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Procedure for Teaching Assignments and Course Scheduling

(Adopted on April 8, 2008 following approval by faculty vote)

The faculty in Electrical Engineering is committed to excellence in teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The faculty recognizes that teaching extends beyond classroom instruction to include directed study and research supervision. Involving students in research is an essential part of the educational process.

In this spirit, the faculty in Electrical Engineering adopts the following procedure in relation to teaching assignments and course scheduling in the department. Exceptions to these rules require Department Chairman's approval. Final decisions on teaching assignments and course scheduling are the Chair's responsibility.

1. Teaching Load
Whenever applicable, the teaching load requirement for a faculty member is reduced proportionally when a faculty member is on sabbatical, leave of absence, or approved course release. The teaching load of a faculty member is also reduced in proportion to the percentage of his/her appointment in the department. The following are the teaching load requirements:

  • Regular courses. Every full-time faculty member is expected to teach 12 units of regular (catalog) courses per academic year. For example, teaching three 4-unit courses or two 4-unit and two 2-unit courses satisfies this load. At least one course must be an undergraduate course and one course must be a graduate course. The regular 4-unit courses taught by the faculty in Electrical Engineering have 4 hours of lectures per week for ten weeks resulting in 40 lecture hours per course. The teaching of regular courses therefore amounts to 120 regular lecture-hours per year.
  • Research or project courses. In addition to the 12-unit teaching load of regular courses, each faculty member is expected to teach during the same academic year 6 units of any combination of courses from the following list: EE199 (Directed Research in EE, 2 units), EE296 (Research Topics in EE, 2 units), or EE299 (M.S. Project, 4 units) with a minimum enrollment of 4 students in EE296. These 6-units of research or project courses add at least another 40 hours per year.
  • Directed individual study courses. All EE500-level courses (for M.S. and Ph.D. preparation) and other seminar courses do not count as part of the required teaching load. Likewise, organizing and supervising the course EE297: Seminar Series in Electrical Engineering is not a part of the teaching load; it counts as administrative assignment.

The Chair may assign more courses to faculty members with reduced research activity and/or PhD student supervision during a particular academic year, or who are not meeting their expected teaching load as measured by the department.

2. Teaching of Undergraduate and Graduate Courses
The faculty in Electrical Engineering is committed to undergraduate teaching. At least one of the regular courses taught by each faculty member per year should be an undergraduate course. In addition, the regular faculty members are expected to teach all core (i.e., required) and all design undergraduate courses. Likewise, graduate courses are expected to be taught by faculty members. Teaching of graduate courses by outside instructors requires justification and Chair's approval.

3. Teaching Assignments and Course Scheduling
The Electrical Engineering Department offers undergraduate and graduate courses across three areas: Circuits and Embedded Systems, Physical and Wave Electronics, and Signals and Systems. In order to facilitate scheduling and ensure sufficient student-faculty interaction, the faculty recommends that:

  • Courses taught by every faculty member should be spread evenly over the three quarters, i.e., courses should be offered one course each quarter.
  • In some exceptional cases, the department may approve some faculty member to offer two courses in a single quarter. The faculty member seeking such an arrangement needs to submit a memo to the Chair's Office justifying the request. Even if the request is approved, the faculty member is still expected to serve on Ph.D. committees, Ph.D. examinations, faculty committees, and attend faculty meetings during the quarter that he or she is not offering a course.
  • Courses in the same Area should not have scheduling conflicts.
  • Courses should not be scheduled during faculty meetings and seminar series events.

The teaching assignment procedure starts during early winter quarter. The Area Directors hold consultations with their respective faculty members and formulate an initial teaching assignment for their areas. The Area Directors also consult among themselves before forwarding their drafts to the Chair's Office. A meeting is subsequently held between the Area Directors, the Department Chairman, and the Vice-Chairs of Graduate and Undergraduate Affairs to finalize the teaching assignments.

All requests for teaching release, leaves of absence, and sabbaticals should be finalized by mid spring quarter of each year. Except in emergency situations, no approvals can be granted after the deadline and especially after the announcement of the final course assignments by the Chair's office.

4. Teaching Release
Teaching release beyond two courses per year should not occur for more than one year. Moreover, every faculty member in the department is expected to teach at least one course per year. Course release or reduced teaching load may be granted in the following situations:

  • As part of the start-up package for new faculty members, usually one 4-unit regular course release for one year.
  • While serving as Department Chair. The teaching load is reduced by two 4-unit regular courses per year.
  • While serving as Department Vice-Chair. The teaching load may be reduced by one 4-unit regular course per year as determined by the Department Chair.
  • While engaged in a special activity. The teaching load may be reduced by one 4-unit regular course per year as approved by the Department Chair.
  • Care-giving to a newborn according to APM 760-28; the teaching load is reduced by one 4-unit regular course in the year that the baby is born.
  • While serving as Associate Dean. The teaching load is reduced as determined by the Dean.
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