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Policy 401: Composition and Authority of the Faculty

Section: Faculty Policies
Policy Number: 401
Subject: Composition and Authority of the Faculty
Origin Date: July 1, 1997
Revision Date(s): July 1, 1999, March 6, 2009, August 13, 2010, July 8, 2011, March 4, 2016
Effective Date: March 4, 2016
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401.1 FACULTY MEMBERSHIP

Utah State University is an institution of higher education comprising multiple, geographically dispersed campuses, each of which employs faculty. The faculty consists of the president, the provost, the chancellor, academic deans, regional campus deans, and other members of the tenured and tenure-eligible faculty, faculty with term appointments, faculty with special appointments, and emeritus faculty as defined herein. All appointed faculty, without regard to which campus they are assigned, are members of the Utah State University faculty.

401.2 DEFINITIONS

2.1 Faculty Defined; Faculty Categories

The terms "faculty" and "faculty members" designate university employees appointed for the purpose of carrying out one or more of the following primary functions of the university: (1) academic instruction and technical training, (2) enlargement of knowledge through research and other creative activities, and (3) dissemination of knowledge through extension, service, and other methods.

Faculty members receive appointments in one of the following four separate categories: (1) tenured or tenure-eligible appointments; (2) term appointments without eligibility for tenure; (3) special appointments without eligibility for tenure and; (4) emeritus appointments.

2.2 Academic Units and Academic Departments Defined

The term “school” has been used in two different ways at the university. In all cases but one, a “school” is the equivalent of a “department.” In one case, the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, the term is used as the equivalent of a “college.” Throughout the remainder of Section 400, whenever the term “department” appears it is assumed to encompass all “schools” except the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. The latter is governed by policies that apply to colleges, not departments. Whenever the term “college” is used in this policy, it will encompass all academic colleges and the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

An academic unit is a group of faculty with an identifiable teaching, research, or other academic mission. To be designated an academic unit, the group of faculty must fulfill all of the following criteria: (a) have an identifiable curriculum or formal description in current university catalogs or other publications; (b) have a separate, identifiable budget; (c) be designated an academic unit by decision of the Educational Policies Committee and ratification of the Faculty Senate, and approved by the president, the Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents.

An academic department is a group of faculty with an identifiable teaching, research, or other academic mission. To be designated an academic department, the group of faculty must fulfill all of the following criteria: (a) offer or administer a degree, certificate, or some other official credential of the university; (b) have an identifiable curriculum and formal description in current university catalogs or other publications; (c) have a separate identifiable budget; (d) be designated an academic department by decision of the Educational Policies Committee and ratification of the Faculty Senate, and approved by the president, the Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents.

All academic departments are academic units. Two academic units are not academic departments. These are the Library and Extension.

401.3 THE TENURED AND TENURE-ELIGIBLE FACULTY

3.1 Description and Eligibility

The tenured and tenure-eligible faculty consists of those individuals appointed to carry out the university's scholarly and educational functions and who have been or may be granted permanent status (policy 405.1.2). They receive their appointments within academic units. All faculty in this category either hold tenure or enter the process that may lead to the granting of tenure. Tenured and tenure-eligible faculty appointments shall not be made for less than 0.5 FTE.

3.2 Academic Ranks: Core Faculty

Tenure and tenure-eligible faculty members appointed to an academic department are the "core" faculty and hold one of the following ranks: Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor. A description of each follows. (See policy 405.2 for a complete discussion of the criteria for appointment or promotion for these ranks.)

(1) Instructor.

Appointment as instructor requires a master's degree or its equivalent, as determined by the appropriate administrator, and demonstrated ability in accordance with the role statement.

(2) Assistant Professor.

Appointment as or advancement in rank to assistant professor requires a terminal degree or its equivalent; demonstrated ability in teaching, research or creative endeavors, extension, service, or other qualifying work in accordance with the role statement and evidence of progressive professional development as determined by the appropriate administrator.

(3) Associate Professor.

Appointment as or advancement in rank to associate professor requires all the qualifications prescribed for an assistant professor; an established reputation in teaching, research or creative endeavors, extension, service, or other qualifying work in accordance with the role statement; and broad recognition for professional success in the field of appointment.

(4) Professor.

Appointment as or advancement in rank to professor requires all the qualifications prescribed for an associate professor and an established outstanding reputation in the field of appointment.

3.3 Academic Ranks: Librarians

Faculty members appointed to the academic unit of the library hold one of the following ranks: affiliate librarian, assistant librarian, associate librarian, or librarian. A description of each follows. (See policy 405.3 for a complete discussion of the criteria for appointment or promotion for these ranks.)

(1) Affiliate Librarian.

Appointment as affiliate librarian requires, a master's degree in library and information science from an institution accredited by the American Library Association or a master's degree and appropriate credentials for assignment to areas with specialized needs and demonstrated ability in accordance with the role statement.

(2) Assistant Librarian.

Appointment as or advancement in rank to assistant librarian requires all the qualifications prescribed for an affiliate librarian; demonstrated ability in librarianship, research, or other qualifying work; and evidence of professional development as determined by the appropriate administrator.

(3) Associate Librarian.

Appointment as or advancement to associate librarian requires all the qualifications prescribed for an assistant librarian; an established reputation in librarianship based on scholarship, and service; and broad recognition for professional success in librarianship.

(4) Librarian.

Appointment as or advancement to librarian requires all the qualifications prescribed for an associate librarian and an established outstanding reputation in the field of academic librarianship.

3.4 Academic Ranks: Extension

Faculty members appointed to the academic unit of Extension and who fulfill general Extension responsibilities hold one of the following ranks: Extension Instructor, Extension Assistant Professor, Extension Associate Professor, or Extension Professor. A description of each follows. (See policy 405.4 for a complete discussion of the criteria for appointment or promotion for these ranks.)

(1) Extension Instructor.

Appointment as extension instructor requires a master's degree or its equivalent, as determined by appropriate administrator, and demonstrated ability related to the role statement.

(2) Extension Assistant Professor.

Appointment as or advancement in rank to extension assistant professor requires a master’s degree or its equivalent; demonstrated ability in teaching, research, extension, or other qualifying work; and evidence of progressive professional development as determined by appropriate administrator.

(3) Extension Associate Professor.

Appointment as or advancement in rank to extension associate professor requires all the qualifications prescribed for an extension assistant professor; an established reputation based upon a balance of scholarship, teaching, and service; and broad recognition for professional success in the field of appointment.

(4) Extension Professor.

Appointment as or advancement in rank to extension professor requires all the qualifications prescribed for an extension associate professor and an established outstanding reputation in the field of appointment.

3.5 Academic Ranks: Professional Career and Technical Education

Faculty members appointed to the School of Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education with responsibilities for professional career and technical education will hold one of the following ranks: Professional Career and Technical Education Instructor, Professional Career and Technical Education Assistant Professor, Professional Career and Technical Education Associate Professor, or Professional Career and Technical Education Professor. A description of each follows. (See policy 405.5 for a complete discussion of the criteria for appointment or promotion to these ranks.)

(1) Professional Career and Technical Education Instructor.

Appointment as a professional career and technical education instructor requires six years of applicable work experience at the journeyman level. Up to three years of academic training from an accredited college may be substituted for three years of work experience.

(2) Professional Career and Technical Education Assistant Professor.

Appointment as a professional career and technical education assistant professor requires an associate of applied science or associate of science degree from an accredited college plus basic industry qualifications; three years full-time teaching experience at an accredited college; demonstrated ability in accordance with the role statement and evidence of progressive professional development.

(3) Professional Career and Technical Education Associate Professor

Appointment as or advancement in rank to a professional career and technical education associate professor requires all of the qualifications prescribed for assistant professor; a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university; a minimum of seven years of full-time teaching at an accredited college; an established reputation in accordance with the role statement; and broad recognition for professional success in professional career and technical education.

(4) Professional Career and Technical Education Professor

Appointment as or advancement in rank to a professional career and technical education professor requires all of the qualifications prescribed for an associate professor; a master’s degree or higher from an accredited university; a minimum of 12 years of full-time teaching experience at an accredited college; an outstanding reputation in accordance with the role statement; and national recognition for professional success in professional and technical education.

3.6 Exceptions

Under extraordinary circumstances, exceptions to Section 401.3 may be made to the qualifications for appointment in the various ranks in order to fulfill the mission of the university. Exceptions require petition to and approval by the president, and must specify a time period for meeting the qualifications.

401.4 THE FACULTY WITH TERM APPOINTMENTS

4.1 Description and Appointment Requirements

The faculty with term appointments consists of individuals appointed to perform specialized academic duties that make substantial and regular contributions to a university academic unit, but do not have the permanence of appointment of tenured faculty.

Term appointments are for one academic or fiscal year in duration and are automatically renewed based on funding and performance, unless the faculty members holding such appointments are given notice of nonrenewal (policy 404.1.2(4)). The faculty member who holds a term appointment has no claim to a de facto permanent appointment based on length of service.

Appointments for less than one academic or calendar year's duration are made to the temporary ranks (policy 401.5.2(3)). For those faculty whose appointments depend on extramural funds, the appointment is dependent upon the availability of those funds. Term appointments are established only in an academic unit.

4.2 Academic Ranks

The academic ranks for the faculty with term appointments follow.

(1) Lecturer Ranks.

Faculty members whose function it is to teach remedial (0010-0990), lower division (1000- 2990), or, on occasion, upper division (3000-4990) university courses, are appointed to one of the following titles: lecturer, senior lecturer, or principal lecturer. Lecturers who are uniquely qualified through education and/or experience may, under special circumstances, teach a course 5000 and above after full consultation between the department head and the faculty of the department that grants credit for the course.

(2) Clinical Ranks.

Faculty members whose primary function is the supervision of students in clinical practicum, residency, and intern programs may be appointed to one of the following ranks: clinical instructor, clinical assistant professor, clinical associate professor, or clinical professor, after full consultation between the department head and the faculty of the department that grants credit in this area.

(3) Research Ranks.

Faculty members whose primary function is research and whose source of funding is extramural may be appointed to one of the following ranks: research assistant professor, research associate professor, or research professor, after full consultation between the department head and the faculty of the department that grants credit in this area. Appointment to the research ranks requires a terminal degree or its equivalent.

(4) Federal Cooperator (FC) Ranks.

Faculty members who are federal employees, who are paid by agencies of the federal government, whose primary function at the university is equivalent to core faculty, and who serve as faculty under cooperative agreements between the university and the federal government (e.g., U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service) may be appointed to one of the following ranks: instructor (FC), assistant professor (FC), associate professor (FC), or professor (FC), after full consultation between the department head and the faculty of the department that grants credit in this area. Appointments to federal cooperator ranks are made only in academic units where such cooperative agreements exist.

(5) Federal Research (FR) Ranks.

Faculty members who are federal employees, who are paid by agencies of the federal government, whose primary function at the university is research, and who serve as faculty under agreements between the university and the federal government (e.g., U.S. Department of Agriculture) may be appointed to one of the following ranks: assistant professor (FR), associate professor (FR), or professor (FR), after full consultation between the department head and the faculty of the department that grants credit in this area. Appointments to federal research ranks are made only in academic units where such agreements exist.

(6) Professional Practice Ranks

Faculty members with substantial professional experience and expertise in a specific professional arena outside of academe, who contribute to an academic program by administration, teaching, mentoring, advising, service, or other responsibilities based on his or her professional experience may be appointed to one of the following ranks: professional practice instructor, professional practice assistant professor, professional practice associate professor, or professional practice professor, after full consultation between the department head and the faculty of the department that grants credit in this area.

4.3 Limitations on Positions: Faculty with Term Appointments

(1) No Tenure.

Faculty with term appointments are not eligible to enter the process that leads to the granting of tenure, unless the faculty member's status is changed.

(2) Changes in Status.

All changes in status from term appointment faculty to faculty with tenure or tenure-eligibility require a national search.

(3) Leave.

Faculty with term appointments are not eligible for sabbatical leave, but may be granted professional leave under appropriate conditions, as determined by the appropriate administrator.

(4) Limitations on Faculty Participation.

Faculty with term appointments are eligible to be elected to and to vote for members of the Faculty Senate. The participation in faculty affairs of faculty members holding lecturer, clinical, research, federal research, or professional practice ranks is subject to the following limitations: (a) they may participate in the processes of setting policy within their academic units only to the extent determined by their appointing departments, colleges, or other academic units; (b) they may serve as members of appointed faculty committees and may vote on all matters except those relating to appointment, retention, tenure, or promotion of tenured and/or tenure-eligible faculty. Federal cooperator ranks are exempt from the foregoing limitations on faculty participation with the following exceptions: they may not serve on committees or vote on matters relating to retention or tenure of tenure-eligible faculty.

401.5 FACULTY WITH SPECIAL APPOINTMENTS

5.1 Description and Appointment Requirements

The faculty with special appointments consists of those individuals whose appointments confer a limited association with the university. Such appointments are made to establish an association with professional peers for temporary or part-time service.

Faculty members with special appointments must possess qualifications and experience commensurate with those required for tenured and/or tenure-eligible or term appointment faculty. Proposed special appointments must be considered by appropriate departmental procedures. Periodic reviews of the performance of faculty members with special appointments may be conducted. Faculty members with special appointments are not eligible for tenure.

5.2 Academic Ranks

The academic ranks for the faculty with special appointments follow.

(1) Adjunct Ranks.

Faculty members whose association with an academic department is secondary to an appointment within a different department, institution, organization, or other personal and professional interests can be appointed as adjunct faculty. The term “adjunct” may precede any faculty title in the tenure and term appointment ranks. Adjunct appointments are made for less than 50 percent time only.

(2) Visiting Ranks.

Faculty members from other academic institutions who are participants in a university exchange program or who are employed to teach one or more semesters for an academic department while on leave from another academic institution are appointed to one of the following ranks: visiting instructor, visiting assistant professor, visiting associate professor, or visiting professor.

(3) Temporary Ranks.

The term “temporary” may precede all tenure-eligible academic ranks. In extraordinary circumstances, academic units may fill faculty appointments on a temporary basis. The temporary nature and the length of the term of such a position must be clearly specified in advance. The term cannot exceed one academic year and is renewable up to an additional two years. An exception may be made for long-term international assignment. Temporary appointments shall not be used as long-term strategies for accomplishing the duties of academic departments or academic units.

5.3 Limitations on Positions: Faculty with Special Appointments

(1) No tenure eligibility.

Faculty members with special appointments are ineligible for tenure.

(2) Limitations on faculty participation.

The participation of faculty members holding adjunct, temporary, or visiting positions is subject to the following limitations: (a) they may participate in the processes of setting policy within their departments only to the extent determined by their appointing departments; (b) they may serve as voting members of appointed faculty committees except those relating to appointment, retention, tenure, or promotion of tenured and/or tenure-eligible faculty and faculty with term appointments; (c) they may not be counted among the number of faculty members for the purposes of apportioning the Faculty Senate members; and (d) they are ineligible to be elected to and to vote for members of the Faculty Senate.

401.6 EMERITUS FACULTY

At the time of retirement and upon recommendation of the president and the approval of the Board of Trustees, faculty members may be awarded the honorary rank of Emeritus preceding their final academic rank.

401.7 LIST OF FACULTY

Each year the university shall publish a list of all faculty in an electronic format that is readily accessible, which states the faculty category and the academic unit to which they are appointed or, in the case of emeritus faculty, to which they were appointed.

401.8 AUTHORITY OF THE FACULTY

8.1 Policy Statement

(1) American Association of University Professors Joint Statement.

Although this policy statement may contain some provisions that are the same or similar to certain principles promulgated by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), this policy statement is not intended to incorporate AAUP principles and interpretations, and any such incorporation by reference is expressly disclaimed.

(2) Faculty Responsibility for Educational Process.

The faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter, and methods of instruction, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process. In those exceptional circumstances when the power of review or final decision of the president is exercised adversely on these matters, it shall be communicated to the faculty. Following such communication, the faculty shall have the opportunity for further consideration and further transmittal of its view to the president.

The faculty sets the requirements for the degrees offered, determines when the requirements have been met, and recommends to the president that the degrees be granted.

(3) Faculty Status and Related Matters.

Faculty status and related matters, such as appointments, reappointments, nonrenewals of appointments, terminations, dismissals, reductions in status, promotions, and the granting of tenure are primarily a faculty responsibility. The primary responsibility of the faculty for such matters is based upon the fact that its judgment is central to general educational policy. Furthermore, scholars in a particular field or activity have the chief competence for judging the work of their colleagues; in such competence it is implicit that responsibility exists for both adverse and favorable judgments. Determination in these matters should be first by faculty action through established university procedures, reviewed and approved by the president, followed where necessary, by the approval of the Board of Trustees and/or the Board of Regents.

(4) Collegial Governance of the University.

There is shared responsibility in the governance of the university with a meaningful role for the faculty. This role includes participation in decisions relating to the general academic operations of the university, such as budget matters and the appointment of administrators. The faculty should actively advise in the determination of policies and procedures governing salary increases.

Organizations and methods for faculty participation in the collegial governance of the university should be established wherever faculty responsibility is present. The organizations and methods may consist of meetings of the faculty members of a department, college, library, extension, other academic unit, or the university as a whole; or they may take the form of faculty-elected committees in academic units and a faculty designed, approved, and established committee through the joint effort of the faculty and the administration.

(5) Faculty and Administration Communications.

Suggested means of communication among the faculty university administrators, and the Board of Trustees are:

  • (a) circulation of memoranda and reports,
  • (b) joint ad hoc committees of the groups,
  • (c) standing liaison committees of the groups, and
  • (d) membership of faculty members on administrative councils, committees, and other bodies.

8.2 Legislative Authority of the Faculty

Subject to the authority of the Board of Regents, the Board of Trustees, and the president, faculty shall legislate on all matters of educational policy, enact such rules and regulations as it deems desirable to promote or enforce such policies, and decide upon curricula and new courses of study. The legislative power will normally be exercised by the Faculty Senate. In all matters except those within the authority of the Faculty Senate, the faculty retains original jurisdiction.

8.3 Appellate Authority of the Faculty: Right to Review and to Modify Faculty Senate Actions

Faculty members who are eligible to vote in Faculty Senate shall have the appellate power to review Faculty Senate actions by means of a special meeting. Upon the written petition of 10% of these faculty members, or upon the written request of 25 senators, the faculty must meet to reconsider Faculty Senate actions and to ratify, modify, or repeal them. The petition or request must be submitted to the university president as chair of the faculty.

401.9 MEETINGS OF THE FACULTY

9.1 Calling Meetings

Meetings of the faculty may be convened upon the call of the university president. Upon receipt by the president of a written request or a written petition as provided in policy 401.8.3, the president must call a meeting of the faculty within ten working days to discuss and/or act on issues raised in the request or petition.

9.2 Notice

Faculty must receive individual notice of the meeting and its agenda a minimum of five days before the meeting, unless a majority of them waives that notice prior to or at the meeting or unless the president waives the notice on the grounds of emergency.

9.3 Quorum

Any number over ten percent of the faculty eligible to vote in Faculty Senate elections shall constitute a forum for discussion at faculty meetings, but no vote shall be binding unless a quorum is present. Fifty percent plus one member of the voting faculty shall constitute a quorum. A quorum being present, all actions shall be by majority vote of those in attendance with voting power. Meeting procedures shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order.

401.10 CHAIR OF THE FACULTY; SECRETARY OF THE FACULTY

The president of the university (and in the president's absence, the executive vice president and provost) is the chair of the faculty and presides over all meetings of the faculty. The president of the university shall appoint a secretary for the faculty who will also be ex officio Executive Secretary of the Faculty Senate. The secretary shall record all actions of the faculty when it meets, and shall preserve the records in a form convenient for reference.

401.11 COMMITTEES OF THE FACULTY

The faculty may appoint, at any time, such committees as the work of the university may require. These committees must report to the faculty and to the Faculty Senate the progress of their work and the action they have taken.