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Faculty Workload Equity Resources

Developing an Equity Plan

Workload equity plans should use data about faculty workload to address equity issues, inform actions to rebalance workload, and be tied to concrete actions and evaluated regularly.

Policy Recommendations

AAUP policy recommendations establish basic principles for achieving workload equity. AAUP recommends the following basic principles for promoting and achieving faculty workload equity: 

  • Implementation of policy should be at the level of the academic unit most familiar with the research, teaching, advising, mentoring, administrative, service, and invisible labor demands placed on faculty 

  • Faculty should participate fully in the determination of workload and workload equity policy.  

  • Department chairs, program directors, and other responsible parties should have a significant measure of latitude in making workload adjustments consistent with basic principles of shared governance. 

  • In determining and distributing workload, care should be taken to consider the totality of an individual’s contributions to the academic unit, college/school, and institution. 

  • Workload distribution should be mindful of factors that have historically produced inequity, including variations in course load, number of different course preparations, course scope and difficulty, class size, instructional modality, out-of-class student supervision (e.g., independent studies), extra-curricular educational activities, and other variables.  To these factors, our Task Force adds the “Hallway Ask” and other conditions of the academic workplace that can differentially burden faculty, especially women and faculty of color. 

  • Adjustments to workload are manifestly in order when the institution draws heavily and/or regularly on an individual for university committee work, academic program development and administration, community or government service, and any other activity that risks impairing a faculty member’s effectiveness as a teacher and scholar. We highlight existing DU Policies and Procedures for Faculty Development and specifically job responsibility discussions, which are available to all DU appointed faculty. 

  • Transparency is critical, as is the faculty’s reappraisal of workloads at regular intervals.