Office of the Provost
Office of the Provost
1.2. Board of Trustees of Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL)
1.3. The President
1.4. The Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
1.5. The Vice Presidents
1.6. Colleges and College Administration
188.8.131.52. Executive Academic Leadership Council
184.108.40.206. Graduate Council
220.127.116.11. Professional Education Council
18.104.22.168. Undergraduate Council
1.10. School Committees
2.1. Faculty Defined
3.3.1. IRB and IACUC
3.3.2. Integrity Assurance Program
3.3.3. Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure
3.3.4. Scholarly Misconduct
3.3.5. Office of Research Administration
3.3.6. Patents, Copyrights, and Inventions
3.3.7. Ancillary Institutional Agreements
3.3.8. Outside Employment
5.2. Pre-Tenure Review
5.2.1. Pre-Tenure Review Application Materials and Process
5.2.2. Pre-Tenure Review Evaluative Bodies and Actions
5.2.3. Pre-Tenure Review Criteria
5.2.4. Pre-Tenure Review for Candidates with Credit for Prior Accomplishment
5.5.1. External Evaluation Requirement
5.5.2. Eligibility to Serve as an External Evaluator
5.5.3. Size and Composition of the Set of External Evaluators
5.5.4. Confidentiality of External Evaluator Identities
6.4.1. Board of Trustees
6.4.2. Definitions of Criteria
6.4.4. Procedure for the Termination of a Faculty Member Prior to the Expiration of the Contract Term or for Termination of a Tenured Faculty Member
8.2.1. Vice President for Research
8.2.2. Mississippi Research Consortium
8.2.3. Mississippi University Research Authority
8.2.4. Environmental Health and Safety
8.2.5. Academic and Other Leaves of Absence
8.2.6. Summer Grants for the Improvement of Instruction
8.2.8. Awards of Excellence
8.2.9. Library Services
8.6.1. Institutional Research
8.6.2. Institutional Effectiveness
8.6.3. General Counsel
8.6.4. Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity
8.6.5. Title IX
8.6.6. Human Resources
8.6.7. Office of the Registrar
8.6.8. Travel Policies and Forms
8.6.9. University Communications
8.6.11. Copy Center Services
8.6.12. Event and Conference Services
8.6.13. Southern Miss Catering
The Faculty Handbook is a guide to University offices, activities, and policies that affect members of the Faculty, as defined herein. The Faculty Handbook is not a comprehensive, self-contained policy document, and neither is it a contract of employment. Material in the Faculty Handbook does not replace, amend, or abridge approved policies of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (“IHL Policies and Bylaws”) or The University of Southern Mississippi Employee Handbook (“Employee Handbook”). In the event of conflicts between the Faculty Handbook and either the IHL Policies and Bylaws or the Employee Handbook, the latter documents are controlling and take precedence. Governance and standing committee bylaws shall not supersede the authority of the University President as designated by the State Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees or the State of Mississippi.
The Faculty Handbook may be amended from time to time in accord with the bylaws of
the Faculty Handbook Committee. University policies referenced herein may be obtained
from the University’s Institutional Policies webpage; Board policies referenced herein may be obtained from the IHL website. The Faculty Handbook is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to all
policies governing faculty. Information about employment benefits and policies that
apply to all employees of the University, such as those regarding harassment and discrimination,
can be found in the Employee Handbook or obtained from the University’s Department of Human Resources.
This chapter outlines the aspects of the University's governance structure most directly relevant to faculty. The University's complete organizational chart can be found online.
The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning ("IHL" or "the Board") manages the eight public universities in Mississippi, including USM. The members are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Board sets institutional policies and requires legal, fiscal, and programmatic accountability from its constituent institutions. More information about the Board, including its Policies and Bylaws, can be found on the IHL website.
Appointed by the Board, the President of USM serves as both its chief executive officer and its principal educational officer. The President has administrative control over the University and, in concert with the State Commissioner of Higher Education, shapes its educational policy and academic standards. The President has final authority over all University employees.
The Provost is the second-most senior officer at USM and the University’s Chief Academic Officer. The Provost advises the President on all matters related to curriculum and faculty. The Provost coordinates with the vice presidents and deans to plan for and accomplish the University’s educational objectives. The Provost is also responsible for developing and monitoring college budgets.
The University has five vice presidents, whose functions and specific job responsibilities are determined by the President. The websites for each of these positions can be found on the webpage of the University President.
The University is composed of several colleges. Some colleges house schools composed
of multiple disciplinary programs: Arts and Sciences, Business and Economic Development,
Education and Human Sciences, and Nursing and Health Professions. Some colleges do
not have schools: University Libraries,
Honors, and the Graduate School.
As executive officers, the college deans provide overall leadership for their respective colleges. Deans are responsible for establishing a vision and strategic plan for their colleges and evaluating their overall effectiveness in achieving college and University goals and objectives. Within their colleges, they administer and supervise University policies and regulations, plan and manage budgets, and oversee program administration. Deans assign academic and professional responsibilities to school directors and evaluate their performance. They also make recommendations to the Provost regarding appointment, reappointment, salaries, promotions, tenure, and other academic personnel matters.
The Dean’s Executive Council advises the dean of degree-granting colleges and participates in the administration of the college. The Executive Council is composed of the dean (who acts as chair), associate dean(s), and school directors. School directors may appoint a designee to attend and vote in their absence. Council members serve for the duration of their administrative appointment. This committee’s duties include regularly reviewing and updating college policies and procedures, facilitating dialogue and collaboration among college constituents, and avoiding duplication of efforts.
Schools are the overarching units of academic program organization within Colleges. A school directory can be found on the Provost’s website. Each school is comprised of multiple programs that work together for the delivery of curriculum, promotion of student retention, and support of faculty research, teaching, and service.
School directors are the chief administrative officers of schools and report to the dean. They are responsible for the general direction and supervision of the school, including administrative and personnel responsibilities. Directors manage school budgets and oversee academic program delivery in consultation with school faculty. They assign service responsibilities and promote research and creative activity. Directors evaluate academic personnel and staff and make recommendations regarding salaries, promotions, tenure, and retention of school employees.
The University operates under the principle of participatory or shared governance, with many institutional decisions being made with the advice and input from advisory bodies to the President. The President has the discretion to approve, appoint, dissolve, and convene advisory bodies as necessary. Depending on their specific charge, the University's advisory bodies may be composed of faculty, staff, students, and in some cases alumni and friends of the University.
The following representative and advisory bodies are the most important institutionalized forms of faculty input to shared governance. The bylaws or constitution of each committee can be found on the Committee on Committees’ webpage.
While each council of academic excellence has its own mission, collectively they drive distinction and quality and ensure programs meet and exceed national standards. They provide recommendations regarding academic affairs and program delivery.
The Executive Academic Leadership Council is comprised of chairs and chairs-elect
of Undergraduate Council, Graduate Council, Faculty Senate, Council of Directors,
and the Dean of the Graduate School (ex officio). This committee facilitates communication
between faculty governing bodies and
22.214.171.124. Graduate Council
The Graduate Council is responsible for graduate degree offerings, curricula, and assessment. It reviews, endorses, or rejects proposed changes in the graduate curricula (such as proposals for additions, modifications, and deletions of courses, majors, minors, and certificate programs), verifying compliance with University policies. Graduate Council provides recommendations on policy and practices for graduate student recruitment, admissions, and retention. It evaluates and grants graduate faculty status.
126.96.36.199. Professional Education Council
The Professional Education Council (PEC) ensures professional education programs at the University comply with standards of professional accrediting agencies and the Mississippi Department of Education.
The Council reviews and recommends actions regarding the development, administration, evaluation, and revision of all licensure programs to the Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. This Dean is the designated University official charged with providing direction and leadership to the Professional Education Unit, defined as the College of Education and Human Sciences and the professional education faculty located in other colleges.
188.8.131.52. Undergraduate Council
The Undergraduate Council is responsible for undergraduate degree offerings, curricula, and assessment. It reviews, endorses, or rejects proposed changes in the undergraduate curriculum including proposals for additions, modifications, and deletions of courses, majors, and minors, verifying compliance with University policies. It provides recommendations and oversight on policy and practices for recruitment, admission standards, and retention. Subcommittees of the council will make recommendations to the Undergraduate Council on matters related to the General Education Curriculum (GEC) and licensure requirements.
Directors of schools fulfill certain administrative and evaluative responsibilities; thus, they should not serve on faculty governing bodies. The Council of Directors (CoD) ensures that administrative faculty have a means of communicating with administrators. The CoD will include all school directors and a representative from the University Libraries. The full CoD will meet with the Provost monthly. An elected executive committee of the CoD will serve as the primary point of contact between directors and the Provost.
The Faculty Handbook Committee considers proposals, modifications, and amendments to the handbook based on proposals brought to it from an official university governing body or administrative office. If approved by the committee, changes are formally recommended to the University President for a final decision.
As a key partner in institutional shared governance, Faculty Senate provides a collaborative forum where faculty advise the administration on policy, development, resources, and operations of the University, thus ensuring faculty representation and input to the administration. The executive committee of the Faculty Senate is the primary point of contact between the Senate and the administration.
The University Grade Review Council hears and adjudicates at its discretion the appeals of grades filed by petitioning students. The jurisdiction of the Council does not include allegations concerning the competence of a faculty member, the fairness of examinations, the difficulty of a course, or matters of a purely academic nature. Rather, its sole charge is to determine whether the assignment of a grade was arbitrary or capricious.
Two standing ombudsmen will be selected each academic year. At the beginning of the academic year, each dean of the degree-granting colleges will appoint five faculty members of professorial rank to serve on the ombudsman candidate pool. In making their selections, the deans will give due consideration to diversity. The two ombudsmen will be selected by the Provost, in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, from the pool of candidates selected by the deans of the degree-granting colleges.
The University Promotion and Tenure Committee is composed of two members from each of the college promotion and tenure committees plus one member from the University Libraries. The two members from each college promotion and tenure committee consist of the committee’s chair, plus one additional member. Both will be elected by a majority vote of the members of their respective college promotion and tenure committees. The chair of the University Promotion and Tenure and Committee is elected by a majority vote of the committee members.
The Provost may seek the assistance of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee in any personnel matter. However, the normal function of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee is to make recommendations for promotions in rank and tenure after review of the candidate’s dossiers and decanal, college, director, and school recommendations.
Faculty members who are candidates for promotion cannot serve as members of this committee
during the academic year in which they seek promotion. School directors, assistant
and associate deans, deans, and
assistant, associate, and vice provosts may not serve on the University Promotion and Tenure Committee.
Members of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee must recuse themselves from
any personnel matter concerning a faculty member of the college they represent. In
this and all other matters, the committee is subject to the same policies that govern
school and college promotion and tenure
The University Research Council serves as an advisory body to the Vice President for Research on matters pertaining to research and creative activities.
The College Curriculum Committee (CCC) makes recommendations to the dean regarding proposed undergraduate and graduate curriculum changes submitted by programs through the School Curriculum Committee Chairs. Deans then forward recommendations they approve to the appropriate council of Academic Excellence. The CCC is composed of the dean or associate dean(s) in charge of curriculum and School Curriculum Committee Chairs. Representatives from originating programs are invited as needed to provide clarification regarding submitted proposals. The dean or associate dean with curriculum responsibility chairs the committee.
The Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC) represents to the dean the voice of college faculty, staff, and school-level administrators. It works with the dean on strategic planning for the college and provides input on college priorities, initiatives, and goals. All schools are represented either through their director or elected faculty member(s). At least half Half of its faculty members are faculty representatives; the remainder other half are school directors. All schools are represented either through their director or elected faculty member(s). It includes at least four and no more than eight school directors, elected by their peers in the Dean’s Executive Council, and at least four and no more than eight tenured, full-time faculty representatives elected by secret ballot by the full-time corps of instruction. In addition, the DAC includes two staff members elected by secret ballot by the college staff. DAC members serve staggered three-year terms.
The regular functions of the College Promotion and Tenure Committee are to make recommendations to the dean regarding pre-tenure review and applications for promotion and tenure.
Academic colleges must have College Promotion and Tenure Committees. These committees include at least one tenured representative per school in the college, with a minimum of five tenured representatives per college, and at least two at-large, full-time teaching professors with the rank of associate teaching professor or teaching professor from different schools. Representatives are elected by secret ballot by the corps of instruction of their school for staggered three-year terms. Further details regarding the specific composition and size of College Promotion and Tenure Committees are at the discretion of each college.
Members of the College Promotion and Tenure Committee may participate only in decisions on candidates of a lower rank. Only tenured faculty members may vote on tenure candidates. Teaching professors may vote only on the promotion of teaching-track faculty. Faculty who are ineligible to vote on a candidate are present in discussions only at the request of the committee.
For the evaluation of interdisciplinary candidates, the committee shall have a reviewer from each of the schools (whether internal or external to the college) in which the candidate is appointed.
University administrators serving as President, Provost, associate or assistant provost, vice president, dean, associate or assistant dean, or school directors may neither vote in such elections nor sit as members or ex officio members of College Promotion and Tenure Committees. Faculty members who are candidates for promotion cannot serve as members of the College Promotion and Tenure Committee during the academic year in which they seek promotion.
The proceedings of promotion and tenure committees are strictly confidential. Committee members who are related to candidates being reviewed (as per Board and University nepotism policy) must recuse themselves; they cannot vote or advise other committee members. Members reviewing candidates from their school may not vote on that candidate at the college level.
The Scholarship and Awards Committee (SAC) establishes and administers college-level awards for faculty, staff, and students. It is composed of one faculty representative per school elected by secret ballot from the corps of instruction and at least one staff member per college. Committee members are elected by their peers for one to three-year terms, as determined by the college.
A school promotion and tenure committee is a committee of all faculty eligible to
vote on a particular candidate who are employed with > 0.50 FTE in the school. If
a school does not have three eligible faculty to serve on such a committee, the school
in consultation with the dean must invite faculty from a discipline related to that
of the faculty under review to serve on the School Promotion and Tenure Committee.
All candidates are to be voted on by faculty with academic rank equal to or greater than the rank being sought by the candidate. Only tenured faculty vote on promotion of tenure track faculty or tenure decisions. For promotion of non-tenure track faculty, the Promotion and Tenure Committee must be composed of promotable non-tenure track faculty ranked higher than the candidate, and the candidate’s school’s associate professors and professors. In the case of large schools or very disparate disciplinary cultures committees are free to defer the bulk of deliberations to sub-committees.
University administrators serving as President, Provost, associate or assistant provost, vice president, dean, associate or assistant dean, or school directors may neither vote in such elections nor sit as members or ex officio members of school promotion and tenure committees. Faculty members holding honorary rank, employed on a terminal contract, or who are otherwise excluded for reasons specified in the rules governing school promotion proceedings are ineligible to participate in such proceedings.
Assistant or associate deans and assistant, associate, or vice provosts who are employed at < .50 FTE in a school may sit as members of that school’s promotion and tenure committee provided they meet the following qualifications. First, they have served a minimum of five years as a non-administrative faculty member (as non-deans, non-assistant/associate deans or non-assistant/associate provosts) in the school in which they will be participating in promotion considerations. Second, they are invited by a majority vote in a secret ballot of the members of the promotion and tenure committee. If invited to participate in these deliberations, these administrators may not chair promotion committees in their school.
For non-interdisciplinary candidates, tenured faculty from other schools may be invited at the committee’s discretion to serve as advising or voting members of the school promotion and tenure committee. For interdisciplinary candidates, all schools that fund the candidate’s position must be represented on the candidate’s promotion committee, ideally, proportional to the percentage of the candidate’s workload.
The committee is chaired by a member elected by a simple majority vote of the committee members.
Each academic year, the school will choose one of three governance options for faculty evaluations. Governance options are chosen and Faculty Evaluation Committees (FEC) are elected by secret ballot. Those eligible to vote include all the school’s full-time members of the corps of instruction with a minimum 50% appointment within the school (when the school director is untenured, only option 3 is available.) Depending on the governance option chosen, an FEC may be formed. The main function of the FEC is to conduct annual evaluations of faculty in the school. FECs may also advise school directors on other personnel matters, aside from promotion and tenure.
Those tenure-track faculty members eligible to serve on an FEC include only tenured faculty with at least three years’ service at the University, a minimum 50% appointment in the school, and rank of professor or associate professor. School directors, however, are eligible to participate in the evaluation process upon initiation of their appointment. Generally, eligible members should include only those who have workload responsibilities in all three ratings categories and received a rating of at least “meets expectation” in all three categories in the prior year’s annual evaluation.
Eligibility criteria differ slightly for teaching-track faculty members. All teaching-track
faculty within the school with a minimum of three years of service with the University,
a minimum 50% appointment within the school, and who hold the rank of associate teaching
professor or higher are eligible for committee membership. Teaching-track faculty
with the rank of instructor, lecturer, senior lecturer, or assistant teaching professor
are ineligible for committee membership. Teaching-track faculty members serving on
FECs may evaluate only other teaching-track members.
Faculty holding appointments within a school and serving as University administrative officers in the positions of President, Provost, vice president, or college dean may not be members of FECs. Faculty holding an appointment within the school and serving as associate dean or associate or vice provost are typically excluded from FEC eligibility, but they may be eligible if desired representation of an academic program would be unfilled because no other faculty members in the program meet eligibility requirements.
Faculty members who are clinical faculty, artist in residence, professor of practice, visiting professor, research faculty, as well as those holding honorary rank, employed on a terminal contract, undergoing post-tenure review, or otherwise excluded for reasons specified in the rules governing school evaluation proceedings, are ineligible to serve on an FEC.
Faculty members who are related (as per Board and University Nepotism Policy) to parties
being reviewed or evaluated in any personnel matter must recuse themselves from all
evaluation proceedings involving those parties. They must not vote or offer advice,
either directly or indirectly, to other
In consultation with the college dean, schools may create FEC subcommittees to evaluate subsets of the school’s faculty members if doing so best assures competent and fair evaluations of those each subcommittee represents.
184.108.40.206. Option 1 (director only)
The director has all authority for faculty members’ annual evaluations and recommendations.
220.127.116.11. Option 2 (director plus 2)
A personnel committee consisting of the school director and at least two tenured members of the corps of instruction employed by the school has all authority for faculty members’ annual evaluations and recommendations. The minimum three-member committee elects its chair. The FEC should include no fewer than three members but can include additional members as deemed appropriate. In schools employing more than one teaching-track faculty member, the FEC may be expanded to include one member of the teaching-track faculty.
18.104.22.168. Option 3 (three without director)
All authority for faculty members’ annual evaluations and recommendations is vested in an FEC consisting of at least three tenured members of the corps of instruction, exclusive of the school director, with independent input from the school director. The minimum three-member committee elects its chair. The FEC should include no fewer than three members but can include additional members as deemed appropriate. In schools employing more than one teaching-track faculty member, the FEC may be expanded to include one member of the teaching track faculty.
22.214.171.124. Replacement of Committee Members
If an FEC member resigns, is no longer able to serve on that committee, or otherwise relinquishes the committee position, another eligible faculty member within the school must be elected in the same manner that the original members were chosen. If a school is operating under Option 1 (school director) or Option 2 (the school director and two or more other faculty members) and the school director resigns from the FEC or is no longer able to serve on that committee, the members of the school’s corps of instruction must reconvene and choose all members for Option 3 as their operational FEC for the remainder of the academic year and until the next annual election of the FEC option.
Each school will have various required standing committees, in addition to ad hoc committees and optional standing committees. Required committees include a school curriculum committee and a school leadership team. Ad hoc committees include school promotion and tenure committees, search committees, and other committees constituted as needed. Optional standing committees include a school graduate admissions committee, a research productivity committee, a scholarship committee, and other possibilities.
All University policies must be developed, approved, and published in accordance with the University’s Policy on Policies (PRES-IR001) and published on the Institutional Policies website.
All University advisory bodies must adopt procedural rules for the conduct of their deliberations. In adopting those rules, the following principles apply.
A simple majority of members constitutes a quorum. A quorum is required of all University committees whose purview involves the evaluation of or personnel recommendations regarding academic personnel.
A proxy is authority, conferred in writing by a qualified voter to another qualified voter, empowering the latter to vote on behalf of the former in one or more specified matters. Proxy voting is expressly forbidden in all deliberations involving the evaluation of or personnel recommendations regarding academic personnel.
An absentee vote is a vote cast in absentia in writing by a qualified voter and delivered in a sealed envelope to a duly elected or appointed administrator or to a chair of a committee, council, or other deliberative body within the University. Absentee votes are permitted in all actions involving the evaluation of or personnel recommendations regarding academic personnel.
The Board of Trustees defines the faculty of Mississippi’s public universities as “the teaching staff and those members of the administrative staff having academic rank in a college, university or other educational institution or one of its divisions” (IHL Policies & Bylaws 402.01). At The University of Southern Mississippi, duly certified librarians with academic rank are members of the faculty and corps of instruction. Universities are authorized to establish faculty positions designated as non-tenure track in the categories of research, teaching, and service (IHL Policies & Bylaws 404.01). The University of Southern Mississippi has non-tenure track faculty whose primary responsibilities are in teaching (teaching tracks, clinical faculty, artists-in-residence, and professors of practice) and research. Visiting professors (all ranks) are members of the faculty based on comparable training.
The University’s corps of instruction consists of all full-time members of the faculty except for research and visiting professors (all ranks) and those clinical faculty who are not employed directly by the University. Full-time members of the corps of instruction have voting rights in appropriate institutional elections and personnel proceedings. The bylaws of each university advisory body stipulate who may vote in elections for that body. Voting and committee membership rights with regards to personnel decisions, including promotion and tenure, for non-tenure-track members of the corps of instruction varies at the discretion of individual programs and are discussed in Chapter 4.
In addition to employees who are members of the faculty as defined above, the university also employs people, who by virtue of their academic training or duties, are included in this chapter and covered by some of the policies in this handbook. Academic personnel is the encompassing term used in this handbook to refer to all faculty, including those who are not members of the corps of instruction, adjuncts, and post-doctoral fellows and associates.
Only those faculty members who hold a rank of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor are eligible for tenure and are classified as tenure-track faculty. Only individuals in tenured positions qualify for a status of continuing employment within a state institution of higher learning in Mississippi. A faculty member with academic rank and rights of tenure in the corps of instruction who accepts an appointment to an administrative office retains academic rank and rights of tenure as an ex officio member of the corps of instruction but has no rights of tenure in the administrative office.
Employees in non-tenure-track positions have no expectation of continuing employment beyond the expiration of their contracts. This policy must be indicated to prospective and incumbent holders of these positions. Non-tenure-track faculty may not have their status converted to tenure-track but may apply, on the same basis as other candidates, for available tenure-track positions.
Teaching faculty who do not have a terminal degree in the discipline, or a closely related one, in which they teach are initially appointed as instructors and can be promoted to lecturer and then senior lecturer. Individuals in these positions who earn the relevant terminal degree may be moved to the rank of assistant teaching professor.
Teaching faculty who hold a terminal degree in the discipline in which they teach, or a closely related discipline, are appointed at the rank of assistant teaching professor, unless a higher rank is negotiated when hired, and can be promoted to the rank of associate teaching professor and then teaching professor in a manner comparable to tenure-track faculty.
Clinical faculty are employed by the University, unless otherwise specified by the unit, with clinical instructional responsibilities. The ranks available for clinical faculty are instructor, assistant clinical professor, associate clinical professor, and clinical professor. Only clinical faculty who are directly employed by the University are members of the corps of instruction. Those paid by other entities are members of the faculty but not the corps of instruction.
Clinical instructors do not possess a terminal degree in the discipline in which they teach. Clinical professors (all ranks) do have a terminal degree in the discipline in which they teach. In exceptional circumstances, faculty who do not possess a terminal degree but have made substantial and outstanding contributions in their fields may be awarded the title of assistant clinical professor, associate clinical professor, or clinical professor.
Artists in residence and professors of practice need not have minimum academic qualifications but are appointed based on distinguished professional experience in their fields. They may have instructional responsibilities; if so, they are members of the corps of instruction and are evaluated annually in a manner appropriate to their assigned duties.
Research professors (all ranks) are not members of the corps of instruction since their primary responsibility is research rather than instruction. Research professors (all ranks) may teach, provided they meet expectations of the Provost. Such teaching does not move the individual to the corps of instruction. Research professors may be promoted through the ranks of assistant, associate, and full research professor based on appropriate performance. In exceptional circumstances, faculty who do not possess a terminal degree but have made substantial and outstanding contributions in their fields may be awarded the title of assistant research professor, associate research professor, or research professor.
Visiting professors (of all ranks) are members of the faculty based on training comparable to tenure-track faculty. Visiting professors do not vote in institutional elections or proceedings and are not considered members of the corps of instruction.
Non-faculty academic personnel include part-time personnel performing specified instructional, research, or library duties, such as individuals who hold the title of adjunct; temporary personnel funded in whole or in part by contracts or agreements of fixed duration; library and research personnel not holding academic appointments; and post-doctorate positions, graduate assistants, and graduate fellows. If approved by the Graduate School, these individuals may serve on graduate committees.
There are two types of post-doctoral positions: post-doctoral fellows and post-doctoral associates. In both cases, the appointee must have a doctorate in a field appropriate to the appointment. Post-doctoral fellowships emphasize the continued professional development of the appointee. The appointment is for the holder’s education in research and teaching and is generally limited to two or three years. To qualify for a fellowship exemption under federal income tax laws, no assigned duties and responsibilities or services can be required other than those which are an integral part of the fellow’s educational program. In contrast, post-doctoral associates render compensable services to the University.
Adjunct academic personnel are employed to fulfill specified instructional and other duties for a specified period but without any contractual guarantee of continuing employment. Individuals with adjunct status must have appropriate qualifications for each course taught. All adjuncts remain outside the corps of instruction, do not qualify for faculty status or privileges, and may not vote in institutional elections or personnel proceedings. Adjunct academic personnel include occasional and regular positions. Academic units will evaluate the teaching by adjunct personnel annually, in accord with the respective unit’s standards.
Adjunct status may qualify one to be listed in the University's Undergraduate Bulletin and/or Graduate Bulletin. Those so listed must have a regular teaching or research affiliation with the University and a professional reputation that enhances the standing of the employing academic unit. They must be recommended by a two-thirds vote of the members of the corps of instruction of the employing academic unit and approved by the responsible dean, the Provost, and the University President. The listing of adjunct academic staff members in the University's Undergraduate Bulletin and/or Graduate Bulletin is strictly honorary, in no way equating with faculty status, permanent employment, or an expectation of continuing employment.
The appointment to a distinguished professorship at the University constitutes the highest honor that can be accorded to a member of the professorate. The title can be conferred on select members of the faculty to recognize distinguished achievement in teaching, research/creative activity, and public service.
Distinguished professor candidates must have held the rank of professor at the University for at least five years. Distinguished professors should be recognized nationally, and usually internationally, and consequently, bring distinction to the University as a result of their accomplishments. Typically, a distinguished professor has a superior record in at least two of the following areas: teaching, research/creative activities, and service.
The emeritus designation may be awarded to retired faculty members who have served the University with distinction for a minimum of ten years. Emeritus faculty are honored, non-voting members of the units to which they belonged before retirement. Units, schools, and colleges are encouraged to invite emeritus faculty to serve as lecturers, substitute instructors, and consultants. Although no longer employees, emeritus faculty retain many faculty privileges. Retirement benefits are fully outlined in the Employee Handbook.
Retired or retiring faculty members may be nominated or apply on their own for emeritus status. All applications for emeritus status must be submitted within five years of the candidate’s retirement. The maximum number of applications allowed per individual for emeritus status is two. For more information about the process, see the Provost’s website.
Faculty members have three kinds of responsibilities: those deriving from their research/creative activities; those related to their role as teachers, and responsibilities stemming from their relation to the University and their disciplines. Each is addressed below.
Faculty are expected to fulfill their responsibilities promptly and conscientiously throughout their contract periods, University holidays excluded, even when classes are not in session.
The University’s Code of Ethical Conduct includes statements of general principles regarding respect for governance, others, information, and property as well as statements regarding conflicts of interest and commitment.
Academic freedom and shared governance are long-established and living principles at The University of Southern Mississippi. The University cherishes the free exchange of ideas, diversity of thought, joint decision making, and individuals’ assumption of responsibility.
Academic freedom is fundamental to the central values and purposes of a university, which in turn protects freedom of inquiry and speech. Faculty and students must be able to study, learn, speak, teach, research, and publish, without fear of intimidation or reprisal, free from political interference, in an environment of tolerance for and engagement with divergent opinions. Each faculty member is entitled to freedom from institutional censorship or disciplinary action in discussing his or her subject in the classroom, and when speaking or writing outside the classroom as an individual. It is understood, however, that with academic freedom there must be concomitant responsibility for statements, speeches, and actions. Grievances regarding alleged violations of academic freedom are addressed in Chapter 7.
The University of Southern Mississippi believes in the widely accepted principles of shared governance within the university. Therefore, the University recognizes that the faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process. The University also endorses a consultative process by which academic decisions are made through a joint effort of faculty, and administrators and with the cooperation and support of the affected faculty constituency.
The President’s authority derives from the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. As the chief executive officer of the University, the President is largely responsible for the maintenance of existing institutional resources and the creation of new ones; has ultimate managerial responsibility for a large number of nonacademic activities; and by the nature of the office is the chief spokesperson for the University. In these and other areas the President's task is to plan, organize, direct, and represent, and in these functions the President should receive the general support of the faculty. The University recognizes that the faculty should be consulted and with respect to such matters as long-range plans for the institution, the allocation and use of fiscal and physical resources, and the selection of academic officers.
The University of Southern Mississippi acknowledges that true faculty participation in the governance of academic affairs requires good faith on the part of both faculty and administration and a genuine commitment by both to a program of shared governance.
This policy draws from the 1966 “Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities” jointly formulated by the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education, and the American Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
All members of the University, including faculty, staff, and students, must secure approval from the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before collecting data on either human or animal research subjects. Data collected without prior approval cannot be used; post hoc approvals are not granted under any circumstances. Application information is available from the IRB and IACUC websites respectively. Consult the Director of the Office of Research Integrity or Chairs of the IRB or IACUC for specific questions about whether IRB or IACUC review is necessary.
All members of the University involved in research/creative activities, whether faculty, staff, or student, are required to participate in the University’s Research and Scholarly Integrity Assurance Program (IAP). (‘IAP’ is USM’s term for what is referred to in federal regulations and elsewhere as Responsible Conduct of Research: “RCR”.) IAP includes online modules, provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) and campus workshops and forums managed by the Office of Research Integrity. All who are covered by the policy are expected to complete CITI’s basic or “Common” course; different versions of the Common Course are available depending on discipline and relationship to the University. Researchers submitting applications to the IRB also must have completed the Human Subjects Course; researchers submitting applications to the IACUC must have completed the IACUC Course.
All faculty members must complete the University’s financial conflict of interest disclosure annually. The form can be found at the University’s Office of Research Integrity website, and it provides definitions for which kinds of financial interests must be disclosed under the policy.
All members of the faculty and others with responsibilities for research/creative activities are expected to adhere to the University’s policy regarding scholarly misconduct. As USM defines scholarly misconduct, it includes (but is not limited to): (1) research misconduct as defined by federal policy: “fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or reporting research results;” (2) abuse of confidentiality, including improper use of information gained by privileged access, such as information obtained through service on peer review panels and editorial boards; (3) violations of University policies concerning the use of human subjects, animal subjects, and laboratory safety; and (4) misappropriation of funds or resources, such as the misuse of research funds for personal gain. Misconduct does not include honest errors or mere difference in judgment. Individuals with concerns or questions about possible violations of the University’s Scholarly Misconduct Policy are encouraged to consult with the University’s Research Integrity Officer (RIO), the Director of the Office of Research Integrity.
The Office of Research Administration (ORA) provides a wide range of services as the University’s principal facilitator of external funding for research/creative activity. Except for proposals designated for submission through the Office of Technology Development (OTD), proposals soliciting external resources or funding must be submitted through ORA. The University has policies regarding gift card purchasing, Cost Sharing, Facilities and Administration Costs (F&A) and other external support issues, and post-award administration.
Faculty members are required to adhere to University policies on copyrights, patents, and the disclosure of inventions. See the Intellectual Property Policy. The Office of Technology Development (OTD) assists in helping researchers identify, evaluate, and protect potential inventions and innovations. OTD is responsible for the protection and commercialization of all University research innovations, from the sciences to the humanities.
With approval, academic personnel may provide institutional services outside the scope of their regularly contracted duties. In so doing, they may earn remuneration in addition to that stipulated in annual employment contracts. These ancillary institutional agreements include summer semester employment; employment within the University’s programs in international and continuing education; employment on a domestic campus, extension center, or teaching/research facility of the University removed from the place of regularly contracted employment; teaching within the University’s Interactive Video Network; directing University-sponsored projects; and serving as an internal consultant to the University. For details, see the Employee Handbook, sec. 3.7 (On Campus Consulting).
126.96.36.199. Summer Semester Employment
Nine-month employment contracts do not include the University's summer semester. Faculty and other academic personnel teaching during the summer semester are compensated on a fixed scale based on academic rank and teaching load, with nine semester hours of teaching normally constituting full-time employment.
188.8.131.52. International Education
The University's faculty-led study abroad programs in the Center for International Education operate on budgets separate from that of the regular academic year. Academic personnel employed as program leaders are approved by the Director of Study Abroad and the Associate Provost for International Programs upon the recommendations of directors of schools, deans of relevant colleges, and the Provost. The nature of the activity and designated duties of a study abroad program leader justify additional compensation, and they are normally compensated for related expenses and/or afforded per diem.
184.108.40.206. Off-Campus Employment
Academic personnel who are regularly employed at one campus of the University, and whose designated responsibilities are in whole or in part performed at another domestic campus, extension center, or teaching/research facility of the University, may be awarded remuneration in addition to that stipulated on their regular employment contracts. These individuals are also normally entitled to reimbursement on a fixed scale for designated personal expenses incurred in the fulfillment of their responsibilities. In some cases, their respective academic units may be allocated developmental funds by the University administration. Such arrangements are made within the terms of employment contracts, without amending them, and at the discretion of the University President.
220.127.116.11. Directing University-Sponsored Projects
Contingent on the terms and conditions of contracts with funding agencies, externally funded research and creative activities sponsored by the University may entitle project directors to released time from regularly contracted institutional duties and/or remuneration during the summer months. For example, with the permission of funding agencies, project directors may receive one-third of their contracted nine-month salaries during the summer, provided they work on the externally funded project for the full three months of the summer.
18.104.22.168. Internal Consultation
Internal consultants are employees of the University who contract to provide specialized advice or services to externally funded projects administered by the University or to institutional activities supported by University funds. Internal consultation may entitle employees to compensation over and above that afforded by regular University employment contracts, but, in all cases, services rendered must be exclusive of regular contracted duties within the University. Internal consultation normally cannot exceed one day per calendar week.
Administrative officers with the rank of dean or higher may not receive consulting fees for on-campus activities. University policy restricts internal consultation to duties outside the purview of University administrative officers. In cases of externally-funded projects, University employees may not receive additional compensation for projects conducted by individuals employed within their academic or administrative units. Nonacademic employees of the University may serve as internal consultants and be compensated on the same basis as academic personnel. Internal consultants on externally funded projects can be appointed only after written approval from funding entities and approval by the University's Office of Research Administration. For more information, see section 3.7 of the Employee Handbook.
In accord with IHL policy, faculty members involved in any of the many possible forms of outside employment are required to disclose these employment relationships annually. Forms for doing so are located on the Provost’s website.
In addition to the responsibilities specifically described below, academic personnel are expected to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning, fair evaluation, and open-minded consideration of diverse points of view in their classrooms. Instructors of record are expected not to abuse their power or positions and to maintain reasonable disciplinary standards as needed to preserve the integrity of the learning environment. Further information on policies and procedures for addressing student discipline and instructor misconduct can be found in the Policy of Classroom Responsibilities of Faculty and Students.
Faculty members are expected to provide mentoring to students as assigned in their academic units and to be a resource for students seeking information about curricular options, career paths within the discipline, and other matters related to the student’s course of study. Faculty should make reasonable efforts to apprise themselves of available student support services and refer students to needed sources of assistance as appropriate.
Instructors of record are responsible for ensuring classes are attended only by students who are officially enrolled in those classes. They are also responsible for meeting the Registrar’s deadlines for submitting “Not Attending” rosters, interim and final grades, and for promptly submitting requested progress reports for student-athletes.
22.214.171.124. Office Hours
Instructors of record are expected to be regularly accessible to students. They are required to post and maintain reasonable office hours, subject to the approval of directors and deans.
126.96.36.199. Teaching Loads
The expected teaching load for full-time members of the Corps of Instruction is four courses or twelve credit hours per semester, or the equivalent, for the fall and spring semesters each. The University allows directors flexibility to consider reassignment, extension, honors, and other specialized courses as part of the normal teaching load and to grant reassigned time from teaching to those engaged in uncompensated administrative and committee work, research/creative activity, and other service.
188.8.131.52. Contact Hours and Instructor Absences
University accreditation is contingent on the maintenance of classroom contact hours calculated on a formula of 37.5 contact hours per three semester hours of academic credit; each semester hour requires at least one week of instruction. Therefore, instructors are expected generally to hold classes as assigned in class schedules. Contact hours may include field exercises, research, and examination periods supervised by the instructor or their designated representatives possessing appropriate academic credentials. Instructors who miss classes are expected to notify supervisors of their absences, regardless of arrangements made with students.
Instructors are expected to make syllabi available to students on the first day of class. Guidelines for writing class syllabi, including topics the University requires on all syllabi, are available from the Provost’s website.
184.108.40.206. Student Absences
Instructors of record have the discretion to set their own attendance policies, subject to the approval of directors and deans. When given properly authorized evidence regarding a student’s absence due to required University participation in an activity or event, instructors of record are expected not to consider the student as absent and should give students a reasonable opportunity to make up all work that was missed. Students with unplanned absences may be directed to the Office of Student Ombudsman Services to have their excuses verified. Students are expected to cooperate by giving the instructor of record advance notice of scheduled absences and by completing all assigned course work.
220.127.116.11. Academic Integrity
Academic personnel are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. Violations of this policy include cheating on examinations, plagiarism, and other forms of academic misconduct. Instructors of record should take reasonable steps to ensure students comply with the policy, and, in the event of noncompliance, they are charged with determining appropriate sanctions from a range of options. These options include resubmission of the assignment, a lowered grade on that assignment, or a failing grade either for the assignment or for the entire course. If a student fails a course as a result of academic dishonesty, a grade of XF is awarded.
Standards for the award of evaluative grades are within the authority of instructors of record, subject to review only by the relevant academic units. The instructor of record may determine the basis of grades in all classes, assigning examinations, quizzes, essays, research papers, field exercises, and other graded activities at his or her discretion. Instructors of record are advised to consult the University’s policy on Undergraduate Academic Grades.
Except for unusual circumstances, instructors are expected to adhere to their own announced grading criteria and assignment schedule. They should return students’ graded material promptly, and some graded work should be assigned and returned sufficiently early in the semester for students to adjust performance relative to the instructors’ grading standards and expectations.
18.104.22.168. Final Examinations
In-class final examinations for a class must be administered at the time designated for that class on the University’s Exam Schedule, found on the Registrar’s website. The instructor of record may administer a take-home final examination in lieu of an in-class final examination or waive the final examination at his or her discretion under conditions specified in the class syllabus. In accord with the “relief days” or “dead days” policy, there are limitations on student assignments during the week of classes before final examinations begin.
22.214.171.124. Disability Accommodations
The Office of Disability Accommodations (ODA) verifies students' eligibility for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ODA works with eligible students individually to develop and coordinate reasonable accommodations specific to their disabilities. Academic personnel are responsible for implementing reasonable accommodations identified in a letter sent by ODA on behalf of the student.
126.96.36.199. Student Privacy and FERPA
In brief, the Buckley Amendment to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) allows all students over 18 years of age the right to right, see, correct and control access to their student records. In accord with this legislation, the University has implemented a policy governing students’ academic records. Faculty are responsible for understanding and complying with this policy.
The principle of shared governance implies that faculty members and other members of the Corps of Instruction have a responsibility to contribute to governance and sound functioning of the Institution. This responsibility is often described as “service” in annual evaluation documents, promotion, and tenure criteria, and so forth. There are many kinds of service obligations including service to one’s own program, school, college, University, professional discipline, and community.
While service obligations are incumbent upon all members of the faculty, individuals have wide discretion, in consultation with directors and other administrators, as to how best to serve and how much. For some, service time is most productively spent at the level of the program, school, and discipline; others may best contribute by University-level service. The issue of how much service is expected depends on various factors, including teaching loads, administrative responsibilities, research obligations, and expertise.
Annual evaluations of work performance are mandatory for academic personnel at the University. The evaluation framework serves to ensure effectiveness in teaching, research/creative activities, and service by providing a common structure for annual evaluations. This structure includes the allocation of workload and periodic opportunities for professional development. Additionally, annual evaluations inform decisions for tenure, promotion, and merit-based salary adjustments.
The annual evaluation framework is oriented toward proactive engagement between faculty members and their peers and supervisors. The annual evaluation process is meant to stimulate feedback among faculty, school directors, and deans in order to realize maximum potential, effectively allocate resources, and fairly arbitrate appeals made by faculty members. The process is aimed at maximizing potential and supporting the University mission.
Flexibility, clarity, transparency, efficiency, and fairness are key attributes of the evaluation framework. Schools are largely responsible for developing work performance criteria and expectations, which are to be consistent with college expectations, clearly articulated, in writing, and made readily available to faculty and administration.
Work performance criteria are designed to promote achievement in teaching, research/creative activities, and service. The three-tier evaluation system is intended to be efficient and effective and is based on meeting expectations established by academic units. Schools are responsible for designating faculty workload allocation percentages that align with guidelines suggested below where flexibility exists for adjustments as necessary.
The annual evaluation framework serves as the primary structure for setting annual objectives and allocating resources for faculty to achieve professional goals and progress toward promotion and tenure.
School directors work with faculty to establish professional objectives for the year and evaluate how objectives align with school, college, and institutional visions. Annual evaluations provide the opportunity to determine the extent to which the prior year’s objectives were met and to set aspirational targets for the year ahead. Although objectives are set annually, discussions about progress towards objectives should occur as needed, for example when a major objective is attained early, some significant obstacle to fulfilling an objective arises, or a new opportunity presents itself that cannot be postponed to the next evaluation year.
Decisions for obligating authority for annual faculty evaluations are made at the school level and are based on the governance option chosen, see 1.10.2 above.
Annual evaluations of faculty performance are tied to types and proportions of work activities throughout a given year. Allocation of workload should not be static but should balance the needs of a program or school and the professional goals of the faculty member; while maintaining the standards set forth by the school, college, and University and supporting achievement in all three categories of evaluation. The annual evaluation process should include a discussion of goals and workload allocation for the upcoming year in each of the three categories of evaluation. Workload should be clearly defined to promote transparency in allocation decisions and expectations for performance.
In developing workload allocations, schools should ensure instructional functionality of degree programs; support innovative modes of instruction; promote student success and involvement; encourage progress in research and creative activities; accentuate strengths of disciplinary clusters; foster interdisciplinary engagement; support professional development opportunities for faculty; and serve the needs of the school, college, University, professional organizations, and communities.
Workload allocation should be established in meetings between the school director and the faculty member in consultation with a program coordinator or dean as appropriate. Workloads must be documented and signed by both parties to acknowledge completion of the process and receipt of the assignment and approved by the dean. Other members of a Faculty Evaluation Committee (FEC) should not be directly involved in decisions regarding workload allocation.
Course load allocation is based on the equivalent of four 3-hour courses per semester. Each course is assigned a percentage determined in consultation with the faculty and director. For guidelines more specific than those listed below, refer to Appendix A. Deans and directors, or any other administrator responsible for determining workload allocation, should also consult the workload policy in the Employee Handbook.
Faculty with any expectations for research/creative activities should receive a reduction in course load in order to meet expectations for those research/creative activities. Assigned course load or allocation of teaching (or service, at the discretion of the school) should consider student mentorship activities not directly associated with classroom instruction and other factors that may increase time devoted to teaching activities.
Service contributions (to the program, school, college, University, or profession) requiring a time commitment beyond the usual expectation for the school may warrant a reallocation of workload from either teaching or research/creative activities. This reallocation is particularly relevant for academic programs with few faculty members to sustain essential functions (e.g., annual reporting, academic advisement) or support strategic initiatives requiring service.
Some situations may warrant adjusting a faculty member’s workload allocation. Examples include unforeseen circumstances, such as unexpected increases in enrollment or the departure of a faculty member which leaves a gap in the curriculum that must be covered; commitments created by new external funding agreements; or the need to participate in a significant service activity.
Workload allocation should be aligned with expectations for the identified role (teaching track, tenure track) for which the faculty member has been employed, such that decisions for promotion or tenure are based upon criteria appropriate for that role. See Chapter 5 for more information on promotion and tenure.
All academic personnel must submit annual activity reports to the school director by May 31st. These reports include a summary of professional activities in the areas of teaching, research/creative activity, and service during the year evaluated.
If governance option 2 or 3 was chosen by the school, the director distributes the activity reports to appropriate members of the FEC for review. Each member of the committee is evaluated by the other members of the committee. School directors and associate deans are evaluated for all work-related categories, including administrative performance, by the dean and not by the other members of the FEC. However, evaluations of directors and associate deans in regards to teaching and research/creative activities are to be based on specifications outlined in the relevant school-level documents. Associate directors are reviewed by the FEC in the areas of teaching, research/creative activities, and non-administrative service while administrative performance is evaluated exclusively by the director.
Depending on the governance option chosen, the school director or FEC writes annual evaluation reports for each person evaluated. Each person is to be rated in the three categories of teaching, research/creative activities, and service based on the following rating categories.
Teaching, research/creative activities, and service are evaluated annually for each faculty member according to the following ratings categories: “does not meet expectations”, “meets expectations”, and “exceeds expectations”. Schools are responsible for determining and documenting reasonable criteria for meeting expectations in association with workload allocation guidelines. These criteria require approval from the school director and the dean before being made publicly available through the Office of the Provost. The criteria must be approved at all levels and formally established in writing before faculty are held accountable to those standards. A separate category of “collegiality” should not be added to the traditional three categories of faculty performance. Instead, academic units should develop clear definitions of teaching, research/creative activities, and service, in which the virtues of collegiality are reflected.
Given the wide diversity of subjects offered at the University, schools are best suited to assess faculty contributions and are responsible for determining and documenting expectations for each of the three categories of evaluation. These expectations can be subsumed within a detailed rubric (see Appendix B for an example) or a more simplified disclosure of standards that serve as a baseline for achievement. Further, schools should clearly articulate and document circumstances that warrant assignment of “does not meet expectations” and “exceeds expectations” (see Appendix C for examples). Evaluative criteria require approval from school directors and deans before being made publicly available through the Office of the Provost.
188.8.131.52.1. Meets Expectations
Faculty performance expectations should promote high levels of achievement facilitating student success and profession contributions consistent with the University mission. Meeting expectations implies that faculty achieve articulated and measurable professional objectives and maintain continuous career advancement, including progress toward promotion or tenure. See Appendix C for examples. Faculty are also expected to contribute to a culture supportive of students, colleagues, and units. Meeting expectations is more than achieving a minimally acceptable level of performance to avoid contractual termination. While not a guarantee of success, meeting expectations in annual evaluations is an essential element of a successful path to promotion or tenure.
184.108.40.206.2. Does Not Meet Expectations
Assignment of does not meet expectations should be made for faculty who are unable to produce evidence of having met objectives established in the prior year. Faculty who meet objectives early in the year but do not recalibrate them in consultation with their directors also are not meeting expectations for faculty performance.
220.127.116.11.3. Exceeds Expectations
Assignment of exceeds expectations should be reserved for faculty who demonstrate excellence far beyond professional objectives set for the year, for achievement of highly ambitious objectives, or for a high level of contributions deemed especially complementary to the program, school, college, or the University vision. This designation should be reserved for faculty who provide evidence of high performance in teaching, research/creative activities, or service. When a faculty member achieved more than school expectations but not enough to merit assignment of exceeds expectations, a specific mention of achievement should be included in the noteworthy activities and remarks section (see 18.104.22.168 below) of the annual evaluation report. See Appendix C for examples.
Faculty are expected to contribute significantly in their professional roles. Therefore, a high percentage of faculty in a school who exceed expectations suggests that directors should examine goal-setting and work with faculty to adjust to a higher aspirational level.
22.214.171.124. Considerations for Online Instruction
Due to the unique nature of the online learning environment, online teaching requires its own set of evaluation benchmarks. While specific assessment benchmarks may vary from one academic unit to another, each unit should develop online teaching evaluation criteria that meet or exceed standards set through the online instructional policy.
126.96.36.199. Noteworthy Activities and Remarks
Annual evaluation reports should include a separate section for noteworthy activities and remarks for evaluators to mention specific achievements or deficiencies that might not otherwise be discernible from evaluation ratings (see Appendix C for examples). Additionally, activities considered exemplary of interdisciplinary collaboration are appropriate for inclusion in this section. Documented activities and remarks can be used alongside the ratings for promotion and tenure decisions, merit-based raises, or other important personnel decisions. Noteworthy activities and remarks are not intended to be a comprehensive list of annual faculty achievements or deficiencies, but instead to disclose aspects of a faculty member’s performance that evaluators consider worth mentioning or to clarify assignment of a particular rating.
The annual evaluation process offers an opportunity to review activities from the previous year, for faculty to discuss professional objectives and goals for the year ahead, and to request necessary resources with their directors.
Evaluation meetings should be scheduled annually between June 1st and August 31st. Two distinct meetings are generally necessary to complete the annual evaluation process for each faculty member: (1) review and discussion of the previous year’s activities and (2) establishment of professional objectives and workload allocation for the year ahead.
The first meeting is optional and may include the faculty member, school director, and/or FEC members. The proceedings include discussion of the basis of the evaluation and the opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings. At this meeting, the evaluation is signed by the faculty member, school director(s), and FEC members, if appropriate. Faculty member signature does not signify concurrence with the evaluation, only receipt.
Prior to signing completed annual evaluations, faculty may request written communication from administrative evaluators to outline strategies for improving workload allocation issues or request resources available for high-quality teaching and research/creative activities. Faculty also may appeal the results of their annual evaluations if they disagree with the assigned ratings or written comments from the evaluation committee. If the response remains unsatisfactory to the faculty member and efforts to resolve issues are unsuccessful at the school level, an appeal can be initiated in accord with the grievance procedure outlined in Chapter 7. Faculty who are repeatedly overruled in their efforts to appeal annual evaluation results but continue to appeal evaluation results are subject to reprimand and expressions of concerns regarding their collegiality.
The second meeting is between the school director and the faculty member. When a faculty member and the director are unable to agree on appropriate annual objectives, the dean serves as the final arbiter.
Schools will determine an internal timeline to accommodate the entire annual evaluation process, including the FEC review and evaluation period, when faculty members receive the reports of their annual evaluation, and when optional when meetings with FEC and/or school director occur.
Although not required, quarterly or mid-year meetings are strongly encouraged between faculty and directors to revisit objectives and to promote faculty success and continuous professional development.
Governance option 1: The school director submits signed evaluations to the dean.
Governance option 2: The committee chair, after obtaining signed concurrence or dissent from each committee member, submits signed evaluations of the FEC to the dean.
Governance option 3: The committee chair, after obtaining signed concurrence or dissent from each committee member, submits the committee’s evaluations to the school director. Those evaluations with which the school director concurs are formally approved by the director’s signature and transmitted to the dean. If the school director dissents from any FEC evaluations, the director may prepare independent evaluations for those faculty and transmit them, along with the evaluations of the FEC (with dissent noted by the school director’s signature) to the dean with a copy sent to the faculty member and to the chair of the FEC.
Upon request by the Office of the Provost, annual summaries by academic unit or faculty rank are to be provided by colleges to facilitate assessment of evaluation metrics and to ensure consistent application of evaluation standards across the University.
A formal development plan for improvement is initiated by the school director and FEC after a faculty member receives: (1) a second consecutive assignment of does not meet expectations in one of the three categories of faculty workload (teaching, research/creative activities, service) or (2) assignment of does not meet expectations in at least two categories in the same year. In addition to specific goals in the deficient areas, the development plan should specify the resources, training, and services that the faculty member needs to return to satisfactory productivity.
A faculty member’s workload should be reviewed by the school director as part of the development plan. If reweighting of workload obligations might solve the deficiency, it should be done as part of the process. For example, late-career faculty members who are doing less research might be assigned a 4/4 teaching schedule, expanded service obligations, and fewer research expectations. This approach may be the best way to support tenured faculty later in their careers who are still meeting expectations in two evaluative areas but not in the third.
Having a development plan in place does not mean that a tenured faculty member is on post-tenure review (PTR). A development plan is a proactive step to prevent the need for PTR. The development plan should follow the guidelines established in the annual evaluation process.
Recommendations for Jointly Appointed Faculty
Jointly-appointed faculty have workload assignments shared between two evaluative units. Policies for jointly appointed and interdisciplinary faculty should be established that include a letter of agreement and written expectations for annual evaluation.
188.8.131.52. Letter of Agreement when Faculty are Appointed
A letter of agreement between academic units should outline the responsibilities of the faculty member with respect to each unit with regards to teaching, research/creative activities, and service. For new appointments, this agreement should be part of the offer letter. Differences between academic units in policies and procedures should be recognized and resolved in the letter of agreement. Differences may include workload allocation, annual evaluation, promotion, and tenure expectations.
Overall expectations of a jointly appointed faculty member should not exceed those of any non-jointly appointed faculty. Expectations to be specified include: responsibilities for unit meetings, resources provided, physical space needs, level of support from staff within the unit, procedures to address conflicts between academic units, and whether the joint appointment can be renegotiated in the future.
184.108.40.206. Annual Evaluations
Expectations for annual evaluations should be set, modified, or reconciled based on the specific needs of the joint appointment. Units should set expectations based on the joint appointment rather than requiring the faculty member to meet both units’ expectations. Units may be able to set expectations based on the percentage of the faculty member’s appointment in each unit, especially for teaching and advising workload. However, issues of research/creative activities may require a new set of guidelines based on the specifics of the joint appointment (e.g., acceptable outlets for activities and types of research may need to be expanded). Evaluation committees for jointly appointed faculty should include at least one voting member of the minority evaluative unit(s).
When faculty have 100% of their budgeted lines in a home unit but have teaching or research/creative activity responsibilities in another unit, they are considered affiliated and not jointly appointed. However, many of the same recommendations above should apply to these faculty.
A letter of agreement between units should specify the rights and responsibilities of the faculty member and the units. Annual evaluation, promotion, and tenure guidelines for affiliated faculty should consider and account for their affiliated and interdisciplinary status. The home unit is encouraged to be flexible in modifying traditional disciplinary standards of evaluation without compromising the rigor of those standards. The home unit should solicit input from the affiliated unit.
While tenure confers a qualified expectation of continued annual employment, tenured faculty members are as responsible as faculty without tenure for sustained and quality contributions to the University’s mission in the areas of teaching, research/creative activity, and service. PTR is not a re-evaluation of tenure but is a way to assist faculty members in their professional development and document their ongoing commitment to the University’s mission.
PTR occurs only after a faculty member has been given the opportunity to address deficiencies identified in the formal development plan discussed in 4.5.4 above. Provided there are no substantially mitigating circumstances (e.g., serious illness), PTR is initiated when faculty do not meet expectations in any one category for four consecutive years or in two or more categories for two consecutive years. Faculty are no longer on PTR if they receive a rating of meets expectations for all three categories within two years of being put on PTR. For faculty who fail to receive a rating of meets expectations for all three categories within two years of being placed on PTR, the school director, dean, and Provost must agree on a course of action that could include termination of employment.
When applicable, PTR should be initiated in the fall, as soon as annual evaluations for an academic year are approved by a dean. Schools should not delay the PTR process until the spring.
PTRs are to be conducted by three faculty members selected from any school or college within the University, with one member each selected by school director, dean, and the faculty member. By unanimous agreement of the three selected faculty, up to two additional faculty may be added to the committee. The committee meets over a two-year period. When committee members cannot complete their two-year terms, replacement representatives are selected by whoever made the original selections.
Within one month of the date of initiation of PTR, or not later than February 1 of the first year to be included in PTR, the faculty member being evaluated will prepare and submit a portfolio of all relevant materials. The portfolio should include the current annual evaluation; annual evaluations from the preceding four years; goals for each of those years; an up-to-date curriculum vitae; evidence of performance contributions in the categories of teaching, research/creative activity, and service; and a new formal development plan. Additional materials may be added to the portfolio by the school director or dean at any time during the process but added materials must be shared with the faculty member.
The PTR committee must review the submitted portfolio within one month of its submission. The review is based on the faculty member’s specific role and responsibilities in the school. If necessary, in consultation with the faculty member, the committee suggests modifications to the proposed development plan to assist the faculty member in correcting identified deficiencies. The plan specifies how deficiencies will be remedied. The plan includes specific goals, activities needed to meet the goals, timelines for completing the activities, criteria for assessment of progress, and facilitating institutional resources needed to progress as described. With input from school directors, final drafts of development plans are approved by deans.
Prior to its final recommendation, the faculty member has a right to meet with the PTR committee. The committee elaborates in writing its findings regarding the proposed development plan and provides copies to the faculty member, school director, and dean. The final recommendation must be in place within two months of the faculty member’s notification to prepare portfolio materials. The plan must be implemented the semester following its proposal (summer generally excluded).
The faculty member may appeal the findings of the committee and the recommended faculty development plan to the Provost, who consults the college promotion and tenure committee(s) and may seek the advice of the University promotion and tenure committee.
The faculty member and school director meet at least once each semester to review the faculty member’s progress. After each meeting, the school director sends a progress report to the faculty member, PTR committee, and dean. The faculty member may request a review of progress by the PTR committee. If so, this review is forwarded to the faculty member, school director, and dean.
If, as determined by the PTR committee, the objectives of the development plan are met at any point within two years, the school director makes a final written report. This final report includes an overall rating for the time since the plan was implemented, as well as ratings for teaching, research/creative activities, and service during this time. If the objectives of the development plan are not met after two years, the committee recommends sanctions to the school director and dean. Termination proceedings begin if recommended by the dean.
Development plans for jointly appointed and affiliated faculty should reflect the circumstances of the faculty member’s appointment. PTR committees for such faculty include at least one member from every budgetary or evaluative unit connected to the appointment. The path of approval of the development plan for jointly-appointed faculty should be specified at the beginning of the PTR process. Depending on the situation, whether the joint appointment is across budgetary units within a college or in two colleges, directors and deans may act in concert or the school director and dean of the home unit may take precedence with input from the others. The process should be agreed upon with the Provost when PTR is initiated.
The Board of Trustees may extend promotions in academic rank and tenure to faculty based upon the recommendation of the University President. Board policy specifies that a candidate for promotion in academic rank must display evidence of (a) professional training and experience; (b) effectiveness of teaching or librarianship; (c) effectiveness in interpersonal relationships, including professional ethics, cooperativeness, resourcefulness, and responsibility; (d) professional growth, such as research, publications, and creative activities; and (e) service, such as economic development and non-teaching activities that further University goals or reflect favorably on the University. The Bylaws of the Board of Trustees state that promotion in academic rank or tenure may be based on other criteria established by the University with the approval of the Board.
Pre-Tenure Review is intended to evaluate the progress of tenure-track faculty towards the award of tenure and to determine areas for improvement of performance as necessary. Successful pre-tenure review is not a guarantee of tenure or of continued employment of any type or duration. Negative pre-tenure reviews constitute notice that progress toward tenure is unsatisfactory and may justify the issue of a terminal contract at the discretion of the President upon the recommendation of the Provost. Candidates who do not prepare and submit a pre-tenure review dossier when it is required will receive a terminal contract.
Pre-tenure review is typically performed in the spring of a faculty member’s third year in a tenure-track position. Exceptions are discussed in 5.2.4 below for candidates with prior accomplishment. Candidates may request an extension of the pre-tenure review by one year in exceptional cases of personal circumstances beyond either the candidate’s or the University’s control. The application for an extension of the pre-tenure review, including the reasons for the application, are confidential, although the approval of an extension may be made public. Candidates may be granted an extension by the approval of their school director, dean, and Provost.
Circumstances that warrant an extension of the pre-tenure review include, but are not limited to, the following: becoming a parent (birth or adoption), significant responsibilities for the care of an immediate relative (spouse/domestic partner, parent, child), death in the immediate family (spouse/domestic partner, parent, child), serious medical conditions or disability, professional impediments, and prestigious external commitments.
Pre-tenure review application materials and the process for submitting them are the same as for a tenure review. More information is available on the Provost’s webpage.
Pre-tenure review involves the same evaluative bodies and process as review of tenure or promotion, discussed in 220.127.116.11 below, with the following differences. Letters from external evaluators will not be solicited for pre-tenure review. The University Promotion and Tenure Committee will not review pre-tenure review materials and pre-tenure review stops at the Provost’s level.
A principal task of the school promotion and tenure committee in the case of pre-tenure review is to identify areas in which the candidate may need to improve in order to eventually merit tenure. The members of the committee must assess whether the candidate is making satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress toward an award of tenure. In addition, the committee must identify areas where improvements are needed. As in the case of letters from the committee for promotion or tenure, the written recommendation must include the rationale and vote count of the committee.
School directors must submit the pre-tenure reviews to the college promotion and tenure committee and the dean of the college in which the faculty member under review holds academic appointment. School directors and the college promotion and tenure committees must also prepare and submit independent evaluations to academic deans, either concurring or dissenting with the school committee. If a school director is the subject of pre-tenure review, the recommendation of the school committee is forwarded directly to the college promotion and tenure committee and the dean. Pre-tenure reviews are forwarded from the deans to the Provost without involvement of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee.
As with promotion and tenure cases, the faculty member under review will receive a copy of the letter from each evaluative entity when it is sent to the next level of review. School directors also must assure that copies of pre-tenure reviews are retained in school personnel files. Upon request by a candidate, school directors must provide the candidate with a copy of the pre-tenure evaluations maintained in school personnel files.
Criteria for pre-tenure review are the same as for tenure but take into account that candidates have not had the full probationary period to build their record of achievements. A principal task of the school promotion and tenure committee is to identify areas in which the candidate needs to improve to eventually merit tenure and to help the candidate identify strategies to improve. These strategies must be closely associated with the annual evaluation process so that candidates can monitor their progress in areas that were deficient and additional strategies can be developed to improve.
Candidates who were hired with three or more years credit towards tenure for prior accomplishments will not be subject to pre-tenure review. Candidates with zero, one, or two years credit towards tenure for prior accomplishments will proceed through pre-tenure review in their third, second, or first year at the University, respectively.
There should be a strict separation between promotion and tenure decisions for tenure-track faculty. Promotion is official institutional recognition of meritorious achievement in research/creative activities, service, and teaching. Promotion recognizes talented faculty for their records of achievement within their respective disciplines or in interdisciplinary settings. In contrast, tenure reflects expectations for long-term contributions to the University. Promotion to the rank of associate professor is a necessary condition for tenure at the University.
Promotion in the non-tenure-track corps of instruction is based on institutional recognition of meritorious achievement in both teaching and service. It recognizes talented non-tenure-track faculty members for their records of achievement within their respective disciplines.
Promotion of research and clinical track faculty follows the same processes as other faculty, except they are not evaluated by the University Promotion and Tenure Committee.
The following guidelines provide a uniform framework across schools, colleges, and campuses while recognizing that disciplinary variations necessitate a level of school autonomy in establishing more specific guidelines.
High-quality instruction should be a requirement for the entire corps of instruction. Therefore, promotion criteria in regards to teaching should be as consistent as possible across disciplines. Schools set their specific evaluation criteria for teaching with an appropriate combination of meaningful metrics.
Satisfactory service to the discipline, school, and University is a requirement for the entire faculty. Promotion criteria with regards to service should be as consistent as possible across tracks and disciplines. Schools set specific evaluation criteria.
18.104.22.168. Research/Creative Activities
Requirements for research/creative activities for tenure-track faculty should be set by the schools and should be comparable to (or exceed) those of peer units at peer institutions. This category may be considered but is not necessary for promotion of non-tenure track faculty.
For tenure-track faculty, promotion to associate professor typically coincides with tenure. Should a candidate apply unsuccessfully for early promotion to associate professor, a new promotion application must be submitted at the time of applying for tenure.
In the event of an unsuccessful application for promotion from associate professor to professor, the candidate is not eligible to reapply for promotion in the following year. Exemptions may apply in exceptional circumstances identified by the school promotion and tenure committee or the school director during the annual evaluations process.
For non-tenure track faculty, although promotion is desirable, it can be appropriate to maintain individuals at the rank of assistant teaching professor or instructor beyond the five-year probationary period. In the event of an unsuccessful promotion, candidates are not allowed to apply for promotion in the following year with exceptions determined by the school promotion and tenure committee or school director during the annual evaluation process.
Although promotion and tenure bear a close relationship with each other in that both recognize faculty members for their records of achievement, the processes serve distinct purposes. Tenure extends an additional level of protection to the faculty member from arbitrary dismissal. Although research/creative activity is a significant component of the University’s mission, tenure should not be awarded solely based on this. By granting tenure, the University exercises its belief in academic freedom and recognizes that a faculty member has the knowledge, skills, and professionalism required to make continuing, positive contributions to the discipline, school, and academic community. The tenure guidelines that follow acknowledge that disciplinary variations necessitate a degree of autonomy at the school level.
Academic tenure is defined as the qualified expectation of a continuation of annual employment that may be awarded to a full-time member of the faculty after completing a probationary period. There is no guarantee that tenure will be awarded at the conclusion of the probationary period. Tenure is not a guarantee of lifetime employment. Rather, no person who has been awarded tenure may be discharged except upon certain grounds and in accordance with specified procedures.
An award of tenure requires excellence in performance and the promise of continued excellence in teaching, research, and service. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to demonstrate that tenure should be awarded. If awarded, tenure is vested within the school or lowest unit of academic appointment (unless otherwise designated by the IHL Board (IHL 403.01). Achieving tenure does not relieve a faculty member from the standards of professional performance, conduct, achievement, merit, and probity maintained by schools, colleges, the University, and the Board of Trustees.
Because promotion is viewed as a reflection of the disciplinary competence necessary for tenure, the promotion to the rank of associate professor is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for tenure at the University. Therefore, assistant professors cannot apply for tenure before or without simultaneously applying for promotion to associate professor. Faculty appointed at ranks above assistant professor may apply for tenure without applying for promotion.
The criteria for tenure are determined in the typical areas of assessment (teaching, service, research/creative activities) described in 5.3.2 above with additional considerations of collegiality within the University.
Because they aim to become part of the cadre of faculty that will shape the long-term future of the institution, candidates for tenure must exhibit a clear sense of shared responsibility for the excellence of the University; this includes collegiality. Collegiality is interlinked with the categories of evaluation and its evaluation should be in those contexts. Accordingly, the separate category of collegiality should not be added to the traditional three areas of faculty performance. Schools and colleges instead should focus on developing clear definitions of teaching, research/creative activity, and service in which the virtues of collegiality are reflected. Collegiality is also not to be construed as promoting non-work-related social gatherings or to limiting robust discussion and conversation among faculty regarding topics important to the institution or the academy.
If tenure is denied, a final, one-year non-renewable contract at the candidate’s rank is to be issued to the candidate.
Unless otherwise determined by the school, letters from external evaluators are strongly recommended for applications for promotion or tenure or promotion of tenure-track faculty from assistant to associate professor. However, letters are required for promotion of tenure-track faculty from associate professor to professor. Letters are not required for the promotion of non-tenure-track faculty. When letters are solicited, the following guidelines will be used regardless of the candidate’s rank.
External evaluations generally focus on research/creative activities, but, if possible, should consider the candidate's whole body of work, including teaching and service duties.
Schools are responsible for soliciting external letters, respecting a faculty member’s disciplinary requirements and individual differences in faculty roles and responsibilities. Under no circumstance will individuals be responsible for soliciting their own letters or solely responsible for identifying evaluators.
Schools determine the required qualifications for external evaluators. Widely used rules for similar types of eligibility can be found, for example, in the National Science Foundation’s rules for grant reviewers. All evaluators solicited should be competent to judge the candidate’s work within the context of this University’s research expectations and teaching duties.
The school determines the size and composition of the set of external evaluators as well as the process for identifying possible evaluators. One example of a system that provides a balanced set of reviewers is that the candidate provides a set of four potential external evaluators from which the school picks two. The school then selects two more external evaluators who are unknown to the candidate.
To assure candid external evaluations, the identities of external evaluators and, except for references in other evaluative bodies’ letters, the content of their evaluations must be kept confidential. To this end, letters from external evaluators are to be removed from application materials before these are returned to candidates.
Letters of recommendation from outside personnel are allowed, but only if placed in the original dossier prior to its submission to the school. Such letters should be clearly marked so that they are not confused with letters solicited from external reviewers.
22.214.171.124. Promotion to Assistant Professor
No minimum number of years of service is required for candidates to be promoted to the rank of assistant professor.
126.96.36.199. Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor
In cases involving promotions from assistant professor to associate professor, candidates normally serve at least five years in the lower rank. An application for promotion occurs during the sixth year of service in the lower rank and an approved promotion is effective at the beginning of the seventh year.
Under exceptional conditions, it is possible for an individual with qualifications far exceeding school guidelines to receive consideration for early promotion. Early promotion may also occur when credit for prior service was awarded at the time of hire.
188.8.131.52. Promotion from Associate Professor to Professor
The standard probationary period for promotion from associate professor to professor is five years. In the sixth year of service at rank, the candidate may apply for promotion from associate professor to professor. Early promotion may be considered once excellence is established in all work-related categories beyond the record considered for promotion to associate professor. Generally, eligibility for early promotion may be granted in the fifth year in rank.
184.108.40.206. Tenure Application
Unless credit for time served at another institution has been awarded in the hiring process, faculty must apply for tenure in their sixth year.
220.127.116.11. Exceptions to the Probationary Period
18.104.22.168.1. Extension of Probationary Period
Candidates may request an extension of the probationary period in one-year increments in exceptional cases of personal circumstances beyond either the candidate’s or the University’s control. The application for an extension of the probationary period, including the reasons for the application, are confidential, although the approval of an extension may be made public.
Circumstances that warrant an extension of the probationary period include, but are not limited to, the following: becoming a parent (birth or adoption), significant responsibilities for the care of an immediate relative (spouse/domestic partner, parent, child), death in the immediate family (spouse/domestic partner, parent, child), serious medical conditions or disability, professional impediments, and prestigious external commitments.
22.214.171.124.2. Process for Extending the Probationary Period
The candidate submits a written request with a rationale for the extension to the school director. The school director prepares a letter supporting or opposing the request and submits that letter and request to the college dean. The dean prepares a letter supporting or opposing the request and submits both letters and the request to the Provost. A final decision on the request is rendered by the Provost.
126.96.36.199.3. Credit for Prior Accomplishments
A maximum of five years credit may be awarded towards the probationary period for prior service at other institutions of higher education if specified in the individual’s contract at the time of employment. Such credit is granted only to an individual who possesses exceptional professional qualifications and achievements. These accomplishments, however, must be part of a continuous record that immediately precedes the appointment at the University. Generally, credit is limited to up to two years for faculty appointed to the rank of assistant professor, three to five years for faculty appointed at the rank of associate professor, and five years for faculty appointed at the rank of professor.
188.8.131.52.4. Waiver of Probationary Period
Faculty may be hired with a rank higher than assistant professor should circumstances and the candidate’s record warrant it. Similarly, IHL policy permits the award of tenure at the time of hire. The University has a vested interest in attracting the best candidates to all levels of the University. Given that some candidates may be tenured at other institutions and in keeping with IHL policy 403.0101, tenure may be granted to individuals who have held tenure at their previous institution. However, this option should be used with care. Awarding tenure at the time of hire may be more frequently appropriate for hires with administrative duties to avoid putting them in the position of evaluating those who will later evaluate their own tenure application.
The relevant school promotion and tenure committee must be consulted, with adequate time to review the candidate’s qualifications, regarding the award of either higher rank or tenure at the time of hire. Any institutional appointments waiving the probationary period for either promotion or tenure must be approved by the candidate’s school during the hiring/negotiation process, and tenure for these faculty must be recommended by the President and approved by the Board.
A five-year probationary period for a new assistant teaching professor or instructor provides time to demonstrate excellence in teaching and service prior to being promoted to the next rank. A notable exception to this probationary period applies to candidates whose initial appointment gave them credit for service prior to joining the University. Individuals with qualifications far exceeding the guidelines may receive consideration for early promotion. However, non-tenure-track faculty do not have any mandate to move towards promotion unless that candidate so desires. Given the nature of non-tenured positions, promotion should be considered a desirable goal rather than a mandate. In particular, non-tenure-track promotable faculty at the University are allowed to remain at the University even if there is no promotion from assistant teaching professor to associate teaching professor or from instructor to lecturer.
There is no University-wide mandatory probationary period for promotion from associate teaching professor to teaching professor or for promotion from lecturer to senior lecturer for the non-tenure-track corps of instruction.
184.108.40.206. Evaluative Role
Every evaluator or committee in the promotion and tenure review process serves in an advisory capacity to subsequent reviewers. At each level, reviewers evaluate the application for promotion and tenure on the basis of the materials submitted by the candidate, the promotion and tenure expectations of the candidate’s home unit(s), and the written evaluations submitted at previous levels of review. Each level also reviews the previous level’s decision for substantive or procedural discrepancies.
Every evaluative level will provide a written recommendation including a rationale for the recommendation and (committees only) vote count (for-against-abstain) to the subsequent reviewers. Separate letters must be written for each candidate evaluated. For interdisciplinary candidates appointed to multiple units within a single college, the school directors’ recommendation will be co-written by all involved school directors and signed jointly. For interdisciplinary candidates appointed to multiple units in multiple colleges, the deans’ recommendation will be co-written and signed by all relevant deans. Copies of these written recommendations will be provided to the candidate by the respective committee chair or university officer.
220.127.116.11. Evaluative Levels and Actions
The President is advised on personnel recommendations by the administrative heads of the University's academic units, the Provost, the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, the deans, and the college promotion and tenure committees. Advice from the Vice President for Research, General Counsel, and by the other vice presidents may be solicited by the President in matters that are within their administrative jurisdiction. The advice rendered by University officers or committees does not limit the legal authority or responsibility of the President for all personnel nominations and recommendations made to the Board of Trustees.
Review of applications for promotion or tenure occurs at each institutional level of the University in the following sequence: the candidate’s school promotion and tenure committee, the school director (or a joint letter from school directors in the case of interdisciplinary faculty), the college promotion and tenure committee, the dean of the college in which the candidate’s school resides (or a joint letter from deans from all relevant colleges in the case of interdisciplinary faculty), the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, Provost, and President.
Because promotion and tenure processes often coincide for tenure-track faculty, the composition of the promotion and tenure committees may be similar, but all processes should be separate. The committees are discussed in more detail in Chapter 1 of this Handbook.
18.104.22.168.1. The School
The candidate’s school director first confirms the eligibility of candidates for promotion in academic rank or tenure and then convenes the school promotion and tenure committee to consider the qualifications of candidates. The director may be invited, after a majority vote via secret ballot by the members of the committee, to attend promotion and tenure proceedings and provide information.
The school promotion and tenure committee must base its deliberations on the standards for promotion or tenure mandated by the Board, those adopted by the University, and those of the school and college. The committee submits a written report to the school director supporting or opposing promotion or tenure. The recommendation must include the rationale and vote count of the committee. In cases when votes are not unanimous, the written evaluation must reflect within the same document the opinions of both positions. Acting on behalf of the faculty, the chair of the school promotion and tenure committee must sign the recommendation.
Upon receipt of the school promotion and tenure committee’s written reports, school directors must review reports for substantive or procedural discrepancies or inconsistencies with annual performance reviews. In the event of any discrepancies or inconsistencies, the director will reconvene the committee and direct that the discrepancies or inconsistencies be addressed.
The school director then prepares an independent written recommendation either concurring or disagreeing with the recommendations of the school promotion and tenure committee and submits both reports to the responsible dean(s) no later than the date published on the Provost’s calendar. A copy of the reports is retained in school personnel files. The director provides copies of both reports to the candidate at the time they are submitted to the dean(s).
22.214.171.124.2. The College
Recommendations generated at the school level are reviewed by the college promotion and tenure committee and dean before being submitted to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee.
The college promotion and tenure committee reviews all materials and then votes on the candidate’s application. The chair of the committee submits written recommendations, vote, and rationale to the dean, providing a copy to the candidate at the same time. In cases when votes are not unanimous, the written evaluation must reflect within the same document the opinions of both positions.
Deans must review and evaluate all materials and recommendations submitted up to this point and submit to the Provost a separate recommendation along with all evaluative materials no later than the date specified on the Provost’s calendar. The dean will send a copy of the evaluative letter, including rationale, to the chair of the respective college promotion and tenure committee, school director, chair of the school tenure and promotion committee, and candidates at the time that it is submitted to the Provost.
126.96.36.199.3. The University
188.8.131.52.3.1. University Promotion and Tenure Committee
The Provost submits the dossiers, including all written recommendations and any supplemental materials previously generated in the review process, of faculty members being considered for promotion in rank and the award of tenure to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee.
The University Promotion and Tenure Committee reviews and evaluates all materials and then votes. The chair of the committee submits a written recommendation, including rationale and vote, to the Provost. In cases when votes are not unanimous, the written evaluation must reflect within the same document the opinions of both positions. The chair simultaneously forwards a copy of the letter to the candidate.
The Provost reviews all application materials and recommendations, submitting written recommendations to the President. The Vice President for Research assists the Provost in these matters and may submit independent recommendations to the University President. At this time, the Provost also sends copies to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, deans, college promotion and tenure committees, school directors, school promotion and tenure committees, and to candidates.
If the Provost disagrees with recommendations of both the college promotion and tenure committee and the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Provost will remand the case to the college promotion and tenure committee, providing in writing the rationale for the disagreement. The college promotion and tenure committee then reconsiders the matter de novo, based upon the issues raised by the Provost and all other relevant evidence. After reconsideration, the college promotion and tenure committee submits a recommendation to the dean. The dean then submits a separate recommendation to the Provost, together with the committee recommendation. The Provost then resubmits the case to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the matter will proceed in the same manner as an original application for promotion or tenure, except that it will not be subject to remand by the Provost to the college promotion and tenure committee. Copies of the evaluative letters written by the college promotion and tenure committee, the dean, and the University Promotion and Tenure Committee in response to remands from the Provost will be forwarded to the candidate when the letters are forwarded to the next evaluative level.
In reviewing the recommendations of subordinate evaluators and committees, the President has the discretion to obtain and review any additional evidence of probative value and to interview any party, including candidates.
Presidential decisions will be communicated in writing to candidates. Affirmative Presidential decisions will be recommended to the Board. Promotion in academic rank or the award of tenure occur only after the Board has granted it in writing and the faculty member has received written notice of the promotion or award of tenure from the President. Negative presidential decisions regarding the award of tenure or promotion are final unless the candidate appeals to the Board.
Faculty who wish to appeal the decision of the University President regarding the award of tenure or promotion need to appeal to the Board. Faculty have 30 calendar days to do so, effective from the date of notification by the University President. Appellant should address appeals to the Commissioner of the IHL and follow the procedures outlined in section 403.0105 of the Policies & Bylaws of the IHL Board of Trustees.
184.108.40.206. Confidentiality of Review Proceedings
Because of the sensitivity of the reviews in question, deliberations by all advisory evaluators and committees must be strictly confidential with access limited only to committee members, staff, and administrators involved directly in the proceedings.
Materials in applications may not be removed during the evaluation process. However, candidates for promotion or tenure do have the right to withdraw their applications at any time.
Candidates may add information and materials to their applications up until the time the school promotion and tenure committee completes its evaluation of the candidate.
Because there can be situations during the course of the promotion or tenure application process that could positively affect the candidate’s chances of success (e.g., an additional article accepted for publication), the candidate can provide updates via written memo to the evaluative body currently reviewing the tenure applications. These updates must be limited to the material already mentioned in the original application and must be properly documented.
Except when the Provost remands a case to the college and University promotion and tenure committees, promotion and tenure are unidirectional processes. Consequently, these evaluations may not be referred back to a previous evaluative committee or individual once the committee or individual has rendered a decision. Provost remands are discussed in section 220.127.116.11.2 above.
However, candidate rebuttals to recommendations made by the evaluative officers and committees are permitted at the following levels: (1) after the school promotion and tenure committee’s and the school director’s letters have been submitted, (2) after the college promotion and tenure committee’s and the dean’s letters have been submitted, and (3) after the University Promotion and Tenure Committee’s letter has been submitted. If the candidate wishes to provide a rebuttal, it must be done within ten working days of the receipt of the relevant letters. Rebuttal letters must be provided to the proper university office at which point a university staff or administrator will place the rebuttal letter immediately after the referenced evaluative letter. Candidates do not place their rebuttal letters in their application. Rebuttals from other individuals are not permitted.
Schools should incorporate evaluative measures that facilitate interdisciplinary efforts of faculty in teaching, service, and research/creative activities while recognizing that there are faculty for whom interdisciplinary collaborations are not feasible, suitable, or appropriate.
The University President is authorized by the Board of Trustees to accept resignations and to determine the effective date of voluntary termination of employment. Resignation of employment by a faculty member shall constitute resignation and relinquishment of all rights and privileges of employment, including rank and tenure.
While the Board of Trustees usually renews the annual employment contracts of tenured faculty in the absence of specified circumstances, the annual employment contracts of non-tenured faculty are renewable entirely at the discretion of the Board upon the recommendation of the President. The contract of a non-tenured faculty member shall not be considered renewed until approved by the Board, expressed in its minutes, and the faculty member has received written notification of renewal from the President.
In the event of non-renewal, the University must inform the affected member of the corps of instruction in writing according to the following schedule: not later than March 1 during the first year of service; not later than December 1 during the second year of service; and not later than September 1 after two or more years of service. Members of the corps of instruction who are notified of the non-renewal of their contracts prior to or on the dates mentioned in above are entitled to serve the remainder of the academic year through the end of the spring semester. If notified after the dates mentioned above members of the corps of instruction are entitled to serve the remainder of the academic year through the spring semester and are offered a terminal contract for the following academic year.
Faculty discipline at the University takes various forms depending on the nature of the infraction. Some, for example, Title IX infractions and criminal conduct, are covered by policies governing all University employees and are discussed in the Employee Handbook. Others are covered by their own policy, for example, scholarly misconduct.
The progressive discipline policy covers circumstances not addressed in other University policies; it applies to the corps of instruction as well as visiting faculty. This policy addresses workplace situations requiring immediate attention but not meriting initiation of proceedings leading to the termination of employment. This policy does not cover contumacious conduct, malfeasance, inefficiency, cause, Title IX violations, allegations of scholarly misconduct, or criminal conduct. Examples of conduct covered by this policy include, but are not limited to, violations of University protocols or policies, failure to perform assigned duties, misuse of financial resources, misuse of facilities, excessive absenteeism, improper supervision of graduate assistants, or inappropriate behavior leading to an unproductive learning and working environment.
In general, school directors, in consultation with deans, are responsible for implementing the progressive discipline policy. The parties involved in the progressive discipline process should maintain confidentiality when possible.
The procedures below outline the possible steps that can be taken when administering progressive discipline. However, some situations merit an alternate point of entry in the progressive discipline process. Any situation that is deemed severe, yet correctable, might start at either Step 2 (reprimand) or Step 3 (censure) depending on the severity of the offense. Multiple issues arising from the same faculty member may be considered collectively. Multiple issues being considered collectively may merit an alternate point of entry in the progressive discipline policy. The progressive discipline procedures do not guard against termination of employment for situations deemed severe, leading to an unsafe working environment, or as defined by IHL or other institutional policies.
18.104.22.168. Step 1: Verbal warning
In a private meeting, the school director communicates the issue to the faculty member, why the issue is a concern, and the expected corrective actions to be taken by the faculty member. The verbal warning is to be corrective and non-punitive. The faculty member must be given a date for reevaluation of the situation and must be notified that failure to resolve the problem within the indicated time frame will result in a written reprimand as described in Step 2. The school director will identify this step as a verbal warning and summarize the meeting in an email to the faculty member, which does not go into the faculty member's human resource (HR) file. The faculty member may respond to the email to address any inaccuracies in the meeting summary.
22.214.171.124. Step 2: Written reprimand
The school director may initiate this step if the faculty member fails to resolve the situation identified in Step 1 within the indicated time frame for reevaluation. The school director may also initiate Step 2 as the entry point for progressive discipline for situations deemed too severe to begin with a verbal warning.
The written reprimand must include: (1) a detailed description of the situation, (2) any previous steps taken by the school director to communicate the situation with the faculty member, (3) a description of why the situation merits a written reprimand, (4) a description of what the faculty member must do to correct the situation, (5) the timeline by which the situation is to be reevaluated, and (6) any actions that might occur if a resolution is not achieved. The school director is to mention in the written reprimand that such action may include moving to Step 3 (censure) or initiation of proceedings leading to the termination of employment (if appropriate). When possible, the written reprimand is to be delivered to the faculty member in person by the school director, and a copy is also to be placed in the faculty member's HR file. The school director may also send an electronic copy to the faculty member in addition to the hard copy as well as a copy to the dean.
The faculty member may request a dean's review of the written reprimand within five working days of receiving the hard copy of the written reprimand. The dean to whom the school director reports has five working days to initiate a review of the merits of the reprimand and notify the parties by email. The dean can uphold the reprimand, reject the reprimand as an inappropriate discipline, or call a meeting which would include the faculty member and school director to obtain more information before making a final decision. The dean’s decision is final at this stage of progressive discipline.
A copy of the written reprimand, the dean's decision (if applicable), and the school director's reevaluation (if applicable) are to be placed in the faculty member's HR file. The written reprimand is to be corrective and non-punitive in that it is not made public and does not result in formal sanctions. In the event of a dean's review, no written reprimand will be added to the faculty member's HR file until the review is completed. Faculty have the right to include a letter of rebuttal to accompany the written reprimand.
126.96.36.199. Step 3: Censure
The school director may initiate this step if the faculty member fails to resolve the issue outlined in Step 2 within the indicated time frame for reevaluation. The school director may also initiate Step 3 as the entry point for progressive discipline for situations deemed too severe to begin with a written reprimand. Censure is the final step of progressive discipline and is to include sanctions that may be punitive and non-private. Failure to achieve resolution of the situation at the censure stage can result in the initiation of proceedings leading to the termination of employment.
In consultation with the dean, the school director composes a letter of censure to the faculty member that must include: (1) a detailed description of the situation, (2) a reason the situation merits censure, (3) the sanctions that are to be imposed on the faculty member, (4) the corrective actions the faculty member must make to address the situation, (5) the timeline by which the situation is to be reevaluated, and (6) a statement that failure to resolve the situation can result in the initiation of proceedings leading to the termination of employment. When possible, the signed letter of censure is to be delivered to the faculty member in person by the school director, and a copy is to be delivered to the dean to whom the school director reports. The school director may also send an electronic copy to the faculty member in addition to the hard copy.
Sanctions may include but are not limited to, reassignment of teaching duties, suspension, reassignment of research or service commitments, loss of committee chair privileges, or loss of university-approved travel privileges.
The faculty member may request review by the Provost within five working days of receiving the letter of censure. The Provost has five working days to initiate a review of the letter of censure merits and notify the parties by email. The Provost can either uphold the letter of censure or reject the letter of censure as an inappropriate discipline. The Provost can elect to obtain additional facts using an ombudsman or by calling a meeting which would include the faculty member, school director, and Provost. The decision of the Provost is final. In the event of a Provost's review, no letter of censure will be added to the faculty member's HR file until the review is completed.
A copy of the letter of censure, the request by the faculty member for the Provost's review (if applicable), the Provost review (if applicable), and the reevaluation (if applicable) are to be placed in the faculty member's HR file. Due to the nature of sanctions, censure may generally be known within the University community, but administrators involved should not communicate the details more than necessary. Should the faculty member satisfactorily meet the conditions outlined in the letter of censure, the school director will compose a letter of resolution and provide a copy to the faculty member and place a copy in the faculty member's HR file. Faculty have the right to include a letter of rebuttal to accompany the letter of censure.
Censure is the final step of the progressive discipline process, and failure to resolve the situation at this stage may result in the initiation of proceedings leading to termination of employment at the University per the provisions stipulated below.
Progressive discipline procedures could impact promotion and tenure proceedings and could have an impact on the annual evaluation process.
The Board has the statutory authority to suspend or terminate the employment of any member of the faculty, including tenured faculty members, at any time for financial exigencies as declared by the Board, or in the event of the termination, suspension, or reduction of programs, academic units, or administrative units by the Board. Tenured faculty members terminated or suspended because of financial exigencies as declared by the Board or because of suspension or reduction of programs, academic units, or administrative units as approved by the Board are entitled to employment continuation for 9 to 12 months from the date of notification, consistent with existing employment contract terms.
The Board has the statutory authority to dismiss any member of the faculty of the University, including tenured faculty members, at any time, with or without the recommendation of the President, for malfeasance, inefficiency, contumacious conduct, or cause. The employment contracts of parties dismissed for malfeasance, inefficiency, contumacious conduct, or cause may be terminated by the Board at any time with the dismissed party retaining no right to continued employment for any period of time. Pursuant to Board policy, at the President’s discretion, the parties against whom the University has initiated termination proceedings may be placed on leave without pay, and such parties may be reassigned or relieved of teaching duties, assignments, appointments, and privileges for a specified period of time. However, the Board’s authority to dismiss tenured faculty members or non-tenured faculty members prior to the expiration of the term of appointment on such terms is subject to institutional due process procedures, which requires that the affected faculty member be given notice of the proposed action and be granted a hearing before an impartial institutional body.
Board mandated terms that might lead to the initiation of termination proceedings are defined as follows:
Malfeasance is misconduct that adversely affects, interrupts, or interferes with the performance of faculty member’s duties or that adversely affects, interrupts, or interferes with that of other institutional faculty or administrative personnel. Examples of malfeasance pertinent to faculty and ex officio faculty include, but are not limited to, the repeated failure to perform assigned duties or responsibilities, intellectual dishonesty, and ethical violations as proscribed in other university policies.
Inefficiency is a repeated failure to demonstrate competency in the contracted terms of employment, which in the case of faculty and ex officio faculty equates with performance substantially below standards and/or criteria governing assigned duties or responsibilities. Dismissal proceedings on grounds of inefficiency should be initiated only after the faculty member has been given written notice and afforded both reasonable university resources and an opportunity to redress the stated source of inefficiency within a reasonable, enumerated time.
188.8.131.52. Contumacious Conduct
Contumacious conduct is the refusal to comply with a legitimate, authorized directive of an academic or administrative authority or the refusal to comply with the policies of the Board or the policies of the University.
Cause means fair and honest reasons, regulated by good faith on the University’s part, that are not trivial, arbitrary, capricious, pretextual, or unrelated to university needs or goals. Specific examples applicable to faculty and ex officio faculty include, but are not limited to, the falsification of any university record, such as information concerning prior or current academic records, performance or qualifications for employment, promotion, or tenure; theft or misappropriation of funds, property, services, or other resources belonging to the University, its employees, students, or visitors; violations of the United States Code or Mississippi Code; and use of professional authority to exploit, harass, or discriminate against others.
University employees charged with supervision of academic personnel may discuss personnel actions of academic personnel only with those individuals who have a legitimate need to know, including those individuals with supervisory authority over the affected academic personnel member, HR, and General Counsel. The principle of confidentiality shall be observed by all participants in the termination process.
The following procedures shall apply in all cases in which the University proposes to terminate a tenured faculty member or proposes to terminate a non-tenured faculty member prior to the expiration of the term of appointment, for malfeasance, academic inefficiency, contumacious conduct, or cause. These procedures do not apply to cases in which the appointment of a non-tenured faculty member has expired or will expire by its terms, and the University elects not to renew or extend the term of appointment. These procedures do not apply to cases in which the Board elects to exercise its statutory authority to suspend or terminate the employment of faculty members for financial exigencies as declared by the Board or in cases where the Board elects to exercise its statutory authority to terminate, suspend, or reduce programs, academic units, or administrative units.
184.108.40.206. Initial Recommendation for Termination
Any institutional officer or advisory body to whom the President has delegated relevant supervisory authority may recommend to the President that termination proceedings be initiated regarding a faculty member for malfeasance, inefficiency, contumacious conduct, or cause. However, only the Board or the President may initiate proceedings that might lead to termination of employment of a faculty member.
220.127.116.11. Initial Presidential Review
If, in the President’s judgment, substantial evidence exists supporting a recommendation for the termination of a faculty member, the President will submit all evidentiary materials and relevant information to the Provost and request a preliminary investigation by an ombudsman.
18.104.22.168. Ombudsman Review
The Provost will request that an ombudsman conduct an inquiry of all allegations, interview relevant parties, review relevant documents, and confer with other institutional officers. The ombudsman may conduct interviews with the faculty member and seek a resolution of the matter pending presidential approval. The ombudsman will submit a written report with recommendation and all supporting documentation to the President and submit a copy to the faculty member.
22.214.171.124. Presidential Action
Upon review of the ombudsman’s written recommendation, the President will proceed with one of three courses of action: (1) closure of the case with no further institutional action, (2) implementation of institutional action consistent with the terms of resolution that have been agreed upon with the faculty member, or (3) initiation of formal institutional termination proceedings.
126.96.36.199. Notice of Termination Proceedings
In the event the President decides to close the case with no further institutional action, the President will notify the faculty member by certified mail.
In the event the President decides to implement institutional action consistent with the terms of resolution agreed upon with the faculty member, the President will notify the faculty member by certified mail of the resolution’s official terms and implement those terms.
In the event the President decides to initiate termination proceedings, or the faculty member fails to honor the agreed-upon resolution terms, the President will notify the faculty member by certified mail of the intention of the University to initiate formal termination proceedings. The notice will include the following: a detailed statement of the grounds for termination; notice of the faculty member’s right to formally contest the charges in a hearing before the University Promotion and Tenure Committee; notice of the faculty member’s right to be advised by legal counsel during the hearing; notice of any suspension of pay or change of duties pending the conclusion of the matter; and notice that the faculty member has 14 working days from the date of receipt of the notice to contest the charges and request a hearing in writing before the University Promotion and Tenure Committee.
188.8.131.52. Failure to Contest
In the event the faculty member does not contest the charges in writing within 14 working days from the date of receipt of the written notice, the faculty member’s employment will be terminated with forfeiture of all subsequent procedural rights.
In the event the faculty member contests the charges but does not request a hearing in writing, the right to a hearing is waived and the matter will be contested on the record before the President without a hearing.
If the faculty member contests the charges and requests a hearing in writing in the specified timeframe, the President shall notify the University Promotion and Tenure Committee within 10 working days from receipt of the request and the matter will proceed according to the following procedures:
184.108.40.206.1. Notice of Hearing
The University Promotion and Tenure Committee Chair will give the faculty member and the President written notice of the hearing’s time and place at least 20 working days prior to the date of the hearing.
In the hearing, the faculty member will represent him/herself and the President will appoint an institutional officer, who is not an attorney, to represent the University. The faculty member may appoint an advisor, who is not an attorney, to represent the faculty member in the hearing and plead on behalf of the faculty member. Either party may retain legal counsel for the exclusive purpose of providing advice. However, in no event shall legal counsel for either party be permitted to examine witnesses or to plead before the University Promotion and Tenure Committee. Counsel or advisor selection and compensation is the responsibility of the party desiring legal representation.
If either party intends to be advised by legal counsel or if the faculty member chooses to have an advisor at the hearing, that party must notify the other party and the University Promotion and Tenure Committee Chair at least 10 working days prior to the hearing date. If either party fails to give timely notice of legal or advisory representation, that party will not be entitled to be advised by legal counsel or an advisor at the hearing.
220.127.116.11.3. Waiver of Hearing
If, at any time prior to the hearing, the faculty member decides to waive the right to a hearing and respond to the charges in writing only, the faculty member must give written notice to the President and University Promotion and Tenure Committee Chair. Both parties shall then have 10 working days from receipt of the notice to submit written position statements to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee Chair. The University Promotion and Tenure Committee will then evaluate all available evidence, including the written statements of both parties, vote on the matter, and submit a written majority opinion and if applicable, a written minority opinion to the President, Provost, and faculty member.
Not later than 10 working days prior to the hearing, the parties must exchange a written list of witnesses that each party expects to call to testify at the hearing and a summary of the testimony expected from each witness. Witnesses who are not so identified may not testify before the University Promotion and Tenure Committee.
The University Promotion and Tenure Committee will not be bound by legal rules of evidence in the hearing. The committee may admit any credible evidence of probative value that it deems relevant to the issues. The committee must base its decision upon reliable and credible evidence. If the hearing involves allegations of incompetence, the testimony must include that of professionally qualified institutional faculty members and may include other relevant scholars’ testimony.
18.104.22.168.6. Cross-Examination of Witnesses
Both parties and advisors, but not legal counsel for either party, may cross-examine all witnesses.
22.214.171.124.7. Burden of Proof
The University shall bear the burden of proving the grounds for termination by a preponderance of the evidence.
126.96.36.199.8. Hearing Closed
The hearing will be closed to the public.
188.8.131.52.9. Findings and Conclusions
The University Promotion and Tenure Committee will reach its decision by majority vote. Within 10 days after the hearing’s conclusion, the committee will submit its recommendation to the President, with a copy to the Provost, and the faculty member that will contain (1) a written account of the committee’s vote, the vote constituting a recommendation to the President; (2) a written majority opinion, including the rationale therefore; (3) a written minority opinion, if applicable, including the rationale therefore; (4) the hearing’s recording; and (5) the hearing’s transcript.
184.108.40.206.10. Transcript of Hearing
The hearing before the University Promotion and Tenure Committee will be recorded and transcribed by a certified court stenographer, and a transcript will be made at the University’s expense. The faculty member may request a copy of the recording and transcript. However, the faculty member shall be responsible for the cost of the copy of the transcript and for making appropriate financial arrangements with the stenographer.
220.127.116.11. Provost’s Recommendation
The Provost shall review the University Promotion and Tenure Committee recommendation and all evidentiary materials. The Provost will prepare a separate recommendation to the President either concurring with or dissenting from the University Promotion and Tenure Committee’s decision. The Provost will simultaneously transmit the Provost’s recommendation and the written rationale to the President, University Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the faculty member.
18.104.22.168. Presidential Review
If, upon review, the President concurs with a recommendation for termination by the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, or should the President determine that the faculty member should be terminated despite the University Promotion and Tenure Committee’s recommendation to the contrary, then the President will notify the University Promotion and Tenure Committee and the faculty member by certified mail of the intent to recommend termination to the Board. The written notification letter should include notification to the faculty member of the right to appeal the President’s decision to the Board in accordance with applicable Board policy.
If, upon review, the President does not concur with a recommendation for termination by the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, or should the President concur with the University Promotion and Tenure Committee’s recommendation against termination, then the President shall inform the University Promotion and Tenure Committee and the faculty member by certified mail of the President’s intention to (1) dismiss all charges or (2) implement institutional action in the form of sanctions less than termination.
In any event, when the decision of the President is contrary to the recommendation of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, the President should provide the grounds for disagreement in the notification letter.
22.214.171.124. Final Institutional Review
In the event the President decides to recommend termination to the Board, then the President will notify the faculty member by certified mail of the right to request in writing final institutional review on the record within 10 working days of receipt of the notice.
A request for final institutional review must identify specific procedural issues for review exclusively on the record. The committee will not undertake to make its own judgment on the merits of the case but will make a determination of whether the institutional due process procedures were followed and the decision was not arbitrary or capricious.
The reviewing body will be the University Termination Review Council, a body composed of five faculty members of professorial rank who will be chosen by lot, from the pool of ombudsman candidates. The ombudsman may not serve on the Council. In no case may a person serve on the Council if that person has been a party to any facet of the termination process to be reviewed or if that person has an unduly close personal or professional relationship with the faculty member. In the event of recusal of a member, a replacement member will be drawn from the remaining pool.
The University Termination Review Council will, by majority vote, select a chair and review on the record all procedural matters specifically identified by the faculty member. The committee shall then reach a decision by majority vote on whether there are any procedural irregularities or whether the decision was arbitrary or capricious. The committee will then submit a written report and recommendation to the President, with a copy to the faculty member, which identifies the vote count and both the majority and minority opinions of the committee.
126.96.36.199. Final Presidential Decision
Upon review of the report of the University Termination Review Council, the President may elect to conduct a final interview with the faculty member, or with any other parties, and may seek any other relevant evidence, afterward informing the faculty member by certified mail of the decision to: (1) dismiss all charges, (2) implement institutional action consistent with the resolution’s terms agreed upon with the faculty member, or (3) recommend termination to the Board.
188.8.131.52. Presidential Recommendation for Termination
In the event the President decides to recommend termination to the Board, the President will transmit to the Board all evidence, including the recording and transcript of the hearing before the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, together with the presidential recommendation.
184.108.40.206. Board Appeal
In the event the faculty member submits an appeal to the Board, the faculty member shall simultaneously submit a copy of the appeal to the President. An appeal may only take place after the faculty member has exhausted all administrative remedies at the institutional level.
Faculty employment grievances apply to annual performance reviews, pre-tenure reviews, personnel actions involving adjustments in compensation, denial of sabbatical, and violations of academic freedom. More generally, it covers allegations of the violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of a rule, policy or procedure in relation to personnel policies, procedures, or practices including teaching assignments, working hours, release time, general working conditions, nonacademic leave, employment benefits, etc. See the Employee Handbook for other issues, such as sexual harassment, discrimination, and reasonable accommodations.
Faculty grievance proceedings are initiated when an employee submits a written claim to the chair of the school’s Faculty Evaluation Committee (FEC) or school director. The claim must be supported with objective evidence, alleging that a specified rule, policy, or procedure has been violated, misinterpreted, or misapplied. The claim must be submitted within 10 working days of the occurrence that gave rise to the grievance or 10 working days from when the facts pertaining to it became known or should have been known to the faculty member.
Upon receipt of a grievance, the school’s FEC committee or school director will invite the involved parties to a conference at the earliest date convenient to both parties, to attempt to informally resolve the grievance. At the conclusion of the conference, the chair of the school’s FEC or school director will prepare a written memorandum of the grievance, including any agreement reached, and provide a copy to the involved parties within ten working days.
Should the school conference fail to result in resolution, or if a faculty member is dissatisfied with the resolution, the aggrieved party may, within 10 working days, request in writing that the dean convenes the College Promotion and Tenure Committee for a formal grievance review of the submitted documented evidence.
In this event, the College Promotion and Tenure Committee will recuse all members holding academic appointment in the same school as the aggrieved party. The recused members will neither attend the meeting nor vote. The College Promotion and Tenure Committee will review (a) the original claim of the aggrieved party, (b) the pertinent policy, (c) the written response of the school’s FEC or director to the original grievance, (d) all evidence relating to the grievance, (e) the written memorandum of the school conference with the aggrieved party, and (f) any additional written evidence provided by the aggrieved party. Upon completion of the formal review, the College Promotion and Tenure Committee will vote and render a written judgment on the merits of the grievance to the dean. The judgment of the committee will include a majority opinion and a minority opinion, if any. Upon review, the dean will render a written opinion on the merits of the grievance, including any remedial action deemed necessary, and submit it to the chair of the College Promotion and Tenure Committee, to the school FEC or director, and to the grievant.
The aggrieved party may request further institutional review of the claim by the Provost within 10 working days of receipt of the dean’s decision. In such cases, the Provost will request, and the dean will provide, complete records of all prior proceedings; and the Provost will provide those records to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, which will review all written evidence previously submitted, vote, and submit its recommendation to the Provost. The Provost may agree or disagree with the recommendation of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee and may interview the grievant. At the conclusion of the review, the Provost will inform the grievant, the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, the dean, the College Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the school FEC or director of the decision by certified mail.
Dissatisfied parties may appeal the Provost’s decision to the President within 10 working days of receipt of the Provost’s decision. The President may review the grievance on the basis of the written evidence submitted, request additional evidentiary materials, or request the testimony of the grievant or any other parties. The grievant will be notified of the President’s decision in writing by certified mail.
Pursuant to Board Policy, institutional grievances may not be appealed to the Board.
Faculty who wish to appeal decisions regarding scholarly misconduct should consult the Policy on Scholarly Misconduct.
Faculty who wish to appeal the decision of the President regarding the award of promotion or tenure need to appeal to the Board. Faculty have 30 calendar days to do so effective from the date of notification by the President. An appellant should address his/her appeal to the Commissioner of the IHL and follow the procedures outlined in section 403.0105 of the Policies & Bylaws of the IHL Board of Trustees.
220.127.116.11. University Foundations Courses
University Foundations courses are designed to help students transition to university life. These courses support student academic success, encourage active learning skills, explore personal responsibility, promote responsible decision-making, facilitate exploration of majors and career planning, help students navigate SOAR, explain university policies, deadlines and procedures; help students establish rewarding human relationships with peers, professors, and staff. Featured classes include: UNV 101, 102, 110, 250, and 301. For more information, the contacts in Hattiesburg are in Elizabeth Harkins Hall (EHH) 110, 601-266-4317, and at Gulf Park, Gulf Park Campus: North Academic Building (NAB) 247, 228-214-3245.
18.104.22.168. Student Success Website
The Student Success Website includes a compilation of resources for faculty, staff, current and prospective students, and families on a range of topics, including where to find tutoring and other academic assistance. Faculty will find links to frequently-used forms, including the forms required for undergraduate and graduate students as they progress towards graduation.
22.214.171.124. Academic Success Center at the Gulf Coast Campus
The Academic Success Center, located on the first floor of the library on the Gulf Coast campus, connects students with library staff, trained student peer tutors and faculty, for tutoring and other resources to help with mathematics, science, writing and speaking, and language arts.
126.96.36.199. New Student and Retention Programs on the Hattiesburg Campus
New Student and Retention Programs has a variety of programs to assist undergraduate students transition to college and succeed academically. Programs include academic coaching (primarily to first-generation college students), academic skills workshops, diverse opportunities for students to form learning communities, assistance in finding tutoring, and a group for transfer students.
188.8.131.52. Speaking Center
The Speaking Center in Cook Library on the Hattiesburg campus provides individualized consultation to students and faculty on presentations, speeches, thesis and dissertation defenses, and other oral communication skills. Faculty can schedule workshops with center staff for their classes.
184.108.40.206. Writing Center
The Writing Center in Cook Library on the Hattiesburg campus provides free tutorial services to students who want assistance with writing projects. Faculty can schedule a class visit with the Writing Center.
220.127.116.11. Center for International Education
The Center for International Education coordinates programs and services that extend the University to our local and global communities. The Center provides intensive English language instruction, administers the University’s extensive study abroad programs, and coordinates international admissions and student services for international students and scholars. The Center is operationally divided into the English Language Institute, Study Abroad, International Admissions, and International Student and Scholar Services.
The Office of Study Abroad (OSA) provides opportunities for students to earn academic credit abroad. The OSA offers approximately 25 faculty-led, exchange and internship programs in more than 20 countries. The Office provides guidance to students on program selection, financial aid options and pre-departure preparation, as well as on-site support.
18.104.22.168. Office for Disability Accommodations
The Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA) supports students who are eligible for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ODA verifies students’ eligibility and works with eligible students on an individual basis to develop and coordinate plans for reasonable accommodations.
CARES (Campus Action Referral Evaluation System) is a formal early alert communication tool for academic personnel, staff, and students to help identify and intervene on behalf of students who exhibit risk factors associated with academic performance, interpersonal behavior, or personal well-being. Academic personnel, staff, and students can safely and securely submit information on a student experiencing academic challenges or other issues by following the link above.
When a referral is made, a representative from the CARES team will reach out to the student quickly and make sure they connect with the resources useful in their situation. The team addresses issues including (but not limited to) situations of self-harm, family difficulties, stress management, mental health concerns, academic performance problems, and addictions.
22.214.171.124. Career Services
Career Services in Hattiesburg and at Gulf Park helps students with job placement through career counseling and provides instruction on job search strategies, résumés, cover letters, and practice interviews. They work with students individually, in workshops, and faculty-arranged classroom visits. They also work with employers, hosting career fairs and on-campus interviews. Over 14,000 jobs are posted annually in Handshake, a free online database.
126.96.36.199. Center for Pathway Experiences
The Center for Pathway Experiences was established to enhance and promote significant experiences connected to undergraduate students’ post-graduation goals. Pathway experiences include internships, externships, practicums, research, entry-level jobs related to the field and other activities that give students practical experience relevant to their career objectives. The Center works with students, faculty, and programs to develop significant pathway experiences and has summer scholarship money to help students who engage in them. Students may receive a Pathways graduation cord to wear at commencement, at no charge, for participating in a Pathway Experience.
188.8.131.52. Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research
The Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research (DCUR) works to enhance the undergraduate experience by promoting and supporting student-faculty collaborations in research, creative projects, and scholarship. Faculty interested in mentoring and collaborating with students are encouraged to become faculty affiliates. Students may apply for funding to support their work through the Eagle Scholars Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) and present their findings at the Undergraduate Symposium on Research and Creative Activity.
184.108.40.206. Office of Leadership and Student Involvement
The Office of Leadership and Student Involvement (LSI) oversees student organizations and provides leadership opportunities and forms of co-curricular involvement for students. In addition to working with students to find forms of involvement appropriate to their interests and goals and working with student organizations, LSI has resources for faculty who act as advisors to those groups. Also housed within LSI is the Southern Miss Activities Council (SMAC), the university programming board. SMAC provides numerous engagement opportunities and events throughout the year, mostly free and open to all students.
220.127.116.11. Center for Faculty Development
The Center for Faculty Development provides faculty services and resources that address pedagogy, procedures, and methods for academic engagement. Located in the International Center (IC), Suite 319, the Center is a place for faculty to gather with colleagues, to meet in small groups, or to work independently.
18.104.22.168. Office of Online Learning
The Office of Online Learning provides support to students taking online classes, faculty developing these classes, and programs that wish to develop or improve online offerings. These services include instructional design assistance, training, technical support, and proctoring of exams.
The Vice President for Research (VPR) promotes and monitors research within the university community; is the signature authority on externally funded projects administered by the University; assists faculty in research endeavors; oversees administrative proceedings relating to research/creative activities; coordinates institutional planning; and may advise the Provost on personnel actions involving faculty. The VPR supports faculty research through startup and travel funds.
The Mississippi Research Consortium is a coalition of Mississippi’s four research universities. The Consortium’s purpose is to assist in the development of Mississippi’s research infrastructure, to foster research funding opportunities and interaction with federal agencies, to improve the state’s science education opportunities, and to share research resources.
The Mississippi University Research Authority (MURA) facilitates the formation of university research corporations in the state to promote, develop, and administer enterprises arising from scientific, research or technological innovations. MURA provides a procedural and regulatory framework that allows researchers to extend their work into the private sector to benefit Mississippi’s economy.
Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) provides services to promote a successful research enterprise, a safe teaching environment, and to minimize health and safety impacts to the Hattiesburg area. These services are accomplished through training programs, consultation, working with the campus community, as well as compliance with local, state, and federal agencies.
Academic personnel may qualify for academic leaves of absence, including leave for graduate or postdoctoral study, otherwise enhancing academic credentials, professional leave, and sabbatical. School directors and deans are responsible for ensuring that classes are reassigned to existing faculty when faculty are awarded leaves of absence. The employment of additional academic personnel for this purpose will be approved by the Provost only upon the demonstration of substantial need.
Academic leaves of absence are distinct from those to which university employees are entitled under the terms of contracted employment, such as annual leave and medical leave. Academic leaves of absence, including sabbaticals, are not entitlements but privileges conferred by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the President. With the approval of the Board, faculty may receive creditable University service for a period of academic leave not exceeding 2 years during any 10-year period of University employment. Each classification of leave is subject to additional terms and conditions mandated by state law and Board policy.
22.214.171.124. Leave for Enhancing Academic Credentials
Academic personnel may be extended educational leave with or without pay for purposes of improving qualifications, for example, graduate or post-doctoral studies, for promotions in rank or appointment to new positions. Leaves of absence without pay may be granted by the Provost for an academic year, a semester, or (under unique circumstances) part of a semester.
126.96.36.199. Professional Leave
Professional leave is uncompensated absence from regular university employment for the purpose of external employment directly related to normal professional functions at the University. With the approval of the Board, faculty may receive creditable university service for a period of professional leave provided that: leave is for the purpose of full-time employment with a state or federal agency for a period of time equivalent to the period of professional leave granted; leave accrues to the professional benefit of the faculty member and promotes the interests of the University; the faculty member pays to the state retirement system the actuarial cost as determined by the actuary for each year of professional leave; and the faculty member serves the University on a full-time basis for a period of time equivalent to the professional leave period granted immediately following the termination of the leave period.
188.8.131.52. Sabbatical Leave
At the completion of six or more regular semesters of continuous, full-time university employment, faculty members are eligible for one semester of sabbatical leave (4 1/2 months). Sabbatical leave is granted for the sole purpose of professional improvement and is not necessarily earned by the required duration of employment at the University. Sabbatical leave is intended to assist faculty to achieve promotion in academic rank or enhance their professional development and scholarly reputation.
At the completion of 12 regular semesters of continuous, full-time university employment (sabbatical not being taken within that time), faculty are eligible for 2 semesters of sabbatical leave (9 months). Under no circumstances may sabbatical leaves of more than nine months' duration be granted. Sabbatical leave normally coincides with fall semesters, spring semesters, or both, exceptions allowable only in exceptional circumstances. In no case may sabbatical leave periods extend to summer semesters.
Refer to the Provost’s website, sabbatical and leave requests, for sabbatical guidelines, requirements, and application procedures.
University is committed to the ongoing development of new and innovative teaching strategies or techniques that ultimately result in the improvement or assessment of student learning. To support faculty and provide appropriate resources, the Provost awards salary stipends to faculty who are dedicated to the development and delivery of academic programs through innovative education methods. For more information on these grants, see the Provost’s website.
Subvention is the process through which the University subsidizes a portion of the costs of research and creative works pursued by members of the academic personnel. Application for subvention is made to the Vice President for Research, who is advised by the University Research Council. The University Research Council reviews applications in accordance with written subvention policy and submits recommendations to the Vice President for Research. The Vice President, who may accept or reject the subcommittee's recommendations, informs candidates of the results of applications.
Each year the University recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and service. Awards are given to full-time faculty members holding the rank of instructor or above. University administrative officers holding faculty rank are eligible. In addition, the University recognizes selected librarians for excellence in librarianship every other year.
University Libraries consist of the Joseph Anderson Cook Library, McCain Library & Archives, Gulf Coast Library, and Gunter Library. Collectively, the libraries provide a variety of services to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and patrons from the community. Among the services provided are textbook reserves for students, library instruction, research consultations, workshops, interlibrary loans, study rooms, meeting rooms, research carrels, and access to over 1.5 million books and microforms and more than 150,000 journals.
The Cook Library houses the University’s principal holdings of books, journals, microforms, music, media, and other materials. The McCain Library houses Special Collections, consisting of the University Archives, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, Mississippiana, rare books, and, extensive original manuscript holdings supporting primary source research. The Gulf Coast Library is located on the Gulf Park Campus and includes three floors of holdings, computers, and study spaces. The Gunter Library is located at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs with a collection of more than 1,600 journals and 30,000 additional books, reports, and other research material.
This website contains a series of instructions to assist faculty and students with many functions in SOAR.
iTech is the University’s technology support office, managing SOAR, the University’s email system, wireless access, and more. iTech’s help desk is on the first floor of Cook Library. Hot Sheets are available addressing issues such as resetting your Campus ID, placing work orders, SOAR, Eagle Backup (automatic back-up for your documents), classroom support, free software available to faculty, among others.
184.108.40.206. Collegiate Recovery Community
The Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) is a program for students who are in recovery from addictive disorders including alcohol, drugs, and eating disorders.
220.127.116.11. Counseling Services for Students
Student Counseling Services provides services (e.g., mental health consultation, emergency services) to university students by promoting sound mental health and the coping skills necessary for successful pursuit of their educational and life goals. In addition, by calling (601) 266-6106 during business hours and asking for the triage counselor, faculty and staff can receive consultation support for student issues. Students in need of such assistance should call (601) 266-6106 during business hours and ask for the triage counselor.
18.104.22.168. LGBTQ Resources
The Southern Miss PRISM LGBTQ+ Resource Office works to create an affirming and supportive campus environment for students of all gender and sexual identities. The Office provides academic, campus, and community resources for students and employees of the University.
22.214.171.124. Eagle Alert
Eagle Alert is an emergency notification system that allows the University to inform the campus community of imminent danger and emergency situations. Students, academic personnel, and staff should periodically update their contact information to ensure they are receiving time-sensitive emergency messages via text and voice messages to cell and home phones.
126.96.36.199. Emergency and Critical Incident Response
For immediate concerns related to persons making threats to harm themselves or others; posing a significant threat to the University or its community; or for other emergency issues, immediately contact the University Police Department at 601.266.4986 or 9-1-1. Matters requiring immediate action are referred to the Critical Incident Response Team. For more information, see the Emergency and Critical Incident page.
188.8.131.52. University Police Department
The University Police Department (UPD) works to enhance the quality of life on campus by enforcing the law, preserving the peace, reducing fear, and providing for a safe environment. On the UPD website, access information on programs and services, crime information, and an annual report containing comprehensive crime statistics for university campuses and learning sites.
184.108.40.206. Center for Child Development
The Center for Child Development provides high quality educational and care services to children eight-weeks to five-years-old and is an academic teaching and research facility for students and faculty across the University. The Center operates on Hattiesburg and Gulf Coast campuses.
220.127.116.11. Physical Fitness Facilities
Information about The Payne Center fitness center on the Hattiesburg campus and other supported recreational activities can be found on the Campus Recreation website. The Fitness Center at Gulf Park houses cardio machines, a group exercise room, and a free weight area.
18.104.22.168. Health Services
The Moffitt Health Center on the Hattiesburg Campus offers general medical care for all students and employees of the University, including acute minor illnesses, chronic medical problems, and preventative services. The Center features a full-service urgent care clinic, onsite pharmacy, and laboratory and x-ray services. Faculty and staff can expect to pay a co-pay and deductible; amounts charged depend on insurance and coverage benefits.
The Health Center on the Gulf Park campus provides general medical care for all students and employees of the University, with telemedicine consultations made available by the Center for Telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC).
22.214.171.124. Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention
The Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention provides a 24-hour crisis line; support groups and individual counseling; assistance with victim’s compensation forms; professional training and technical assistance; accompaniment to hospitals, law enforcement, and court; referrals and information; community education services; and primary prevention programs and training.
126.96.36.199. University Clinic for Family Therapy
The University Clinic for Family Therapy is an academic teaching and research center for clinical faculty, marriage and family therapy graduate students, and family relations undergraduate students. The Clinic serves individuals, couples, and families experiencing a wide range of personal or relationship problems allowing students to develop clinical skills in a closely supervised environment.
The official website of Southern Miss Athletics provides schedules to upcoming games and information on how to purchase tickets.
The Arts website is a central resource for information about upcoming performances and arts-related events and exhibits. The site includes listings from the arts, dance, and theatre programs based in the School of Performing and Visual Art; performances by members of the School of Music; and events sponsored by the Center for Writers in the School of Humanities. A weekly newsletter, The Arts Insider, is available by subscription, and enthusiasts can help support the campus arts community by joining Partners for the Arts.
The Office of Institutional Research collects, archives, and maintains institutional data for the purpose of analyzing, distributing and presenting summary information. This information is used to support the decision-making process and the planning needs of all academic and administrative units within the University. The Office is responsible for reporting official data to the Board and the U.S. Federal Government (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System - IPEDS).
The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (IE) facilitates ongoing, integrated, institution-wide planning and evaluation processes. The staff of IE is the University’s source for assessment information, providing training and oversight of programs’ assessment activities through annual assessment and periodic program reviews. The Office’s site brings together accreditation, assessment, and program review resources.
The Office of the General Counsel offers legal advice, representation, and information to the University, including administrators, faculty, and staff who are acting on behalf of the University on various issues to reach decisions that are in the best interest of the University.
The Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Employment Opportunity protects the Civil Rights of all university students and employees. This Office oversees nondiscrimination policies and complaint procedures (age, sex, sexual orientation, color, race, religion, national origin, disability, or Vietnam-era veteran status), and relevant resources.
The University complies with applicable state and federal regulations, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits sex discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal funding. The University will not tolerate discrimination and sexual misconduct and has provided a way to report these incidents through the Title IX Office. The Office’s site provides information on policies, procedures, resources, training, and reporting in regards to Title IX.
Human Resources (HR) coordinates health and retirement benefits for university faculty and provides information on other processes related to pay, benefits, and employment conditions. HR coordinates job searches for new faculty. The Employee Handbook contains information on employment policies, practices, procedures, and resources for all university employees.
The Office of the Registrar facilitates and maintains registration, degree requirements, grade entry and policies, and academic calendars. The Registrar’s site contains links to resources to help students, parents, academic personnel, and staff.
The University’s Travel Office website includes various policies, forms, and resources relevant to reimbursement for official travel.
University Communications provides essential communication services to the University and assists all University units (offices, colleges/schools, student affairs, and university affiliates) with individual communication needs (marketing, event fliers).
The University bookstore sells required textbooks, study supplies, and University licensed merchandise.
The University’s Copy Center provides printing services for business cards, letterhead, envelopes, brochures, posters, and copies.
Event Services oversees the reservation and setup for events held in the Thad Cochran Center, R.C. Cook University Union and Hub, as well as the first level of the Trent Lott National Center.
Aramark runs a campus catering service called Southern Miss Catering. Menu options and online ordering of food for campus events are available on their website.
The AAUP is a nonprofit membership association of faculty and other academic professionals. The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community realize its goals; and to ensure higher education's contribution to the common good.
The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to serving the university community by overseeing fundraising efforts to raise private support for scholarships and other academic needs at the University. The Foundation manages donor dollars to advance educational opportunities available to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University.
If a faculty member is jointly appointed, workload allocation should be agreed to by the faculty member in consultation with directors of both schools.
Circumstantial adjustments to a faculty member’s workload allocation (e.g., any unexpected or sudden adjustments in workload due to unforeseen circumstances such as the departure of a faculty member which leaves a gap in the curriculum that must be covered, commitments as part of a new external funding agreement, need to participate in a significant service activity) should:
The following is offered as a sample of a possible annual evaluation rubric. Schools may individualize this to the expectations for their academic units. For example, if applications for internal/external funding is not pursued in a unit, they could adjust the rubric accordingly.
Collegiality in Teaching Statement: (provide 1-2 sentences describing collegial efforts through teaching.
|DOES NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS||MEETS EXPECTATIONS||EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS||COMMENTS|
|Coursework||Coursework (development, materials, and assessments) does not reflect the standard performance level identified within the unit or identified by appropriate university groups, (e.g. online steering committee).||Coursework (development, materials, and assessments) reflects the standard performance level identified within the unit or identified by appropriate university groups, (e.g. online steering committee).||Coursework reflects innovative development which may include service learning, active learning, honors theses, SPUR projects, etc. consistent with school directives and exceeding the unit expectations.|
|Course delivery||Course delivery (attendance, course load, syllabi, grading deadlines, etc.) is not performed according to the university calendar and guidelines.||Course delivery (attendance, course load, syllabi, grading deadlines, etc.) is performed according to the university calendar and guidelines.||Course delivery exceeds unit and university guidelines by the addition of independent studies, thesis or dissertation coursework, etc. added to existing load.|
|Student teaching evaluations||Teaching evaluations conducted by students do not reflect the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Teaching evaluations conducted by students reflect the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Teaching evaluations conducted by students exceed the standard level of performance level identified within the unit.|
|Peer teaching evaluations||Teaching evaluations conducted by peers do not reflect the standard performance level identified within the unit||Teaching evaluations conducted by peers reflect the standard performance level identified within the unit||Teaching evaluations conducted by peers exceed the standard performance level identified within the unit.|
|Innovative teaching||Teaching evaluations and/or peer reviews reflect a lack of change or inclusion of relevant material in the course experience||Teaching evaluations and/or peer reviews reflect the use of new materials, new approaches to engage students||Teaching evaluations and/or peer reviews show engaged learning based on innovative teaching methods|
3/5 in Exceeds Expectations with 0 in Does Not Meet Expectations = Exceeds Expectations
|Collegiality in Teaching Statement: (provide 1-2 sentences describing collegial efforts through teaching.|
|DOES NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS||MEETS EXPECTATIONS||EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS||COMMENTS|
|Participation in research/creative activities||Participates or demonstrates continuous effort in research/ creative activities at a rate lower than the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Participates in research/creative activities by initiating new activity and/or demonstrating continuous effort on existing activity as reflected within the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Participates in research/creative activities by initiating new collaborative interdisciplinary activity and/or demonstrating continuous effort on existing interdisciplinary activity exceeding the standard performance level identified within the unit.|
|Dissemination of research/creative activities||Disseminates work through unit identified channels (e.g., peer-reviewed journals, books, performance, etc.) at a rate lower than the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Disseminates work through unit identified channels (e.g., peer-reviewed journals, books, performance, etc.) as reflected within the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Disseminates work through unit identified channels (e.g., peer-reviewed journals, books, performance, etc.) at a rate that exceeds the standard performance level identified within the unit.|
|Applications for internal/external funding||Submits application for internal/external funding of research/creative activities at a rate lower than the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Submits application for internal/external funding of research/creative activities as reflected within the standard performance level identified within the unit. (e.g., unit may define expectations as annual, bi-annual, tri-annual submissions, etc.)||Procures internal/external funding of research/creative activities exceeding the standard performance level identified within the unit.|
2/3 in Exceeds Expectations with 0 in Does Not Meet Expectations = Exceeds Expectations
|Collegiality in Research/Creative Activity Statement: (provide 1-2 sentences describing collegial efforts through research/creative activities.|
|DOES NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS||MEETS EXPECTATIONS||EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS||COMMENTS|
|Institutional committees||Serves on appointed/elected committees at the school, college, and university level at a rate lower than the standard performance level identified within the unit or does not attend committee meetings to represent the unit.||Serves on appointed/elected committees at the school, college, and university level as reflected within the standard performance level identified within the unit; attends meetings and contributes to the needs of the committee.||Serves on appointed/elected committees at the school, college, and university level at a rate exceeding the standard performance level within the unit; attends meetings, completes a leadership role for the committee or sub-committee.|
|Professional organizations||Contributes to their identified field of study through membership and participation in professional organizations within their field internationally, nationally, regionally, and/or statewide at a rate lower than the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Contributes to their identified field of study through membership and participation in professional organizations within their field internationally, nationally, regionally, or statewide as reflected within the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Contributes to their identified field of study through membership, participation in, and committee service on professional organizations, publications, activities within their field internationally, nationally, regionally, or statewide exceeding the standard performance level identified within the unit.|
|Campus activities and community service||Facilitates growth of the University/college/school through active participation in University campus activities (i.e., Eagles Spur, recruitment, retention, etc.) and community service related to their profession at a rate lower than the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Facilitates growth of the University/college/school through active participation in University campus activities (i.e., Eagles Spur, recruitment, retention, etc.) and community service related to their profession as reflected within the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Facilitates growth of the University/college/school through active participation in University campus activities (i.e., Eagles Spur, recruitment, retention, etc.) and community service related to their profession exceeding the standard performance level identified within the unit.|
|Student mentorship||Facilitates growth in their field of study through formalized mentorship of students and/or other faculty, service on student committees to include graduate examinations and dissertations as well as undergraduate honors theses, delivery of independent study courses, etc. at a rate lower than the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Facilitates growth in their field of study through formalized mentorship of students and/or other faculty, service on student committees to include graduate examinations and dissertations as well as undergraduate honors theses, delivery of independent study courses, etc. as reflected within the standard performance level identified within the unit.||Facilitates growth in their field of study through formalized mentorship of students and/or other faculty, service on student to committees to include graduate examinations and dissertations master’s theses, and undergraduate honors theses, etc. exceeding the standard performance level identified within the unit.|
3/4 in Exceeds Expectations with 0 in Does Not Meet Expectations = Exceeds Expectations
|Collegiality in Service Statement: (provide 1-2 sentences describing collegial efforts through service activities.|
|To be completed by evaluator:|
|NOTEWORTHY ACTIVITIES AND REMARKS|
|Evaluator may list any activities they identify as noteworthy or include other remarks for the academic year|
|Research/ Creative Activities|
The content here includes examples of criteria that could be used or modified by schools to develop expectations for faculty performance in the categories of teaching, research/creative activities, and service. The examples below do not constitute an exhaustive list, but instead are intended for reference during the development of school criteria.
Examples of expectations for teaching could include, but are not limited to the following:
Examples of expectations for research/creative activities could include, but are not limited to the following:
Examples of expectations for service to the University and professional communities could include, but are not limited to the following:
To complement standards for meeting expectations, schools may elect to designate standard workload allocation percentages for teaching, research/creative activities, and service for tenure-track and teaching-track faculty as well as adjust expectations in accordance with the established standard workload allocation.
For example, if a school (or disciplinary cluster) with a standard workload allocation of 40% teaching, 40% research/creative activities, and 20% service establishes one published article per year as the expectations for research/creative activities of tenure-track faculty, and a tenure-track faculty member is allocated a 60% teaching, 20% research/creative activities, and 20% service workload for one year, then that member will meet expectations if evidence is presented that considerable progress was made on a manuscript designated for peer review but was not published that year. Further, if the 60/20/20 workload allocation were to be maintained for two years, then only one published article would be required to meet expectations for research/creative activities for that duration. For accreditation standards, colleges may have standards for research/creative activities that inform the school’s allocation for tenure-track faculty and for other faculty in the Corps of Instruction.
Assignment of “Does Not Meet Expectations” should be made for faculty who are unable to produce evidence for meeting annual expectations documented by their academic unit.
Examples for exceeding expectations for teaching could include, but are not limited to the following:
Examples of noteworthy activities or remarks could include, but are not limited to the following: