Cherry Blossoms

Instructional responsibilities policy

One of the University’s highest priorities is to provide superior instruction to its undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, its residents, fellows, and postdoctoral trainees.  Instruction takes many forms, and classroom instruction varies from the traditional lecture hall to such venues as the laboratory, studio, clinic, or hospital.  To accomplish this mission, faculty need to be available to students and courses need to be scheduled across the year and in patterns that maximize student access.

Colleges, schools, and departments are responsible for ensuring that these objectives are met.  In so doing, each academic unit shall establish its appropriate teaching requirements and implement them.  It is expected that faculty members who are fully funded from instructional budgets will be in residence (except when on approved professional leave) and will have assigned classroom instructional responsibilities in every quarter when so supported.  Faculty members who are partially supported from instructional funds will have proportional instructional responsibilities.

Departments, colleges, and schools may not adopt policies which relieve faculty of their classroom responsibilities in quarters when they are supported by instructional funds.  To meet the University’s other responsibilities, it may be appropriate in exceptional situations for a faculty member to have no classroom teaching assignment in a particular quarter and to have his/her classroom load distributed across the remainder of the year.  Each such exceptional arrangement must be requested in advance by the department chair and approved by the Dean.

Departments, colleges, and schools will report annually through the Dean to the Provost on their implementation of this policy, detailing how courses and instruction are distributed across the academic year and among the faculty.

To request a waiver, fill out the IRP Waiver Request form.  This form will generate an automatic email to the department Chair, who can then add their approval and forward to the Divisional Dean. 

When occasional faculty absences are necessary for health or research purposes, the department chair must be informed and ensure instructional integrity for students and, if appropriate, approve the appointment of substitute instructors. Faculty absences in excess of eight successive university instructional days must be formally presented by the Department Chair to the Divisional Dean for approval.