Call for Instructional Workload Reorganization

Plans Scheduled to Begin in Fall 2002 (December 13, 2001)

The recommendation for a teaching course load reduction has been approved. All departments and programs are invited to submit instructional workload reorganization plans, with the goal of implementation in Fall 2002. Given the timeframe necessitated this year, submissions are requested on January 7, 2002 with the final deadline for submissions by January 14, 2002. In future years, we expect that proposals and plans will be due in the fall for implementation in the following academic year.

The Dean of Faculty will consider each plan submitted, evaluating it for its contributions to the College’s mission of offering an excellent undergraduate education and its ability to meet the parameters specified below. There is no specific limit to the number of instructional workload reorganization plans which will be approved. The Dean may request of some departments and programs that they submit additional information clarifying their requests, or that they reconsider some aspects of their plan and work towards implementation in Fall 2003.

Each instructional workload reorganization plan must include a three-year curriculum plan which meets the parameters listed below. Plans must be designed to work with our current faculty resources and legislation. Each plan should include a list of courses to be taught and the faculty assigned to teach them; the list should be specific, although lists for more distant years may be subject to some changes. Each plan should also include a discussion of how the curriculum meets the parameters specified below, and indicate what changes have been made between the revised curriculum and previous curricula.

1) Every member of a department or program must support the decision to seek to implement a workload reorganization in the fall of 2002, and must support the workload plan submitted by the department or program.

2) Faculty members will normally teach five courses per year, including short term units. A short term unit shall count for faculty members as the equivalent of a semester course. Each faculty member will be expected to teach during both fall and winter semesters. Based on the needs of the department or program’s curriculum, faculty may teach two courses in each semester and one short term unit, or two courses in one semester, three courses in the other semester, and no short term unit. Departments and programs may assign to individual faculty members one of these schedules in a given year and another in a different year.

3) Each department or program must continue to contribute to interdisciplinary learning. The plan should indicate what contributions the department or program has made to interdisciplinary learning in the past and what changes the revised curriculum includes. Programs should discuss contributions they have made to departments or to other programs. The plan should indicate what kinds of communication and agreements a given department or program has had with other curricular units with which the department or program shares courses or faculty.

4) The unit must provide a major which meets the department or program’s standards of excellence. The plan should define those standards of excellence as well as the ways in which the revised curriculum meets those standards.

5) Departments and programs may assign its members teaching credit for laboratories and discussion sections. The Dean of Faculty sees a normal standard of teaching credit for these teaching hours as .5 course credits per three hours of teaching beyond the normal time period expected of a course (two 80 minute periods, three 80 minute periods or three 50 minute periods). Departments and programs may also suggest a standard, if appropriate, which differentiates between different types of laboratories, or between labs or discussion sections which are taught once in a week or repeated in the same week.

6) The department or program must discuss opportunities offered for senior theses and senior projects. The plan should offer estimates for the number of theses to be advised in the next three years and how those thesis supervisions are expected to be distributed across the faculty. The estimate should include interdisciplinary theses and distinguish between one and two-semester theses. The move to a five-course instructional workload creates more time for faculty to supervise theses, even potentially for units not currently requiring senior projects for all majors. Nonetheless, some units may still supervise a very large number of theses, and these may be distributed evenly across the faculty or be concentrated among some faculty. Workload plans may include the possibility of teaching credit for large numbers of theses. If so, the plan should explain the reasons for this proposal, and the impact of this proposal on the unit’s curriculum. The Dean of Faculty preliminarily considers a reasonable standard a .5 course credit for ten one-semester thesis supervisions over a three-year period, but departments and programs may propose a higher or lower amount of teaching credit. In this case, the department or program should be able to explain why this alternate standard is more appropriate to the needs of theses in that department or program.

7) Each department or program must offer short term units appropriate to the department or program’s curriculum, and enough spaces each year in Short Term units to meet the average number of students enrolled in the past three years, 98-99, 99-00, 00-01. The plan should indicate how the short term units fit into the curriculum.

8) Departments must contribute to the First-Year Seminar program and to the advising of first and second-year students; programs with appointed faculty must participate in advising first and second-year students. The plan should indicate which First-Year Seminars will be offered, and must create a schedule allowing the instructors of First-Year Seminars to advise those students.

9) Each department or program must offer adequate spaces for general education students. The Dean expects most departments and programs to offer approximately the same number of spaces for students in general education courses as the department or program averaged in the three previous years, 98-99, 99-00, and 00-01. (The Dean of Faculty will work with chairs to determine that average.) The plan should also discuss whether the number of spaces offered is adequate to meet student demand. Should departments or programs currently offer many more spaces than necessary, their plan may offer the possibility of offering fewer than in the past.

10) Each plan must indicate how the instructional workload will be distributed across the faculty, ensuring fairness. Departments and programs may seek to create fairness by giving its members some different assignments. For example, a unit may assign one faculty member several courses with high enrollments, while a faculty member with fewer students may be assigned a larger number of theses. Units may consider enrollments, courses with intensive grading, the help of Assistants in Instruction, theses, advising of first and second-year students, and the number of course preparations in balancing instructional workload fairly among its members.

11) Each plan should indicate how the department or program seeks to manage changes in enrollment as part of the revised curriculum. If workload plans foresee the elimination of courses, wherever possible those courses eliminated should be those which regularly have low enrollments, especially those with three or fewer students. Departments and programs may wish to consider whether the number of electives offered juniors needs reconsideration in light of increased numbers of students studying away from the College in their junior years.

12) Workload plans should demonstrate that the department or program has considered the needs of majors, general education students, faculty, and the College’s more general mission as expressed through short term, theses and First-Year Seminars. For example, units without large numbers of theses or general education students might consider whether they could make contributions through additional short terms, First-Year Seminars or first and second-year advising.