Human Resources Administration

Weighted Teaching Units

General Information
  • Historically, faculty workload in the CSU was calculated using a system of weighted teaching units (WTUs). The weightings were developed to represent the approximate amount of time that would normally be expected to be required for the teaching assignment. Prior to 1995, the normal work assignment of full-time instructional faculty was defined as an average of 15 WTU per academic term, including 12 WTUs of instruction and 3 WTUs of instruction-related responsibilities per term.
  • While traditional lecture and seminar classes are credited as one WTU for one unit of academic credit, classes offered through other modes of instruction (such as laboratories, activities, studio classes, and so forth) have different weighting factors.  For example, a laboratory meeting three hours per week and carrying one unit of academic credit normally is assigned two WTU.  
  • Instruction-related responsibilities include such activities as participation in faculty governance, student advisement, curriculum development, and so forth.
  • Faculty may also receive “assigned time” in the form of WTU credit for a variety of activities (such as teaching large classes, new course preparation, carrying out research projects, program coordination, unusually heavy committee service, advising responsibilities, etc.)
  • In 1995, reference to the 12 + 3 WTU standard for tenure-track faculty was eliminated from the collective bargaining agreement. However, the agreement stated that the practice of calculating WTUs for the purpose of determining time base of appointment as well as benefits eligibility would continue. Since then, WTUs have continued to be used for these purposes.
  • Part-time temporary faculty members with instructional responsibilities are assigned a time base using 15 WTUs per term as the equivalent of full time.
  • In addition to being used to establish time base and benefits eligibility, WTUs are used to establish eligibility for SSIs for part-time temporary faculty and to establish entitlements if the temporary faculty member is re-appointed.
  • Pursuant to Article 12 of the faculty collective bargaining agreement, upon completion of twenty-four (24) units on a semester campus, or the equivalent (thirty-six/36) on a quarter campus, in the same department or equivalent unit, temporary employees shall receive a salary increase equivalent to the percentage of the negotiated Service Salary Increase (SSI), only during years when the parties have agreed to provide the SSI.
  • WTU accumulation for the purposes of determination of entitlements as well as SSI eligibility is by department or equivalent unit.  Thus, a temporary faculty member working in two departments would accrue SSI eligibility separately in each department.
    • Example: a faculty member teaches 6 units a semester in Department A and an additional 3 units a semester in Department B.  After four semesters, the faculty member has 24 WTU in Department A and would be entitled to an SSI in that department, provided it was a year in which the parties had agreed to provide an SSI.  However, the faculty member would only have accumulated 12 WTU after four semesters in Department B, and would not yet be entitled to an SSI in that department.
  • Upon completion of the required number of units, the service salary increase shall be effective and posted upon the next temporary appointment via MSA transaction. SSIs cannot be awarded during the same term in which the required number of units is attained.
  • The system of “weighted teaching units” is only intended for use with faculty who actually have teaching assignments. For those faculty unit employees who have 12 month appointments or whose appointments are not based on the number of courses taught (including librarians, SSP/ARs, and coaches), the appointment should have a time base commensurate with the work assignment.