2012 Faculty Handbook
Chapter 2 - Academic Freedom and Faculty Roles
The following policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents on academic freedom and responsibility is applicable to all universities/colleges within the System. The statement in Article II on academic freedom and responsibility may be adopted by each university/college, or a university/college may adopt an alternative statement provided that the statement is consistent with the policies set forth herein.
University/college policies on academic freedom and responsibility must cite and specifically acknowledge compliance with the Board Policy on Academic Freedom and Responsibility (5:02:03:00). Likewise, university/college policies must embody and communicate clearly as a minimum all provisions, definitions, and stipulations of the board policy.
Academic freedom is essential to fulfill the ultimate objectives of an educational university/college � the free search for and exposition of truth � and applies to participation in s hared governance as well as teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth, and academic freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the faculty member in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning. Freedom in shared governance is fundamental to the development and maintenance of effective academic policies, national and regional accreditation, and shared responsibility for the redelivery of educational products and services to students.
Implicit in the principle of academic freedom are the corollary responsibilities of the faculty who enjoy that freedom. Incompetence, indolence, intellectual dishonesty, failure to carry out assigned duties, serious moral dereliction, arbitrary and capricious disregard of standards of professional conduct � these and other grounds as set forth in TBR Policy, �Policy on Academic Tenure at Tennessee Board of Regents� Universities, �Section P., may constitute adequate cause for dismissal or other disciplinary sanctions against faculty members subject to the provisions of Article III.
The right to academic freedom imposes upon the faculty an equal obligation to take appropriate professional action against faculty members who are derelict in discharging their professional responsibilities. The faculty member has an obligation to participate in tenure and promotion review of colleagues as specified in university policy. Thus, academic freedom and academic responsibility are interdependent, and academic tenure is adopted as a means to protect the former while promoting the latter. While academic tenure is essential for the protection of academic freedom, all faculty members, tenured or non-tenured, have an equal right to academic freedom and bear the same academic responsibilities implicit in that freedom.
|Professional Ethics and Misconduct in Research|
Unethical conduct in teaching, research, scholarship, or service constitutes a serious breach of academic integrity that undermines the University's scholarly and educational purpose. If substantiated, such misconduct may be cause for disciplinary action, including termination for adequate cause subject to the provisions of the University's policy and procedure on academic tenure. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other serious unethical or illegal deviations from accepted practices within a discipline. Further information regarding this issue may be found in the University's policy and procedure on professional ethics/misconduct in research.
|American Association of University Professors|
Founded in 1915, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is dedicated to facilitating a more effective cooperation among teachers and research scholars in universities, colleges, and professional schools; to promoting the interests of higher education and research; and in general to increasing the usefulness and advancing the standards, ideals, and welfare of the profession. AAUP works to defend academic freedom and tenure, advocates collegial governance, and develops policies ensuring due process. More about AAUP is available on the web at www.aaup.org.
Outstanding faculty are appointed to administer the University's academic departments in various disciplines and fields. Faculty holding appointments as chairs are considered to be academic leaders, and as such, often will be consulted by the provost and their deans regarding development and implementation of academic policy. Although chairs report to the deans of their colleges, the provost may consult them in many matters concerning academic governance.
A faculty member appointed to a chair's position will also hold a tenure-track appointment in one of the academic departments at the university. Tenure-track appointments are subject to the same rules and conditions applicable to all tenure-track appointments. Following the award of tenure, faculty members holding an appointment as a chair remain subject to the same rules and conditions applicable to all tenured appointments.
Faculty holding appointments as chairs may receive administrative salary supplements and other forms of fiscal and staff support for their research and/or other scholarly activity. When possible, faculty holding chairs are expected to continue to teach, maintain active research programs and provide service to the University and to the community. chairs will be evaluated annually by the dean of their college or school and by all tenured, tenure-track and untenured faculty members within their departments. Every five to seven years, the dean will conduct a review of each chair holder. Failure to continue to perform at a high level of administrative excellence could lead to removal from the chair, and the loss of the associated benefits accruing to the faculty member in his or her status as a chair holder.
The department chair occupies one of the most complex and demanding positions in the University, with widespread responsibilities to faculty members, students, and administrative officers. The position is filled by local administrative appointment following a search and selection process that involves the faculty in the recommendation of qualified candidates. University administrators who have responsibility for appointing department chairs should ensure that such appointments are judged acceptable by the majority of the faculty in a department, except under unusual circumstances. The chair's performance is evaluated regularly by faculty members in the department and by the dean at least annually; service in the position is at the discretion of the dean. Some of the chair's specific administrative responsibilities include:
The chair's faculty responsibilities include:
The chair's student responsibilities include:
|Chairs of Excellence|
Role of the Chair of Excellence
Outstanding faculty are appointed to fill the University's endowed Chairs of Excellence in various disciplines and fields. Faculty holding appointments as Chairs of Excellence are considered to be academic leaders, and as such, often will be consulted by the Provost and their Deans regarding development and implementation of academic policy. Although Chairs of Excellence report to the Chair of their home department regarding departmental matters, they often interact directly with the Deans and the Provost in many matters concerning academic governance.
A faculty member appointed to a Chair of Excellence will also hold a tenure-track appointment in the faculty member's home department or academic unit. The tenure-track appointment is subject to the same rules and conditions applicable to all tenure-track appointments. Following the award of tenure, faculty members holding an appointment as a Chair of Excellence remain subject to the same rules and conditions applicable to all tenured appointments.
Faculty holding appointments as Chairs of Excellence may receive salary supplements and various forms of fiscal and staff support for their research and/or other scholarly activity. Faculty holding Chairs of Excellence are expected to continue to perform at the same level of research and/or scholarly excellence that led to their appointment in a Chair of Excellence. Faculty members holding Chairs of Excellence will be evaluated annually by their department chair or the head of their academic unit. In addition to the annual review, the Provost will form a committee to conduct a more comprehensive review of the Chair's work every seven (7) years. The committee will include the Provost, Dean and Department Chair (or in cases where there is no departmental unit, the person who conducts the chair's annual evaluation). Documents submitted for review should include the Chair's original contract, copies of annual performance evaluations, an updated curriculum vitae, and a brief status report. This report should summarize the Chair's professional work over the previous seven years in light of expectations stipulated in the contract, any revisions which had been made in those plans over the intervening years, and the directions the Chair plans to take over the upcoming years in his/her professional work.
Each member of the committee should review the documents submitted by the Chair individually and then meet as a group with the Chair to conduct the planning and review process. Once the review is completed, the Provost will have responsibility for making the final assessment of the prior performance and future plans of the Chair based upon his/her consultation with the other committee members. Failure to continue to perform at a high level of research and scholarly excellence could lead to removal from a Chair of Excellence, and the loss of the associated benefits accruing to the faculty member in his or her status as a Chair holder.
Because of their experience in academics, faculty administrators have critical management positions at the University of Memphis. Their administrative responsibilities, however, do not preclude them from participating in the teaching, scholarship/research, and outreach/service activities of their departments. Rather, they are strongly encouraged to participate in departmental responsibilities as long as these responsibilities are compatible with their administrative duties.
The University of Memphis Faculty Ombudsperson is an independent, confidential and impartial resource available to the faculty to facilitate cooperation and consensus through education and mediation. The Ombudsperson is a designated neutral or impartial dispute resolution practitioner whose major function is to provide confidential and informal assistance to all faculty of the institution. Serving as a designated neutral, the Ombudsperson is neither an advocate for any individual nor the organization, but rather, serves as an advocate for fairness who acts as a source of information and referral, aids in answering questions, and assists in the resolution of concerns and critical situations. More specifically, the Ombudsperson engenders awareness and skill development in the areas of conflict resolution, communication, team building and civility. In a neutral and impartial role, the Ombudsperson assists all tenured, tenure-track, clinical, research, one-year and part-time instructors and teaching assistants to resolve complaints with the goal of promoting alternatives to adversarial processes. The Ombudsperson receives and seeks to resolve complaints, explains relevant policies and procedures, conducts or directs research and fact-finding, makes referrals to appropriate campus and community resources, makes recommendations for change, attempts to open avenues of communication among parties, and mediates between conflicting parties. As needed, the Ombudsperson makes recommendations to the Provost concerning policy and/or procedural changes that arise as a result of conflicts that have occurred.
The Ombudsperson maintains collaborative relationships with other University offices (e.g., Academic Affairs, Human Resources, Affirmative Action, Student Affairs). However, when legal and/or disciplinary issues arise, the Ombudsperson refers the case to the appropriate unit of the University. Moreover, the ombudsperson’s activities are restricted to the faculty and to teaching assistants; staff and student conflicts should be directed to the Department of Human Resources and the Office of Student Affairs respectively.
The Ombudsperson reports to the Provost.
Selection and Term: The Provost sends an All Faculty email inviting faculty nominations for the position of Faculty Ombudsperson. The Faculty Srnate will appoint a committee that will review the applications and identify acceptable candidates to the Provost. The Provost shall not select a candidate deemed unacceptable to the Senate committee. However, the Provost reserves the right to re-open the search if the Provost does not find an acceptable candidate from those forwarded by the committee. This process assures that no candidate would be named who is not at least acceptable to both the Senate committee and the Provost.
The Faculty Ombudsperson serves a one year, renewable term.
The Faculty Ombudsperson will annually submit a summary report to the Provost, which will be shared with the Faculty Sneate.
Contact information for the Faculty Ombudsperson can be found at http://www.memphis.edu/facres
|Faculty Grievance Committee||The Faculty Grievance Committee, consisting of nine (9) faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate, provides an avenue of appeal for faculty who feel mistreated in their relationship(s) with other faculty members or with administrators of the University of Memphis. In addition, the Grievance Committee provides a source of appeal for tenured faculty who feel they have been unfairly treated during annual evaluations. The Faculty Grievance Committee provides advice to faculty members bringing a grievance, decides to accept or reject submitted grievances, investigates grievances, mediates when called upon, and makes recommendations to the president of the university. In addition, the Grievance Committee provides a source of appeal for faculty regarding their evaluations only based on claims of violation of academic freedom or failure to follow the proper procedures in conducting the annual evaluation. Matters regarding the substance of the evaluation are not subject to appeal.|
|Graduate Faculty Status|
The University bestows the designation graduate faculty on individual faculty members following review of their credentials and recommendation by their colleagues. Applicants for graduate faculty status must show evidence of scholarly productivity. Once conferred, graduate faculty must submit evidence of continued scholarly productivity every five years in order to retain the status.
The graduate faculty support graduate programs by chairing and serving on graduate student committees, planning and designating graduate instructional programs, supervising graduate student research, participating in the design and review of policies governing graduate affairs, and discharging other duties critical to maintaining an effective graduate school.
The University of Memphis maintains four levels of graduate faculty: full, associate, adjunct, and affiliate. Only full graduate faculty members may chair doctoral committees. Only one adjunct or affiliate graduate faculty member may serve as a voting member on a master's or doctoral committee.
Graduate faculty membership is required to teach graduate only (7000, 8000 level) courses and seminars. A request from the appropriate department chair must be approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs for an exception to this rule.
Information on the requirements for graduate faculty status and the application form are available through the Graduate School's website at http://www.memphis.edu/gradschool/graduate_faculty/gradfactable.php
The Faculty Senate is composed of elected faculty members. Administrators participate as observers by invitation. The Senate's Constitution defines its purpose as follows:
|Faculty Senate Constitution, Special Rules of Order and Standing Rules|
The Constitution of the Faculty Senate can be found at http://www.memphis.edu/facultysenate/articles.php#Constitution
The Special Rules of Order for the Faculty Senate can be found at http://www.memphis.edu/facultysenate/articles.php#SpecialRules
The Standing Rules for the Faculty Senate can be found at http://www.memphis.edu/facultysenate/articles.php#StandingRules