Credit hour equivalencies for operating papers

Our new contract’s Addendum B (Addendum X in preliminary drafts of the contract text) calls for each academic unit to include specific criteria for credit hour equivalencies for contact hours and/or indirect teaching in its operating paper. Now is the time for Faculty in each unit to initiate the necessary operating paper changes.

The Faculty Association has created a web page with resources for Faculty as they work on credit hour equivalencies for their operating papers: . This page will be updated from time to time with additional information, templates for operating paper language, and answers to questions that arise during this process.

In addition, to help Faculty with the process of establishing credit hour equivalencies, the Faculty Association has scheduled a one-hour Workload Seminar at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, February 15 in the Illinois Room in the Student Center. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a Faculty Association presentation in your own unit on Addendum B and credit hour equivalencies.

Here are a few guidelines for how to proceed:

The Faculty in each unit initiate the operating paper changes.
In Addendum B, as in the rest of our contract, “Faculty” with a capital “F” refers to the tenured and tenure track faculty in the Faculty Association bargaining unit. Chairs of departments, Directors of schools, Associate Deans, Deans, and higher administrators are not part of the bargaining unit. Addendum B specifies that the Faculty in each unit (department, school, Library Affairs) submit the proposed operating paper amendment. Set up a meeting in your unit or form an ad hoc Faculty committee to develop a proposal. The Faculty in your unit decide (vote) on the proposal to be submitted as an operating paper amendment.

Changes to operating papers under Addendum B are limited to credit hour equivalencies for contact hours and indirect teaching.
Do not combine other measures (even other workload amendments) with your credit hour equivalency amendment. The operating paper changes under Addendum B go through a process different from other amendments. The mandate of Addendum B is to provide operating papers with “complete and specific criteria for credit hour equivalencies for contact hours and/or for indirect teaching assignments”. These are the only issues that must be considered at this time.

Changes go through the approval process according to operating paper amendment procedures AND Addendum B.
Follow the amendment procedure in your operating paper, provided it is consistent with the Faculty contract. If your operating paper and the contract contradict each other, the contract overrides the operating paper. For example, if your unit operating paper requires that amendments be first proposed and voted on by Faculty (i.e., faculty in the bargaining unit represented by the Faculty Association), then this procedure satisfies the requirement in Addendum B that the proposed amendment be submitted by the Faculty. Otherwise, an initial step is required for the Faculty to vote on the proposal before proceeding with the amendment process.

Additional guidelines for developing the credit hour equivalency criteria:

Identify contact hour or indirect teaching duties for which to define credit hour equivalencies.
Are there teaching assignments in your unit where contact hours exceed credit hours? What indirect teaching duties are performed in your unit? See Section 8.01.b.1 of the new contract ( ) for definitions and examples of direct and indirect teaching.

Consult credit hour equivalency policies and contract provisions at peer institutions when developing your proposed amendment.
Credit hour equivalencies in “collective bargaining contracts or adopted policies for Carnegie Extensive Research Universities, including but not limited to the University’s IBHE 1985 Peer List” should be used as “primary points of reference” in developing unit criteria. These reference points will also be used if negotiations over operating paper amendments become necessary. Links to several contracts and policies are available on the FA workload page (

Express equivalencies in terms of credit hours in the faculty member’s teaching assignment.
Faculty workload assignments are based on a workload equivalent of twenty-four (24) credit hours per academic year. That is, a teaching assignment of twenty-four credit hours in a year (twelve hours in a semester) represents an assignment which is totally teaching (no research or service). Credit hour equivalencies for contact hours and indirect teaching will determine how much these activities are to count in the teaching part of Faculty members’ workload assignments, as measured in credit hours.

Bring your questions to the Workload Seminar on February 15, or email them to me at

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