Academic Affairs

Teaching credit and other workload-related approvals

Academic Affairs

March 7, 2016

The awarding of teaching credit and job responsibilities at Union is guided by the Academic Affairs Council’s “Loading Report,” written in 1994 and appended in 1996, by appointment letters, by the Faculty Manual, and by administrative approval. In some instances, the Loading Report and other policy statements indicate that approval of a dean or department chair is required. This memo provides information on what standard approval the deans give without individual consultation as well as clarification of teaching credit in circumstances not specified by the Loading Report. These practices may change in response to changes in faculty-wide loading policies and other changing circumstances.

The following topics are covered in this memo

Banking of courses

Distribution of courses across the academic year

Independent study compensation

International programs teaching credit (for regular terms abroad and mini-terms)

Team-teaching

Banking of Courses (Carrying course credit from one year to the next)

The 1994 loading report (page 2) indicates that approval is required for carrying over a full course from one year to the next. Standard approval: Up to one course (or course release) can be “banked” or owed for one year with the approval of the department chair but without consultation with a dean. Banking a course may be done repeatedly, so it is possible that a faculty member may have up to one course “banked” for several years. When individual approval is needed: Please note that a faculty member cannot carry over or “bank” more than one course at a time nor can a shortfall of one course or more be owed to the College for more than one year without written approval from the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs in advance. Course releases must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty. Compensation for a full course not banked can be received at the additional course or “overload” rate upon request by the department chair to the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs. Overloads that are fractions of a course usually are not compensated. Shortfalls can be repaid to the College through arrangements made with the office of the Dean of the Faculty.

Distribution of courses across the academic year

A full-time faculty member’s teaching load can be distributed throughout the year in various ways, including all classroom teaching falling into two terms, at the discretion of the department chair. When a faculty member arranges teaching such that none falls within a particular term, there is an expectation that the faculty member remains engaged full-time in research, service, advising, and other activities on campus in accordance with usual norms for such work. The department chair needs to be satisfied that the quality of teaching will not suffer and that student demand for particular courses will be satisfied if courses are taught in two rather than three terms. Standard approval: The full course load can be compressed into two terms for one year, provided that the faculty member remains engaged full-time in research, service, advising, and other activities on campus, with the approval of the department chair but without individual consultation with a dean. When individual approval is needed: If the full course load is compressed into two terms for more than one year, or if research, service, advising, and other campus activities are not carried out full-time, approval must be obtained from the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs. In the instance of shared tenure-track positions, please see the Faculty Manual section on shared tenure-track appointments, which takes precedence.

Independent study compensation

The 1994 loading report (page 4) indicates that teaching credit is not given for supervision of independent study. The deans’ interpretation of the report is that this provision does not apply to part-time non-tenure-track faculty or to adjunct faculty, or to regular faculty members who are teaching independent study courses over the summer. Standard approval: None. When individual approval is needed: Approval from the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs is always required for independent study compensation. When approval is given, these are the normal terms: Non-tenure track faculty (lecturers and visitors) with part-time annual appointments and adjunct faculty members receive $500 per student per term of independent study supervision up to a maximum of $4000 per term. That same rate applies to full-time faculty members who teach independent studies during the summer months. The student must be registered in the independent study course for Union credit, and must pay the summer course fee.

International programs – regular terms abroad

Standard approval: A faculty member leading and participating in the entirety of a term abroad program receives two course credits, provided that the faculty member teaches at least one course and assumes significant responsibility for the administration of the program. More than two course credits cannot be received for a term abroad regardless of the number of courses taught. If two faculty members lead and participate in a term abroad program together, they divide the credit between them. Course supervision for Independent Study Abroad programs (ISAs) is typically compensated with a $500 stipend per course. When individual approval is needed: Any exceptions and other arrangements for compensating term abroad leaders must have approval from the Director of International Programs, who makes determinations regarding course credit in consultation with the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs.

International programs - mini-terms

Standard approval: A faculty member leading and participating in the entirety of a mini-term receives a half-course credit plus a $4000 salary stipend.

The half-course credit may be taken in one of the following ways:

  • As 2 hours of loading in the year that the mini-term is taken, for departments in which fractional course credits are meaningful
  • As ½ course of overload pay in the year the mini-term is taken
  • Combined with the half-course credit on the next offering of a mini-term to add to a full-course credit, even if participating in non-consecutive years (normally, fractional credits are not permitted to be carried over).

If two faculty members lead and participate in a mini-term together, they divide this course credit and salary stipend between them. The $4000 stipend may be paid to (or split with) a non-Union faculty member, and the half-course credit portion of compensation can be monetized at the overload rate (1/2 the fee for an overload course) for non-Union faculty. When individual approval is needed: Any exceptions and other arrangements for compensating mini-term leaders require approval from the Director of International Programs, who makes determinations regarding compensation in consultation with the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs.

Team teaching

Standard approval: The 1994 loading report (page 8) makes no automatic provision for team-teaching credit beyond one credit per course to be shared by the faculty members teaching that course. However, standard approval is currently given for two faculty members to each receive a full course credit for a team-taught course for the first two times that they offer the course, provided that they are from different departments and that both faculty members attend all (or nearly all) class meetings during the term and coordinate their respective contributions to the course with each other. Three or more faculty members may divide two course credits under the same conditions. In approving full-credit for team taught courses, department chairs should take into consideration the department’s ability to staff the department’s courses and courses needed by interdisciplinary programs. Department chairs may apply to the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs for adjunct or overload funding to facilitate team-teaching. This standard approval does not apply to study abroad. The Director of International Programs should be consulted regarding compensation for study abroad. When individual approval is needed: Beyond two offerings of the same course, a faculty member must seek approval of the Dean of Academic Departments and Programs to receive more than half-credit for offering a team-taught course with another faculty member.

Course releases

All course releases require written approval from the Dean of the Faculty, either through an appointment letter, a grant approval form, or a letter tailored to the particular situation