Guidelines – Faculty Expectations

Drafted by Faculty Expectations Committee in conjunction with Department Chairs:  August 2012
Revised by Dean’s Council: August 19, 2013
Reviewed and Supported by Cabinet:  March 26, 2014

Approved by President and Provost:  March 26, 2014

Revised and Approved by the Cabinet and President:  June 23, 2014
Revised:  September 6, 2016
Revised:  February 19, 2018
Reviewed:  February 19, 2019
Reviewed:  April 1, 2020
SACSCOC Standard:  6.1

Faculty at Athens State University support the University’s mission of providing student-centered, quality education and are committed to the success of our students, and the university. This involves quality teaching, advising, and communication. In addition, faculty provide service to the university and engage in research, scholarship, and professional development activities. During the 9-month contract of employment, faculty members are expected to be available to assist and work with students and respond to departmental, college, and institutional needs.

Quality Teaching: The primary responsibility of the faculty is quality teaching in their respective content areas, regardless of delivery format. This entails adequate preparation for courses, effective course design and instruction, and fair and timely evaluation/feedback of student progress. To ensure quality teaching, faculty must be committed to the success of our students. Specifically, faculty should:

  • Keep current in their field.
  • Organize courses to facilitate quality student engagement.
  • Assist department chairs with the scheduling of classes that meet the needs of students.
  • Meet all scheduled classes unless there is prior approval for the absence. In the case of an emergency or sickness, faculty should make every effort to notify students of the cancellation as well as notify their supervisors.
  • Schedule personal days for times other than when scheduled classes are in session (unless personal emergency or circumstance).
  • Comply with departmental, college, and university standards concerning the academic quality and integrity of their classes.
  • Comply with the university Distance Learning policy.
  • Keep current in their use of technology by attending university training sessions and other professional development opportunities.
  • Be available to meet students outside the classroom by being available before or after classes and by scheduling office hours. (both in a physical and electronic format to include virtual office hours).
  • Assist with department and college assessment and be receptive to modifications in teaching based on assessment feedback.

Office Hours: The faculty of Athens State University should establish and maintain on-campus office hours in accordance with the guidelines of the university, normally 10 hours per week over three days. The primary purpose of office hours is to meet with and/or discuss academic matters and advising with students. Office hours (both in a physical and electronic format to include virtual office hours) should be posted next to/on office doors as well as clearly stated in Blackboard and/or course syllabi. Again, office hours are primarily devoted to meeting with students.

Advising: A primary responsibility of faculty is the proper, timely, competent and professional advising of students. In order to assist and fulfill this duty, faculty should:

  • Be knowledgeable of the requirements of their discipline (as stated in the appropriate catalog).
  • Meet/advise students on academic and non-academic matters (e.g. graduate school and career preparation).
  • Provide leadership and promote excellence in student organizations.
  • Write letters of recommendation for employment/graduate studies, etc.

Communication: Faculty should communicate effectively and in a timely manner with colleagues at all levels of the institution. This implies an understanding of the communication hierarchy within departments, colleges, and administrative levels. In addition, effective communication with students is expected. Timely communication with students supports other faculty responsibilities (teaching, advising). To ensure this, faculty should:

  • Provide multiple means of contact for students (i.e. note on door, email through Blackboard, phone number, etc.).
  • Respond to student phone calls and email messages within university guidelines.
  • Notify appropriate individuals within the department as soon as possible in the event of faculty absence.

Research/Scholarship/Professional Development: The strength of a university rests on the knowledge and skills of its faculty. In light of this, faculty must stay current in their field of expertise/teaching area. This includes:

  • Authoring academic writings.
  • Presentation of work at local/state/regional/national conferences.
  • Active membership and office holding in professional organizations at the local/state/regional/national level.
  • Appropriate professional development (e.g. workshops, certifications, CEUs).

Service: Faculty should provide service to the institution by:

  • Attending meetings (department/college/university).
  • Engaging in committee work that will advance the institution.
  • Assisting with student recruitment.
  • Participating in graduation and honors exercises.
  • Participating in other university activities (e.g., Fiddler’s Convention, student’s events and productions, etc.).

Secondary Employment:  Faculty may accept outside/secondary employment provided:

  • The outside/secondary employment does not interfere with the performance of his/her job duties at the University;
  • The outside/secondary employment does not violate the Alabama Code of Ethics for public employees as set forth in the Code of Alabama 1975;
  • The outside/secondary employment does not violate university policies; and
  • The outside/secondary employment does not bring discredit to the University.

Faculty must complete the Notification of Secondary Employment form and submit it to the appropriate supervisor.