5. Faculty

Section 5. Faculty

5.1 Faculty Workload

5.1.1 Standard Workload

5.1.2 Calculating Workload

5.2 Faculty Office Hours

5.3 Faculty Evaluation

5.3.1 Annual Faculty Activity Report and Action Plan (FAR)

5.3.2 Annual Faculty Evaluation

5.3.3 Student Opinion of Instruction (SOI)

5.3.4 Student Advisor Evaluation

5.3.5 Pre-Tenure Review

5.3.6 Promotion and Tenure Review

5.3.7 Post-Tenure Review

5.4 Administrative Evaluation

5.5 Part-Time Faculty

5.6 Faculty and Staff Professional Development

5.7 Merit Pay


Section 5. Faculty

Full-time teaching faculty members are responsible for performing diverse professional activities including the delivery of quality instruction to students, advisement of students, research, and service activities. Faculty members are also primarily responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum. Additional Faculty Rights and responsibilities are covered in the University Faculty Handbook.

5.1 Faculty Workload

The College of Education & Human Services prepares professionals for a variety of roles in educational settings and community agencies; fosters a culture of reflective practice and inquiry within a diverse community of students, faculty and staff; provides leadership in the improvement of the education, health, and well-being of citizens in this region, the nation and the world; and develops effective, responsive scholars and practitioners who use theory and research to enhance their work in a global, diverse, and technological society. Faculty productivity must be optimized in order for them to meet their responsibilities for promoting these activities of the COEHS. This workload model was developed to optimize the productivity of COEHS faculty. Assignments are influenced by program needs, student enrollment, and limited faculty resources.

Faculty workload encompasses a variety of teaching, research, and service activities. Standard teaching activities include face-to-face courses offered on and off campus as well as hybrid and online courses. Faculty members are also expected to assume other professional responsibilities such as advising, mentoring students, engaging in scholarly activity, performing service, and maintaining a minimum of 10 office hours per week. Teaching activities are assigned by the department head in consultation with the faculty member. In making workload assignments department heads must:

  • distribute workloads as equitably as possible in order to accomplish the mission of the COEHS

  • meet the instructional obligations of the department, college, and university, and 

  • accommodate faculty participation in research and service.

5.1.1 Standard Workload

Workload is defined by Instructional Credit Hour (ICH) units for teaching activities and Workload Credit (WC) units for other professional responsibilities. A faculty member in the COEHS must be assigned a total 28-31 ICH/WC units for an academic year.

5.1.2 Calculating Workload

A faculty workload is calculated by summing the total ICH and WC units from fall and spring semesters.

ICH units are calculated by multiplying the credit hours of each undergraduate course by 1 and each graduate level course by 1.4. Practicum and clinical practice courses receive ICH units but are not weighted.

WC units per semester are calculated as follows:

  • 3 units for tenure track faculty—research, service, and/or advising 

  • 3 units for serving as program coordinator 3 units for serving as dissertation/thesis chair or researcher for at least 5 active candidates—dissertation/thesis courses may not be counted in the ICH calculation. 

  • 3 units for supervising clinical practice (student teaching, internships, etc.)— 5-8 students--may not receive credit if clinical practice course is included in the ICH calculation. 

  • 3 units for supervising practicum experiences--15-18 students--may not receive credit if practicum course is included in the ICH calculation. 

  • 3 units for approved “supersection” 

  • 3 units for other departmental assignment—Dean’s approval required for more than one assignment credit awarded in the same semester or year.

This model was developed to allow department heads flexibility to meet the needs of their diverse programs and faculty.

5.2 Faculty Office Hours

Faculty members are expected to maintain a minimum of ten office hours per week when classes are in session (fall and spring). This on-campus presence helps promote professional interactions and dialogue around teaching, service, and scholarship and ensures that students have access to instructors/advisors. Office hours must be distributed over a minimum of three days per week. During summer sessions, faculty members are expected to maintain a minimum of one office hour a week for each semester credit hour of teaching load when classes are in session. Summer office hours must be distributed over a minimum of two days per week when classes are in session.

Office hours must be approved by the department head, posted on the faculty member’s office door, and a copy must be provided to the departmental secretary at the beginning of each semester. Temporary changes to posted office hours, due to meetings, appointments, etc., must be communicated to the department head and departmental secretary. Deviation from the required hours due to off-campus teaching or supervision may be approved by the department head.

5.3 Faculty Evaluation

The COEHS faculty evaluation process is designed to highlight the accomplishments of faculty members and to encourage faculty members to improve the quality of their teaching, scholarship, and service when appropriate. Procedures for evaluating the teaching, scholarship, and service of faculty members involve colleagues, administrators, and students. These procedures are established and maintained with appropriate input from faculty and administrators. These procedures are outlined in the VSU Faculty Evaluation Model, COEHS Tenure and Promotion Guidelines, VSU Tenure and Promotion Policies, The University System Policy Manual for Academic Affairs, and the University Faculty Handbook.

5.3.1 Annual Faculty Activity Report and Action Plan (FAR)

Using the Annual Faculty Activity Report and Action Plan, faculty members submit a summary of their accomplishments and their action plan to their department head at the end of the calendar year. The FAR is generated from the VSU Digital Measures Faculty Activity System. Therefore, faculty members are required to maintain their activities and action plans in the Digital Measures System.

The purpose of the action plan is to describe the objectives the faculty member anticipates achieving in the upcoming calendar year. It is a comprehensive outline of the activities the faculty member agrees to pursue in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. The plan, which is generated by each faculty member, is reviewed and approved by the department head at the beginning of the calendar year. If the plan is not agreed upon by the faculty member and department head, a meeting is scheduled with the Dean to review the plan. These plans may be revised during the year, after consultation with department head, to take into consideration any unanticipated circumstances. The accomplishments of the faculty member, based on the agreed-upon plan, are then reported as part of summary of accomplishments in the FAR at the end of the year. The results of the plan are taken into account when the department head prepares Annual Faculty Evaluations and recommends merit pay.

5.3.2 Annual Faculty Evaluation

From the accomplishments reported in Annual Faculty Activity Report and Action Plan, the department head completes the Annual Faculty Evaluation form that describes the faculty member’s accomplishments in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. Accolades, recommendations for improvement, status of action plan goals, and progress toward the next personnel action (pre-tenure review, promotion, tenure, or post-tenure review) are included in the Annual Faculty Evaluation. The results of the evaluation are discussed with the faculty member and submitted to the Dean. Following the Dean’s review the evaluation is forwarded to the Provost. If a faculty member wishes to appeal an evaluation, the process is initiated by the faculty member submitting a written justification to the department head. If the faculty member’s request is not supported by the department head, the written appeal may be forwarded by the faculty member to the Dean. The Dean consults with the faculty member and the department head to reach consensus. If agreement is not reached, the faculty member may continue the process by submitting the written appeal to the Provost.

5.3.3 Student Opinion of Instruction (SOI)

The primary purpose of the Student Opinion of Instruction (SOI) is to improve teaching and programs. The SOI is administered online at the end of each semester through the VSU Division of Instructional technology. The procedures for the administration, analysis, and reporting are found in the Online SOI Procedures and Timelines. The COEHS supports and encourages faculty members’ use of innovative teaching methods and considers multiple data sources when evaluating faculty members’ teaching, taking into consideration the research on validity and reliability of student ratings. Faculty members are also encouraged to use various forms of formative evaluation in their courses throughout the semester.

5.3.4 Student Advisor Evaluation

The College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) Student Advising Center deploys an evaluation during early advising for both fall and spring semesters. This evaluation gives students an opportunity to rate their advising session and the faculty member or Graduate Assistant that advised them during this time. Each faculty member can see his or her evaluations. These evaluations are used to improve advising in the COEHS Student Advising Center and within the departments.

5.3.5 Pre-Tenure Review

Faculty members and administrators in tenure-track positions are given guidance by their peers on progress toward tenure at the mid-point of their pre-tenure period through the Pre-Tenure Review process. Pre-tenure reviews are completed by the departmental personnel committee and submitted to the department head. The department head uses the committee feedback to develop specific recommendations and a summary of progress toward tenure. This formative feedback is shared with the faculty member and copied to the Dean. The Dean forwards the results of the review to the Provost. This process is described in the VSU Faculty Evaluation Model, COEHS Tenure and Promotion Guidelines, and the University Faculty Handbook.

5.3.6 Promotion and Tenure Review

Criteria for promotion are delineated in the Board of Regents’ Policy Manual, Section 803.08., VSU Faculty Evaluation ModelCOEHS Tenure and Promotion GuidelinesVSU Tenure and Promotion PoliciesThe University System Policy Manual for Academic Affairs, and the University Faculty Handbook.

Each department is responsible for having approved guidelines for gaining promotion specific for the department. At the beginning of each Fall term faculty members are made aware of the criteria to be applied to their evaluation for promotion and tenure through the Faculty Evaluation Plan and departmental requirements. Before promotion is considered, a faculty member should have three years of experience as an instructor, four years as an assistant professor, and five years as an associate professor. Tenured status is earned after a probationary period not to exceed seven years. To earn tenure a faculty member must hold the rank of assistant professor or higher. Faculty members are awarded tenure only after a rigorous peer evaluation of their teaching, scholarship, and service based on specific criteria properly adopted by the respective department, the COEHS, and the university. See the COEHS Tenure and Promotion Guidelines.

Lecturers will undergo third- and fifth- year reviews. Lecturers who have received a favorable third-year review may apply for promotion to senior lecturer during their fifth or subsequent year—detailed procedures are addressed in the COEHS Tenure and Promotion Guidelines.

Promotion and tenure portfolios are due to department head in September of Fall Semester. Specific submission dates and portfolio guidelines are described in COEHS Tenure and Promotion Guidelines. Recommendation for tenure and promotion proceeds from the departmental personnel committee and department head, to the COEHS Tenure and Promotion Committee, to the Dean, to the University Tenure and Promotion Committee, to the Provost, and then to the President.

5.3.7 Post-Tenure Review

Five years after receiving tenure or after the last personnel action, such as promotion, a faculty member’s accomplishments are reviewed by their tenured peers in the Post-Tenure Review process. Post-tenure reviews are completed by the departmental personnel committee and submitted to the department head. The department head uses the committee feedback to develop specific recommendations and a summary of progress. This formative feedback is shared with the faculty member and copied to the Dean. The Dean forwards the results of the review to the Provost. This process is described in the VSU Faculty Evaluation Model, COEHS Tenure and Promotion Guidelines, and the University Faculty Handbook.

5.4 Administrative Evaluation

Faculty members are provided an opportunity to evaluate department heads and the Dean annually through the Office of Institutional Research and Policy Analysis.

5.5 Part-Time Faculty

The COEHS recognizes the important contribution that part-time faculty members bring to the learning environment. Students can greatly benefit from the experiences of part-time faculty who link education to the real world and workplace. The university maintains a Part-Time Faculty Handbook and conducts a part-time faculty orientation to provide an overview of the campus, to describe university policies and procedures, and to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities. The department heads interview each part-time faculty member, the department assigns a full-time faculty member as a mentor to all part-time faculty, and part-time faculty are regularly evaluated by the appropriate department head. All courses taught by part-time faculty members are evaluated using the Student Opinion of Instruction (SOI). The following is the Board of Regents’ definition of part-time faculty as found in the University System of Georgia Academic Affairs Handbook.

Part-time faculty are non-tenured faculty employed less than full time at a single USG institution or at more than one USG institution and are subject to the following conditions:

  1. Are not accruing time toward tenure

  2. Are considered temporary appointees, requiring reappointment from year to year

  3. Are not the same as adjunct (courtesy) faculty appointments

  4. Are not issued contracts

  5. Are not eligible for USG benefits

A part-time faculty member’s employment cannot exceed more than one-half time for the year at a single USG institution. A part-time faculty member teaching at more than one USG institution must limit his/her employment to less than half-time employment across all USG institutions. Upon appointment at a USG institution, part-time faculty will be asked to verify in writing that they are in compliance with this policy.

5.6 Faculty and Staff Professional Development

Faculty and staff are encouraged to use various sources of assessment information to reflect on their performance and plan for their professional development. The COEHS and university support faculty and staff professional development by funding travel, sponsoring workshops, and providing leave with pay opportunities.

5.7 Merit Pay

Salary increases for full-time teaching faculty are awarded on the basis of merit as funds are made available. VSU policies and procedures for awarding merit pay are explicated in the VSU Faculty Evaluation Model. Merit ratings should be based on departmental evaluation procedures established in accordance with university policies and represent a consensus arrived at by the department head, Dean, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Criteria for the determination of merit increases will include teaching ability, completion of significant professional development activities (including the attainment of additional academic degrees,) promotion in rank, seniority, research productivity, academic achievements and publications, academic honors and recognitions, relevant professional achievements and recognitions, and non-teaching services to the institution.

Department heads are to submit a merit pay plan to the COEHS Dean by the last day of August each year. The plan must use the criteria described in the previous paragraph. The Dean may remand the plan to the appropriate COEHS committee for consideration of “fidelity of the process.” Once approved by the Dean, department and unit heads are responsible to convey in writing the method of evaluating the criteria for merit that will be utilized in determining merit pay increases. The Dean is responsible for communicating the COEHS merit pay plan to the faculty that report to the Dean.

The merit pay for staff will follow the same procedures as faculty. However, the criteria are determined based on the job description.

Faculty/staff should be appraised of their success in meeting these evaluative requirements throughout the year and as part of the annual evaluation from which merit will be determined. The faculty member may appeal the decision through the normal appeal process for faculty.

If upon merit evaluation, the faculty/staff member is not satisfied with the evaluation and wishes to appeal the merit pay recommendation, the process is initiated by the faculty member submitting a written justification to the department head. If the faculty/staff member’s request is not supported by the department head, the written appeal may be forwarded by the faculty/staff member to the Dean. The Dean consults with the faculty/staff member and the department head to reach consensus. If agreement is not reached, the faculty/staff member may continue the process by submitting the written appeal to the Provost (in the case of faculty members) or Human Resources (in the case of staff members).