University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Faculty Workload
Policy Number: LR 403.13
Effective Date: August 15, 2021
Revised Dates: November 20, 2020, September 13, 1994
Most Recent Review Date: November 20, 2020
Consistent with state laws and the university mission, this policy seeks to set the parameters of faculty workload distribution among the appropriate faculty roles as described in UA Little Rock policies LR 403.20 and LR LR 403.23, also known as Faculty Roles and Rewards I and II.
This policy retains the purpose of the original Instructional Load Policy adopted in 1994. Specifically, that the goal is to distribute responsibilities among faculty in a way that most equitably and efficiently advances this tripartite mission of teaching, research or creative activity, and service. Consistent with the University’s complexity and with its role as a metropolitan university committed to diversity, the policy is designed to protect and promote the multiplicity of faculty roles. The policy is designed to promote quality teaching, research or creative activity, and service. It is also designed to enable colleges and schools, departments, and individual faculty (sic) to pursue, plan for, and recognize the fact that different individuals and units will have different objectives and will make different commitments among the three faculty roles (UA Little Rock Faculty Instructional Load Policy, 1994).
This policy also retains and elaborates the goal of promoting the balance of four workload variables identified in the original workload policy: equity, diversity, instructional needs, and resources.
- Equity: Fundamentally, workload distributions within departments, colleges, and across the University must be fair and just. This does not mean that everyone must have identical assignments, but that everyone has an equal amount of work and responsibility over time, and that equivalent activities are given equal recognition for all faculty members.
- Diversity: Diversity of talent and background is generally recognized as a hallmark of a strong faculty. A workload policy must be flexible enough to promote and utilize faculty strengths and take advantage of opportunities to advance excellence in all areas of performance. It should also allow for diversity of assignments over time, recognizing that individuals and departments may have changing goals and objectives.
- Instructional needs: As stated in the original workload policy, decisions about workload distribution “must reflect the University’s responsibility to meet instructional needs, offering quality education to students in all general education and degree programs” (UA Little Rock Faculty Instructional Load Policy, 1994). Instructional needs may also include a variety of delivery modes and schedules that serve the needs of the students, providing access as well as excellence in educational experiences.
- Resources: Workload distributions must be based on realistic and sustainable levels of institutional resources.
Research and service should not be considered something faculty members do instead of teaching, since all three areas of activity are important and expected.
Therefore this workload model uses a distribution-of-effort framework instead of “reassigned time” or “release time.” It retains the concept of instructional units (IUs) for the instructional portion of workload only.
While this policy retains an institutional teaching baseline of twelve instructional units per semester, the model framework assumes a more typical distribution of nine instructional units per semester for tenure-track faculty members actively engaged in research and service.
Faculty members may request, in special circumstances, an exception to the distribution maximums or minimums. These requests will be contingent on institutional needs and resources as well as the relative contribution of anticipated outcomes to the mission of the University.
This policy reinforces the principle that workload assignments should inform a faculty member’s performance evaluations. As stated in the 1994 Instructional Load Policy, approved assignments “will be included as part of the annual review process as well as of the promotion and tenure process.” While the above principles make it clear that all faculty members are expected to engage in teaching and service, and all tenure-track faculty members are expected to be active scholars as well, evaluators should not disregard an emphasis in one or another category that is approved for any given period.
*Additional information and procedures on faculty load are located on the Provost Faculty Workload webpage.
Source: Faculty Senate November 20, 2020 Meeting
Approved By: Chancellor Christina Drale
Originator: Faculty Workload Task Force – Ad Hoc Committee
Custodian: Office of the Chancellor