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2017-2018 Winter Term for Faculty FAQs

Miami's Winter Term is January 2–January 27, 2018. For on-campus courses, attendance typically is expected beginning January 2. A few classes meet at varying dates and times, though, so please consult the course syllabus or the instructor. Refer to the Course List for more information.

The first day of the spring semester will be January 29, 2018.


Why do we need an overload compensation policy in Winter Term?

Teaching Faculty are hired under nine (9) month contracts which include all normally assigned classes for fall and spring semesters. Teaching during the winter term, because it falls within the contractual time, is treated as a teaching assignment above and beyond the normal course load and is therefore considered an overload assignment.

How will Oxford campus faculty who teach during Winter Term be compensated?

Full-time faculty members who teach during the winter or summer term will be compensated based on their base salary for the current academic year. The rate for teaching is 3% per credit hour when the student-credit-hour threshold is met. However, faculty may be paid an equivalent proportion of that figure if the generated student credit hour threshold is not met and the department chair and dean approve the offering of the course.

Faculty will earn the full 3% per credit hour salary when their course reaches the student credit hour threshold. Salary for a single course cannot exceed $20,000. If a course with low enrollment is offered, the faculty will be paid a minimum of $1,025 per credit hour for a typical lecture course or the proportional amount as specified below, whichever is higher.

Note: Overload pay in fall and spring semesters will remain at $1,025 per credit hour for full-time faculty for a typical lecture course.

The key points of the policy:

  • Base figure of 3% per credit hour of base salary
  • Payment based on proportional percentage of enrollment threshold
  • Threshold determined by the number of credit hours for which the course is offered multiplied by 12 students. For variable credit hour offerings, the threshold is determined using the average number of student credit hours taken. Thus, a
    • 3 credit-hour course has a threshold of 36 credit hours;
    • 6 credit-hour course has a threshold of 72 credit hours;
    • 1–3 credit-hour course has a threshold of the average billed student credit hours multiplied by 12.
    • Maximum payment per course of $20,000
    • Minimum payment per course of $1,025 per credit hour.

Another consideration made in the compensation policy focuses on courses and workshops that do not meet the enrollment threshold. To ensure that a consistent process is used in determining whether or not to offer the course and, if offered, how to fairly compensate faculty, the policy allows for full-time faculty who elect to teach courses that do not meet the student credit hour threshold to earn an equivalent proportion of the 3% per credit rate. An example for a 3 credit hour course follows:

An example for a 3 credit hour course:
Number of Students Credit Hours Student Credit Hours % Compensation
12 3 36 3.0 % a
11 3 33 2.75% b
10 3 30 2.5% b

Meets threshold enrollment of 12 students.

Calculate % compensation on pro-rated basis, i.e. the student credit hours actually generated as a portion of threshold and multiplied by 3% (full compensation). For example, 11 students enrolled in a 3 credit hour course generate 33 student credit hours or 0.917 of the 3% full compensation, therefore, the rate of compensation = (0.917*0.03), which is 2.75%.

The decision to offer the course at the pro-rated salary rate must have the consent of the faculty member, the recommendation of the department chair or program director, and the approval of the academic dean. In no case, will any faculty member receive less than the pro-rated per credit hour salary or $1,025 per credit hour, whichever is greater.

Faculty members teaching on the regional campuses will be compensated under the same policy in which they have been operating in the past. Please check with the Office of the Regional Dean for additional information.

Which faculty members are eligible to teach during Winter Term?

Summer and Winter Term teaching is equally available to all full-time non-visiting members of the instructional staff in a department with the approval of the divisional dean. While departmental policy and curricular needs may further specify eligibility, no rank will be systematically discriminated against in the selection of eligible faculty. Winter term teaching should not be used as a recruiting inducement. Part-time faculty may be recommended to teach in the winter term only after all eligible full-time faculty members have been given the opportunity.

Are faculty members required to teach during Winter Term?

No faculty member is required to teach during the winter term.

How many courses can a faculty member teach in Winter Term?

Faculty are expected to teach no more than four formal course credits in the winter term unless approved by the faculty member’s department chair or program director, academic dean, and provost.  Exceptions to the four credit maximum teaching load policy for winter workshops are covered by the workshop approval process. Any winter term compensation will be in addition to summer term compensation. Thus winter term compensation will not be considered part of the summer earnings policy in which no more than 33.3% of base salary can be earned for summer term duties. See Academic Personnel Administrators' Resources for additional information.

Are there exceptions to the expectation that faculty teach only one course or workshop?

Exceptions to the four credit hour limit must be approved by the faculty member’s department chair or program director, academic dean, and provost. Exceptions may be made when there is high demand for an additional course or section of a course and no other faculty are available to teach that course other than those already scheduled to teach a single section of a winter course.

Can a faculty member elect to teach only in Winter Term and one semester?

Required courses for the major or for liberal education cannot be offered solely during the winter and summer terms. As a result, summer and winter term teaching should be considered as an additional or overload part of the faculty member’s normal teaching responsibilities. Any exceptions to this rule must be approved by the department chair or program director, academic dean, and provost.

Are faculty members who do not teach during Winter Term expected to work during Winter Term?

Because full-time faculty members are hired on a nine-month contract, they are expected to work during the regular academic year which now includes the fall semester, winter term, and spring semester. Faculty may use the winter term to: facilitate independent studies; complete or begin a research project or grant; participate in professional development opportunities; design or prepare for an upcoming course; or make progress on committee, service, or other work-related obligations.

Will faculty members who do not teach during Winter Term receive additional pay?

Faculty members who do not teach during the winter term will not receive additional pay. (See explanation below for pay related to grants and contracts.)

When will faculty who teach in Winter Term be paid?

The regular monthly payroll will be used to pay additional salary earned for winter term teaching. As long as the request for payment is received in Academic Personnel no later than the 15th day of January, payment will be entered on the January payroll and paid on the last working day of January. Any request for payment that is received on the 16th day of January or later will be paid on the next monthly payroll.

Can a faculty member receive supplemental pay during Winter or Summer Terms for grants or contracts?

Miami University adheres to Federal OMB Circular A-21 which prohibits supplemental pay on federally sponsored projects during a faculty or staff member’s regular period of full-time service to the university unless: a) the work is for a project director in a Miami University department other than the individual’s department, and the work is clearly in addition to the individual’s regular workload; or b) the work involves a separate or remote operation, and the work is clearly in addition to the individual’s regular workload.

When any portion of a faculty or staff member's salary is derived from work performed under a grant or contract administered by Miami University, the amount charged to the grant or contract will be based upon the individual's regular rate of compensation under their current appointment.

Time devoted toward earning supplemental pay during a faculty or staff member's regular period of full time service to the university may not exceed an average of one day per week, including any other time committed to outside service for which compensation may be earned as defined in section 3.11 "Outside Employment," during the individual's regular period of full time service to the university.

If full-time teaching duties are not assigned to a faculty or staff member during the winter or summer term, the individual may be eligible for supplemental pay on a grant or contract where the supplemental pay:

  • Is within the approved budget for the grant or contract and follows the guidelines of the sponsoring agency;
  • Is at a rate not to exceed the individual’s base salary on a daily basis, pro-rated for the level of effort devoted to teaching duties during fall and spring semester minus the level of effort devoted to teaching duties during winter term; and
  • Does not exceed an average time commitment of one day per week, including any other time committed for supplemental pay as defined in section 3.11 “Outside Employment,” during the individual’s regular period of full-time service to the university.

What is the appropriate number of instructional minutes for Winter Term courses?

See the Office of Enrollment Management's comprehensive table that calculates the instructional minutes needed for winter term courses.

When should students with spring graduate assistantships begin duties?

The effective appointment date for graduate students holding assistantships during the spring semester is determined by the duties of the assistantship:

  • Instructional duties - Effective date:
  • Research duties - Effective date:
  • Administrative duties - Effective date:

Work hours are determined by duties. The following are for full assistantships:

  • Instructional duties: 20 hours per week
  • Research duties: 18 hours per week
  • Administrative duties: 18 hours per week

Work hours for partial assistantships are determined by duties and the relative proportion of a full assistantship:

  • E.g., if a full assistantship is 20 hours, then a 50% assistantship is 10 hours per week.

Do graduate assistants receive compensation during Winter Term?

If a Graduate Assistant does not have duties during the winter term, he/she may be paid for an overload assignment; no petition is required.

If a Graduate Assistant has duties during the winter term, he/she must petition for approval before accepting an overload assignment.

Graduate Assistants and graduate students are permitted to work during break periods (non-working periods), including summer, up to 40 hours per week if enrolled for less than 6 credit hours if their only work assignment at Miami University is a standard 18 or 20 hours per week during the academic semesters. If a student gains approval from the Graduate School to work extra time (e.g., Howe Writing Center, music lessons, etc.) during the academic semesters, they will not be able to work a full 40 hours per week during break periods. The maximum number of hours per week will be dependent on the number of hours per week worked during the academic semesters.