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Faculty Handbook - Section 2

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2 FACULTY POLICIES, REGULATIONS, AND PROCESSES

2.1 DEFINITION OF FACULTY STATUS

The faculty generally includes all persons appointed as regular full-time faculty, pro-rata temporary faculty, adjunct, visiting faculty, and special appointment faculty. Specific employment contracts are awarded to all faculty.

2.1.1 RANKED FACULTY

A ranked faculty member is an employee of the university who has been appointed to one of the four regular full-time academic ranks: instructor, distinguished lecturer, assistant professor,associate professor, professor, or distinguished professor. Librarians have the same rank structure as faculty.

2.1.2 RANK OF INSTRUCTOR

The rank of instructor is a non-tenured rank. A faculty member holding this rank does not possess any right to permanent or continuous employment; does not have any manner of legal right, interest, or expectancy of renewal or any other type of appointment; and is subject to annual renewal by the university. Because of the one-academic-year contract provision, with no expectation of renewal for the rank of Instructor, the highest academic degree considered for an Instructor’s position is an appropriate master’s or educational specialist's degree in the discipline.

2.1.3 CRITERIA FOR APPOINTMENT TO SPECIFIC RANKED FACULTY STATUS

At the time of initial appointment of a regular faculty member, the dean, in consultation with the division and/or department head, recommends rank for the initial contract, using the criteria described below. Upon approval of the provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, written copies of the appointment and contract will be provided to the department, dean, and the individual involved. Thereafter, rank changes are subject to Section 2.5: Promotion. All faculty members are contract employees with the university.

As referenced herein below, a college/university of "recognized standing" means a college/university accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations, e.g., the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or a college/university of recognized international standing.

2.1.3.1 INSTRUCTOR

General criteria for rank of instructor shall be:

  1. Possession of a master's degree from a graduate institution of recognized standing or equivalent experience and professional recognition.
  2. Either demonstrated or presumptive potential to obtain an appropriate earned doctoral degree or the terminal professional degree recognized by the college and university.
  3. Either demonstrated or presumptive potential for effective teaching and for satisfying the duties and responsibilities of a faculty member.
  4. Credit for the minimum number of hours of graduate work required by the accrediting agency in the area of teaching responsibility.

2.1.3.2 DISTINGUISHED LECTURER

Guidelines and criteria for this rank may be found on the website of the Division of Academic Affairs. A minimum of twelve years at the rank of instructor at Jacksonville State University is required to apply for this rank. The distinguished lecturer rank is a non-tenured rank. With the approval of the president, the guidelines and criteria are subject to revision by the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

2.1.3.2.1 TERMINAL DEGREE: TRANSITION IN RANK OR POSITION

Full-time, regular faculty members holding the academic rank of Instructor and seeking to pursue a terminal degree must submit a notice of intent to begin a terminal degree program to the provost, through their department head and dean, prior to the start of any terminal degree program, whether the plan involves JSU Educational Leave or not. Because the University’s accrediting agency (SACSCOC) requires that the University employ qualified faculty to teach, it is essential that the individual faculty member and the University agree that the highest degree earned meets the institution’s needs and standards for the discipline.

Academic staff who hold a master’s degree, teach, and seek to pursue a terminal degree with the intent of achieving professorial rank must meet the same requirements as full-time, regular faculty holding the rank of instructor.

Failure to inform and seek approval in advance of pursuing a terminal degree in any academic program will result in the faculty or staff member remaining at his or her current rank or position, even with a terminal degree, if the terminal degree is inappropriate to the discipline.

2.1.3.3 ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

General criteria for the rank of assistant professor shall be:

  1. Possession of an appropriate earned doctorate or an appropriate terminal professional or academic degree from a graduate institution of recognized standing or accomplishments that are considered equivalent (e.g., recognized performance in the creative arts or in the business community).
  2. Either demonstrated or presumptive potential for effective teaching and for satisfying the duties and responsibilities of a faculty member.
  3. Either demonstrated or presumptive scholarship in subject matter field.
  4. Credit for the minimum number of hours of graduate work required by the accrediting agency in the area of teaching responsibility.

2.1.3.4 ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

General criteria for the rank of associate professor shall be:

  1. Possession of an appropriate earned doctorate or an appropriate terminal professional or academic degree from a graduate institution of recognized standing or experience and professional recognition (e.g., outstanding performance in the creative arts or in the business community).
  2. A minimum of five complete years of full-time teaching at the rank of assistant professor at a regionally accredited college or university (or its equivalent). See 2.5.2: Procedure.
  3. Evidence of sustained, noteworthy teaching effectiveness.
  4. Evidence of noteworthy research, scholarly, creative, or professional activities
  5. Credit for the minimum number of hours of graduate work required by the accrediting agency in the area of teaching responsibility.

2.1.3.5 PROFESSOR

General criteria for the rank of professor shall be:

  1. Sustained excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.
  2. Possession of an appropriate earned doctorate from a graduate institution of recognized standing, or an appropriate terminal professional or academic degree from a graduate institution of recognized standing, or widely acclaimed accomplishments in the field (e.g., the creative arts or the business community).
  3. A minimum of ten years of full-time teaching as an assistant and/or associate professor in a regionally accredited college or university (or its equivalent), with a minimum of five complete years of full-time teaching at the rank of associate professor.
  4. Credit for the minimum number of hours of graduate work required by the accrediting agency in the area of teaching responsibility.

2.1.3.6 DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR

Guidelines and criteria for this rank may be found on the website of the Division of Academic Affairs under Faculty Resources. The designation is for a five-year period and is renewable; however, each renewal requires that the process must successfully be repeated during the application for the next five-year period. Guidelines and criteria are subject to revision by the provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.

2.1.3.7 DISTINGUISHED AFFILIATE PROFESSOR

A courtesy and honorary title assigned by the university to individuals who offer educational experiences for the university. Such appointments do not qualify for compensation or benefits, unless the provost and vice president for academic affairs approves an exception, such as a full-time temporary or visiting professor. This rank is not eligible for tenure.

2.1.3.8 EXCEPTIONS TO CRITERIA

Exceptions to the requirement for a terminal degree may be made in cases of extraordinary faculty performance in teaching, service, or scholarship. To qualify as an exception, the faculty member's accomplishments must be more extensive in quantity and generally more impressive in quality than those of faculty members with the same length of service and with the terminal degree who have been promoted. Furthermore, the faculty member's extraordinary performance must be recognized regionally or nationally.

2.1.4 REGULAR FACULTY

Generally, a regular faculty member:

  1. Has full-time teaching duties or teaching and other duties (e.g., research, academic administration, advising) equivalent to a full-time workload (See Section 2.9).
  2. Fulfills the duties and responsibilities of a faculty member.
  3. Holds academic rank as described in Section 2.1.1.

2.1.5 TEMPORARY FACULTY

2.1.5.1 ADJUNCT FACULTY

Adjunct faculty members teach on a per course basis, as needed. Adjunct faculty:

  1. Teach no more than 12 credit hours during any semester or combination of short terms, with no more than 4 credit hours in any four-week term or 6 credit hours during a six- week term.
  2. Have no other faculty non-teaching duties and responsibilities.
  3. Have the minimum number of hours of graduate work required by the accrediting agency in the area of teaching responsibility.
  4. Receive a term contract (See Section 2.2.1), with no fringe benefits other than those required by Federal or State law, e.g., FICA.
  5. Do not accrue time towards, and are not eligible for, tenure or promotion.
  6. Work no more than 27 hours per week.

2.1.5.2 VISITING FACULTY

All visiting faculty appointments are for a limited period of time with no intent of ongoing employment. Visiting appointments by rank are reserved for faculty members who meet minimum requirements for full-time faculty employment.

2.1.6 SPECIAL APPOINTMENT FACULTY

2.1.6.1 EMERITI APPOINTMENTS

Retired professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, and administrative staff who have been in the service of the university for ten or more years are eligible for emeritus status. For faculty, they must have been members of the faculty who have made outstanding contributions in teaching, research, or service. For administrative staff, they must have made a significant contribution in service to the university.

Nominations for emeritus status shall be made to a committee on faculty honors chosen by the faculty senate and with one representative from each college within the university. The committee shall make final recommendations to the provost and vice president for academic affairs for recommendation to the president. For administrative staff, recommendations shall come from the university council. The final decision to award the designation shall be made by the president.

Those enjoying emeritus status are entitled to the full honors of their rank; to participate in all formal ceremonies of the university; to share in the social life of the faculty; to continue to use university facilities such as the cafeteria, the library, and recreational facilities. They are invited to attend all formal events held by the university. They may also obtain tickets to concerts, lectures, and sports and recreational events at faculty rates.

Compensation is neither earned nor accrued by virtue of this honor, unless by mutual agreement between the provost and vice president for academic affairs and the individual, the individual is offered a part-time term contract to teach or fulfill other duties. In such cases, compensation and supplementary benefits, if any, shall be set forth in the contract.

2.1.6.2 ARTIST/WRITER/SCHOLAR-IN-RESIDENCE

The university may appoint distinguished artists, writers, poets, or scholars to the special faculty status of artist/writer/scholar-in-residence. Such appointments shall be full-time or part-time, depending on the needs of the university. The appointments are non-tenure-track.

2.1.6.3 REPLACEMENT FACULTY

The university may appoint faculty members as adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, or pro-rata temporary faculty to replace faculty on leave for the duration of such leave. Service under such contracts does not count for tenure, promotion, or professional development leave unless such service is recognized by the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the time of offering a probationary (tenure-track) contract.

2.1.6.4 JOINT APPOINTMENT

Joint appointment refers to those full-time or part-time term, probationary, or tenure contracts held by one person with specific contractual designation in more than one program area. For the purposes of salary determination, promotion, tenure, performance assessment, and other personnel matters, individuals holding joint appointments shall be assigned by the president, upon recommendation of the provost and vice president for academic affairs and the appropriate deans and department heads, to a program area as determined by the percentage of workload or level of responsibility. Such appointments shall be made only when the credentials of a faculty member and/or the needs of the degree or program area so justify.

2.1.7 ADMINISTRATORS WITH FACULTY RANK

Full-time ranked faculty who accept full-time administrative appointments (above the level of department head) shall retain the rank held at the time of the administrative appointment.

Faculty holding tenure at the time of an administrative appointment shall retain tenured faculty status. Faculty in probationary tenure-track appointments who accept an administrative appointment may continue to pursue tenure. Should tenure not be granted, the individual shall continue in the administrative position and receive a courtesy faculty appointment with the approval of the provost and vice president for academic affairs and the president. All administrators with the University are contract employees.

Applications for courtesy appointments to the faculty may be made to the provost and vice president for academic and student affairs by qualified administrators or staff. Applicants must meet minimum criteria as outlined in Section 2.1.3 and must receive recommendations from the dean and department head. Courtesy appointment faculty are ineligible for tenure and shall not be considered for full-time faculty positions except by participation in a normal search process for an authorized vacancy.

Administrators holding tenure shall, upon cessation of an administrative appointment, return to a full-time faculty appointment at a salary determined by dividing 1.2 into the twelve-month salary, minus any administrative supplement, to establish the new nine-month salary as a faculty member. Non-tenured administrators with probationary faculty appointments who leave administrative appointments for any reason may continue their probationary faculty appointments upon the recommendation of the appropriate department head, dean, and the provost and vice president for academic affairs, and with the approval of the president.

2.2 CONTRACTS

2.2.1 TERM

All faculty are contract employees. A full-time or part-time term contract is for a designated period and automatically expires at the end of that period. Term contracts are given to all non- tenure-track faculty. Reemployment of the faculty member after expiration of a term contract is at the sole discretion of the university. Term contracts may also be utilized for faculty appointments in summer sessions, temporary situations, or for other short terms.

The university shall not be bound by any prior promises, agreements, or understandings, oral or written, regarding the faculty member's contractual employment with the university. The terms and conditions applicable to the faculty member's appointment may not be changed orally but only in writing and duly signed by the university through its authorized representative in accordance with established procedures.

The contractual rights of the faculty member and university are personal to each party and may not be assigned or transferred to any other person or entity. The faculty member's duties and responsibilities may not be delegated.

2.2.2 PROBATIONARY/TENURE-TRACK

A full-time probationary/tenure-track contract is for a designated period. Tenure-track appointments shall begin with appointment to the rank of full-time assistant professor or a higher rank. The probationary period for tenure shall not exceed seven years. Included within this period, if the initial contract stipulates, shall be approved full-time tenured service at other institutions of higher education. It may be agreed in writing that his/her new appointment is for a probationary period of less than five complete years at Jacksonville State University.

2.2.3 TENURED

Tenured contracts are awarded to ranked faculty members who have attained tenure as provided for in Section 2.6: Tenure.

2.2.4 OTHER

Contracts are also used to provide compensation for faculty who perform supplemental duties, such as extra compensation from grants or contracts.

2.2.5 LOCUS OF APPOINTMENT

All faculty appointments to term or probationary contracts have as the initial locus of their appointment the department stated in the letter of appointment. Locus of appointment for tenured faculty shall be the department in which they hold tenure. Faculty members who change departments within the university retain their tenure or progress toward tenure. Locus of appointment is subject to change at the discretion of the university.

2.2.6 CONTRACT FORM, ISSUANCE, AND RECEIPT

Faculty contracts shall typically include the following:

  1. Type of contract and appointment.
  2. Salary.
  3. Designation of program area(s).
  4. Designation of academic rank, academic title, or special academic status.
  5. Duration of contract.
  6. Special conditions (if any).

All-tenure track and non-tenure-track contract renewal offers for any academic year will generally be issued on or before March 1. Signed contracts must be returned within five working days or the first working day thereafter. The contractual rights of the faculty member and University are personal to each party and may not be assigned or transferred to any other person or entity. The faculty member's duties and responsibilities may not be delegated.

All contracts are issued and returned on an individual basis.

2.3 SEARCH/APPOINTMENT/ORIENTATION

2.3.1 SEARCH/APPOINTMENT PROCEDURES

The university gives notice of employment opportunities by appropriate publication and follows procedures outlined in the Jacksonville State University Manual of Policies and Procedures in the evaluation and appointment of applicants. Jacksonville State University is an equal opportunity employer (EEO).

2.3.2 ORIENTATION

The office of the provost and vice president for academic affairs shall have the primary responsibility for distribution of the Faculty Handbook and for orientation of first-year faculty to the policies, regulations, and procedures of the university. Orientation to specific duties and responsibilities shall be conducted at the college or departmental levels.

2.3.3 EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

It is the policy of the university not to unlawfully discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, age, gender, national origin, religion, veteran status, or disability status. No employee shall unlawfully discriminate against another employee or student. For additional information see the Jacksonville State University Equal Opportunity Policy and Policy of Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action in the Jacksonville State University Manual of Policies and Procedures.

2.3.4 NEPOTISM/EMPLOYMENT CONFLICT OF INTEREST

It shall be considered a conflict of interest in employment for an employee to serve in a direct supervisory capacity over a relative or dependent. For the purposes of this policy, "relative" refers to any person within the first degree of consanguinity, any spouse, or any in-laws, and "dependent" refers to any person as defined in Section 152 of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

2.4 FACULTY EVALUATION

Faculty evaluation should be objectively applied. The purpose of faculty evaluation is to encourage faculty to fully develop their potential as teachers, scholars, and citizens of the academic community (formative purpose), to prompt activities and achievements that further the goals of the university, and to provide appropriate information for making personnel decisions (summative purpose).

Generally, procedures developed for evaluation of faculty should be rigorous and fair, and be conducive to the development and support of a wide range of faculty talent and interests, while channeling faculty efforts toward teaching and other activities essential to the university's fulfillment of its mission.

Since academic disciplines differ, it is appropriate that each discipline develop its own faculty evaluation procedures and conduct its own evaluations. The information in this handbook section represents guidelines to be followed by each unit in developing evaluation procedures. All evaluation systems should address the areas of teaching and advising (as assigned), research and scholarly productivity, and service. They must also describe general procedures for using evaluation data.

2.4.1 TEACHING EFFECTIVENESS

2.4.1.1 CRITERIA FOR TEACHING EFFECTIVENESS

Evaluation procedures must properly reflect that teaching is an important activity of faculty members. As a learning-centered university, the following areas of effective teaching should be addressed:

  1. Content expertise, which includes command of one's subject; knowledge of current developments in one's discipline and pedagogy; and the ability to relate one's subject to other areas of knowledge.
  2. Instructional delivery skills, which include the use of technology interactive skills that promote or facilitate learning, effectiveness in communicating with students, the ability to stimulate and broaden student interest in the subject matter, and the ability to motivate students to engage in independent work.
  3. Instructional design skills, which include the ability to design and implement effective instructional experiences so as to promote student learning.
  4. Student learning outcomes and assessment skills, which accurately measure that learning has occurred.

2.4.1.2 EVIDENCE OF TEACHING EFFECTIVENESS

Each program or department should use as many of the following sources as are appropriate and feasible to provide evidence of teaching effectiveness:

  1. Student evaluations. The evaluator using these data must be cognizant of the relevant class and course characteristics that affect student ratings.
  2. Evaluations by the department head or program director or by the dean.
  3. Evaluations by peers from inside and/or outside the university.
  4. Self-evaluation.
  5. Further course work or other continuing educational activities such as seminars and workshops in one's field.
  6. Participation in seminars and workshops on pedagogy.
  7. Evidence of student-learning outcomes.

2.4.2 ACADEMIC ADVISEMENT

2.4.2.1 CRITERIA FOR EFFECTIVENESS IN ACADEMIC ADVISEMENT

The following criteria should be addressed when evaluating student advisement:

  1. Ability to help students select a course of study appropriate to their interests and aptitudes.
  2. Ability to assist students in academic and career planning.
  3. Use of the services and support from the Office of Career Services.

2.4.2.2 EVIDENCE OF EFFECTIVENESS IN ACADEMIC ADVISEMENT

Effectiveness in advisement should be assessed and documented by the following:

  1. Evaluation by the department head or program director.
  2. Self-evaluation.
  3. Student evaluations.
  4. Participation in workshops or seminars designed to improve academic advisement skills.

2.4.3 PROFESSIONAL EFFECTIVENESS OF LIBRARIANS

Since librarians are seldom involved in formal pedagogical activities with students, they are usually evaluated on professional effectiveness rather than teaching effectiveness (See Section 2.4.1) and academic advisement (See Section 2.4.2).

2.4.3.1 CRITERIA FOR PROFESSIONAL EFFECTIVENESS OF LIBRARIANS

The attributes and qualifications to be documented in assessing effectiveness of librarians should be related to the appropriate position classification and include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Command and knowledge of one's specialty area and ability to instruct in such areas as required.
  2. Fulfillment of one's principal responsibilities as stated in the job description, performance contracts, or other guidelines, as published by the dean of library services.
  3. Knowledge of current developments in one's area of responsibility.
  4. Ability to effectively use ideas gained from individual study and observation for the improvement of one's area of responsibility in the library.
  5. Ability to direct the activities of subordinate staff members.
  6. Ability to interact and communicate effectively with library patrons.

2.4.3.2 EVIDENCE OF PROFESSIONAL EFFECTIVENESS OF LIBRARIANS

Sources of documentation for evaluating librarians' effectiveness should include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Self-ratings.
  2. Supervisor ratings.
  3. Ratings by users of the librarian's expertise.
  4. Ratings by outside experts.

2.4.4 SCHOLARSHIP, RESEARCH, AND CREATIVE WORK

Participation of faculty in scholarly activities enhances subject matter mastery, provides effective intellectual role models for students, and offers opportunities for students to cooperate with faculty. Inasmuch as what is considered appropriate scholarly activity varies from discipline to discipline, it is the responsibility of the colleges and departments to define what constitutes appropriate scholarship, research, or creative work. In the evaluation of such activities, quality should prevail over quantity.

Scholarship of teaching and learning (The Boyer Model) may be included in the unit’s criteria to reward faculty with promotion, tenure, or merit when available. As with all scholarship, the scholarship of teaching must be shared with the academic discipline or other educational venues either by publication or by presentation. To ensure consistency within the college, the dean will approve departmental criteria, and its equivalents, for departmental scholarly requirements.

2.4.4.1 CRITERIA FOR SCHOLARSHIP, RESEARCH, AND CREATIVE WORK

Scholarly activity should include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:

  1. Sustained inquiry in an area of one's discipline.
  2. Scholarly productivity demonstrated by publication or, when appropriate, artistic works and performances.
  3. Submission of significant proposals for research grants and projects.
  4. Presentation of research findings at professional meetings.
  5. Willingness to share expertise with the university community.
  6. Use of research in developing new curricula, teaching methods, library services, or programs.

2.4.4.2 EVIDENCE OF SCHOLARSHIP, RESEARCH, AND CREATIVE WORK

Excellence in scholarly activity should be assessed by evidence produced by the following types of procedures and activities:

  1. Documented self-report of activities.
  2. Evaluation by professional peers.
  3. Publications, presentations, and/or creative works.
  4. Awards of grants, prizes, commendations, or proposals submitted for external/internal funding opportunities.
  5. Demonstrated skills in the methods of one's scholarly discipline.

2.4.5 SERVICE

The university considers service to include activities related to the University, the profession, and the community when related to the discipline.

2.4.5.1 CRITERIA FOR SERVICE TO THE UNIVERSITY

University service should include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. Service on departmental committees, attendance at departmental meetings, participation in decision-making, curriculum development, and program evaluation.
  2. Participation on college/university committees.
  3. Leadership in some area of college/university governance.
  4. Service as chair of a committee, director (without extra compensation) of a program, or officer of the faculty senate.
  5. Service as an advisor to an approved student organization.
  6. Service as a representative of the university to the larger regional, national, or international community.

2.4.5.2 EVIDENCE OF SERVICE TO THE UNIVERSITY

Demonstration of university service activities should include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following types of evidence:

  1. Documented self-report of activities.
  2. Ratings by the dean, department head, or program director.
  3. Committee or committee-chairperson ratings, ratings by the supervisor of an activity, or ratings by the beneficiary of a service.

2.4.5.3 CRITERIA FOR SERVICE TO THE PROFESSION/DISCIPLINE

Service activities in support of the profession/discipline include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  1. Leadership positions in professional organizations.
  2. Appointment in a scholarly capacity to a state, regional, or national post.
  3. Participation in professional organizations.
  4. Presentation of papers (other than research) before learned societies.
  5. Service in the individual's professional area as a consultant or resource person.
  6. Review of creative work (without extra compensation).

2.4.5.4 EVIDENCE OF SERVICE TO THE PROFESSION/DISCIPLINE

Demonstration of service to the profession/discipline should include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  1. Documented self-report of activities.
  2. Evaluation by professional peers.
  3. Published citations or acknowledgments of contributions.

2.4.5.5 CRITERIA FOR SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY

Service to the community should reflect the application of knowledge and skills related to one's professional field and may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. Lectures to community groups.
  2. Participation as a member of, or as a consultant (without compensation) to, non-profit organizations designed to serve the general public.
  3. Service Learning. Service learning is a pedagogical technique in which students participate in volunteer community service as part of their work for class. Students apply the skills and knowledge from their classes in their service and reflect, in the classroom,on the people, organizations, agencies, and social institutions they encounter. Students use volunteer work as a foundation for their course work throughout the semester. For faculty, service learning may be considered service to the university as a part of curriculum development and, by definition, service to the community.

2.4.5.6 EVIDENCE OF SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY

Demonstration of appropriate service to the community should include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  1. Self-reports, adequately documented.
  2. Citations by community groups or leaders.
  3. News articles or announcements.
  4. Pedagogical documents from teaching, including but not limited to handouts, syllabi, and/or assignments.

2.4.5.7 CRITERIA FOR COLLEGIALITY

Demonstrate a willingness and ability to work effectively with colleagues to support the mission of the university and the common goals of the academic unit.

2.4.5.8 EVIDENCE OF COLLEGIALITY

Demonstration of collegiality should include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  1. Self-reports, adequately documented.
  2. Evaluation by professional peers.
  3. Published citations or acknowledgments of collegiality.

2.4.6 EVALUATION PROCEDURES

An annual performance review of all faculty shall be conducted by the department head, or dean/director, or supervisor at the end of the spring semester; it shall be based upon evidence of performance in the prior twelve months (May 1 through April 30). At the time of their third evaluation, tenure-track faculty will be reviewed on their performance of the past thirty-six months to ensure that the candidate for tenure understands the criteria in the Faculty Handbook. Faculty evaluations may be used in decisions regarding salary, reappointment of probationary faculty, promotion and tenure decisions, and participation in faculty development activities.

2.4.6.1 CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION PROCEDURES

As referenced above, the evaluation process used in each college shall be based on Teaching Effectiveness (See Section 2.4.1) and Academic Advisement (See Section 2.4.2); Scholarship, Research, and Creative Work (See Section 2.4.4); Service (See Section 2.4.5); and Professional Effectiveness of Librarians (See Section 2.4.3).

2.4.6.2 ESTABLISHING RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF CRITERIA

In determining an overall rating of faculty members, the combined criteria of teaching, research, and service effectiveness shall be determined by each college. These weightings for evaluation should reflect the workload of the faculty member (See Section 2.9).

2.4.6.3 MODIFICATION OF CONCLUSIONS

After a review of all evaluation information, the department head's and/or dean's conclusions will be communicated to the faculty member.

2.4.6.4 DEVELOPMENT OF FORMATIVE PLAN

Following communication of the department head's evaluation, the department head and the faculty member will establish a formative plan that sets the goals, objectives, and weightings for the next evaluation period. The formative plan should be consistent with the goals and needs of the department and the university.

2.5 PROMOTION

2.5.1 POLICY

Faculty are promoted on the basis of the fulfillment of qualifications discussed in Section 2.1.3: Criteria for Appointment to Specific Ranked Faculty Status and in Section 2.4: Faculty Evaluation.

Although the department head and dean of the college may recognize superior service by recommending advancement in rank and although the university may concur by offering advancement in rank, individual faculty members ordinarily may not apply for advancement until the minimum length of time in current rank has been completed (See Section 2.1.3). Leave time will not count toward promotion.

2.5.2 PROCEDURE

Annually, generally in September, the provost and vice president for academic affairs will call for nominations and applications for promotion from all faculty. The promotion process proceeds from the department head, to the dean, to the provost and vice president for academic affairs, to the president. Candidates for promotion are responsible for compiling a portfolio and for meeting appropriate deadlines. The responsibility of applying for promotion rests with the individual faculty member.

Assistant professors, who have completed five academic years of full-time employment in a tenure-track position at the university, or who have a combination of university full-time employment and credit for prior service with a total of five complete academic years and have been reappointed for the sixth academic year, may be considered for promotion during the sixth academic year. For any other tenure-track rank, faculty members who have met minimum criteria and time-in-rank requirements for promotion, including any prior service, should make application for promotion through their department heads. Any credit for prior service, which has been recognized and agreed to, must be confirmed in writing in the first contract at the time of the initial appointment.

The department head's recommendation will be based on evidence contained in the portfolio. Candidates for promotion will prepare a portfolio according to the guidelines published by the office of the provost and vice president for academic affairs. All faculty in the candidate's department or college having rank equivalent to, or higher than, that being sought will be allowed to review the portfolio and be invited to submit letters to the department head. The portfolio, the department head's recommendation, and any letters from eligible faculty in the candidate's department will be forwarded to the dean, who will review the portfolio and will submit a recommendation to the provost and vice president for academic affairs, who will then submit a recommendation to the president.

When a department head applies for promotion, the application must be accompanied by a recommendation from the dean. When the dean is applying for promotion, the application must be accompanied by a recommendation from the provost and vice president for academic affairs. These evaluations should address the degree to which the candidate meets the appropriate criteria.

Upon completion of the review, the provost and vice president for academic affairs will notify the applicant of the action taken. When an application for promotion is approved, the promotion will normally be effective October 1 of the next academic year.

Exceptions to this policy may be made in unusual cases upon the approval of the provost and vice president for academic affairs and the president.

2.5.3 PROMOTION APPEALS

The following establishes a promotion appeals committee and procedure for promotion appeals:

  1. Following the provost and vice president for academic affairs' letter informing the faculty member of the decision to deny the application for promotion, faculty member may file an appeal, in writing, via certified mail, with the president of the faculty senate and the provost and vice president for academic affairs within seven (7) working days of the date of the provost and vice president for academic affairs' letter.
  2. Barring unusual circumstances, the promotion appeals committee should act on the appellant faculty member's appeal within thirty (30) working days.
  3. The promotion appeals committee shall be composed of one member from each college, elected or appointed, as determined by the faculty senate. The president of the faculty senate shall name its chair.
  4. All members of the promotion appeals committee shall hold rank at or above that for which the appellant faculty member is appealing.
  5. Deans, department heads, and other administrators shall be excluded from membership on this committee.
  6. The provost and vice president for academic affairs shall submit the appellant's promotion portfolio to the chair of the promotion appeals committee. The promotion appeals committee shall make its decision based on the written record; the promotion portfolio submitted to the department head.
  7. The promotion appeals committee shall incorporate its recommendation(s) into the candidate's portfolio and return it to the president for his/her decision. The committee shall send copies of its recommendations to the candidate, the provost and vice president for academic affairs, and the president.
  8. The decision of the president is final.

2.6 TENURE

2.6.1 POLICY

Tenure shall not be construed to mean that a faculty member has the right to indefinite employment. Tenure does assure that if a faculty member's employment is terminated, the faculty member must be informed of the reason(s) for termination and provided an opportunity to present his/her case before the university hearing committee (UHC).

The ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, and professor are tenure-track ranks. Other ranks are not eligible to be considered for tenure. Tenure is not automatic; it is awarded because of demonstrated performance and collegiality. The areas in which performance will be evaluated are teaching, scholarly activity, and service. The following are minimum requirements for tenure consideration:

  1. Earned terminal degree as defined by discipline.
  2. Evidence of candidate's performance and collegiality.
  3. Evidence of effective teaching.
  4. Evidence of service to and for the university.
  5. Evidence of scholarly activity in research, writing, grantsmanship, or creativity as defined by discipline.

2.6.2 PROCEDURE

Annually, generally in September, the provost and vice president for academic affairs shall call for nominations and applications for tenure from all faculty. Candidates for tenure are responsible for compiling a portfolio and for meeting appropriate deadlines. The responsibility of applying for tenure and the burden of demonstrating and establishing performance and collegiality rest with the individual faculty member. The tenure process proceeds from the department head, to the dean, to the provost and vice president for academic affairs, and to the president.

Faculty members who have completed five (5) academic years of full-time employment in a tenure-track position at the university and have been reappointed for the sixth academic year will be considered for tenure during the sixth academic year. Faculty members who hold tenure-track positions and who have met minimum criteria and time requirements should make application for tenure through their department heads. Any credit for prior service, which has been recognized and agreed to, must be confirmed in writing in the first contract at the time of the initial appointment. Leaves of absence shall not count as time eligible toward tenure.

Candidates for tenure must prepare a portfolio according to the guidelines published by the office of the provost and vice president for academic and student affairs. All tenured faculty in the candidate's department or college shall be allowed to review the portfolio and be invited to submit letters to the department head. The department head's recommendation of those applying for tenure shall be based on evidence contained in the portfolio. The portfolio will be forwarded to the dean, along with the department head's recommendation and any letters from tenured faculty in the candidate’s department. The dean will review the application, and will submit a recommendation to the provost and vice president for academic affairs, who will then give a recommendation to the president.

Faculty who were tenured at another institution may be considered for tenure. Faculty promoted from instructor to assistant professor may apply for credit towards tenure for up to two years of prior service as an instructor at the university. Such applications shall be made to the department head, shall be subject to review by the tenured faculty in the candidate's department, and shall have the dean’s recommendation to the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

If tenure is granted, the faculty member will be properly notified. When tenure is denied, the faculty member will generally be informed by March 1 of non-reappointment beyond the following terminal academic year. Faculty members in tenure-track positions may reapply for tenure during their terminal academic year, but will not be reappointed or awarded a new teaching contract beyond the terminal year unless tenure is awarded.

Regardless of the stated term or other provisions of any tenure-track appointment, written notice that a tenure-track appointment is not to be renewed shall be given to the faculty member in advance of the expiration of the appointment and according to Section 2.7.3: Non-reappointment. Failure to issue timely notice does not constitute an award of tenure.

Exceptions to this policy may be made in unusual cases upon the approval of the provost and vice president for academic affairs and the president.

2.6.3 TENURE APPEALS

The following establishes a tenure appeals committee and procedure for tenure appeals.

  1. After the provost and vice president for academic affairs' letter informing the faculty member of the decision to deny the application for tenure, the faculty member may file an appeal, in writing, to the president of the faculty senate and the provost and vice president for academic affairs, via certified mail, within seven (7) working days of the date of the provost and vice president for academic affairs' letter.
  2. Unless unusual circumstances occur, the tenure appeals committee should act on the faculty member's appeal within thirty (30) working days.
  3. The tenure appeals committee shall be composed of one member from each college, elected or appointed, as determined by the faculty senate. The president of the faculty senate shall name its chair.
  4. All members of the tenure appeals committee shall be tenured.
  5. Deans, department heads, and other administrators shall be excluded from membership on this committee.
  6. The provost and vice president for academic affairs shall submit the candidate's tenure portfolio to the chair of the tenure appeals committee. The tenure appeals committee shall make its decision based on the written record; the tenure portfolio submitted to the department head.
  7. The tenure appeals committee shall incorporate its recommendation(s) into the candidate's portfolio, which shall be returned to the president for his/her decision. The tenure appeals committee shall send a copy of its recommendation(s) to the candidate and the provost and vice president for academic affairs.
  8. The decision of the president is final.

2.7 SEPARATION

2.7.1 RESIGNATION

Any faculty member who does not plan to be employed by Jacksonville State University for the next academic year shall submit a written resignation to his/her immediate supervisor by March 15 of each year. Tenure is relinquished upon resignation.

2.7.2 RETIREMENT

Tenure is relinquished upon retirement from the university.

2.7.3 NON-REAPPOINTMENT

Non-tenured faculty members are employed by term contract on a year-to-year basis. The option to extend or renew a faculty appointment and contract rests solely and exclusively with the university. Further, the faculty member is under no obligation to agree to an extension or renewal. A non-tenured faculty member shall not have expectancy of appointment for the next academic year. A non-tenured faculty member shall receive written notification of reemployment or non-reemployment according to the following schedule: not less than three calendar months in advance of the appointment's expiration (generally March 1) if the faculty member is in the first year of service; not less than six calendar months in advance if in the second through the sixth year of service (generally December 1); at least twelve calendar months before the expiration of an appointment (generally June 1) after six or more years of service.

2.7.4 EXPIRED TENURE

Tenure expires upon an event of permanent inability of a faculty member to continue to perform his/her assigned duties.

2.7.5 AUTOMATIC RESIGNATION

A faculty member shall automatically forfeit and waive his/her tenure or probationary/temporary contract upon failure to report for service at the designated date of the beginning of any academic term. Such failure to report shall be deemed to be a resignation unless the faculty member has shown good cause for such failure to report. The burden of establishing good cause shall rest upon the faculty member. The president’s decision as to whether the affected faculty member has established good cause shall be final.

2.7.6 SUSPENSION

The provost and vice president for academic affairs may suspend a faculty member, with or without salary and benefits, from his/her assigned duties at the provost and vice president for academic affairs’ discretion to safeguard the health and safety of faculty, students, or employees of the university; to prevent a disruption of normal operations of the University; or upon the recommendation of a department head and dean. A faculty member may appeal his/her suspension to the university hearing committee (UHC), if salary and benefits have been suspended. See UHC procedures.

2.7.7 PROBLEM-SOLVING AND DISCIPLINE POLICY

Generally, in dealing with problem solving and discipline, a series of communications and informal actions should occur to facilitate positive modification of behavior. In such instances,department heads, directors, and other supervisors may use the sequence of progressive steps specified below.

  1. Aid to Memory. The supervisor may discuss the matter with the faculty member. A written summary of the discussion may be placed in the faculty member's personnel file.
  2. Written Notice. The supervisor may provide written notice to the faculty member regarding the inappropriate behavior/action. This action will be retained in the individual's personnel file.
  3. Actions Referencing Disciplinary Recommendations. The supervisor may notify the faculty member in writing of continued unacceptable behavior and describe some appropriate disciplinary action to be taken.

2.7.8 REMOVAL FOR CAUSE: DISMISSAL OR TERMINATION FOR ADEQUATE CAUSE

2.7.8.1 DISMISSAL

A faculty member with tenure, or a faculty member on a tenure-track appointment prior to the end of the appointment, or a faculty member on a temporary appointment prior to the end of the appointment, may be dismissed. It is impossible to list all potential disciplinary problems and the various circumstances that may lead to dismissal. In general, reasons for dismissal may include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  1. Inability, refusal, or failure to perform the duties or responsibilities for which the faculty member was employed.
  2. Unexcused absenteeism.
  3. Refusal or failure to comply with the policies of the university, college, or department.
  4. Insubordination or refusal or failure to perform specific assignments designated by a supervisor.
  5. Dishonesty.
  6. Illegal or improper use of narcotics or intoxicants or a violation of the university's drug and alcohol policy.
  7. Violation of academic or professional ethics.
  8. Unauthorized disclosure of confidential information.
  9. Commission of a criminal act defined as a felony or as a crime involving moral turpitude.

2.7.8.2 TERMINATION

A faculty member with tenure may be terminated for financial or curricular reasons, which include, but which may not be limited to, the following:

  1. Financial exigency as declared and/or determined by the university.
  2. Reduction in student enrollment.
  3. Program discontinuance.

A tenured faculty member who is terminated because of financial exigency or reduction in student enrollment may be eligible, at the discretion of the administration, to transfer to any other vacant academic position in the university for which he/she is qualified if a need for said terminated faculty member exists and if said transfer is consistent with the requirements of the university. Any such transfer must take into consideration the faculty member's education and training.

When a tenured faculty member is terminated due to financial or curricular reasons, the position will not be filled by a new faculty appointee with the same areas of specialization as the terminated faculty member within a period of one academic year, unless the terminated faculty member has been offered, in writing, via certified mail, reappointment to the position at his/her previous rank and salary, with tenure, and has failed or refused to accept the appointment. The official notification address is the record of address in the human resources office. It is the responsibility of the terminated faculty member to keep his/her address current and accurate. If the terminated faculty member does not respond to a written offer of reappointment within thirty (30) days following the date of the letter, the offer of reappointment is presumed to be rejected by the terminated faculty member and is therefore withdrawn; the university may then proceed to fill the vacancy at its discretion.

2.7.8.3 PROCEDURES FOR DISMISSAL FOR ADEQUATE CAUSE OR TERMINATION FOR FINANCIAL OR CURRICULAR REASONS

  1. The provost and vice president for academic affairs shall notify the faculty member, in writing, of his/her dismissal or termination. The notice shall state reasons for dismissal or termination and inform the faculty member of his/her right to request an appeal/hearing. Should the dismissed/terminated faculty member desire to appeal the dismissal, an appeal may be allowed, provided the dismissed faculty member requests such appeal in writing. The written request for appeal may be mailed via certified mail and must be received by the Office of the Provost and Vice president for academic affairs within seven (7) working days from the date of the faculty member's notice of dismissal. Failure to request an appeal to the provost and vice president for academic affairs within seven (7) working days from the date of delivery precludes any further appeal by the faculty member; and the dismissal is final.
  2. If a hearing is requested in a timely fashion, an appeal/hearing will be conducted by the university hearing committee (UHC), according to the procedures of the UHC (2.11).

2.8 FACULTY RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

2.8.1 GENERAL STATEMENT

Membership in the academic profession carries with it responsibility for the stimulation of students' intellectual growth, the advancement of knowledge, and the improvement of society. Faculty must order and evaluate their activities in terms of their commitment to these goals, as well as in terms of their own personal and professional development.

Moreover, the faculty has a special obligation to understand the nature of Jacksonville State University and to appreciate its unique characteristics, its philosophy, and objectives. The faculty should strive to improve the intellectual and practical effectiveness of the university.

While teaching shall normally be a faculty member's primary responsibility, faculty are also responsible for scholarship, which sustains and enriches teaching; research; publication; and service. In the arts, faculty are responsible for such evidences of creativity as exhibits,performances, and publication. Other faculty responsibilities are academic advisement, participation in department, college and university governance, student recruitment, and community service. A faculty member shall be responsible for carrying out assigned duties satisfactorily. The responsibility to give time and talents to improve one's education and teaching, to seek professional achievement in one's academic discipline, and to support a general education shall also be an obligation of faculty members. During the term of, or upon the renewal of, the faculty member's appointment, the university reserves the right to change the faculty member's duties and responsibilities or to reassign the faculty member to another position, including one in a different academic department consistent with the needs of the university, so long as such change or reassignment take into consideration the faculty member's education and training.

The university does not wish to impose a rigid body of codified rules upon the members of its faculty. The university does, however, have certain legitimate expectations concerning the conduct of professional academics. The obligations incumbent on faculty members at Jacksonville State University are outlined below in a general way.

2.8.2 ADHERENCE TO UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS

An organization can operate effectively and consistently only if it has policies, guidelines, and rules to guide it and its members. The material in this faculty handbook represents an attempt to summarize those regulations pertaining directly to the faculty. Any new or amended policies will be approved by the appropriate bodies of the university and, as needed, will be disseminated online in the Manual of Policies and Procedures to the university community.

Each faculty member has a responsibility to know these regulations and to adhere to them. If questions of interpretation arise, clarification should be sought from the department head, dean, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, or the president. Any exceptions mutually agreed to by the university's administration and a faculty member must be in writing and signed by the faculty member and the appropriate university officials.

2.8.3 PRINCIPAL OCCUPATION

A faculty member is appointed with the expectation that he/she shall be principally occupied with the academic growth and development of Jacksonville State University’s students.

Participation in individual learning/development projects (e.g., faculty development activities, research, grants, contracts, etc.) is encouraged. The faculty member is required to devote his or her full effort to teaching, scholarly activity, and service at Jacksonville State University, unless an exception has been agreed to by the university and the faculty member. The university expects that all faculty members will avoid activities that create a conflict of interest with their duties and responsibilities as faculty members. The university also expects that faculty members will observe the highest moral and ethical standards in any dealings in which they represent the university.

2.8.4 CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

2.8.4.1 CLASS PROCEDURES

The faculty member must, at the beginning of each semester or short term, distribute a syllabus that explains:

  1. The course objectives and student-learning outcomes.
  2. Special requirements for the course, such as term papers, oral reports, field trips, etc.
  3. Grading procedures.
  4. Attendance policy.

Faculty members must maintain clear records of all grades. Students will be allowed to review grades by appointment. Faculty shall report grades of students making D's, F's, or NC’s on the official mid-term grade report. A written record of all grades must be kept for at least one (1) year after the grade is recorded in the administrative computer system.

A faculty member is expected to:

  1. Conduct classes in a professional manner, whether the format is traditional, hybrid, or online.
  2. Grade and return test results within a reasonable time.
  3. Maintain adequate records of grades and be accountable in grading. In the event of separation from the university, faculty shall leave such records with the department head or director.
  4. Maintain regular, scheduled office hours regardless of the delivery format of courses taught. Faculty members shall establish and inform students of their regular weekly office hours. These hours shall be set in accordance with college policy.

Faculty members shall consult the current Jacksonville State University Student Handbook for policy statements on academic honesty.

2.8.4.2 GRADING SYSTEM

2.8.4.2.1 UNDERGRADUATE

Faculty members shall refer to the current undergraduate bulletin for the undergraduate grading system.

2.8.4.2.2 GRADUATE

Faculty members shall refer to the current graduate bulletin for the graduate grading system.

2.8.4.3 CHANGING OF GRADES

No grade except Incomplete (I) may be changed after the submitting of final grades except in the case of error. Within six (6) weeks after grades have been reported, an instructor may change a grade due to an error by a written application through the appropriate department head to the Office of the Registrar, stating the reason for the error and the need to change. Faculty members are accountable for accurate grading and recording. This procedure does not apply to removal of Incompletes (“I”). To remove an Incomplete and assign a permanent grade, faculty that do not have a college policy on Incomplete reporting may go to the Office of the Registrar to change the grade or send a signed memorandum to the registrar to initiate the change.

2.8.4.4 TESTS AND EXAMINATIONS

In fairness to students, instructors shall apprise students of the nature of their methods of evaluation.

All undergraduate tests and examinations shall be proctored. In cases where cheating is encountered or suspected, faculty members should handle each situation with good judgment.

Faculty members should exercise caution and seek the advice of the department head, who may then refer the matter to the dean of the appropriate college for action. Faculty members should consult the current Student Handbook for policy statements on academic honesty.

The registrar is responsible for the schedule of final examinations. All final examinations shall be given at the scheduled time unless a change is approved by the department head and dean. Under extenuating circumstances, a faculty member may reschedule an individual student's final examination for just cause.

2.8.4.5 MAKE-UP EXAMINATIONS

Faculty members shall, at the beginning of the semester, acquaint their traditional, hybrid, or online classes with their policy on make-up examinations. In some areas of academic work, course work and experience cannot be made up, and the faculty member should so advise in the syllabus. Students who miss announced examinations or announced assignments for legitimate reasons may take a make-up examination, which shall be scheduled by the faculty member at a reasonable time and under reasonable conditions. The legitimacy of the excuse for missing the test or assignment is to be determined by the faculty member; however, a student may appeal the decision to the department head and the dean, if there is disagreement about the legitimacy of the excuse.

2.8.4.6 STUDENT ATTENDANCE

Specific policies on attendance for traditional classes or participation in non-traditional classes may be established by individual departments or colleges. Faculty members should be familiar with all policies that apply in the department and should communicate these policies to their students through the syllabus given at the beginning of the semester.

If a policy requires attendance or participation, faculty are required to maintain attendance records to support the policy. Students are held responsible for attendance or participation at all meetings of their classes or delivery modes.

2.8.4.7 OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY-EXCUSED ABSENCES

Official university-excused absences may be issued to groups or individuals by the provost and vice president for academic affairs for participation in authorized Jacksonville State University activities. Although absences may be excused, work missed in class is not. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate a request to make up class work missed.

Faculty members sponsoring an activity for students for which an excused absence is required may obtain the appropriate form from any academic dean's office or the office of the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The form must be completed prior to the scheduled activity.

2.8.5 CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

The primary responsibility for development of new courses, deletion or changes in existing courses, initiation of new programs, and program modifications lies with the faculty. All proposals concerning programs and curriculum shall be reviewed by department, college, and university curriculum committees, in accordance with established procedures. For curriculum actions that require notification to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) or the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE), please refer to the Substantive Change Policy/Curriculum Change Request Process in the Jacksonville State University Manual of Policies and Procedures.

2.8.6 COURSE OFFERINGS AND CONTENT

All course offerings shall be in accordance with the general requirements of the university, the needs of the department's majors, and the needs of students. Faculty members are responsible for teaching at a standard appropriate to the level assigned to the course; for planning and presenting the course material; for establishing course objectives and student-learning outcomes consistent with departmental policy and making them known to students; for selecting texts and supplemental materials; for preparing, administering, and grading tests and examinations; and for assigning grades.

2.8.7 ABSENCES

Faculty are expected to adhere to scheduled traditional class-meeting times. If a faculty member is unable to meet a traditional class, appropriate arrangements shall be made with the department head by the faculty member. If a faculty member is unable to deliver an online or hybrid course, the department head should be notified immediately.

2.8.8 USE OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL

Faculty are responsible for knowing and observing the laws concerning copyrighted material. university employees who wish to use copies of material created by others (printed material, videotape, computer software, or other materials related to electronic media) are responsible for determining its copyright status and should obtain written permission from the copyright owner before using the material except when the "fair use" criteria have been met. See Copyrighted Material Policy in Jacksonville State University Manual of Policies and Procedures.

2.8.9 DEADLINES

Each faculty member is responsible for meeting appropriate deadlines established by the department head, dean, registrar, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and the Campus Bookstore.

2.8.10 ACADEMIC FREEDOM

The university affirms and follows the idea that all members of the faculty are entitled to academic freedom, as defined in the following statements:

  1. Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its expression.
  2. Academic freedom is essential to this purpose and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is fundamental to the protection of the rights of the faculty member in teaching and to the student to freedom in learning. It carries duties along with rights.
  3. The faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of his/her other academic duties, but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding and approval with the administration of the institution.
  4. The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his/her subject, but should be careful not to introduce into his/her teaching controversial matter that has no relation to his/her subject.
  5. The faculty member is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and a representative of an educational institution. When he/she speaks or writes as a citizen, he/she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but his/her special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational representative, he/she should remember that the public may judge his/her profession by his/her utterances. Hence, he/she should at all times be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and make every effort to indicate that he/she is not an institutional spokesperson.

2.8.11 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS

Although no set of rules or professional code can either guarantee or take the place of the faculty's personal integrity, the university endorses the following statements as reminders of the obligations assumed by all members of the academic profession.

2.8.11.1 STATEMENT ON PROFESSIONAL ETHICS

  1. Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end, professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although they may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.
  2. As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of knowledge in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper role as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect students' academic freedom.
  3. As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Professors do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas, professors show due respect for the opinions of others. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.
  4. As members of an academic institution, professors seek, above all, to be effective teachers and scholars. Although professors observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Professors give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within the institution in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, professors recognize the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.
  5. As members of their community, professors have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Professors measure the urgency of these obligations against their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.

2.8.11.2 STATEMENT ON FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY

Membership in the academic community imposes on students, faculty members, administrators, and trustees an obligation to respect the dignity of others; to acknowledge their right to express differing opinions; and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and free expression, both on and off the campus. The expression of dissent and the attempt to produce change may not be carried out in ways that injure individuals, damage institutional facilities, or disrupt the classes of one's teachers or colleagues. Speakers on campus must not only be protected from violence but also given an opportunity to be heard.

Students are entitled to an atmosphere conducive to learning and to evenhanded treatment in all aspects of the teacher-student relationship. Faculty members may not refuse to enroll or teach students because of their beliefs or the possible use to which they may put the knowledge gained in a course. Students should not be forced by the authority inherent in the instructional role to make particular personal choices as to political action or their own part in society. Evaluation of students and the awarding of credit must be based on academic performance, professionally judged, and not on matters irrelevant to that performance, whether personality, race, religion, degree of political activism, or personal beliefs.

Their mastery of a particular subject and scholarship on that subject entitles faculty members to freedom of presentation of their subject in their classrooms. However, it is inappropriate for a faculty member to persistently intrude material not related to the subject being taught, and it is also inappropriate for a faculty member to fail to present subject matter announced to the students and approved by the faculty in their collective responsibility for the curriculum.

Because academic freedom has traditionally included a faculty member’s full freedom as a citizen, most faculty members face no unresolvable conflicts between the claims of politics, social action, and conscience, on the one hand, and the claims and expectations of their students, colleagues, and institution, on the other. However, if such conflicts become acute and the faculty member’s attention to obligations as a citizen and moral agent precludes the fulfillment of substantial academic obligations, that faculty member cannot escape the responsibility of that choice and should either request a leave of absence or resign his/her position.

2.8.11.3 COURSE CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Although faculty members strive to exercise objectivity and avoid biased or preferential treatment of any student, when the student is a relative/dependent, other students are likely to perceive favoritism at their expense. Because the faculty member's credibility among students may suffer, students should be discouraged from registering in a class taught by a relative or by someone to whom they are a dependent. If a student enrolls in a course taught by a relative/dependent, the department head must be informed of this enrollment, and mutually agreed upon steps for grade determination should be made.

2.8.12 CONSENSUAL RELATIONS POLICY

Faculty members, including students or other persons with teaching responsibilities, shall not have a relationship (consensual or otherwise) with a student who is enrolled in a course taught by the faculty member or whose academic work (including work as a teaching assistant) is being supervised by the faculty member. Faculty members who violate this policy may be subject to dismissal or termination.

Relationships between faculty and students occurring outside the instructional context may also lead to difficulties. Faculty may face serious conflicts of interest and should be careful to avoid any decisions that may reward or penalize the student involved.

2.8.13 VIOLATIONS OF FACULTY RIGHTS, ACADEMIC FREEDOM, AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

While affirming academic freedom as a right, the university recognizes that, in some circumstances, academic freedom becomes enmeshed in questions of professional incompetence or irresponsibility. In the effort to distinguish between these two issues, the guiding principle is that charges of professional incompetence or irresponsibility shall not be used to limit academic freedom, nor shall appeals to academic freedom be automatically accepted as a shield for professional incompetence or irresponsibility.

2.9 ACADEMIC CALENDAR AND WORKLOAD

The academic calendar consists of Fall and Spring Semesters and the short terms (May Term, May 12, May 6, June 6). The nine-month academic year consists of the Fall and Spring Semesters, plus the May Term. The academic year begins with the published date for the return of faculty for Fall Semester and ends with the completion of the May Term. Nine- month faculty are employed for the entire academic year. The workload is comprised of a teaching load and other duties and expectations. Twelve-month faculty shall teach in the Fall and Spring Semesters.

2.9.1 TEACHING LOAD

The standard teaching load obligation for the Fall and Spring Semesters is twelve (12) credit hours for regular full-time faculty, plus other duties and responsibilities. The teaching obligation may be adjusted at the discretion of the department head and dean to accommodate special faculty roles and the needs of the university, both off and on campus.  For example, a hypothetical workload adjustment might yield 9 hours teaching, 3 hours research, and 3 hours of non-teaching assignments for a total workload of 15 hours. Teaching load credit for supervising students enrolled in independent study, research, practical internship, and similar courses shall be determined by the department head with approval by the appropriate dean.  Librarians performing their assigned professional duties shall be deemed to be fulfilling their teaching-load obligations.

2.9.1.1 OVERLOADS

To allow faculty to concentrate their energies adequately on a reasonable teaching load, it is the policy of the university to generally avoid the use of overloads. Any arrangement for an overload (revised 01/14/15) must have the approval of the dean and provost and vice president for academic affairs.

2.9.2 OTHER DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

The standard non-teaching duties required of all full-time faculty include:

A.  Academic advising. The responsibilities of faculty with respect to academic advising include, but are not limited to, scheduling office hours to meet advising responsibilities regardless of mode of delivery of the curriculum, assisting students in setting academic goals, informing students of curriculum requirements, maintaining appropriate records of advising, and providing, as necessary, referrals to appropriate student services.

B.  Participating in meetings of the general faculty, college, and department.

C.  Participating in departmental activities such as curriculum planning, departmental policy- making, evaluation procedures, library additions, program assessment, and care of instructional supplies and equipment.

D.  Participating in student recruitment activities.

E.  Engaging in appropriate scholarly activities.

2.9.3 AVAILABILITY AND OFFICE HOURS

As per college policy, all faculty members shall be available for consultation with students enrolled in their classes, regardless of the mode of delivery. University policy allows a department or college to adjust faculty workload by three hours (3) for non-teaching assignments, e.g., committee work, class preparation, student advisement and/or consultation, or other non-teaching duties as assigned. During pre-registration advisory periods and during registration itself, faculty members shall be available for scheduled advising periods.

Each faculty member shall establish, post, and make students aware of regular and adequate office hours so distributed throughout the week as to be convenient to students. A copy of the office hours schedule is to be submitted to the department head and dean. The department head is responsible for notifying the faculty member if office hours are inadequate. Failure to perform non-teaching assignments will result in an additional 3 hours teaching assignment.

2.10 FINANCIAL EXIGENCY

According to the procedures outlined in the Financial Exigency Policy, contained in the Jacksonville State University Manual of Policies and Procedures, the university may terminate or reduce the contract rights of tenured and non-tenured faculty members, when the board of trustees, in consultation with the president, determines that the university is faced with financial exigency.

2.11 UNIVERSITY HEARING COMMITTEE

The university hearing committee (UHC) is the university's grievance committee. This committee considers faculty grievances and appeals concerning charges of disability, race, sex, and age discrimination; Affirmative Action-related grievances; and faculty without salary and benefits, termination, and dismissal. Certain issues do not fall under this procedure, such as: sexual harassment; promotion decisions; non-reappointment; tenure decisions; evaluation; salary; suspension with salary and benefits; merit raises; benefits; assigned workload; and financial support for grants, contracts, equipment, or travel.

2.11.1 PROCEDURE FOR AN APPEAL OR GRIEVANCE

Step 1 All informal and administrative appeals and/or grievance procedures must be exhausted through the college/division/department level before an appeal may be made to the UHC. The provost and vice president for academic affairs shall ascertain and determine if all such appeals and/or procedures have been exhausted.

Step 2 If all such appeals and/or procedures through the college/department level have been exhausted, the faculty member may file with the provost and vice president for academic affairs his/her written grievance or appeal stating the specific issues the UHC is to review.

Step 3 The UHC shall consist of the associate vice president for academic affairs, as chair (ex- officio); one dean appointed by the provost and vice president for academic affairs; one department head appointed by the provost and vice president for academic affairs; the president of the faculty senate; two faculty members appointed by the president of the faculty senate; and one faculty member appointed by the provost and vice president for academic affairs. Members deeming themselves disqualified because of bias or interest shall remove themselves from the UHC. The provost and vice president for academic affairs and/or the president of the faculty senate shall make new or substitute appointments as needed. Replacements or substitutes shall be chosen in the manner described above. In the event that the faculty senate president is disqualified for some reason, the vice president of the faculty senate shall assume the president's role and function.

Step 4: At least twenty (20) days prior to the scheduled hearing date, the chair of the UHC shall serve notice of the meeting, stating time, place, and the specific issues, appeals, and/or charges that have been made. Except for such simple publicity announcements as may be required (such as the time of the hearing and similar matters), public statements and publicity about the appeal or grievance by either the faculty member or administrative officers shall be avoided.

Step 5: At the hearing, the faculty member shall have the opportunity to present his/her appeal or grievance. The UHC may request other parties to testify as circumstances dictate. The committee shall not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence that is of value in determining the issues involved. Every effort shall be made to obtain the most reliable information available. The findings of fact and the decision shall be based on the hearing record. The hearing records, including all related documents and exhibits, shall be the property of the university.

Step 6: Following the hearing, the UHC shall make its written recommendation to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. Its recommendation shall be based upon the preponderance of the evidence in the record considered as a whole. A copy of the recommendation shall be mailed to the faculty member who filed the grievance or appeal.

Step 7: The provost and vice president for academic affairs shall review the recommendation of the UHC and shall affirm or deny the appeal or grievance. Unless there is a claim of denial of procedural due process, the decision of the provost and vice president for academic affairs is final.

Step 8: An appeal may be made to the president only on the basis of denial of procedural due process. All appeals shall be in writing and must be mailed via certified mail (and received) by the president within seven (7) days of the date of the provost and vice president for academic affairs’ decision. The faculty member must demonstrate, in writing, to the president that a necessary policy or procedure was not followed in his/her appeal or grievance. In that case, the president shall review all relevant records and shall affirm or deny the grievance or appeal. In all such cases, the decision of the president is final. If the president determines that all policies and procedures were followed, the decision of the provost and vice president for academic affairs is final.

2.12 SUMMER APPOINTMENTS

Based on university and programmatic needs, summer appointments may include teaching, scholarly activity, and/or service activity. For full-time nine-month faculty, summer differentials are based on the number of credit hours at one thirty second (1/32) per credit hour of instruction or its equivalent times the nine-month salary; e.g., a three-credit hour course would be 3/32 X 9- month salary for the summer differential. Nine credit hours (9) during May12 term are the maximum credit hours to determine a summer differential; six credit hours (6) are the maximum credit hours during May 6 and June 6 terms; and three credit hours (3) are the maximum credit hours during June 4 and July 4. Overloads during the short terms are discouraged, but if required, compensation will be at the adjunct rate. Compensation for courses that may be required for a few students during the summer may be prorated, if the instructor agrees to the reduction in compensation.

2.12.1 NON-TEACHING SUMMER ACTIVITIES

Scholarly activity and/or service may be substituted for teaching during the summer sessions upon specific approval of the department head, dean, and provost and vice president for academic affairs.

2.12.2 SUMMER OVERLOADS

No overload compensation is available during the summer terms except upon the specific approval of the department head, dean, and provost and vice president for academic affairs. Contracts will be issued for all overloads and will specify the exact terms of the overload agreement.

2.13 CREDIT HOURS AWARDED FOR COURSES

Jacksonville State University (JSU) has policies and procedures for determining the credit hours awarded for courses and programs which conform to commonly accepted practices in higher education and to SACSCOC policy, which states, “not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time,or at least an equivalent amount of work as required above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.”

JSU’s credit hour definition follows:

2.13.1 POLICY STATEMENT

JSU awards one unit of credit for satisfactory completion of one (1) sixty (60)-minute session of classroom instruction and a minimum of two (2) hours of out-of-class work for a minimum of three (3) hours of course activities per week for a typical semester of not less than fourteen (14) weeks. For example:

Typically, courses at JSU are awarded three (3) semester credit hours per course. The three (3) semester hours of credit consists of the equivalent of at least three

(3) hours (60-minute period) per week of "seat time" in-class and six (6) hours per week of out-of-class academic activities for a period of at least fourteen (14) weeks. Hence, a standard three (3) semester credit hour class meets for at least forty-two (42) contact hours per semester, plus a minimum average of six (6) hours of activities outside of the classroom per week for fourteen (14) weeks.

Alternatively, a credit hour may be granted for an equivalent amount of work as itemized above for other academic activities or instructional modes of delivery, such as distance education, blended distance and face-to-face instruction, laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. Course instructors are responsible for making adjustments so that the total number of hours of work required by students, regardless of instructional mode, is equivalent. Assigning credit for courses with alternate delivery methods is based on content and instructional activities. When courses are offered both in the traditional format as well as via distance, the syllabi for the modes of delivery demonstrate similar content and expectations so that distance education and face-to-face instruction classes are awarded the same number of credit hours. For classes offered in a shortened format, such as summer terms, the hours are prorated so that classes contain the same total number of contact hours and instructional activities as if the classes were scheduled for a full fourteen (14)-week semester.

When developing courses, faculty are responsible for ensuring that the designated work load for a course justifies granting the student the specified number of credit hours as indicated in the course description. When courses are taught via distance learning where no actual “contact hours” are required, faculty are responsible for designing their courses to ensure that an equivalent quantity of content and academic activities are included as would be required if the course were taught in a traditional format. Ultimately, the responsibility for protecting the academic integrity of curricula, programs, and class schedules rests with the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

For graduate and professional students, even though the face-to-face meeting time may be equivalent to that required for undergraduate students, the required academic work will exceed the total nine hours per week as described above since out-of-class demands will exceed the two

(2) hours per week.

The university may adjust its basic measure for awarding academic credit proportionately to reflect modified academic calendars and formats of study as long as it meets the aforementioned criteria.

2.13.2 REVIEW AND APPROVAL PROCESS FOR NEW COURSES AND COURSE REVISIONS

Faculty developing new courses or revising currently existing courses must ensure

  1. that the required quantity of student learning/activities per credit hour is equivalent to a minimum of forty-two (42) hours of coursework over a fourteen (14)-week semester
  2. that instructional activities for the course address and demonstrate student competencies in defined learning outcomes
  3. that a semester credit hour will be consistent throughout all academic programs of the university.

These instructional activities should draw upon instructional practices approved by the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

2.13.3 POLICY ADMINISTRATION

  1. For each academic term, the university registrar will assist academic units to schedule classes in conformity with the university’s semester credit hour policy.
  2. Periodically, the university curriculum committee, university council, the provost and vice president for academic affairs, and faculty senate will review the semester credit hour policy as defined and if changes are identified, forward recommendations for identified changes to the president for approval.
  3. The provost and vice president for academic affairs is responsible for disseminating the policy to the university website and ensuring that the policy definition is included in the Undergraduate Catalogue, the Graduate Bulletin, and the Faculty Handbook.

2.14 FACULTY RECORDS AND LEAVE

2.14.1 PERSONNEL FILES

The Office of Human Resources maintains all official personnel records. Faculty members must notify the Office of Human Resources of name changes, changes in marital status, and changes in telephone numbers, addresses, etc. Personnel files are records of the university and are considered by the university to be confidential. Faculty members have the right, upon request and at reasonable times, to inspect their files in the Office of Human Resources. Faculty employee records cannot be removed and may be duplicated by an employee only by a written request and an agreement of the director of the Office of Human Resources. Reasonable copy charges will apply, as established by university policy.

2.14.2 CREDENTIALS FILE

The provost and vice president for academic affairs maintains a file for each faculty member. These records are the property of the university. This file contains the vita; transcripts; correspondence with the provost and vice president for academic affairs; copies of contracts for non-tenured faculty, adjunct, and temporary faculty; and promotion and tenure documentation. Faculty members may review their credentials file by requesting an appointment with the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

2.14.3 COLLEGE AND DEPARTMENTAL FILES

Deans and/or department heads shall maintain files containing faculty evaluations, correspondence, records, and, for non-tenured faculty, copies of contracts. These files may vary from department to department. These records are the property of the university. Faculty members may review their college or departmental file by requesting an appointment with the dean or department head.

2.14.4 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAVE

Professional development leave may be granted by the president of the university to any tenured faculty member who has completed at least six (6) years of full-time service with the university. The purpose of professional development leave is to relieve faculty of normal duties so that they can pursue significant projects facilitating their professional growth and development, thus enhancing their future contributions to the university. Such leaves are not granted automatically upon completion of the necessary period of service. See the website for the Division of Academic Affairs (Faculty Resources).

2.14.5 FACULTY EDUCATIONAL LEAVE

The Faculty Educational Leave provides opportunities for faculty to pursue the terminal degree. Faculty who are interested in educational leave are invited to work with their dean or designee and department head to prepare an application. Applications should be submitted twelve (12) months in advance to the Office of the Provost and Vice president for academic affairs. For additional information, consult the website of the Division of Academic Affairs (Faculty Resources).

2.14.6 WUHAN SCHOLAR ECHANGE

Jacksonville State University’s partnership with Wuhan University (WU) provides an opportunity for professors, staff, and students from Jacksonville State University to travel to Wuhan, China, to teach and study, while allowing professors from WU to conduct research, teach classes, and observe educational practices in the United States. For additional information, consult the website of the Division of Academic Affairs (Faculty Resources).

2.14.7 PERSONAL LEAVE DAYS

Each faculty member may request two personal days of leave for each academic year with no explanation. Personal days may not be used to expand official university holidays. Arrangements for covering teaching assignments and other duties must be made by the faculty member. All arrangements for the absence must be made by the faculty member with ten (10) days’ written notice to the department head and/or dean. The classes to be missed and the provisions made for coverage of classes must be reported by the faculty member in writing to the department head.

2.14.8 LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITHOUT SALARY

Normally, the university does not grant leaves of absence to non-tenured faculty members. Leave time does not count towards promotion. If leave is granted to a non-tenured faculty member, the period does not count toward tenure. All leaves of absence must be approved by the department head, the dean, the provost and vice president for academic affairs, and the president. Faculty are advised to consult the Office of Human Resources regarding benefits, if any, during leave. Overstaying a leave of absence without approval of the president or (while on a leave of absence) seeking and accepting other employment without previous authorization constitutes an automatic resignation and subsequent loss of benefits.

2.14.9 FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides for up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave during a one year period for certain qualifying events. The one year period will be defined as twelve months from the date the employee last began an approved Family and Medical Leave (FML).

If approved for FML, health insurance benefits will continue during the approved period as they are normally paid. However, if an employee chooses not to return to employment at JSU at the end of the approved period, the employee will be required to repay health premiums to JSU for the entire period of unpaid FML.

Employees returning from Family Medical Leave must report through human resources to the supervisor. Overstaying a leave without previous authorization constitutes an automatic resignation and subsequent loss of benefits. Upon return from leave, the employee will be returned to the same or equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. For eligibility requirements and additional information concerning FML, see human resources’ website or contact the Office of Human Resources.

2.15 EXPERIMENTAL COURSES

An experimental course is a course approved and offered at the departmental or college level for a limited number of times to test its viability in the program’s curriculum. An experimental course does not require university undergraduate or graduate curriculum committee approval.

A course may be offered experimentally over a two-year period to assess student interest, demand, and course appropriateness. Although an experimental course may be submitted through the regular curriculum process any time during the two-year limit, the course must be submitted through the regular curriculum process (undergraduate and/or graduate) within the two-year limit to be offered during the third year or later. The two-year time limit begins with the course’s first offering. Failure to act in a timely fashion to remove an experimental course or to pursue the regular curriculum approval process will result in the course being removed from the class loadings by the Office of the Registrar.

2.16 APPROPRIATE DRESS

As representatives of the university, faculty members should dress in a manner appropriate to their position. Faculty are required to perform a variety of functions, and they are expected to dress appropriately for the functions that they perform. Faculty should avoid tee shirts, shorts, or other very casual dress, except as required in an instructional role (e.g., an activity class in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation or field trips in Biology). Any faculty member engaging in flagrant violations of commonly accepted standards of dress or cleanliness may be subject to disciplinary action.

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