Cleveland State University

the Center for Teaching Excellence

Faculty Handbook

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Faculty Rights and Responsibilities(1)


"The basic functions of the University are the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, the development of critical intelligence in the young, and the education of citizens and professional workers for the society of which the University is a part." (Bylaws 8.1.14(A)).

"Membership in the academic community imposes on faculty, administrators, trustees, and students an obligation to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge their right to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and free expression on and off the campus . To this end, faculty shall devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They shall accept the obligations to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They shall practice intellectual honesty and never allow subsidiary interests they may follow to hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry." (Agreement 11.2(A)).


In general, teaching, research, and the provision of service are "together regarded as normal and necessary in fulfilling an academic appointment. Such an appointment implies that faculty members will do their fair share in student advising and serve on departmental, college, and University committees in assisting in the day-to-day operations of the academic enterprise." (Agreement 13.1). Certain categories of faculty (such as clinical faculty and lecturers) are not expected to engage in research as part of their normal duties.


Teaching Load

A regular tenure-track faculty member's total workload is 24 hours per academic year, divided among teaching workload hours, research workload hours, and workload hours for documented service or administrative duties. The division of workload hours shall be congruent with a faculty member's record of performance. Faculty who demonstrate significant participation in productive and assessable scholarship/research/creative activity will be assigned fewer than 24 teaching workload hours per academic year (typically ranging between 6 and 16 teaching workload hours per academic year). Service contributions constitute an expected component of all faculty members' workloads. Clinical faculty members may be assigned up to 16 credit hours per term; a Dean may reduce this load by up to five credit hours per semester in light of a clinical faculty member's non-classroom contributions. (Agreement 12.4.B.1) Lecturers may be assigned a teaching load of up to 16 credit hours per term.

When the University transitioned from a three-quarter (Summer 1998) to two-semester academic calendar (Fall 1999), departments determined which classes would be three- or four-credit courses. Across departments there is some disparity in some offering all three-credit courses, others four-credit courses, and still others with both three-and four-credit courses. Departments may determine with College approval that a faculty member who teaches five three-credit courses but is expected to teach sixteen (16) credit hours during the academic year be awarded one additional credit because of the increased course obligations. Discussions concerning a faculty member's workload will occur with that faculty member's chairperson/director on or before December 1st for the forthcoming academic year (Agreement 13.1(A-D; H)); see also the section elsewhere in this document on FAARs and faculty development plans).

The exact number of courses (credit hours) taught per term is balanced with other professional faculty activities. These other activities may include extended professional service to the University, and/or the public, as well as scholarly/creative pursuits. These duties may include an assessment of the number, size, preparation for, and student work product evaluation of courses; independent study, tutorial, thesis, and graduate student supervision; laboratory supervision; work with performing groups, professional organizations, and other field work; intern and placement supervision to outside organizations; professional associations with community agencies; amount of departmental, college, University, and public service; academic advising; and other important departmental and University activities (Agreement 13.1(E.1-9)).

If faculty members secure outside grant funding above a certain dollar amount, they may be granted a number of course release credit hours for that academic term. Contact your Dean's Office for further specific information.

Summer Teaching

Faculty members are not required, but may volunteer, to teach summer courses. If a faculty member wants to teach summer courses, then reliance is on an equitable departmental/school system of allocating these assignments, with preference given to bargaining unit members over non-bargaining unit members. No faculty member may teach more than eight (8) credit hours of coursework at one time during a summer session, not including independent, thesis, or dissertation studies, with a maximum twelve (12) credit hour teaching load. These summer teaching assignments are determined by department/school and program needs (Agreement 14.1(A-E)). The compensation rate for teaching summer courses is different from the rate used during the regular academic year, and is higher for the first six credit hours of teaching in a given summer than for hours beyond that point (up to the maximum of twelve credit hours). The current rate may be found in Section 14.3 of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement (

Off-Campus Teaching

Some colleges and programs offer substantial numbers of off-campus courses, and that in such cases the best source of information about relevant policies will be the Dean's office of the college in question. Under some circumstances, letters of hire or employment contracts may specify off-campus teaching duties and responsibilities.

Teaching Responsibilities


Course syllabi should be distributed to all students at, or before, the first class period. Course content should be consistent with the departmental/school course descriptions and expectations found in the undergraduate or the graduate catalogs ( Note that the page opens to the undergraduate catalog, the graduate catalog can be opened through the dropdown menu found in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

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The syllabi are recommended to follow the "Template for CSU Syllabi" (graduate school syllabi should omit the "general education statement") on the following page:


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Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
Center for Teaching Excellence
Main Classroom Building Room 212
2121 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Main Classroom Building
Room MC 212
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