Section 2.0 FACULTY, ETHICS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

2.1 FACULTY

The faculty of South Plains College shall be defined as all persons employed full-time and whose assignment involves at least 50 percent teaching. Each faculty member shall be directly responsible to his/her departmental chairperson. Specific duties and responsibilities required of each faculty member include:

  1. The instructor prepares necessary documents for teaching, meets his/her assigned courses, and observes office hours according to the Faculty Handbook policy.
  2. The instructor demonstrates thorough knowledge of subject matter.
  3. The instructor assists students in clarifying educational goals and participates in student advisement.
  4. The instructor is student oriented and demonstrates an interest in student learning.
  5. The instructor willingly works toward providing positive resolution when conflict arises with students.
  6. The instructor’s student evaluations are within an acceptable range.
  7. The instructor accepts college assignments as assigned by the department chairperson in a professional manner.
  8. The instructor turns in required documents and reports to administration in a timely manner.
  9. The instructor exhibits a positive and helpful attitude toward colleagues within his/her department.
  10. The instructor participates in required departmental meetings.
  11. The instructor actively participates in or serves on groups and committees related to the institution.
  12. The instructor actively participates in available faculty development opportunities offered by the institution and/or participates in other development activities outside of those offered by the institution.
  13. The instructor conducts himself/herself in a manner that furthers the institution’s mission and goals.

2.2 FACULTY QUALIFICATIONS

South Plains College strives to adhere to the standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools which state that all teaching faculty members must have special competence in the fields in which they teach. This special competence is attested to by advanced study culminating in appropriate graduate degrees, or by extensive work experience in the teaching fields or in a professional practice which is demonstrably of highest quality.

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 outcomes. For all cases, the institution is responsible for justifying and documenting the qualifications of its faculty.

The following has been extracted from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement (2012) and the Guidelines for Faculty Credentials (2006)

Comprehensive Standard 3.7.1 of the Principles of Accreditation reads 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 each 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 an 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 as credential guidelines:

  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Faculty teaching developmental courses that are not college-level have a bachelor’s degree and teaching experience in the discipline.

2.3 ACADEMIC FREEDOM, TENURE, AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR FACULTY MEMBERS IN TEXAS PUBLIC COMMUNITY AND SENIOR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

The statements that follow, issued by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Revised January 1979), provide guiding principles designed to aid Texas colleges and universities in evaluating the conditions of academic freedom, tenure, and responsibility that prevail on each campus.

2.3.1 Academic Freedom

Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good. The common good depends upon an uninhibited search for truth and its open expression. Hence, it is essential that each faculty member be free to pursue scholarly inquiry without undue restriction, and to voice and publish individual conclusions concerning the significance of evidence that he or she considers relevant.

Each faculty member must be free from the corrosive fear that others, inside or outside the college community, because their vision may differ, may threaten his or her professional career or the material benefits accruing from it. Each faculty member is entitled to full freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject, which he or she teaches but is expected not to introduce into his or her teachings controversial matters which have no relation to the classroom subject. Each faculty member also is a citizen of the nation, state and community; and when speaking, writing or acting as such, must be free from institutional censorship or discipline, subject to academic responsibility as hereinafter set out, and the faculty member should make it clear that he or she is not speaking for the institution.

2.3.2 Academic Responsibility

The concept of academic freedom for faculty must be accompanied by an equally demanding concept of academic responsibility of faculty. A faculty member has a responsibility to the institution, his or her profession, his or her students, and society at large.

The rights and privileges of faculty members extended by society and protected by governing boards and administrators through written policies and procedures on academic freedom and tenure, and as further protected by the courts, require reciprocally the assumption of certain responsibilities by faculty members. Some of those follow below:

  1. The fundamental responsibilities of a faculty member as a teacher and scholar include maintenance of competence in his or her field of specialization and the exhibition of such professional competence in the classroom, studio, or laboratory and in the public arena by such activities as discussions, lectures, consulting, publication or participation in professional organizations and meetings.
  2. The exercise of professional integrity by a faculty member includes recognition that the public will judge his or her profession and institution by his or her statements. Therefore, the faculty member should strive to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraint, to be willing to listen to and show respect to others expressing different opinions and to avoid creating the impression that the faculty member speaks or acts for his or her college or university when speaking or acting as a private person.
  3. The constitutionally protected right of the faculty member, as a citizen, to freedom of expression must be balanced with the interest of the state, as an employer, in promoting the efficiency of the educational services it performs through its employees. A faculty member's comments are protected even though they may be highly critical in tone or content or erroneous, but such statements are not protected free speech if they either substantially impede the faculty member's performance of his or her daily duties, or materially and substantially interfere with the regular operation of the institution, or if they are part of the continuing pattern of expression of such nature as to destroy the harmony and morale of a division, department or college. False statements made with knowledge of their falsity or in reckless disregard of the truth are not entitled to constitutional protection, and public statements may be so without foundation as to call into question the fitness of the faculty member to perform his or her duties.
  4. A faculty member should be judicious in the use of controversial material in the classroom and should introduce such material only as it has clear relationship to his or her subject field.
  5. A faculty member should be professional in his or her conduct in the classroom and in his or her relationship with students. The faculty member should maintain respect for the student and for the student's posture as a learner. The faculty member should make himself or herself appropriately available to the student for consultation on course work.
  6. A faculty member has the responsibility to provide timely and adequate notice of his or her intention to interrupt or terminate institutional services.

2.4 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
      Texas Community College Teachers Association and South Plains College

Professional Educators affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all persons and the right of all persons to learn. Learning best occurs in an environment devoted to the pursuit of truth, excellence and liberty. These flourish where both freedom and responsibility are esteemed.

In order to express more adequately the affirmation of our professional responsibilities, we, the members of the Texas Community College Teachers Association, do adopt, and hold ourselves and each other subject to, the following Code of Professional Ethics:

  1. The Professional Educator shall treat all persons with respect, dignity, and justice, discriminating against no one on any arbitrary basis such as ethnicity, creed, gender, disability, or age.
  2. The Professional Educator shall strive to help each student realize his or her full potential as a learner and as a human being.
  3. The Professional Educator shall by example and action encourage and defend the unfettered pursuit of truth by both colleagues* and students, supporting the free exchange of ideas, observing the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity, and seeking always an attitude of scholarly objectivity and tolerance of other viewpoints.
  4. The Professional Educator shall work to enhance cooperation and collegiality among students, faculty, administrators, and other personnel.
  5. The Professional Educator shall recognize and preserve the confidential nature of professional relationships, neither disclosing nor encouraging the disclosure of information or rumor, which might damage or embarrass or violate the privacy of any other person.
  6. The Professional Educator shall maintain competence through continued professional development, shall demonstrate that competence through consistently adequate preparation and performance, and shall seek to enhance that competence by accepting and appropriating constructive criticism and evaluation.
  7. The Professional Educator shall make the most judicious and effective use of the college's time and resources.
  8. The Professional Educator shall fulfill the employment agreement both in spirit and in fact, shall give reasonable notice upon resignation, and shall neither accept tasks for which he or she is not qualified nor assign tasks to unqualified persons.
  9. The Professional Educator shall support the goals and ideals of the college and shall act in public and private affairs in such a manner as to bring credit to the college.
  10. The Professional Educator shall not engage in sexual harassment of students or colleagues and shall adhere to the college's policy on sexual conduct.
  11. The Professional Educator shall observe the stated policies and procedures of the college, reserving the right to seek revision in a judicious and appropriate manner.
  12. The Professional Educator shall participate in the governance of the college by accepting a fair share of committee and institutional responsibilities.
  13. The Professional Educator shall support the right of all colleagues to academic freedom and due process and defend and assist a professional colleague accused of wrongdoing, incompetence, or other serious offense so long as the colleague's innocence may reasonably be maintained.
  14. The Professional Educator shall not support a colleague whose persistently unethical conduct or professional incompetence has been demonstrated through due process.
  15. The Professional Educator shall accept all rights and responsibilities of citizenship, always avoiding use of the privileges of his or her public position for private or partisan advantage.

In this Code, the term "colleague" refers to all persons employed by colleges in the educational enterprise.

2.5 DEPARTMENTAL CHAIRPERSONS

Chairpersons for all instructional departments will receive an annual stipend in addition to the instructional salary. They will also be granted a twenty percent (20%) decrease in their instructional loads. Chairpersons are expected to be present for all student registrations including both summer sessions. Absence from summer registrations may be granted by the appropriate instructional dean providing no classes are offered by that department. Attendance at Reese Center registrations will be by request from the registrar.

Departmental chairpersons will perform those duties as assigned by divisional deans in matters affecting their respective departments. Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  1. To give direction, supervision and assistance to each faculty and staff member assigned to the department.
  2. To prepare and administer the departmental budget, plan and coordinate class scheduling, coordinate all course level student learning outcomes assessment, review and report non-instructional departmental assessments.
  3. To assign faculty to serve as advisors and on the departmental assessment team.
  4. To advise the division dean as to of staffing needs, assist in the recruitment, screening and selection of new employees.
  5. To evaluate departmental faculty members, and to recommend to the division dean faculty members for renewal or non-renewal of contract, tenure and rank promotions. This written evaluation shall identify areas in which department members may need improvement, with methods outlined to address such needs.
  6. To make recommendation to the division dean regarding coordinator or director titles when appropriate.
  7. To be responsible for faculty development activities at the departmental level.
  8. To assume a leadership role in increasing faculty capabilities in teaching and student support responsibilities.
  9. To be responsible for requisitioning supplies, equipment, and textbooks required for each course in their respective department.
  10. To work with the college library in the areas of evaluation and acquisition of departmental library holdings.
  11. To be responsible for proposing to the academic council any changes or revisions of the curriculum in the department and serve as a member of the academic council.
  12. To be responsible for the inventory of all furniture and equipment in the department at the end of each school year, and report any items stolen or lost during the year.
  13. To supervise or authorize supervision of the students assigned to the department under student work programs and prepare the monthly payroll time sheet for each student.
  14. To report absences of faculty members in the department to the appropriate dean.
  15. To arrange for substitute instructors, from the same department when possible, in the event of faculty absences in their department.

2.6 DEPARTMENTAL COORDINATORS

Department coordinators will be granted a twenty percent (20%) decrease in their instructional load. Department coordinators will be present for student registrations as determined by the chairperson or registrar.

Department coordinators will perform those duties as assigned by the department chairperson and division dean in matters affecting the department. Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  1. To assist the departmental chairperson in giving direction, supervision and assistance to each faculty and staff member.
  2. To assist the departmental chairperson in the preparation of the budget.
  3. To assist the departmental chairperson in the evaluation of faculty members.
  4. To assist the departmental chairperson in providing faculty development activities for the department.
  5. To assist the departmental chairperson in efforts to increase faculty capabilities in teaching and student support.
  6. To assist the departmental chairperson in recruitment of students through contact with area schools, businesses and industry.
  7. To assist the departmental chairperson in other matters concerning the department.

2.7 PROGRAM COORDINATORS

Program coordinators may be granted a decrease in their instructional load. This will be determined by the dean of each division upon recommendation by the department chairperson. Program coordinators who are granted a decrease in their instructional load may teach overloads. Program coordinators will be present for student registrations as determined by the chairperson or registrar.

Program coordinators will perform those duties as assigned by the departmental chairperson and division dean in matters affecting their respective program areas or areas of instructional specialization. Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  1. To assist the departmental chairperson in giving direction, supervision and assistance to each faculty and staff member within program or area of instructional specialization.
  2. To assist the departmental chairperson in the preparation of the budget for the program or area of instructional specialization.
  3. To assist the departmental chairperson in the evaluation of faculty members within the program or area of instruction specialization.
  4. To assist the departmental chairperson in efforts to increase faculty capabilities in teaching and student support.
  5. To assist the departmental chairperson in recruitment of students through contact with area schools, businesses and industry.
  6. To assist the departmental chairperson in matters concerning student advisement, curriculum development and program evaluation (including site visits where applicable).

To assist the departmental chairperson in other matters concerning the program or areas of instructional specialization as needed.

 


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