workload equity gear

Workload Equity


The Office of the Provost, the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs, and Faculty Senate are partnering to strengthen equity outcomes within and across departments and units by bringing greater clarity and transparency to three interrelated areas:

  1. Faculty responsibilities and expectations,
  2. The decision-making processes by which department and unit heads assign faculty responsibilities and set faculty expectations, and
  3. The standards by which faculty responsibilities and expectations are measured, assessed, and rewarded.

Committee Co-Chairs

Renee Botta, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Kate Willink, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Past Chairs

Sarah Pessin, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Committee Members


Brian Gearity, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Dean Saitta, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Hava Gordon, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Rick Leaman, Daniels College of Business
Erin Elzi, University Libraries
Michele Tyson, Morgridge College of Education
Deb Ortega, Graduate School of Social Work
Brian Majestic, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Oliver Kaplan, Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Alison Staudinger, Office of the Provost
Matt Gordon, Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

Committee Charge


The Office of the Provost, the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs, and Faculty Senate are partnering to strengthen equity outcomes within and across departments and units by bringing greater clarity and transparency to three-interrelated areas: (1) faculty responsibilities and expectations, (2) the decision-making processes by which department and unit heads assign faculty responsibilities and set faculty expectations, and (3) the standards by which faculty responsibilities and expectations are measured, assessed, and rewarded.


  1. Ensuring all faculty have a clear, explicit, and transparent understanding of their job responsibilities and expectations. This contributes positively to all faculty and can be especially supportive of faculty from under-represented constituencies who might be less familiar with some of the unspoken/unwritten rules, expectations, and boundary-setting related to success in the academy.
  2. Avoiding disproportionately burdening some faculty over others. For example, research shows that women and faculty of color disproportionately engage in service and that this work is often undervalued in annual reviews and during tenure, promotion, and reappointment This has consequences for tenure, promotion, and reappointment.
  3. Aiming to become more mindful about either helping avoid or helping reward “invisible labor”.
Process, Structure & Timeline

The Faculty Workload Equity Committee is charged with to the following four initial steps:

  1. Collecting: We start at the department-level collecting existing policies, procedures, by-laws, and other written documentation related to faculty workload requirements and expectations.
  2. Compiling: Informed by relevant scholarship and national best practices, and working with DU’s office of Institutional Research and VPFA Data Governance Board, we compile the material into relevant reports, graphs, infographics, and/or dashboards to help us get a hold on the data, including by way of comparisons and contrasts, and/or other helpful organizing principles.
  3. Comparing: We then compare our practices with national best practices and make concrete recommendations (if and as appropriate) for ways we might increase clarity and transparency towards increased equity. The recommendations will also address ways to ensure that workload policies and best practices align with institutional resources and annual faculty review and merit structures.
  4. Coalescing: Based on our recommendations, we will create an initial set of opportunities for productive departmental and unit-level growth in areas of workplace equity; this might include intra- and/or inter- departmental/unit workshops, Chair/Director trainings, a symposium, and/or visiting speakers. In way of deepening and widening the work across campus, we also set follow-up goals for next steps (and possibly a new committee) for follow up.

The committee will also develop strategies for effective feedback loops with FSEC (including Personnel and APC), ODEI, OTL, IR, Deans, and other key constituents.

Department- and Unit-level Change—Department Equity Action Planning (DEAP) teams

DEAPs are a research-based approach to improving workload equity and faculty satisfaction through a collaborative, department or academic unit-based process. R1 Our Way funded three years of DEAP cohorts of  up to five departments per year, along with national experts to lead workshops, administration of evaluation and self-study tools, and support for participating faculty teams. The first cohort will present their findings in 2023, the second in 2024, and the third in 2025.

Teams will:

  • Participate in training on workload equity and implicit bias
  • Create a department dashboard to catalyze conversations about workload
  • Create and revise a department equity action plan
  • Publicly present their work to the DU community, including academic unit stakeholders

For more information or to get involved see the DEAP Call for Proposals page.

Apply for the 2023 DEAP Cohort 2

Faculty Fellow for Workload Equity


The Faculty Fellow for Workload Equity is a key partner with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (VPFA). Collaborating primarily with the Director of Faculty Development & Career Advancement, the Faculty Fellow will engage in activities to support change processes, build community, and lead efforts that advance DU’s university-wide initiative to ensure equity in workload and rewards.

The faculty selected will receive one (1) course buy-out during the September 2022-June 2023 time perio, or receive an honorarium of $8,500.


  • Develop and facilitate faculty learning opportunities: This may take the form of Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs), institutes, cohort-based programs, coordinating external speakers, and/or other professional development sessions aimed at incremental changes to how workload is measured, rewarded, and distributed across campus.
  • Currency in workload equity research: The ideal candidate is conversant in the literature related to faculty workload, including the increased barriers for those holding one or more historically excluded identities in their fields. The Faculty Fellow for Workload Equity is expected to stay abreast of national and international trends and serve as a local content expert in methods of reevaluating faculty workload.
  • Commitee participation: The Fellow will take a leadership role in the Workload Equity Committee and assist in setting the direction of this Task Force, seeking members, convening meetings, setting the agenda, and ensuring that the work of this committee continues in order to cultivate buy-in and incremental changes to practice and policies across the university.
  • Assessment & research: For faculty learning opportunities, the Faculty Fellow will track attendance, evaluate, and report on programming and impact. To document the change process, they will collaborate with the VPFA to seek IRB approval for focus groups, surveys, and/or other methodologies. Responsibilities include research design, data collection, analysis, and write up in collaboration with VPFA partners.
  • Supervision/collaboration: Meet regularly (TBD) with the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, and other campus-wide initiative leaders, most critically, those involved in Teaching Excellence efforts. 


Application Process

Faculty on all series – clinical, practice, professional, teaching, tenure, and research––with a full-time appointment can apply.

To be considered, applicants should submit one (1) PDF of the following application materials:

  • Cover letter addressing interest and expertise related to this role (maximum of 1000 words). Of particular interest is expertise in faculty development, workload equity efforts within departments or programs, and experience in campus-wide change initiatives.
  • CV highlighting relevant experiences (maximum of 2 pages)
  • Letter of support from the Dean or Chair of your academic unit that addresses (a) how this role will help you grow professionally, and (b) how the Dean or Chair will support you in this role.

Apply here

AY 2023-25'Workload Equity
AY 2023-24'Workload Equity
June 2023Workload Equity
March 2023Workload Equity
Jan 12, 2023

Email from Provost Mary Clark

DEAP cohort 2 selected and launches

October 2022Workload Equity
August 2022Workload Equity

Provost Conference Series: “Tools for Advancing Workload Equity: Creating Faculty Work Activity Dashboards” by Joya Misra,

Workload Equity Committee (2021-2022) report published,

Deans Engagement on Workload Equity

May 2022Workload Equity
April 2022Workload Equity
March 2022Workload Equity

Faculty Solution Seeking Clinic

Workload Equity Committee Meeting

Workload Equity Committee Deans Council Visit

February 2022Workload Equity

Faculty Senate Survey Shared with Senators

Workload Equity Committee Meetings

Faculty Senate Survey on Workload Equity Closed


January 2022Workload Equity

Workload Equity Committee Meetings

Workload Equity Committee Co-Chairs Presentation at Faculty Senate

December 2021Workload Equity

Workload Equity Committee Meeting

FAAD Faculty Charge to Support Workload Equity

November 2021Workload Equity

Workload Equity Committee Meetings

October 2021Workload Equity

Workload Equity Committee Meeting

Provost Reception: Advancing Equity in Faculty Workloads and Rewards

August 2021Workload Equity
July 2021Workload Equity
May 2021 Workload Equity

Spring Provost Conference: “Equity-Minded Faculty Workloads by Design”

Deans’ Council workshop

WEC meeting with Kerry Ann O’Meara

April 2021
March 2021Workload Equity

Community Conversations: Think & Drinks on Workload Equity

Faculty Affairs Associate Deans (FAADJ huddle on Workload Equity

January 2020Workload Equity
November 2020Workload Equity
Fall 2020Workload Equity