Section 3.0 FACULTY STATUS AND EVALUATION

3.1 ACADEMIC RANK STANDARDS FOR FACULTY

3.1.1 Rank Classifications

3.1.1.1 Instructor: This rank may be held by those teachers meeting any of the following standards: 

  1. Those holding no post-secondary degree but with sufficient professional experience.
  2. Those holding an associate degree with eight years of professional experience.
  3. Those holding a bachelor's degree with six years of professional experience.
  4. Those holding a bachelor's degree with twelve or more graduate hours in their teaching field and four years of professional experience.
  5. Those holding a bachelor's degree with twenty-four or more graduate hours in their teaching field and two years of professional experience.
  6. Those holding a master's degree and no experience at South Plains College.

3.1.1.2 Assistant Professor: This rank may be held by those meeting any of the following standards:

  1. Those holding the bachelor's degree with twenty-four graduate hours in the teaching field and five years of professional experience at South Plains College.
  2. Those holding a master's degree and three years of professional experience at South Plains College.
  3. Those holding the master's degree plus thirty hours of additional related college credit and with two years of professional experience at South Plains College.
  4. Those holding a master's degree plus sixty hours of acceptable additional credit and with no professional experience at South Plains College.

3.1.1.3 Associate Professor: This rank may be held by those meeting any of the following standards:

  1. Those holding the master's degree plus thirty hours of additional related college credit and having completed ten years of professional experience at South Plains College.
  2. Those holding the master's degree plus sixty hours of related college credit and having completed five years professional experience at South Plains College.
  3. Those holding the doctorate and with three years of experience at South Plains College.

3.1.1.4 Professor: This rank may be held by those meeting any of the following standards:

  1. Head of departments holding at least the master's degree plus thirty semester hours of additional related college credit but less than the doctorate and whose departments have more than five members and where the department head has completed ten years of professional experience at South Plains College.
  2. Those holding the master's degree plus sixty hours of additional related college credit and having completed ten years of professional experience at South Plains College.
  3. Those holding the doctorate and with six years of professional experience at South Plains College.

3.1.2 Provisions of the Process

  1. Rank promotions must be approved by the departmental chairperson, the division dean, vice president for academic affairs, and the president of the college.
  2. Recommendations for rank promotion should be made in January of each year. Consideration of the rank promotion recommendations made by the departments will be considered during the month of February.
  3. The Rank Promotions Committee will be composed of the departmental chairpersons, dean of arts and sciences, dean of technical education, dean of continuing and distance education, vice president for academic affairs, and the president of the college. A simple majority decision shall be sufficient for approval.
  4. Individuals denied rank promotion shall be notified by the appropriate dean.
  5. It should be kept in mind that previously stated rank requirements are minimum requirements and a person's rank increase is not based solely on these standards.
  6. The designation of assistant instructor is not an appointment to a faculty rank position and does not lead to tenure.
  7. A distinguished professor rank may be awarded by the administration without regard to the above standards to a person who has brought distinction to himself or herself and the college by unusual scholarly teaching, research, publication or achievement.

3.1.3 Additional Assumptions

  1. The administration has the authority to employ teachers at any rank desired by the administration.
  2. The administration has the right to reward worthy teachers by promotion to a rank without regard to the standards previously outlined. In giving recognition to worthy teachers, consideration should be given to additional training (whether formal college credit training or not), professional activities, non-academic experience and such other subjective factors as may be pertinent to job performance.
  3. The administration shall review periodically, functioning of the ranking system, using such committees and/or individuals as desirable for consultation and advice.
  4. The administration and board of regents reserve the right to make changes in this plan when such changes seem to be in the best interest of South Plains College.

3.2 TENURE POLICY FOR SOUTH PLAINS COLLEGE

3.2.1 Definition of College Teacher

The definition of college teacher, as used in the tenure policy, is defined as follows: a full-time employee whose primary contracted responsibility is teaching within a South Plains College technical, health occupations, and/or arts and sciences division.

In accordance with the policy definition of tenure, an employee who no longer meets the definition of college teacher is no longer tenured. Upon the employee's return to a tenure-eligible position, the probationary period need not be repeated before consideration for tenure is given.

3.2.2 Academic Freedom and Tenure (Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section EA)

The Board of Regents recognizes that 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 restrict, and to voice and publish individual conclusions concerning the significance of evidence that he or she considers relevant.

3.2.2.1 Definition of Tenure

The concept of academic tenure or continuing appointment recognizes the professional status of the college teacher and assures that his/her employment may be terminated only for adequate cause. Tenure

does not exist because of peculiar solicitude for the human beings who staff academic institutions. Rather, it exists so that the college may have the benefit of their competent and honest judgment.

Tenure may be obtained only after a period of probationary service. After tenure is granted, the burden of proof must lie upon the institutional executive or board that wishes to dismiss a teacher.

3.2.2.2 Purposes of Tenure

The college’s statement of policy concerning tenure is designed to accomplish the following purposes:

  1. To assist the administration by providing sound standards for the original selection of faculty members.
  2. To result in the retention, encouragement, and promotion of the most able and most promising staff members.
  3. To assure the faculty of security of tenure in accordance with the terms set forth in this policy of tenure.
  4. To assure the faculty of freedom of teaching, of research, and of opinion.
  5. To provide appropriate procedures for establishing justification of termination of tenure, so that faculty members may be guaranteed adequate notice and a fair hearing of complaints bearing on their security of tenure.

3.2.2.3 Customary Types of Appointments

Appointments which are eligible to satisfy the probationary period and which may lead to the admission to tenure are:

  1. Instructor
  2. Assistant Professor
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Professor

No other appointments may be used to satisfy any part of the probationary period.

3.2.2.4 Admission to Tenure

A probationary period of not less than four complete academic years nor more than seven complete academic years of full-time contracted service at South Plains College shall be required of eligible rank before he may acquire tenure in the college, except that if an individual has served as a teacher in another institution of higher learning, or if he has had other comparable experience, the college may count that experience as one year of his probationary period.

A teacher not granted tenure at the end of their fourth complete academic year shall be advised in writing by the Dean of the department of the circumstances preventing granting of tenure. Said notification will occur each subsequent year that tenure is not granted until the seventh year, following which tenure must either be granted or employment terminated.

The precise terms and conditions of every appointment shall be stated in writing and shall be in possession of both the college and the teacher before the appointment is consummated.

3.2.2.5 Grounds for Termination of Continuing Appointment

 Grounds for termination of continuing appointment are only for adequate cause such as: failure to adhere to professional standards or ethics; actions not in the best interest of the college, such as incompetence or moral turpitude; and demonstrably bona fide financial exigency.

Cases of bona fide financial emergency or the phasing out of institutional programs requiring reduction of faculty may permit exceptions of tenure regulations. No seniority consideration will be given in such cases.

3.2.2.6 Procedure for Termination of Continuing Appointment

Termination of the employment of a faculty member who enjoys continuing appointment, except by resignation or retirement for age in accordance with regulations of the college, will be only for adequate cause shown.

In each case the issue will be determined by an equitable procedure, affording protection to the rights of the individual, which includes academic freedom, and to the interests of the college. The President may for adequate cause suspend an accused faculty member pending immediate investigation or speedy hearing as herein after provided. In cases where the accused admits his conduct constitutes adequate cause and the accused in writing waives investigation and trial, or voluntarily resigns, summary dismissal may follow.

In all cases where the facts are in dispute, the accused faculty member will be informed in writing of the charges against him, which, on reasonable notice, will be heard by a special committee made up of five members of the faculty, selected from a panel of seventeen (17) faculty members appointed annually by the Academic Council. When need for such a committee arises, two of these five members shall be selected from this panel by the Academic Council, two shall be selected from this panel by the President of the college, and a fifth member shall be selected from this panel by the other four.

In every such hearing, the accused will have the right to appear in person with counsel of his own selection, if desired, and to confront and cross-examine witnesses who may appear against him. He shall have right to testify, but may not be required to do so, and he may introduce in his behalf all evidence, written or oral, which may be relevant or material to his defense. If not resolved, a stenographic record of the proceedings will be taken and delivered to the President for submission to the governing board of the college, subsequently referred to as the Board of Regents, and such record shall be made accessible to the accused.

The committee, by a majority of the total membership, will make written findings on the material facts and a recommendation of the continuance or termination of the accused faculty member's tenure. The committee, by a majority of its total membership may make any supplementary suggestions it deems proper concerning the disposal of the case. If minority findings, recommendations, or suggestions are made, they shall be similarly treated.

The Board of Regents, by a majority of the total membership, will approve, reject, or amend such findings, recommendations, and suggestions, if any, and pass finally upon the matters involved. Reasons for approval, rejections, or amendment of such findings; recommendations; and suggestions, if any, will be stated in writing and communicated to the accused.

Approved by Board of Regents 3/13/97

3.2.2.7 Notice of Intention to Terminate or Non-Renew

A teacher in his first, second, third, or fourth year with the college, whose duties commence with the fall semester of the academic year, must be notified in writing by the President by the following March 1 if he is not to be re-appointed.

A teacher in his first year with the college whose duties commence after November 15 must be notified in writing by the President by the following May 15 if he is not to be re-appointed.

A faculty member with tenure must be notified in writing by the President by December 15 of the academic year in which the appointment is to terminate.

Notice of resignation shall be given by March 15.

3.2.3 Committee on Tenure and Privilege (Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section EA)

A policy on tenure necessitates both interpretation and administration. The effective administration of the Tenure Policy is the responsibility of the President. The continuous study of pertinent problems and the interpretation of the Tenure Policy and its application to individual situations is the responsibility of the President, the faculty, and the Board of Regents.

Therefore, the Academic Council will constitute a Standing Committee on Tenure and Privilege. The President shall be an ex officio member of this committee. Any member of the faculty, the President of the college, the Board of Regents may refer matters pertaining to tenure and privilege to this committee.

Approved by Board of Regents 4/14/83

3.3 EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT

Annual salary increases are not governed by a schedule. Increases are recommended by the administration and approved by the Board of Regents, and are based on economic factors and performance.

Faculty salary adjustments are made, however, for certain levels of educational achievement.

The levels are: associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, master's degree plus thirty (30) semester graduate hours, and a doctorate. To be considered as part of the additional educational achievement hours, the study undertaken should be in an appropriate discipline required by or related to the faculty member's instructional area. For the master's degree plus 30 level, the graduate hours must be taken after the date of master's degree and in the faculty member's instructional area. To assure that specific hours and/or a specific degree will count please check with the appropriate dean. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to present documentation of the additional hours or degree to the dean of his/her division.

Salary adjustments for levels of educational achievement, except the doctorate, will be made on a semester basis. If, after an instructional contract has been signed, the additional graduate hours are earned prior to the fall semester (with documentation presented by September 15th), an adjustment will be made for the full academic year. If the additional graduate hours are earned prior to the spring semester (with documentation presented by February 1st), an adjustment will be made for half an academic year. If a faculty member completes all requirements for a doctorate, except formal graduation, and presents an official academic transcript or personal letter from the dean of the graduate school, his/her salary will be adjusted the next succeeding full pay period.

3.4 FACULTY EVALUATION

The purpose of evaluation of faculty is to provide each faculty member sufficient information to assure continuing faculty competency and to improve teaching skills for instructors.

3.4.1 Departmental Chairperson Evaluation of Faculty

Prior to contract recommendations each year, departmental chairpersons will conference individually with each faculty member prior to submitting a written evaluation to the appropriate dean. The written evaluation will specify as to whether the individual faculty member needs or requires improvement in any specific area, and shall be based upon the criteria set forth in the faculty job description. A faculty member shall have the right to request a joint conference with the departmental chairperson and appropriate dean concerning the evaluation. (Form 3.4.4.1)

3.4.2 Student Evaluation of Faculty

The primary purpose of student evaluation of faculty shall be to provide data useful in improving instruction and instructional support through self-improvement and staff development.

3.4.2.1 Evaluation Guidelines

  1. A faculty member being evaluated by students shall not be present during the evaluation process.
    Students shall be guaranteed anonymity in the evaluation process.
  2. The faculty member will receive a comprehensive summary of all data generated by each class evaluation.
  3. The data generated by each class evaluation shall be processed by the department chairperson or a designee agreed upon by the faculty member and the department chairperson.
  4. A comprehensive summary of data generated by student evaluation will be submitted by the department chairperson, for the department as a whole and without reference to specific classes of individual faculty members, to the appropriate dean, for the purpose of supporting efforts of staff development.
  5. The department chairperson shall conference individually with each faculty member concerning the results of each evaluation. An example of the form used for this conference is under 3.4.4.2 in this section.
  6. The department chairperson and the faculty member, with the assistance of the instructional dean if the faculty member so desires, shall work in concert to develop actions for improvement suggested by the results of the evaluation.
  7. The actual instruments completed by students shall be maintained on file for one month after the summary data is distributed to faculty, for the purpose of resolving any challenge to numerical accuracy, after which the original instruments shall be destroyed. The summary data for each class shall be maintained on file by the chairperson.
  8. Classes with five or fewer students in attendance will not be evaluated unless provisions for anonymity are provided.

3.4.2.2 Evaluation Procedures

  1. Every teacher must be evaluated for four consecutive years in all classes he or she is assigned to teach during the fall semester; however, there shall be an evaluation of spring classes taught by first semester instructors.
  2. Evaluation instruments (Example: 3.4.4.2, Form A, in this section) will be administered in accordance with written instructions. The instruments will be collected, sealed in an envelope, and delivered to the department chairperson's office by the administrator of the evaluation.
  3. After four consecutive years of evaluations, the instructor will be evaluated at least every two years with a minimum of one class selected by the instructor and one class chosen by the department head. However, any instructor may request that any class be evaluated at any time he or she so desires.
  4. The procedure established by these guidelines is to be considered as minimum requirements. Nothing in this document prohibits more frequent evaluations if deemed appropriate by the instructor, departmental chairperson, or administration.
  5. All new full and part-time faculty, and all faculty who teach a course outside their regularly assigned discipline, will be evaluated during the first semester of said instruction.

3.4.3. Faculty Evaluation of Departmental Chairperson

3.4.3.1 Evaluation Guidelines

  1. Faculty shall be guaranteed anonymity in the evaluation process.
  2. The chairperson will receive a comprehensive summary of all data generated.
  3. The data generated by each evaluation shall be processed by the division dean.
  4. The division dean shall conference individually with each chairperson concerning the results of the evaluation.

3.4.3.2 Evaluation Procedures

The following are sent to all full-time faculty members within a department in the week specified:

  1. Evaluation form 3.4.4.3 with Dept./Semester/Chairperson's name noted.
  2. Instructions
  3. White security return envelope stamped with appropriate Dean's name.

The data is calculated, the comments are typed, and the Chairperson is sent a "Confidential" copy of data and comments.

3.4.4. Evaluation Forms

The following forms have been developed for faculty evaluation. Copies may be obtained from the department chairperson or may be downloaded from the SPC Website.

3.4.4.1 Faculty Evaluation

3.4.4.2 Student Evaluation of Instructor, Form A

3.4.4.3 Faculty Evaluation of Departmental Chairperson

 


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