Workload Guidelines for Faculty

Faculty members at the Missouri University of Science and Technology are expected to contribute to the traditional areas of teaching, research/creative activity and service. The distribution of effort between these three areas will vary for different faculty members. The department Chair or unit head has the responsibility for determining the workload of each faculty member using the following general guidelines.


Missouri S&T regards a full time teaching load as 12 section credits per semester or the equivalent thereof, plus a minimum of 4 office hours per week. A section credit is defined to be one contact hour per week for a lecture course or 3 contact hours per week for a laboratory course. For a faculty member teaching a class for the first time, the equivalent section credits are to be regarded as 1.5 times the official section credits listed for the course. For laboratory courses requiring significant preparation and grading, or large enrollment courses with an unusually heavy grading responsibility, or courses requiring a greater than average technical preparation such as advanced subject courses, or courses using advanced technology such as distance education, the department Chair may assign a weight of up to 1.5 times the listed section credits for that course. As discussed below, individual faculty members may also be released from a portion of their full time teaching load to engage in research and service activities consistent with the mission of the University.


To fulfill its research and graduate education missions, Missouri S&T expects its faculty to establish an active program of research or scholarship funded at a level consistent with the expectations of the discipline, either in the faculty member's academic discipline or in the teaching and pedagogy associated with their respective discipline. Release time from teaching is provided to fulfill this responsibility. New faculty may have 3 to 6 section credits per semester released from teaching to enable them to initiate and develop a program of research or scholarship at Missouri S&T. In addition, released time may be provided to other faculty who can document an established and active program of research or scholarship. Faculty who engage in scholarly activity commensurate with the expectations of their discipline may have the equivalent of up to 4 section credits released per semester for that activity. To receive this released time, there must be an established record of the research or scholarly activity including regular publications in a refereed journal of recognized standing, published monographs, or other forms of recognized scholarly or creative work. In addition, a faculty member who is active in research will make annual presentations of the results of their research or scholarship at national or international professional meetings, and will supervise students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate level research.

Faculty members can, subject to the approval of the faculty member's Chair, negotiate for a further reduction in teaching load contingent upon the faculty member's ability to obtain external funding to release a portion of their academic year salary. Funds generated from external grants in this fashion are to be returned to the faculty member's department to allow the hiring or compensation of teaching faculty to replace the teaching services not covered as a result of the faculty member being released from their teaching commitment. To be released from an obligation of 3 section credits for one semester, a faculty member would have to generate from external grants, at a minimum, the larger of 10% of their academic year salary or the actual cost to hire a qualified replacement instructor, with the actual amount to be negotiated by the department Chair and approved by the Provost.

Faculty members with exceptional internationally recognized programs of research or scholarship may receive additional released time with the approval of the department Chair. Evidence of an exceptional research program would include a recent publication history of several articles per year in refereed national and international journals, frequent publication of monographs, invited talks at national and international meetings, and the ability to attract external grants that support multiple graduate students. Faculty members of this stature are encouraged to buy out part of their academic year salary.

Under normal circumstances, the maximum amount of time that can be released from teaching for research or scholarship related activities is 7 section credits per semester, or the equivalent.


In order to fulfill its service mission, Missouri S&T provides teaching release time to faculty for service activities. Service activities include university committee work, student advising, instructional support activities and supervising, service to the local community on behalf of the university, and service to the professional community at the local level, national, or international levels. In general, the number of section credits of teaching to be released for service activities is the average number of hours per week spent in service activities divided by three. A typical faculty member is assumed to spend an average of six hours per week on service related activities, which would entitle them to 2 section credits of released time from teaching per semester. It is the department Chair's responsibility to ensure that each faculty member is assigned sufficient service related duties to justify a reduction of teaching load based upon service considerations. Faculty members who can document an average activity of more than six hours per week may receive an additional service related release of teaching time, up to a maximum of 4 section credits per semester or equivalent. Faculty members with part time administrative duties may receive additional time released from teaching.


The full time teaching load for a Missouri S&T faculty member is 12 section credits per semester. Faculty members may receive released time from teaching for their research and service activities. Under normal circumstances, the maximum amount of released time for service will be 4 hours and the maximum amount of released time for research will be 7 hours. However, the maximum total amount of time released from teaching that a faculty member may normally receive for both research and service is 9 section credits per semester, or the equivalent.


At the end of each academic year, the department Chair will make a report to the Provost, detailing (i) the teaching load of each faculty member in the department for the entire academic year, (ii) the factors as outlined above that justified any reduction in teaching load from the Missouri S&T standard of 12 section credits per semester, and (iii) the Chair's recommended workload for each faculty member of the department for the next academic year, as determined through discussion and negotiation with the faculty member. The actual teaching load assigned to each faculty member for the coming year is then to be determined by the faculty member's department Chair.

Special Circumstances

The department Chair should make every effort to assign workloads consistent with these guidelines. However, it is recognized that fluctuations in enrollment and changes in the division of a faculty member's teaching and research emphasis over time might make it necessary for there to be a temporary deviation from the guidelines. Deviations from the guidelines may also be warranted in the event of pregnancy, childbirth, primary care of a newborn child, or unusual medical or family circumstances consistent with other University policies.