Faculty Workload Distribution


For purposes of annual review and promotion review, a new Faculty Workload Distribution tool has been created within UAccess Employee to track faculty annual workload distribution. Faculty workload distribution (percentage allotted to research, teaching, service, etc.) is key to annual review as well as promotion and tenure reviews.

Previously, there has not been a means to track faculty workload that is reviewed by both faculty and department heads. It is essential that both faculty and their head/director discuss and agree on their workload distribution on an annual basis. This is usually done during the annual review in the Spring. There will be an electronic means in Annual Profile to document discussion and agreement of workload distribution as part of annual review, beginning with the upcoming annual review for 2022. Materials and instructions will be ready in late Fall 2022.

The new workload tool went live in July 2022. It was pre-filled with existing data that was entered in the system from data provided by department heads in 2020. This data is under review by heads/directors, who will let the faculty within their unit know when it is ready to review and confirm. After the initial data entry for faculty, data will only need to be entered if there is a change in workload or for new faculty; the faculty workload will roll over from year to year automatically within the system.  

The Faculty Workload Tool has been a collaborative project between Human Resources, the Office of the Provost, and University Analytics and Institutional Research (UAIR). Thank you for your support and assistance with the implementation of this important project that is central to faculty processes of annual review and promotion.  

Resources for the Faculty Workload Distribution tool

  • Department Heads/Directors
    • Department heads/directors can review the unit summary report of faculty workload at the Faculty Workload link.
  • Business Managers
  • Faculty
    • In Process- will be made available on August 17th
    • Below is a timeline for implementation and review:
  • To be added on Wednesday, August 17th ​
    •  Typically, faculty workload for the coming year is discussed at the time of annual review; so it is expected that faculty and department heads have already discussed workload for the coming year in the past Spring. 
  • guide for faculty to review their workload in UAccess can be found here – ESS Faculty Workload. If workload is not correct, faculty will first speak with the department head, if agreement cannot be reached, an appeal process to the Dean will be available. Details will be forthcoming. 

What is Faculty Workload?

Faculty workload represents the distribution of responsibilities for faculty into primary areas that demonstrate their contributions to the university. Workload is broken down for all faculty into six major categories that are listed below. Workload categories are based on percentages that sum to 100%.  Faculty and their department head agree on the percentage distribution in terms of where faculty devote their time to each area. This is typically set at the original point of hire in the offer letter to faculty. Faculty workload tends to be consistent from year to year; however, at certain times it may be adjusted due to sabbatical, grants/awards, temporary alternative duty assignment, or departmental needs. Most tenure-track and continuing status-track faculty are employees at 1.0 FTE. Career-track faculty should be at least .75 FTE or higher, and adjunct faculty should be .50 FTE or lower.

Traditionally at U.S. R1 higher education institutions, tenure-track faculty have had a 40-40-20 workload, which represents 40% teaching, 40% research/scholarship/creative activity, and 20% service (unit, university, discipline, local and global communities). This workload may vary somewhat across disciplines, but it often varies quite a bit across faculty tracks. For example, career-track faculty who primarily teach often have a much higher teaching workload and very low workload for research/scholarship/creative activity or for service. Research professors or continuing status track faculty often have very low teaching workload expectations if at all.

Details of workload categories vary by college and by unit-level discipline. See promotion criteria by college. Below broad descriptions are provided, and as such workload may include the following:

  • Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity
    • Examples may include but are not limited to: publications, books, grants, exhibitions, creative activity, performances, patents.
  • Teaching
    • Examples may include but are not limited to: teaching classes, developing curriculum, mentoring students, overseeing graduate projects.
  • Service/Outreach
    • Examples may include but are not limited to: peer reviews (journals, books, grants), leadership in national organizations, local and global community service as an expert in their field, internal university service (department, college or university level).
  • Clinical Service
    • Examples may include but are not limited to: clinical teaching, clinical work with patients.
  • Administrative Service
    • Examples may include but are not limited to: administrative positions within the institution, such as department head, assistant/associate dean.
  • Extension
    • Examples may include but are not limited to: activities done within cooperative extension, which may include contracts, public facing education or projects.
  • Other Professional Activities
    • This category is typically only used by continuing status track who have job descriptions and duties that are updated annually. 

Use of Workload for faculty evaluation:

Annual reviews are scored based on each portion of workload as well as an overall score. Annual reviews are important for consideration of merit raises, award nominations, and also identify any areas of concern due to lack of productivity that may lead to faculty development plans or performance improvement plans.

Promotion and tenure review is primarily guided by workload distribution, as such it is the second page of the dossier. Given the importance of external reviews for tenure-track faculty, it is expected that workload expectations are similar to faculty in peer institutions. Effective review of dossiers for promotion or tenure by external reviewers is predicated on the assumption of a similar workload distribution across peer institutions. If tenure or continuing status is not granted, then faculty must leave their position in one year and cannot be rehired by the University of Arizona. Ranks and tenure are linked with eligibility for certain awards (local, national, international) and with certain grant eligibility.

Research-Based Resources

  • American Council on Education (ACE) Equity-Minded Faculty Workloads - What We Can and Should Do Now- Read the report.
    • Quote from the report:
      • "Based on this research, this report then makes recommendations for how academic units can promote workload equity. We identify six conditions linked to equitable workloads:

        • Transparency: Departments have widely visible information about faculty work activities available for department members to see. 

        • Clarity: Departments have clearly identified and well-understood benchmarks for faculty work activities.

        • Credit: Departments recognize and reward faculty members who are expending more effort in certain areas.

        • Norms: Departments have a commitment to ensuring faculty workload is fair and have put systems in place that reinforce these norms.

        • Context: Departments acknowledge that different faculty members have different strengths, interests, and demands that shape their workloads and offer workload flexibility to recognize this context.

        • Accountability: Departments have mechanisms in place to ensure that faculty members fulfill their work obligations and receive credit for their labor. 

          We provide examples of policies and practices that promote these conditions. We summarize these recommendations and provide tools, such as the Equity-Minded Faculty Workload Audit, for academic leaders, department chairs, faculty workload commissions, and individual faculty members who want to reform faculty workloads with equity in mind."

  • University of Arizona Preliminary Examination into Faculty Workload - September 2021- Read the report.

Workload Distribution FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on the Workload Distribution Project 

For data entry in August 2022, enter the faculty member’s plan for the upcoming year 2022-2023. Upcoming workload is usually agreed upon at the faculty member’s annual review in the Spring.

The workload categories are the same that they have been in previous years for annual review and promotion reviews. The Office of the Provost provides general guidance for each of the categories. This workload distribution is determined by the department head and the faculty member. Workload distribution and allocation of workload is not decided by business officers.

The data will be entered by business officers. Heads/Directors will provide the information on workload distribution for all faculty members in a unit.

You can delegate this task to anyone. The delegate will need to be provisioned with the Position Cross-Reference role. 

Although unit heads will not be required to login to UAccess Employee and approve, they will be accountable for the information that is entered. Department Heads should be involved in the process outside of the system by reviewing and approving data before providing it to the Business Officer(s). They will discuss workload distribution with faculty members at the annual review meeting. It is recommended that department heads review the data once it is entered by Business Officers in order to confirm accuracy.

No, faculty will not be able to update their own records directly. They will be able to view the information in their UAccess Employee – Personal Info tile. If the information is not accurate, the first step is for the faculty member to meet with the department head to discuss and to reach agreement.

If the department head and faculty member cannot reach agreement, then the faculty member may appeal to the Dean. The appeal process is to send an email to the Dean to indicate when they had discussed with the department head and to make a brief rationale for their request.  The appeal process needs to be completed within 30 days of the last discussion with the department head.

The data will be used by the faculty member and their department head for their annual review and promotion reviews. The Office of the Provost will examine the data on a regular basis for equity analysis of workloads.

On a future basis, data will need to be updated before the end of the fiscal year. It is only for this first year of data entry that we are asking department heads to upload data early this Fall semester and to finalize by early October with faculty review. 

Technically, faculty workload can be updated at any time. We will recommend updating and confirming workload once a year after annual review and before the end of the fiscal year.

Yes, it is relevant for all faculty tracks, including continuing status faculty, career-track faculty, and tenure-track faculty. It is not required for adjunct faculty or designated campus colleagues.

The information entered is effective dated. Any information entered can be reported for the academic year and calendar year and does not need to be updated every semester if the workload percentage does not change.

Yes, please ignore supplemental comp positions when entering workload percentages and focus on the primary appointment(s).

Please consider the entire 1.0 FTE position when calculating workload percentages. 

Example 1: A faculty member has more than one appointment, but only the primary appointment is visible. You should record their administrative, teaching, research, and service percentages (as applicable) to total to 100%, all on the one position.

Example 2: A faculty member has more than one position/department visible. Each position will be recorded to equal 100% at the indicated FTE (i.e., 100% of the 0.49 FTE). The other department will do the same on the position they own.

No, do not include Workload Distributions for Designated Campus Colleagues (DCCs). 

The Business Manager will add “SABB” or “1/2 SABB” in the text boxes for the appropriate year.