Approved: Dec. 14, 2020

The purpose of offering a differentiated workload to instructional faculty is multifaceted, including:

  1. To recognize the significant contribution instructional faculty make to the education of students in CEAS — in their units and their discipline — through teaching practice and curriculum innovation.
  2. To enhance the professional development of instructional faculty as they advance in their career at CU Boulder.
  3. To contribute to national efforts to improve engineering education theory and practice.
  4. To provide opportunities for instructional faculty to incorporate innovative teaching methods and techniques that increase the participation of students from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities in engineering education.


Instructional faculty with the titles of Instructor (Teaching Assistant Professor), Senior Instructor (Teaching Associate Professor), Principal Instructor (Teaching Professor), Scholar in Residence or Professor of Engineering Practice appointed in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, who have completed six continuous years (12 semesters) in one of the eligible titles above, at 50% time appointment or greater, will be eligible to apply for a differentiated workload for one semester.


The differentiated workload will reduce the formal (course) teaching responsibilities of the instructional faculty to zero for that semester. The CEAS Differentiated Workload Application is to be completed by the instructional faculty and their unit’s chair/director and sent to the associate dean for faculty advancement for the dean’s approval and signature. The faculty will receive full-time pay for that semester if on a 100% appointment, or proportional pay based on percent FTE of their appointment, at the time of application. In the case of an appointment split between two units, both chairs/directors must approve the application.


In accepting a differentiated workload assignment, the faculty member shall agree to return to the university for at least one year thereafter. In case the faculty member is responsible for terminating their connection with the university within the period of one year after expiration of the differentiated workload, the individual shall refund the remuneration paid to them during that semester to the university on a prorated basis, except in exceptional circumstances, including permanent disability or death, wherein neither the individual nor the individual’s heirs shall be obligated to refund any part of the amount paid while on differentiated workload.

In addition to approval of the CEAS faculty’s Differentiated Workload Application, during the first semester of returning to a normal workload, the faculty will submit a final report of activities and outcomes from the differentiated workload semester for approval by the department chair or program director and the dean using the CEAS Differentiated Workload Report form.


The financial impacts of the differentiated workload semester are the responsibility of the faculty’s primary unit. Contingent on available funds and approval of the dean, the college will contribute funds equivalent to the current Faculty Fellowship offered to tenured/tenure track faculty ($8,000) to the department/program to cover a portion of the teaching replacement costs during the differentiated workload semester.


Approval of this policy is made by a vote of the department chairs and program directors rostering eligible instructional faculty, with the guidance of their executive committee or other governance structure in their unit, and by the dean of the college.