Handbook for Department Heads and Directors

1.00        DEPARTMENT HEAD DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

2.00     DEPARTMENTAL SCHEDULING, REGISTRATION, AND GRADING

3.00        ADVISING AND GRADUATION

4.00        INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS, CURRICULUM, ASSESSMENT, AND PLANNING

5.00        HIRING AND EVALUATION

6.00        DEPARTMENT AND OFFICE ADMINISTRATION

7.00     CAMPUS RESOURCES

8.00    APPENDICES


1.00        DEPARTMENT HEAD DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1.01        VSU Statutes

ARTICLE III: ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT HEADS 

Section 1. Each college or division is organized into academic departments to which members of the faculty are assigned. An academic department is an administrative unit and exists for the purpose of providing instruction, research, and service. A faculty member serves as its head. Each department head is appointed by the President, is approved by the Board of Regents, holds office at the pleasure of the President, and reports directly to a dean or director. Department head appointments are made after consultation with the faculty of the particular department, the dean of the college or director of the division, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Section 2. Academic department heads are persons of professorial rank and are members of the General Faculty.

Section 3. Under the direction of a dean or director, each department head:

a. consults routinely with members of the department on all substantive matters;

b. establishes committees within the department to aid in its administration;

c. encourages the development of programs, policies, and procedures designed to promote the goals of the University and to enhance the quality of instruction, research, and service within the department;

d. is responsible, within the limits of departmental concern, for faculty teaching schedules and assignments, academic advisement of students, and the preparation of catalogue or bulletin materials;

e. assumes primary responsibility for identifying and maintaining the instructional staff of the department, and recommends faculty appointments, promotion, tenure, salary, and dismissal;

f. is responsible for the expenditure of funds allocated to the department;

g. is the departmental representative in all official communications;

h. recommends to the dean or director the name of a departmental faculty member to serve as acting department head during any period of absence from the campus by the department head that exceeds one week;

i. prepares and recommends to the dean or director an annual budget for the department;

j. conducts an annual evaluation of each full-time member of the departmental faculty;

k. prepares an annual report for the department, to be submitted to the appropriate dean or director on or about July 1 of each year;

l. performs such additional duties as the dean or director may deem appropriate to the office.

Last updated November 2015.

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1.02        Additional Assignments

Department heads and directors also serve on the Executive Committee of their colleges and should attend the regularly scheduled meetings.  The dean often appoints subcommittees and task forces from this committee, and both heads and directors should expect on occasion to be members of such subcommittees and task forces.  At least once a year, the heads and directors attend a meeting of the Deans, Directors, and Department Heads (DDH).  In most cases, the Provost and President set the agenda for this group. 

Last updated November 2015.

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1.03        Administrative evaluations

The Office of Institutional Research assists the VSU Faculty Senate with the annual evaluation of academic administrators.  Faculty are invited to submit constructive, anonymous feedback about their department head, dean, vice president for academic affairs, and president.  Institutional Research will then aggregate and share with the administrator.  [Reference: SACSCOC principle 5.4]

Last updated January 23, 2019.

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1.04        Department Head Professional Development

1.04.1  Academic Chairpersons Conference

Kansas State University sponsors an annual Academic Chairpersons Conference. Also, the American Council on Education sponsors a leadership academy for department chairs.  Consult with your dean about professional development opportunities.

Last updated November 2015.

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1.04.2  Peer-to-peer workshops

Often, your best resource on campus may be other department heads.  Consult with your dean, the Council of Department Heads, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), or Employee and Organizational Development with help in organizing more formal activities.

Last updated November 2015.

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1.05        Council of Department Heads (CDH)

The Council of Department Heads (CDH), composed for all university department heads, meets once per month during the academic year.  This Council can serve as a resource to discuss issues of common concern to all department heads.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.00        DEPARTMENTAL SCHEDULING, REGISTRATION, AND GRADING

2.01        Scheduling courses and building a schedule

One of the most demanding tasks for department heads is scheduling classes, which consists of several important steps.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.01.1    Off-campus instructional site

To serve students who may not be geographically located near Valdosta, it may be necessary to offer a face-to-face course at an off-campus instructional site. New off-campus instructional sites may require prior approval; consult with the Office of the Registrar as needed.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.02        Planning and due dates for schedules

To begin the planning process, one must consult with the Office of the Registrar for due dates for the fall, spring, and summer schedules.  In general, schedules for the spring and summer are due by mid-August, and schedules for fall are due in early December.  These dates are subject to change, but department heads and directors should allow time to begin the planning and the sharing of schedules with faculty members before submission to the Office of the Registrar.

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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2.03        Sources of data for course planning

Before planning a schedule, department heads should consult departmental materials for offering classes and for the number of sections that the schedule will require.  Department heads should examine their departmental academic maps, the two-year cycle of upper division courses, and data from previous semesters.  These resources should give a reasonable indication of what demands were.  However, one must analyze those demands in light of how enrollment patterns may have shifted during the year. Department heads should also consult faculty in terms of their course and time preferences for teaching. However, department heads need not be bound by these preferences and in each case, should arrange teaching schedules that best meet the needs of our students.

Finally, department heads should make sure that the classroom accommodates the maximum number of students enrolled in the course.  Overrides for a class must not be given beyond the capacity of the classroom.  Section 2.07: the system has some updated definitions for online vs. hybrid.

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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2.04        Developing a two-year rotation for upper-division courses

A department should have a two-year rotation for all 3000-4000 level courses.  This rotation should assure that all required courses for majors are available within that span in the appropriate number of sections.  When this rotation is in place, one then decides when the classes should be offered (it is wise to rotate these courses among morning, afternoon, and evening), and which faculty will be teaching those courses.  The tentative two-year rotation for upper-division courses should be posted on the departmental website.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.05        Scheduling undergraduate courses/anticipating needs

The trickier part of the schedule may be deciding on the number of core curriculum sections needed.  Once again, enrollment information is important as well as enrollment figures from the previous semester (particularly for a sequential course).  The number of sections needed for core courses will also be dependent on the forecasted size of the incoming first-year class.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.05.1    Directed studies

Directed studies may be available within your department’s program of study.  They should be used, as needed, to help students meet curricular needs or to allow for more specialized study.  In general, directed studies are uncompensated overloads for the faculty members involved.  To set up a directed study, the faculty member should contact the department head who will work with the Registrar’s Office to assign a CRN for the course and register the student(s).

Last updated November 2015.

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2.05.2    Internship experiences and requests to waive mandatory fees

A number of academic departments offer internship experiences to their students. All of those which award academic credit should follow the “Guidelines for Granting Academic Credit for Participation in Internship Programs” found in the Academic Catalog. If students are participating in an internship, practicum, or externship at least 50 miles from Lowndes County, they may be eligible to apply for a waiver of mandatory fees. The faculty member overseeing the internship must initiate the process using the Request to Waive Allowable Mandatory Fees form.

Last updated Aug. 15, 2017.

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2.06        Scheduling graduate courses

When applicable, departments should construct graduate rotations as well.  Upper-division undergraduate courses may be cross-listed at the graduate level, but department heads should ensure that the graduate component of the course includes appropriate assignments/reading load for graduate credit.  Furthermore, attention should be given to scheduling some graduate courses during the evenings or weekends for students who work during the day.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.07        Course Designations for Online Delivery

The course delivery method should be scheduled to support the overall mission of a department or program as well as the university.  The USG provides the following designations for courses:

E = Entirely at a distance   This course is delivered 100% through distance education technology. No visits to campus or designated site are required.

F = Fully at a distance   More than 95% of class sessions are delivered via distance education technology. This course may require that students travel to campus or other designated site to attend an orientation, take an exam, or participate in other on-site experience.

P = Partially at a distance   More than 50% and up to 95% of class sessions are delivered via distance education technology, but some visits to a classroom or designated instructional site are required.

H = Hybrid   Up to 50% of class sessions are delivered via distance education technology. At least half of the class sessions meet in a classroom or at a designated instructional site.

T = Technology enhanced   Technology is used in delivering instruction to all students in the section, but no class sessions are replaced by technology.

Course designations should be identified as such prior to the start of a semester and clearly noted as such in Banner, and the delivery format of a course should not be changed after the semester starts. 

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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2.08        Scheduling cross-listed courses with other departments/programs

A department may schedule courses in conjunction with other departments and programs.  Some of these programs are listed below.  Department heads may establish rotations with some of these programs; in other cases, they may contact one another to see if faculty would be available to teach.  In these cases, department heads must evaluate departmental needs to see if faculty can be spared. 

Honors College (Honors Course Rotation)*

Perspectives**

Service course for other programs/minors

Courses for First Year Learning Communities

Courses for collaborative or interdisciplinary programs (ex., AFAM/WGST, AFAM/HIST, AFAM/ENGL)

*A department may offer specifically designated Honors courses.

**Department heads may schedule PERS classes.  The Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Studies serves as the coordinator of PERS classes, and department heads should consult this individual to avoid offering an excessive number of PERS seats in a given semester.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.09        Addressing faculty preferences/availability

Once department heads and directors determine what classes must be taught, they must establish which faculty should teach these courses and at what time.  Many find faculty-preference sheets helpful.  These sheets may indicate what courses faculty have taught or would like to teach as well as their preferred times.  Of course, one cannot guarantee that departments can meet all faculty preferences.  In addition, department heads should maintain lists of part-time faculty and should check their availability for the coming semester.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.10        Assigning classrooms/switching classrooms

As they build a schedule, department heads and directors must assign rooms for all classes.  They should maintain lists of classrooms normally assigned to their departments and the number of seats in each classroom.  A department head can schedule courses in those classrooms that have been historically designated for the department or program.  If a department or program has scheduling needs beyond the designated classrooms, the department head should work with the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to secure a classroom for a given course.  As department heads prepare schedules, they often sort by faculty member, by class sections, and by classroom.  In this way, they avoid double booking a classroom or a faculty member. 

Besides size, department heads should also be aware of the types of classrooms needed: 

Smart classroom (computer and projector for instructor)

Electronic classroom (computers for all students)

Laboratory

Studio, etc.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.11        Forms for scheduling

Department heads will receive an electronic form from the Office of the Registrar which requests information for the course abbreviation, course number, course section, off-campus sites, number of seats, credit hours, days, beginning time, ending time, building, room, and instructor. 

Last updated November 2015.

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2.12        Ordering textbooks and other materials

After submitting the schedule, department heads should remind faculty of the due dates for ordering book and other course materials (including student response systems). These materials should be ordered through the VSU Bookstore/eFollett textbook request system located in BlazeVIEW.

Typically, textbook orders should be placed by October 15 for spring and summer classes, and March 15 for fall classes.  These orders must be placed on time because students should be able to see required materials on BANNER before they register for classes.  Also, beginning in Fall 2018, all USG institutions are required to designate sections of courses whose course materials exclusively consist of no-cost (open or free textbooks) and low-cost (under $40).  Department Heads can assist the Registrar’s Office by identifying these sections. See https://www.affordablelearninggeorgia.org/about/course_catalog_designators.

See also Textbooks and Materials Policies and Textbook Provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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2.13        Monitoring class enrollment

Once schedules are on Banner, students and advisers may use them to plan for registration.  Advisement and registration usually begin about two weeks after midterm.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.13.1    Canceling and adding classes

Department heads may need to modify their schedules after submitting them.  The dean and VPAA must approve the scheduling of class times that deviate from the established options for the beginning time and ending time of a course.  According to enrollment needs, they may need to cancel classes.  Currently, classes must meet the following enrollment minimums: 20 for a core curriculum class, 15 for an upper-division course, and 10 for a graduate course.  While VSU allows some flexibility, department heads may expect to cancel severely under-enrolled classes, after consultation with the dean.  Department heads should explain these decisions to affected faculty and also assign these faculty to other classes.  After informing the faculty of canceled classes, the head or director should e-mail the Registrar.  If students are already enrolled in these classes, department heads must obtain a list of those students from Banner or the Registrar and inform them of changes.

On the other hand, enrollment figures may mandate that one add classes taught by part-time instructors or with full-time faculty moved from canceled classes.  To add classes that require additional resources, department heads must consult with the dean; they then should make arrangements with affected faculty.  They also must find available space, through consultation with the VPAA’s office.  Their next step is to email appropriate data to the Registrar including the course, section, room number, instructor, and number of students for the classes.

When department heads and directors must change locations of classes, they also should inform the Registrar.  Prior to changing the location of a class, department heads and directors must check on the availability of the room through the VPAA’s Office.  On the first day of class, departments should post notes in the affected rooms; they cannot assume that students already have received notices of room changes.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.13.2    Moving students into and out of classes

Once registration has begun, classes will begin to fill. Using the Waitlist function in BANNER, students will be able to place themselves on waitlists for courses that are at capacity.  Department heads should monitor those waitlists and consult with their deans about how to meet student demand.

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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2.13.3    Overriding students into classes

Department heads, with faculty approvals, may add students to closed classes through Banner Forms, available only to the department head.  Some departments have override forms which contain the necessary information for department heads to perform overrides: the class number and section, the CRN number, the student’s name and VSU id number, and the instructor’s signature. 

Last updated November 2015.

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2.14        Registration

All undergraduate and graduate students must be advised before registration.  Students who have not been advised or have a Banner registration hold will not be able to access the registration system.  Departments and students should strictly observe published schedules, policies, and procedures for registration. The university cancels registrations for students who do not pay fees by the published deadlines. 

New students are expected to register for classes during orientation programs held prior to the first day of classes.  Currently enrolled students may register for courses during the following registration periods:

  • Early Registration is held approximately six weeks before the term begins. Registration priority is based on student classification in the following order: Graduate students and seniors; juniors; sophomores; first year.  Other categories such as student athletes and honors students may receive priority registration.
  • Regular Registration and drop/add are held immediately prior to the beginning of classes.  Registration is available on a first-come, first served basis.
  • Late Registration and continued drop/add are held for approximately three or four days after the term begins.  A late fee is assessed for registration during the Late Period.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.14.1    Add/Drop

Students may add classes during preregistration and during the official add/drop period at the beginning of each term.  This process occurs online.  The official add/drop period is generally the first week of classes during regular fall/spring terms but is shorter during summer and other abbreviated terms.  After the end of late registration (the add/drop period), students must complete paperwork to add classes to their schedules.

PROCESS FOR ADDING OR DROPPING FROM A COURSE:

TIMELINE

PROCESS

Pre-registration, Regular Registration, and Late Registration (before classes begin and usually the first week of class—may be a shorter period during abbreviated terms. Consult the Academic calendar for the schedule each semester.)

Students may add and drop on Banner.

Registration closed (generally after the first week of class)

If students need to add or drop, they must obtain an add/drop form from the Registrar’s Office.

After midterm

If students do not complete the appropriate add/drop process until after midterm, they must complete not only the add/drop form but also the late registration appeal form. This form must include a reason explaining why the student needs to add or drop a class after midterm.

Students may drop a class during preregistration and during the official add/drop period at the beginning of each term.  This process occurs online.  At the end of the semester, no official record of the student having been in the class exists.  “Dropping” a class is not the same as “withdrawing” from a class (see the discussion of withdrawals below).

The add/drop form requires the signatures of the instructors of the classes that students wish to add/drop as well as the signatures of the department heads of those classes.  While the Registrar’s Office will provide the appropriate forms, the approval of adds or drops will be made by the instructor and the department head. 

Department heads should be prepared to see drop/add forms and late registration forms from the second week of the semester throughout the end of a given term.  Department heads should generally NOT approve late adds after the first week of a course unless the student is able to provide a compelling reason for a late add and the instructor is able to verify that the student has been attending.  Attending the course is not always a sufficient rationale for approving a late add.  If students have attended beyond the end of the late registration period, students should withdraw from a class, not drop.  Department heads should not approve appeals for late drops unless students are able to document that they did not attend class beyond the first week and the reasons why they were not able to complete the online drop process during the official add/drop period. 

Last updated November 2015.

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2.14.2    Withdrawals

Students may withdraw from courses following the add/drop period until midterm by completing the withdrawal process on Banner.  Similarly, instructors may withdraw students from their classes during the Attendance Verification period at the beginning of each term.  A withdrawal before midterm is non-punitive, and the Registrar’s Office assigns a grade of “W”.  Students may not exercise this right to withdraw to avoid sanction for academic dishonesty.  It is the responsibility of the student to complete the withdrawal process. 

After midterm, students are not allowed to withdraw; however, students may petition an exception for cases of hardship by completing a petition for withdrawal form available in the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Union, 3rd floor. The petition will be reviewed by that office and possibly also by the University Withdrawal Appeals Committee and will become a permanent part of the student’s file.  If the petition is approved, the instructor will be asked to assign a grade of “W” or “WF” after midterm.  “WF” is calculated in the grade point average the same as “F.”  Any student who discontinues class attendance after mid-term and does not officially withdraw may be assigned a grade of “F.”

Regular withdrawal (generally from the end of the first week of class to midterm)

 Students may withdraw on Banner.

Late Withdrawal (after midterm until the last day of the term)

Students must appeal for late withdrawals through the Dean of Students


Last updated September 7, 2017.

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2.14.3    Limited Course Withdrawal Policy

Effective Fall 2010, all undergraduate students are limited to five course withdrawal “W” grades for their entire enrollment at VSU.  Once a student has accumulated five “W” grades, all subsequent withdrawals (whether initiated by the student in Banner or initiated by the instructor on the proof roll) will be recorded as “WF.”  The grade “WF” is calculated as an “F” for GPA purposes.  The limit does not apply if a student withdraws from all classes in a given semester before the midterm point of the semester.  Transfer students, regardless of their classification upon enrolling at VSU, are also limited to five withdrawals. 

Last updated November 2015.

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2.15        Attendance Verification

Department heads must stress to faculty members that they should take attendance in all classes, at least for the first couple of weeks of a semester.  By the end of the second week of regular fall and spring semesters, faculty must verify student attendance in each of their classes through Banner.  During summer and shorter terms, they will need to verify attendance even earlier.  On the Banner rolls, faculty need to confirm whether students have attended a  course or  have never attended a course.  If students are marked as never having attended a course, a W will appear on the student’s transcript.  If a student has been attending a course but is not listed on the Banner roll, the instructor should notify the Office of the Registrar.  Fundamentally, it is a student’s responsibility to complete the required paperwork for a late add of a course.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.16        In-progress and final grades

Faculty assign both in-progress (midterm) and final grades through Banner.  Faculty—including part-time faculty—may access their grade sheets and enter their grades.  In-progress grades must be entered for all 1000- and 2000-level classes.  Department heads should emphasize to faculty member that they must submit final grades in Banner before they leave the campus or go on vacation.  VSU does not require In-progress grades during the summer, although a faculty member may request that the Registrar enable that function in Banner for a lower-division summer course.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.17        Incompletes

Faculty are not able to assign the grade of Incomplete through Banner when entering final grades.  The student must initiate a request for an incomplete.  The form is available from the Registrar’s Office and requires the signature of the student, instructor of the course, and the department head.  The form is then sent to the Office of the Registrar.  Department heads should make sure that the form clearly notes the reason for requesting an incomplete, the remaining course assignments, and the due dates for those assignments.  If a student has requested an incomplete but is not on campus (online course or the student is hospitalized), the instructor of the course can complete the form and submit it to the department head.  The form should be submitted before the entering of final grades.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.18        Change of grade forms

Department heads should advise faculty as well as students that final grades submitted by the course instructor may not be changed except for approved special circumstances such as an error in the calculation of a grade.  Department heads should counsel faculty that grades must not be changed because a student’s financial aid or academic standing is jeopardized.  Faculty can obtain a Change of Grade form from the Office of the Registrar.  Students should never handle the form.  The form must clearly articulate the reason for changing the grade, and the form must be signed by the instructor and the department head.  If the change of grade involves a “W” (the grade is changed to a W or from a W to another grade), it must be approved by the dean and VPAA.

Last updated November 2015.

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2.19        Grade Appeals

Department heads and directors need to be prepared to explain the grade appeal process to students as well as faculty.  The form for a grade appeal can be accessed at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/registrar/forms/.  The student must attempt to initiate the grade appeal process within 30 working days after the Office of the Registrar has posted final grades.  As noted on the form, students can appeal grades for the following reasons: an obvious error in the calculation of the grade, the assignment of a grade to a particular student by application of more exacting requirements than were applied to other students in the course, the assignment of a grade to a particular student on some basis other than performance in the course, and the assignment of a grade by a substantial departure from the instructor’s previously announced standards.  The student must submit a detailed rationale for appealing the grade.  After the student files a grade appeal, the instructor should meet with the student to discuss the appeal.  The student must be provided with a copy of the instructor’s response.  If the grade appeal then moves to the department head or director, a meeting should be held with the student to discuss the appeal and the student must receive a copy of the response from the department head or director.  If the student elects to appeal to the dean, the department head or director should deliver the grade appeal paperwork to the dean’s office.  Instructors should respond to grade appeals within 14 days of receipt, and department heads or directors should respond with 10 days of receipt.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.00        ADVISING AND GRADUATION

3.01        Advising and mentoring new majors/graduate students

Advising and mentoring students is one of the most important tasks of all academic departments and programs, and many faculty members serve as advisers or mentors.  Undergraduate students are advised by the advising center in their college (https://www.valdosta.edu/advising/). Department heads should work closely with the advisers to assure clear communication.  In graduate programs, advising may be assigned to a graduate coordinator or to individual faculty members.

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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3.01.1    Change of Major/Minor form

Department heads and directors often see many of the students who wish to declare a major or minor.  Forms for this declaration are available from the Registrar, and departments should keep some on hand.  These forms must be completed by students and signed by departments from which students transfer and by the receiving department.  Students should take completed change of major forms to receiving departments; afterward, they must deliver a copy to the Office of the Registrar.  The Change of Major/Minor Form can be found at

http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/registrar/documents/student-data-change-form1.pdf.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.01.2    AP Test Scores and VSU Equivalencies

Students who have taken Advanced Placement tests will be assigned course equivalencies by VSU’s Admissions Office when that office receives the scores. Department Heads should also keep updated on current tests and work with their departments to update equivalencies as needed. Current VSU course equivalences are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/advising/ap-scores-course-hours.php.  More information about all available Advanced Placement tests is available at http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ap.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.01.3   IB Equivalencies

Valdosta State University recognizes the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB). College credit will be awarded for exam scores completed at the higher level as shown at https://www.valdosta.edu/admissions/undergraduate/documents/ap-and-ib-credit.pdf. Standard level exam scores of 5 or higher will be considered for college credit for IB diploma completers only.  To receive credit, students need to request that official IB examination results be sent directly to the Admissions Office. The University is authorized by the Board of Regents to accept a maximum of 24 semester hours of IB credit. Department Heads should also keep updated on current tests and work with their departments to update equivalencies as needed.

Students receiving IB credit for U.S. Government/Politics and/or American History from non-Georgia high schools must validate Georgia legislative proficiency by passing a Georgia history exemption exam offered by the Office of Testing. See “State of Georgia Legislative Requirements” in the Undergraduate Catalog.

More information about this program is available at http://www.ibo.org/.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.01.4   Cambridge AICE Equivalencies

Valdosta State University recognizes the Cambridge AICE Exam. College credit will be awarded for exam scores completed at the level as shown at https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/advising/cambridge-aice.php  To receive credit, students need to request that official AICE examination results be sent directly to the Admissions Office. Department Heads should also keep updated on current tests and work with their departments to update equivalencies as needed.

Students receiving AICE credit for U.S. Government/Politics and/or American History from non-Georgia high schools must validate Georgia legislative proficiency by passing a Georgia history exemption exam offered by the Office of Testing. See “State of Georgia Legislative Requirements.”

Last updated November 2015.

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3.02        Advising students

Academic Advisors should:

  • help advisees understand the requirements of their programs (both general education and major) and to plan appropriately to meet those requirements.
  • keep track of any changes in degree programs or requirements.
  • meet regularly with advisees to assist them with selecting and scheduling appropriate courses to meet program requirements.
  • inform advisees of the standards for satisfactory academic progress and to keep track of advisee performance.
  • help advisees prepare paperwork necessary to meet program requirements, such as course substitutions and waivers.
  • keep careful records of each advising session and of the advice given to advisees.
  • work with advisees to provide correct information for the application for graduation.
  • refer advisees as needed to other offices on campus for assistance with academic, personal, or emotional difficulties.

Advisees should:

  • know the requirements of the degree program in which they are enrolled, including keeping track of any changes each year.
  • know when to submit required paperwork, including the application for graduation two semesters before the anticipated date.
  • work with an advisor to develop a curriculum plan which will allow them to stay on track for their planned graduation, recognizing other responsibilities they might have including family and work obligations.
  • keep careful records of their own progress toward their desired degree.
  • maintain regular contact with their advisor, including letting the advisor know of any changes since the last advising session.
  • prepare, in advance, for each session with their advisor and to bring relevant materials to advising sessions.
  • follow through with questions concerning degree requirements, grades, paperwork, or other matters.
  • become familiar with resources available to help them.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.02.1    Full-Time and Part Time Enrollment for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Undergraduates: Twelve or more semester hours constitute full-time enrollment for undergraduate students; a typical undergraduate load of fifteen hours per semester will guarantee graduation in four academic years. An academic load of nineteen hours is permitted without special approval; however, an academic load higher than nineteen hours requires completion of the VSU Petition to Register for More than Nineteen Hours (available from the Registrar’s Office), showing the approvals of the advisor, the department head of the student's major, and the appropriate Dean or Director. The maximum approved load is twenty-one hours.

Graduate Students: Graduate students are considered full-time if they enroll in nine or more credit hours each semester. Half-time is five to eight credit hours per semester. To maintain a graduate assistantship, students must be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) graduate-level hours each semester they have the assistantship.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.02.2    Course Transfer Equivalents

To determine transfer equivalency, undergraduate students and advisors may use the course equivalency tool, available at https://banweb.valdosta.edu/pls/prod/hwwktreq.find_state

For graduate students, the academic advisor reviews official transcripts to determine course equivalence/similarity. If the advisor determines the course is an appropriate transfer course, he/she sends a course substitution form or a transfer credit memo to the Graduate School for approval. The course substitution form or memo specifies the course, hours, institution of origin, and how the course should be applied (e.g., general elective or a course substitution for an existing course in the curriculum). Courses considered for transfer credit must: (1) be no more than 7 years of age, or more specifically, may not be over 7 years of age when the student completes the degree at VSU; (2) be earned at an institution that is regionally accredited; (3) be graduate-level courses; and (4) not exceed specific program limitations on total number of hours. All transfer requests are subject to approval by the Dean of the Graduate School, and grades transferred fall under the current deficiency point system.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.03        Assigning advisers or mentors to advisees/mentees

When undergraduate students declare majors, department heads should assign them academic mentors.  Sometimes the head may assign mentors because of students’ particular tracks or concentrations or to equalize duties among all faculty members.  For graduate students, department heads may assign advisers for similar reasons.

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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3.04        Advising process

Courses appear in Banner about a month prior to early registration.  Departments and programs should schedule advising weeks prior to the first day of registration and utilize sign-up sheets or online appointment schedules for students to reserve advising slots; however, advising often occurs daily.  When an advisor receives a student’s folder, that folder should contain all the relevant information on that student, including transfer credits and courses already taken.  Departments and programs should use advisement forms, which need to be updated continually by advisors and students.  At least two semesters prior to graduation, advisors and students need to submit an “Application for Degree,” which should be attached to a copy of the completed departmental advising form.  In that way, the Office of the Registrar can cross-check the advisor’s calculations.  Any advising software should be double-checked manually against the department checklist to identify the remaining courses for a student to graduate.  It is the student’s responsibility to deliver the Application for Graduation to the Office of the Registrar.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.05        Course substitution and waivers

As part of the advising process, advisors may need to substitute one course for another required course (especially with transfer students) or to waive a course or requirement.  Both actions require the appropriate paperwork, which must be signed by both the advisor and department head.  If the course substitution is in another field, department heads should call other appropriate department heads for advice.  In most cases, a course description is sufficient to justify a course substitution; however, a department head may request a syllabus for the course in question.  It is the responsibility of the student to provide the syllabus, especially if the course is from another institution.  All course substitutions pertaining to the core curriculum (Areas A-F) and waivers must be signed by the dean as well as the Office of Academic Affairs.  Course substitutions for courses in the major must be signed by the dean and are then forwarded to the Office of the Registrar.  Course substitutions and waivers for graduate programs are signed by the dean of the major and then the graduate dean.  For transfer students, course substitutions for Area B (Perspectives classes) are common.  For VSU students who have no transfer coursework, other VSU classes should not be substituted for Area B.  Those students must complete the institutional requirement of two PERS classes, each from a different area of the Perspectives offerings (there are seven areas within Area B).

Last updated November 2015.

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3.06        Transient permission form

Undergraduate VSU students may request permission to take classes at another institution to count as part of their program of study.  In most cases, the Transient Permission Form is appropriate for a student moving back home during the summer and taking coursework at a nearby institution.  The form is also used for students participating in study abroad programs at other institutions.  This form should generally not be used for students who are struggling in a particular course at VSU or looking to avoid a course or sequence of courses at VSU.  The process for approval and the Transient Permission Form can be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/registrar/forms/.  The form must be signed by the academic advisor of the student and the department head.  The dean’s signature is required for students on academic suspension or attending local colleges.  Transient permission may be granted to allow students to attend other local institutions if courses are not available on the VSU campus.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.07        Institutional credits for a degree

To ensure integrity of academic degrees awarded, particularly for transfer students, VSU must ensure that for undergraduate degrees, “At least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree are earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree” (SACSCOC principle 3.5.2), and “At least one-third of credits toward a graduate or a post-baccalaureate professional degree are earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree” (SACSCOC principle 3.6.3). 

Last updated November 2015.

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3.08        eCore, eMajor, and online institutions

When advising students, sometimes advisers discover that they cannot meet the needs of students through the on-campus schedule of courses.  Alternatives include online courses, eCore, and eMajor.  Department heads and directors should have reference information on these alternative delivery systems, and they should advise students that online courses taken outside the University System of Georgia must be from regionally accredited institutions.  Furthermore, students should be careful when enrolling in online laboratory courses to make sure the coursework will count at VSU or for a professional program.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.09        Applying for graduation

Students should apply for graduation at least two full semesters in advance of the anticipated graduation date. Students should pick up an application for graduation form from the Registrar. As part of the application for graduation packet, advisors must list all remaining courses students have for graduation (including any courses currently in progress).

Hints:

  • Be sure to check the year in which the student entered the University, and use the requirements listed in that catalogue. Students who changed their major or interrupted their college work for more than a year become subject to the requirements of the catalogue in effect at the time of the change or re-enrollment to fulfill degree requirements.
  • In listing remaining courses, it is wise to be as generic as possible. If, for example, a student may take one of several electives, list them all. If students take any course other than that listed on the application to graduate, the advisor must fill out a course substitution form.
  • Advisors must also give students a copy of the rubric used by the department to show the courses completed in the specific program. This rubric helps the Registrar and the students if this form is completed clearly and carefully, listing the semester in which each course was taken, the number of hours, and the final grade.

After students have submitted the Application for Degree to the Registrar, that office will evaluate the materials. Within a few weeks, the advisors and the students should receive a copy of the completed form, listing any other courses that the Registrar believes that the students still need to complete. If there are any questions or problems, advisors should call the Registrar. However, if the form has been submitted early enough, advisors and students still have enough time to make any needed adjustments to the students’ schedule.

Advisors should keep certain requirements in mind:

  • Students must have completed the requisite number of semester hours of academic work for their degree (a minimum of 120 for most undergraduate programs and generally a minimum of 30 for many graduate degrees);
  • For undergraduates, the academic work must include at least 39 hours of upper division work (courses numbered 3000 and above) with at least 21 semester hours in the major field;
  • Undergraduate students must have a minimum institutional GPA of 2.0, and graduate students must have a minimum 3.0 institutional GPA;
  • Undergraduate students must have a "C" or better in all major area courses and in the courses for a minor;
  • For undergraduate students, thirty of the last forty hours must be completed in residence at VSU;
  • For undergraduate students, no more than ninety semester hours from a four-year institution may be applied toward the degree.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.10        Requests to participate in an alternate graduation ceremony

Students may be permitted to participate in an alternate graduation ceremony (before their scheduled graduation date) in the following circumstances: 

1. The student is in good academic standing at VSU with a 2.00 or higher GPA for undergraduates and a 3.0 or higher GPA for graduate students.

2. The student has six or fewer hours remaining in order to complete the degree.*

*Some exceptions may be granted, including those for specific cohorts of students, particularly those who would usually graduate during the summer and those with internships or other required experiences that take them out of the area.

Process:

Students should complete the “Request to Participate in an Alternate Graduation Ceremony” form, available at the Registrar’s Office. This form must be signed by the advisor and department head of the student’s major (verifying that the students meet the criteria above) and then returned to the Registrar’s Office for processing. Students should remember that participation in a graduation ceremony is not the same as graduation. Once students have completed all degree requirements, their official graduation will be recorded as the next available graduation date. 

Last updated November 2015.

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3.11        Faculty expectations regarding commencement

Commencement is the culmination of the students’ VSU career, and many students often request that faculty members who have been important to their undergraduate or graduate experience be present at their commencement ceremony.  While faculty members may not be able to attend all commencement ceremonies, they should try to attend at least one per year.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.12        Early Alert System

Through the Faculty Portal, VSU instructors are able to access the rolls for all their classes.  During the course of a term, if a student is not performing well (excessive absences, failures on tests or other assignments), instructors should post a warning about the student so that appropriate interventions can be applied.

Last updated November 2015.

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3.13        Thesis and dissertation deadlines

If your program offers graduate degrees, please be sure that advisors and directors are aware of the thesis and dissertation guidelines, available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/graduate-school/thesis-and-dissertation-information.php

Last updated November 2015.

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4.00        INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS, CURRICULUM, ASSESSMENT, AND PLANNING

4.01        Professional accreditations

The home department is ultimately responsible for specialized or program-specific accreditation; however, the department should involve many stakeholders.  Include the Office of Institutional Effectiveness when drafting compliance standards and for proofreading before submitting a final copy to the accreditor.  A department can request data required for reviews to the Office of Institutional Research.  Numerous pre-built reports are already available in the VSU Data Warehouse.  Email a final copy of the self-study document and the returned final reaffirmation letter to assessment@valdosta.edu. Also, review periodically the Accreditations and Memberships webpage:  https://www.valdosta.edu/about/facts/accreditations-and-memberships.php.  Send any revisions or inaccuracies to assessment@valdosta.edu and vsucatalogs@valdosta.edu.

Last updated November 2015.

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4.02        Departmental process for program review

Each degree program (not the department itself) will be reviewed on a seven-year cycle.  The department will be required to complete a report and submit it for review.  The program review must be completed with representative members of the departmental faculty.  Ideally, the data used in the report should be collected by the department’s assessment committee, or a separate committee formed just for the purpose of completing this review.  The final report must be reviewed by that committee before submission.  The report must also be posted on the departmental website once it has made it through the review process.  The department should discuss the results of the program review as a group and consider improvements to the various programs of study.

Last updated November 2015.

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4.03        Comprehensive Program Review (CPR)

CPR is a set of procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs through a multi-level and systematic review.  Its purpose is to address the quality, viability, and productivity of efforts in teaching and learning, scholarship, and service as appropriate to the institution’s mission.  The review of academic programs shall involve analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data.  Institutions must demonstrate that they make judgments about the future of academic programs within a culture of evidence.  Department Heads and/or an appointed committee of faculty members are responsible for the research and construction of this document.  The Comprehensive Program Review Instruction Guide, timeline, and scheduled assessment review cycle from 2010-2029 are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/university-assessment-committee/program-review.php

[Reference: USG 3.6.3 Comprehensive Program Review Policy and several SACSCOC principles.]  Direct questions to assessment@valdosta.edu

As a component of Comprehensive Program Review and through regular, systematic planning, department heads should monitor academic programs which could be perceived as low performing.  USG may trigger these programs for special review and request a detailed plan addressing quality, viability, and productivity.  Consult your academic dean or VPAA for concerns about low performing programs.

Last updated November 2015.

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4.04        Curriculum changes

4.04.1    New courses and catalog changes

After their analysis of assessment data, departments and programs may decide to propose course revisions, new courses, or other curriculum changes to majors or minors.  The Request for a Revised Course, Request for a New Course, Request for a Curriculum Change, Request for Revised Catalogue Copy, Request to Deactivate a Course/Program, and Request for a New Program can be accessed at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/guidelines-for-new-or-changed-courses-or-curriculum.php.  The weblink also describes the approval process.   Proposals generally move from the department to the college level and then, for a graduate proposal, to the Graduate Executive Committee, and finally to the VSU Academic Committee.  Some proposals (for changes to the core or new programs) must also go to the USG system level.

Last updated November 2015.

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4.04.2    New Perspectives courses

If faculty are interested in proposing new perspectives courses, the process is a bit different.  Please consult http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/general-education-council/perspectives.php.

Last updated November 2015.

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4.04.3    Credit Hours policy

VSU’s credit hours policy is available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/sacs/documents/determination-of-credit-hours-policy.pdf.  All courses and proposed courses must conform to this policy.

Last updated November 2015.

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4.05        Assessment

Department heads and directors should ensure that the student learning outcomes published in the University Catalog for the major are regularly assessed.  A departmental assessment committee with an assessment coordinator can be a valuable mechanism for designing and implementing departmental assessment plans.  Institutional Effectiveness Plans (IEPs) and Institutional Effectiveness Reports (IERs) are due each fall, delineating the assessment plans as well as the results from the prior year’s assessment. Departmental or program classes in the core curriculum are assessed on a schedule established by the General Education Council.  Indirect measures (exit surveys of seniors, surveys of alumni, and self-reported student data on learning in the program) can certainly be part of a departmental or program assessment plan, but direct measures must be incorporated into an assessment plan.  Direct assessment measures can take the form of evaluations of capstone papers, portfolio requirements, ETS major field tests, or the evaluation of student internships by field supervisors. See the University Assessment Committee website for more information.

Last updated November 2015.

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4.06        Substantive change

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires institutions to timely report substantive changes in academic programs or with the institution itself.  According to SACSCOC, “substantive change is a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution.” This could include items such as:

  • initiating coursework or programs at a different level than currently approved
  • initiating off-campus sites or branch campus
  • initiating certificate programs
  • initiating joint or dual degrees with another institution
  • initiating programs or courses offered through contractual agreement or consortium
  • closing a program, an approved off-campus site, branch campus, or institution
  • acquiring any program or site from another institution

Often the above modifications begin at the department level and are approved at various levels such as VSU’s Academic Committee, Academic Deans, and Provost’s Office.  SACSCOC has an established timetable for providing written documentation/evidence for substantive change.  Documentation may include letters of notification, a prospectus, or memorandums of understanding.  Contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison at assessment@valdosta.edu to ensure SACSCOC documentation is assembled and reported throughout the year.  [Reference: SACSCOC principles and SACSCOC Substantive Change policy.]

Last updated November 2015.

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4.07        Academic program coordination

The Department Head is responsible for ensuring that an appropriate program coordinator/area head is identified for each major, track, concentration, certificate program, endorsement, or minor for program coordination, curriculum development, and assessment.  [Reference: SACSCOC principle 6.2.c]

Last updated January 23, 2019.

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4.08        Off-site course delivery notification

If the department plans to offer courses at a new off-campus site not previously approved, three offices should be contacted:

Last updated November 2015.

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4.09        Institutional Effectiveness Plan and Report

ln its Principles of Accreditation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has several requirements and standards that focus on institutional effectiveness, specifically that Valdosta State University engages in “systematic, ongoing, integrated, research-based reviews that result in continuous improvement” institution-wide. In 2008, VSU discontinued a standardized institutional submission of the annual report to allow for more flexibility through the institutional effectiveness plan and report.  The department head and/or program coordinator prepare(s) these documents at the start of each academic year, due annually by September 30.

The Institutional Effectiveness Plan (IEP) is completed for the current year, and the Institutional Effectiveness Report (IER) is completed using assessment results from the immediate preceding academic year. 

A multi-level and systematic review of these documents should begin with a department assessment committee, then a college assessment committee, the dean, then the University Assessment Committee.  The University Assessment Committee (UAC) is an executive body created to foster an atmosphere of continuous improvement in both academic and administrative areas.  Its membership consists of representatives from each college and each senior administrative division.  Every educational program, administrative support unit, academic support unit, research unit, and community/public service unit must prepare and complete these reports.  Microsoft Word templates for the plan and report are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/university-assessment-committee/program-review.php.   A member of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness or University Assessment Committee is available to meet with you individually or as a department to discuss strategies for assessment and preparing these documents.  Sample plans are also available.  Email assessment@valdosta.edu  for more information or to schedule a review time.  Any new centers or programs in your department will require an institutional effectiveness report and plan. [Reference: SACSCOC principles 8.2, and USG Policy Manual §2.9]. 

Last updated November 2015.

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4.10        Core Curriculum Assessment

True assessment provides data to help faculty see the overall performance of ALL students in core classes in order to discuss appropriate curricular or classroom changes to prepare our students to better meet our learning goals for them.  The General Education Council (GEC) monitors issues and administers assessment of general education and the core curriculum.   ALL core courses are be regularly evaluated according to a pre-established schedule.  The guidelines, evaluation schedule, and reporting form are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/university-assessment-committee/program-review.php or http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/general-education-council/.

For courses assessed in the fall, the report is due February 15.  For courses assessed in the spring, the report is due September 15.  [Reference: SACSCOC principles 8.2.b, USG Policy Manual §2.9, USG 3.6.3 Comprehensive Program Review Policy]

Last updated November 2015.

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4.11        Course syllabi in Digital Measures

Each term, all faculty (including part-time instructors) assigned to courses in Banner must upload their course syllabi.  Detailed instructions for uploading course syllabi are available online at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/sacs/faculty-credentials.php. Log in to Digital Measures through the Academic Affairs Faculty Portal.  Direct questions to the Faculty Credentials Coordinator or assessment@valdosta.edu. [Reference: SACSCOC principles 6.1, 6.2.a, 6.2.b]

Last updated January 23, 2019.

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4.12        Department Planning

Department Heads assume primary responsibility for developing the department’s strategic plan, and the program’s strategic plan should align to the following documents. [Reference: USG Policy Manual §2.9]

4.12.1    VSU Mission Statement

4.12.2    VSU Strategic Plan

4.12.3    Academic Affairs Strategic Plan

4.12.4    College Strategic Plan

4.12.5    Complete College Georgia Plan

4.12.6    Facilities Master Plan

4.12.7    USG Strategic Plan

4.12.8    USG Mission Statement for Comprehensive Universities 

Last updated November 2015.

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4.13        Faculty Credentials

4.13.1    Entering credentials and activities in Digital Measures

Digital Measures is a secure, easy-to-use online database for storing information about faculty achievements such as teaching, research and publications, service, and engagement.  Each term, all faculty and administrators (including part-time instructors and adjunct faculty members) will enter their scholarly activities including service.  Detailed instructions about uploading credentials and a FAQ on Digital Measures are available online at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/sacs/faculty-credentials.php.  Log in to Digital Measures through the Academic Affairs Faculty Portal. Direct questions to the Faculty Credentials Coordinator or assessment@valdosta.edu.  [Reference: SACSCOC principles]

Last updated November 2015.

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4.13.2   Exception to Faculty Credentials

VSU employs highly qualified faculty who must be academically credentialed in the teaching discipline.  A department head who assigns faculty to a course who do not meet this requirement must complete the required fields in the “Teaching Credentials” screen in Digital Measures Activity Insight. This ensures that VSU maintains documentation to demonstrate faculty competence in the area of instruction.  Directions for entering the faculty exceptions and justifications for teaching credentials are available at the Faculty Credentials webpage for download at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/sacs/faculty-credentials.php.  Guidelines summarizing acceptable academic credentials and teaching assignments are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/sacs/documents/academic-credentials-crosswalk.pdf.

Questions can be directed to the Faculty Credentials Coordinator or assessment@valdosta.edu.  [Reference: SACSCOC principles; SACSCOC Policy on Faculty Credentils]

Last updated November 2015.

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5.00        HIRING AND EVALUATION

5.01        Hiring

5.01.1    Introduction to hiring

Hiring faculty members, adjunct instructors, and office staff personnel is a critical responsibility for a department head.  It is important that the department head become familiar with the various documents and procedures for hiring personnel in order to hire the most qualified applicant and to ensure that all applicants are fairly treated.  The University has an online system for submitting requests to hire.  The online system known as PeopleAdmin is also an online applicant tracking portal for all applications coming into the University.

Departments may have needs for different types of faculty members: tenure-track faculty members, lecturers (non-tenure track but may be long term), limited term faculty (non-tenure track for assignments of no more than two years), and part-time faculty (non-tenure track faculty to teach needed classes during a term). In all cases, faculty should meet the guidelines regarding acceptable academic credentials and teaching assignments available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/sacs/documents/academic-credentials-crosswalk.pdf.

People Admin Site for hiring: https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/our-services/people-admin.php

Last updated November 2015.

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5.01.2    Process for requesting searches

The department head or director should submit requests to conduct faculty searches for full-time faculty positions early in the fall semester of the year preceding the academic year for which you are requesting to fill a vacant position(s). Requests should be submitted via the online PeopleAdmin applicant portal. See Recruitment and Employment Procedures at https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/policy/recruitment-and-employment.php and the VSU Recruitment and Selection Guide at https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/documents/hr-search-guidelines.pdf.

Last updated August 22, 2016.

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5.01.3    Part-time faculty

From time to time, department heads and directors will have to hire adjunct faculty.  Department heads and directors must seek the dean’s approval before hiring.  Prior to the submission of the semester schedule, department heads must complete the Request for Adjunct Faculty form and submit it, along with the Valdosta State University Part-Time Instructor Agreement Form and a CV for each instructor.  Once the CV is on file in the dean’s office, the CV will not have to be resubmitted each semester.  The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will request an official transcript as well.  Faculty teaching undergraduate courses must possess at least a Master’s degree and have at least eighteen semester hours in their teaching field or a closely related field.

The hiring of adjuncts is done on an as-needed basis.  If the person being hired is already a VSU employee, you will also need to submit the Extra Compensation request form.  Dips in enrollment and decreases in funding demand that we keep the hiring of adjuncts to a minimum, even though it is easy to argue that they provide us with the most cost-effective coverage of classes.

The current rate of pay for adjunct faculty is as follows for each course: $2,300 with a terminal degree; $2,150 for an education specialist degree; and $2,000 for a Master’s degree. 

In addition, part-time faculty loads must be in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Consult the Temporary Employees page on the Human Resources website for the most up-to-date information.

Contact Hours per Week

Class room/ Contact Hours

Prep/ Grading

Office/ Meeting Hours

Standard Hours Worked

FTE/ Effort

 1  Contact Hour

1

1.25

0.5

2.75

0.07

 2  Contact Hours

2

2.5

1

5.5

0.14

 3  Contact Hours  (e.g. 1 course)

3

3.75

1.5

8.25

0.21

 4  Contact Hours

4

5

2

11

0.28

 5  Contact  Hours

5

6.25

2.5

13.75

0.34

 6  Contact  Hours (e.g. 2 courses)

6

7.5

3

16.5

0.41

 7  Contact  Hours

7

8.75

3.5

19.25

0.48

 8  Contact Hours

8

10

4

22

0.55*

 9  Contact Hours (e.g. 3 courses)

9

11.25

4.5

24.75

0.62*

10 Contact Hours

10

12.5

5

27.5

0.69*

11 Contact Hours

11

13.75

5.5

30.25

0.76**

12 Contact Hours (e.g. 4 Courses)

12

15

6

33

0.83**

For updated information, consult the Classification and Compensation Office.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.01.4    Process for requesting staff positions

Hiring of staff is normally the responsibility of department heads, but it is important that the candidates meet at least several other members of the department.  Department heads will receive a list of eligible persons from the Office of Human Resources and should interview several who look like good possibilities for the department.  Following interviews, department heads request permission to hire a candidate. 

If a department head or director reclassifies secretarial staff, the funds must come out of the departmental or program budget. 

To review the hiring procedures, access HR Recruitment and Employment.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.01.5    Student Assistant and Work Study Student hiring

Department heads also play the key role in hiring graduate assistants and student assistants. Departmental secretaries likely will share responsibilities for hiring work-study students.   For information on hiring Student Assistants or Work Study Students, visit the Office of Career Opportunities Blazer Briefcase.

Last updated January 23, 2019.

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5.01.6    Graduate Assistant hiring

If your department has the funding to hire a graduate assistant(s), follow the procedures outlined at https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/graduate-school/graduate-assistant-supervisors-information.php

Last updated November 2015.

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5.01.7    Volunteer Release and Agreement Form

If your department has anyone working as a volunteer, be sure the volunteer completes the Volunteer Release and Agreement Form, available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/forms/VSUVolunteerReleaseForm.pdf

Last updated November 2015.

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5.01.8    Graduate faculty membership

All faculty teaching graduate courses must be members of the graduate faculty. Information, procedures, and forms are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/graduate-school/graduate-faculty.php

Department heads will review all applications for Graduate Faculty Membership, including applications for renewals, submitting evaluative letters and supporting documents to the dean.  The dean makes recommendations and forwards the applications to the Dean of the Graduate School, who awards membership with the recommendations of the Graduate Executive Committee.  Department heads should forward requests for temporary graduate faculty status to the dean.  These requests are submitted through Digital Measures.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.01.9    University and College Faculty Workload policies

The university has a faculty workload policy which serves as a foundation for each college’s faculty workload policy. Contact Institutional Effectiveness or your dean’s office for a copy of these policies.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.01.9    New Faculty Orientation

New faculty orientation is offered before the start of classes each fall, both for new full-time faculty and for new part-time (adjunct faculty).  Schedules and other materials are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/welcome-new-faculty.php.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.02        Evaluation

5.02.1    Evaluation of faculty

By January, faculty members submit an Annual Faculty Activity Report and Action Plan (AFARAP) to the department head via Digital Measures.  These forms should be both complete and reflective, with faculty addressing their progress toward last year’s goals and their proposed goals for the coming year.  Non-tenure-track faculty whose duties are limited to teaching complete only the “Teaching and Instruction” section of the AFARAP.  A copy of this form is available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/faculty-resources.php under “Academic Forms.”

Building on information provided in the AFARAP, department heads write Annual Faculty Evaluations (AFE) of all full- and part-time faculty members within their departments (a copy of this form is available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/faculty-resources.php under “Academic Forms”).  These evaluations, in general, should be completed by mid-February (see above website for recommended review timeline).  These evaluations should be frank and direct, with the department head listing specific goals and recommendations for all faculty.  The annual evaluations should clearly assess progress toward upcoming personnel actions, especially noting advancement toward goals stated in the previous year’s evaluation.  If a faculty member is performing poorly, the evaluation should describe a course of action a faculty member should follow to improve their performance.

Department heads assign “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory” ratings to each of the three performance categories (Teaching and Instruction; Scholarship, Professional Growth and Productivity; and College and Community Service) as well as to the “Overall Evaluation.” An evaluator has the option of assigning an overall “unsatisfactory” rating to any faculty member receiving one or more ratings of “unsatisfactory” in the individual performance categories.  The overall evaluation will have an impact on the candidate’s eligibility for promotion and tenure.  The department head distributes the AFEs to faculty, who sign the forms and return them to the department head.  The department keeps a signed copy and forwards another copy to the dean.  Annual evaluations should employ a wide range of evaluative input: SOIs, peer reviews, grade distributions, general student comments, etc.  Where appropriate, they also must note any recommendations from both pre-tenure reviews and post-tenure reviews. 

The Annual Faculty Evaluation may serve as a point of reference for the department head’s merit pay recommendations for each faculty member.  The criteria for determining merit pay should be made clear to all faculty and these proposed figures must receive the agreement of the dean before department heads inform faculty members.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.02.2    Use of Progressive Discipline

Occasionally, it becomes necessary to correct employee work habits or for the employee to call attention to inequities or other work-related problems he or she encounters. While these actions are normally attempted and accomplished in an informal, personal setting, it sometimes becomes necessary to pursue more formal avenues of corrective action and/or recourse.

Such actions should not be taken lightly or initiated indiscriminately by the employee or employer if we are to achieve a positive employee/employer relationship. Please contact your Dean and the Director of Human Resources for assistance before undertaking corrective action.

As with all university employees, faculty members, as well as staff and administrators, are subject to the use of progressive discipline as outlined in Section 8.06 of the Human Resources policy manual (http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/policy/employee-relations.php). 

Last updated November 2015.

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5.02.3    Student Opinions of Instruction (SOI)

Department heads or directors should ensure that faculty inform students of the need to complete Student Opinions of Instruction (SOIs) within the time parameters.  The questions on these forms are standardized across the university, but departments are free to add a limited number of their own questions.  Complete instructions for administering SOIs, including an Instructor Guide, are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/sois/   SOI results are usually available to department heads and faculty several days after the semester’s end through the SmartEvals portal (http://valdosta.smartevals.com/)

Last updated June 21, 2019.

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5.02.4    Evaluation of departmental staff

Employees are considered probationary for their first six months.  At the end of that six month period, the department head must complete an evaluation.  After that point, the department head evaluates the departmental staff annually, generally in the spring (March 1), using the “Evaluation Form for Administrative Employees” or “Evaluation Form for Staff Employees” available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/forms/.

 As with faculty, these evaluations should be frank and direct.  These evaluations also serve as the basis for the award of merit pay; again, staff members should clearly understand the criteria on which they are being awarded merit pay.  Recruitment and employment information is available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/policy/recruitment-and-employment.php#14

Last updated November 2015.

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5.02.5    Evaluation of student assistants/graduate assistants

Departmental staff may often oversee the work of graduate or student assistants.  For student assistants, the office should follow the guidelines in The Student Supervisor Handbook at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/student-employment/faculty-and-staff-resources.php.

For graduate student assistants, follow the guidelines at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/graduate-school/graduate-assistant-supervisors-information.php

Last updated November 2015.

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5.02.6    Evaluation of teaching effectiveness

While SOIs are a valuable measure of teaching effectiveness, they should not be the only measure utilized to evaluate the quality of teaching, especially for tenure-track faculty.  Peer evaluations are a required element most colleges Promotion and Tenure process.  See the “Resource Guide for Peer Evaluation of Teaching” at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/documents/resource-guide-for-peer-evaluations-of-teaching.pdf for further information.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.02.7    Merit pay recommendations

The Annual Faculty Evaluation may serve as a point of reference for the department head’s merit pay recommendations for each faculty member.  The criteria for determining merit pay should be made clear to all faculty, and these proposed figures must receive the agreement of the dean before department heads inform faculty members.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.02.8    Presidential Excellence Awards

Since 2004, Valdosta State University has presented Faculty Excellence Awards, highlighting the accomplishments of VSU’s faculty.  In the past, these awards were presented each year at the university’s fall convocation.  During 2014-15, because of a changed timeline for faculty awards offered by the University System of Georgia, VSU took the opportunity to revise and update our current awards and their application process into the Presidential Excellence Awards.  These awards will continue to acknowledge faculty excellence across our campus.  Faculty selected for this university-wide recognition will receive a monetary award and be acknowledged at the university’s spring convocation.  Some of these recipients will also serve as VSU’s nominees for corresponding University System of Georgia awards.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.02.9    Intellectual Pluralism and Academic Freedom

The University System of Georgia and Valdosta State University subscribe to the

Statement on Academic Rights and Responsibilities American Council on Education:

Intellectual pluralism and academic freedom are central principles of American higher education. Recently, these issues have captured the attention of the media, political leaders and those in the academy. This is not the first time in the nation's history that these issues have become public controversies, but the current interest in intellectual discourse on campus suggests that the meaning of these terms, and the rights and responsibilities of individual members of the campus community, should be reiterated.

Without question, academic freedom and intellectual pluralism are complex topics with multiple dimensions that affect both students and faculty. Moreover, America's colleges and universities vary enormously, making it impossible to create a single definition or set of standards that will work equally well for all fields of academic study and all institutions in all circumstances. Individual campuses must give meaning and definition to these concepts within the context of disciplinary standards and institutional mission.

Despite the difficulty of prescribing a universal definition, we believe that there are some central, overarching principles that are widely shared within the academic community and deserve to be stated affirmatively as a basis for discussion of these issues on campuses and elsewhere.

  • American higher education is characterized by a great diversity of institutions, each with its own mission and purpose. This diversity is a central feature and strength of our colleges and universities and must be valued and protected. The particular purpose of each school, as defined by the institution itself, should set the tone for the academic activities undertaken on campus.
  • Colleges and universities should welcome intellectual pluralism and the free exchange of ideas. Such a commitment will inevitably encourage debate over complex and difficult issues about which individuals will disagree. Such discussions should be held in an environment characterized by openness, tolerance and civility.
  • Academic decisions including grades should be based solely on considerations that are intellectually relevant to the subject matter under consideration. Neither students nor faculty should be disadvantaged or evaluated on the basis of their political opinions. Any member of the campus community who believes he or she has been treated unfairly on academic matters must have access to a clear institutional process by which his or her grievance can be addressed.
  • The validity of academic ideas, theories, arguments and views should be measured against the intellectual standards of relevant academic and professional disciplines. Application of these intellectual standards does not mean that all ideas have equal merit. The responsibility to judge the merits of competing academic ideas rests with colleges and universities and is determined by reference to the standards of the academic profession as established by the community of scholars at each institution.
  • Government’s recognition and respect for the independence of colleges and universities is essential for academic and intellectual excellence. Because colleges and universities have great discretion and autonomy over academic affairs, they have a particular obligation to ensure that academic freedom is protected for all members of the campus community and that academic decisions are based on intellectual standards consistent with the mission of each institution.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.03        Promotion and Tenure

Department heads supervise the procedures for personnel actions, the deadlines of which are established each year by the dean.  The promotion and tenure guidelines for all colleges are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/tenure-and-promotion-procedures.php.

Last updated November 2015.

5.03.1    University Tenure and Promotion Policy

At http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/tenure-and-promotion-procedures.php, you will the University’s Tenure and Promotion Procedures. University-wide pre- and post-tenure reviews as well as tenure and promotion policies are found in the Faculty Evaluation Model at Valdosta State University http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/faculty-resources.php.

A candidate for promotion and tenure submits a current curriculum vitae with his or her application.  Department heads should ensure that this document reflects a candidate’s full employment history at VSU, including all previous promotions.  For example, if a faculty member were hired at the rank of assistant professor in 1997 and were promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2001, the employment history should list these dates in the following style:

  • “Assistant Professor, Department of XYZ, Valdosta State University, 1997-2001”
  • “Associate Professor, Department of XYZ, Valdosta State University, 2001-Present”

On cover sheets for promotion and tenure applications, department heads should note that “number of years at institution” and “years in present rank and title at the institution” include the current year.  For example, if faculty were hired in 1997 and apply for promotion in Fall 2001, they are in their fifth year at VSU.  When completing cover sheets for faculty recommended for promotion and tenure, the appropriate response to items which call for recommendations of either the promotion or tenure review committees is “recommended.”  The department heads should complete only the “departmental level” item as well as the summary at the end of the page, the latter within the space provided.  They should provide both hard copies and electronic copies of cover sheets to the Dean. Tenure and promotion coversheets are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/faculty-resources.php under “Academic Forms.”

Last updated November 2015.

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5.03.2    Pre-tenure review

Tenure-track faculty will go through pre-tenure review during their third year of employment unless the faculty member received years towards tenure at the time of hiring.  Tenure-track faculty should complete the College’s Promotion and Tenure Application, which will be reviewed by the departmental promotion and tenure committee as well as the department head.  The review at the departmental level should note the candidate’s strengths and areas for improvement.  The application and letters from the departmental committee as well as the department head will be reviewed by the dean who will then schedule a meeting with the faculty member and department head to discuss the results of the pre-tenure review and progress towards promotion and tenure.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.03.3    Post-tenure review

Department heads should remind faculty that the submission of materials for post-tenure review is not equivalent to applying for tenure or promotion to full professor.  The preparation of a dossier for post-tenure review should not be a major burden for the faculty member.  As noted in the Faculty Evaluation Model, post-tenure candidates should submit the following items:
(1) a current curriculum vitae and copies of annual evaluations for the years under consideration;
(2) measures of teaching effectiveness including, but not limited to, written student ratings and/or peer evaluations;
(3) a self-assessment; and
(4) other documentation faculty may choose to present. 

Last updated November 2015.

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5.04        Retirements and Terminations

5.04.1    Dismissal of faculty

Two procedures exist for the dismissal of faculty, one for untenured faculty and one for tenured faculty.  Untenured faculty may be dismissed without cause according to BOR policy 8.3.4.2.  A department head or director does not need to provide a letter to the faculty member stating cause.  A department head or director does need to be honest in the annual evaluations should any red flags exist and always keep a paper trail with specific dates and incidents that have led to this decision.  Prior to the dismissal process, department heads or directors will undoubtedly have conversations with the dean and the provost regarding the termination, and the letter of non-renewal will be sent from the provost to the faculty member and must be within the specified timelines (three months prior to the end of an initial one-year contract, six months before the date of termination of a second one-year contract, or 9 months before the date of termination of a contract after two or more years of service in the institution).  Generally speaking, terminal contracts are for one year only, since anything more than this would set a precedent for future cases.  It is imperative that the letter of termination be hand-delivered to the faculty member or sent via certified mail, as this is specified in the BOR policy.

Tenured faculty may be dismissed for cause according to BOR policy Grounds for Removal (8.3.9.1) and Procedures for Dismissal (8.3.9.2).  These dismissals require documented discussions between the faculty member and the appropriate administrative officers, as well as a letter stating the charges.  Please read the BOR policy carefully and make sure that all of the steps are followed.  Here again, it is important to have a paper trail of attempts to remedy the situation prior to dismissal.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.04.2    Personnel files

While the official academic personnel file resides in the Office of Human Resources, department heads and directors should maintain a departmental personnel file for all faculty and staff containing all annual evaluations written since the employee arrived at VSU.  The file should also contain:

  • results of all other personnel actions, including pre-tenure reviews, post-tenure reviews, tenure applications, promotion applications;
  • applications for graduate-faculty status;
  • reports of any mediation services conducted by department heads or directors, involving both conflicts between students and faculty and those between or among professional colleagues;
  • copy of original employment applications;
  • commitment-to-memory memos, summarizing informal conversations and mediations.

Last updated November 2015.

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5.04.3    Emeritus/a Title

According to the BOR Policy Manual 8.3.13 Emeritus/a Title:

A president may, at his/her discretion, confer the title of emeritus/a on any retired faculty member or administrative officer who, at the time of retirement, had ten (10) or more years of honorable and distinguished USG service, provided, however, that the title of President Emeritus/a may be conferred only by the Board of Regents on the recommendation of the Chancellor (BoR Minutes, January 2009).

Deans and Department Heads: refer to VSU's Process and Recommendation for Emeritus/a Status.

Last updated January 23, 2019.

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5.04.4    Retired Faculty Release Form

According to the BOR Policy Manual 8.2.8.3 Employment Beyond Retirement:

An individual who has retired from the USG and is receiving benefits from the Teachers Retirement System, the Employees Retirement System, or the Regent’s Retirement Plan, may be eligible for reemployment on a part-time basis by the USG. Reemployment of USG retirees by the USG must fall under the following conditions:

The reemployment of a USG retiree must be approved by the hiring institution’s president. Institutions must submit a copy of their hiring and approval procedures to rehire USG retirees to the Office of Faculty Affairs.

A rehired retiree must have a minimum break of at least one (1) month between the effective date of his/her retirement and the effective date of his/her reemployment. The work commitment of a rehired retiree must be less than half-time; i.e., less than 49%.

The salary that is paid to a rehired retiree must be either:

  • No more than 49% of the annual benefit-base compensation amount that he/she was earning at the time of his/her retirement, with consideration for the average merit increase percentages that have been applied since the employee retired; or,
  • No more than 49% of the average compensation for the position into which the retiree is being hired based on the institution’s existing compensation plan, or, if not applicable, the average compensation of existing or previous incumbents; or,
  • No more than 49% of a reasonable market competitive rate for the position into which the retiree is being rehired as determined by the institutional chief human resources officer.

The salary that is paid to a rehired retiree must be consistent with his/her work commitment. (BoR Minutes, April 2002; November, 2007; October 2008)

Last updated November 2015.

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5.04.5    VSU Retirees Association

Membership in the VSU Retirees Association is open to all VSU retirees and their spouses.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.00        DEPARTMENT AND OFFICE ADMINISTRATION

6.01        Student Recruitment and Advertising

6.01.1    Home pages/brochures

Departments and programs should maintain a current website which includes contact information for faculty and office hours, course syllabi, advising checklists for the major/minor, a tentative two-year rotation of upper-division courses, and information on study abroad opportunities as well as student organizations.  To attract students, this source may prove to be as useful as a brochure.  If prospective students call for information, department heads and directors usually refer them to the webpage.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.01.2    Acceptable use of VSU logos and trademarks

VSU’s Visual Identity Policy states the following:

Purpose: The use of any VSU logo, symbol or wordmark must be approved by the Office of Creative Services. This policy applies to all printed materials such as business cards, stationery, and other university publications, as well as signs, video productions, exhibit materials, websites, e-mail, electronic messages, and all other types of communications. All design work requested by any campus office must be submitted to the Office of Creative Services for approval and the right of first refusal. All campus printing must be submitted to Printing & Copying Services for the right of first refusal. These conditions must be met regardless of funding source. The Office of Creatives Services maintains all visual identity standards for Valdosta State University.  Further information is available at https://www.valdosta.edu/brand/

Last updated January 23, 2019.

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6.01.3    Orientation/Open House/Recruitment sessions

Departments and programs have many other opportunities to interact with new and prospective students.  Open Houses are held on various Saturdays throughout the academic year.  At these sessions, prospective students and their families come to VSU and representative from all departments and programs should set up a display and answer questions. 

Orientation sessions run throughout the summer and at special times during the year.  These sessions, for both new and transfer students, are for advising.  On the day before the session, the department should receive data on these students, which should be incorporated into folders for advising sessions.  Once again, a faculty member needs to be present at each session.

Other recruitment activities will take place throughout the year, and the department head often may need to send a departmental representative to these events.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.01.4    MOUs and Articulation Agreements

MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) and articulation agreements are contracts between the university and other entities; as such, the only authorized signatory of these agreements is the President of the University, who can delegate that authority per VSU’s “Delegation of Signing Authority” policy at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/legal/documents/delegationofcontractsigningauthority.pdf.  If your program needs to develop (or renew) these contracts, you should work with your dean to ensure that the documents are developed appropriately and are vetted through Academic and Legal Affairs before proceeding for the appropriate signature.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.02        Equipment and Facilities

6.02.1    Work Orders

Departments often field complaints from faculty and students about conditions in classrooms, studios, and laboratories.  Problems with housekeeping, heating and cooling, etc. should be reported to Plant Operations (Work order requests available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/plant-ops/).  Problems with computers should be reported to Information Technology (IT Solutions Center 229-245-4357).

Last updated November 2015.

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6.02.2    Central Receiving

Central Receiving receives materials and equipment, inspects materials and equipment received for quantity, quality, and any special specifications as indicated on the purchase order; delivers the material to the ultimate consignee; receives, packages, and ships items being returned to vendors (usually in coordination with Campus Mail Services); processes losses, shortages, overages, duplicate shipments, and damage claims to the carriers with notifications to vendors; coordinates and consolidates delivery of materials issued from Central Stores to the requesting offices along with Central Receiving deliveries.

All packages and freight to be routed through Central Receiving should use this address, with the requesting department’s name on the attention line:

Valdosta State University
Central Warehouse Receiving
ATTN: XXX
2903 N. Ashley St.
Valdosta, GA 31602-0206

Last updated November 2015.

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6.02.3    Surplus Equipment

University departments are not to dispose of equipment, furniture, toner cartridge, or items, even if broken beyond normal recognition. Departments are to contact the Property Inventory Supervisor at 333-3735.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.02.4    Health and Safety Protocols

Environmental Health and Safety, a department within Public Safety, offers a variety of services for the campus community, including Biosafety, Pest Control, Right to Know, Hazardous Materials, Ergonomics, Fire Safety, and Environmental Compliance.  For more information or to place a Work Order, visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/police/safety.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.02.5    Service agreements

When requested by a department, maintenance contracts will be negotiated on equipment as it is acquired, or will be renewed annually on existing equipment. Maintenance agreements are contracted annually at the request of the department. This is not an "automatic" procedure. A common expiration date of June 30 has been established for all such agreements, at which time renewals will be accomplished for the coming year.

Usually, rental and lease contracts have the same cost and terms for each year of the contract. Some maintenance contracts can be agreed to with renewals at the same price and terms or with indexed cost adjustment clauses. If a department requests a contract with a specific number of renewal periods, and if the company agrees to the same cost and terms for each year, then the original service request form will be used each year to renewal the contact for the number of years on the original request. However, since the volume of use can change over time, each year the Procurement Office sends a renewal notice the campus so department can verify their estimated volume of contract usage for the next year. This will allow an appropriate amount funds to be encumbered each year.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03        Budget Management

Department Heads and Directors serve as budget managers for their programs.  A Budget Manager is a full-time employee assigned with primary fiscal management authority and approval responsibilities for their departmental unit. 

General Responsibilities of a Budget Manager:

  • Act ethically, honestly, and responsibly in managing financial resources and information
  • Ensure that appropriate training, access rights, and expectations are established for the department
  • Respect and protect the confidentiality of information acquired in the course of managing budget and financial responsibilities
  • Monitor the budget and initiate budget transfers to ensure there is no over-expenditure of funds
  • Utilize financial reports to monitor and manage financial transactions for assigned operational units, projects, or activities
  • Investigate and resolve unusual or incorrect transactions with the appropriate financial or administrative office
  • Follow institutional procedures and guidelines and provide accurate, timely, and complete information when approving forms, records, or documents used to produce budget, human resources, or financial transactions
  • Safeguard assigned assets and cooperate with the annual physical inventory of assets; Report any stolen property to Property Inventory Supervisor or Public Safety

The departmental budget manager’s signature is required to re-allocate funds within the departmental budget or to authorize expenditures from its accounts, and it is this manager who regularly reviews the departmental budgets and keep members of the department informed of the budget status. Routine or clerical tasks associated with budgeting or strategic planning may be given to others under the departmental budget manager’s supervision; however, ultimate responsibility for the budget and planning for the department remains with the assigned budget manager.

Budget managers should conduct periodic budget meetings with department or program members to review university and/or departmental enrollment, activities, and assess needs and priorities.  The frequency of meetings will depend on the complexity of the unit’s activities. In the spirit of shared governance and transparency, it is expected that all budget managers will meet with members of their unit at least semiannually to review planning and budget Items.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.1    Budget Cycle

VSU’s fiscal year is from July 1-June 30; therefore, budget managers must monitor and adjust budgets throughout the year. In the fall of each year, department heads should work with their programs and deans to plan the budget for the next fiscal year.  In the spring, department heads should work with the same groups to responsibly allocate all remaining monies. Georgia is a spend it or send it back state, which means that all unspent Education and General funds (Funds like 10xxx) as of June 30th must be returned to the State of Georgia.  Deadlines are announced beginning in February of each year, so please pay close attention to announcements.

The State’s budget process starts in the Fall when the University System of Georgia submits its budget to the Legislative Budget Office. Institutional revenue estimates and fee proposals are due to the USG for consideration in December.

The Board of Regents holds budget hearings with institutions in January or February. In April, the Board of Regents allocates state tax and lottery funds based the needs and missions of each institution, as presented at the hearings. Final budget proposals are usually due in May. Once the original budget is approved, the amendment process begins.

At VSU, the Budget Advisory Council is charged with making recommendations to the President to ensure the strategic allocation of resources in conjunction with Valdosta State University’s goals.  These meetings are chaired by the Provost and are open to the public. All are welcome to attend. 

In order to provide evidence of our on‐going budget planning for SACSCOC reporting purposes and to develop the coming year’s budget for consideration, each Fall the Provost will convene the Council, propose meeting dates, and announce the process and submission dates based on the projection of enrollment and revenues.

The Budget Services website (https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/budget-services/) includes links to the following information:

Original Budget Summaries (Current and Prior Years)

  • Portals for Faculty and Staff
    • OneUSG (HR/Payroll)
    • PeopleSoft Financials (Budget and Expenditures, Travel Reimbursement)
    • Financial Data Warehouse (Budget Reports)
    • Budget Analyst Contacts
    • Department Budget Tracking Worksheet (Excel Format)
    • Budget Estimate Aids
    • Elective Fee Request Form
    • Personal Services Estimator Worksheet (Excel Format)
    • Position Funding Request form
    • Year-End Checklist for Estimates
    • Budget Management information (https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/budget-services/budget-management.php)
Last updated May 16, 2019. 

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6.03.2    Budget Amendments

Reallocations of available funds from one budget line to another are through the budget amendment process. The forms and directions are available at https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/budget-services/budget-amendments.php

The budget is divided into two sections, Personal Services and Non-Personal Services.  Personal Services includes faculty and staff positions, summer salaries, and student assistants.  Personal Services Budgets are detailed on the “G-1” printout of the departmental original budget.  The G-1 shows the budget position number, name of the occupant, rank, and salary for the previous fiscal year and the current fiscal year for each occupied and vacant position.  Department heads and directors should maintain a history of faculty positions by comparing the current budget to previous budgets.  The remaining parts of the Personal section of the budget, dealing mostly with fringe benefits, are the responsibility of the Division of Finance and Administration.

Last updated May 16, 2019.

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6.03.3    Extra compensation

Faculty may be paid extra compensation for work above and beyond their normal responsibilities, such as teaching overloads or responsibilities under external grants.  Department heads and directors should be cautious about assigning extra compensation to junior faculty who may not be served well by additional teaching responsibilities that detract from scholarship and service opportunities.  Extra compensation requires the approval of the department head, dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The extra compensation forms and policies for faculty as well as staff may be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/forms/

Faculty may also apply to teach in the University System eCore program.  Such teaching is in additional to the normal university departmental teaching load and is paid as extra compensation. Faculty are limited to one eCore class per semester.  The department head, dean, and Provost/VP for Academic Affairs must approve a faculty member teaching an eCore course. 

Last updated November 2015.  

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6.03.4    Outside consulting activities, independent contractors, or guest speakers

When a department wants to bring in a consultant, independent contractor or guest speaker they must have all paperwork approved via the purchasing process prior to the arrival of the consultant, independent contractor, or guest speaker.  Work should never commence without proper paperwork in place and approved.  Payment is made via a Request for Payment form and should always accompany an approved Purchase Order.  Department heads and directors must complete a Cooperative Agreement Form and a Vendor Certification Form and submit this via ePro as part of the Purchasing process.  The consultant, independent contractor, or guest speaker must complete Vendor Information and Vendor Certification Forms.  All forms are located at the following link http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/financial-services/forms/welcome.php. The Cooperative Agreement and Vendor Certification Forms are located under the “Consultant Agreement Template” link.  If the consultant, independent contractor, or guest speaker is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, the department head or director should consult with the Financial Services Department in advance of the individual arriving on campus to clarify the tax implications and forms necessary for paying a foreign national.

Faculty consulting activities and annual disclosures of significant financial interests when faculty members serve as consultants to external sources, they must abide by the following Board of Regents Policies (BOR 8.2.15.1, 8.2.15.2, 8.2.15.32):

a) An employee of the University System shall not engage in any occupation, pursuit, or endeavor which will interfere with the regular and punctual discharge of official duties.

b) All full-time faculty, administrators, and other professional staff members employed by a unit of the University System are expected to give full professional effort to their assignments of teaching, research, and service.

c) Professional employees are encouraged to participate in professional activity that does not interfere with the regular and punctual discharge of official duties provided the activity meets one of the following criteria: (1) is a means of personal professional development; (2) serves the community, state or nation; or (3) is consistent with the objectives of the institution.

d) For all activities except single-occasion activities, the employee shall report in writing through official channels the proposed arrangements and secure the approval of the president or his designee prior to engaging in the activities. Such activities include consulting, teaching, speaking, and participating in business or service enterprises.

All consulting agreements, independent of their financial value, require prior approval from the dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  

Faculty members must disclose annually all external for-profit entities in which they have a significant financial interest that would reasonably appear to be directly or significantly affected by the instructional, research, or service activities of the member.  These annual disclosures must be updated throughout the year as new significant financial interests are obtained.  The Annual Disclosure Statement of External Interests must be provided by the faculty member to the Director of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration on or before April 1 of each year.  A copy will be forwarded as part of the faculty review procedure to the appropriate dean. The Annual Disclosure Statement of External Interests is located at OSPRA's forms page.  Additional information pertaining to the policy on Conflict of Interest can be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/graduate-school/research/office-of-sponsored-programs-research-administration/conflict-of-interest.php

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.5    Student assistants

Student assistants also are paid from Personal Services.  Department heads need to calculate the number of hours that can be supported (available funds divided by the hourly rate, (currently $7.25/hour) and schedule student assistants accordingly.  The Student Assistant Handbook can be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/student-employment/student-resources.php, and the Student Supervisor Handbook can be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/student-employment/faculty-and-staff-resources.php

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.6    Approval of timesheets and request for leave

Department heads and directors approve time sheets for staff employees through the online OneUSG portal.  Department heads and directors must submit their requests for annual leave and sick leave through the OneUSG for approval by the dean.  For more information, see https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/oneusg/

Last updated November 13, 2017.

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6.03.7    Travel

The Non-Personal Services part of the budget includes Travel, Operating Supplies, and Equipment.  The budget divides travel into Travel and Mileage.  Departmental and program budgets have limited support for faculty travel.  Some department heads and directors prefer to allocate these funds equally to all faculty members, while others prefer to prioritize such funds for those faculty approaching a personnel action for tenure or promotion. 

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.8    Request for authority to travel

A Request for Authority to Travel should be submitted electronically before the proposed travel.  A faculty member must submit the Request for Authority to travel whether or not they are requesting money for a conference presentation.  It is particularly important for faculty members to specify how classes will be covered.  The Request for Authority to Travel is available under “Travel” at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/financial-services/forms/welcome.php.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.9    Pre-paid registration

Faculty members can have their registrations for professional meetings pre-paid in one of two ways.  The pre-paid registration form or departmental purchasing card.  The form is available under “Travel” at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/financial-services/forms/welcome.php.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.10  Hotel/motel tax exemption form

State employees traveling on official business in Georgia are exempt from the Georgia Hotel/Motel tax (but not other taxes).  Employees should print out the Hotel/Motel Tax Exemption form before traveling, sign it, and furnish it to the hotel/motel at the time of check-in.  The form is available under “Travel” at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/financial-services/forms/welcome.php.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.11 Using a state vehicle for travel

If faculty members use a state vehicle, they must follow USG Motor Vehicle Procedures.  All USG employees who drive on institutional business regardless of frequency of driving and/or location of driving must receive annual training.  This training will allow employees to complete the required Driver Acknowledgement Form. Additional requirements are needed for those employees who routinely drive state vehicles.  If employees drive their own car, a rental car, or non-routinely use a state vehicle they must view the online video accessed on BlazeVIEW.  If employees routinely drive a state vehicle, they must take the Defensive Driving Course offered by Employee and Organizational Development.  Department heads are responsible for ensuring all faculty in their departments have successfully completed the annual Motor Vehicle training prior to driving state vehicles.

A state-issued fuel card is to be used to purchase fuel for state vehicles being used for state business.  The department manager (director, department head, or supervisor) to which the vehicle is assigned is responsible for placing the card in the appropriate vehicle and checking the information on the card for accuracy.  The fuel card for a vehicle is to be kept with the vehicle and used only for the assigned vehicle.  The card can be used to purchase only fuel for the vehicle to which it is assigned.  The card is to be used at the stations that accept the Wright Express/Wex card.  If the Wright Express or Wex symbol is not on the pump with the other credit cards accepted for payment, please verify with the cashier that it is accepted.

A personal identification number (PIN) must be issued to an employee prior to using the fuel card.  The Driver ID (PIN) is an individual six-digit number assigned to each person who is authorized to purchase fuel.  The number must be used when making a purchase.  The number must be kept confidential and a driver who forgets an ID number must contact the VSU Fuel Card Contact for a copy of it.  The number can be used with any fuel card assigned to any VSU owned vehicle.  The application for the Drive ID (PIN) can be found at: Fuel Card Procedures

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.12  Travel expense statement

Travel Expense Reimbursements are submitted electronically through PeopleSoft Employee Self Service.  FAQs for the travel expense module of PeopleSoft can be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/financial-services/travel/travel-faq.php. The mileage chart for Georgia, car cost comparison tool (for renting a car vs. driving your car), flight cost comparison (flying vs. driving), and per diem rates can all be found at the same page.  Travel expense reimbursements must be submitted within 30 days of travel.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.13  Reimbursement for travel of job candidates

Prior to the campus interview, candidates will receive an email from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs outlining the mileage reimbursement rate, the per diem rate, and hotels close to campus.  Job candidates must send an estimate of their travel expenses to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The candidate will then sign a candidate agreement form prepared by the VPAA’s Office before the campus interview.  Candidates are responsible for making their own travel and hotel arrangements.   Candidates pay for their meals during the campus interview.  All travel reimbursements for a campus interview are handled between the candidate and the VPAA’s Office with the reimbursement paid after the campus visit.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.14  Operating supplies

Operating supplies are funds for the operation of the department and are divided into several categories.  Department heads and directors are responsible for seeing that expenditures do not exceed the available funds.  Available funds should be expended for the purposes intended.  Operating supplies must be purchased through approved vendors of the University System of Georgia.  Department heads need to project expenditures so that the funds are expended by the end of the fiscal year (June 30).  To help Financial Services close out their books, most expenditures must be completed by April 30.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.15  Field Trip authorization

If courses require field trips, department heads should have appropriate faculty complete authorization forms, signed by faculty and department heads, who submit them to the dean for his or her signature.  Faculty should submit the authorization well in advance of the field trip so the required signatures have been secured before students depart on the field trip.  Students on these trips must sign the “Field Trip Authorization and Wavier of Liability,” available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/faculty-resources.php under “Academic Forms.”

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.16  Purchasing procedures

The policies and procedures for purchasing are outlined at: http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/financial-services/procurement/welcome.php. This link also provides a detailed discussion of purchasing card procedures.  A purchasing card should only be used by the individual named on the card.  A purchasing card issued to a department head or director should not be used by office staff or any other individual in a department or program.  Relevant forms for a purchasing card, tax exemption, or vendors can be found at the above link.  Original receipts must always accompany the purchasing card log.  Department heads and directors should consult with the VSU Procurement Office if they have any questions or concerns.

Last updated Aug. 7, 2018.

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6.03.17  Soliciting Donations for Colleges or Departments           

Any outside solicitation for donations from individuals or organizations should be cleared through your dean, who will also consult with University Advancement. 

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.18  In-kind Donations

If department heads are approached about gifts or in-kind donations, they should consult with their deans and follow the stipulations of University Advancement’s “Gift Acceptance Policy” (https://valdosta.policytech.com/docview/?docid=31&public=true) 

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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6.03.19  Faculty Scholarship

Faculty members may apply for university funding for faculty scholarship in three different categories: Faculty Scholarship for Instructional Improvement; Course/Curriculum Development; Professional Presentation (In the case of co-authored presentations only one award can be received.).  Instructions and applications are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/faculty-scholarship/.  Applications for Faculty International Activities are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/international-programs/dept/vsu-global/vsu-internationalization-fund.php.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.20  Resources for new full-time tenure track faculty

New full-time tenure track faculty members may apply for up to $3,000 for professional development.  Faculty should apply using the “First Year Resources Application Form for Tenure Track Faculty” form available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/faculty-resources.php under Faculty Development, Research, and Scholarship.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.21  Faculty Seed Research Grants

Faculty Seed Research Grants information and applications are available at the Faculty Research Seed Grants page.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.22  Departmental library allocations

VSU bases departmental library budgets on a formula that is partially enrollment driven.  In the fall semester, the University Librarian notifies departments of funds available for acquisitions.  Departmental liaisons should consult with departmental faculty and then work with the library on the acquisition of new materials.  Any additions or deletions of periodicals are effective the following July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year.  All library funds must be expended by the announced deadline, usually early in the spring semester.  Library contingency funds are available for new programs and for special projects.  Applications for these funds are due in the fall semester.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.23  VSU Foundation Accounts

Department heads and directors will periodically receive reports on departmental and program accounts from the VSU Foundation.  Accounts may be discretionary accounts (for any legal expenditure), scholarship accounts (for departmental or other scholarships), or designated accounts (for spending in accord with the wishes of the donors).  Departmental or program reimbursements for expenditures are made through a VSU Foundation Check Request form (with original receipts), which must be signed by the dean, and the form is then forwarded to the VSU Foundation.  Check and deposit requests are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/advancement/vsu-foundation/.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.24  Grants and Contracts

The website of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/graduate-school/research/office-of-sponsored-programs-research-administration/ provides information about procedures for grants and contracts.  The above link provides information on proposal writing, grants management, and policies and procedures.  Faculty members should confer with their department heads or director early in the grant-preparation process.  The principle investigator and department head must discuss and spell out in detail all commitments (matching funds, load reassignments, space, etc.) that the institution would be called upon to furnish if the grant is funded.  As noted previously in this handbook, the Faculty Research Seed Grant program is outlined at the website for the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration. 

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.25  VSU grants for faculty development

Faculty Scholarship Grants are available for professional presentations, course/ curriculum development, and instructional improvement.  Faculty may apply for funding via the appropriate forms which must be approved by department heads and forwarded to the dean.  The general guidelines and forms for Faculty Scholarship Grants are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/faculty-scholarship/.

Funds are also available for first-year tenure-track faculty for faculty development.  First-year faculty are eligible for funds for academic equipment, professional travel, a course reassignment, or other expenses related to teaching or scholarship.  Faculty should apply using the “First Year Resources Application Form for Tenure Track Faculty” form available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/faculty-resources.php under Faculty Development, Research, and Scholarship. Faculty Research Seed Grants (FRSG) are available through the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration.  FRSG guidelines and forms are available at Faculty Research Seed Grants.

Faculty development funds are also available through the Faculty Internationalization Fund (FIF) in the Center for International Programs.  FIF supports faculty travel abroad for academic exchanges, program development, professional enrichment activities, and other international activities.  Information and forms are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/international-programs/dept/vsu-global/vsu-internationalization-fund.php.

Faculty receiving approval for travel grants must submit a Request for Authority to Travel.

VSU’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) offers opportunities for faculty development, either as faculty fellows or through pedagogical innovation grants.  More information is available at https://www.valdosta.edu/celt/

Last updated November 2015.

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6.03.26  Summer terms and salaries

Assignment of summer courses may be difficult because summer budgets usually are limited.   Also, when faculty announce definite retirement plans, many departments try to accommodate them with summer teaching, which can increase their retirement base.  Department heads and directors should refer to their departmental policies and procedures manuals for departmental policies on assignments of summer teaching.  They should follow these guidelines closely and ask annually if their departments would like to revisit them.  VSU does not guarantee summer teaching.  Summer courses must meet the minimum enrollment targets of 20 students in a lower-division course, 15 in an upper-division course, and 10 for a graduate course.  Faculty must be notified that summer courses below these thresholds are subject to cancellation.  Department heads and directors can add classes to the summer schedule if they can demonstrate enrollment demand. 

As department heads develop the summer teaching schedule (usually late in the fall), they need to be aware of the funds available to the department and work closely with the dean on the summer budget.  Faculty are paid 10% of their academic-year salary for each three-credit hour summer course.  Courses taught by department heads and directors do not count against a department’s or program’s summer budget because these administrators are on twelve-month contracts. 

Last updated November 2015.

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6.04        Office Administration

6.04.1    Departmental committees

Department heads and directors establish departmental committees, both standing and ad hoc, the chairs of which may be elected or appointed.  All departments must establish Promotion and Tenure/Faculty Evaluation Committee as well as Assessment Committees.  The former must include all tenured faculty in a department.  The latter should collect data continually, based on a department’s assessment plan, and annually recommend changes based on data. 

Last updated November 2015.

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6.04.2    Departmental bylaws

Some departments may choose to develop a set of bylaws that govern the actions of the departmental faculty.  These bylaws are self-imposed by the faculty in the department and as such they do not govern the actions of the department head/director or the dean.  In addition, the departmental bylaws do not supersede anything in this handbook or the VSU Statutes.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.04.3    Assignment of offices

Office assignments can change from year to year.  As faculty and staff leave and others are hired, department heads and directors must reassign offices.  They should establish consistent procedures of these reassignments.  Most, of course, base these decisions on faculty seniority and are ever mindful of such considerations as office size, accessibility, and availability of windows.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.04.4    Emergency procedures

The Valdosta State University Emergency App gives a brief overview of what actions students, faculty and staff should take during various types of emergencies, including severe weather, medical emergencies, active shooter, and fires.  You can download the app as well as the emergency guide at http://www.valdosta.edu/student/emergency/welcome.php.

Faculty, staff, and students may also sign up to receive campus alerts by following the instructions at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/police/alert/.

Departments may want to develop their own emergency protocols as well.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.04.5    Emergency contact roster for employees (phone tree)

While VSU has its own emergency notification system, the department may also want to keep emergency contact information for all employees.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.04.6    Developing forms

While the university has a variety of forms for a number of functions, departments may occasionally want to develop some forms for internal tasks.   You should share any internal forms with your dean.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.04.7    Holiday schedule

Human Resources recommends the VSU holiday schedule to the University President for approval.  The yearly holiday schedule is available on the Human Resources and Employee Development website (http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/current-employees/holiday-schedule.php).  Remember that the university (and the department) may be open at times when university classes are not in session.  Department heads must assure that the office is open during those times.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.04.8    Technology and portals

Many of VSU’s automated systems are now available through “My VSU” (https://myvsu.valdosta.edu/portals/).  Through this page (and with one password), faculty and staff can access PeopleSoft Travel and Expenses, ePro, ADP/Shared Services, Employee Training, Banner, and BlazeVIEW.  For further information, see the “Computer Systems Quick Reference Guide” in the Appendix.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.04.9    Managing written student complaints

Department heads often hear a variety of student complaints, both verbally and in writing.  Listen carefully to all student concerns and address them as needed.  If corresponding with a student, the message should be polite, brief, and address only the issue raised.  Remember that all correspondence is subject to Open Records requests. Most academic issues should be resolved within the department but could also be referred to the dean.  An issue of harassment or discrimination should be referred to the Office of Social Equity (http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/social-equity/filing-complaint.php).

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05.10  Signature delegation policy

The Delegation of Contract Signing Authority is available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/legal/documents/delegationofcontractsigningauthority.pdf.  Department heads are not delegated to sign agreements with outside organizations.  However, as department head and budget managers, they are authorized to sign a variety of forms.  If they must be out of the office for an extended period, they should delegate someone to sign needed paperwork in their absence.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05        Faculty and Staff Policies

6.05.1    Human Resources Policies (FMLA, disability)

Faculty or staff in your departments may need accommodations because of a disability or may need to take Family and Medical Leave (FMLA).  Forms and information are available on the Human Resources website (http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/forms/).  Consult with Human Resources for the appropriate procedures.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05.2    Reassigned time

Reassigned time may be available for academic activities leading to the publication of refereed articles, juried/professionally displayed products, and books by tenured and tenure track faculty. The scholarly product(s) should be submitted no later than one year from the award date to the Department Head/Director.  This program is not designed for reassignment for administrative, teaching, or service activities.  All approvals are contingent upon available personnel resources to cover instruction. The form is available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/faculty-resources.php under “Academic Forms.”

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05.3    Leave with pay

In accordance with policy of the Board of Regents, academic leave (referred to as Educational and Professional Leave in Board policy) of one year or less, with or without pay may be granted by the president and reported to the Chancellor.

The policy of the Board is that the leave is granted for only “the purposes of promoting scholarly work and encouraging professional development” (Board of Regents Policy Manual §8.2.7.4).

Academic leave at Valdosta State University will be awarded in accordance with board practice of awarding one semester of leave with full pay and two semesters of leave with half pay.  An additional year without pay may be granted with justification endorsed by the department chair, dean, and provost with the approval of the President; additionally, academic leaves of more than one year require the approval of the Chancellor of the USG or her/his designee.

The full policy, the application form, and timeline are available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/academic-leave.php

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05.4    Leave without pay

Any employee unable to return to work after exhausting all accumulated sick leave and accrued vacation leave may be granted sick leave without pay for a period not to exceed one year.  Additionally, educational leave without pay may be granted to full-time employees for periods not to exceed one year at a time for the purpose of encouraging professional development.  Employees may be entitled to military leave with pay or military leave without pay.  The various leaves without pay are outlined at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/policy/leave.php.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05.5    Sick leave

The University has established a sick leave policy allowing salary continuation for all regular employees who are incapacitated by illness or injury. Supervisors should impress upon their employees that sick leave is a privilege, not an inherent right to additional time off the job. Abuse of this privilege will be considered a serious offense and could be considered just grounds for termination of employment.

Employees should notify their supervisors immediately if they are unable to report to work due to illness. Those failing to "call in" might have the absence charged against annual leave or considered as leave without pay, depending upon their supervisor's recommendation.

Employees who have failed to call in or show up for work for three days may be considered to have abandoned their position and will be terminated for job abandonment. See Section 801.01 for additional information.

It is the policy of Valdosta State University and the Board of Regents to provide a means for university employees to voluntarily contribute sick leave to a leave pool to be used by fellow employees who have exhausted all leave and because of a medical emergency are in need of additional sick leave. Click on the Shared Sick Leave Program for additional information.

For the purposes of sick leave, faculty will be regarded as working a five day week with a workday being defined as eight (8) hours.

The policy provides for a sick leave accrual rate for general faculty employees of one day (8 hours) per month. Ten month faculty accrue ten days of sick leave each academic term. Faculty members working less than one-half time and temporary faculty members accrue no sick leave.

This accrual is based on continuous employment at one-half (.50 EFT) time or more and earned in an equivalent ratio to the percentage of time worked. For example, a regular faculty member working one-half time earns four (4) hours of sick leave per month.

Further information about these policies is available on the Human Resources website at https://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/C224/#p8.2.7_leave

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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6.05.6    Annual Leave

All twelve-month employees, including department heads, accrue annual leave. Faculty members on a twelve month contract earn vacation leave at the maximum rate of accrual as defined below:

  • 1 - 60 months of service: 1 1/4 days monthly, 15 annually
  • 61 - 120 months of service: 1 1/2 days monthly, 18 annually
  • over 120 months of service: 1 3/4 days monthly, 21 annually

Employees may accrue leave not to exceed the maximum of 45 days at December 31 of each calendar year.  Further information is available at https://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/annual_leave

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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6.05.7    Conflict management

Mediation of faculty, student, and staff concerns is another responsibility of department heads and directors, likely with very little warning.  Therefore, it is important to have strategies for managing these conflicts.  Many try to avoid making decisions or offering advice on the spot.  Time for reflection is important, and tempers may cool a bit.  One useful guideline may be the requirement that agitated faculty, student, or staff write down their concerns.  In cases that involve faculty evaluations or merit pay, faculty are likely to follow this procedure without prompting.  Department heads and directors should always keep a paper trail.  After attempting to mediate, department heads or directors must inform the faculty or staff members of their right to take the matter up the chain of command through the dean.  Problems involving a cross-listed course should include consultation either with the two relevant department heads or with the relevant head and director.

Mediation of student concerns and grade appeals will also emerge with little or no warning.  Normally, heads will need to mediate between a student and a faculty member.  Department heads and directors need to make sure that the faculty member meets with the student as part of the grade appeal process and the student must receive a copy of the faculty member’s response.  At all times students should be aware that faculty have final authority over grades and that administrators only can offer mediation.  Students also should know that they may ask the dean to assist in mediation, if necessary.  In fact, students are likely to start at a higher administrative level only to be referred to a department head or director.

VSU offers a Conflict Resolution Program which provides services such as conflict management training, mediation, and conflict coaching http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/conflict-resolution-program/

If both parties agree, mediation can be provided through trained campus mediators.  Furthermore, VSU participates in a system-wide consortium so mediators can be brought in from another campus.  If only one party is agreeable to mediation, conflict coaching is available.  Mediation through the Conflict Resolution Program does not apply to salary disputes, university policy, or criminal matters.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05.8    Conflict of Interest reporting

Valdosta State University complies with federal regulations regarding disclosure and management of financial conflicts of interest related to sponsored programs.   Federal regulations require:

  • Conflict of interest training of individuals (faculty, staff, and students) engaged in sponsored programs; 
  • Procedures for the management, reduction, or elimination of potential conflicts of interest;
  • Oversight and continued review of financial conflicts of interest; and
  • Public disclosure of information about individuals’ financial conflicts of interest.

http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/graduate-school/research/office-of-sponsored-programs-research-administration/conflict-of-interest-policy-statement.php

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05.9    Intellectual Property Rights policy

Intellectual Property, for the purpose of this policy, is defined as creative and scholarly works and inventions which have commercial potential and may be protected under the laws of various countries that establish rights called "Intellectual Property." This term includes patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, plant variety protection, and other rights.

The University shall require, as a condition of employment, that all University personnel, including visiting faculty and staff, agree in writing to recognize and adhere to this policy. Students and others working on research projects at the University requiring University assistance or utilization of University facilities also will be required to agree in writing to recognize and adhere to this policy. The full policy is available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/graduate-school/research/office-of-sponsored-programs-research-administration/documents/intellectual-property-procedures.pdf.

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05.10  BOR Policy Manual

The Policy Manual of the Board of Regents is the authoritative source of information concerning Board of Regents' (BOR) approved policies governing academic and student matters for all USG institutions (http://www.usg.edu/policymanual/).

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05.11  USG Academic Affairs Handbook

The Academic Affairs Handbook is the procedural guide for implementing BOR policies related to Academic Affairs. The purpose of the handbook is to offer procedural information for implementing Board policy needed by chief academic officers and chief student officers of the institutions of the University System of Georgia (http://www.usg.edu/academic_affairs_handbook/).

Last updated November 2015.

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6.05.12  VSU Statutes

The VSU Statutes establish regulations and principles for shared governance, explain fundamental governing principles, delineate the responsibilities and rights of each Valdosta State University entity, and guide communication among entities. 

Last updated January 23, 2019.

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6.05.13  VSU Policies website

All officially approved university wide-policies are displayed on this website. Schools and departments may post procedures and departmental policies on their own websites. The most current version of a policy will be found on this site. To the extent of any conflict between the information on this website and other University websites, the policy on this site governs. (http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/policies/).

Last updated November 2015.

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7.00          CAMPUS RESOURCES

7.01        Access Office

The mission of the Access Office is to create an accessible, inclusive, sustainable learning environment, where disability is recognized as an aspect of diversity that is integral to the campus community and to society.

Their primary objective is to provide equal access to campus programs and activities for all students while upholding the academic standards of Valdosta State University.  Services offered include assistance for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, assistive technology, captioning, and testing for students who need additional accommodations.  (http://www.valdosta.edu/student/disability/welcome.php)

Last updated November 2015.

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7.02        Hoonuit

Hoonuit offers video tutorials and workshops for faculty, staff, and students focusing on a wide-range of technologies and tools for free.  Log in through “My VSU”.

Last updated November 2015.

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7.03        Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)

The Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) helps investigate individuals and situations that could be potential threats to the safety/security of the VSU campus community.  The team evaluates these individuals and situations using appropriate intervention guidelines to minimize the likelihood of violent occurrences. We are made of representatives from various areas of within VSU community.

 If faculty or staff notice any worrisome behavior by a member of the VSU community, encourage them to fill out a “Concerning Behavior Report Form” https://publicdocs.maxient.com/reportingform.php?ValdostaStateUniv&layout_id=3). 

For further information about the team and the process it uses, visit https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/student-affairs/bit.php

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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7.04        Career Opportunities

Your department may choose to work closely with VSU’s Career Opportunities Office.  They can assist majors with career counseling as well as internships and cooperative education opportunities.  Professional Career Opportunities staff members are available to speak in person to your classes, student organizations, or faculty/staff meetings about available programs and services (http://www.valdosta.edu/student/student-services/career-services/).

Last updated November 2015.

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7.05        University Advising and Student Transitions

For all undergraduate students, professional advisors work through individual college advising centers.  Your department will have the opportunity to work closely with an advisor who will be dedicated to the students planning to major in your departmental discipline(s). (https://www.valdosta.edu/advising/)

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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7.06        Consumer Disclosure website

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires that postsecondary institutions participating in federal student aid programs disclose information from various administrative areas to students.  A collection of important weblinks and documents is available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/institutional-research/consumer-information.php

Last updated November 2015.

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7.07        Counseling Center

The Counseling Center offers a variety of services to VSU students.  All services are free and all counseling and consultation services are confidential.  Services offered include the following: Individual Personal Counseling, Crisis Intervention, Group Counseling, ADHD Screening, Educational Counseling, Consultation and Referral, Seminars and Workshops, and Alcohol and Drug Education.

If you or any of your faculty or staff are concerned about a student, a member of the professional staff would be glad to consult with you.  You can read more about the full range of services at http://www.valdosta.edu/student/student-services/counseling-center/our-services.php.

Last updated November 2015.

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7.08        Current Institutional Data

The Office of Institutional Research produces institutional summary enrollment factsheets each term and a Fact Book each year, available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/institutional-research/data-and-reports/

Last updated November 2015.

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7.09        Employee and Organizational Development

Employee and Organizational Development provides ongoing programs for both faculty and staff to orient, train, and develop them, thereby improving skill levels, promoting personal career growth, and optimizing performance.  These seminars, workshops, and other activities can help as you encourage faculty and staff to explore new areas.  The staff in this office will also arrange for departmental sessions.  Employees can register online for activities, and department heads can receive a list of activities completed by all departmental personnel (http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/employee-development/).

Last updated November 2015.

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7.10        Faculty Senate

VSU’s Faculty Senate is composed of faculty elected from all colleges.  Department heads should meet regularly with any elected Faculty Senators from their departments to keep up with items being considered by the Senate.  Minutes are also available at the Senate homepage (http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/faculty-senate/welcome.php).  Faculty members are also given the opportunity each spring to request membership on Faculty Senate committees.  Such membership can serve as university service.  In preparing class schedules for Faculty Senators or faculty on Senate committees, it may be useful to consider the regular meeting schedule of the Senate or some of its committees.

Last updated November 2015.

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7.11        Home Use Software

Employees and students are eligible to purchase selected software at educational pricing through the USG Software Resource & Services Personal Store.  Consult http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/it/helpdesk/employee-resources/employee-services/work-at-home.php.  USG students and employees are also able to purchased software from Microsoft, Adobe, SAS, Intuit, and other products at an educational discount from http://www.srs.usg.edu/

Last updated November 2015.

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7.12        Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)

In July 2018, VSU opened the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), located at 102 Georgia Avenue. This facility consists of a director and several Faculty Fellows who will encourage collaboration and special initiatives that focus on innovative pedagogy, research, teaching, and grant (external) funding.  Information is available at https://www.valdosta.edu/celt/

Last updated Aug. 7, 2018.

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7.13        Library (Library Liaison, GIL Express, ILL)

Odum Library offers a full range of services for both faculty and students.  Each department should have a faculty member act as a department coordinator.  This coordinator will work with Odum’s Library Liaison to the department.  A complete list of Library Liaisons is available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/library/depts/acquisitions/department-liaisons.php.

The faculty and staff page (http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/library/services/faculty-and-staff.php) provides links to all the services faculty may want to use, including requests for library instruction, Interlibrary Loan, reference assistance, space reservations, etc.

Last updated November 2015.

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 7.14        New Media Center

VSU’s New Media Center, located on the first floor of Odum Library, offers a variety of services for faculty and students; see the list of services available at http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/library/depts/media-center/services/welcome.php.  The Media Center also offers a variety of equipment available for check-out.  See http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/library/depts/media-center/services/equipment-available-for-checkout.php

Last updated November 2015.

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7.15        Organizational Chart

Contact your dean’s office for a copy of your college’s organizational chart. Contact Institutional Effectiveness for a current copy of VSU’s organizational chart.

Last updated November 2015.

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7.16        Quality Enhancement Plan

As an important component of our reaffirmation of accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, VSU developed a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), as described in SACSCOC principle 7.2.  VSU identified Undergraduate Engagement in Discipline-Based Inquiry as its QEP topic for 2010-2019. Information about the QEP is available at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/sacs/qep/.

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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7.17        Qualtrics

Qualtrics is a web survey and analytics tool which is offered free to all employees and students.  Individual departments should utilize this software and not purchase separate subscriptions for other online services such as SurveyMonkey.  For access, log in through the MyVSU Portal.

Last updated November 2015.

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7.18        Student Conduct Office

For student behavior that may violate VSU’s Student Code of Conduct, consult with the Student Conduct Office in Student Affairs (http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/student-affairs/student-conduct-office/welcome.php).  At this site, you can access the Student Code of Conduct, the online Student Conduct Incident Report, and the Academic Integrity Report Form.

Last updated November 2015.

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7.19        Academic Support Center

The Academic Support Center is a multi-faceted student academic support office offering several services to the students, faculty and staff at Valdosta State University.  These services include tutoring in the core areas as well as presentations in many academic skills areas including time management, study skills and test-taking strategies. In addition to traditional face to face tutoring, the ASC offers supplemental instruction for specific targets courses. The ASC is located in the Odum Library; its website is Academic Support Center

Last updated January 23, 2019.

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7.20        Public Safety

VSU’s Public Safety offers a variety of services for faculty, students, and staff.  

If an emergency arises in your department (either medical or safety), please contact the VSU police first at (229) 259-5555.  If further services, such as an ambulance, are needed, the police can direct those services to the correct building.

For non-emergency situations, call 229-333-7816.  For example, you can use this number for a police escort if someone is in a building late at night and wishes an escort to his/her car. The police also maintain the university lost-and-found.  People can file a lost-and-found report at http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/police/forms/lost-and-found-form.php.

Last updated November 2015.

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8.00          APPENDICES

8.01        Commonly Used Acronyms and Abbreviations

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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8.02        Computer Systems Quick Reference Guide

This document is intended as an overview of the accounts available to faculty at Valdosta State University. Steps for gaining access to the primary accounts utilized by new faculty, please visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/it/helpdesk/new/

Name/Use How to Access and Where to Find Support
DegreeWorks is an advising tool to aid in advising with electronic checklists, what-if scenarios, GPA calculators, advising planner, and notes.

DegreeWorks is accessed through Banner or the Faculty Portal.

Email degreeworks@valdosta.edu for assistance.

Digital Measures is a secure, easy-to-use online database for storing information about faculty achievements such as teaching, research and publications, service, and engagement.

From VSU Homepage, click MYVSU, then click Faculty Portal below the login box. Log in and select Applications/Portals, then Digital Measures.

Go to http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/sacs/faculty-credentials.php for handouts or email digital_measures@valdosta.edu

The EAS Portal is where you access Student Opinion of Instruction information.

http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/faculty-access-to-the-eas-portal.php

For helpful guide go to: http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/academic-affairs/sois/welcome.php

Galileo, Georgia's Virtual Library is a collection of more than 250 journal, magazine, and newspaper electronic databases covering many subject areas.

Go to http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/library/. When accessing off-campus, click the Anywhere Access link in the Main Menu on the left, then, log in with your BlazeVIEW username and password. After you have done so, click the GALILEO button.

This link takes you to live chat and other resources for help: http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/library/general/live-chat.php Call the Reference Desk at 229-333-7149.

VSU Wireless provides wireless access to the internet from any campus location.

Select VSU-StartHere in device network list. Launch web browser to connect via SmartPass Connect Wizard.   Log into wireless device using your BlazeVIEW username and password.

Contact Information Technology Solutions Center at 229-245-4357 or send email to solutions@valdosta.edu
https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/it/infrastructure/network/wireless.php

PeopleSoft is where you submit your travel expense for reimbursement and access GeorgiaFIRST Marketplace.

From the VSU Home page, select MYVSU, select PeopleSoft Travel and Expenses.

Contact Financial Services at 229-333-5708.
For help tips: http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/financial-services/travel/

Office 365 is the home for Valdosta State University email.

From the VSU Home Page, select MYVSU and log in, select VSU email.

Call the Solutions Center at 229-245-4357 for further assistance.

Qualtrics is a web-based survey tool available for use by administrators, faculty, and staff.

From VSU Home Page, select MYVSU and log in. Select Faculty Portal, log in and select Applications/Portals.

Qualtrics Page

Active Directory is the system that manages logging into Valdosta State University computers.

Use this link for instructions on establishing your account:
http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/it/helpdesk/documents/ad-creatingcomputerlogin.pdf

Please contact the Information Technology Solutions Center at 229-245-4357 or send an e-mail to solutions@valdosta.edu for additional assistance.
User Guides:
http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/it/helpdesk/vsu-accounts/active-directory.php   

OneUSG Connect is used to access your Pay Statements, W-2, Direct Deposit, Benefits Enrollment/Changes, Personal Address/Phone/Emergency Contacts, Request Extended Leave-FMLA, Military, etc., Request and Report Sick and Vacation leave.

Access from MYVSU, will see link to Access OneUSG Connect or go to
https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/oneusg/

HR related questions: 229-333-5709
Student employee access: 229-333-7574  
Training assistance: 229-259-5105
Password/Login issues: 855-214-2644
Payroll related questions: 229-333-5708
User Guides:
https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/human-resources/oneusg/

Banner is the Valdosta State University registration and advising system.

From VSU Homepage, MY VSU, Login, click link for Banner

Contact the Office of the Registrar at 229-333-5727 or resistrar@valdosta.edu for Banner User Name or Password issues. For helpful guides go to: http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/it/helpdesk/vsu-accounts/welcome.php

Blazeview/D2L (Desire to Learn) is the online learning environment for many VSU courses.

Access from MYVSU, login, click BlazeVIEW or http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/elearning/blazeview.php 

eLearning Department- 229-245-6490 or blazeview@valdosta.edu for BlazeVIEW related issues.
University System of Georgia D2L Help Center

The VSU Campus Alert system uses RAVE Mobile Safety to quickly communicate with students, faculty, and staff in the event of an urgent situation on campus.

You will need to make sure you have the following information in ADP under Personal Information, Phone Numbers - Add or Update your Cell Phone 1, Business (Department), Main (desk), Home, and Cell Phone 2 (for SMS Texting) numbers.

http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/police/alert/

Cascade is used to create and maintain departmental web pages.

Access from MYVSU, will see link to Cascade Server CMS.

User Guide:
http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/it/helpdesk/employee-resources/employee-services/cascade.php

File Sharing and Storage Solutions such as OneDrive, Filelocker, SharePoint, and Network Drives.

User Guide: http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/it/helpdesk/vsu-accounts/file-solutions.php

Last updated February 6, 2019.

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