Number: 405

Subject:  FACULTY APPOINTMENT, PROCEDURES & REQUIREMENTS FOR TEACHING

The University believes that it is essential for the faculty to be free to pursue scholarly inquiry without undue restrictions, and to voice and publish conclusions concerning the significance of evidence developed through responsible research. Each faculty member must be free from the corrosive fear that others, inside or outside the university community, may threaten his or her personal career or the material benefits accrued from scholarly findings.

Each faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom when discussing the subject he is assigned to teach but must also accept the responsibility of professional integrity and competence in his field of specialization and exhibit such competency in lectures, discussions, and publications. Every faculty member must strive to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraint, to show respect for the opinion of others, and to avoid creating the impression that he acts or speaks for the University when he speaks or acts as a private person.

EMPLOYMENT, CONTRACTS, AND TERMINATION PROCEDURES

In order that members of the faculty and administration may work under conditions of reasonable security, the university has adopted the following policy of employment, contracts, and termination of employment:

Employment:

When it has been established that a vacancy exists on the faculty, it shall be the duty of the Chief Academic Officer to identify candidates and assemble the necessary information for an appointment decision.

Once a candidate has been selected from the applicant pool, approval to make an offer must be obtained from the Chief Executive Officer. The following documents must accompany the request to make an offer:

1.   Application for employment including vita, professional certifications, and transcripts.

2.   Letters of recommendation and information verifying a background investigation.

3.   A recommendation statement proposing appointment letter including rank, salary, and area in which the applicant will teach.

If approval for hiring is granted, a letter of appointment is forwarded to the applicant. Appointments to the adjunct faculty shall be for one session only and shall be tentative based upon enrollment and personnel needs of the University. Appointments to the full-time faculty shall be for a definite period of time governed by the following section on contracts.

Employment Contracts:

The University believes that faculty members who exhibit effective performance of their responsibilities should be secure in their expectation of continued employment. Amberton University does not grant tenure as the term has traditionally been applied. The University does wish to give a legitimate and realistic measure of security to its experienced, competent faculty leaders. The primary means of providing this security is by the granting of employment contracts. The following guidelines regulate the granting of faculty contracts at Amberton University:

1.   Full-time faculty appointments are authorized by the CEO after due consultation with the Chief Academic Officer and Chief Operations Officer. Appointments are for one year and may be renewed annually.

2.   Not later than April of the academic year for which the appointment has been made, the faculty member will be informed in writing if his contract for the next year is to be renewed.

Termination Procedure:

I.   Non-renewal of faculty at the end of the contract.

A.   Amberton University is not legally required to give a faculty member a reason for a decision not to make a re-appointment for another contract term, or to provide a hearing; however, each faculty member shall be entitled to see all of his or her personnel files and to obtain a copy of the information in these files at the expense of the person requesting it.

B.   The University shall not be required to inform the faculty member when a decision is made not to re-appoint the faculty member for another contract. However, should the University choose to renew a contract, the faculty member shall be so informed in writing by the University.

II.  Termination of an employee during a contract period.

A.   Termination of an employee during a contract period may be executed in the following ways:

1.   By voluntary resignation of the faculty member (letter of resignation should be received by the Chief Academic Officer no later than April 15th to be effective for the next academic year that begins the following June);

2.   By retirement;

3.   By mutual agreement of the faculty member and the Chief Academic Officer; (or)

4.   By the University for cause, such as financial exigency, overstaffing caused by changes in student enrollment or program offerings, moral delinquency, professional incompetence, technical incompetence, neglect of responsibilities, failure to comply with standards outlined in the faculty responsibilities of conditions stated in the contract, or if the faculty member's conduct or teaching fail to conform to the principles, ethical standards, or purposes of the University.

B.   Due process for termination of employment during a contract period shall be observed:

1.   If it appears that, for cause, termination of employment for those in a contract period is imminent, a conference between the faculty member and the Chief Academic Officer will be held. If termination is determined necessary, the faculty member will be notified in writing that he is being terminated. In the letter, the cause or causes for termination will be stated. The letter will also state the date for termination.

2.   If the faculty member does not accept the findings presented in the letter, he will have the privilege of appealing to the Chief Executive Officer.

a.   The CEO may act singularly or appoint a faculty review committee to consider the case.  If a committee is appointed, the committee shall review the case and make recommendations to the CEO.

 b.  The CEO, after reviewing the recommendations of the Chief Academic Officer and the faculty review committee, will render a final decision.

Faculty Salary:

The salary of a faculty member is recommended by the Chief Academic Officer following a meeting with the faculty member. The salary is determined by the Chief Executive Officer after considering recommendations and the salary budget authorized by the Board of Trustees.

Full-time Faculty Designations:

Two groups comprise the full-time faculty of Amberton University: Faculty who are members of the Faculty Council and faculty who are termed Dedicated Faculty members. A discussion of both groups may be found in Regulation #417 Faculty Responsibilities.

Normal Teaching Load for Full-Time Faculty:

Faculty Council Member:

The normal teaching load for a faculty council member should be approximately ten classes per year (a year is four, ten-week sessions). It is anticipated that faculty in this classification will instruct an enrollment of approximately 300 students per year. The maximum number of classes a faculty council member may teach in an academic year is twelve. The maximum number of new class preparations a faculty council member may prepare in a year is four.

Dedicated Faculty Member:

The normal teaching load for a dedicated faculty member is eight classes per year (a year is four, ten-week sessions). An enrollment of 12 students in a class is the minimum to be considered a class. It is anticipated that dedicated faculty will instruct an enrollment of approximately 240 students per year. The maximum number of new class preparations a dedicated faculty member may prepare in a year is four.

REQUIREMENTS FOR INSTRUCTORS

All instructors at Amberton University must be academically qualified and must have attained a certain level of experience that fosters a relevant application of the academic process to the practical world.

*    Individuals selected to teach courses on the baccalaureate level must possess at least an earned Master's Degree and eighteen (18) graduate hours in related subjects they are teaching from a regionally accredited institution. Any exception to this rule must be documented with the evidence of experience, scholarly or creative activities that offset the minimum academic requirement.

*    Individuals teaching graduate level courses must have earned the highest degree in their discipline plus twenty-four (24) graduate hours in related subjects they are teaching from a regionally accredited institution. In exceptional cases, extensive professional experience or significant scholarly or creative activities may substitute for formal academic training.

*    All full-time instructors at Amberton University will be sufficiently qualified in computer usage to engage in on-line research and on-line course development.  Full-time instructors must be qualified to offer courses in the classroom (lecture classes) and via distance learning (online courses).

 

THE EMPLOYMENT OF PART-TIME INSTRUCTORS

The employment of teaching assistants, teaching fellows, or part-time instructors (adjunct faculty) is a well established practice in higher education but must be carefully monitored. The academic credentials of part-time instructors must be equal to those of full-time faculty personnel. In addition, contractual arrangements will be provided that clearly stipulate the relationship of the employee to the University. Part-time teaching contracts will not exceed one session in duration. Adjunct instructors are not to teach more than six classes per year.

INSTRUCTIONAL STANDARDS

1.   The University will maintain sufficient faculty depth (full and part-time) so that all courses that are required and directly related to a major program will have at least one instructor who is on contract and academically certified to teach the course.

2.   All instructors who are assigned to teach required courses will have a teaching record indicating that they are above average instructors (above average evaluation will be based upon Instructor/Course Evaluations).

3.   Any instructor whose performance is significantly below average (5.5 or lower on Instructor/Course Evaluations) will not be allowed to teach the course again without having first undergone special instruction from a senior professor or the Chief Academic Officer.

EXCEPTIONS TO REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS

Any exceptions to instructor requirements or instructional standards must be properly documented.