Faculty Credentials Policy

Policy Number: II.18
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: January 13, 2016
Revised:  May 7, 2019

Policy Owner: Provost/ VP for Academic Affairs
Policy Implementation: Provost/VP for Academic Affairs
SACSCOC Standard:  6.2a

I. Policy Statement and Purpose

In accordance with Athens State University’s mission, this policy establishes the standards for ensuring all faculty members are qualified to teach the courses assigned. Emphasis is on overall qualifications of a faculty member rather than simply academic credentials.  This policy is meant to ensure Athens State University faculty meet or exceed the necessary qualifications to teach courses within their respective disciplines and to ensure compliance with all accrediting bodies.

The Faculty Credential Evaluation Guidelines must be followed when reviewing all faculty credentials. A Faculty Credential Approval Form must be completed for every faculty (full- or part-time) member employed at the University.

II. Undergraduate Faculty

Credential Requirements
To be credentialed to teach baccalaureate courses at Athens State University, faculty should possess a doctorate 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).

There are instances in which faculty with a master’s or doctoral degree outside a defined discipline may be qualified to teach a particular course based on other credentials or qualifications. In such cases, the alternate qualification(s) should be fully explained, justified, documented by the College Dean, and approved by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Evaluation of Credentials
All transcripts/credentials will be evaluated by the search committee (when applicable), and the College Dean and approved by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. All documents will be kept on file in the Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

III. Graduate Faculty

Credential Requirements
To be credentialed to teach graduate courses at Athens State University, faculty should possess an earned doctorate or terminal degree in the teaching discipline or related discipline.

In addition to a terminal degree in the field or similar field, preference will be given to applicants who have:

a. Evidence of published research in scholarly publications and/or creative activity.
b. Graduate teaching experience.
c. Experience in supervision of research, such as experience on dissertation committees or chairing of graduate theses.
d. Professional experience within the discipline.

Graduate faculty members are expected to maintain currency within their discipline through research and/or creative activity. It is recommended that at least one (1) of the following be accomplished to maintain currency in a discipline:

a. Successful publication of a peer-reviewed journal article in the discipline every three (3) years.
b. Successful publication of a conference proceeding every other year within the
respective discipline.
c. A conference presentation a year at a regional, national, or international conference within the discipline.
d. Completion of a professional development activity a year that furthers the knowledge and/or skills of the faculty member in the respective discipline. Examples include professional certifications and completion of graduate classes, workshops, and seminars within the respective discipline.
e. A creative activity project a year that furthers the knowledge and/or skills of the faculty member within the respective discipline. Examples include, grant applications, consulting, development of software, and other contributions to the field.

Evaluation of Credentials
All transcripts/credentials will be evaluated by the search committee (when applicable), and the College Dean and approved by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.  All documents will be kept on file in the Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

To remain a graduate faculty member, faculty should demonstrate they have met the minimum requirements outlined in this policy during current term of appointment.

Appointments to the graduate faculty are for a five (5) year period.

 

IV. Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost is the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy. Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every three (3) years or more frequently as needed by the Policy Owner.  Revisions will be reviewed/affirmed by the Faculty Senate and the Cabinet and approved by the University President.  This policy will be updated/published in the University’s Policy Library.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost.