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Academic Workload Policy (AA 3.2)

OWNER: Office of the Provost
Phone: 702-992-2634
CATEGORY: Academic Affairs/Faculty
EFFECTIVE DATE: 02/24/2020
Web – Formatted (this page)
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The Nevada State College Academic Workload Policy provides clear guidance for faculty and those responsible for faculty workload determination. The guidelines help establish an equitable measure of workload, financial accountability, and institutional efficiency.

This policy revision updates the Courseload Credits for clinical courses. It replaces AA 3.1: Academic Workload Policy.


A-Contract (Twelve-Month) Full-Time Faculty: Faculty expected to teach thirty (30) coursework credits per year, which may be divided as twelve (12) coursework credits each semester and six (6) coursework credits during the summer, or as determined in consultation with the Deans.

B-Contract (Nine-Month) Full-Time Faculty: Faculty expected to teach twenty-four (24) coursework credits per academic year or twelve (12) coursework credits each semester. Summer assignments are not considered part of the academic year for coursework credit assignments for a B-contract faculty member.

Coursework Credits: Activities associated with instruction.

Workload Credit: Overall responsibility consisting of: a) teaching, b) scholarly research, creative activity, and/or professional development, and c) service.


I. Introduction

The NSHE Handbook states, “all instructional faculty members are expected to teach; develop curriculum; conduct other instructional activities including advising, grading, and preparing for classes; maintain currency in their academic discipline; and perform public and professional service, service to the institution, and similar academic activities. In addition, at the universities, state college, and Desert Research Institute, academic faculty members are expected to conduct scholarly research or creative activity” (Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 3.3). The NSHE Handbook further states, “Faculty workload cannot and should not be measured solely by the time spent by the faculty member in the classroom.” The President is granted authority to determine guidelines for faculty workloads (Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 7).

The workload responsibilities for each faculty member are determined in consultation with the Dean/Department Chair (or equivalent).

NSHE Handbook sets an “expectation of 24 instructional units per academic year, or 12 units each semester” for academic faculty at Nevada State College (Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 3.6.b), with enhanced twelve (12)-month contracts for nursing faculty available for three-term nursing programs (Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 41). The Chancellor is responsible for regularly compiling reports on faculty workloads.

II. Responsibilities of Full-Time Instructional Faculty

 Instructional faculty are required to teach, contribute to curriculum development, and perform related activities such as assessment, advising, and developing course content. In addition, faculty will maintain currency in their academic discipline, perform service, and complete scholarship.

Instructional faculty responsibilities include:

A. Reporting to appropriate Department Chair or Dean.

B. Working collaboratively within the learning community.

C. Teaching assigned courses:

    1. Developing or contributing to course syllabi and distributing to students and Division Chair or Dean prior to start of class;
    2. Instructing assigned courses as outlined in syllabi;
    3. Responding to the needs of student learners providing high-quality education;
    4. Reviewing and selecting resources for courses, such as textbooks and audiovisual materials;
    5. Performing student learning assessment and course assessment;
    6. Scheduling and posting office hours (designated as in-person, online, or by phone) for student consultation and academic advising;
    7. Identifying supplies, equipment, and other resources necessary for classroom instruction and requesting materials through the Department Chair or Dean.

D. Availability to students, staff, and faculty:

    1. Instructional faculty will be accessible during their contract period and schedule established by the Department Chair or Dean;
    2. Absences from campus for professional development activities must be approved by the Department Chair or Dean;
    3. Absences due to emergencies or illnesses require notification of the Department Chair or Dean and plans for alternate assignment or faculty substitution will be determined;
    4. Faculty members are expected to meet with advisees each semester.

E. Performing service in accordance with the Standards of Academe for their respective school.

F. Performing scholarship in accordance with the Standards of Academe for their respective School.

G. Engaging in professional development activities that contribute to new teaching methodologies, maintaining currency in assigned teaching fields, and supporting requirements for current

H. Preparing annual self-evaluation report.

I. Performing other related duties as assigned.

J. Faculty course workload and non-instructional assignments or reassignments establish the basis for the determination of faculty workload. The general relationship of instructional workload to Coursework Credit is that three (3) hours in a lecture class are equivalent to three (3) hours of Coursework Credit. Exceptions include:

    1. Nursing Clinical and Laboratory Settings: Each hour of instruction constitutes one-half (0.5) Courseload Credit. For instance, a two (2)-hour clinical course counts as one (1) Courseload Credit toward the faculty member’s overall instructional workload.
    2. STEM Laboratory Settings: Each hour of instruction constitutes one (1.0) Courseload Credit. For instance, a three (3)-hour STEM lab counts as three (3) Courseload Credits toward the faculty member’s overall instructional workload.
    3. Team Taught Courses

i.  Type One (turn teaching): Two or more faculty members teach a course with one faculty member teaching at a time. Each faculty member receives the appropriate Coursework Credits for the portion of the course taught. For example, if two faculty members teach half of a three (3)-credit course, each faculty member receives one and a half (1.5) Coursework Credits.

ii.  Type Two (co-teaching): Two faculty members specializing in different disciplines or specialty areas within a department jointly teach a class that requires the active engagement of both faculty members in the classroom for the duration of the course. Each faculty member receives one and a half (1.5) Coursework Credits. Approval of such team-taught interdisciplinary courses shall be determined by the respective supervisors of the two faculty members as approved by the Deans (or designee).

K. Requirements for Class Size

      1. STEM Laboratory Courses: For a STEM laboratory course, class size shall not exceed twenty-four (24) students. The corresponding lecture therefore shall not exceed forty-eight (48) students.

L. A faculty member may teach a classroom, laboratory, or equivalent course for another department/School other than their own, including an interdisciplinary program. The course will be considered part of the faculty member’s Coursework Credits. The faculty member’s Division Chair or Dean must approve this assignment.

III. Courseload Adjustments

Coursework workload may be adjusted when faculty have responsibilities that have been approved by their Dean (or designee) and Provost as having Workload Credit. The Dean (or designee) and Provost will specify such reassignments in writing. A non-exhaustive list of eligible activities is listed below.

A. Coursework eligible for reassignment

    1. Chairing Faculty Senate;
    2. Course development;
    3. Curriculum development;
    4. Accreditation activities;
    5. Large class size in relation to course content and delivery method;
    6. Department/Division Chair;
    7. Coordinator/ lead faculty/ program supervisor;
    8. Non-credit remediation

B. Some tasks are only considered overload activities. Overload compensation will be equivalent to the faculty member’s summer rate of pay. Examples of activities eligible only for overload:

    1. Independent Study: Guidelines for the approval of the number of credits must be based on a formula (e.g., number of independent study credits equivalent to one [1] credit of classroom lecture, or 0.056 X course credit X number of students). Independent Study course approval is the responsibility of the Dean (or designee).
    2. Principal Investigator or the equivalent for a grant proposal.

IV. Activities Eligible for Stipends

Occasionally, the Department Chair or Dean (or designee) may determine that a particular assignment warrants additional compensation based on significant workload in the course, and a stipend may be provided for such service. Requests for stipends shall follow the guidelines issued by the Office of the Provost.

Stipends are provided on a semester-by-semester basis. The agreement does not imply a commitment by the administration to continue to provide a stipend. Funding of conference or professional travel is not to be construed as a stipend.

If a full-time faculty member’s workload for fall or spring semester is in excess of the standard workload, the faculty member may negotiate with the Dean (or designee) to either receive an equivalently reduced workload in the following semester or receive additional compensation, so long as the adjustments remain within a single academic year.


  • Board of Regents Handbook: Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 3
  • NSC Promotion and Tenure Guidelines and Standards of Academe
  • Workload Policy memo from Bart Patterson, President, August 4, 2016


AA 3: Academic Workload Policy approved by President Maryanski, August 2009
AA 3.1: Academic Workload Policy revisions approved by President Patterson, August 2019


Approved by Faculty Senate Chair Serge Ballif, December 9, 2019.
Approved by Provost Dr. Vickie Shields, February 5, 2020.
Approved by President Bart Patterson, February 24, 2020.