Mansfield Campus Workload Policy Guidelines

Announcement of New Workload Policy
for The Ohio State University at Mansfield

Attached you will find an important new workload policy that establishes regular guidelines for faculty workload on The Ohio State University at Mansfield Campus. Approved jointly by the assembled faculty and administration, this document, we believe, enhances significantly our ability to provide a high-quality university for our region.

The workload policy recognizes that university faculty are expected to perform three essential functions:

1. Teaching. The Ohio State University at Mansfield is dedicated to delivering an excellent education for the students. We are committed to offering all courses necessary to student advancement toward completion of their degrees and to ensuring that students receive a high-quality instruction in the classroom from dedicated professionals.

2. Research and scholarship. Faculty at The Ohio State University at Mansfield carry out important original scholarship in many disciplines. Faculty research and publications help to expand, clarify, and refine human understanding, often providing direct social benefits.

3. Service. Faculty are expected to serve a) our region by giving public talks and lending expertise to area organizations, schools, and agencies, b) our university through committee work, and c) our professions through journal editorship and other activities.

The policy establishes a fair and equitable allocation of time between these areas of responsibility. It recognizes that these are interdependent aims—for instance, that good teaching is enhanced by an active program of scholarly research. It provides flexibility to fit the needs of individual faculty while making certain the university carries out its functions. We consider this policy a beneficial step forward for The Ohio State University at Mansfield, for its students, and for our community.


Evelyn Freeman
Dean and Director President,
The Ohio State University-Mansfield

Christopher Phelps
Faculty Assembly
The Ohio State University-Mansfield


Mansfield Campus Workload Policy Guidelines

What follows are guidelines for the Ohio State University-Mansfield campus Dean. These guidelines may not be appropriate for some situations and the Dean always has the option of deviating from the guidelines in specific situations. However, the Dean will inform the Executive Committee of the Faculty Assembly if significant deviations are made from these guidelines. In all cases, implementation of these guidelines must be congruent with the campus budget.


I. Course-load policy for tenured and tenure-track faculty

A. Preliminary definitions: “Course” is a 3-5 credit-hour lecture course or equivalent, or two 2-4 hour laboratory or studio sections. “Teaching load” or “course load” refers to the total number of non-overload courses assigned over a given academic year. Thus, an individual who teaches seven non-overload lecture courses per academic year would bear a seven-course teaching load. Similarly, an individual who teaches in a given academic year four lecture courses plus six 2-4 hour laboratory sections, all as non-overloads, would also bear a seven-course load.

B. There will be three teaching load variations:

1. Conventional load (7 courses): Faculty not currently engaged in research and scholarly activity will teach seven courses or the equivalent per academic year.

2. Research-emphasis load (6 courses): Faculty engaged in research and scholarly activity shall have a course load of six courses or the equivalent per academic year. The Dean has authority to grant this reduction in load.

3. Teaching-emphasis load (8 courses): Faculty who desire to emphasize the teaching component of their overall workload may elect to increase their teaching load to eight courses or the equivalent per academic year. An individual may voluntarily opt for this increase in load at any time, with timing of implementation made at the Dean’s discretion.

C. Salary formulas for these loads will be determined as follows, with exceptions made only for extraordinary service or research commitments, and then only with approval of the Dean:

1. Conventional load: 50-60% teaching, 25-35% research, 10-20% service.

2. Research-emphasis load: 40-50% teaching, 40-50% research, and 10-20% service.

3. Teaching-emphasis load: 60-80% teaching, 10-20% research, and 10-30% service.

D. The Dean, with the advice of the Professional Development Committee, may grant additional one-course reductions in response to exceptional individual faculty service commitment, including such major duties as journal editorship or a heavy administrative commitment. A five-course teaching load will be the floor for such reductions. Some exceptions may reduce a teaching load below five courses, such as an SRA or extraordinary circumstances that lead the Dean to believe it warranted to grant an additional one-course reduction to below a five-course load, but campus-wide workload equity should always be weighed in the balance. Faculty receiving one-course reductions for exceptional service will be subject to a minimum 20% service component in their salary formula.

E. At the request of a faculty member, the Dean will attempt to construct a schedule so that one quarter is free from teaching. This may not always be possible, given curricular and scheduling constraints, and the Dean should not grant the wish if the resulting modifications would disrupt the curriculum or distort the workloads of associated colleagues. However, in the interests of research productivity, the Dean should make an earnest attempt to accommodate the faculty member’s desire. Freedom from teaching will not imply freedom from service activity, e.g., freedom from service to the campus, unless the Dean grants explicit exemption in special circumstances such as research that requires travel outside the region.

II. Course-load reduction for untenured tenure-track faculty

A. Untenured faculty will automatically be granted a research-emphasis course load. If the budget permits, two further one-course reductions may be granted to new hires. These reductions may be taken either in different academic years (typically the first two years) or in the same year, with approval of the Dean.

B. Since this two-course reduction amounts to an effective SRA for probationary faculty, in general the Dean should attempt to award 50% of SRAs in any given year to tenured faculty. (The Faculty Handbook may be consulted for policy on applying for SRAs.)

C. If a tenure-track faculty member’s contract is not renewed or if tenure is denied, then the faculty member will retain their research-emphasis load for the following academic year but will not be eligible for any additional course reduction.

D. If a faculty member hired in at a research-emphasis load ceases to research actively after being granted tenure, the Dean and Chair may increase their load to a conventional seven-course load (see section III for particulars).

III. Course-load policy for tenured faculty not currently engaged in research and scholarly activity

All faculty are expected to be involved in ongoing research and scholarly activity. While this expectation has been longstanding, it has become increasingly important and emphasized by the university over time. The following procedure has been designed to establish workload equity as well as to encourage faculty to remain active in research.

A. Any tenured faculty member who is no longer involved in research and scholarly activity and has no intention to return to such activities may wish to consult with the Dean and volunteer to take on a teaching-emphasis load.

B. The Dean consults with Department Chairs annually as part of the evaluation and the determination of salary of every faculty member. During this process, in the event that the Dean and the Chair both conclude, as determined by annual evaluations, that a faculty member has made no significant effort to carry out research or be involved in scholarly activity for a substantial period of time, the Dean will meet with the faculty member in question and ask the faculty member to develop and carry out a plan to return to research and scholarly activity. (The faculty member is encouraged, preferably in consultation with the Chair, to find a mentor to help in this endeavor.) The faculty member will carry a conventional load until the academic
year following the approval of the research plan.  The approved plan will
result in a reduction to a research-emphasis load for one academic year.  That
reduction will continue into subsequent years if the Dean and Chair agree
that satisfactory progress has been made.

C. Any faculty member whose request for a research-emphasis load is denied by the Dean may appeal the decision, if it is perceived as unjust. A letter of appeal, with all relevant documentation, must be submitted to the Dean within one month following the annual review at which the faculty member was informed of the denial of a research-emphasis load.  A panel will review the evidence of productivity submitted by the appealing faculty member.  The panel will comprise three tenured members from the department of the appealing faculty member, drawn from any of the Ohio State campuses besides the Mansfield campus.  The appealing faculty member may select one of the panelists; the Dean and Chair will select the other two.  The panel need not meet in person. Each member of the panel will submit an independent letter of evaluation to the Dean and Chair. Each letter should indicate a clear affirmative or negative judgment as to whether the faculty member in question has made significant effort to carry out research or be involved in scholarly activity for a substantial period of time.  A majority of the letters will suffice to either sustain or overrule the decision of the Dean and Chair. All parties will be bound by the majority position of the panel. The appealing faculty member shall have the right to review the letters of evaluation, but there will be no further appeals. The Dean should make every possible effort to convene and conclude the review panel by the end of that academic year, so as to settle the matter before the following academic year, when the course-load adjustment would be effective.

D. If a faculty member who has, even for a period of years, carried a conventional load agrees with the Chair and Dean’s assessment of their lack of present research but desires to re-enter research and scholarly activity, he or she may prepare a research plan and submit it to the Chair for approval. After approval of the research plan by the Chair and Dean, the Dean will assign an appropriate teaching load that will be reviewed annually until the Dean and Chair confirm that the faculty member has achieved a consistent research program. The presumption is that the teaching load for a faculty member seeking to revive a research program will be the research-emphasis load.

E. It is imperative that tenured faculty be allowed to undertake difficult, long-term projects without fear that a lack of recent publications will result in an increase in teaching/service loads. Thus, a lack of recent publications alone will not result in an increase in a faculty member’s teaching/service load. Loads will be increased only for faculty who are making little or no effort in the areas of research and scholarly activity. They will not be increased for faculty who are working hard in these areas but are having limited success as measured in the short term. Evidence of research and scholarly activity could include, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Draft chapters of a book
2. Draft of an article
3. Draft of a book chapter
4. Completed calculations or calculations in progress
5. Data collection or generation, pilot studies, etc.
6. Letters affirming collaboration with other researchers
7. Performances such as concerts and plays
8. Exhibitions or artistic presentations
9. Conference presentations
10. Securing of outside grants or funding awarded for projected research

F. The Dean’s objective in this process is to encourage faculty who have been inactive in research and scholarly activity to become active again. A faculty member who produces a plan to return to research and scholarly activity that gains the support of his or her Chair can expect the Dean to give serious consideration to some financial support that might include travel money or an SRA.

IV. Course Overload policy

A. A course overload is defined as teaching, during an on-duty quarter, of one or more courses beyond a faculty member’s usual course load. Overloads do not apply to off-duty quarters. An off-duty quarter is defined as a quarter for which a faculty member has no assigned teaching, research, or service. (Off-duty quarters typically fall during the summer.)

B. Untenured faculty are not allowed to take overloads, and they should be strongly discouraged from teaching during off-duty quarters.

C. Tenured faculty with a research-emphasis load are strongly discouraged from taking on overloads, but in rare cases when an overload is a necessity from a programmatic standpoint, the Dean may assign one to a tenured faculty member with a research-emphasis load. This policy is not meant to impinge upon tenured faculty with a research-emphasis load teaching additional courses during off-duty quarters.

D. When filling overloads, the Dean should seek to employ qualified faculty with a teaching-emphasis load in preference over conventional-load, research-emphasis, or special contract faculty.

V. Grants

A. Subject to approval by the Dean, if a faculty member's grant generates sufficient overhead for the Mansfield campus, then the faculty member may have his or her teaching load reduced.  The purpose of the teaching reduction is to help the faculty member fulfill the obligations of accepting the grant, e.g. data collection, travel, supervising students or postdocs, etc.  The amount of teaching reduction will also be guided by the practices of the faculty member's home department and the amount of overhead generated.

B. Additional reductions in teaching loads may be purchased from grant funds if such purchases are allowed by the funding agency and if such reductions are not disruptive to the campus curriculum.


Approved by Faculty Assembly, January 30, 2004

Implementation Policy for Mansfield Campus Workload Policy Guidelines

1. Faculty who wish to adjust their total workload to reflect a research emphasis or teaching emphasis should inform the Dean immediately, in anticipation of their annual review for calendar year 2003 (taking place in winter 2004). Any and all load adjustments, when seen as valid by the Dean, will be implemented in the following academic year (2004-2005).

2. For 2004-2005 onward, a conventional load of seven courses will be assigned to those faculty members who generally bore a course load of seven courses in the past and who are found by both the Chair and Dean in this year’s (2003) annual review, per section III of the Mansfield Campus Workload Policy Guidelines, not to have had a significant research program for a substantial period of time. Faculty in this category who dissent from the assessment of their research program may appeal the decision, as per section III; the Dean should strive to resolve the appeal before the end of this academic year (2003-2004). Faculty who agree with the determination of their current standing but wish to return to active research in coming years may devise a plan for a revival of their research program, again as per section III.

3. Those faculty whose current standard course loads are less than seven courses will continue to have their current teaching loads. Their loads will be classified as research-emphasis, with salary formula set accordingly. If these faculty have no significant research and desire that their salary formula be weighted more heavily toward teaching than the research-emphasis formula allows, they may volunteer to switch to a conventional or teaching-emphasis load. The administration may encourage such voluntary load reconfigurations, where logical. However, no faculty under contract as of January 1, 2004, whose current standard course load is less than seven courses may be required to increase their load to seven courses against their will.

4. In subsequent years, should a scholar cease to engage in a sustained program of research who in the current calendar year’s process is allotted a research-emphasis load, the conventional load of seven courses may be restored; consult section III of the Mansfield Campus Workload Policy Guidelines.


Approved by Faculty Assembly, January 30, 2004


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