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Professional Obligations Of Faculty

C1 General Responsibilities

  1. General Philosophy of the Faculty's Professional Obligations

    1. The professional obligations of a department include teaching as a primary determinant and other appropriate responsibilities (such as coaching, directing, conducting, advising, recruitment, and administration). Determination of a faculty member's individual obligations must take into account all these components. Student contact hours (SCN) and student credit hours (SCH) data are to be considered along with the other components of the faculty member's obligations.

    2. The Provost has the responsibility to allocate resources to departments. His/her goal will be to achieve equity in staffing relative to the obligations carried by each department. A corollary to this goal of equity will be to provide, given the fiscal constraints of the college, the best possible academic program for the students enrolled in the college.

    3. It is the province of the Provost to review all faculty obligations within departments and divisions in order to ensure (a) that the overall objectives of the academic program are being achieved, (b) that a reasonable student/faculty ratio is maintained, and (c) that the concept of a liberal arts institution is maintained, i.e., that balance be maintained within the curriculum.

    4. It is the province of the divisional dean to review all faculty responsibilities within each department and within his/her division(s) in order to ensure (a) that equity of responsibilities has been discussed and implemented within a department, (b) that student needs and interests are being met in terms of courses offered to both majors and non-majors, (c) that sufficient staff are employed for the optimum functioning of the department and/or division, and (d) that determination of staff increases or decreases be made in an intelligent and conscientious manner.

    5. It is the province of the department, and thus ultimately of the department chairperson, to make assignments to its faculty, the rationale being that the department and the chairperson of the department are in the best possible position (they are the closest to the facts and the persons) to make these assignments. In the making of these assignments, the following must be considered:

      1. Student needs and interests for the discipline must be met in a reasonable manner, i.e., courses needed either by students in other majors or by the department's own majors or by those students who have an interest in the discipline must be offered.

      2. Academic advising for the general student or for the major within the department must be provided.

      3. The professional development of the faculty within the department needs to be assured.

      4. The visibility and prestige of the department as represented in research, grants procured, publications, performances, exhibitions, etc. should be promoted.

      5. Time for community service and the advising of student groups (cf. C8.b) should be considered as obligations are distributed.

      6. An overarching consideration is equity among the members of the department.

  2. Normal Components of a Faculty Member's Professional Obligations

    1. Teaching assignment:

      Requisite faculty contact hours (FCN), normally 12 per semester, or student contact hours (SCN) as determined by the department and as approved by the academic dean and the Provost.
      The strategy used in determining teaching assignments will be first, given the number of faculty available in a department, to determine what is a viable program in a department, and then to divide equitably, by departmental consensus, the responsibilities of the department.

    2. Academic advising of up to 25 students, either majors or nonmajors.

    3. Membership on one standing committee or board and on one ad hoc faculty or administrative committee.

    4. Sustained professional development as evidenced by publications, research, performances, exhibitions, etc.

    5. Departmental committee assignments and/or administrative duties as assigned by the department chairperson.

    6. Under certain conditions, a faculty member may be assigned duties in one area which exceed those listed above. When possible, s/he should be compensated by reducing his/her obligations in another area. If this is not possible, the overload should be compensated by a reduction of responsibilities in the succeeding semester or academic year. If a reduction cannot be granted, monetary compensation will be paid, subject to approval by the Dean and Provost.

  3. Additional Guidelines for Assignment of Responsibilities

    1. Faculty involved in team-taught courses, or assisting in laboratories, will receive proportional credit for this work. If student assistants do work normally done by a faculty member, such as grading tests or papers, the same principle applies.

    2. New faculty members are normally excused from advising and from committee assignments in their first year in order to enable them to concentrate on their teaching and/or research responsibilities. If they are in their first year of college teaching, their course load may be reduced if this is feasible within the department.

    3. Faculty members engaged in major administrative or planning tasks may be granted a reduction in teaching responsibilities upon approval of the divisional dean and Provost.

    4. Department chairpersons, because of their administrative responsibilities, may have their teaching assignments reduced according to the following schedule:

    5. 12+ FTE Faculty - 1/2 reduction
      8 - 11 FTE Faculty - 1/3 reduction
      4 - 7 FTE Faculty - 1/4 reduction

    6. An enrollment of eight students is the normal minimum for offering a course. Courses with enrollments of fewer than eight may be offered if, in the judgement of the department chairperson and the divisional dean, the course is essential for their students' programs.

  4. Implementation of Policies Regarding the Professional Obligations of Faculty.

    Implementation of the above can best be achieved if the following are adhered to:

    1. Prior to each academic year, the department chairperson is required to summarize for the dean the proposed distribution of teaching responsibilities or the next academic year for each faculty member within his/her department. A rationale for assignments made will accompany this summary. Following registration for each semester, the chairperson will update this information for the dean.

    2. SCN and SCH data and any other data deemed important by the Provost and divisional deans will be reported to the divisional deans and Provost by the Registrar so that, insofar as possible, comparisons can be made across departments and divisions. It should be noted, however, that overall comparisons (college-wide) will be avoided because of the different ways in which departments and divisions constitute a faculty member's professional obligations. Comparisons will be made across departments, divisions, and college-wide only when common criteria are evident.

    3. Department chairpersons will be supplied data pertaining to the distribution of teaching responsibilities in their division (and, where significant, college-wide) so that questions of equity and questions of staffing priorities can be addressed on the basis of common data