Teaching Load and Course Enrollment

The tenure-track faculty of the College of Fine Arts has myriad responsibilities encompassing teaching, research and creative work, on campus and in the field, service, advising, governance and administration. Our primary responsibility is to educate students for a promising life and productive livelihood, to advance knowledge of the arts and culture, to extend our cultural legacy, and to bring distinction to the University of Texas at Austin.

Our non-tenure-track faculty has a responsibility focused more narrowly on teaching, especially, but not exclusively to undergraduates.

This policy states minimum, normal teaching loads and course enrollments. In all cases, teaching load expectations may be adjusted up or down at the discretion of the department chair or school director based on considerations of heavy or light administrative or service responsibilities, extraordinary or minimal advising duties, exceptional or diminished research and professional productivity, or other special considerations.

Tenure-track faculty with modest or no documented professional activity or minimal service will be asked and expected to teach more than the minimum loads.

Annual merit evaluations will be responsive to the individualized balance of research, teaching, and service that characterizes each faculty member’s overall duties with the goal of encouraging optimal faculty productivity and program value.

Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty Teaching Loads

Tenured and tenure-track faculty holding full-time appointments (100%) in the College of Fine Arts will teach a minimum two course per semester (2/2) teaching load, or its equivalent, of organized lecture classes or studio courses.

Tenure-track faculty teaching individual lessons in the Butler School will carry a minimum load of 18 one-hour, student lessons per semester.

Individual instruction and advising, thesis or dissertation supervision is expected as a normal part of a faculty members teaching load and will not, except in extraordinary cases, affect teaching loads.

Tenure-track faculty holding a joint appointment in a College of Fine Arts department or school will be expected to teach a minimum of one course per year in that department or school.

Courtesy or 0% appointments do not have a teaching load expectation.

Non-tenure-track Faculty Teaching Loads

Full-time equivalent (100%) lecturers, senior lecturers, and distinguished senior lecturers will carry a minimum three course per semester (3/3) teaching load, or its equivalent, in organized lecture classes or in studio art, studio dance, studio theatre, or music ensembles.

Visiting Faculty, Phased Retirement

Visiting faculty, and retired faculty on modified service, should have a proposed workload plan detailed on the Prior Approval Request.
Faculty who are on a phased retirement contract, should work out a specific teaching schedule with their chair or director. These faculty do not hold tenure and are technically temporary, but because of the unique nature of their appointment, may have workloads of 2/2 for a full-time (100%) appointment.

Faculty on Administrative Appointments

Department chairs, school directors, and associate deans will teach one course per year.

Associate and assistant chairs will receive teaching load reductions at the discretion of their supervisors, typically a reduction of one course per year or semester, depending on duties.

Modified Instructional Responsibilities

It is the policy of The College of Fine Arts to modify the classroom instructional responsibilities of faculty members and allow for equivalent academic service for one semester when necessitated by the care of a child or family member and when such modifications are found to be in the best interest of the University’s instructional programs. This policy is especially appropriate when the birth or adoption of a child prevents a faculty member from being able to perform his or her classroom teaching duties. (This policy is not intended to apply to situations where use of sick leave is appropriate. See the Handbook of Operating Procedures 5.B.1.)

Course Enrollment Minimums

  • Lower division lecture courses must have a minimum of 15 enrolled students.
  • Upper division lecture courses and graduate lecture courses must have a minimum 10 enrolled students.
  • Studio, performance, ensemble, or lab courses, lower or upper division, must have a minimum of 10 enrolled students.
  • Graduate seminars must have a minimum of 5 enrolled students.
  • Exceptions to these limits will be at the discretion of the department chair or school director with review and oversight by the senior associate dean.
  • Faculty whose course enrollments fall below these minimums will be given the option
    • i) to drop the course and be assigned another; or
    • ii) continue offering the course, but teach an additional course in the current or a future
      semester as an overload.

Team Teaching: Faculty may team teach a course within a normal course load, first, with permission of the department chair or director and second, when there are at least 10 students enrolled for each faculty member in the teaching team. Or a team-taught course may be offered as a teaching overload by at least one member of the team.

Approved by the dean, department chairs and school director on May 19, 2010.

Dean’s 4/15 memo on Faculty Research and Teaching loads