This document describes the educational workload policy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and provides guidelines for more detailed policies at the school, college and departmental level.
A clear policy is helpful for faculty and staff in making instructional program decisions and in ensuring that Regents, state government leaders and the public understand how faculty instructional effort is determined.
The goal of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is to create, integrate, transmit and apply knowledge. To accomplish this goal, faculty conduct research, teach, and perform academic, clinical and public service and outreach and extension activities.
An educational workload policy must recognize the interrelationship and the interdependency among research, teaching and service. Graduate instruction cannot be separated from research -- the same activity is both instruction and research. Research is also critical for undergraduate education as increasing numbers of undergraduates are involved in research. The time faculty and staff spend on research and service contributes to their success as teachers. Research keeps faculty and staff current in their professional field, brings new knowledge to students in a timely manner, and encourages students to critically evaluate knowledge and contribute to its reassessment, synthesis and development. Everything one teaches was at one time someone's research.
Academic service makes an important and necessary contribution to the functioning of our institution. Service to the public gives faculty better understanding of societal needs and influences the direction of research. Clinical service is required in many professional schools and is an integral part of the instructional program. Outreach and extension teaching also provide the public with the knowledge and experience of the faculty, are often difficult to separate from public service, and influence research directions.
This educational workload policy does not address the goals of creating, integrating and applying knowledge, the essence of the activities of research and service. Instruction involves large-group teaching at the undergraduate and professional student level, as well as small-group teaching, individual tutorials and various kinds of laboratory or clinical experiences. Much teaching, particularly at the professional student and graduate level, but also for some undergraduate students, occurs outside the formal mechanism of courses and credits. For example, small-group instruction of students involved in various aspects of clinical practice is common in professional schools. Faculty instructional duties also include working with students to develop master's or doctoral theses, reviewing publications, participating in graduate degree written and oral examinations and academic advising for students at all levels. The mix of instructional activities will vary among schools, colleges and departments. An instructional workload policy must recognize and encourage the diversity of instructional activity appropriate a_t a major research institution.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison cooperates with other major national universities in research, teaching and service, but also competes with other major research institutions in hiring and retaining faculty. An important factor influencing instructional workload is the national norm for each discipline at comparable institutions. National norms for a discipline reflect the instructional process appropriate to that discipline and will vary accordingly. The university must relate its expectations for instructional workload in a discipline to expectations at other comparable research universities nationally. For example, faculty in humanities and social sciences traditionally have more formal group instruction than do faculty in the biological and physical sciences. Faculty in some professional schools often have less classroom instruction and more small-group instruction, especially the practical training offered in clinical settings.
Thus, the normal or expected educational workload will vary among departments, even within a single school or college. Likewise, workload will vary among individuals within a department, depending on the contribution of the individual to the instructional, research and service missions of the department. Within the instructional mission of the department, individuals will vary in their contributions to formal group instruction, individual instruction, academic advising, graduate or undergraduate research, clinical instruction and other instructional activity.