COHP114 Faculty Workload Policy – Academic Policy

UT Health Science Center:

COHP114 Faculty Workload Policy– Academic Policy

No./Title: COHP114 Faculty Workload Policy


Approval Body: College Council

Effective Date: February 2020

Category: Faculty

Last Review: February 2020

Next Review: February 2023

Contact: Stephen Alway


 901.448.7150


Related Policies:

UTHSC Faculty Handbook, COHP102 Academic Faculty Mentoring Guidelines


The Faculty Workload Policy for the College of Health Professions (COHP) reflects the academic needs and priorities of the College and is in compliance with University policies. Educational activities in a health science center necessarily involve patient care, sophisticated research, and teaching of rapidly changing and complex biomedical sciences. This policy defines these collective duties as workload and consists of all faculty activities that contribute to the accomplishment of unit related activities and responsibilities: teaching, outreach, research, interacting with students, clinical care, institutional and professional service, service to the community, and professional development. The Faculty Workload Policy will serve as the basis for annual workload planning and describe the relationship between workload and the staffing profile that is used to inform decisions regarding staffing needs.


Each Department in the College contributes to the four mission areas of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC): teaching, research, service and clinical care. The Department Chairs, in consultation with the Dean, best know and understand unit needs and the abilities and interests of their faculty members. Appropriate workload management by the chair seeks to best serve student interests and meet departmental and college responsibilities by maximizing the application of faculty expertise.

The assignment of faculty workloads is the delegated responsibility of the Department Chair. The Chair is responsible for the equitable assignment of faculty responsibilities and assures an appropriate balance of time and effort is committed to teaching, research, service, and if applicable, clinical care. It is expected that faculty will devote full-time to their academic duties, unless released time is officially approved.

Annual Faculty Evaluation

Each spring, the Chair and individual faculty member establish the faculty member’s goals and the Chair’s expectations during the upcoming year. This process and these expectations are documented as part of the annual faculty evaluation [i.e., Annual Performance-and-Planning Review]. Specific teaching assignments are usually made on a term basis by the Department Chair.

As is customary in most health science centers, faculty at UTHSC are assigned to specific duties consonant with Department needs and their individual expertise in teaching, research, or clinical care. Faculty are expected to engage in research (or equivalent scholarly activities), clinical care, or both as necessary

elements of health science education. To enhance the ability of a particular unit to meet its academic responsibilities, faculty members may be assigned asymmetrical workload distributions. While each faculty member might not be actively involved in all of the mission areas, the collective participation of the faculty in all areas is necessary to achieve the goals of the department and the college. The department chair, in consultation with each faculty member determines the individual mix of these responsibilities.

Faculty Workload Guidelines

Workload Units – Each full-time faculty member is expected to maintain a total workload of 5 Workload Units each term. There may be times when a faculty member’s workload exceeds or falls short of the expectation for a given term. The difference may be made up in a smaller or larger workload in subsequent terms within the same academic year. The number of units is determined by the following values:

Work Assignment Categories




  • Lecture

Traditional, online, hybrid course

0.4 per credit hour

  • Lab

Lab portions of course

0.2 per contact hour

  • Clinical and fieldwork Courses

4 contact hours per week


  • Coordinating clinical education*

Clinical/fieldwork courses

Up to 4.0

  • Thesis, Dissertation and related coursework

6-12 credit hours


  • Independent Study, special topics and seminars

1 student = 0.1 workload unit

Up to 1.0

  • Guest lectures

Based on contact hours


Scholarly Activity

8 hours per week



  • Professional, University or Public Service

Based on time commitment and


Up to 0.5

  • Peer Mentoring

2 contact hours per week

Up to 0.2

  • Administrative Responsibilities

Program Director

Department Chair

0.5 -1.0**

1.0 – 2.0**

Clinical Care

8 hours per week

Up to 1.0

Special Assignment


Up to 1.0**

* The Coordinator of Clinical Education is specifically responsible for compliance with the standards associated with the fieldwork/clinical requirements of the program.

**Any request to exceed the maximum workload assignment units for any category will require written justification by the Departmental Chair that demonstrates essential need that benefits the college and institution. The final decision for granting workload credit beyond the stated policy rests with the Dean of the College.


Educating students through effective teaching is a core responsibility of the Faculty. Relevant academic curricular development and continuous improvement are considered integral to teaching. Teaching is generally weighted between 20 and 70 percent (1 – 3.5 Workload Units) of the total evaluation for tenured and tenure-track faculty. For non-tenure track faculty who are teaching on a full-time basis, the weighting is generally between 60 and 90 percent (3.0 – 4.5 Workload Units). The weighting of faculty members’ teaching shall be guided by the number of courses taught over the academic year. In rare instances workload may fall outside of these percentages but must be agreed upon in advance by the Department Chair and in consultation with the Dean of the College.

Additional Considerations for Teaching

A department chair may choose to assign workload units for the task of creating a new course or major re-design of an existing course. In general, the number of units will correspond to the units assigned to course delivery. That is, up to 1 workload unit from the “Special Assignment” category could be given for the creation or re-design of a course. Routine updating of a course is considered part of regular teaching activity and no additional workload units are assigned. “Special Assignment” workload units may be given by the Department Chair for courses with excessive grading, large class size or other related work.

Workload units may be adjusted for team teaching, based on the relative effort of members of the teaching team. For example:

  • In instances where faculty split the teaching and assessment obligations of the course, the workload would be divided accordingly.
  • In instances where a faculty member serves as the instructor of record for adjunct faculty that will deliver course content and assess students, the faculty member serving as the instructor of record will receive 0.2 workload units/3 credit hour course. If the instructor of record teaches 1/3 of the full course, then he/she gets 1/3 of the credit. Instructor of record that does not teach in a class taught solely by adjuncts should get lower credit as this is only a small administrative load to add grades etc.
  • In instances of team teaching, where multiple faculty members are present during class time, one of the faculty must be named as the instructor of record and be responsible for the administrative requirements of the course. The instructor of record will receive full workload credit, while the other faculty will receive half of the lecture and laboratory workload credit (i.e. 0.2 workload unit per credit hour).

Generally, workload units for teaching on-line courses are the same as for face-to-face courses, assuming that the on-line course includes substantial time for interaction between the faculty member and students, regular assignments that are graded by the faculty member, and regular, weekly monitoring of students’ performance by the faculty member and similar student numbers in the online class as a typical college class taught in person.

Scholarly Activity

Extending the boundaries of knowledge through scholarly and creative pursuits are essential to the idea of a University and the success of the College and the Department. Each research-active and tenured/tenure track faculty member in the College undertakes a unique set of research and scholarship activities related to their field of specialization. Scholarship activities should be consistent with metrics for promotion and tenure. Research scholarship workload assignments may include expectations to produce peer reviewed publications, extramural and/or intramural grant support and/or other scholarly outputs as determined by the chair when setting annual goals and assignments for each faculty.

The weighting for this component shall be in the range of 10 to 70 percent of the overall faculty performance (0.5 – 3.5 Workload Units), depending on the faculty work plan and activity for the evaluation period. In general, expectations for scholarly activity are greater for tenure-track and tenured faculty members and for research faculty than for non-tenure track faculty members. In rare instances workload may fall outside of these percentages but must be agreed upon in advance by the Department Chair, in consultation with the Dean.


All faculty, regardless of rank or tenure status, are expected to contribute as integral members of the Department, College, and University, as well as to the professional and academic communities of which we are part. The weighting for this component shall be in the range of 10% of the overall faculty performance evaluation (0.5 Workload Units). Occasionally, workload may fall outside of these percentages but must be agreed upon in advance by the Department Chair, in consultation with the Dean. Service includes all manner of necessary work beyond individual faculty members’ interests. Examples of service that may be assigned to a faculty include but are not limited to the following:

Service to the Department

  • All faculty members must serve on committees as appropriate and as needed.

Service to the College and University

  • Full-time faculty participate on College and University Committees
  • Providing lectures or research talks outside of the College

Service to the Profession

  • Includes service on state/national/international professional and academic committees, organizing conferences. Editor/Associate Editor, editing and peer-reviewing publications, and participation as an external reviewer for tenure and promotion.

Other Service

  • Some forms of service such as sponsoring a student organization, leading a service group in the community that benefits from the faculty member’s professional knowledge and expertise, supervising students at a clinic, participating in pro bono clinical service to the community.

Peer Mentoring

  • Mentoring of faculty members by those who are more experienced is a valued activity in COHP. Department chairs can assign workload units up to 0.2 Workload Units for peer mentoring. As noted above, workload assignments for peer mentoring require a formalized and approved mentoring plan that comprises specific goals, measurable objectives, and a defined time frame for achievement of the goals. (COHP102 Academic Faculty Mentoring Guidelines).

Clinical Care

Faculty may be assigned to practice in a clinical setting as part of the department’s or college’s faculty practice plan. The weighting of tenured and tenure track faculty and faculty with a high teaching load typically range from 10 to 80% (0.5 – 4.0 Workload Unit).

Special Assignments

Faculty members may be assigned a special project in any of the categories of teaching, scholarship or service as part of their workload but shall not exceed 1.0 Workload Units. Such projects should be well defined to include expectations for outcomes and completion within a finite time period.


Effective: February 2020

Approved: February 2020, COHP Dean

COHP114 Faculty Workload Policy – Academic Policy
Version: // Effective: 02/01/2020
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