Class Assignment Guidelines

While the class scheduling process is complex, the Department of English is committed to making the process transparent while balancing what is required to deliver the optimum final schedule of classes for our students.

  1. The Annual Schedule of Classes in the Department of English is developed by teaching area conveners and program directors in collaboration with the chair, administrative manager and department xcheduler.
  2. A draft Tenure-Track Faculty Teaching Inventory is established for an upcoming academic year based on the N-1 policy adjusted if necessary as plans evolve and considering contingencies. A College Teaching Inventory has been provided for associated faculty and will be in the future for GTAs as well.
  3. Tenure-track faculty members complete an annual Faculty Scheduling Form in the spring to reconcile with templates completed by area conveners for accuracy. Preferences are expressed in the Faculty Scheduling Form. Preferences are taken into account and are advisory to the chair.
  4. Faculty are placed first in term schedules based on area conveners’ directions and at the discretion and by approval of the chair; the director of Graduate Studies coordinates graduate class offerings and area conveners make graduate class teaching assignments; the director of the Creative Writing Program determines the creative writing schedule and related teaching assignments.
  5. Tenure-track faculty-taught classes, graduate and upper-division, are scheduled to balance offerings. Days and meetings times are coordinated with other units, as needed. All other classes are scheduled based on enrollment projections operating on an approved college model. The line-item schedule with meeting days and times for all classes offered is reviewed by the chair, the administrative manager, program directors, the undergraduate program manager, undergraduate advisors and others on an ad hoc basis.
  6. On approval, the schedule is input into SIS based on access and deadlines determined by the Office of the University Registrar (OUR).
  7. The graduate student roster, maintained in the Graduate Studies office, is refreshed to take into account administrative and research commitments as well as fellowships which preclude teaching that year or any upcoming term within the upcoming academic year (writing program assistants, DMP assistants, etc. Year-long and term fellowships).
  8. All graduate students complete a Graduate Student Status Report for each autumn and spring term (including those who have alternate appointments, are on fellowship, leave or planned leave) for the purpose of reconciling responses with the student roster and to ensure accuracy in determining staffing resources. It is essential to know who needs a teaching assignment to fulfill the requirements of the Graduate Associate Appointment Document.
  9. Summer teaching is based on budget. Our fiscal officer, in tandem with the chair, calculates how many instructors can be paid in the summer which determines the number of course offerings that can be extended. Teaching assignments are based on seniority, expertise and availability of GTAs. Expertise is defined as depth and breadth of knowledge in a given field or teaching area and any particular GTAs level of expertise is determined by the specialist teaching area convener. Generally, all summer teaching is done by students who have successfully completed the candidacy exam (ABD) as well as MFA students heading into third year. Summer student teaching is limited to one class. Summer assignments are typically assigned as add-ons to autumn and spring assignments and are paid the standard GA monthly rates (ABD and non-ABD).
  10. For both autumn and spring terms, GTAs in good standing who may teach courses other than 1110.01 are assigned based on seniority, rank, expertise as defined above, availability, preferences expressed in the Graduate Student Status Report at the discretion of the chair, and need to build strong teaching portfolios for the job market.
    1. Priority may be given to graduate students entering their final term of funding.
    2. Teaching assignments will be rotated to ensure equity in opportunities for teaching experiences. GTAs should express their highest preferences in the Graduate Student Status Report.
    3. To teach 2000-level courses other than 2367, and 3000-level courses, GTAs must have completed at least one appropriate 8903.  Such students will work with assigned course directors. Those teaching a course for the first time will be observed by the course director. Learn more about course direction.
  11. The first teaching assignment for all graduate teaching associates is 1110.01. These assignments are made next, taking into account graduate student class schedules.
  12. GTA recitation leaders for large lectures are assigned early based on established criteria (ABD status, field of study, completion of one or more iterations of 8903). Students can expect to serve as a recitation leader for a large lecture as a first 2000-level teaching experience upon successful completion of the candidacy exam. Tenure-track faculty are course directors for the large-lecture courses (English 2201, 2202, 2263, 2290 and 2291).
  13. GTAs or associated faculty teaching special sections of courses are assigned next, as determined by program or course directors (e.g. on-line versions of 1110.01, 2367 hybrid, disability and gaming sections, 1109, 1110.03, professional writing courses like 3304 and 3305 to allow time for training, etc.).
  14. Associated faculty are scheduled next, based on curricular needs, availability of budget, expertise and preferences. Associated faculty members are assigned teaching aligned with the terms of their appointments.
  15. A draft schedule is considered to be in process until assignments are finalized, double-checked, communicated, and confirmed. Principles underlying the process for all include: a humane and reasonable weekly and daily schedule. Sometimes a four- or five-day schedule is necessary for associated faculty, although the scheduler strives to avoid a four- or five-day schedule for any instructor.
  16. All teaching assignments are contingent upon minimum enrollment limits as determined by the College of Arts and Sciences, the availability of budget and are subject to change at the chair’s discretion.
  17. Study abroad: Tenure-track faculty interested in teaching a study abroad course have three options: Global May (which is pitched to freshmen, non-honors students), Literary Locations (mostly English majors) and Literature and Culture of London (mostly English majors). Faculty who want to teach one of these courses should sign up with the study abroad coordinator in English, currently Sean O’Sullivan. The schedule to teach these courses is set up for several years out, but it’s best to get your name on the list as soon as you know you would like to teach a course. The study abroad coordinator will consult with the chair about scheduling a faculty member to one of these courses in any given year.
  18. Teaching outside the department: Unless a tenure-track faculty member has a joint appointment or contract to teach in another department, those who are interested in teaching a course in another department or interdisciplinary program should check first with the area convener (as part of the regular scheduling process that happens every autumn) and the chair. The convener and the chair will consult with the undergraduate and graduate directors, the department scheduler and the fiscal manager to make sure that all teaching needs in the area and department can be covered if the faculty member teaches a course outside the department. Approval of such requests will thus depend not only on the department’s ability to meet our own scheduling needs but also on our budget.

The N-1 Policy

While each tenure-track faculty member will be assigned at least one course in his or her specific field annually, all tenute-track faculty are asked to reserve one or more courses for departmental assignment from his or her expected course load. This is not so much a change from earlier years as a reinforcement of established ideal practice. Tenure-track faculty members with a four-course load should assign three courses through their area groups, tenure-track faculty members with a three-course load should assign two courses through their area groups, and so on. The basic rule is N-1, where N is the number of courses in your expected Department of English course load, and N-1 is the number of courses assigned through the area conveners. Remember to rank-order your preferences for courses for departmental assignment when you complete the Faculty Scheduling Form. To conform to the college-approved model schedule, faculty may teach more than one service-course per year. 

Faculty planning to apply for an FPL or SA should expect to teach their full load at the undergraduate level for the purposes of the scheduling assignment process. It is easier to remove undergraduate courses from a schedule than to add them. Faculty currently on administrative course reduction should plan on that reduction continuing unless they know their term is ending and have talked to the chair about rotating out of the position. They should not sign up for a graduate course if they expect to take a two-semester FPL in the year when they would be assigned the course.

The extra course or courses will be assigned according to departmental needs. In other words, it could be a large-lecture survey, a GE course, a course pertaining to a department run minor course, a writing course (e.g., 1110, 2367), a methods course (e.g., 3398), a lower-level course, or another course in the department as needed. This approach will allow our methods courses (especially 3398) to be taught principally by faculty. It will also create more possibilities for our 8903 training to take place in lower-level courses. Finally, we must continue to be responsive to the importance of placing tenure-track faculty in our introductory courses in order to connect faculty to students early in their enrollment at Ohio State as one way of encouraging  more of them to major in English or minor in one of the minors we administer. This is not to suggest that associated faculty and GTAs don’t help with this recruitment—they clearly do and are some of our very best teachers and advocates. The point is that tenure-track faculty also need to be doing some of this work at the lower levels.

Please direct questions to Chair Robyn Warhol, Associate Director of Curriculum and Assessment Deb Lowry or Administrative Manager Wayne Lovely.

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