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Responsibilities of Academic Staff

Responsibilities of Academic Staff

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
n/a

Each member of the academic staff is expected to be devoted to the accomplishment of the purposes for which the System exists: instruction, research, and public service. Those members of the academic staff who comprise the faculty of the System are charged to determine the educational policy of the System through deliberative action in their respective units and divisions.

It is a basic principle that every member of the academic staff, of whatever rank, shall at all times be held responsible for competent and effective performance of his/her duties.  In addition, faculty are expected to foster collegial relationships with supervisors, peers, students, and the University community.

Primary duties are effective classroom teaching, advising and academic counseling of students, committee work, research or scholarly activity, service such as assisting in recruitment of students and initiatives designed to help students succeed academically, and other assigned duties.  Full‑time faculty members are expected to schedule AT LEAST ten office hours on campus each week during a regular semester and at least five office hours on campus each week during a Summer session, at various times during the day, including afternoons.  Office hours should be spread across the week (Monday-Friday) to provide the best opportunity for student accessibility.  Part‑time faculty are expected to schedule a proportionate number of office hours, usually two hours for each three credit hour course taught. Department heads must schedule at least 25 hours of office presence.
Faculty shall share in governance by attending and participating in meetings of the department, college, or University.  Faculty shall serve on committees as elected or appointed with their consent provided such service does not interfere with duties related to regularly scheduled classes or interfere unduly with other work assignments related to their contractual obligations.
Deans and department heads should document communication informing faculty annually in each department of the criteria for annual performance review, tenure and promotion.  This communication should occur at the beginning of each academic year.

UL System Faculty Workload Expectations
Reference:  http://www.ulsystem.net/assets/docs/searchable/boards/chapter_3_9_5_03.pdf (section I-D)
UL System policy specifies the following guidelines for determining faculty workload:
Each person employed as a full-time instructional faculty member shall be assigned a minimum of 24 semester credit hours, or its equivalent, of instruction in organized classes each academic year.  Specific schools, colleges, or departments may set higher minimums for faculty, especially those not actively involved in non-instructional activities.  Reductions from the minimum may be allowed for the following factors: special accreditation requirements, nature of the subject taught, number of different preparations, number of students taught, level of course (undergraduate, graduate, or mix), other special assignments, etc.  Faculty members employed to perform duties other than full-time instruction (e.g., administrative, research, etc.) are to receive appropriate adjustments in credit hour loads.

McNeese State University Faculty Workload Expectations
McNeese State University operates within these guidelines according to the following rules:
  1. All faculty workload assignments consist of the equivalent of 15 credit hours of assigned time per semester (30 credit hours per academic year).
  2. Faculty holding the terminal degree (PhD, EdD, DBA, MFA, etc.) may be assigned work accordingly:
 a. 12 credit hours per semester (24 credit hours per academic year) for instruction
 b. 3 credit hours per semester (6 credit hours per academic year) for research
 c.  Additional duties, including committee work, advising, and other service are considered part of basic workload expectations, but not included in the per-credit hour workload count for reporting and budgeting purposes.
Specific school, colleges, or departments may set higher minimums for faculty, especially those not actively involved in non-instructional activities.  Lab or clinical instruction may be calculated using appropriate methods according to the discipline (and may differ according to discipline and/or accreditation requirements).  Internship or directed study instruction is not usually calculated in the workload schedule but may be considered appropriately in annual performance review.

Substitutions for or exceptions to teaching and/or research time should be noted on departmental workload forms and must be for special accreditation requirements, specific administrative duties (such as Program Coordinators), or other special assignments as clearly defined by the department and approved by the dean and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.  See Reassigned Time Guidelines below.
3.  Faculty holding the master's degree (regardless of rank) are expected to teach at least 15 credit hours per semester (30 credit hours per academic year) and should have no more than 4 preparations.  Lab or clinical instruction may be calculated using appropriate methods according to the discipline (and may differ according to discipline and/or accreditation requirements).
4.  Hiring visiting lecturers to teach more than 9 credit hours per semester is prohibited.
5.  Graduate assistants may not hold more than 1 and ½ assistantships and therefore should not teach more than 9 credit hours or comparable labs during the semester.

6.  International students may not be hired for more than one full graduate assistantship.
7. Faculty job performance responsibilities include participation in committee work and service as part of the normal workload.
8.  Faculty are expected to hold classes throughout the semester for the allotted class minutes and may not stop holding class session before the end of the semester.

Exceptions to McNeese Faculty Workload Policy-Critical Circumstances
During times of severe budgetary limitations, faculty holding terminal degrees may be required to teach at least 15 credit hours per semester (30 credit hours per academic year) to the exclusion of all reassigned time for research and other duties.  Faculty and administrators who normally receive reassigned time without prior approval must have their reassigned time approved by the appropriate Dean and/or the Vice-President for Academic and Student Affairs. 
This rule exists as one effort to protect personnel positions and salaries in times of severe economic crisis.

Assignation and Notification of Workload
Department heads discuss faculty workload with their dean prior to making faculty assignments.  Each dean must verify reassigned time and obtain approval for faculty reassignments from the Office of Academic and Student Affairs prior to the schedule being made.

Deans verifyworkload schedule and reassigned time information each Fall and Spring semester.  Workload schedule information identifies time allocated to teaching, research, and University and public service duties.  Information on the workload schedules are reviewed by the department head to facilitate equitable distribution of non-teaching duties within the department and to balance each faculty member's teaching and non-teaching duties. 

Each faculty member should be apprised clearly at the beginning of each academic year of his/her duties and responsibilities for that year, in teaching, research, or other creative or artistic activity, service and special duties, and be notified clearly in advance of any changes in that assignment.  Full-time faculty members are expected to participate in commencement ceremonies each semester.  All faculty participate in student evaluation of instruction.

Part-time faculty (visiting lecturers, adjunct faculty, and faculty employed less than full-time) should consult the Section 700:  Visiting Lecturer Supplementfor detailed information concerning appointments. Part-time faculty participate in student evaluation of instruction and receive evaluation from the department head or dean each semester.

Deans
Deans are considered the chief officers of the college, providing academic and administrative leadership to support the University Mission.  Deans develop and maintain effective communication within the respective college, with other campus personnel, and with external community constituents.  They coordinate the activities of department heads so that clearly-defined goals related to program improvement, recruitment and retention, and student learning outcomes may be achieved.  The Dean is responsible for upholding university policies and procedures, SACS and the respective accrediting agency requirements, evaluation of programs, and evaluation of faculty performance.  The Dean normally assumes a course load of 3 credit hours per regular semester, unless reassigned to administrative or other duties with approval by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.  Deans supervise and evaluate department heads and submit personnel decisions to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs for review.  The President serves as the appointing authority for the institution for all personnel.

Department Heads
Department Heads report to the college dean and are full-time ranked faculty members who represent the faculty of and have administrative responsibilities for their respective departments.  They are generally responsible for the administration of their departments and the development of teaching and scholarship among departmental faculty.  Department Heads oversee Program Coordinators and respective faculty, complete initial evaluations of faculty, determine course scheduling, and set strategies for program development and review, recruiting, and student retention.

Provided satisfactory performance is documented, department heads may be reappointed each year by the President upon the recommendation of the academic dean and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.  During the academic period, the department head may be reassigned at the discretion of the dean to teaching or other duties commensurate with the individual's academic rank.  In accordance with University policy, all administrative appointments expire June 30 of each year and new appointments and agreements become effective July 1 of each year.

Department Heads receive alternate work time releases from teaching duties in proportion to the requirements of the administrative duties of their respective academic unit.  Deans evaluate department head job performance in faculty and administrative duties. Deans are expected to follow 12 month work schedules. Department heads must schedule at least 25 office hours during normal work times.

Program Coordinators (June 2007)
Program Coordinators are responsible for coordination, curriculum development, and program review for specific degree plans.  Responsibilities of the coordinator are:
Program Coordinators are selected by the Department Head. Coordinators receive merit points for their service to the University provided they perform satisfactory work.

Summer Session
Annual review of the program against appropriate standards, including professional accrediting agencies, discipline-specific standards, general education competencies, and/or peer institutions.
Annual program assessment and evaluation as part of the university master plan and progress report process.

Periodic research, analysis, evaluation of the academic program and collaboration with program faculty for the purpose of professional collaboration with program faculty for the purpose of professional accreditation or re-accreditation and/or external review as required by McNeese's assessment cycle.

Propose curricular and requirements changes to program based on assessment cycles.

The Summer session all‑lecture load for full‑time teaching personnel is six lecture hours.  Any reductions of this load without a corresponding reduction in pay must be approved by the department head, the dean, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Reassigned Time
All reassigned time must be justified by the dean and receive prior approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.  Evidence of productivity must be furnished at the end of the semester in which reassigned time is given.  All reassigned time must be reported.

Guidelines for Faculty Holding the Terminal Degree
The following guidelines apply to Faculty holding the terminal degree (PhD, EdD, DBA, MFA, etc.):

Guidelines for Faculty Holding the Master's Degree (regardless of rank)
If instruction workload hours are less than 12 credit hours, department heads must record the balance needed for 12 credit hours as reassigned time on the Workload Reassigned Time Request Form. During severe budget reductions, extremely limited reassigned time from instructional priorities will be considered for approval. Reassigned time must be justified each semester for each faculty member teaching less than 12 credit hours. Approval for reassigned time must be obtained prior to completion of the class schedule; course enrollment status will be reviewed prior to late registration each semester in order to adjust workloads appropriately. If instruction workload hours are less than 15 credit hours, department heads must record the balance needed for 15 credit hours as reassigned time on the Workload Reassigned Time Request Form.  During severe budget reductions, extremely limited reassigned time from instructional priorities will be considered for approval. Reassigned time must be justified each semester for each faculty member teaching less than 15 credit hours. Approval for reassigned time must be obtained prior to completion of the class schedule; course enrollment status will be reviewed prior to late registration each semester in order to adjust workloads appropriately.

Reassigned Time Not Ordinarily Requiring Prior Approval
Recurring reassigned time which usually includes a reduction in instructional duties and does not require approval (except under critical circumstances, see section 206.1.c) each semester are as follows:
Reassigned time may be granted for faculty who are in specific disciplines which do not have accrediting agencies or who have not received reassigned time due to other circumstances and who demonstrate exemplary and outstanding contribution to the discipline through scholarly activity/research in an appropriate professional setting.  This reassigned time must be approved by the dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs each semester. 
  1. Reassignment allocated for academic department heads for administrative duties:  Academic department heads generally teach 9 credit hours per semester.  Additional reduction in teaching duties may be appropriate but must be justified and approved by the dean and Office of Academic Affairs.  Academic deans teach 3 credit hours per semester.
  2. Specific and documented accreditation requirements may call for reassigned time for faculty according to level of instruction (undergraduate, or graduate, or mix), number of preparations, documented publication/research, nature of the subject taught, number of different preparations, number of students taught, or other special assignments.  In general, accrediting agencies suggest that graduate level faculty receive a 3 credit hour course reduction during the semester the faculty is teaching the graduate course in order to conduct scholarly activity and to remain "professionally" qualified.  Documented evidence of current publication/research must be reviewed for continued reduction of teaching duties.  Single authored publications are appropriate.  Co-authored publications require proportionately more in number to maintain reassigned time. (Faculty without documentation of publications/scholarly activity teach 12 credit hours regardless of course level).  American Chemical Society requires that chemistry faculty teach no more than 15 contact hours per week with lab instruction taken into consideration in calculating workload.  Workload equivalents for lab instruction should be consistent in similar disciplines and must be approved by the Office of Academic Affairs.
  3. Faculty receiving reassigned time are not eligible for overload pay unless they are teaching above the normal 12 hour load (terminal degree) or 15 hour load (master's degree).

Computation
To compute part-lecture, part-laboratory maximum loads, one and one-half laboratory hours are the equivalent of one lecture hour.  Laboratory hour computation may vary according to certain accreditation guidelines.  All computations must be set forth in departmental or college policies.
Evening Classes
Faculty may be assigned evening classes as part of their regular load.  
Compressed Video
Faculty who teach a course using compressed video may receive a 3 hour course reduction during the semester in which the course is taught for the first time.  Subsequent to the first time a course is taught via compressed video, the course is considered as part of the regular teaching load.