Three-Course Teaching Load for Research-Active Faculty

May 2004

The department considers support of the research activities of its faculty to be its highest priority. As such, continuation of the current policy of a four-course load for research active faculty works against our stated goals and priorities. Moreover, the current four-course load puts our faculty at a disadvantage in competing for funding and other perquisites of productive and visible research programs.

Therefore, it is proposed that the Department of Psychology reduce the standard course load from four to three courses per year for research active faculty. The chair will determine whether an individual faculty member qualifies for research active status based on the following guidelines:

  1. Research active faculty will be defined as those faculty who meet the following two criteria, to be determined prior to the beginning of the Fall semester of each academic year:
    • Have published an average of one peer-reviewed journal article per year for three years (specifically, the three academic years previous to the year in which the determination of research active is made);
    • Have had active funding or have submitted a proposal for funding over the three previous academic years consisting of at least $50,000 in direct costs per year. The department must be able to claim a minimum of $50,000 in total direct costs per year of the active or proposed funding.* The minimum funding level may be met by combining active funding, proposed funding, or both from different funding sources. No-cost extensions will be counted toward the funding criterion.
  2. Because it is unrealistic to expect new assistant professors to come with funding substantial enough to meet criterion (1b), incoming junior faculty will automatically be considered research active for the first two years, after which the definition of research active in (1) will apply.
  3. With the exception of faculty who serve in departmental administrative roles for which there are course reductions, all faculty will be expected to teach a minimum of two courses per year. The expectation is that one will be undergraduate and one graduate. All faculty will be expected to teach a 100-, 200-, or 300-level undergraduate course at least once every year. The chair will determine eligibility for the three-course load based on compliance with the expectations for teaching.
  4. Faculty will be expected to participate in departmental and university service commensurate with rank. The chair will determine eligibility for the three-course load based on compliance with the expectations for service.
  5. The chair reserves the right to modify this policy on a faculty-wide or individual basis given faculty research and funding commitments, previous arrangements, the availability of departmental resources, and Area curricular needs.
  6. The chair will determine course load based on these guidelines as well as those specified in the provost’s November 1, 2000 memorandum on faculty workload.

*Only funding used by the dean to compute the department’s indirect cost recovery will qualify.