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Faculty, Staff and Administration:
Teaching Workload Policy for Tenure-Line Faculty
(adopted 5/26/04)

What follows are guidelines for the Dean of the Ohio State University at Lima. These guidelines may not be appropriate for some situations and the Dean always has the option of deviating from the guidelines in specific situations.  However, the Dean will inform the Executive Committee of the Faculty Assembly of any deviations from these guidelines. Initial implementation of these guidelines is dependent upon the campus budget.

I.  Overview

The purpose of this document is to establish workload equity and to encourage faculty to remain active in research.

A.              Preliminary definitions: Course is a 3-5 credit-hour lecture course or equivalent, or 4-6 contact hours in laboratory or studio sections. Teaching load or course load refers to the total number of non-overload courses assigned over a given academic year. Thus, an individual who teaches six non-overload lecture courses per academic year would bear a six-course teaching load. Similarly, an individual who teaches four lecture courses plus two laboratory sections consisting of 4-6 contact hours, all as non-overloads, would also bear a six-course load.  Lab and studio sections consisting of 2-3 contact hours, would each count as 1/2 of a course. 

B.               1.  The base teaching load for all untenured, tenure-track faculty will be six courses per year.  In addition, all untenured, tenure-track faculty shall receive 3 one-course reductions (see section III below) to encourage their research programs. 

2.   All OSU Lima faculty who are actively involved in research and who are not currently on a six-course teaching load will be eligible for a reduction to a six-course teaching load.  Faculty members desiring a six-course-teaching-load assignment are encouraged to meet with the Dean and discuss their research productivity and the possibility of a reduced teaching load (see section II below).

3.  Faculty who are currently teaching six-courses per year will not have their standard teaching loads affected by this policy.  

4.  All faculty members may be eligible for additional course reductions (see section IV below). 

5. All faculty members should be aware of the University expectation that Ohio State faculty should be involved in research and scholarly activity and be making significant service contributions.

C.              Merit formulas for all faculty at the OSU Lima campus will be based on the traditional "40-40-20" model (40% teaching; 40% research; 20% service).

Under unusual circumstances (such as extraordinary research or service commitments), individual faculty members may meet with the Dean and negotiate nuances to their work-load and/or the percentages listed above.

II. Petitioning the Dean for a Six Course Teaching Load (for Faculty Currently Teaching 7 Courses per Year)

Faculty members who are actively involved in research and who wish to be assigned a teaching load of six-courses per year, should petition the Dean for a six-course-load assignment.

Evidence of research and scholarly activity could include, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Draft of an article

2. Draft of a book chapter

3. Completed calculations or calculations in progress

4. Data collection or generation, reading and research notes, pilot studies, etc.

5. Performances such as concerts and plays

6. Exhibitions or artistic presentations

7. Conference presentations and editorial appointments

8. Securing outside grants or other sources of funding for research


Faculty members who have not been actively involved in research over the last several years, and who wish to return to a productive research schedule, may also petition the Dean to have their course load reduced to six courses per year.  In such cases, a detailed research plan should accompany the petition.  

The Dean is expected to consult with the faculty member's respective Chairperson in Columbus when considering a request for a course load reduction.  


III.  Untenured (tenure-track) faculty

A.              Untenured faculty will automatically be granted three one-course load reductions.  These reductions are typically taken in different academic years (e.g., a one-course reduction during each of the first three years); however, in special circumstances and with the Dean's approval, the reductions may be taken during the same year or across two years. 

B.               If a tenure-track faculty member's contract is not renewed or if tenure is denied, the faculty member will retain their six course teaching load for the following academic year but will not be eligible for any additional course reductions.

IV.  Additional/Special Considerations. 

A.  Additional Reductions in Teaching Load.  In unusual circumstances, the Dean, in consultation with the Faculty Salary Committee, may grant additional one-course reductions in response to exceptional individual faculty research or service commitments. A five-course teaching load will generally be the floor for such reductions.

B.  SRAs.  Special Research Assignments are important awards to assist faculty in meeting the increasing research expectations at OSU.   

      Implementation of this six-course teaching load policy on the Lima campus should not result in a decrease in the number of SRAs awarded.  Furthermore, the Research Committee should continue to award these competitive awards based on the merit of the faculty member's proposal. 

      Faculty should consult the Research Committee's web site for application and additional information concerning SRAs.

C.  Filling Teaching Vacancies Due to SRAs or Other Faculty Leave.   When considering whether a teaching vacancy should be filled, course enrollment and the importance of the course to a particular program should be considered.  In the case of an expected low enrollment, the preferred option would be to cancel the course.  If a course is integral to a particular program (e.g., a GEC course), existing faculty (e.g., overloads) or adjunct faculty or specials should be considered. 

D. Overloads. A course overload is defined as teaching, during an on-duty quarter, of one or more courses beyond a faculty member's usual course load. Overloads do not apply to off-duty quarters.

All faculty members are cautioned against taking on overloads if such activity is likely to detract from their research productivity.  The Dean, program coordinator, and faculty member should discuss the potential impact of an overload on the faculty member's research prior to assigning/accepting overloads.

Untenured faculty are not allowed to take overloads except under unusual circumstances and only with the approval of the Dean and Department Chair.

E.  Teaching During Off-Duty Quarters. An off-duty quarter is defined as a quarter for which a faculty member has no assigned teaching or service. (Off-duty quarters typically fall during the summer.)

      The above policy is not meant to impinge upon tenured faculty from teaching courses during off-duty quarters. 

Untenured faculty members are strongly discouraged from teaching during off-duty quarters.   Only under unusual circumstances and with the approval of the Dean and the department Chair, untenured faculty may teach during an off-duty quarter.

F.  Scheduling of Courses During the Academic Year.  At the request of a faculty member, the Dean may attempt to construct a schedule so that one quarter is free from teaching. This may not always be possible, given curricular and scheduling constraints, and the Dean should not grant the wish if the resulting modifications would disrupt the curriculum or distort the workloads of associated colleagues. However, in the interests of research productivity, the Dean should make an earnest attempt to accommodate the faculty member's desire. Freedom from teaching will not imply freedom from service activity, e.g., freedom from service to the campus, unless the Dean grants explicit exemption in special circumstances such as research that requires travel outside the region.

G.  Program Coordinators.  Each academic program coordinator may negotiate a monetary compensation or a course-load reduction for a given academic year.  Coordinators whose program responsibilities require service during off-duty quarters may petition the dean for additional compensation. 

H.  Grants.  Subject to approval by the Dean, if a faculty member's grant generates sufficient overhead for the Lima campus, then the faculty member may have his or her teaching load reduced. The purpose of the teaching reduction is to help the faculty member fulfill the obligations of accepting the grant, e.g. data collection, travel, supervising students or postdocs, etc. The amount of teaching reduction will also be guided by the practices of the faculty member's home department and the amount of overhead generated.

Additional reductions in teaching loads may be purchased from grant funds if such purchases are allowed by the funding agency and if such reductions are not disruptive to the campus curriculum.

I.  Transparency.  All decisions regarding reductions in teaching loads, awarding SRAs, special teaching assignments, or other significant changes to any faculty members' workload should be reported to the Executive Committee.  On an annual basis, the Executive Committee should inform the entire faculty body about changes in teaching load assignments.  Publicly announcing award winners (e.g., SRAs) will help to create an atmosphere of awareness and encouragement of research activity.  Public disclosure of teaching load assignments also enables the entire faculty community to observe the consistency and fairness of workload decisions. 

J. Independent Study.   Faculty involvement in the mentoring of students (through 693 or similar coursework) is strongly encouraged, and a faculty member should be rewarded for sustained Independent Study contributions.    A faculty member's efforts and contributions mentoring students should be counted across quarters (e.g., the total number of student credit hours awarded).  Once an individual faculty member has accumulated a minimum number of Independent Study hours, that faculty member should be rewarded either in terms of a course reduction or financial compensation.  The total number of credit hours needed before receiving reward should be consistent with our current policy concerning the minimum number of students needed in a class to make that class profitable for the university.   The administration may require formal proposals, descriptions of activities, and formal reports from a faculty member who is petitioning for compensation for their Independent Study contributions.