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Academic and Professional Staff 2009 Contact

60. Academic Workloads

60.1 The University is committed wherever possible to:

  • managing the workload of academic staff members to ensure teaching and administrative responsibilities are contained and adequate time is allowed for research and scholarship;
  • a fair level and equitable distribution of workload for academic staff;
  • a transparent process of workload allocation which has the broad support of academic staff members;
  • providing an opportunity beyond the performance management process for academic members to be consulted about workload allocation; and
  • ensuring the workload of an academic staff member is reasonably manageable and consistent with the continued health and safety of the staff member.

60.2 The management and regulation of academic workloads will be based on the processes set out below.

Academic Work

60.3 Academic work at the University embraces research, teaching, leadership, and professional and community service. All academic staff members at the University should have adequate and appropriate opportunities to perform in all these areas.

60.4 Academic workload is a combination of self-directed and assigned tasks. The assigned proportion of an academic staff member's work will include, for example, teaching and preparation for teaching, assessment, supervision and the necessary administrative work associated with teaching and research in a collegial environment.

60.5 The remainder of an academic staff member's working time is self-directed, consistent with the University's strategic plans and announced priorities. It is time in which staff members conduct research or other scholarly activity as appropriate to their appointment to the University.

60.6 The University recognises 1645 hours per annum as the maximum annual allocated hours. The starting point for discussions about the allocation of work for teaching and research academic staff is:

  • Teaching 40%
  • Research and Scholarship 40%
  • Other activities 20%

These percentages may be varied in an individual staff member's engagement profile.

Workload Models

60.7 Allocation of workloads will continue to be dealt with through Faculty Workload Models, including the consultative processes by which these Models have been developed and under which they operate, and consistent with clause 60.6 above.

60.8 Teaching may include

  • preparation of teaching materials for face to face, online and other models of delivery;
  • unit and course development, including online, off-campus and off-shore learning materials;
  • delivery of lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes and clinical education;
  • delivery of online learning;
  • delivery of off-campus, off-shore and distance education;
  • co-ordination of units and courses;
  • supervision of teaching staff, including casual professional and Teaching Associate staff;
  • supervision of honours year and post-graduate students;
  • supervision of undergraduate students undertaking research projects or fieldwork;
  • preparing and marking of student assessment; and
  • student consultation.

Other activities may include:

  • committee participation;
  • organising and/or attending meetings, forums, seminars etc;
  • consultancy;
  • leadership;
  • management and administration; and
  • internal and external professional work.

Academic Workload Models

60.9 Each academic unit will develop and maintain (or review, as appropriate) a Workload Model, through a collegial process, and will provide for the equitable and transparent allocation of workload with respect to teaching and other activities with the academic unit.

60.10 The Workload Model will take into account those activities specified in clause 60.8 as well as including, where relevant, the following factors:

  • Modes of delivery;
  • The level of units in which the academic staff member teaches;
  • The number of units in which the academic staff member teaches;
  • The level and experience of the academic staff member;
  • The number of students taught by the academic staff member and the student profile;
  • Methods of assessment and marking;
  • The spread of teaching across day and evening programs and across the year, including summer teaching;
  • Staff development requirements, including higher degree study and the Graduate Certificate of Academic Practice (GCAP);
  • Intercampus teaching and travel; and
  • Off-shore teaching and travel.

60.11 When further amendments and variations to teaching allocations through the workload model are necessary, the University will consult staff affected by any amendments or variations. From the beginning of 2006, wherever possible, allocations of responsibility for course units will be determined and the affected staff advised at least three weeks in advance of the commencement of the teaching period.

Fractional Academic Staff

60.12 A fractional (part-time) academic staff member will normally undertake as full a range of duties as a full-time academic on a pro-rata basis, unless there is an agreement to the contrary reflected in the staff member's engagement profile from year to year.

Unreasonable Workloads

60.13 In determining what are unreasonable hours of work the University will have regard to the following factors:

  • The total number of teaching and/or required hours worked on a particular day;
  • The number of teaching and/or required hours worked without a break;
  • Any requirement to undertake teaching on University holidays, or before 8.00 am or after 9.00 pm;
  • Requirements to undertake teaching at overseas campuses;
  • Requirements to travel between campuses to undertake teaching;
  • The time off between finishing and starting times of teaching sessions;
  • The number of days of the week during which teaching and/or required duties are scheduled;
  • Health and safety issues;
  • The incidence of night work/after dark work;
  • The academic staff member's general workload; and
  • The academic staff member's family needs and responsibilities.

60.14 Concerns arising from the allocation of workloads or unreasonable hours of work will be dealt with, in the first instance, by consultation and discussion with the academic staff member's supervisor. Where it is not possible to reach agreement by this means the academic staff member may appeal to a Faculty Board of Review. The Board of Review will consist of no more than three persons and will normally be chaired by the Dean of the Faculty (or his/her nominee) and will include two other staff members appointed by the Faculty Board, provided that one will be at the standing of Senior Lecturer or below. Where the appeal is against the decision of the Dean, the Board of Review will be chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or his/her nominee. The staff member may, at his/her request, be accompanied by a Representative. Guidelines governing the operation of the Faculty Boards of Review will be developed with regard to the following matters:

  • Timelines for establishment of Boards and hearing and resolution of complaints;
  • Protocols for the involvement of Deans, Heads of Departments and the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor as members of Boards;
  • Remedies that may be recommended by Boards where a finding is made that a workload allocation was unreasonable.

60.15 Where a staff member is dissatisfied with the recommendation(s) of a Board of Review, he or she may have recourse to the Dispute Resolution Procedure at clause 12.