Standard Course Load for Full-Time Tenure Stream Faculty

After a lengthy analytical review of W&L faculty course teaching loads across all academic divisions, including a comparison of teaching loads with those of elite peer institutions, W&L is revising its faculty course teaching load policy. The revised policy will be implemented beginning in AY 2024-25. Non-tenure stream faculty course teaching loads will continue to be determined by appointment letter.

Undergraduate Faculty

Counting Policy

  • The standard faculty load will be set at 5 courses of 3 or more credits per year.
  • Enrollment minimums are set at 5 for fall/winter, 8 for spring, and at least 16 for any co-taught class. Deans may set co-taught courses during fall/winter terms at a higher minimum capacity.
  • Labs in science and engineering departments that are pedagogically necessary and taught, set up, taken down, and graded by a single instructor count as 1 course in load. (Criteria fulfillment to be verified by the Dean.)
  • Labs that are taught with the assistance of a second instructor count as 0.5 in load.
  • All lecture courses, regardless of how much larger than the minimum of 5, count as one load.
  • A course with enrollment below the established minimum by the end of day two in fall/winter term will not count toward load. Decisions about spring cancellations will be made prior to the start of spring term.
  • A one-term sabbatical counts as a 2-course term.
  • Generally, when total enrollment of two or more sections of a single course approaches the normal course cap, sections will be combined into fewer sections.

Capacity Policy

  • 100- and 200- level courses must have a minimum capacity of:
    • 25 in the College.
    • 25 (for 100-level) and 22 (for required 200-level)/19 (for elective 200-level) respectively in the Williams School.
    • Enrollment maximums should generally not exceed 29.
  • Writing-intensive first-year seminars will have a maximum capacity of 15.
  • 300-level seminar courses must have a minimum capacity of:
    • 8 in the College
    • 16-19 in the Williams School
  • Capacity of some courses, like labs and studio art, will be governed by the safety constraints of their spaces.

Course Release Policy

  • Department Head: 1-course release per year for departments with 9 or fewer full-time faculty; 2-course release for departments with 10 or more full-time faculty.
  • Program Head: 1-course release per year for interdisciplinary programs with 20 or more third and fourth year declared majors/minors over a rolling 3-year average.
  • New Tenure Stream Faculty in first year of teaching: typically, 1-course release.
  • Faculty with permanent course load below 5 or a contractually negotiated course release: retain current course release.

Law Faculty

Counting Policy

  • Standard faculty load for tenure stream doctrinal faculty will be 3 courses of 3 or more credits per year.
  • At least 2 of the 3 courses taught each year should qualify as a 1L required course, an upper-level required course, a course regularly tested on the bar examination, and/or a course regularly attracting an enrollment of at least 20 students (a "Core Law Course").
  • A one-term sabbatical counts as a one-course term.