Teaching Assignments

Teaching is among the signally important functions of the College faculty; teaching, along with research and service, form the three-fold obligation of all faculty members to the College and the University. UIC’s mission of being a leading urban public research university can be realized only if our tenure-line faculty are fully committed to excellence in teaching and related activities. Every department should have a teaching statement that sets clear expectations for the teaching assignments of their faculty.

LAS Standard Teaching Loads for Tenure-System Faculty

Humanities and Social Sciences 4 courses/year
MSCS, Psychology 3 courses/year
Natural Sciences 2 courses/year

Because UIC is a Research I institution, a significant portion of a faculty member’s activity is dedicated to the research mission. If a tenured faculty member does not contribute significantly to this part of the university mission, then there should be a greater contribution to teaching or service. Each department should have a written policy that states the criteria for research-active faculty and strictly adhere to it. Teaching assignments for non-tenure-system faculty (clinical, research, lecturer, adjuncts, etc.) are determined at the departmental level in consultation with the Dean’s Office.

Any deviations from these teaching assignments require the approval of the dean. Some routine exceptions include the following:

New entry level faculty in LAS may expect reduction in teaching load during their probationary period. All such exceptions should be specified in the offer letter, or specifically approved by the dean.

Department executive officers normally teach a reduced number of courses (one-half their regular teaching assignment). The specifics of such assignments are at the discretion of the dean and specified in their offer letter.

Department officers, e.g., directors of graduate and undergraduate studies, are also often granted reduced teaching assignments. These reductions require the approval of the dean.

Reduced teaching assignments for other faculty require the specific approval of the dean.

Other Deviations From Normal Teaching Assignments

Upon request, tenured and tenure-track faculty members at the Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor rank, who have a new child (or children) under the age of 6 in the home shall be granted a period of modified teaching duties without a reduction in effort or salary. The nature and extent of these modifications must be negotiated between the department head and the faculty member prior to the beginning of the modified duties period. This program is not a leave. Please see Modified Duties for Faculty Members with a New Child.

Release Time and Buyouts

Funds to pay the College’s expenses for release time may come from a research grant or from another (non-LAS) unit in the university.

Normally, buyouts are calculated at 20% of the faculty member’s salary per course. Barring rare exceptions, every faculty member should teach each academic year. Course buyout should normally not exceed 50% of the faculty member’s required teaching load.

Under-Enrolled Courses

Although the College recognizes that some courses may regularly attract few students, its goal is to minimize the number of very small courses without damaging the scope and variety of the program.

The policy is that an undergraduate course not counting towards general education below the 400-level should not have fewer than 10 students. An undergraduate general education course below the 400-level should not have fewer than 20 students. Graduate courses at the 400-level should not have fewer than 10 students. A graduate course (500-level) enrolling fewer than five students should be offered only under unusual circumstances and with the approval of the Executive Associate Dean of the College, Dibyen Majumdar.

When multiple sections of a course are offered, small sections should be combined. Courses with insufficient enrollment two weeks prior to the first day of the semester will be canceled. Departments are responsible for notifying the affected students. Unit heads should regularly review course offerings to eliminate courses that consistently under-enroll.

Team Teaching

While team teaching may be beneficial to students in some instances, executive officers should remember that team-taught courses are costly. The college, therefore, encourages departments to phase out team teaching by making curricular changes wherever possible.  The college requires that Executive Officers consult with the Associate Dean for Students Affairs before developing proposals for new courses that may be team-taught.

Grades and Grading

The College urges that departments encourage their faculty to be familiar with the Grading Manual made available by the Office of the Registrar.

This document covers grading policies, submission of grades, incomplete grades, course withdrawals, grade disputes, etc.