The University of Memphis
SACS Home
 
Compliance Home
 
Educational Programs
all programs
 
    3.4.1
    3.4.2
    3.4.3
    3.4.4
    3.4.5
    3.4.6
    3.4.7
    3.4.8
    3.4.9
    3.4.10
    3.4.11
    3.4.12
    3.4.13
    3.4.14
 
undergraduate programs
    3.5.1
    3.5.2
 
graduate programs
    3.6.1
    3.6.2
    3.6.3
 
Faculty
    3.7.1
    3.7.2
    3.7.3
    3.7.4
    3.7.5
 
Library
    3.8.1
    3.8.2
    3.8.3
 
Student Affairs
    3.9.1
    3.9.2
    3.9.3

Compliance Certification Report
Comprehensive Standards 3.7.1


Last Updated August 31, 2004
(static edition)


Comprehensive Standards 3.7.1:

The institution employs competent faculty members qualified to accomplish the mission and goals of the institution. When determining acceptable qualifications of its faculty, an institution gives primary consideration to the highest earned degree in the discipline in accordance with the guidelines listed below. The institution also considers competence, effectiveness, and capacity, including, as appropriate, undergraduate and graduate degrees, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes. For all cases, the institution is responsible for justifying and documenting the qualifications of its faculty.

The Institution Certifies Compliance: Yes

Compliance report completed by: Audit Team 28

Statement of Rationale for Judgment of Compliance:

As stated in its mission, the University of Memphis is “a doctoral degree-granting urban research university, committed to excellence in undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.”  Faculty members’ expertise in teaching, research, and service contribute to this mission and the UofM is dedicated to attracting and retaining both qualified and competent faculty to accomplish its stated goals. Seventy-eight percent of the full-time faculty hold the highest academic degree possible in their field. [1] The UofM faculty includes Fulbright scholars; Emmy, Peabody, Grammy, and Jefferson awardees and nominees; and 16 filled chairs of excellence. Faculty are actively engaged in research and are recognized nationally and internationally for contributions to their fields of study. [2]

The hiring of faculty is monitored by central administration according to university procedures to assure compliance with Affirmative Action and SACS Guidelines. The procedures require that all full-time positions be advertised in publications and through professional organizations likely to be consulted by qualified individuals seeking employment. Position announcements must also be placed in publications serving underrepresented faculty groups. [3] Applications for open faculty positions at the University of Memphis submit appropriate materials to the chair of the search committee prior to the stated deadline. Application materials are reviewed by the departmental faculty. Applicants for faculty positions who are invited to the campus meet with faculty members, chairs, deans, and in many cases students.  
                                                 
Faculty appointments, and all conditions related to them, are made only by the university president, in writing, subject to approvals and policies of the university’s governing board, the Tennessee Board of Regents. The faculty hiring process is described in the UofM policy on Recruitment, Application, and Selection of Faculty. [4] In addition, faculty personnel policies are included in the Faculty Handbook. [5]

With its large metropolitan setting, the University of Memphis is able to supplement its regular faculty with professionals and artisans possessing outstanding academic credentials and records of achievement in such areas as health care, media, business, government, and the arts. Graduate teaching assistants, especially those in the university’s doctoral programs, also contribute to the university’s teaching mission while gaining professional experience in their discipline. These students either have a master’s degree or 18 hours of graduate credit in the area they teach.

Appointment of SACS-qualified adjunct or part-time faculty is approved by the department chair and the college dean. [6] Exceptions to SACS guidelines may be permitted for documented good cause, that is, notable professional experience in the field being taught and recognized expertise. These exceptions must be approved not only by the department chair and college dean, but also by the associate vice provost for undergraduate programs (1000-4000 level courses) or the assistant vice provost for graduate studies (6000-8000 level courses). [7] Graduate teaching assistants are appointed by each department chair and reviewed by the Graduate School to certify that SACS guidelines for teaching assistants are maintained. [8]

Faculty at the UofM also meet standards set by their program accrediting bodies. All undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the UofM eligible for accreditation, with the exception of Computer Science (B.S.), are fully accredited and meet the faculty standards of their accrediting bodies. Computer Science is preparing for accreditation review in fall 2005 by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology/Computing Accreditation Commission, ABET/CAC.  

Each academic department verifies that prospective faculty members possess the oral and written communication skills in English necessary to be successful instructors. [9] International graduate students who serve as teaching assistants must pass minimum levels on both a TOEFL examination and an institutional assessment of oral and written communication skills (SPEAK Test). [10]

Student evaluations are required for every section of every course (including summer sessions) taught by full-time faculty, part-time faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and staff who teach classes. [11] Students complete the Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS) survey in each of their classes at the end of the term. Faculty members receive an analysis of the courses taught along with comparative data for the department and college. [12] The results of the SIRS are an important tool used by the chair and dean to evaluate the teaching ability of a faculty member. Student evaluations also guide faculty in instructional improvement. Faculty members must include student evaluations with applications for promotion and tenure. [13] Information on SIRS can be found on the Office of the Provost website. [14]

SACS Rosters

The SACS faculty rosters are an outcome of a new administrative system,Academic Personnel Records (APR), developed at the UofM to bring together paper and electronic files from all offices on campus that maintain faculty records. A work in progress, APR will eventually include faculty data maintained by the Offices of Human Resources, the Registrar, Institutional Research, and Academic Administrative Services. In addition, a Faculty Credentials website has been established to allow online access to current information related to faculty qualifications.

Snapshots of the data contained within APR are included here as faculty rosters for the following three semesters: fall 2003, spring 2004, and fall 2004. [15] Rosters were reviewed for accuracy by department chairs and the Office of Academic Administrative Services. The reviews did identify a few isolated departures from SACS guidelines and these are noted on the rosters. The UofM responded with new approval procedures to avoid similar occurrences in subsequent semesters.

UofM and SACS Guidelines

a. Faculty teaching general education courses at the undergraduate level: doctor’s or master’s degree in teaching discipline or master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).

As verified on the SACS rosters, all full-time and part-time faculty teaching general education courses have either a terminal degree in the discipline, a master’s degree in the discipline, or a master’s concentration in the discipline. Faculty exceptions for general education courses must adhere to the same standards and procedures as all other undergraduate courses. Credentials of graduate teaching assistants are verified by the Graduate School for compliance with a minimum of 18 semester hours of graduate study in the discipline being taught.

b. Faculty teaching associate degree courses designed for transfer to a baccalaureate degree:  doctor’s or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline or master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).  

 Not applicable.

c. Faculty teaching associate degree courses not designed for transfer to the baccalaureate degree.

Not applicable.

d. Faculty teaching baccalaureate courses:  doctor’s or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline). At least 25 percent of the discipline course hours in each undergraduate major are taught by faculty members holding the terminal degree—usually the earned doctorate—in the discipline.

As confirmed by the rosters, all full- and part-time faculty have either a terminal degree in the discipline, a master’s degree in the discipline, or a master’s concentration in the discipline (78% of the full-time faculty hold the highest academic degree in their teaching discipline). [1] Credentials of graduate teaching assistants are reviewed by the Graduate School to certify they have at least 18 semester hours of graduate study in the discipline.

The report on faculty teaching baccalaureate courses (2000 – 4000 level) shows that most have the terminal degree for their discipline. [16] In just one area, nursing, during fall 2004, does the percentage of courses taught by faculty holding the terminal degree fall below 25%. In this discipline and for the 73 undergraduate nursing sections offered during fall 2004, 50 are clinical courses normally taught by M.S.N. faculty.  When clinicals are excluded, 52% of the remaining courses in the nursing program are taught by faculty with a terminal degree in the discipline.  

e. Faculty teaching graduate and post-baccalaureate course work:  earned doctorate/terminal degree in teaching discipline or a related discipline.

Faculty teaching graduate courses (courses numbered 6000-9000) must have UofM graduate faculty status. “The integrity of graduate programs rests fundamentally on the capabilities of the faculty. The policy regarding graduate faculty status is intended to ensure that student research and coursework are being directed by faculty members who are actively engaged in original scholarship and are current with respect to important developments in their discipline.”  [17] The university bestows the designation graduate faculty following careful review of credentials and recommendation by the department, the college Council for Research and Graduate Studies, the college or school dean, and the Graduate School. Guidelines and procedures for graduate faculty status are clearly prescribed at the UofM [17] along with the graduate faculty criteria. [18]

f.  Graduate teaching assistants:  master’s in the teaching discipline or 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline, direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations.

Courses taught by graduate teaching assistants are identified on the rosters.  Credentials of graduate teaching assistants are checked by the Graduate School to certify they have at least 18 semester hours of graduate study in the discipline. Additionally, all graduate teaching assistants are under direct supervision of a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline. Direct supervision of the graduate teaching assistants is often conducted via the course Teaching Skills for Graduate Assistants, which is offered in each college. Graduate teaching assistants who enroll in this course are supervised directly by the instructor of record who is an experienced faculty member. Supervision may include direct observation, individual meetings, and peer review depending on the program.  

Regular in-service training is also provided through a certificate program in graduate teaching skills offer by the Graduate School. Graduate students who hold an assistantship as a teaching assistant can elect to enroll in the four semesters, 12 credit hour sequence of seminars that comprise the certificate requirements.  The themes for the four semesters of seminars are: Technology and Teaching, An Introduction (1st semester); Enhancing Your Pedagogical Skills (2nd semester); Effective Methods of Assessing Student Learning (3rd semester); Advanced Technology in the Classroom (4th semester). Graduate teaching assistants are required to complete all requirements for each of the four semesters to receive the certificate.

The Graduate School sponsors an orientation for teaching assistants each year, prior to the first day of classes. The orientation covers policies and procedures relating to academic misconduct, assigning grades, accommodations for students with special needs, and information on sexual harassment and diversity. [19]

Planned and periodic evaluations of graduate teaching assistants are conducted each semester. Students in each course complete the Student Instructional Rating survey (SIRS) [20] as part of the evaluation for all instructors, including teaching assistants. The SIRS evaluations yield data allowing instructors to compare student evaluations to other courses at the department, college, and university levels. Additional evaluations may be conducted by the graduate coordinator in each department, the department chair, and the director of graduate studies for each college.


Relevant Organizational Unit(s):

Provost; Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Studies; Academic Deans


Supporting Documentation and Evidence:

[1] Total Highest Degree Received of UofM Faculty, Fall 2003
Return to narrative

[2] Faculty Awards

2004 Spotlight

July 2004 Awards

July 2003-June 2004 Awards

July 2002-June 2003 Awards

2002-2004 Award Summary

Return to narrative

[3] Examples of Faculty Search Plans

Mathematical Sciences

International Relations/Comparative Politics

Philosophy

Linguistics

Cellular and Molecular Biology

Return to narrative

[4] UofM Policy UM1511 Recruitment, Application, and Selection of Faculty
Return to narrative

[5] Faculty Handbook, Chapter Three, Faculty Personnel Policies
Return to narrative

[6] Appointment Form for Part-time or Temporary Full-time Instruction
Return to narrative

[7] Example of Part-time Exception Approval Form
Return to narrative

[8]

Example of Verification of Academic Credentials for Teaching Assistants

Example of Approval by Exception for Teaching Assistants

Return to narrative

[9]

TBR Policy 5:02:01:03 Faculty Proficiency in Oral and Written English

Faculty Handbook, Chapter Three, Faculty Personnel Policies, Language Proficiency

Return to narrative

[10] Graduate School Procedures to Ensure Proficiency in Oral English for Teaching Assistants
Return to narrative

[11] Information about Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS)
Return to narrative

[12] Sample SIRS Report
Return to narrative

[13] Faculty Handbook, Chapter Four, Tenure and Promotion, Faculty Evaluation
Return to narrative

[14] Student Instructional Ratings (SIRS)
Return to narrative

[15]

SACS Faculty Roster, Fall 2003

SACS Faculty Roster, Spring 2004

SACS Faculty Roster, Fall 2004

Return to narrative

[16]

Summary of Faculty Teaching Baccalaureate Courses

Detail of Faculty Teaching Nursing Courses

Return to narrative

[17] Graduate School Guidelines and Procedures for Graduate Faculty Status
Return to narrative

[18] Summary of Roles and Criteria for Graduate Faculty
Return to narrative

[19] Graduate Teaching Assistants Orientation
Return to narrative

[20] Student Instructional Rating Survey (SIRS)
Return to narrative




About U of M | Academics | Administration | Admissions
Alumni | Athletics | Calendar & News | Corporate Connections | Employment Opportunities
Extended Programs | Libraries, Museums & the Arts | Research
Ways to Give | Technology at The U of M

Contact Us | Search | Home




Copyright © 2000 The University of Memphis. Site maintained by Web Services. Design by Aristotle ®