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3 Faculty Responsibilities

Revised May 8, 2017

FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES

General responsibilities related to the faculty role center around teaching, scholarly/creative activities, and service. All full-time faculty members are responsible for teaching, scholarly/creative activities, and/or service activities during each academic session for which they have scheduled duties. The department head and dean establish and maintain expectations related to teaching, scholarly/creative activities, and/or service for each full-time faculty member. Faculty responsibilities may vary based on faculty appointment type.

Primary Responsibilities

Teaching

While teaching remains the focal point of the instructional program at Tarleton State University, the university sees teaching as entailing not simply classroom performance alone, but also the responsibilities of a participating member of the university community.  In addition to concern for the individual student and a willingness to provide individual assistance both inside and outside the classroom, the university defines effective teaching as engagement with various elements, including regular preparation and continuous research and study, student academic advising, and analysis of and recommendations for library holdings.

Department heads normally assign teaching responsibilities within departments, giving due consideration to the time faculty members need to prepare for class, grade assignments, advise students, conduct research, and attend to other faculty responsibilities.

During every long semester, Tarleton holds pre-registration for the following semesters. Tarleton faculty may serve as academic advisors during pre-registration to assist with advising and registration. Faculty advisors should treat their roles as an important part of the academic process and maintain a professional commitment to providing quality advising.

Faculty advisors may also be expected to assist students with career goals by helping students ascertain if their interests and abilities correspond with career requirements. Faculty advisors should be aware of graduate and professional educational requirements and opportunities and stay abreast of job opportunities in the field.

Scholarly and Creative Activities

All faculty members are expected to stay abreast of developments in their respective disciplines in order to develop and maintain an active research agenda.  The university has formal policies on soliciting and securing research grants to encourage and properly recognize those faculty members actively involved in scholarship and creative activity. For information regarding faculty research support, see http://www.tarleton.edu/facultyresearch/index.html.   

 Service

At Tarleton State University, service is recognized as an important component of the faculty role.  Service opportunities tend to revolve around the institution, the discipline/profession (as defined by each academic college), and the community.  Institutional committee work is a means through which faculty and administrative staff members influence institutional policy. Committee assignments are a professional responsibility and an important element of service to the university. The official description of the various university-level committees and a listing of the current membership are located at (http://www.tarleton.edu/site/documents/CommitteeList.pdf ). Service to your local community is valued by the University and will be appropriately recognized. Likewise, performing professional service within your respective discipline positively contributes to your academic department and University. 

Specific criteria for promotion and tenure and post tenure review for each of the academic colleges may be found at the following link: http://www.tarleton.edu/academicaffairs/facultyresources.html.

Additional Responsibilities

Syllabus Requirement for Each Course

Typically, on or before the first day of a course, the faculty will make a copy of the course syllabus available to students (e.g., posted on the course’s website within the university’s learning management system) or distributed in class. Prior to the 5th class day faculty will provide a copy of this syllabus to the department head’s office. Expectations for required elements to be included within a syllabus vary based on course level and course type. These expectations are outlined below:

Requirements by Course Type

Undergraduate Lecture or Seminar

Graduate Lecture or Seminar

Undergraduate or Graduate Practicum or Internship

1.      Faculty member’s office hours and location during the duration of the course.

Required

Required

Required

2.      A statement provided by Academic Affairs staff related to the policy of Tarleton to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws.

Required

Required

Required

3.      The measurable learning outcomes for the course*.

Required

Required

Required

4.      Brief description of each major course requirement, including each major assignment and examination.

Required

Required

Required

5.      Lists of any required or recommended readings.

Required

Required

Optional

6.      A general description of the subject matter of each lecture or discussion.

Required

Optional

Optional

*Required learning outcomes need to be copied from the course’s master syllabus to the course syllabus. A faculty member may include additional learning outcomes; however, the faculty member may not delete any outcomes included in the master syllabus.

Undergraduate or Graduate Problems or Independent Study

  • Approved Problems Course/Independent Study Contract

Colleges, schools, departments, divisions, and/or programs may have additional requirements beyond the above expectations.

Class Attendance

Faculty members are responsible to their students and to the university to attend their classes regularly and punctually. If a faculty member is 10 minutes late to class, that class is dismissed unless the students have been otherwise informed.

Office Hours

During each academic session (e.g., 16 week session, 8 week session) with scheduled teaching assignments, faculty members are required to maintain regular office hours which allow appropriate access for conferencing with students, fulfilling advising responsibilities, and collaborating with colleagues. The purpose of regular office hours is to be available to fulfill professional expectations beyond teaching responsibilities.  Minimum office hour expectations for full-time and part-time faculty shall be established by the department head/dean and communicated to all faculty.  Each faculty member's schedule and location of office hours shall be posted in a prominent location.  Faculty members are not expected to maintain office hours during university holidays and student recesses (System Policy 31.03.01, Vacation)

University staff employees who are teaching as an adjunct need to be aware of the following expectation as noted in the Staff Handbook, “a staff employee who teaches an academic class must be treated as an adjunct (a separate appointment not associated with regular position).” Staff employees will need to schedule all required office hours outside of their staff work schedule.

Course Records and Midterm Grades

Tentative class rolls are available at the end of registration for faculty members to check.  Corrections are incorporated into the final class rolls, which reflect class enrollment on the official census day. Faculty should base their grade reports on the official census day rolls.

Faculty members are highly encouraged to keep attendance records to emphasize the educational value of regular class attendance.  Due to federal regulations related to financial aid, for students who fail a class with a designation of Fx, the faculty member will be required to report the last day the student attended the class.  Faculty members are also expected to respond in a timely manner to student inquiries regarding academic progress, grades, and course attendance issues. 

Faculty members will complete midterm grades in 16 week courses for all developmental, freshman, and sophomore courses and submit them to the Registrar's Office.  The university posts midterm grades in the official student records management system.

Final Examinations

University policy requires that faculty members give final examinations during the time period shown on the official Final Examination Schedule for every course for which a final is appropriate. Department heads are responsible for ensuring adherence to this policy. The appropriateness of a final examination in a particular course will be determined within the department in which the course is offered subject to the approval of the department head.

Restricted Activities

During the final examination period within the fall and spring 16-week terms, no examinations other than finals may be administered, and no student activities may be held.

Retention of Student Academic Records

Student academic records will be retained in accordance with TAMUS Records Retention Schedule as articulated in agency item #01.401.10.  These records must be accessible to the dean or provost and executive vice president for academic affairs upon request.

Posting Grades

Faculty members are legally and ethically prohibited from publicly posting students' grades in such a fashion that anyone other than the students or their designated representatives can recognize. Faculty members may post grades by whatever method they devise, so long as they respect the student's privacy as specified in Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines.

 Commencement

Formal commencement exercises are held at appropriate times of the year. All faculty are required to participate in the academic procession in full regalia during academic terms (i.e., Fall, Spring, & Summer) where the faculty member has a scheduled teaching assignment.

 Student Evaluation of Faculty

Using an on-line uniform instrument, students will be provided the opportunity to evaluate the instructor at the end of each academic term.  Summaries of the evaluations are made available to faculty after official grades are posted.  

Copyright and Fair Use

Tarleton acknowledges and encourages the appropriate use (e.g., reproduction, distribution, performance, and display) of copyrighted works and materials for teaching, scholarship, and research purposes consistent with federal copyright law and the standards of fair use.  For additional information see www.tarleton.edu/library/faculty.html

Student Obligations

 Attendance

Class attendance is an important factor in student academic success. Each student should accept the responsibility of regular class attendance. Students who are required to participate in university-sponsored events or fall under Title IX guidelines are excused absences, which allow students to make up assignments and/or examinations. Students are responsible for contacting the instructor in advance to provide written explanation for their absences from the faculty or staff members who are responsible for the activity.  

For all other attendance-related concerns, the university considers student absences a matter between the individual student and faculty member. The faculty member has the responsibility and authority to determine whether a student may make assignments and/or examinations resulting from absences. Students may request makeup consideration for valid and verifiable reasons such as the following:

  • Illness
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Legal proceedings

Students who wish to appeal the faculty member's decision on absences may appeal through the academic appeals procedure (see the “Academic Appeals” section below.). 

Academic Honesty and Conduct

Tarleton expects its students and faculty to preserve the honor and integrity of the academic community by maintaining high standards of personal and scholarly conduct. Faculty members should include their expectations of integrity (including any special attention to matters additional to the university policy or in the student rules) in their syllabi.  Academic honesty and conduct violations are handled according to guidelines outlined in the university catalog and SAP XX.XXX.

Academic Appeals

Students may appeal academic matters, including course grades, instructors' decisions on makeup work, and actions a faculty member may take in response to a suspected violation of academic integrity. Student academic appeals are handled according to guidelines outlined in the university catalog.