Faculty Workload Policy

Policy #: 
HRC 502.001
Executive Owner: 
Senior Vice President Operational Strategy & Learning

This workload policy applies to all full-time faculty, including departmental Program Directors, Vice Chairs and Chairs.


The Faculty Workload Policy describes standard workload expectations to assist Department Chairs and/or Vice-Chairs/Program Directors in setting faculty loads and responsibilities that allow faculty to accomplish the quality and quantity of work for which they were employed. The policy helps ensure consistency from one department to the next and from one faculty member to the next.  The policy also helps ensure faculty resources are effectively employed to support the University’s primary instructional mission and to support the variety of work instrumental to accomplishing the University’s mission.


This policy provides standards and guidelines for the workload expectations of faculty.  Faculty workloads consist primarily of activities related to teaching, service, scholarhips, mentoring, and mission.


Workload guidelines and procedures are implemented to ensure appropriate stewardship of the University's resources, recognize and enhance productivity, and establish best efforts for fairness among faculty.  In addition, workload assessments of productivity and academic engagement weigh significantly in the rank and promotion processes.

Policies of this nature are inclusive of the five recognized aspects of academic life at AdventHealth University: teaching, scholarship, service, mentorship and mission. The first three areas are specific aspects that are calculated for the formal workload, while mentorship and mission are an integral and expected part of academic life at AHU. An appropriate balance of these five aspects is strategically supported and evaluated for individual faculty members in collaboration with their Department Chairs and/or Vice-Chairs/Program Directors on an annual basis. The collaboration is explicit and planned to provide adequate discussions with faculty regarding their professional development needs, establishment of the appropriate course load and balance between the five academic areas.  

Workloads are also organized within each department so that the teaching, scholarship, and service activities meet the overall responsibilities of the unit within approved budgets. Due to varying pedagogical and accreditation standards within each department, it is essential that the Department Chairs and/or Vice-Chairs/Program Directors carefully consider all essential factors in their collaborative planning with faculty related to workload assignments.

Mentoring is the intentional engagement with at least one other individual to support their professional and/or personal development. This may be done informally or formally with a colleague, student, staff member, or a community partner. Evidence of a mentor-mentee relationship, with goals or objectives, is each faculty member’s responsibility as an AHU employee. Seeking out mentorship for continued growth is encouraged, while also formulating professional relationships with a mentee.

Above all considerations for workload, there is an essential understanding that faculty members in each department are to represent the University’s mission of educating students to serve and live the healing values of Christ. Each faculty member employed by AdventHealth University is to be committed to integrating mission-oriented activities and values throughout their teaching, scholarship, service and mentoring areas. This is exemplified through prayer, devotionals, referrals to Chaplains, encouragement and support for spiritual growth, and a respect for Christian principles and values.

Workload Principles

The determination of faculty load is based on several key principles: equitability, balance, and program viability, in addition to the core values of AdventHealth University.

  • Equity – AdventHealth University seeks to ensure that faculty responsibilities are distributed with fairness, aligned with the overall University mission, recognizing the expertise and professional development needs of its faculty as they demonstrate the system service standards.
  • Balance – As an institution of health sciences, it is important that faculty demonstrate a balance between teaching, service and scholarship. Mentoring and mission are also key components of the academy. Academic leaders strive to support a balanced lifestyle that aligns with the university’s healthy living values, therefore careful consideration is used in determining workload by Department Chairs and/or Vice-Chairs/Program Directors.
  • Core Values – Expectations for consistent faculty engagement in all aspects of academic life enable the university to remain sustainable and thrive. AdventHealth University creates a foundation for nurture, excellence, spirituality and stewardship. These core values are an integral part of all teaching, scholarship and service endeavors within the academic departments. Faculty should be able to identify their workload contributions to the unit, based on these founding principles as well. In addition, AdventHealth service standards of Love Me, Keep Me Safe, Make It Easy and Own It are integral to how AHU employees treat each other and their students, as part of the expectations of work ethic.

Workload Process

Prior to the beginning of the academic year, each faculty member and his or her Department Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director will agree upon the faculty member’s educational, scholarly, service, and professional responsibilities for the ensuing three trimesters. It is understood that prior to the second and third trimesters, a reconsideration of these responsibilities, with an agreement on any revision, may be necessitated by unforeseen variations in the enrollment, or by professional, personnel, and/or curricular changes.

The standardization of workload policy formulas and computation is essential in an academic setting, in order to meet the goals of optimal stewardship and fairness. Individual balance variations of workload are possible among faculty, based on different levels of engagement in scholarship, service, teaching and mentorship, as well as professional development needs. For example, if a faculty member is a principal investigator with a funded grant for their role, their scholarship time may be a higher percentage than their teaching time. However, all full-time faculty are expected to meet expectations for a full-time schedule that include the aforementioned aspects, as well as consistent campus engagement, routine meetings with students, committee work and service to the community. 

Workload Computation

Each faculty member and his or her Department Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director will use the following guidelines in calculating the workload of each of the areas of the faculty’s assignment:

Workload Teaching Credit Expectations

Federal Credit Hour definition – “A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than 1 hour in class each week…for approximately 15 weeks.” External class study and independent work are expected from each student. www.hlcommission.org (At AHU, it is understood that the 15-week value of course credit time is accomplished during a 14-week span of time.)

Graduate – 18-20 credit hours per academic year

Undergraduate – 27-30 credit hours per academic year

Graduate - 1 credit hour of lecture = 15 hours, 1 credit hour of lab (variations based on curricular and accreditation aspects. See individual departmental documents.)

Undergraduate – 1 credit hour of lecture = 15 hours

1 credit hour of lab = 90 hours (chemistry, physics, biology, microbiology)

                                = 60 hours (anatomy and physiology)

Contact Hour – Although “contact hours” typically refer to the number of hours associated with each credit hour of teaching (1 lecture credit = 15 hours), the term is also used to identify and tabulate “all other types of teaching and activities” (usf.edu). These “contact hour equivalencies” enable departments to understand the breadth of academic activity and the time spent in scholarship and service. It also enables the department leadership to fully understand the time it takes for other tasks that faculty engage in that are associated with teaching. These contact hours are therefore more generic in nature, but equally important to capture for ongoing assessment and support of optimal faculty and managerial workloads.

Time on Task

For all fully online courses the Time on Task – link- document must be completed. This is helpful for assessing faculty workload for the courses and credit load may be adjusted accordingly, in consultation with the Department Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director. Professors of hybrid and F2F courses may opt to use the Time on Task strategies to assess overall course management and needs as well.

Workload Categories

  • Teaching - 60%-90% of workload. A teaching load of 27 trimester credit hours per academic for undergraduate and 18 trimester credits for graduate is typical. This may vary if the faculty member has a formal research project or other approved academic responsibilities.
  • Service – 5%-20% of workload. Example - Individuals who have significant leadership roles on university committees or who are active in clinic work will have closer to 10-15% of their time in service. Individuals who have higher teaching loads will have closer to 5% of service time.
  • Scholarship – 5%-20% of workload. All full-time faculty members as quality academicians are engaged in some form of scholarly activity. Review of student data, application of evidence-based literature, formal qualitative or quantitative studies, and engagement in research forums are all examples of this essential aspect. Accreditation standards may dictate a higher level of scholarly activity percentage in faculty load, and this accommodation will be made as necessary, with Departmental Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director oversight. (See faculty handbook Appendix F for specific descriptions of acceptable scholarship categories).
  • Mentorship – This is an integral part of teaching, scholarship and service activities within a University and should be able to be clearly identified by the faculty member in discussions with the Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director.
  • Mission – This is an integral part of teaching, scholarship and service activities within AHU and should be exemplified in the faculty members’ interactions with students and colleagues.

Category Variations and Considerations

  • Administrative Faculty - Variations to the above percentages occur with different academic roles. Administrators in academic units may display functions within the category of management, which may dominate their workload. It is expected that their annual evaluation consider this variation, with a high percentage on tasks related to leading others, managing budgets, conducting meetings, strategically planning, and other managerial responsibilities. Percentages should be discussed with the administrative supervisor, with agreement on the appropriate balance.
  • Research Faculty - Faculty who are engaged in grant funded and other supported scholarly work may have an acceptable higher percentage than 20% in the research category. The appropriate balance with teaching and service is established, in consultation with the Department Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director, and as supported by the University. The expected workload may include research formulation, writing, research mentoring, data collection and analyses, and publications, among other related work.
  • Student advising may be considered mentoring in some departments and can be added to the percentage of teaching time, although not in credit hours, but in contact hours. (See contact hour descriptions above).
  • Supervision of students on clinicals may be considered lab teaching (indirect or direct oversight) or service, depending on the nature of the activity and the departmental philosophies/standards related to this type of work. If considered lab teaching, then the formula for lab credits will be used for workload. If considered service, then contact hours will be calculated.
  • Research and capstone project advising may also be considered as scholarship and/or teaching, based on departmental discretion.
  • Course development is constructed in hours and a total of 15 hours (equivalent to 1 credit) is acceptable for new courses in the semester prior to and/or during the semester that the new course is taught. If the course is in excess of 3 credits, the Department Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director may approve additional hours of preparation. Course development time may be considered for new courses or for instructors who are teaching the content for the first time.
  • Standard times for routine class preparation are two hours per hour of course content, but this will vary based on faculty experience, amount of times the course has been taught, complexity of course material etc. These hours should be documented in class preparation contact hours, but optimal time management and efficiency are expected for all faculty members. If any faculty member is using excessive time for course preparation (evaluated by the Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director), particularly after teaching the course before, the Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director may assist in securing appropriate resources for the faculty member to improve their course preparation skills. It is expected that all faculty members value currency and make pertinent revisions to course material as necessary for staying relevant and updated. At times, this will require additional course preparation time, and the faculty member should alert the Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director if this is the case so that expectations and/or workload considerations may be made.
  • Formal team teaching may involve shared subject teaching or complimentary subject teaching. In either case, the course credit load is split, since two instructors will not be doing the exact same teaching, or individually be teaching the entire class. For example, for a 4-credit course, a potential split could be 1 credit taught by one instructor and 3 credits taught by another. Both instructors will not put 4 credits on their workload documents. (An exception could be if two instructors are running their own sections of a course, then this would warrant total course credits in each person’s workload.) The Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director is responsible for reviewing split course credit courses with the instructors to ascertain how many credits each instructor is responsible for and what the specific roles are within the course. Each Department Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director is responsible for indicating which departmental leader will review these elements with the faculty members to ensure an understanding of policy.
  • Multiple section teaching will enable a faculty member to receive additional course credit if they are involved with more than one section of Face to Face (F2F) or Online Teaching. For example, if a 3-credit course is taught in two sections, due to high enrollment or accreditation dictated student/faculty ratio etc., then the instructor will indicate 6 credits on their workload documentation. If there is more than one instructor involved with the multiple sections, then the credits will be divided as appropriate, with Departmental Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director oversight. Considerations for additional credit, if teaching a large class (in excess of 40 students) independently, may be made by the Departmental Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director.
  • Virtual and F2F office hours are a standard to be determined by individual departments and in consideration of employment status (remote, hybrid or campus-based). The requirement of the University is that faculty arrange to meet with students as necessary for optimal accessibility and attainment of student learning outcomes and overall academic needs.
  • Scholarship days may be arranged individually with the Department Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director, as schedules and departmental functions permit. This is not to exceed more than a day a week for a specified period of time, if this work time requested includes off campus time. This must be approved by the Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director, handled equitably among faculty, and have specific outcomes/deliverables by a specific date that the faculty and Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director agree to in writing. This may only be arranged if it does not interfere with routine functioning of the department, including class teaching and committee meetings, or other obligations that the Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director deems as necessary. Department Chairs and/or Vice-Chairs/Program Directors and faculty are encouraged to plan in advance for this, to support scholarly endeavors. The activities need to meet specific goals of the Annual Faculty Development Plan and align with the agenda and mission of the department. A quarterly written report to the Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director, with updates and goal attainment, is recommended.


Overload will be considered if excessive credit load teaching (over 32 credit hours in undergraduate and over 24 in graduate) is done while still maintaining a high percentage of service (over 20%) and scholarship (over 20 %). For example, a faculty member may teach 24 credits in a graduate program, but only have 5% of service and 5% of scholarship, so total contact hours for the year may not exceed expected workload. This presents an opportunity to understand workload in a more comprehensive sense, rather than just teaching credits. If overload is considered, based on this overall assessment, it will be based on the excess teaching credits. Overload pay is based on the approved adjunct pay scale regardless of rank. This is only done if the Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director determines that overall contact hours exceed expectations for the faculty role.

The Chair’s role is primarily managerial and leadership tasks (50-60% of time) that can be impacted if there are excessive teaching responsibilities. Chairs are encouraged to teach minimally as part of their 40-50% non-managerial working load, which should not exceed two classes a semester, unless approved in consultation with the Provost. Some teaching opportunities allow the Chair to understand student needs and stay current with professional aspects, but it should not be the main role of a Chair. If a Chair is over a larger department (in excess of 300 students in the department), adjustments will be made for academic responsibilities. The Chair is responsible for developing an approved workload in collaboration with the Vice-Chairs and Program Directors, considering multiple factors.  In some circumstances (faculty attrition etc.), there may be a need for a Chair to increase their teaching load, and overload may be warranted and approved in consultation with the Provost.

Distant and Hybrid Teaching Employees

With the increasing number of online programs, full-time employees may be hired who work minimally, or not routinely, on either of the physical campuses of AdventHealth University. These employees are still expected to engage in a balance of teaching, service, scholarship and mentoring, although their percentages may be heavily weighted towards teaching. In consultation with the Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director, specific goals should also be outlined for all areas of academic life. Collaborations with other faculty need to be intentional, and engagement on campus through distance opportunities are expected (such as for Professional Development, Mission Check, Faculty-Staff and Research workshops). Some on-campus time is expected and is arranged with the Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director for specific program needs. Strategies and expectations for reporting out and documenting workload should be in place prior to the employment start date and reviewed routinely, so that an annual assessment of workload effectiveness and performance are able to be done without difficulty.

Instructors of Hybrid courses are to arrange the amount of time on-campus and online as approved by their Department Chair and/or Vice-Chair/Program Director prior to the start of a trimester. Considerations will be made for how this will best meet the learning needs of students and the coverage for the department. Changes may be made to optimize the departmental success, so faculty flexibility will be required. If any on-campus activities are required, employees will be provided appropriate notice by the administration.


CommitteeDate VotedMinutes Code
President's CouncilMonday, February 18, 201919:28
President's CouncilMonday, January 10, 202222:10
Approved by: 
Edwin Hernandez
Approval Date: 
Monday, February 18, 2019
Effective Date: 
Monday, February 18, 2019
Review Date: 
Monday, January 10, 2022