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Compliance Certification Report
Core Requirement 2.8

Last Updated August 3, 2004
(static edition)

Core Requirement 2.8:

The number of full-time faculty members is adequate to support the mission of the institution. The institution has adequate faculty resources to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs. In addition, upon application for candidacy, an applicant institution demonstrates that it meets the comprehensive standard for faculty qualifications.

The Institution Certifies Compliance: Yes

Compliance report completed by: Audit Team 5

Statement of Rationale for Judgment of Compliance:

The number of full-time faculty at the University of Memphis is sufficient to support the university’s mission and to work toward achieving the goal of continuous improvement in quality. Although the university has no published standard for defining adequacy of faculty resources, this response defines adequacy of faculty resources to include the number of full-time faculty available to meet the university’s mission, evidence of processes in place to monitor programmatic needs, and an accompanying ongoing process to distribute faculty resources effectively.

The University of Memphis employed 828 full-time academic faculty [1] and 428 part-time faculty [2] in Fall 2003, for a full-time equivalent of 1,010. [3] In Fall 1998, the university employed 767 full-time academic faculty [4] and 500 part-time faculty, [5] for a full-time equivalent of 885. [6] During these five years the number of full-time academic faculty increased by 8%, while the number of part-time faculty decreased by 17%. Thus, the trend was for an increase in faculty resources through the employment of more full-time faculty and fewer part-time faculty.

Consistent with this increase in full-time faculty resources, the number of student credit hours taught by full-time faculty has increased slightly. Total credit hours taught in Fall 1998 were 229,069 (138,521 by full-time faculty), while in Fall 2003 the total credit hours taught were 226,380 (139,095 by full-time faculty). [7] Seventy-four percent of undergraduate classes at the UofM had fewer than 30 students. [8]

Another element in assessing the adequacy of faculty resources is the fact that the UofM has received and maintains accreditation for all accreditable programs, with the exception of Computer Science, which is preparing for accreditation by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in 2005. An element of most accreditation reviews is the adequacy of faculty resources; in some cases the minimum number of faculty members necessary for accreditation is stipulated. [9] Every seven years academic programs without accrediting bodies are reviewed by out-of-state consultants. These peer reviews adhere to standards similar to those of accreditation reviews, including an examination and assessment of the adequacy of faculty resources. The most recently published summary report regarding these reviews indicates favorable status related to the adequacy of faculty resources. [10] The combination of the 100% accreditation rate and positive peer reviews are evidence of the adequacy of faculty resources.

The University of Memphis also conducts an annual review of faculty performance that generates a “bottom-up” assessment of individual faculty needs and programmatic needs, assuring that faculty input is taken into consideration in the assessment of faculty needs and resources. [11]

Each college develops an annual academic recruitment plan based on requests from individual academic programs for either replacement faculty positions or new faculty positions that will enable the academic programs to attain their goals and objectives. These plans are submitted to the provost of the university. [12]  

The official SACS commission roster for all instructional staff, full- and part-time, demonstrates that faculty qualifications are appropriate and adequate to ensure the university’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate, graduate, and professional education. [13]

Finally, the audit team responsible for enunciating the university's response to this standard developed a survey that was distributed to deans, department chairs, and academic program directors. The survey focused on the adequacy of faculty resources at the University of Memphis, the processes in place to assess and distribute those resources, and actions taking place as a result of those assessments. The responses to this survey indicate that there are multiple processes (both internal and external) to assess the adequacy of faculty resources. Survey results also indicate that these processes have meaning and value in the decision-making process related to the distribution of faculty resources. [14]

Relevant Organizational Unit(s):

Office of the Provost

Supporting Documentation and Evidence:

[1] OIR Factbook: Full-time Faculty Profile, Fall 2003
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[2] OIR Factbook: Part-time and Adjunct Profile, Fall 2003
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[3] Number of FTE Faculty, Fall 2003
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[4] OIR Factbook: Full-time Faculty Profile, Fall 1998
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[5] OIR Factbook: Part-time and Adjunct Profile, Fall 1998
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[6] Number of FTE Faculty, Fall 1998
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[7] Credit Hours Taught by Full-Time Faculty, Fall terms, 1999-2003
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[8] Fall 2003 Undergraduate Class Summary
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[9] UofM Accreditation Schedule
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[10] UofM Program Reviews
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[11] UofM Faculty Handbook
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[12] Sample Academic Recruitment Plan, College of Arts & Sciences, 2002-2003
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[13] Faculty Roster

SACS Faculty Roster, Fall 2003

SACS Faculty Roster, Spring 2004

SACS Faculty Roster, Fall 2004

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[14] Faculty Resources Audit Group Compliance Survey Results
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