Faculty Handbook 2019-20 - Section 2

Section 2 - Faculty Policies, Regulations, and Processes

2.1 Definition of Faculty Status

The faculty generally includes all persons appointed as regular full-time faculty, temporary full-time and temporary part-time faculty, adjunct faculty, 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 six regular full-time academic ranks: instructor, distinguished instructor, 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 required for an Instructor’s position is an appropriate master’s or educational specialist's degree in the discipline.

2.1.3 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.

2.1.3.1 Exceptions to Criteria for Terminal Degree

Exceptions to the requirement for a terminal degree may be made in cases of extraordinary faculty performance in teaching, service/community engagement, or scholarly/creative activity. 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. Request for such an exception must be approved in writing by the department head, dean, and provost.

2.1.4 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 senior vice president for academic affairs, written copies of the appointment and contract will be provided to the department, dean, and individual involved. Thereafter, rank changes are subject to Promotion guidelines. All faculty members are contract employees with the university.

As referenced 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.

2.1.4.1 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 school and university.
  3. Either demonstrated or presumptive potential for effective teaching and for satisfying the duties and responsibilities of a faculty member.
  4. Either demonstrated or presumptive potential for effective service activities/community engagement.
  5. Either demonstrated or presumptive potential for collegiality.
  6. Credit for the minimum number of hours of graduate work required by the accrediting agency in the area of teaching responsibility.

2.1.4.2 Distinguished Instructor

The Distinguished Instructor is one of JSU’s most prestigious teaching awards. It recognizes a significant contribution to teaching excellence at JSU over a significant number of years. General criteria for the rank of distinguished instructor, which is a non-tenured rank, shall be:

  1. Minimum of twelve (12) years at the rank of Instructor at Jacksonville State University.
  2. An established reputation among students and colleagues for excellence in teaching or professional effectiveness for librarians, including the ability to interest and motivate students to achieve high standards.
  3. Demonstrated clear and ongoing efforts to keep abreast of implementing new teaching methods and to participate in course design and curriculum development.
  4. Leadership contributions to teaching and other educational and/or scholarly/creative activities.
  5. Substantial contribution to service activities and/or community engagement.
  6. Evidence of sustained collegiality.
  7. A recommendation by the dean of the school for the rank and approved by the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and the president.

This rank carries a salary adjustment equivalent to the increase provided to faculty promoted from assistant professor to associate professor and shall be permanent.

General guidelines for this award are as follows:

  1. Portfolio review will proceed in the same manner as for those applying to faculty advancing in other ranks, including a review of the most recent full five-year period.
  2. The university deans will serve as the Distinguished Instructor Selection Committee. A dean from a respective school will bring forth his/her candidate(s) for consideration by the Committee. Recommendations made by the Committee will be forwarded to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and then to the president for approval.
  3. Candidates who are not successful may apply again during the regular call for applications each fall semester.
  4. Decision of the president is not appealable.

2.1.4.3 Distinguished Affiliate Instructor

This title is 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 senior vice president for academic affairs approves an exception, such as a full-time temporary or visiting instructor. This rank is not eligible for tenure.

2.1.4.4 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 potential for scholarly/creative, or professional activities as defined by discipline.
  4. Either demonstrated or presumptive potential for service activities and community engagement.
  5. Either demonstrated or presumptive potential for collegiality.
  6. Credit for the minimum number of hours of graduate work required by the accrediting agency in the area of teaching responsibility.

2.1.4.5 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).
  3. Evidence of sustained excellence in teaching.
  4. Evidence of sustained excellence in scholarly/creative, or professional activities as defined by discipline.
  5. Evidence of sustained, effective university service and community engagement.
  6. Evidence of sustained collegiality.
  7. Credit for the minimum number of hours of graduate work required by the accrediting agency in the area of teaching responsibility.

2.1.4.6 Professor

General criteria for the rank of Professor shall be:

  1. 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).
  2. A minimum of 10 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, including the “year in wait.” The “year in wait” refers to the academic year between applying for promotion to associate professor and the actual year of beginning in rank as associate professor. Faculty who are successful in achieving associate professor rank are eligible to apply the “year in wait” toward the numbers of years required in rank when applying for full professor.
  3. Evidence of sustained excellence in teaching.
  4. Evidence of sustained excellence in scholarly/creative, or professional activities as defined by discipline.
  5. Evidence of sustained, effective university service and community engagement.
  6. Evidence of sustained collegiality.
  7. Credit for the minimum number of hours of graduate work required by the accrediting agency in the area of teaching responsibility.

2.1.4.7 Distinguished Professor

Becoming a Distinguished Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member at Jacksonville State University. A Distinguished Professor is expected to have demonstrated and is expected to continue to model the high ideals of a learning-centered teaching institution.

General criteria for the rank of distinguished professor shall be:

  1. A minimum of seven (7) years of service at JSU and be holding the rank of full professor with tenure for at least five (5) years at JSU. 
  2. A continuous and sustained record of excellence in teaching.
  3. A continuous and sustained record of excellence in publications, presentations, performance or creative works at the regional, national, or international level in the discipline.
  4. A continuous and sustained record of effective community engagement/service to the University and to the discipline.
  5. A continuous and sustained record of collegiality.
  6. A brief narrative of the significance of scholarly/creative activity, service, or any unusual circumstances for the cited accomplishments.
  7. A current CV.
  8. Positive review by two (2) of the three (3) outside reviewers, who will be asked to review scholarship and service in relation to the discipline.

Salary increase will be equal to the amount provided for faculty promoted to full professor and shall be permanent.

General guidelines for this award are as follows:

  1. Portfolio review will proceed in the same manner as for those applying to faculty advancing in other ranks, including a review of the most recent full five-year period.
  2. The university deans will serve as the Distinguished Professor Selection Committee. A dean from a respective school will bring forth his/her candidate(s) for consideration by the committee. Recommendations made by the committee will be forwarded to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and then to the president for approval.
  3. Candidates who are not successful may apply again during the regular call for applications each fall semester.
  4. Decision of the president is not appealable.

2.1.4.8 Distinguished Affiliate Professor

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

2.1.5 Regular Faculty

Generally, a regular faculty member:

  1. Has full-time teaching duties or teaching and other duties (e.g., research, scholarly/creative activity, academic administration, advising) equivalent to a full-time workload.
  2. Fulfills the duties and responsibilities of a faculty member.
  3. Holds academic rank.

2.1.6 Temporary Faculty

2.1.6.1 Adjunct Faculty

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

  1. Possess a master's degree from a graduate institution of recognized standing or equivalent experience and professional recognition.
  2. Teach no more than 12 credit hours during any semester or combination of short terms, with no more than 4 credit hours in any 4-week term or 6 credit hours during a 6-week term.
  3. Have no other faculty non-teaching duties and responsibilities, unless special approval is given from the dean.
  4. Have the minimum number of hours of graduate work required by the accrediting agency in the area of teaching responsibility.
  5. Receive a contract, with no fringe benefits other than those required by Federal or State law, e.g., FICA.
  6. Do not accrue time towards, and are not eligible for, tenure or promotion.
  7. Work no more than 27 hours per week.

2.1.6.2 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.

2.1.7 Special Appointment Faculty

2.1.7.1 Emeriti Appointments

Retired professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, and administrative staff who have been in the service of the university for 10 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, scholarship, or service/community engagement. 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 school within the university. The committee shall make final recommendations to the provost and senior 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 senior 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.

2.1.7.2 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.

2.1.7.3 Replacement Faculty

The university may appoint faculty members as adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, or 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 senior vice president for academic affairs at the time of offering a probationary (tenure-track) contract.

2.1.7.4 Joint Appointment

Joint appointment refers to those faculty 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 senior 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.

2.1.7.5 Courtesy Appointment

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

2.1.8 Administrators with Faculty Rank

Full-time ranked faculty who accept full-time administrative appointments at the level of department head or above 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 promotion and/or tenure. Associate and full professors who accept an administrative appointment may continue to pursue promotion and/or tenure.

For those administrators pursuing tenure and/or promotion, the portfolio should reflect an evaluation with supporting evidence of administrative accomplishments and achievements, with supporting evidence, as well as the standard evidence associated with teaching, scholarly/creative activity, and service.

Upon becoming an administrator from regular faculty status, a faculty member’s salary will generally be adjusted to an annual rate by multiplying the current salary by 1.2 and then adding the amount of the agreed-upon administrative stipend for the position.  For example, for a faculty member on a nine-month contract with a salary of $60,000 who becomes an administrator with a $5,000 stipend, the $60,000 salary is multiplied by 1.2 to annualize the salary ($72,000) before adding the $5,000 stipend, for a total of $79,000.  Likewise, administrators, upon cessation of an administrative appointment, return to a full-time faculty appointment at a salary determined by first reducing the administrative salary by the amount of the administrative stipend and then dividing 1.2 into the remaining annual salary to establish the new nine-month faculty salary. Given the example above, if the administrative salary has increased (due to raises, etc.) to $85,000, subtraction of the $5,000 administrative is the first step ($80,000).   That amount is then divided by 1.2, so the nine-month salary would be $66,667.

For tenured faculty appointed to the executive administrative positions of Dean, Vice President, or President, the formulas above may be overridden by contractual terms. Non-tenured administrators who leave administrative appointments for any reason, other than denial of tenure, may continue their faculty appointments upon the recommendation of the appropriate department head, dean, and the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and with the approval of the president.

2.2 Contracts

2.2.1 Non-tenure and tenure-track contracts

A full-time or part-time contract is for a designated period and automatically expires at the end of that period (e.g., spring semester). Full-time non-tenure track and probationary tenure-track faculty receive 9-month contracts, unless special approval is received for a 10-, 11-, or 12-month faculty contract. Tenure-track appointments shall begin with appointment to the rank of full-time assistant professor or a higher rank. The non-tenured period for tenure shall not exceed 7 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 a faculty member’s new appointment is for a probationary period of less than five complete years at Jacksonville State University.

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.

Contracts are not required to be issued to tenured faculty.

2.2.2 Supplemental Contracts

Overload and/or summer differential contracts are awarded to faculty members, upon approval of the dean and the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, regardless of tenure-track status. Adjunct faculty receive designated contracts and receive no fringe benefits other than those required by Federal or State law, e.g., FICA. Contracts are also used to provide compensation for faculty who perform supplemental duties, such as extra compensation from grants or contracts.

2.2.3 Faculty Appointment

All faculty contracts have the initial designation of program area stated in the letter of appointment. Appointment for tenured faculty shall be the program area in which they hold tenure. Faculty members who change program areas within the university retain their tenure or progress toward tenure. Program area is subject to change at the discretion of the university.

2.2.4 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).
  7. For overload and adjunct contracts, all course sections taught with enrollment numbers, including regular teaching load and any overload courses, should be included.

All full-time tenure-track and non-tenure-track contract renewal offers for an academic year will generally be issued before end of the spring semester for the following academic year. Signed contracts must be returned within two weeks. 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 recruitment, selection, and appointment of applicants. Jacksonville State University is an equal opportunity employer (EEO).

2.3.2 Orientation

The office of the provost and senior 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 school 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 child, spouse, sibling, descendant (grandchild, great-grandchild), step-children, in-laws.

2.4 Faculty REVIEW

The purpose of faculty annual review (FAR) is to encourage faculty to fully develop their potential as instructors, scholars, leaders, and citizens of the academic community (formative purpose); to promote activities and achievements that further the goals of the university; and to provide appropriate information for making personnel decisions (summative purpose). Faculty evaluations should be completed on all full-time and part-time faculty.

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), scholarly and creative productivity, service/community engagement, and collegiality. They must also describe general procedures for using evaluation data. Finally, for those faculty serving in administrative roles, the administrative duties and goals should be evaluated in the FAR in addition to the aforementioned areas. 

2.4.1 Evaluation Procedures for Full-Time Faculty

2.4.1.1 Faculty Annual Review (FAR)

An annual performance review of all full-time tenured and non-tenured faculty shall be conducted by the department head, or dean/director, or supervisor after the completion of the spring semester; it shall be based upon evidence of performance in the prior academic year. The purpose of the FAR is to provide documentation for tenure, promotion, or reappointment, and to provide feedback to faculty members about their ongoing performance and the extent to which they have met applicable performance criteria for their role. Faculty evaluations may be used in decisions regarding salary, reappointment of non-tenured faculty, promotion, tenure, participation in faculty development activities, and/or administrative appointments.

2.4.1.2 Criteria for Evaluation Procedures

As referenced above, the evaluation process used in each school shall be based on Teaching Effectiveness and Academic Advisement, Scholarly/Creative Activity, Service/Community Engagement, Collegiality, and/or Professional Effectiveness of Librarians. For some faculty, Faculty Administrative Responsibilities may also be addressed in the evaluation process.

In determining the effectiveness of faculty members, the combined workload of teaching, scholarly/creative activity, and service/community engagement shall be determined by each school in conjunction with the institution’s mission. The workload percentages for evaluation should reflect the actual workload of the faculty member. Any overload and/or administrative responsibilities should be included. A factor in determining overall annual performance must be the relative percentage associated with each of the areas of performance.

After a review of all evaluation information, the department head's and/or dean's conclusions will be communicated to the faculty member in an evaluation meeting. The evaluation meeting must provide an opportunity to discuss the faculty member’s performance, professional contributions, and needs as perceived by both the faculty member and the supervisor.

2.4.1.3 Development of Formative Plan

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

2.4.1.4 Third Year Review*

At the time of the third annual evaluation, tenure-track faculty will be reviewed on the performance of the past thirty-six months to ensure that the candidate for promotion and tenure is appropriately progressing toward meeting the promotion and tenure expectations. The detailed Third Year Review portfolio will be submitted to the department head and/or dean as part of the FAR. The department head and/or dean will review the portfolio and document findings on the Third Year Review form. The Third Year Review Form (Word Document) should be maintained in the faculty member’s personnel file within the department; a copy sent to the provost’s office. Additionally, the department head may choose to write a letter for the faculty member’s file inclusive of strengths, recommendations, and a full tenure/promotion appraisal.

*Department heads/deans should be cognizant of service credit received by faculty members when determining timing of third year review. For instance, a faculty member receiving two years of service credit toward promotion and tenure would receive a third-year review at the end of the first year at JSU.

2.4.2 Evaluation Procedures of Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct faculty serving in roles as full-time temporary or part-time temporary should receive an evaluation of teaching effectiveness annually, based upon their teaching schedule. The evaluation should be completed by the supervisor and sent to the Dean’s office of the respective school. The supervisor of the adjunct should use the Adjunct Faculty Teaching Evaluation Form for completion of this process.

2.4.3 Teaching Effectiveness

2.4.3.1 Criteria for Teaching Effectiveness

Evaluation procedures must properly reflect that teaching is the priority of faculty members. Faculty members at Jacksonville State University are scholarly teachers who provide evidence that their teaching is effective. Effective teaching will be documented through student and peer evaluations as well as through self-evaluation. Students will evaluate teachers on the professional aspects of teaching and on their response to instruction. Peers may evaluate pedagogical content knowledge as well as the professional aspects of teaching. Faculty members will provide a self-evaluation on the relationship between their instruction and relevance to the discipline.

Given JSU’s mission as a learning-centered community, 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 interactive technology 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 program, course, and/or instructional experiences to promote student learning.
  4. Student learning outcomes and assessment skills, which accurately measure that learning has occurred.

2.4.3.2 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. Course materials (syllabi, assignments, exams, etc.) reflective of knowledge, organization, innovation, and teaching/pedagogical skills including, if in use, the learning management system organization of each course.
  2. Student evaluations. The evaluator using these data must be cognizant of the relevant class and course characteristics that affect student ratings.
  3. Evaluations by the department head, program director, or dean.
  4. Evaluations by peers from inside and/or outside the university.
  5. Self-evaluation.
  6. Further course work or other continuing educational activities such as seminars and workshops in one's field.
  7. Professional development, including, but not limited to, participation in seminars and workshops on pedagogy.
  8. Evidence of student-learning outcomes.
  9. Evidence of course development/revisions and/or program development/revisions.
  10. Evidence of student work if applicable.
  11. Evidence of work with graduate students, including theses, dissertations, and degree completions.
  12. Teaching Awards/Honors.

2.4.4 Academic Advisement/Professional Consultation

2.4.4.1 Criteria for Effectiveness in Academic Advisement/Professional Consultation

The following criteria should be addressed when evaluating student advisement/professional consultation:

  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.
  4. Use of EAB-GradesFirst/Navigate to improve student academic outcomes.

2.4.4.2 Evidence of Effectiveness in Academic Advisement/Professional Consultation

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

  1. Evaluation by supervisor.
  2. Self-evaluation.
  3. Student evaluations.
  4. Letters of reference.
  5. Participation in workshops or seminars designed to improve academic advisement skills.
  6. Documentation from EAB-GradesFirst/Navigate.

2.4.5 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 and academic advisement.

2.4.5.1 Criteria for Professional Effectiveness of Librarians

The attributes and qualifications to be documented in assessing the 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.

2.4.5.2 Evidence of Professional Effectiveness of Librarians

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

  1. Self-reflections.
  2. Supervisor evaluations.
  3. Evaluation by users of the librarian's expertise.
  4. Evaluation by outside experts.

2.4.6 Scholarly/Creative Activity

Departments should recognize and evaluate a wide variety of scholarship activities consistent with the department’s and the University’s missions. Scholarly activities should not be rigidly categorized. Many activities and products can be classified as more than one type of scholarship.

To ensure consistency within the school, the dean, along with department heads, will approve departmental criteria, and its equivalents, for departmental scholarly requirements. In the evaluation of such activities, quality should prevail over quantity.

Consistent with its mission and vision as a regionally engaged institution, Jacksonville State University defines scholarship broadly through the Boyer model (Glassick, Huber, Maeroff, 1997), which includes four categories of scholarship:

  1. Scholarship of Discovery: The scholarship of discovery encompasses what academics historically have referred to as basic or traditional “research,” as well as creative work in the literary, visual, and performing arts.  Its primary purpose is understood as “contributing to the stock of human knowledge and the intellectual climate of a college or university.”  
    Examples:  refereed publications based on research, scholarly books, book chapters, entries in reference works, performances, exhibits, digital media, and/or monographs.
  2. Scholarship of Integration: The scholarship of integration involves faculty members “overcoming the isolation and fragmentation of the disciplines, making connections within and between the disciplines, altering the contexts in which people view knowledge and offsetting the inclination to split knowledge into ever more esoteric bits and pieces.” 
    Examples:  professional development workshops, literature reviews, presentations of research at scholarly conferences or invited conference presentations/roundtables, and non-academic publications that address discipline-related concerns.
  3. Scholarship of Application: The scholarship of application moves toward engagement as the scholar asks, “How can knowledge be responsibly applied to consequential problems?”  Lessons learned in the application of knowledge can enrich teaching, and new intellectual understanding can arise from the very act of application.  In brief, theory and practice interact in such ventures and improve each other.
    Examples:  research grants; development of centers for study or service; research projects that address issues of local, state, or other need; preparation of documents such as briefs, manuals, or other publications based on research for the good of the community (theory into practice); consultation arranged through the Office of the Provost and VPAA or as requested by other organizations; service as an editor or editorial board member of a discipline-related professional publication or other form of media (newspaper, magazine, literary magazine, scholarly professional journal, CD, video, website); new program development; conference planning—

including paper, poster, abstract reviews, etc. Application of research for assessment; program reviews; accreditation reports, including surveys created, administered, and analyzed.  Evidence of unpublished discipline-specific scholarship that is peer reviewed.

  1. Scholarship of Teaching: The scholarship of teaching “initiates students into the best values of the academy, enabling them to comprehend better and participate more fully in the larger culture.”  Reciprocal benefits flow as well to the faculty members who enrich their teaching by building on what they learn in exchanges with students.
    Examples: a publication of findings in a pedagogical journal or presentation with peers at a conference external to JSU.  

2.4.6.1 Criteria for Scholarly/Creative Activity:

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

  1. Sustained inquiry in 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 scholarly findings/creative work at professional meetings.
  5. Submission of significant program/school/university-related documents (e.g., policies/procedures, annual reports, manuals/handbooks, new program proposals, curriculum development documents required to meet accreditation requirements, etc.).
  6. Sharing expertise with the university community.
  7. Use of research in developing new curricula, teaching methods, library services, or programs.

2.4.6.2 Evidence of Scholarly/Creative Activity

Excellence in scholarly/creative 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, performances, and/or creative works.
  4. Awards of grants, prizes, commendations, residencies, or proposals submitted for external/internal funding opportunities.
  5. Demonstrated skills in the methods of one's scholarly discipline.
  6. Technical reports, program proposals, accreditation documents, or other reports that are peer evaluated.
  7. Community response to outreach programs, other evaluations or studies of impacts and outcomes of outreach or partnership activities that have led to scholarly reports, policies, academic and/or professional presentations, publications, etc.

2.4.7 Service/Community Engagement

The university considers service to include activities related to the university, the school/department, the community, and the profession. Community engagement, as defined by the Carnegie Campus Compact and JSU, is collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

2.4.7.1 Criteria for Service to the University/School/Department

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

  1. Service on departmental/program committees, attendance at departmental/program meetings, participation in decision-making, curriculum development, and program evaluation.
  2. Participation on school/university committees.
  3. Leadership in some area of school/university governance.
  4. Service as chair of a committee, director of a program, or officer of the faculty senate (without extra compensation).
  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.

2.4.7.2 Evidence of Service to the University/School/Department

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

  1. Documented self-reflection of activities.
  2. Evaluations by the dean, department head, or program director.
  3. Committee reports of participation.

2.4.7.3 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).

2.4.7.4 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-reflection of activities.
  2. Evaluation by professional peers.
  3. Published citations or acknowledgments of contributions.

2.4.7.5 Criteria for Service to the Community/Community Engagement

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. Community engagement activities include, but are not limited to, inquiry into community, engaged teaching and learning, and/or forms of participatory action research with community partners that embody both the characteristics of community engagement and scholarship.

  1. Lectures or performances 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.
  4. Public art installations.

2.4.7.6 Evidence of Service to the Community/Community Engagement

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

  1. Self-reflections adequately documented.
  2. Recognition of service 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.
  5. For community engagement, evaluation of community partnerships, documentation of community response to outreach programs, or other studies of impacts and outcomes of outreach or partnership activities that have led to scholarly reports, policies, academic and/or professional presentations, publications, etc. These examples may also reflect scholarly activities.

2.4.8 Faculty Administrative Responsibilities to the University/School/Department

Across the university, many faculty are assigned administrative responsibilities which vary from program to program. Some faculty may serve as department heads, program coordinators, program chairs, grant coordinators, etc. The department head should evaluate the administrative assignment of the faculty to determine if the responsibilities are indeed administrative versus service activities. Faculty also serving in administrative roles should be evaluated on that role during the Faculty Annual Review. Faculty serving as department head, are evaluated by the dean. 

Specific criteria and evidence to evaluate effectiveness should be determined in consultation with the department head and/or dean and align with the goal of the administrative role.

Faculty administrative responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Program oversight.
  2. Grant oversight.
  3. Recruitment/marketing.
  4. Program reports.
  5. Coordination or oversight of capstone courses, field placements, practica, co-op/internship experiences, etc.
  6. Program admission decisions and advisement.
  7. Mentorship and training of faculty.
  8. Assistance with program evaluation and/or accreditation activities.
  9. Evaluation of program outcomes.
  10. Overall management of an academic department.

2.4.8.1 Evidence for Faculty Administrative Responsibilities to the University/School/ Department

Demonstration of appropriate administrative responsibilities should include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  1. Documented self-reflection of administrative responsibilities.
  2. Enrollment trends.
  3. Documented marketing activities.
  4. Trended program reports regarding capstone courses, field placements, practica, co-op/internship experiences etc.
  5. Advisement reports.
  6. Recruitment and retention reports.
  7. Program outcomes reports.
  8. Other reports or documentation which reflect administrative effectiveness or successful completion of responsibilities.

All evidence sources listed may not be applicable for all administrative roles. Other evidentiary sources may be identified as appropriate.

2.4.9 Collegiality

2.4.9.1 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, which includes working professionally with colleagues to create an academic community that values the contributions of all members and encourages cooperation and collaboration. Any aspects of a faculty member’s conduct that impacts performance, positive or negative, will be addressed in faculty annual reviews. 

2.4.9.2 Evidence of Collegiality

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

  1. Self-reflection adequately documented.
  2. Effective team teaching, if applicable, as evaluated by the dean/department head.
  3. Letters of support by professional peers.
  4. Recognition of collegiality by peers, community groups, and/or leaders.
  5. Letters of support from committee members, program/department colleagues, colleagues external to the university.

 

2.5 Promotion

2.5.1 Policy

Faculty are promoted on the basis of the fulfillment of qualifications associated with teaching/advisement, scholarly activity/creative work, community engagement/service, collegiality, and/or professional effectiveness of librarians. 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.

Faculty serving as an instructor may choose to be considered for assistant professor upon completion of terminal degree requirements. Faculty under consideration may request up to two years’ service credit toward promotion and/or tenure. Such requests shall be made to the department head and shall have the dean’s recommendation to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs will make a recommendation to the president for review and approval.

In order to deliver programs and curricula, university needs, at times, may result in unique appointments reflective of clinical and/or other special appointments in rank. This type of appointment must be approved by the dean, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and president.

It is expected that faculty members will apply for promotion and tenure simultaneously, whenever applicable.

Special circumstances allowed to stop the promotion/tenure clock should be nonprofessional with a significant impact on the productivity of the assistant professor and should be approved by the department head, dean, provost, and president. Requests for an extension must be submitted in writing to the department head. The faculty member is not required to request an extension if productivity is minimally impacted. Promotion/Tenure period extensions are granted in one-year increments. One year is normally the maximum probationary period extended for any combination of reasons. Requests should be made within a year of the special circumstance and prior to the department deadline for submission of promotion/tenure application. Exceptions to these limitations should be approved by the president upon recommendation by the provost.

2.5.2 Procedure

Annually, generally in September, the provost and senior 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 senior 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. The schedule for the promotion and/or tenure process can be found on the Academic Affairs website. The candidate should prepare the portfolio for submission according to the Portfolio Guidelines.

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. A faculty member may request rescission of service credit as long as the request is submitted in writing to the department head by June 1. If the faculty member has more than one year of service credit, only one year can be requested at a time. If an additional year of service credit needs to be rescinded, the faculty member will follow the same process the following academic year. The department head will review the request and notify dean and provost of recommendation. If the dean or the provost deny the recommendation, the decision is final.

Candidates for promotion must prepare a portfolio for submission according to the Portfolio Guidelines.  The submission process may be terminated in early stages of the review if the portfolio packet is determined to be lacking necessary evidence to support promotion. This decision may be made by the faculty member submitting the portfolio or by the dean reviewing the portfolio. Once the portfolio is submitted to the provost, the process cannot be terminated. Further, no additional evidence may be added to the portfolio once submitted to the provost.

If a faculty member begins employment between January 1 and May 31st or is promoted at the beginning of the spring semester, the partial academic or calendar year shall not count as part of the probationary period, unless by choice of the 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.

Associate professors 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. Associate professors much have a minimum of five complete years of time in rank as an associate professor, including the “year in wait.” The “year in wait” refers to the academic year between applying for promotion to associate professor and the actual year of beginning in rank as associate professor. Faculty who are successful in achieving associate professor rank are eligible to apply the “year in wait” toward the numbers of years required in rank when applying for full professor.

The department head's recommendation for promotion will be based on evidence contained in the portfolio. All faculty in the candidate's discipline, department, or school having rank equivalent to, or higher than, that being sought may be allowed to review the portfolio and be invited to submit letters to the department head. The portfolio, any letters from eligible faculty in the candidate's department and/or school, and the department head's recommendation will be included in the portfolio and forwarded to the dean, who will review the portfolio and also submit a letter of recommendation to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, who will then submit a recommendation to the president. The letters of recommendation should address the degree to which the candidate meets the appropriate criteria for the rank to which the candidate is applying.

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

After review of the candidate’s portfolio, the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, on behalf of the president, will notify the applicant of the decision. This communication will occur on or around March 1. When an application for promotion is approved, the promotion will normally be effective fall semester of the following academic year.

Under special circumstances, faculty who are performing significantly above the expectations for their current rank may be considered for “early” promotion.  In these instances, an exemplary record must reflect exceptional accomplishments in teaching, scholarly/creative activity, and service/community engagement. The department head and dean must approve early promotion submissions prior to submitting to provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and president for review and approval. Candidates for early promotion must follow the same process of portfolio preparation as other candidates. Early promotion may only be considered according to the following criteria:   

  1. For early promotion from assistant professor to associate professor, faculty must have served a minimum of three years as an assistant professor with a minimum of three years at JSU and must have a completed third year review on file.
  2. For early promotion from associate professor to professor, faculty must have served a minimum of four years as an associate professor with a minimum of three years at JSU.

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

2.5.3 Promotion Appeals

The following establishes a promotion and tenure appeals committee and procedure for promotion appeals for associate professor and professor ranks only:

  1. Should the faculty member wish to appeal the decision of promotion denial, the faculty member must, within 14 working days of the date of denial letter, file an appeal with the president of the faculty senate and the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. The initial request for appeal must be initiated by a letter in writing sent by certified mail.
  2. Notification of receipt of appeal request to the faculty member from the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs will occur via certified mail within 14 working days of the faculty member’s request for appeal.
  3. Barring unusual circumstances, the promotion appeals committee should act on the appellant faculty member's appeal within 30 working days of the receipt of the faculty member’s request to appeal.
  4. The promotion and tenure appeals committee shall be composed of one tenured full professor elected from each school and the library to serve. Faculty senate officers shall oversee elections to this committee, and elections shall occur in the Fall, so that the committee is in place prior to any appeal. The committee should elect the chair. Members will serve a three-year term. A committee member who is in the same department of the appellant must recuse himself/herself from the committee.
  5. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs shall make available the appellant's promotion portfolio to the promotion and tenure appeals committee. The committee shall make its decision based on the promotion portfolio as submitted to the provost and whether that evidence meets criteria for promotion as set forth in the Faculty Handbook and school/department policies.                   
  6. The promotion and tenure appeals committee shall submit its recommendation(s) to the provost for incorporation into the candidate's portfolio. The provost shall forward the portfolio and the committee’s recommendation to the president for final decision.
  7. The decision of the president is final.

2.6 Tenure

2.6.1 Policy

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. Tenure-track appointments shall begin with appointment to the rank of full-time assistant professor or a higher rank.

Faculty who were tenured at another institution may request tenured status or credit toward tenure at the time of hire. Such requests shall be made to the department head and shall have the dean’s recommendation to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs will make a recommendation to the president for review and approval. 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.

Faculty serving as an instructor may choose to be considered for assistant professor upon completion of terminal degree requirements. Faculty under consideration may request up to two years’ service credit toward promotion and/or tenure. Such requests shall be made to the department head and shall have the dean’s recommendation to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs will make a recommendation to the president for review and approval.

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. A faculty member may request rescission of service credit as long as the request is submitted in writing to the department head by June 1. If the faculty member has more than one year of service credit, only one year can be requested at a time. If an additional year of service credit needs to be rescinded, the faculty member will follow the same process the following academic year. The department head will review the request and notify dean and provost of recommendation. If the dean or the provost deny the recommendation, the decision is final.

Tenure-track faculty members, regardless of rank, must apply for tenure during their sixth year (inclusive of prior service credit) if they have not been granted tenure earlier. Under no circumstances should the length of the tenure-track or probationary period exceed seven years of full-time service (inclusive of prior service credit) except when the probationary period has been extended due to special circumstances approved by the department head, dean, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and president.   

Special circumstances allowed to stop the promotion/tenure clock should be nonprofessional with a significant impact on the productivity of the assistant professor and should be approved by the department head, dean, provost, and president. Requests for an extension must be submitted in writing to the department head. The faculty member is not required to request an extension if productivity is minimally impacted. Tenure period extensions are granted in one-year increments. One year is normally the maximum probationary period extended for any combination of reasons. Requests should be made within a year of the special circumstance and prior to the department deadline for submission of promotion/tenure application. Exceptions to these limitations should be approved by the president upon recommendation by the provost.

It is expected that faculty members will apply for promotion and tenure simultaneously, whenever applicable.

The areas in which performance will be evaluated for tenure include teaching, scholarly/creative activity, service/community engagement, and collegiality. 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 teaching effectiveness.
  4. Evidence of sustained scholarly/creative activity as defined by discipline. 
  5. Evidence of service/community engagement to and for the university.

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).

2.6.2 Procedure

Annually, generally in September, the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs shall call for nominations and applications for tenure from all eligible faculty. The responsibility of applying for tenure and the burden of demonstrating and establishing performance and collegiality rests with the individual faculty member. The tenure process proceeds from the department head, to the dean, to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and to the president. Candidates for tenure are responsible for compiling a portfolio and meeting appropriate deadlines. The schedule for the promotion and/or tenure process can be found on the Academic Affairs website. The candidate should prepare the portfolio according to the Portfolio Guidelines. No additional evidence may be added to the portfolio once submitted to the provost.

If a faculty member begins employment between January 1 and May 31st, the partial academic or calendar year shall not count as part of the probationary period, unless by choice of the faculty member.

It is very important that all individuals and committees participating in tenure reviews understand that any individual who has received a tenure period extension must be held to the same standard – not a higher or more stringent one—to which other candidates without such an extension are held.

All tenured faculty in the candidate's department or school may 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, any letters from eligible faculty in the candidate’s department or school, and the department head’s recommendation will be included in the portfolio and forwarded to the dean. The dean will review the application and will submit a recommendation to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, who will then give a recommendation to the president. The letters of recommendation should address the degree to which the candidate meets the appropriate criteria for tenure.

After review of the candidate’s portfolio, the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, on behalf of the president, will notify the applicant of the decision. This communication will occur on or around March 1. Denial of tenure results in non-reappointment/non-renewal of contract beyond the following academic year.

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. 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 senior vice president for academic affairs and the president.

2.6.3 Tenure Appeals

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

  1. Should the faculty member wish to appeal the decision of tenure denial, the faculty member must, within 14 working days of the date of denial letter, file an appeal with the president of the faculty senate and the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. The initial request for appeal should be initiated in writing by certified mail.
  2. Notification of receipt of appeal request to the faculty member from the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs will occur via certified mail within 14 working days of the faculty member’s request for appeal.
  3. Barring unusual circumstances, the promotion and tenure appeals committee should act on the appellant faculty member's appeal within 30 working days of the receipt of the faculty member’s request to appeal.
  4. The promotion and tenure appeals committee shall be composed of one tenured full professor elected from each school and the library to serve. Faculty senate officers shall oversee elections to this committee, and elections shall occur in the Fall, so that the committee is in place prior to any appeal. The committee should elect the chair. Members will serve a three-year term. A committee member who is in the department of the appellant must recuse himself/herself from the committee.
  5. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs shall make available the appellant's tenure and promotion portfolio to the promotion and tenure appeals committee. The committee shall make its decision based on the tenure and promotion portfolio as submitted to the provost and whether the evidence meets JSU criteria for tenure.
  6. The promotion and tenure appeals committee shall submit its recommendation(s) to the provost for incorporation into the candidate's portfolio. The provost shall forward the portfolio and the committee’s recommendation to the president for a final decision.
  7. 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 of non-tenured faculty

Full-time non-tenured faculty members (instructors and tenure-track) are employed by 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. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs shall notify the faculty member, in writing, of his/her non-reappointment.

Instructors shall receive written notification of non-reemployment generally around March 1. Tenure-track (non-tenured) faculty shall receive written notification of non-reemployment generally around December 1.

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 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 senior 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 senior 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 should use the sequence of progressive steps specified below.

Aid to Memory: The supervisor should discuss the matter with the faculty member. A written summary of the discussion should be placed in the faculty member's personnel file.

Written Notice: The supervisor should provide written notice to the faculty member regarding the inappropriate behavior/action. This action will be retained in the individual's personnel file.

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, school, 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 Procedures for Dismissal for Adequate Cause or Termination for Financial or Curricular Reasons

The provost and senior 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 senior vice president for academic affairs within 7 working days from the date of the faculty member's notice of dismissal. Failure to request an appeal to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs within 7 working days from the date of delivery precludes any further appeal by the faculty member and the dismissal is final.

If a hearing is requested in a timely fashion, an appeal/hearing will be conducted by the university hearing committee (UHC).

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, school, 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 the 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 senior vice president for academic, 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 school policy.

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

2.8.4.2 Grading System

Undergraduate: Faculty members shall refer to the current Student Handbook for the undergraduate grading system.

Graduate: Faculty members shall refer to the current Graduate Catalog 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 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 school 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 school 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 schools. 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 senior 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 senior vice president for academic affairs. The form must be completed prior to the scheduled activity.

2.8.4.8 Temporary COVID-19 Guidance for Course and Classroom Management

The JSU policy specific to social distancing and face coverings can be found in the JSU Policy and Procedure Manual and is Policy I:02:30.

Prior to class attendance, students have been notified of the face covering and social distancing requirements on campus. Undergraduate students will receive a JSU Pledge indicating their commitment to adhering to these expectations. They are also made aware that failure to comply with social distancing and face covering requirements is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and could result in a referral to the Office of Community Standards and Student Ethics. Violations may result in sanctions, including fines up to suspensions.

Faculty are strongly encouraged to communicate classroom expectations in writing via their syllabi and in-person, where applicable, at the beginning of the semester. Faculty have access to a video promoting the use of face coverings and may use this video in a number of ways, such as: (1) requiring all students to review the video as part of attendance verification requirements; (2) show video in class at the beginning of the class or in a virtual synchronous meeting to educate all students on expectations; or (3) play periodically as needed to remind students of the requirement.

Information should be on each course syllabus for students indicating the mandatory policy. Suggested syllabus language is below:

To protect the health and safety of all employees, visitors, and students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacksonville State University has adopted mandatory face covering and social distancing requirements. Students must always wear face coverings (covering mouth and nose) when inside campus buildings (classroom, lab, common areas, etc.). Students do not have to wear a face covering when in assigned dorm room or when eating if a six-foot distance can be maintained. Important: Recent evidence has shown that bandanas and neck gaiters should not be used. Students should maintain social distancing in classrooms, hallways, etc. Students violating these requirements will be referred to the Office of Community Standards and Student Ethics and will be sanctioned accordingly which could include fines, educational sanctions, disciplinary probation, housing probation, housing suspension without a refund and/or University suspension.

Face Coverings: Students are required to wear a face covering when indoors and when outdoors if they are unable to maintain a distance of at least six feet from another individual. If a student is without a face covering in the classroom, lab, library or other designated academic spaces, in accordance with this policy, the following process should be used to ensure compliance. The steps below were adapted from the School of Arts and Humanities.

  1. Offer mask.

    If the mask is refused;

  2. Explain the need for everyone in the learning community to protect each other, cite the JSU Student Handbook Policy, JSU Pledge, and policy on the syllabus. Explain that everyone must be wearing masks for the class to continue; consider mentioning that the student may express concerns to upper administration, but not in class, which is not the place for protest.

    If the student refuses to comply,

  3. Explain the consequences of non-compliance – must leave class today and not return to class without a mask. The student may be administratively dropped from the course and added to an all online schedule, if available.

    If the student refuses to comply,

  4. Ask the student to leave the building immediately, as the student poses a health risk to everyone in the building.

    If the student refuses to comply,

  5. Cancel class and notify the dean’s office of the incident.

    If the student refuses to leave, phone JSU UPD. Refer student to the Director of Community Standards and Student Ethics by submitting the COVID-19 Policy Compliance Form.

Social Distancing: Students are required to adhere to social distancing requirements of at least six-feet when indoors. A process similar to the mask non-compliance steps should be followed when social distancing requirements are not adhered to in the classroom or other educational settings.

Attendance:  As has consistently been the tradition at JSU, faculty or departments/schools determine the attendance policies for specific courses and/or programs. The policy is referenced at 2.8.4.6 Student Attendance. However, given the unusual and uncertain times caused by the global pandemic of COVID-19, faculty should review the following recommendations to determine applicability for their courses. The recommendations and information shared below are intended to assist faculty with course planning for Fall regarding class attendance and student absences. As always, faculty have the discretion to include class attendance as a criterion in determining a student’s final grade in the course. Standard attendance policies previously used should be critically reviewed considering the COVID-19 crisis. Faculty are strongly recommended to consider proactively creating opportunities to maintain course participation and engagement while ensuring students experiencing symptoms or illness do not physically attend class.

Additionally, please note faculty will not be informed if a student tests positive, due to the confidentiality of health-related information and federal laws governing that confidentiality. Relatedly, do not ask students for confidential health-related information, including whether they have been tested, or have tested positive. Students may voluntarily disclose this information to the faculty. If a student does disclose a positive test, please refer the student to the link on the COVID-19 web page.

Students should be advised to contact the faculty member via email and NOT attend class in the following situations: 

  • Students who feel sick and/or have any symptoms of COVID-19, influenza, etc., should stay home and/or visit the Student Health Center.
  • Students are awaiting a test result after being tested due to symptoms
  • Students have cared for someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • Students have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. In this case, students should quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure. If the student becomes symptomatic during the 14-day quarantine period, the student should visit the Student Health Center.
  • Students who are experiencing symptoms reflective of COVID-19. The list of symptoms continues to grow, but the most up-to-date list can be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) site. Additionally, students should be directed to test at the Student Health Center if they feel their symptoms are reflective of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Attendance/Student Absences Recommendations*

1. Identify difficulties students may have regarding class attendance

During this crisis, our students may be facing a variety of challenges. It may help to keep in mind that students may:

  • Be exposed to COVID-19 and need to be quarantined;
  • Become ill and need to isolate;
  • Have a family member fall ill;
  • Experience increased anxiety and mental health issues;
  • Be in a CDC-identified high-risk category.

COVID-related absences will take several forms and impact course design whether the course meets face-to-face or online, and whether the online course meets synchronously or asynchronously.  For example, a sick student simply cannot be in the classroom, do the assigned work on time, or take a test on a specific date. A student who feels physically well but who must self-isolate cannot show up to class face-to-face but can engage with the course remotely.  Keep in mind that the number of class periods missed may vary and, in some cases, may be over a prolonged period.

2. Broaden How “Attendance” is Defined

Faculty, at their discretion, may include class attendance as a criterion in determining a student’s final grade in the course. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the high probability that some students will be absent from class, faculty may wish to broaden the attendance policy to include not only physical attendance in the classroom, but also participation and engagement in the course in other appropriate ways. Faculty are encouraged to review essential course requirements and academic activities within the course to determine if there are equivalent alternatives for participation and engagement. Such alternatives should be equivalent experiences which do not fundamentally alter, waive, or lower essential course requirements, academic standards, or educational experiences/outcomes; they should only provide flexibility with physical attendance.

Faculty are then encouraged to ensure that any essential, non-substitutable, face-to-face activities are clearly labeled in the syllabi, and to consider if it’s possible to schedule such activities prior to the withdrawal deadline. For example, these activities may include face-to-face internships, clinical experiences, science labs, service-learning projects, or other intensive experiences that require mandatory attendance on specific dates to pass the course.

Physical attendance in the classroom is not the only way students might participate in the class and engage with the course material. There are a variety of ways instructors can maintain or even enhance student participation and engagement.  While some of the suggestions below may increase faculty workload, some things to consider include:

  • Using recording options within the classroom or TEAMS to capture lectures.
  • Using the wide range of tools within Online@JSU to assist students with learning and to ensure and track their engagement in the course.
  • Permitting the completion of equivalent alternative work versus that which might be completed during class time.
  • Allowing students to attend class remotely (i.e., live video conferencing such as Teams).
  • Permitting alternate participation via discussion board or forum activities.
  • Providing methods for electronic or contact-less submission of assignments.
  • Offering more than one exam date and time (e.g., requiring students to take 8 out of 10 quizzes rather than 8 specific quizzes).

3. Reconsider the Weight of Attendance in Final Course Grade for Fall 2020

Faculty who require attendance as a component of a course grade may wish to reduce the overall weight of attendance and engagement for Fall 2020. Some students may be temporarily impacted by COVID-19 and unable to attend, participate, and engage as typically required. In an attempt not to penalize students who contract COVID or have other COVID related issues, or perhaps worse, to incentivize their physical attendance when ill, it may be beneficial to either significantly reduce the weight of this component in the final course grade or develop a policy about how the impact of COVID will be addressed in a fair and supportive manner.

4. Be Aware of Available Resources to Assist with Course Design and Instruction

Faculty who wish to explore resources for online teaching and learning, including various assessment strategies, detail on course design, web-conference, lecture capture, and a plethora of other resources to assist with ideas in managing the online classroom should visit the Online Learning and Teaching Resource Center. Many of these tutorials or strategies, provided by Online@JSU, may be helpful in addressing options for alternate means of engagement as well as assist faculty in other creative options for class participation. Further, faculty should check the Faculty Commons site frequently for other training opportunities.

*Recommendations were adapted from Appalachian State University

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, school, 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 Faculty Absence

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 senior 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:

Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its expression.

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.

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.

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.

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 of Professional Ethics

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 school 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 of 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 Responsibility

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 Year and Workload

The 9-month academic year consists of the Fall and Spring semesters. The academic year begins with the date for the return of faculty for Fall semester, as published in the academic calendar, and ends with the completion of the Spring semester. 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, Spring, and Summer semesters.

2.9.1 Teaching Load/Workload

The standard teaching load obligation for the Fall and Spring semesters is 12 credit hours per semester for regular full-time faculty, plus other duties and responsibilities. The standard workload expectation for the Fall and Spring Semesters is 15 hours per semester. The teaching load may be adjusted at the discretion of the department head and dean to accommodate special faculty roles, graduate intensive course loads, and the needs of the university, both off and on campus. For example, a hypothetical workload adjustment might yield 9 hours teaching, 3 hours scholarly activity, and 3 hours of non-teaching assignments for a total workload of 15 hours. Examples of non-teaching assignments are noted in 2.9.2.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 must have the approval of the dean and provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

2.9.2 Other Duties and Expectations

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

  1. 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.
  2. Participating in meetings of the general faculty, school, and department.
  3. Participating in departmental activities such as curriculum planning, departmental policy- making, evaluation procedures, library additions, program assessment, and care of instructional supplies and equipment.
  4. Participating in student recruitment activities.
  5. Engaging in appropriate scholarly activities.
    1. Participating in community engagement and other service activities.

2.9.3 Availability and Office Hours

As per school 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 school to adjust faculty workload by 3 hours 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.

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.

  1. All informal and administrative appeals and/or grievance procedures must be exhausted through the department/school/division before an appeal may be made to the UHC. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs shall ascertain and determine if all such appeals and/or procedures have been exhausted.
  2. If all such appeals and/or procedures through the school/department level have been exhausted, the faculty member may file with the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs his/her written grievance or appeal stating the specific issues the UHC is to review.
  3. The UHC shall consist of the following:
    1. vice provost for academic affairs, as chair (ex- officio)
    2. one dean, appointed by the provost
    3. one department head, appointed by the provost
    4. president of the faculty senate
    5. two faculty members, appointed by the president of the faculty senate
    6. one faculty member, appointed by the provost

Members deeming themselves disqualified because of bias or interest shall remove themselves from the UHC. The provost and senior 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.

  1. At least 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Following the hearing, the UHC shall make its written recommendation to the provost and senior 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.
  4. The provost and senior 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 senior vice president for academic affairs is final.
  5. 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 7 days of the date of the provost and senior 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 senior vice president for academic affairs is final.

2.12 Summer Appointment

Based on university and programmatic needs, summer appointments may include teaching, scholarly activity, and/or service activity. For full-time 9-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 during May 12 term are the maximum credit hours to determine a summer differential; 6 credit hours are the maximum credit hours during May 6 and June 6 terms; and 3 credit hours 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 senior 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 senior 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 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 1 hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 2 hours out of class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or 10 to 12 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.”

2.13.1 Credit Hour Definition

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

Typically, courses at JSU are awarded 3 semester credit hours per course. The 3 semester hours of credit consists of the equivalent of at least 3 hours (60-minute period) per week of "seat time" in-class and 6 hours per week of out-of-class academic activities for a period of at least 14 weeks. Hence, a standard 3 semester credit hour class meets for at least 42 contact hours per semester, plus a minimum average of 6 hours of activities outside of the classroom per week for 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 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 senior 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 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 that the required quantity of student learning/activities per credit hour is equivalent to a minimum of 42 hours of coursework over a 14-week semester that instructional activities for the course address and demonstrate student competencies in defined learning outcomes 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 senior vice president for academic affairs.

2.13.3 Policy Administration

For each academic term, the university registrar will assist academic units to schedule classes in conformity with the university’s semester credit hour policy.

Periodically, the university curriculum committee, university council, the provost and senior 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.

The provost and senior 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 Catalog, the Graduate Catalog, 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 Files

The provost and senior 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 senior 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 senior vice president for academic affairs.

2.14.3 School 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 school 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 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 12 months in advance to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. For additional information, consult the website of the Division of Academic Affairs (Faculty Resources).

2.14.6 Wuhan Scholar Exchange

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 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 toward 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 senior 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 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 school 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 2-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 2-year limit to be offered during the third year or later. The 2-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.