The UNC Policy Manual


Adopted 01/17/13

Amended 08/04/16

Amended 02/20/24

Technical Correction 02/21/24


Regulation on Faculty Workload


I.          Purpose.  This regulation defines the authority, responsibilities, and required processes as related to institutional policy development for faculty workload, planning, training, and reporting in the University of North Carolina System (UNC System) regarding implementation of Section 400.3.4 of the UNC Policy Manual, Policy on Faculty Workload (“the Policy”).  The Policy requires institutions to develop their own faculty workload policies and faculty workload plans and places reporting requirements on institutions and on the UNC System Office.


II.         Definitions. The following definitions apply to this regulation.


A.              “Academic unit” means academic department, professional school, or an equivalent constituent unit of an institution.  


B.              “Faculty” means employees of a constituent institution appointed to carry out responsibilities such as instruction, research/creative activity, service, clinical care, or extension.  Faculty may be tenured or not and temporary or permanent, with titles, ranks, and duties defined by the constituent institution.


C.              “Full Time Equivalent (FTE)” means a workload that represents a full-time effort at a given institution in keeping with the institution’s faculty workload policy. Recognizing the autonomy of institutions to determine the teaching load, a teaching load of 24 credit or contact hour equivalents per academic year, along with other routinely expected duties, generally constitutes a full workload and a 1.0 FTE appointment.


D.             “Routinely expected duties” means those faculty responsibilities, as defined by a constituent institution and in accordance with Section III. A of UNC Policy 400.3.4, which are ordinarily expected of faculty members, and which ordinarily include components of research and service.  


E.              “Research and creative activity” includes, without limitation, those activities listed in UNC Policy Manual § 400.3.4(III)(A)(2). Institutional workload policies shall define what constitutes research and creative activity consistent with  their mission and the Policy.


F.              “Service” includes, without limitation, those matters found in UNC Policy Manual § 400.3.4(III)(A)(3). Institutional workload policies shall define what constitutes service according to their mission and consistent with the Policy.


G.             “Teaching” has the definition found in UNC Policy Manual § 400.3.1 and includes, without limitation, those activities listed in UNC Policy Manual § 400.3.4(III)(A)(1).


III. Requirements for institutional faculty workload policies.


Institutions shall develop faculty workload policies consistent with this regulation, with UNC Policy 400.3.4, and with all other applicable statutory and regulatory authorities.


A.              Institutional faculty workload policies shall include processes for training all personnel who develop and review faculty annual workload plans.  Institutional Provosts shall ensure that all such personnel receive that training and that such training is aligned with guidance provided by the System Office.


B.              Institutional workload policies must (1) establish ordinary percentages for faculty workload in areas such as teaching, research/creative activity, and service for each academic unit and for each faculty appointment type which together constitute the 1.0 FTE in a manner consistent with the missions of the institution and the academic unit; (2) identify with reasonable particularity guidelines under which deviations in the ordinary percentages for a given academic unit may be approved.


IV. Requirements for Faculty Annual Workload plans


A.              Requirements for Annual Workload Plans


a.              Applicability.  Faculty members who are appointed for longer than one year and who are full time must have an annual workload plan, including faculty that also serve in administrative roles. Faculty members who are classified as Senior Academic and Administrative Officers (SAAO) or are in another leave-earning position shall not have an annual workload plan. Temporary faculty members, faculty members who are appointed for one year or less, and faculty members who are less than full-time may have an annual workload plan if directed by the institution. 


b.              Assigning duties. Each faculty annual workload plan shall account for one FTE by assigning duties to areas typically associated with faculty workload including teaching, research/creative activity, and service.


                                                        i.              Institutions do not have to assign greater than zero percent in each category.  Assigned percentages, when added together, must total one-hundred percent.


                                                       ii.              Descriptions which support institutional missions must be included in institutional faculty workload policies.  Some activities may be reasonably included in different categories, and in such cases, institutions shall assign the activity to a category in accordance with the institutional mission. 


                                                      iii.              Workload categories for faculty classified as extension faculty at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A & T State University or clinical faculty at East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shall be determined by the institution, subject to the approval of the president or designee.


B.              Outputs. Faculty annual workload plans shall include the specific outputs and efforts a faculty member is expected to complete in the next academic year, with a clear linkage towards long-term evaluation (e.g., reappointment, promotion, tenure, post-tenure review). Each component of a full-time faculty member's workload plan should reflect the mission of the institution.


C.              Approvals. Each faculty member’s workload plan shall be developed in consultation with and approved by the academic unit head and by that academic unit’s head’s supervisor or designee. 


V.  Reporting Requirements.


A.              Institutional annual reports will contain:


a.              For each academic unit, the percentage of faculty efforts across three categories: teaching, research/creative activity, and service. When taken together, the percentages for all categories must total one-hundred percent. For faculty defined in section IV.b.iii, the categories shall by the those determined by the institution and approved by the president or designee.


b.              For each academic unit, organized course sections taught, student credit hours produced, and faculty contact hours.


c.               For each academic unit, those measures of research/creative activity and service that the institution shall define according to its mission. 


d.               Information regarding the process by which the institution implemented the provisions of their policy and evaluated individual faculty workloads relative to the standards therein.


e.              Other quantitative or qualitative information that the institution determines provides additional context for faculty impact and productivity in the various realms of faculty workload in accordance with the institution’s mission. 


B.              Each institution shall submit an annual report in the format prescribed by the President to its Board of Trustees to be approved by September 30th following the academic year.  After being accepted by its Board of Trustees, each institution shall submit its annual report to the System Office President by October 15th following the academic year. 


C.              The System Office shall report on implementation and outcomes of the policy and regulation on faculty workload to the Board of Governors by January 2025 and each January thereafter. 


VI.        Implementation timeline. The timeline for development of institutional policy and annual workload plans in place for Academic Year 2024-25 and annually thereafter is as follows:


a.              All faculty workload institutional policies must be approved by institutional Boards of Trustees by June 30, 2024.


b.              Each faculty required to have an annual workload plan under this Regulation shall have an initial approved workload plan by January 1, 2025.


VII.       Other Matters.


A.              Effective Date. The requirements of this regulation shall be effective upon the date of adoption of this regulation by the president.


B.              Relation to Federal and State Laws.  The foregoing regulation as adopted by the president is meant to supplement, and does not purport to supplant or modify, those statutory enactments, regulations, and policies that may govern or relate to the subject matter of this regulation.


C.              The UNC System Office shall develop and promulgate training on the implementation of the Policy and this Regulation. 


D.             Because of the differences in institutional mission and faculty workload expectations at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, that institution is exempt from the requirements of this policy.  The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics shall develop institutional faculty workload policies appropriate for its respective secondary education program that align with the policy goals and objectives set forth in this regulation.