One of the University’s highest priorities is to provide superior instruction and an optimal learning community for the advancement of knowledge to its undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, residents, fellows, postdoctoral scholars and other trainees. Instruction takes on many forms and comprises a variety of formats and media. Instruction may take place in a variety of settings, ranging from the traditional lecture hall or classroom to such venues as the laboratory, studio, clinic, hospital, local/global community sites, and virtual learning environments. A major activity related to instruction is also the participation in academic advising and mentoring, whether this takes the form of assisting students to select courses or discussing students’ or trainees’ long-range goals. To accomplish this mission, faculty members need to be available to students, advisees, and trainees; courses and instructional responsibilities need to be scheduled across the year and in patterns and modalities that maximize learning, community, and access.

Departments, colleges, schools, and campuses are responsible for supporting the fulfillment of this mission. In so doing, each academic unit shall establish its own appropriate instructional requirements and implement them. It is an accepted practice for faculty to conduct their work activities with varied schedules on the UW campuses, at other UW work sites, and alternate locations. At the same time, it is expected that faculty members who are paid from funds generated from tuition, fees, and state appropriations (referred to in subsequent language as instructional funds) will generally be in residence, and will have assigned instructional responsibilities in every quarter when so supported. In this context, “in residence” means faculty are physically present to fulfill these instructional duties. Faculty members who are partially supported from instructional funds will have proportional instructional responsibilities.

Departments, colleges, schools, and campuses may not adopt policies which relieve faculty of instructional responsibilities in quarters when they are supported by instructional funds. To meet the University’s other responsibilities, it may be appropriate in exceptional situations for a faculty member to have no formal teaching assignment in a particular quarter and to have the load distributed across the remainder of the year. However, it is still expected that the faculty member would be available for student and other trainee mentorship and advising and for regular service-related activities. Each such exceptional arrangement must be requested in advance by the department chair, director, or campus dean and approved by the dean or chancellor.

Departments, colleges, schools, and campuses will report annually through the dean or chancellor to the provost on their implementation of this policy, detailing how courses and instruction are distributed across the academic year and among the faculty.

Original policy date: February 1,1994
Last modified date: July 1, 2021