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ERIC Number: ED555619
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Faculty Teaching Loads in the UNC System
Schalin, Jay
John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy
This paper explores the teaching loads of faculty in the University of North Carolina (UNC) system. Salaries for faculty members are the single largest cost of higher education in the UNC system, accounting for approximately half of expenditures. The system's funding formula for its 16 college campuses is largely dependent upon the number of instructors needed. The basic goal of this paper is to determine how many courses faculty in the UNC system actually teach on average and to compare that to the official averages claimed by the university system. The official averages seem higher than intuition and familiarity with UNC schools suggest. The author also explores the question of whether faculty workloads have changed over time. Primarily registration data was taken directly from UNC website enrollment systems, which shows such information as the courses offered, their instructors, their times and locations (if they were formally scheduled), and the number enrolled. Data was also received from Appalachian State University that had been "groomed" from the "raw" registration data to account for specific considerations. The report provides three views or "snapshots" of teaching load dynamics, illustrated in tables. The first is a comparison of teaching loads between the same sample of departments and schools from the Spring semester of 2011 and the Spring semester in 2013. The second view is an analysis of the teaching loads for two departments at UNC-Chapel Hill. The third snapshot describes an unsuccessful attempt to rectify data provided by Appalachian State University's Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning department with data taken from the school's enrollment information online. investigation into faculty workloads reveals some interesting observations. In conclusion, it appears as if the teaching loads of tenure-track professors are inflated considerably--perhaps as much as one entire course per semester. Also, there was no significant change in faculty teaching loads from the time before the large budget cut of 2011 and after. Furthermore, it does not appear that there was a wholesale flight in the system to use more adjuncts for teaching to hold down costs. These trends suggest that there was much in the UNC budget that could be cut without affecting faculty workloads.
John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. 353 East Six Forks Road Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27609. Tel: 919-828-1400; Fax: 919-828-7455; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: Delaware; North Carolina