Distribution of Effort Policy

Faculty Distribution of Effort Policy

February 2008

All College of Arts & Sciences faculty members are expected to excel in research, teaching (which includes undergraduate student mentoring and graduate student advising), and service.  In most cases, a faculty member’s distribution of effort is to be divided among these three responsibilities, with equal weight given to research and teaching.  Occasionally, a faculty member may have a fourth responsibility – administration, which includes serving as department chair, associate dean for the College, or an administrator for the University.  When deemed feasible, only full professors are to assume administrative responsibilities. 

For purposes of a faculty member’s distribution of effort, serving as department chair or associate chair, director of undergraduate studies or graduate studies, or center director or associate director is to be considered administration if any course release or buy-out is involved.  Sitting on any department, college or university committee, serving as a journal editor, or assuming a leadership role in a professional organization or association is service and is not to be considered administration.  Whenever a faculty member assumes administrative or special service responsibilities, a tailored distribution of effort may be negotiated among the faculty member, the department chair, and the dean.

Every effort should be made within departments to keep assistant professors’ service commitments to a minimum to give them time to launch their research and teaching careers.  Similarly, associate professors need time to achieve the rank of full professor.  As a result, all full professors must have at least ten percent of their distribution of effort allocated to service.
As a general guideline for service:

  • Assistant and associate professors without tenure should have a service distribution of 5-10 percent effort.
  • Associate professors with tenure should have a service distribution of 10-15 percent effort.
  • Full professors should have a service distribution of 10-20 percent effort.

The College of Arts and Sciences distribution of effort policy allows for variation and flexibility (e.g., course buyouts, scholarship/fellowship leave, etc.), when deemed appropriate and negotiated with the department chair and the College associate dean responsible for faculty affairs.  Faculty are required to review their distribution of effort annually with their department chair.


Unanimously passed by the College's Executive Committee, 02/04/08

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