceed an assignment of 50 students for faculty unit members with professorial rank and 30 students for faculty unit members with lecturer rank. An unusually heavy advising load can be offset by a reduction in the faculty unit member's committee or other college assignments and/or a reduction in teaching load for faculty unit members holding lecturer rank.

IIC. Class Preparation

The usual number of class preparations for faculty unit members will be 3 to 6 per semester. If / when the faculty unit member's teaching assignment for any given semester exceeds 6 class preparations, other workload assignments will be reduced proportionately.

When two or more sections of the same class are taught by the faculty unit member during the same semester, those courses will be counted as a single class preparation.

For each credit hour or equated workload credit taught per week by a faculty unit member, the faculty unit member is expected to spend three hours in class preparation, evaluation of students, tutorials, or other course-related activities.

Faculty unit members are expected to maintain an office schedule that provides for reasonable on-campus accessibility during the work week. Minimum standards for office hours have been negotiated as part of this agreement. (See Attachment C for the current minimum standards for office hours.)

IID. Shared Governance Responsibilities

From BOR Policy 4:38, Item 5C1, all faculty unit members who hold professorial rank are expected to participate in the academic governance of their universities, to contribute to the work of departmental committees or task forces, and to participate in searches for new members for the department. Service to the institution also includes:

  • Significant work for departmental, school, college and university committees;
  • Service on the academic senate and its committees;
  • Significant responsibilities relating to the academic or support services of the university community;
  • Contributions to the development of library or other learning resources; institutional studies or reports such as those required by accrediting organizations;
  • Coordination, advisement and supervision of student organizations or student activities; and
  • Participation in institutionally-sponsored student support activities.

Faculty unit members who hold lecturer rank are not subject to shared governance expectations and responsibilities. Faculty who hold lecturer rank and who are assigned service obligations are eligible for 3 credits of workload release. (See Section IB.)

Section III: Overload Compensation during the Academic Year

Section 19.5 of the Interim Terms and Conditions, January 2012, stipulates that overload assignments may only be granted to faculty unit members whose primary responsibilities are instructional. Such additional instructional responsibilities may only be offered to faculty unit members who already carry a teaching load equivalent to four 3-credit undergraduate courses each semester. Faculty unit members who accept overload assignments are compensated at the rate of 7 percent of their 9-month base salary for each 3 credit hour state-support course taught, and 8 percent of their 9-month base salary for each 3 credit hour self-support course taught. If a course exceeds or falls short of three credit hours, the overload compensation will be adjusted pro rata.

Faculty unit members who have a larger-than-normal workload assignment in the fall may also request a reduction in their spring teaching load, in lieu of overload compensation.

Faculty unit members who unilaterally agree to supervise independent study courses, directed practices and directed studies courses (those courses generally numbered x9x) will not be compensated with overload pay for this supervision, unless the activity is specifically assigned by the dean and compensation arrangements are made at the time of the assignment. Overload for courses with enrollments that do not meet the 7/10 enrollment minimum will be calculated using the Independent Study / Mentored Course equated workload formula.

See Attachment A for the guidelines used by the university to calculate overload compensation.

Section IV: Summer School Workload

Per the Interim Terms and Conditions, January 2012, Section 19.5, faculty unit members whose time is not fully obligated to the university or other state or federal agencies to perform externally funded research may be offered course assignments to teach during the summer session. Note, however, that during any given fiscal year, a faculty unit member's salary from Dakota State University or other state or federal agencies and/or research grants and contracts may not exceed his/her equivalent 12-month salary.

During the summer term, a faculty unit member will be compensated at the rate of 7 percent of their 9-month base salary for each three-credit, state-support course taught and at the rate of 8 percent of their 9-month base salary for each three-credit, self-support course taught. If a course exceeds or falls short of three credit hours, the compensation will be adjusted pro rata.

In the interest of quality instruction, a faculty unit member's teaching assignment in the summer will not exceed 10 credit hours during the summer term. Any exceptions to this stipulation must be approved by the VPAA prior to a summer school contract being issued to the faculty unit member.

Faculty unit members who unilaterally agree to supervise independent study courses, directed practices and directed studies courses (courses numbered in the x9x series) during the summer will not be compensated for this supervision, unless the activity is specifically assigned by the dean and compensation arrangements are made at the time of the assignment. When compensation is awarded, it will be calculated using the Independent Study / Mentored Course equated workload formula.

When a course fails to meet the specific minimum enrollment, the summer school contract may be voided by the administration or the faculty unit member may request an opportunity to teach the course at reduced compensation. The university administration will determine the minimum enrollment needed, consistent with sound fiscal practices, to justify offering the class. Faculty unit members will be advised of the minimum enrollments specified by the university at the time the summer school contract is offered. When a course has not achieved that minimum enrollment one week prior to the first scheduled class meeting, the administration will contact the faculty unit member to discuss whether the faculty unit member would be willing to teach the course at reduced compensation.

For faculty unit members whose summer teaching load is part of their 9-month teaching obligation, the semester credit hours of the course will be used to determine the course's value in the faculty unit member's workload, unless an equated formula is stipulated above (see Section II Calculation of Teaching Workload). For those faculty unit members, the summer school teaching workload is determined by adding the semester credit hours and the equated credit hours of the assigned courses.

Attachment A: Overload Compensation Guide

Attachment B: Faculty Workload Worksheet

Attachment C: Faculty Office Hours

Signed by:
William Figg, COHE Rep 4/04/13
Daniel Talley, COHE Rep 5/01/13
Maureen Murphy, COHE Rep 4/05/13
Cecelia Wittmayer, Administrative Rep 4/17/13
Judy Dittman, Administrative Rep 4/17/13
Kari Forbes-Boyte, Administrative Rep 4/30/13


Last Updated: 5/6/13