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Teaching Assignments in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


To articulate the full-time teaching responsibilities of faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Applies to: 

Faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Policy Statement: 

Teaching assignments are made by the department chair/program director consistent with the instructional needs of the unit and the College. A full-time teaching responsibility for College faculty is four courses per academic year. Exceptions to this rule include the following:

  • three courses per academic year
    • Mathematics
    • Geology
    • Geography & Atmospheric Science
    • Speech-Language-Hearing
    • Child Language Doctoral Program
  • two courses per academic year
    • Physics & Astronomy
    • Chemistry
    • Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
    • Molecular Biosciences
    • Computational Biology

These classroom responsibilities are in addition to directed readings, independent studies, or direction of or participation in Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.

Normally, tenured and tenure-track faculty are assigned a teaching load that is balanced across the academic year (i.e., 2 + 2, 2 + 1, 1 + 2 or 1 + 1 for fall semester + spring semester). However, to provide some flexibility for departments and members of the faculty to most effectively balance their teaching obligations and research and service activities, the Dean’s Office will allow departures from a balanced fall/spring teaching assignment to concentrate teaching efforts to one of the two semesters using the following procedure and guidelines:

  1. Tenured and tenure-track faculty teaching assignments can be spread across the academic year in a manner agreeable to the chair and the faculty member. In cases of joint appointments, the department chairs/program directors must agree upon the differential allocations of teaching efforts.
  2. A balanced offering of courses must be maintained across semesters in an academic year.
  3. No more than three courses can be assigned in a given semester.
  4. It is expected that faculty will remain on campus and participate fully in student mentoring and advising and local service activities. A reduced teaching load in a semester is not a sabbatical or a leave with pay. It is also expected that there will be no reduction in service from a faculty member in a semester when additional courses are taught.
  5. Flexible teaching assignments will not be available for GTA’s or non-tenure-track faculty.
  6. Department chairs should plan with care assignments to a non-balanced load because the Dean’s Office cannot cover a shortfall created by insufficient planning. Reallocated courses left uncovered during a given academic year due to poor planning are the responsibility of the departments to cover, not the Dean’s Office.
  7. Team-teaching will be allowed, in accordance with https://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/team-teaching-policy.

Each department/program will be allowed to assign teaching loads differentially across the tenured and tenure-track faculty to cover the teaching expectations of the department/program. Changes in distributions of effort for individual faculty members will have to be approved by the Dean’s Office in accordance with existing guidelines and policies.

Minimum class enrollments are 12 students in undergraduate courses and 6 students in graduate courses. If retained on a teaching schedule, courses enrolling fewer than the 12/6 minimum are taught as an addition to the instructor’s regular responsibilities.


Office of the Dean
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
University of Kansas
200 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Approved on: 
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Effective on: 
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Teaching, Assignment, Instruction
Change History: 

09/28/2021: Updated Geography & Atmospheric Science required teaching load.
09/09/2021: Minor revisions and converted from PDF to live text webpage.
09/22/2015: Updated Child Language Doctoral Program required teaching load.
02/01/2012: Updated Speech-Language-Hearing required teaching load.
01/01/2009: Approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Science.

School/College Policy Categories: 
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