SECS Workload Policy

Workload Policy
Oakland University School of Engineering and Computer Science

Approved by SECS Faculty Assembly on 4-13-2007
Approved by Oakland on 4-22-2009

The professional responsibilities of the SECS faculty are consistent with the mission of Oakland University and include teaching, research and creative activity, and service. Active participation in all three aspects of the workload is the standard for all Oakland University tenure-track faculty members. As a general guideline, SECS tenure-track faculty are expected to devote roughly 40% of their time to teaching, 40% to research or other scholarly activities and 20% to the service role.

The normal tenure-track teaching load is 2 courses per each of the Fall and Winter semesters. It is recognized that as technology changes, course delivery, course evaluations and assessment of student learning evolve, the teaching function will change and SECS faculty are expected to adapt to, and lead this process. Courses that are team-taught shall be counted as a full course for each of the instructors in the team. Every effort shall be made to assign a maximum of one new course preparation to any faculty member in any given semester. In SECS courses with a companion laboratory, the assignment does not carry a separate course number and supervision of the laboratory component is considered part of that course assignment. Faculty who believe that they have been assigned unfair teaching workloads may meet with their department chairperson and the dean (or designee) to resolve the conflict.

Course release time can only be granted by the Department Chair in coordination with the SECS Dean. Course releases can be granted for various reasons, including but not limited to:

  • As part of startup packages for recently hired faculty
  • As part of a University matching arrangement with externally funded grants, such as NSF Career Awards;
  • Release time for preparing a major grant proposal to a funding agency;
  • In preparation for accreditation visits or to coordinate various specialized academic activities.
  • Buying out from the teaching through a research grant or contract.

It is expected that tenure-track faculty will involve students in their research, supervise MS and PhD theses, build a research program and seek external funding for it. The principal, but not the only, measures of research productivity are publication of research results in archival journals and conference proceedings, and the extent of external funding.

SECS faculty's service role is measured by their level of participation in departmental, school and university level committees, as well as their participation in professional societies and in providing consulting services to the industry. Short courses and seminars are usually considered to be service activities.

Special Instructors

Special instructors are full-time faculty members whose academic qualifications are different and distinct from tenure-track faculty members. SECS special instructors are expected to devote roughly 80% of their time to teaching and 20% to service. The average teaching load for special instructors is 10 credits per each of the Fall and Winter semesters, and cannot exceed 12 credits or 4 course sections, whichever is less. Teaching assignments during the Fall and Winter semesters shall average no more than 10 credits per semester over any given two-year period. Average service assigned to special instructors is approximately 8 hours per week, and shall be adjusted appropriately whenever the teaching load is not 10 credit hours.

Courses that are team-taught shall be counted as a full course for each special instructor in the team. A maximum of one new course preparation shall be assigned to a special instructor in any given semester. In SECS courses with a companion laboratory, the assignment does not carry a separate course number and supervision of the laboratory component is considered part of that course assignment. Special instructors who believe that they have been assigned unfair teaching and/or service workloads may meet with their department chairperson and the dean (or designee) to resolve the conflict.