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12.05.01 – University of Houston Faculty Workload Policy

Section: Academic Affairs

Area: Faculty Development

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A. Faculty members play a fundamental role in advancing the instructional and research mission of the university while fostering and ensuring student success. The courses the faculty design, the classes they offer, the learning environment they create, the instructional methods they employ, the research they conduct, the creative works they produce, the service they provide, and their professional engagement with students inside and outside of the classroom, including advising, are all important components of faculty workload.

B. Texas Education Code, Section 51.402 requires that each institution of higher education develop and recommend general policies and standard reports for academic faculty workloads and services. The University recognizes that classroom teaching, basic and applied research, and professional development are important elements of faculty workload. This policy provides the appropriate weight to each activity when determining the standards for faculty academic workload.

Pursuant to Texas Education Code,Section 51.402 and University of Houston System (UHS) Board of Regents Policy 21.05 , this MAPP establishes the general workload policy for all faculty members employed at the University of Houston and is designed to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of faculty workload in meeting the mission and operational needs of academic units.

C. This policy also establishes the annual reporting requirements to the UHS Board of Regents concerning faculty workload. As part of those requirements, each department chair and college dean must certify that the duties of each faculty member constitute an appropriate workload responsibility in accordance with the following requirements documented in MAPP 12.05.01.


A. Although the university requires that every faculty member fulfill a certain minimum teaching load and assume a comparably high level of general workload, it does not insist that each one have the same teaching/instructional load. However, consistent with the institutional mission of the University of Houston as a nationally competitive, research-intensive university, annual faculty workload expectations will be aligned with those found at similar institutions.

B. In order to achieve maximum effectiveness, the university administration will provide department chairs (or equivalent unit administrators) the flexibility to adjust each individual faculty member's teaching/instructional assignments in order to meet the student enrollment needs and research goals of the unit.

C. Regardless of the type of faculty appointment held, faculty workload at the University of Houston involves a range of activities that normally fall into one or more of three (3) standard workload domains: research/scholarship, student teaching/instruction, and service to the university or profession that also includes faculty professional development activities of value to the institution.

Faculty members may meet their overall annual workload commitment by combining a variety of work-related activities drawn from any of these standard workload domains, with the collective activities from these workload domains comprising the academic workload of the faculty member.

D. While faculty workload assignments may differ depending on the academic discipline and the specific workload expectations of their academic unit, overall workload should be reflective of the primary professional responsibilities of the faculty appointment held, including fulfilling any minimum teaching/instructional responsibilities associated with that appointment.


Although faculty workload assignments may differ between academic units, this policy requires that decisions concerning an individual faculty member's annual workload be consistent with the following principles:

A. Faculty workload assignments will be determined at the unit or departmental level and will reflect the faculty workload expectations of the department and/or college for the type of faculty appointment which the faculty member holds.

B. Meeting the teaching and instructional needs of the unit and/or department will take highest priority when determining faculty workload assignments.

C. To meet the operational needs of the academic unit, an individual faculty member's workload may be differentially distributed across any of the three standard workload domains consistent with the type of faculty appointment held .

D. Based on departmental/college expectations, individual faculty workload may be differentially distributed across workload domains to take into consideration the extent of a faculty member's research and creative activities, faculty rank and/or their career stage .

E. Determination of an individual faculty member's annual workload resides ultimately with the chair or director of the department/academic unit with oversight from the dean.


A. As part of their responsibility in setting annual faculty workload assignments, a department chair (or equivalent unit administrator) may modify an individual faculty member's percent (%) effort in one or more of the three (3) standard workload domains in order to meet the operational needs of the unit. In addition, a department chair may modify an individual faculty member's percent (%) effort in one or more workload domains to address concomitant changes in effort in any other workload domain.

B. However, regardless of the differential distribution of effort across workload domains, department chairs must certify that an individual faculty member's overall total annual workload (i.e., 100 percent effort) meets the expectations of the department and/or college for the type of faculty appointment held.


A. When appropriate, department chairs may temporarily reduce the percent (%) effort expended in the teaching/instructional or service domains to compensate for increased concomitant effort in the research/scholarship domain. Conversely, when appropriate, directors and/or department chairs may require an increase in percent (%) effort in the teaching/instructional and/or service domains to compensate for a concomitant reduction in effort in the research and scholarship domain. Departments are reminded that regardless of workload distribution, full-time employees are expected to work not less than 40 hours a week pursuant to Texas Government Code, § 658.002 . However, in the case of faculty members, there is no expectation that the entire workload occur only on campus, during business hours or during the normal work-week.

B. Other factors that may also be taken into consideration by the department chair when setting an appropriate annual workload for an individual faculty member include, but are not limited to, the following:

1) Providing protected time for a faculty member to fulfill the obligations stipulated by sponsors who provide external funding support for research/scholarship activities;

2) Reduced teaching/instructional responsibilities for early career tenure-track faculty to establish their research and scholarship base;

3) Differences in the normal level of effort associated with instructional responsibilities related to large or small class sizes, laboratory classes, coordination of several sections of the same class;

4) Development of new instructional materials, new classes or major course revisions; and

5) Instruction and supervision of master's or doctoral level students.

C. It is expected that any compensatory modifications in the distribution of percent (%) effort described above will be made in consultation with the individual faculty member. However, department chairs and/or directors may unilaterally require such compensatory modifications. Any such unilateral modification in an individual faculty member's workload should not extend beyond one academic year without supporting documentation and the written approval of the Dean.


Individual faculty members have the right to dispute their assigned workload by first discussing their workload with their department chair or immediate unit level supervisor. The faculty member may subsequently appeal any decision by their unit supervisor to their appropriate college grievance committee, then to their dean; and finally by initiating a university level grievance as provided in the UH Faculty Grievance Policy . Until any grievance has been fully resolved, the terms of the original workload assignment being grieved will remain in effect.


A. Regardless of the final distribution of annual faculty workload across workload domains, each individual faculty member's assignments will in aggregate meet the overall 9-month academic year workload expectation set by the department and/or college for the particular faculty appointment/rank held.

B. As required under Texas Education Code, Section 51.402 , the institution shall report and certify, at the department/unit level, the academic duties and services that each individual faculty member has fulfilled for their annual workload commitment for the 9-month academic year. Annual faculty workload certification will take the form of a standardized report submitted by each department chair (or equivalent unit administrator) to their Dean by May 30 of each year. Each Dean will be responsible for collating these departmental reports and forwarding the documentation to the Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs no later than June 30 of each year.

C. In accordance with the statute, the Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs has been designated as the institutional official responsible for monitoring faculty workloads, preparing an annual faculty workload report and submitting this report to the Provost for subsequent certification by the President. This report will then be filed with the UH System Board of Regents no later than 30 days after the end of the academic year (30 days after August 31 of each year). In addition, a copy of this faculty workload policy (MAPP 12.05.01) will be reported to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and included in the operating budget of the University.


A. The annual faculty workload report to the UH System Board of Regents will consist of the following data for each faculty member employed during the long semesters of the previous academic year:

1) Faculty member name;

2) Faculty title/appointment(s);

3) Faculty Rank;

4) Full time/part-time status;

5) The percent (%) effort expended in each applicable work-load domain;

6) The number and type of classes (i.e., undergraduate versus graduate, organized versus non-organized) taught during the 9-month academic year;

7) A pro-rated 9-month academic base salary (or total salary for part-time employees); and

8) The source of funds from which the salary was paid.

B. Departments will receive a standard report pre-populated with all data listed above except for Section VIII.A.5 (i.e., percent effort in each workload domain) which is to be entered into the report by the department chair. Once completed, the department chair will review the report and certify that each faculty member has fulfilled their annual workload commitment for the 9-month academic year.

C. The completed departmental report will then be sent to the dean who will collate all departmental reports into a single college level report for submission to the Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs.


Texas Education Code, § 51.402
Texas Government Code, § 658.002
UH Faculty Grievance Policy


Issued: 05/24/2018
Last Reviewed/Revised: 
Responsible Office(s): Academic Affairs