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Understanding Workload in SPS

While most SPS faculty are on a research-intensive workload, the standard workload at Boise State University is a 3-3 teaching load (60% teaching), along with research (20%) and service (20%).  SPS’s workload policy allows faculty to adjust these percentages as necessary to meet both program needs and their current career goals and trajectory.  Faculty evaluations are done within this context, so that expectations for research productivity are higher for faculty on research-intensive workloads.

Below is a table for the three typical workload options.  Faculty in administrative roles will have to make further adjustments to these percentages and should consult the SPS leadership policy in doing so. Faculty who wish to alter their workload should consult with the Faculty Director and their Program Leads.

 Standard Workload
(3-3 teaching load)
Hybrid Workload
(3-2 teaching load)
Research Intensive
(2-2 teaching load)
Research20%30%40%
Teaching60%50%40%
Service20%20%20%

Note that in F180, faculty workloads are calculated as 50% for the semester (i.e., half of one’s annual contract) and 100% for the year (i.e., one’s entire annual contract), so that 20%/20%/10% workload for a semester is equal to a 40%/40%/20% workload for the year.  Faculty can elect to have a different time allocation between semesters; for instance, if they are on a 3-2 teaching load.

Faculty are contracted for 100% of time allocation through the academic year (i.e., 40 hours per week for 9 months).  Faculty may not receive additional compensation for work that is included in this 100% workload.  Faculty working above 100% is treated as a last resort and is the exception, rather than the rule.

Workload Math & Time Allocations

If we assume a 40-hour work week, then 10% of faculty time allocation is equivalent to 4 hours a week on average across the academic year; this is the same as 5% of faculty time allocation for a single semester since a single semester accounts for 50% of the workload for the entire annual contract.

  • Each course taught is counted as 10% of faculty time allocation for a semester (i.e., 1/5 of one’s work week), so the expected time allocation for teaching a single course is 8 hours per week on average. For a standard 3-credit course, this would be approximately 2.5 to 3 hours in-class time and 5 to 5.5 hours for prep and grading.  Of course, some weeks will take up less time and other weeks more time, but this estimates the average time allocation per week over the semester.  Thus, faculty on a 2-2 teaching load would be expected to allocate approximately 16 hours of time per week to teaching-based activities over the year; for the faculty on a 3-3 teaching load, they would be expected to allocate 24 hours of time per week over the year.
  • For a 40% research load across the year, the expected time allocation is 16 hours per week on average spent on research-based activities. For a 20% research load across the year, the expected time allocation is 8 hours per week.
  • For a 20% service load across the year, the expected time allocation is 8 hours per week on average spent on service-related activities.