Summer Session Teaching Policies and Guidelines About Summer Course “Caps”

Compensation policies followed the last several summers remain in effect for summer session 2018. You can easily find the summer faculty compensation policies posted on the Provost’s website (look under the category called “Policies” in the header menu) or use this direct link: summer session compensation policy.

Here are the key features of summer session compensation outlined in the policy document linked above:

  • The minimum enrollment required to run a class will continue to be 7 students, and the date by which that minimum must be achieved in order to run the course will remain two weeks prior to the start of the summer term. On rare occasions, exceptions may be made, on the recommendation of the Dean and approval of the Provost.
  • Any courses approved to run with fewer than seven students that are not generating enough revenue to cover the instructor’s costs (salary and UMW’s share of FICA) will be taught at a prorated salary. The prorated salary will be presented to the faculty member, who has the option to accept the terms or decline them (thereby cancelling the course).
  • Notification to students of all summer-session course cancellations will be handled by the Registrar’s office.
  • Full-time faculty are paid at a rate of 2.5% per credit hour times the person’s annual base salary, or $1,500 per credit (whichever amount is higher). The $2,333 per credit cap, introduced four years ago, remains in place.
  • Adjunct faculty who teach in the summer session are paid in accordance with the established Adjunct Compensation Scale.

As a general principle, the enrollment cap (limit) on a summer session class section should be the same size as the course would be when taught as a single section in the fall or spring semester regardless of the method of delivery. Since the primary objective of the summer session is to offer students courses they need to catch up or get ahead on their progress toward completion and graduation, it makes sense to avoid restricting the availability of potential course seats. Even though the actual enrollment of summer classes will be smaller (because there are fewer students), providing a robust supply is still beneficial to students.

In some cases, based on sound pedagogical reasons, summer session courses may need to have a smaller enrollment limit. Those reasons should be discussed with the College’s Associate Dean at the time that the summer session course schedule is built and, if those reasons are persuasive, the lower course cap would be approved.

Summer session revenue remains a significant part of the overall budgeting operation of the University. When we have a productive and profitable summer session, we will provide a measure of budgeting flexibility in the next fiscal year that might not otherwise exist. That’s part of the reason why we need to follow our compensation policies as outlined and be deliberate about the sizes of summer session courses.

As a final point, please note that compensation for supervision of summer individual study and internship credits, re-instated three years ago, WILL CONTINUE (see the next Newsletter item).

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