I was hoping folks could chime in and help me get a sense of what the typical teaching loads are at both R1 institutions, and high quality SLACs. I had initially planned on applying only to R1 institutions, but I'm pretty surprised to see that teaching loads at some good SLACs are 2/3 or even 2/2 with a research expectation. Now I'm thinking I could really apply to both types of positions and feel confident that I would be able to engage in high quality research and work with active, engaged students (undergrad or grad). Are all R1s usually 2/2 or 2/1 and what about high quality SLACs? Is 2/3 typical?
Date: 27 Sep 2010 19:14
Number of posts: 11
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I'm at a regionally ranked SLAC and we have 3/3 loads. But the nationally ranked SLACS are moving toward 2/3. I went to one of those as an undergrad and they had excellent resources, so it can be a good placement, depending on your interests. In addition to finding out the actual load of any given job, it's also important to find out the number of preps (individual courses you have to prepare for in a given semester). My 3/3 load at a SLAC with 2 preps per semester isn't substantially different than the 2/2 load with 2 preps per semester at the R1 school down the road.
I am currently at what would probably be considered an R2 institution. We have PhD programs but the research productivity doesn't mean R1 institutions. My current load is a 2-2 load. For a variety of reasons I am on the market this year and am looking at nationally ranked SALCs. After inquiring in some positions many have 2-2 loads or 2-2+lab. I went to a nationally ranked SALC for my own undergrad and officially the load was 2-3, but advising senior research projects counted towards the teaching load. I have also found that very good undergraduates involved with research are often better than working with not as great graduate students.
As others said, in my opinion it's more about the preps, whether less intensive courses (e.g., honors or advising) count and whether the University will honor grant buy-outs, 9-month contracts, etc. A red flag for me is a SLAC (or R1 or R2 for that matter) who claims a commitment to research while not honoring buy-outs, increasing teaching loads as time in residence increases, and so on… in other words, wanting the research but not wanting to give any time toward it.
Public 4-year university: 3/3. Reduced to 2/2 due to "buy-outs"; 1 or 2 preps per year.
I would also say that although a R1 teaching load may be specified as 2/2, often you can "buy out" of teaching courses by having R01 grants, submitting grants, serving the department in specific ways. So, a 2/2 teaching load may end up being 1 course in Fall and 1 in Spring, if you figure out the right combination of other activities.
At my R2 load is 2/2 but mentoring Ph.D. students counts as 1, so I teach 2/1 (teaching same 3 classes every year unless I request a change).
Are these 4 unit classes or 3 unit classes? A 2/3 four unit load works out to a 3/4 three unit load. I would also imagine that having T.As significantly cuts down on the workload.
All of this is a bit depressing to me. I'm starting at a regionally ranked private university where teaching load is 3:3. In my case all MA classes. This is not a highly selective SLAC. I would have liked to get into R1, R2s or selective SLAC but no offers (I did geographically limited search due to husband) so went for this one given tight job market and really, really want to be grateful for what I have!! Trouble is I do want to continue doing research and be productive. Can people on this list provide some encouragement, what I'm reading so far makes it sound like I'm being completely unrealistic to think I might be productive with a 3:3 teaching load!
I have a 3/3 load at a regional SLAC. We have research expectations, too. Part of the productivity depends on how many preps you have (rather than the actual load). We normally have a 2/2 prep load, with 3/3 load. So each semester people teach two sections of one class and one section of another class. We also teach many of the same courses across time. This means that as time goes by, the teaching prep gets easier. Everyone in my department is research active, and we average one publication a year. Granted, some of those are co-authored, many are not in the top journals in the field. But the point is that we do good research at a slower pace. We even have several people who have secured external grants. Please don't lose hope—you can be research active on a 3/3 load!