Section 05: Teaching Assignments and Responsibilities

(5.1) Faculty Workloads

The responsibility for assigning faculty workloads rests with the dean, and typically will be delegated to the division chair. Workload assignments must be fair, equitable and transparent; assignments should also be consistent with the division, college and institutional mission. The policies and procedures listed below align with UNT’s policies on Academic Workload (06.027) , Full-time Faculty and Academic Administrator Annual Review, and Academic Administrator Reappointment (06.007) and Reappointment, Tenure, Promotion and Reduced Appointment (06.004) .

Process for Assigning Workload

While Policy 06.027 states that workloads are assigned annually, the division chair will nevertheless consult with faculty members prior to the start of each long semester to determine if workload adjustments need to be made and to ensure that the workload balance maximizes the goals of the college, division, and faculty member. For faculty, the areas of professional responsibility include teaching, research/creative activity, and service. Administrative roles held by faculty members should be reflected in the workload percentages.

Generally, it is expected that a tenure-system faculty member will carry a balanced workload in the areas of teaching, research/creative activity, and service. Lecturer workloads do not include research/creative activity and therefore will typically be heavily weighted in teaching with less weight in the area of service. Percentage workload weights must be assigned to allow all faculty to fulfill their roles through a workload assignment that best reflects their efforts and contributions each semester. A faculty member’s total time and effort must always reflect a 100% workload commensurate with full-time employment.

In rare cases, semester workload assignments may account for uncompensated teaching in the Winter Session or Summer Session. However, all instructional needs in the long semesters must be met before considering either session as part of a faculty member’s workload.

Workload Assignments

Workload percentages for Teaching, Research/Creative Activity and Service vary according to rank (tenure-system/lecturer) and are determined by the Division Chair in consultation with each faculty member. Examples of possible workload balances are provided in Table 1 (see below).

Workload percentages for each area of professional responsibility must first acknowledge the instructional needs of the College before determining percentages for scholarly/creative activity and service. To the greatest extent possible, workload percentages will be determined in a way the best reflects the faculty member’s academic goals and the mission of the College of Music.

  • Instructional settings in the College of Music are highly varied, ranging from large classroom lecture settings to private applied studio settings. Table 2 provides guidelines used by the College of Music to determine the weighting of effort for instructional assignments and determining the appropriate workload percentage for teaching. Collaborative teaching within the College of Music or with colleagues outside the College of Music are valued and should be considered when determining teaching percentages. The university defines minimum enrollments as 12 (undergraduate) and 8 (graduate) during the fall and spring semesters. The division chair should consult with faculty teaching classes with enrollments below the minimum to determine if the workload percentages should be adjusted.
  • Because there is extraordinary variance in the nature of scholarly/creative activity, workload percentages cannot be determined by quantifying hourly commitments or daily averages of time. Rather, to determine the percentage for scholarly/creative activity, faculty should draft a list of their projected activity for the semester/year to review with the Division Chair to decide the appropriate percentage. Typical activities in this area are defined in each division’s promotion and tenure guidelines (see Section 4.4 in the College of Music Faculty Handbook).
  • Percentages for service activity should be determined by the nature and time commitment of each service activity. A normal expectation for service activity would be 10%, or the equivalent of an average of 4 hours per week for service. Within a 15-week semester, this would be the equivalent of 60 hours per semester. Typical activities in this area are defined in each division’s promotion and tenure guidelines (see Section 4.8 in the College of Music Faculty Handbook).

Percentages for administrative activity should be determined by the division chair in consultation with the faculty member and dean. Normally, administrative workload for division chairs and associate deans will be 50%. For area coordinators, each division should clearly delineate the duties and expectations for and assign an administrative workload accordingly.

(5.2) Part-time Teaching Loads for Adjunct Instructors

I. Part-time faculty teaching loads in the College of Music will be based on the normal teaching load of a lecturer. A full load for part-time faculty or for a lecturer is four 3 semester credit hour courses or 20 hours in applied music.

II. Part-time faculty members will have the following responsibilities in addition to teaching assignments:

A. Fulfill instructional duties attendant to degree recitals.

B. Participate in division/area activities and divisional/area voting at the discretion of the division/area faculty.

1. Participation in applied music examinations (juries) will be determined by the Division Chair at the time of the appointment.

2. Attendance at entrance auditions, College of Music committee assignments, and other such functions will be at the discretion of the Division Chair and Area Coordinator.

III. Attendance at College of Music faculty meetings is at the discretion of the part-time faculty member.

(5.3) Summer Teaching

The College of Music follows the summer school policies established by the University. In order to prepare the summer instructional budget for the College of Music, faculty will be asked to submit their summer school teaching plans to their Division Chair during the fall semester, which will then be approved by the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Compensation for summer school teaching will follow University guidelines. For more information on Summer Teaching, visit the Summer School Compensation page at the provost’s website.


Full-time summer salaries are calculated at the rate of 15% of the full-time, 9-month base salary. Full-time summer instruction is considered to be one of the following:

(a) two 3-credit courses (100% FTE)

(b) 16 hours of applied lessons (100% FTE)

(c) a combination of lessons and courses that would equal 100% FTE Applied Lessons

Individual applied lessons are not offered during the summer, but faculty members may wish to develop courses based on applied work, which will function according to the principles governing all other classes. Any decision to offer such courses should be made in consultation with the faculty member’s Division Chair.

Academic Courses

Summer salaries for courses that do not the meet minimum enrollment standards established by the state are subject to salary reduction. Faculty will have to agree to a salary reduction or opt to cancel the course prior to the start of the summer semester.

(5.4) Teaching Assistants and Fellows

Positions for Teaching Fellows (TF) and Teaching Assistants (TA) are distributed to the College of Music on an annual basis. The Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management allocates positions to each Division. In most cases, allocations will be based on the previous year’s allocation. The Division Chair is responsible for distributing positions to each area according to enrollment needs or strategic initiatives.

Appointments for TF/TAs must follow the university guidelines for recruitment and selection, which can be found in the University Policy Manual, Recruitment and Selection of Teaching Fellows and Teaching Assistants (section 06.020) and Orientation, Supervision, and Evaluation of Academic Assistants (section 06.021).

Teaching Fellow/Teaching Assistant positions are offered either as 50% (20 hours per week) or 25% (10 hours per week). Positions that are 50% FTE are considered full-time and include certain benefits and in-state tuition. For complete information on full-time positions, see the University Policy Manual, Exemptions and Waivers from Tuition and Fees (section 10.001).

Stipends for TF/TAs are based on FTE and progress toward the degree. Any graduate student with less than 18 graduate hours will be classified as a Teaching Assistant and paid at Level I; graduate students with 18 or more graduate hours (TF or TA) will be paid at Level II; doctoral students (TF or TA) who have completed all coursework and passed their qualifying exams will be paid at Level III. Stipend amounts may be obtained from the Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management. Additional information regarding TF/TA positions may be obtained from the College of Music Graduate Office.

(5.5) Teaching Fellow Credentials

A graduate student with fewer than 18 credits can serve only as a Teaching Assistants and a regularly appointed faculty member must be instructor of record. The faculty member is responsible for ensuring the delivery of proper instruction.

(5.6) Teaching Assistant and Fellow Appointment and Renewal


The regular appointment letter and contract do not offer any guarantee of renewal beyond the academic year of appointment and is made contingent upon enrollment. Given satisfactory job performance, and under normal circumstances, salaried graduate employee appointments are made within the following limits:

  • 2 years total appointment for a student seeking a master’s degree;
  • 3 years total appointment for a student seeking a doctoral degree;

A division may request an exception to these college-imposed limits by providing the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs with a rationale based on critical instructional need or extenuating circumstances in the student’s academic status. Likewise, the faculty of an area may impose stricter renewal limits, but only by policy established and announced to an applicant before making the initial appointment.

There will be an early Spring semester deadline for Teaching Assistant and Fellow applications, typically around February 15 of the academic year preceding the year of appointment. Current appointees must apply for renewal by the deadline. Since consideration of these applications by the faculty takes place alongside scholarship consideration, the Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management will establish an advisory deadline by which the faculty should submit renewal decisions for all eligible Teaching Assistants and Fellows. When renewal of a current Teaching Assistantship or Fellowship is not recommended by the faculty, one of the following reasons must be given for non-renewal:

  • Total eligibility has been exhausted;
  • The Teaching Assistant or Fellow is graduating or for other reasons leaving their UNT program of music study;
  • Performance of duties during the current year has been unsatisfactory; or
  • The Teaching Assistant or Fellow has not made satisfactory progress toward the graduate degree sought.

In the case of the latter two reasons, the faculty member will be asked to provide documentation of the nature of the shortcoming and indication that the Teaching Assistant or Fellow has been counseled about their performance well before being informed of the non-renewal recommendation. Identifying other applicants of greater promise in the program is not acceptable grounds for non-renewal of a Teaching Assistant or Fellow.


Once renewals have been established, division chairs and area coordinators will then determine new appointments. This should be done as soon as possible to maximize the recruitment impact of the appointment offer in concert with scholarship offers. Typically, only full fellowships and assistantships for which there will be assured enrollment and funding will be authorized for appointment in the Spring. As with renewal recommendations, new appointment recommendations representing group faculty decisions must come from an Area Coordinator or Division Chair.

Once each new or renewal appointment is approved by the Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management, the College of Music Graduate Studies Office will be authorized to generate appointment letters and contracts for each appointee. The appointment letters and contracts will state the deadline for the appointee to accept the appointment and all required documentation.

Orientation and Mentoring

All new and returning music teaching fellows and assistants will be required to attend a mandatory division or area-wide orientation before the start of Fall semester classes.

Each will then be assigned specific loads in their division and supervised according to the guidelines of the College of Music Teaching Assistant and Fellow Mentoring Policy (see Section 5.7).

(5.7) Teaching Assistant and Fellow Mentoring

The College of Music Mentoring Program is committed to quality educational experiences for Teaching Assistants, Fellows, and their students. Through the mentoring program, the College of Music will ensure that Teaching Assistants and Fellows receive proper guidance intended to serve two objectives:

1. To ensure that students are taught by qualified and committed Teaching Assistants and Fellows in an effective classroom or studio environment

2. To prepare Teaching Assistants and Fellows for careers as educators

Selection Process

Teaching Fellowships and Assistantships available in the College of Music require specific areas of expertise. Applications are reviewed by Division Chairs, Area Coordinators, or other appropriate faculty (see Section 5.6, Teaching Assistant and Fellow Appointment and Renewal).


A mandatory orientation is held for new and returning Teaching Assistants and Fellows at the beginning of the fall semester as described in Section 5.6. Appropriate university policies and procedures will be distributed and discussed. Each Teaching Assistant or Fellow will be assigned a mentor teacher whose expertise is in the applicable subject area. Specific responsibilities for Teaching Assistants and Fellows are outlined in each division or area’s orientation guidelines.

Syllabus Development

Instructors of record are responsible for developing course syllabi. The university requires consistent elements in each syllabus, including UNT specific requirements and institutional academic requirements, which mirrors legislatively mandated information.

Instructors can find the list of required syllabi elements in the UNT Course Syllabi Requirements Policy. Instructors can also find the standard syllabus statements via this link, as well. The Course Syllabi Requirements Policy (Policy Manual, section 06.049) also includes information on optional syllabi statements, along with suggested language, and additional policies regarding the creation, distribution, and usage of course syllabi. We encourage all instructors to read the policy in its entirety to stay up to date on university and legislative syllabi requirements.

Applied lessons will begin during the second week of classes. Each student will receive a minimum of 13 lessons per semester. Syllabi for applied lessons must include the following statement: “Applied lessons will begin no later than during the second week of classes. Each student will receive a minimum of 13 lessons per semester. Students missing more than 5 lessons may not receive course credit.”

In December 2019, the College of Music Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion recommended UNT College of Music administrators and faculty remove instances of gendered language, like “she” or “he” from syllabi and replace these words with non-binary substitutes. Additionally, the Council encouraged instructors to review course materials that may include gendered language and make replacements where reasonable and applicable. This could take the form of teaching assignments, written examples, and revised student handbooks or other related documents. In order to provide guidance on such substitutions, the UNT Pride Alliance offers training for faculty, staff, and students ( ).

Observation & Assessment

Mentor teachers or other approved faculty will observe all Teaching Fellows with teaching responsibilities at least once per long semester. Teaching Assistants should be observed, as deemed appropriate. Written and verbal feedback will be provided. University-wide in-service opportunities will be provided to enhance teaching skills. Teaching Assistants and Fellows with teaching responsibilities must meet deadlines for submitting grades. After the student evaluations have been processed, the Division Chair will review the evaluations and determine if additional mentoring is needed.

(5.8) Teaching Fellows: Applied Studio Teaching

Responsibilities for full-time applied Teaching Fellows are based on the following:

  • 50% (full) TF appointments have an expected workload of 20 hours per week;
  • The ratio for those with applied Teaching Fellowships is 2:1 – for every two hours of instruction TFs will receive one hour for preparation. Therefore, a standard TF assignment might include 10 hours of applied instruction, 5 hours of preparation, and 5 hours of additional work assigned by the division chair or other designated faculty member. However, a larger number of teaching hours may also be assigned to fill out the 20 hours.
  • Students who are Teaching Fellows may be assigned to perform in a music laboratory or ensemble as part of their instructional duties in cases where insufficient numbers of players are available to meet laboratory demands . In these cases, the student will not enroll for credit in the ensemble, and a typical 20-hour con- tract will comprise 8 hours of instruction, 4 hours of preparation and 8 hours for rehearsals and preparation for the ensemble. Decisions to require music laboratory participation without enrollment must be approved by the Chair of the Instrumental Studies, Voice, or Keyboard Divisions with the consultation of ensemble directors and applied instructors.

Note: Teaching Assistants who meet the conditions outlined in the third bullet may also have contact hours counted into their workload.

(5.9) Office Hours

Each faculty member is required to identify, post, and maintain office hours so that students can have time to meet with them. These office hours must be consistent with department and college policy and must be indicated on the semester schedules submitted to division and college administrative offices (see Section 4.12).

The office hours scheduled may reflect differences between levels and types of classes, but assurances must be made that each faculty member is available on an appropriate, regular, student-convenient basis. Compliance with this requirement will be taken into account in annual merit evaluation procedures.

So that the division and college level administrative offices can function efficiently and effectively, faculty members should inform division administrative assistants and the College of Music Main Office Manager of their schedules, office hours, and any subsequent changes. Schedules should be submitted to these administrative offices at the beginning of each semester or term. Such communication will insure the orderly transaction of instructional and administrative activities.

(5.10) Faculty Studio Assignments

This policy is set forth to determine faculty studio space assignments for new/incoming faculty members and for the reallocation of studio space for current faculty members and those transitioning to modified service.

1. Large studio spaces, especially large, windowed studios, should be assigned by the following priorities:

a. Applied

b. Seniority

c. Instrumental needs

2. At the beginning of their modified service, faculty will move into a new shared space with other non-full-time teaching faculty.

3. Non-tenure-track faculty will be assigned to non-windowed space in the main music building, or in the music annex. The size of the room will be determined by instrumental need and availability.

4. Faculty who hold deanships should share a studio with other non-full-time teaching faculty.

5. Windowed studios of any size should not be used as practice rooms. As space allows, smaller non-windowed rooms can be used as designated practice rooms, especially for larger instrument needs.

The Associate Dean of Operations should consult with the Chair of the Council of Division Chairs and the Faculty Advisory Committee on unresolved issues pertaining to the assignment of faculty studio space.