Teaching workload standards at Waterloo

Our Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee often receives questions from current and prospective faculty wondering if the course load they are teaching or being offered is fair compared to other members of their department. Unfortunately, standard course loads are not universally published by departments at Waterloo, so we surveyed our Council of Representatives to gather that information.   

Please note that this is not intended for comparisons between departments or Faculties. We recognize that course loads vary between disciplines for several reasons and we are not advocating for standardization across campus. (One notable exception to this is the matter of tracking and compensating overload teaching—this should be consistent for all our members; no one should be teaching for free.) Rather, we hope this data is useful within departments or similar disciplines. We believe that this information should be readily available to our members (and to prospective faculty) and documented in every department’s addendum to their Faculty’s performance review guidelines or another appropriate and accessible location. 

Notes about the responses 

  • Many responses have been edited for length and consistency.  

  • This data was collected in fall 2019 and as such represents a snapshot of norms at that time. We understand that faculty workloads might look very different right now, in the era of emergency remote teaching, but our aim is to capture long-term standards in normal times. 

  • Council members (or, in some cases, other members at our 2019 Fall General Meeting) filled out the survey based on their own knowledge of their departments. Understandably, not all representatives have the same level of knowledge about these practices and not all the information we asked for is readily available in every department, so there are gaps. We welcome new information to help us fill in these gaps! 

  • The list of units is based on our Council of Representatives. The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, Math Undergraduate Office and Math Business and Accounting Programs are together at the end of the list.

If you have anything to add or correct, please use this form to submit new information.