Overview of Summer & Winter Programs
Summer courses have been offered as a part of a “summer program” since 1901. In the early days, summer study fell was intended for “agriculture and nature study” (see the picture from 1913 below, taken on an outing to Codfish Falls).
By the mid-century, the program was a much smaller version of what we’re now familiar with: summer was a time students could take a range of courses that would contribute toward their path to graduation. For much of its life, the Summer Program ran under Continuing Studies at the University.
[In the late 1970s to mid-1980s, the Daily Campus even ran a July edition called the Summer Campus. It might be time to rekindle that one!]
In 1996, an intensive winter session (intersession) was added (the first Intersession was technically Intersession 1997).
In 2002, the University Senate charged an ad hoc group to review the intersession. That task force reviewed syllabi, spoke to faculty, and ran a survey of both faculty and students. The committee found, not only that there was evident value in running the 3-week session (helping students stay on track to graduation), but there was also evidence that the immersive nature of intensive winter courses was seen as a positive by both the faculty who teach the courses and the students who take them.
In the 2000s, the Summer & Winter Programs moved to the division of Enrollment Planning & Management and was for a brief time under the directorship of the University Registrar.
In 2013, the Summer & Winter Programs moved to the Academic Affairs within the Office of the Provost, where it now sits under the umbrella of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL). A lot has changed since 1901.
Today, across multiple 3, 5, and 6 week session, the Summer & Winter courses offered hundreds of courses to thousands of UConn undergraduates, graduates, and visiting students, across almost every subject at UConn. We are lucky at UConn to know that online courses, under the guidance of our expert eCampus staff, are being designed, built and supported at a level of excellence.
Experiencing online education, while never a replacement for the traditional classroom, is becoming increasingly a part of the overall experience of being a UConn undergraduate. As the number of both hybrid/blended and online classes grows–the latter mostly during the Summer and Winter sessions–the inter-semesters is becoming increasingly a place for exploring possibilities and innovation in teaching mode and pedagogy.
How is my stipend determined? We calculate stipends based on the agreement between the University and the AAUP. The full contract can be viewed at http://www.uconnaaup.org/cba2017-2021/. The “Summer and Intersession Agreement” is Article 38, which is at “real page” 52-55 (= pdf pages 55-58). The nutshell is this: regular faculty make a minimum base salary if the course runs with anywhere up to 8 students. As students enroll above that base, faculty are compensated at a flat per-student, per-credit rate (with a slightly higher flat rate for W courses), up to a maximum allowable stipend. This maximum possible stipend is defined as 11% of a faculty member’s regular annual salary. There is an ultimate maximum possible stipend of 11% of the average full professor’s salary in a given year.
The 12/12 Rule
The policy that has come to be known as the “12/12 rule” is summarized here. This policy, which is “owned” by both HR and the Provost’s Office, stems from a Whitehouse Circular regarding federal rules for grant distribution that includes specific language about how instructional and grant-related stipends should be determined for work outside the regular academic year. The principle is simple: faculty may not earn more than they would earn if they were paid at their regular rate of income across twelve months. To determine that, take your 9-month salary, divide it by 9, and then multiply that “monthly rate” by 12. That’s your maximum allowable stipend for the year. [If you’re on a 10- or 11-month contract, the math would adjust accordingly.]
It’s important to know that the University looks at all income. If you have a beyond-salary stipend, that becomes part of the calculation. Our office can determine how many Winter and/or Summer courses a faculty member can teach in order to stay within the 12/12 limits, but we have no way of knowing what other income you may have. HR does eventually give us all the information we need, but we don’t always have up-front access to the full picture. If Summer/Winter income is your only extra compensation, we should be able to give you a pretty accurate picture of how that will play out. If you have other income, we will be able to help only so far.
The terms of the newest faculty contract dictate that we pay a course preparation fee of $375/credit to faculty in the following circumstances:
- If the cancellation of the course is our decision
- If a faculty member has never taught that course before in Summer/Winter (the idea being, once you prepare the course, we will compensate you: but only once for that course).
We do not like to cancel classes. We would prefer never to do so, and in fact we make many, many decisions not to cancel courses, even when enrollments are low, if we determine there are students registered for the course for whom the course is critical (graduating seniors, for example). If we see a pattern of cancellation in a particular course, we may recommend to a department that we not run that course the next year. Never reaching the point of needing to cancel is our objective as we watch shifts in the curriculum and student demand year to year. There’s no magic number. There is no “we cancel under x students” policy in our program. It is generally true that we’re going to give a hard look to any course with fewer than 10 students. It doesn’t mean we’ll cancel all courses under 10, but it does mean that we will give a closer look to who is enrolled in such a course before making a decision.
Why Don’t I Have My Contract Yet?
We are very lucky to have a dedicated Faculty Contracts Coordinator in our office. His name is David Colberg (firstname.lastname@example.org). He is happy to respond your emails and take your phone calls regarding the process and timing of Summer and Winter session compensation.
Our contracts coordinator works very hard, day after day, month after month, to get all summer “special payroll” requests through HR and on to payroll. Each and every instructor in the summertime requires a full special payroll request, whether they’re teaching a 4-credit lab or a 1-credit independent study. To make this manageable (there are typically over 900 sections to process , some with multiple instructors), we generally work through in order of session for Summer: May is first, then AS1/SS1, and so on.
Having said that, things occasionally happen, either on our end or in the HR/payroll queue. If you’re class is two weeks away and you haven’t heard a thing, please do reach out and let us know.
Graduate Student Compensation
An increasing number of our Summer/Winter faculty are working with graduate students. GA compensation is now also dictated by contract posted online at http://uconngradunion.org/home/resources/current-members/full-contract/.
Language in the GA contract is listed under Article 34, “Summer/Intersession GA Appointments.” You can link directly to that contract section here.
Retired faculty who teach at UConn fall under the general policy for the re-employment of retirees, which can be reviewed here: https://policy.uconn.edu/2011/05/24/re-employed-retirees-policy-on/. Annual limits for compensation are defined in this policy.