I am new to the whole academic job search thing and have some upcoming campus interviews. I am bit embarrassed by this, but I have seen a lot of people using fractions (2/2, 2/3, 3/3, etc.) when talking about teaching load and I am not sure what this means exactly. I am guessing it is perhaps number of courses out of number of quarters? Could someone please explain? Thanks!
Date: 24 Nov 2010 15:14
Number of posts: 7
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*correction, number of quarters OR SEMESTERS (depending on what type of system the univesrity is on)
Many schools work on a two-semester system ("fall" and "spring" semesters), ignoring the summer, so the numbers refer to the number of courses in each semester; they should not be interpreted as fractions. A 2/2 load means 2 courses in the fall semester and 2 courses in the spring semester. You should anticipate something close to a 2/2 load at research-oriented universities and higher loads (3/3 or 4/4) at teaching-oriented universities, but it varies a lot from place to place. A 2/3 load would mean 2 courses in the first semester and 3 courses in the second semester; sometimes schools give you a reduced teaching load in your first semester to make things easier when starting out. I do not know the corresponding numbers for schools on a quarter system (or some other system).
wow. is 2/2 really typical for a R1 university? i was expecting less.
Yep, 2/2 is the norm. Although between course buyouts (from grant funding) and releases for service activities (e.g., supervision of clinical work, or supervision of undergraduate research projects, etc) most faculty will not actually have that many classroom courses in a year.
At the top, top places you see a 1-2 load. But I think 2-2 is most common.
At R1 schools you can often get "buy-outs" of courses if you have certain things going on…. for instance, big grants, work on some committees, etc. Talk with the schools because 2/2 isn't always 2/2 and I have known many people to work 0/1 at 2/2 schools.