PSLA Workload Policy


Title PSLA Workload Policy
Policy Owner Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA)
Applies to All full-time faculty members in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture
Unit Applicability College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources
Effective Date January 1, 2023
For More Information Contact Department Head
Contact Information Sydney Everhart,
Official Website/ Venue Link



This policy provides guidance for PSLA faculty workload expectations, evaluation procedures/forms, adjustments, enforcement, and references of related policies and guidelines.


Workload for tenure track and non-tenure track faculty members varies widely within the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA). As described in the CAHNR Policy Memo PM16-1 on Faculty Workload, “faculty members have an obligation to contribute in a substantive way to the tri-fold mission of the university through effective teaching, research and service to the community”.  In CAHNR, this may also include contributions to Cooperative Extension, which is distinct and separate from service.

All faculty positions within PSLA have an associated appointment indicating areas of effort into teaching, research, and/or extension, which total 100%. The appointment is typically described in the offer letter (or subsequent written updates) and, when unknown, can be provided by the department head. Within CAHNR, all faculty workloads include service (see PM16-1), such that service contributes to 10% of workload and the remaining 90% of workload is allocated to the appointment in research, teaching, and/or extension. Therefore, up to four areas are involved in workload evaluation: teaching, research, extension, and service.  Faculty workload evaluation will take into consideration each area of assigned duties commensurate with given expectation. Minimum expectations for each category are described below.

Teaching Expectations. All faculty in the department are expected to contribute to the University mission. However, the proportion of assigned time devoted to teaching will differ based on the assigned split. Teaching includes course instruction, independent study students, undergraduate and graduate student advising, interns supervised, and graduate committee memberships. The minimum expectation in teaching is described below:

A normative teaching load for a faculty member with a 50% teaching appointment is considered 9-credit hours, which equates to approximately three courses taught per academic year.  All teaching faculty with a 25% teaching load or higher are expected to contribute to the undergraduate student development through formal advising, and/or support student activities such as club advising, living community activities, or other related activities. Courses such as independent study and field internship courses, undergraduate research or thesis writing courses, which feature individualized instruction, do not count against the normative teaching load. Faculty on a 9-month appointment may choose to instruct winter intersession and summer session courses, and as such they also do not count against the normative load. Individualized instruction courses are considered in the merit and PTR / PR process and are discussed in the respective PSLA policies.

Research and Creative Activity Expectations. Faculty with assigned time for research/creative activity are expected to maintain an active program of productivity and are expected to secure external funds as appropriate to the disciplinary field. Faculty members are expected to engage in activities that lead to scholarship based on the expectations defined in the original letter of appointment or revised assignment, and in line with their research and creative interests.  Productivity measures include grant submissions, awards and expenditures, peer-reviewed publications, managing multi-disciplinary projects, mentoring postdoctoral associates, presentations at professional meetings, and other appropriate measures.  The minimum expectation in research and creative activity is described below:

Minimum productivity expectations for a 50% research appointment are: author one peer-reviewed publication, deliver one presentation at a professional meeting, and submit one proposal or document expenditures on a funded project. Co-authorship, co-presenter, and co-principal investigator are counted towards minimum expectations.

Extension Expectations.  Several tenure track and non-tenure track faculty in PSLA have an extension appointment up to 100%. Extension activities are outward facing, and not to be confused with internal institutional service. The minimum expectation in extension activity is described below:

Minimum expectations for a 50% extension appointment are: support one primary program that actively engages constituents multiple times per year (including at least 2 presentations per year), with documented evidence of program impacts, author one peer-reviewed publication every-other-year related to primary program (tenure track appointments only), author one non-technical outreach publication per year supporting educational needs of constituents (both tenure track and non-tenure track), and submit one proposal or report expenditures on a funded grant (competitive, industry, or donor-supported) as PI or collaborating scientist per year, in support of extension mission (for tenure track appointments).

The expectation should be based on specific program development needs as defined by the department head in consultation with the faculty member, and extension leadership. Generally, faculty members with greater than 10% extension appointment should actively pursue extension activities and programming, whereas faculty members with 10% or lower extension appointment may passively engage in extension activities in reaction to public inquiry or in supporting roles in existing programs. Assessment of extension programming and faculty is addressed in a separate CAHNR Policy Memo (PM14-01).

Service Expectations. All faculty participate in an active program of service. Service is defined as any activity that contributes to the growth, recognition, or operational efficiency of the department or its programs that serves to benefit the department as a whole. It can also include similar activity at the college- and the university-levels, or within professional organizations.  The minimum expectation in service activity is described below:

Minimum expectation for 10% service is to attend faculty meetings, retreats, serve on at least one active department committee, and contribute to create a culture of collegiality and environment that fosters personal/professional growth. Service outside the department may also contribute to meet this minimum expectation but should not replace the department-level service. Invitations for faculty to participate in significant service roles may arise within UConn or through professional organizations, such as journal editorship, serving as chair or officer of a regional or national organization, serving as a grant panel manager, or chairing of a university or college committee with large time commitments. Such obligations should be discussed in advance with the department head to ensure existing expectations are able to continue to be met.  See additional references below, as related.


Proportions of a faculty position workload in teaching, research, extension, and/or service are to be established at the time of hire and evaluated on an annual basis. PSLA has established a workload calculator that will be linked here and uses metrics established based on the minimum criteria outlined within this policy. It is the responsibility of each faculty member to populate the calculator with their own metrics on an annual basis and send results to the department head as part of the annual performance review.  Since performance and assignments may change from year-to-year, evaluation of workload output will be based on three-year sliding window to determine whether each faculty member has met the minimum expectations commensurate with their position.


Any change to a faculty member’s workload, particularly as it differs from that described in the offer letter, is to be negotiated between the faculty member and the PDLA and/or department head, as appropriate. All adjustments to the faculty workload assignment, with accompanying justification must be provided in writing and require approval. Short-term and time-limited adjustments to workload assignments require departmental and college approval, whereas longer-term (e.g., three or more years) adjustments to workload assignments additionally require provost approval. For long-term workload adjustments, evaluation of performance in the new appointment will be made no later than three years post-adjustment and may be reverted without negotiation to the original appointment if performance does not more closely align with the revised expectation. Care should be taken to ensure that any workload adjustment do not jeopardize the case for tenure or promotion. A change in workload may be initiated by the faculty member, the Program Director of Landscape Architecture (PDLA), or department head. Historical records of faculty workload assignments will be maintained as part of departmental archival information and may be reviewed by upper administration.

  • Initiated by a Faculty Member. A faculty member may request to be assigned duties that emphasize research, teaching, extension, or service over other areas of work over an agreed time-limited period. In conjunction with the Department Head, and LA Director when applicable, the faculty member will develop an action plan to ensure that the proposed activities complement the Department’s objectives, standards, and needs. The use of external funds to offset the cost of any such adjustment is encouraged. For procedures in course buy-out/release, PSLA defers to the CAHNR Salary Savings and Course Buyout Policy.
  • Initiated by the Program Director of Landscape Architecture (PDLA). As the administrator for the nationally accredited landscape architecture program, the PDLA may request revisions to faculty appointments to ensure that accreditation requirements are met. In these cases, the PDLA will seek pre-approval from the department and then negotiate the workload redistribution with the faculty member. The department head will be responsible for retaining records and will consult with the PDLA during the first three years of faculty performance evaluations to ensure the revised workload responsibilities are met.
  • Initiated by the Department Head. In accordance with the UConn Policy on Faculty Professional Responsibilities, the department head is “charged with setting an appropriate distribution of responsibilities for individual faculty that reflects that member’s particular strengths, the nature of his/her obligation to the University, and the needs of the academic unit.” Further, it denotes that “as changes occur in an individual faculty member’s research productivity, teaching and the level of self-motivated, independent interactions with graduate and/or undergraduate students, or the level of service, adjustments in the other areas of responsibility will occur.  Such adjustments in the responsibilities for a faculty member may be appropriate to maintain fairness with respect to the distribution of responsibilities across the members of a department.” To that end, the PSLA department head will annually make an evaluation of each faculty members’ assigned workload and actual productivity as described above in the evaluation procedure, and sustained deviations from the assigned workload will be grounds for a workload adjustment to both accurately reflect the strengths of the faculty member, meet the needs of the department, and reflect fairness towards all faculty members within PSLA.


Violations of this policy may result appropriate disciplinary measures in accordance with University Bylaws, General Rules of Conduct for University Employees, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and the University of Connecticut Student Code.


Related information can be found in the additional department, college, and university policies:

PSLA Policies

  • PSLA Merit Criteria
  • PSLA Performance Review
  • PSLA Promotion, Tenure and Reappointment (“PTR”) / Promotion and Reappointment (“PR”)

CAHNR Policies

  • CAHNR PM16-1 Faculty Workload
  • CAHNR PM14-1 Assessing Extension Programming and Faculty
  • CAHNR PM09-3 Faculty Merit Criteria
  • CAHNR Salary Savings and Course Buyout Policy

UConn Policies / Guidelines  and

  • UConn Policy on Consulting for Faculty and Members of the Faculty Bargaining Unit
  • UConn Policy on Faculty Compensation
  • UConn Policy on Extra Compensation for Full-time Faculty in AAUP
  • UConn Policy on Faculty Professional Responsibilities
  • UConn Guideline on Secondary Appointments
  • UConn Policy on Credit Hour


Created on: 11/23/2022 and Approved by majority faculty vote on 12/31/2022