Faculty Workload

Version 6 (Current Version)
All Versions:
TitleFaculty Workload
CategoryAcademic Affairs
Sub-categoryAccreditation, Assessment and Other Academic Matters

June 8, 2011, to be effective July 1, 2011; Revised September 25, 2014; Second Revised Interim Effective December 1, 2014; transitioned from Interim to Permanent July 31, 2015; Revised version adopted September 18, 2015 in interim form to become permanent pending UNC General Administration approval; Interim version made permanent November 30, 2015.


Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs (328-0607)

Related Policies

ECU Faculty Manual
UNC Policy Manual, 300.2.6[G] (Guidelines on Reassigned Time for Faculty)
UNC Policy Manual, 400.3.1.1 [G] (Guidelines on Tenure and Teaching in the University of North Carolina)
UNC Policy Manual, 400.3.4 (Monitoring Faculty Teaching Workloads)
UNC Policy Manual, 700.6.1[R] (Academic Integrity Regulations)
ECU Supplemental Pay for EHRA Employees Policy

Additional References

A Report of Faculty Teaching Workload Covering the Years 2000 to 2006 (UNC General Administration, 2008); UNC Enrollment Change Funding Model

1. Purpose

As per UNC Policy 400.3.1.1 [G], teaching or instruction is the primary responsibility of each of the UNC institutions; therefore, while neither teaching nor service nor research is the sole measure of a faculty member’s competence and contribution at any UNC institution, teaching should be the first consideration at all of the UNC institutions.

The purpose of this regulation is to define faculty workloads at East Carolina University as per policies established by the UNC Policy Manual and the ECU Faculty Manual. The Brody School of Medicine and the School of Dental Medicine are excluded from this regulation and will be governed by separate workload regulations, which must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences.

2. Definitions

2.1. Faculty Workload – the entirety of a faculty member’s duties for the relevant period

2.2. Relevant Period – academic year, contract period, or time-frame for special duties formally or informally assigned

2.3. Instructional Load – the portion of the faculty workload spent on direct instruction and instructional activities

2.4. Overload – a workload assignment that exceeds 1.0 full-time equivalent (FTE)

2.5. Course Reduction – a reduction in the instructional load to allow time for work on non-instructional activities

2.6. Faculty Scholarly Reassignment - an approved reassignment for a defined period of time in order for a faculty member to pursue a project involving research or creative activity as addressed in UNC Policy 300.2.6 [G]

3. Workload Assignments

3.1. The duties that commonly constitute a faculty member’s workload fall under the areas of instruction, research/scholarship or creative activity, service, clinical duties, community engagement and administration.

3.2. The Academic Council, in consultation with the academic deans, will establish workload and productivity criteria (see section 3.7 below) for each college for the relevant period.

3.3. The dean of each college, in consultation with the chairs and directors within the college, will establish workload and productivity criteria for each department or school in the college for the relevant period. These criteria will be guided by the requirements that the college meet workload and productivity criteria set by the Academic Council.

3.4. The chairperson or director of each department or school will establish individual workload and productivity requirements for each member of the faculty for the relevant period. These requirements will cumulatively meet the requirements for the department or school as established by the dean for the relevant period. Failure by an individual faculty member to satisfy the workload and productivity criteria established for the relevant period may result in an unsatisfactory performance evaluation.

3.5. For faculty holding a joint appointment, the unit administrator of the faculty member’s primary academic unit, in consultation with the administrator(s) of the unit(s) to which the faculty member is jointly appointed, will set the workload and productivity requirements.

3.6. As a Doctoral/Research university, the Board of Governors policy 400.3.4 [see related policies section above] assigns ECU faculty responsibility for an instructional load equivalent of five 3-semester-hour courses per year per 1.0 FTE.

3.7. Colleges will produce at least the average student credit hours (SCH) per FTE assigned by the Academic Council (see section 3.2 above) to the respective units as defined by the current UNC Enrollment Change Funding Model.

3.8. College, department and faculty workload and productivity requirements and assignments may vary in relation to overall assignment of duties, disciplinary standards, class sizes, contact hours, accreditation requirements, and productivity goals.

3.9. As required by the Board of Governors in its Academic Integrity Regulations (UNC Policy 700.6.1[R]), ECU limits a faculty member to teaching no more than three (3) undergraduate independent study sections in a semester or summer session without written approval from dean (not designee).

3.10. Department chairs and school directors will ensure that aggregated faculty workloads for the department or school meet the productivity criteria established for the department or school by the dean. Department chairs and school directors will review and annually report to the dean the teaching workload and course reassignments for all faculty members in the department for the preceding year. Failure to satisfy the workload and productivity criteria established by the dean for the relevant period may result in an unsatisfactory performance evaluation and/or removal of administrative duties.

3.11. As per Part VIII of the ECU Faculty Manual, the unit administrator’s annual performance evaluation of faculty members shall employ the criteria contained in the unit code approved by the Chancellor. The evaluation shall be based upon that year’s assigned duties and shall consider: teaching, research and creative activities, patient care, service, and other appropriate responsibilities. The relative weight given to teaching, research/creative activity, and service in personnel decisions shall be determined by each unit code. In no case, however, shall service be weighed more heavily than either teaching or research/creative activity.

3.12. Workload and productivity data alone are not sufficient justifications for the return of vacant faculty lines or for the allocation of new faculty lines. The Chancellor, Executive Council and/or Academic Council allocate or reallocate resources based upon a variety of factors, including but not limited to, workload and productivity data, institutional priorities, UNC General Administration initiatives, and legislative mandates.

4. Instructional Assignments and Other Responsibilities

4.1. Course Reductions and Overloads

4.1.1. With the exception of assignment of academic administration responsibilities and 100% Faculty Scholarly Reassignment, both of which require approval from the appropriate vice chancellor, a department chair or director may authorize one or more course reductions if the demands of activities, as defined in section 4.1.4 below, warrant a reduction in the instructional load.

4.1.2. Reductions in the instructional load are measured in terms of credit hours and are determined on a case by case basis.

4.1.3. A faculty member who is granted a course reduction may not receive an instructional overload assignment for additional compensation without approval from the dean and the appropriate vice chancellor.

4.1.4. The criteria for course reductions will be grouped into the following reporting categories: course/curriculum development, heavy load of academic advising, accreditation/program review, technology training for instruction, co-curricular activities, academic administration, externally funded research, institutionally supported research, institutional service, service to the public, and service to the profession.

4.1.5. At the end of the academic year, the dean is responsible for generating a report which will identify all faculty course reductions for the academic year and the associated outcomes using the unit guidelines established for monitoring productivity. This report will be compiled for the unit and shall be due to the appropriate vice chancellor by the end of the fiscal year.

4.1.6. Faculty may not receive additional compensation (supplemental pay) for teaching courses for academic credit in excess of the full-time assigned course load except as defined in this section, 4.1.6. Instead of receiving additional compensation, other arrangements should be made, such as corresponding course reduction in the following semester. Under extraordinary circumstances, overload compensation for a faculty member to teach an additional course may be approved consistent with the process outlined in the ECU Supplemental Pay for EHRA Employees Policy [see related policies section above]. Supplemental pay is only allowable if it does not create a conflict of commitment with other assigned duties and provided that the faculty member is assigned a workload consistent with approved university policies.

4.2. Faculty Scholarly Reassignment

4.2.1. Administrators shall adhere to guidelines established for 100% Faculty Scholarly Reassignments per UNC Policy 300.2.6[G] and ECU’s Faculty Scholarly Reassignment Regulation.

5. Effective Date

5.1. This regulation is effective December 1, 2014.

[1]UNC Enrollment Change Funding Model

SCH per Instructional Position

Program Category




Category I




Category II




Category III




Category IV




Category I Disciplines: Communications & Journalism; English; Mathematics; Philosophy & Religion; Psychology; Corrections & Criminal Justice; Social Sciences; History; Other

Category II Disciplines: Area, Ethnic, Cultural & Gender Studies; Education; Foreign Languages, Literatures & Linguistics; Family & Consumer Sciences; Liberal Arts & Sciences, Humanities; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Parks, Recreation, Leisure & Fitness; Business, Management & Marketing

Category III Disciplines: Agriculture; Natural Resources & Conservation; Architecture; Computer & Information Sciences; Engineering-related Technologies; Library Science; Biological Sciences; Physical Sciences; Public Administration & Services; Visual & Performing Arts; Health Professions

Category IV Disciplines: Engineering; Nursing

As per Board of Governors action, student credit hours for student teaching in Education are placed in Category III for all campuses. Medicine and Dentistry are excluded from this model due to distinct funding by the General Assembly.