The term "academic department" is used generically to mean departments, colleges, etc. The term "academic year" generally refers to the time beginning with the Fall semester through the end of the Spring semester. All faculty appointments must be in accordance with the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, (adopted December 2011 and effective January 1, 2012).
Comprehensive Standard 3.7.1 of the Principles of Accreditation and the Guidelines on "Faculty Credentials" read as follows:
The institution employs competent faculty members qualified to accomplish the mission and goals of the institution. When determining acceptable qualifications of its faculty, an institution gives primary consideration to the highest earned degree in the discipline. The institution also considers competence, effectiveness, and capacity, including, as appropriate, undergraduate and graduate degrees, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes. For all cases, the institution is responsible for justifying and documenting the qualifications of its faculty.
When an institution defines faculty qualifications using faculty credentials, institutions should use the following guidelines:
Faculty teaching general education courses at the undergraduate level: doctorate or master's degree in the teaching discipline or master's degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).
Faculty teaching associate degree courses designed for transfer to a baccalaureate degree: doctorate or master's degree in the teaching discipline or master's degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).
Faculty teaching associate degree courses not designed for transfer to the baccalaureate degree: bachelor's degree in the teaching discipline, or associate's degree and demonstrated competencies in the teaching discipline.
Faculty teaching baccalaureate courses: doctorate or master's degree in the teaching discipline or master's degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).
Faculty teaching graduate and post-baccalaureate course work: earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline.
Graduate teaching assistants: master's in the teaching discipline or 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline, direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations.
Approved: College Delegate Assembly, December 2006
Unit heads must have written approval from the President's Executive Staff before hiring procedures begin. The Unclassified Hiring Plan must be followed once a position is approved to be filled.
A national search must be conducted when seeking candidates for positions at the level of dean or higher or for positions with salaries of $30,000 or above. When submitting the agenda item for Board approval for positions of academic deans or higher, institutions must indicate the process used in the search, the number of applications received, the number of candidates interviewed, and the makeup of the search committee.
The System Office reviews the selection process rather than the credentials of each candidate. System universities consider all potential candidates.
Appointments for full-time and part-time faculty (including teaching graduate assistants), and other unclassified staff shall be finalized upon completion of the University processes and procedures for verifying credentials.
Every appointment of a member of the academic staff is upon the basis of merit and the special fitness of the individual for the work demanded by the position. All appointments, reappointments, promotions, and dismissal of members of the academic and other unclassified staff shall be made by the President of the University with the approval of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
Unclassified job applications of unsuccessful applicants only should be destroyed 3 years from the date of closure of the job search, as determined by the supervisor of the position and Academic Affairs. The date that the position is closed in the Office of Academic Affairs will be used. Documents are to be destroyed at the end of the 3 year period.
Classified job applications of unsuccessful applicants only are destroyed by personnel in the Office of Human Resources after 3 years.
The head of the appropriate academic and non-academic department/office will make use of a screening committee nominated by him/her, except when it is clearly impracticable, as in the hiring of faculty on very short notice or in recruiting specific individuals for whom the University must compete highly against other institutions or private business. In general, the department head or supervisor charges and receives recommendations from the committee and determines the appropriate qualifications and job description for the position.
The screening committee will include a number of departmental/faculty members who will publish an announcement setting forth the qualifications, duties, and terms of employment. The committee will receive, through its chairman, applications for the position and will rigorously study and screen the credentials of all applicants, judging them against the job description and/or SACS criteria. All applications will be made available to the supervisor. The committee must not discuss tenure and salary with the applicants; this is the domain of the department head or supervisor. The screening committee will then recommend applicants to the supervisor/department head and/or dean.
Recommendation or Selection of Candidate
A recommendation approved by the department head/supervisor will then be sent for approval to the dean of the college, the Academic Vice President, and/or the President. The final selection will then be submitted for approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
The terms of every appointment to the academic and non-academic staff will be stated in writing and a copy will be supplied to the prospective faculty/staff member before the appointment is consummated. Any subsequent changes in the terms of appointment will also be stated in writing and a copy given to the prospective faculty/staff member. All faculty/staff members should receive a copy of the Faculty/Staff Handbook or be informed of the web address where it can be found.
All personnel file documentation must be received by the Office of Academic Affairs prior to beginning employment.
Employees' responsibilities shall include participation in official University, college, and department functions (commencement, scheduled meetings, etc.).
Minimum Standards for Academic Ranks--General Provisions
The following are minimum standards for academic rank. Initial appointment to an academic rank is not made simply because the applicant has attained the minimum standards for that rank. The established criteria for promotion to an academic rank will also be applied in making initial appointments. It is generally expected that a minimum of 6 years will be served in one rank prior to promotion to the next higher rank. Only under compelling circumstances will exceptions be allowed.
For purposes of appointment and promotion, McNeese State University recognizes as terminal the following degrees: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Master of Fine Arts in Art, Masters in Library Science, Masters in Archives, Masters in Architecture, and others designated by COC-SACS. Faculty not holding the terminal degree must achieve substantially superior scholarly recognition at the national level to be considered for promotion.
In reference to the Library, the term "teaching field" refers to degrees in Library or Informational Science or other related areas.
Regular faculty are expected to meet job performance expectations for teaching, scholarly/professional activity and service. Regular faculty are evaluated annually according to Annual Performance Review expectations. Evidence of positive collegiality and professionalism, as well as respect toward peers, students, and administrators are included in job performance expectations. Faculty are responsible for reviewing the APR process with the department head. Regular faculty for whom English is a second language must demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication prior to their appointment. The Assessment and Certification of Faculty English Proficiency Policy is referenced in a section that follows.
Instructor: To be appointed Instructor, an applicant must have a minimum of a master's degree with a major concentration in the teaching field or related teaching field. Instructor positions are non-tenure track and do not require advanced notice for non-renewal. Credentials must meet accreditation criteria.
Assistant Professor: To be appointed Assistant Professor, an applicant must have an earned doctorate or terminal degree with a major concentration in the teaching field or related teaching field; or a master's degree with a major concentration in the teaching field or related teaching field, plus an additional 18 semester hours of graduate credit in the teaching field or related teaching field and three years of college teaching experience at the faculty level in the field in which the rank will be held. Credentials must meet accreditation criteria.
Associate Professor: To be appointed Associate Professor, an applicant must have an earned doctorate or terminal degree with a major concentration in the teaching field or related teaching field and three years of teaching experience at full faculty status in a college or university in the field of the major concentration. Credentials must meet accreditation criteria.
Professor: To be appointed Professor, an applicant must have an earned doctorate or terminal degree with a major concentration in the teaching field or related teaching field and seven years of college level teaching experience in the field in which the rank will be held. Credentials should meet accreditation criteria.
Persons employed in special ranks are not considered regular faculty. The following may be assigned to academic personnel in certain employment situations within the University:
The titles "Visiting Instructor," "Visiting Professor," "Visiting Associate Professor," and "Visiting Assistant Professor" are courtesy titles given to holders of visiting full-time appointments at those respective ranks. Faculty in such ranks are for temporary, short-term (non-tenure track) appointments. (Amended July 2009 to include title of Visiting Instructor.)
Full-time faculty whose primary responsibility is conducting research and who are normally paid from grants or contract funds are to be appointed as Assistant Professor-Research, Associate Professor-Research, or Professor-Research. The faculty in these ranks do not acquire tenure. As an alternative, and upon the individual recommendation of the institution President and approval by the Board, such persons at the rank of Associate Professor-Research and Professor-Research may be appointed for rolling terms of up to five years (to be specified). The contract for such rolling terms may provide for conditions related to continued funding of the grant supporting the position. Faculty on such appointments are reviewed annually. At such annual review, a recommendation not to reappoint the associate professor or professor is with a terminal appointment of up to five years. The faculty member is notified of a decision not to renew the appointment up to five years (specified for each individual) before the end of the appointment. Faculty members on such appointments may be terminated for cause at any time with due process.
Professional in-residence is a category of professionals appointed to instructional positions, with working titles such as Architect-in-Residence, Artist-in-Residence, Journalist-in-Residence, Writer-in-Residence, etc. The professional may be in residence at irregular intervals. Tenure is not awarded to individuals holding this title. Appointment to this title may be annual or limited and may be full-time or part-time.
The employment of part-time faculty, usually referred to as Visiting Lecturers, can provide expertise to enhance instructional and educational effectiveness of programs. Part-time Visiting Lecturers are employed only after all full-time faculty members' schedules have been filled. Department heads and deans should ensure that minimum course enrollment numbers have been met in full-time faculty members' course sections prior to employing Visiting Lecturers. Visiting Lecturers must meet the same requirements for academic preparation as their full-time counterparts teaching in the same disciplines. Visiting Lecturers are held to the same behavioral standards as for all employees of the institution.
Terms of Appointment (Visiting Lecturers)
The duration of appointment is for one semester or Summer session and must be renewed each semester. Visiting Lecturers are provided with written job expectations signed by the department head outlining duties, responsibilities, and terms of appointment.
Visiting Lecturers are expected to maintain office hours approved by their department head in addition to the instruction time and preparation time required to complete their assigned job duties (usually two office hours per week for each 3 credit hour class).
Visiting Lecturers assigned to classroom and/or laboratory duties must be regularly evaluated for effective teaching performance.
Visiting Lecturers holding employment in multiple departments must have approval of all appropriate administrative supervisors.
Visiting Lecturers for whom English is a second language must demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication prior to their appointment.
Appointments of Visiting Lecturers carry no assurance of reappointment. All appointments or reappointments are made by recommendations to and approval by the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs with the understanding that the employment of the individual shall end unconditionally on the ending date indicated in the appointment letter.
Duration of Visiting Lecturer Appointments
Appointments or reappointments of Visiting Lecturers are made by the University with the understanding that the employment of the individual shall end unconditionally on the ending date of the semester or session and/or the date indicated in the appointment letter. Reappointments are made solely at the discretion of the University. Visiting Lecturers appointments may be terminated at any time with cause.
Evaluation of Visiting Lecturers
Academic Departments are responsible for ensuring the quality of instruction delivered by Visiting Lecturers meets University standards and for confirming that Visiting Lecturers have the expertise required for teaching in the discipline. The Department must have a written process for evaluation of Visiting Lecturers, Graduate Teaching Assistants, or other part time instructors and must communicate the evaluation process and results with these same individuals. The process should include a self-evaluation, as well as evaluations by students and faculty.
Visiting Lecturers, graduate teaching assistants, or other part-time instructors are evaluated for effective instruction, student mentoring, and other responsibilities related to the appointment each semester. Evaluation should include Student Evaluation of Instruction (available by the 14th class day of the following semester) and other components such as:
Appropriate syllabus, course content and rigor, appropriate student learning outcomes and assessment
Accessibility to students (provides e-mail, office hours, other means of contact)
Meets and dismisses classes on time, prepares instructional materials, encourages student participation, etc.
The department head reviews evaluations with the part-time instructor and obtains signature on the evaluation sheet. Results should be reviewed with the dean.
Membership on the Graduate Faculty--Member Qualifications
A member of the Graduate Faculty must be a faculty member with an earned doctorate or degree that is considered terminal for the field or discipline (M.F.A., M.L.S.) and must meet SACSCOC criteria to teach graduate level courses.
Appointment to Graduate Faculty: Nomination for graduate faculty membership is by the department head with approval of the dean of the college, the Graduate Council, the Dean of the Graduate School, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Recommendations must include evidence of professional activity related to graduate education such as research, publication, exhibition or performance, membership in professional organizations, participation in regional and national meetings, and excellence in teaching. Appointment is for a maximum duration of five years; renewals must make application and provide evidence of scholarly work.
Privileges: Members may teach graduate level courses, serve as members of the Graduate Council, direct research, and serve on advisory committees for students pursuing master's or specialist's degrees.
Graduate Faculty--Temporary Member Qualifications: An individual with a terminal degree in the field and appropriate experience shall be eligible for appointment to the graduate faculty as a temporary member to teach a specific course provided approval is granted by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, the Office of Academic Affairs, and the President.
Appointment as Graduate Faculty Temporary Member: Nomination is by the department head with approval of the dean of the college, the Dean of the Graduate School, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Recommendations for the nomination must include supporting documents such as evidence of scholarly work or national recognition in the field.
Privileges of Temporary Graduate Faculty Member: A Temporary Member may teach graduate level courses.