Chapter 4: Instruction


Introduction

Policy on Quality Instruction

Section 4.1: Faculty Teaching Assignments

4.1.1 Teaching Loads
4.1.2 Minimum Class Size Guidelines

Section 4.2: Expectations for Faculty

4.2.1 Responsibilities of Faculty Members Conducting Classes
4.2.2 Textbooks and Instructional Materials
4.2.3 Academic Contingency Policies
4.2.4 Retention of Exams by Faculty
4.2.5. Evaluation of Teaching
4.2.6 Academic Regulations

Section 4.3: Expectations for Students

4.3.1.Policy on Class Attendance
4.3.2 Policy on Classroom Behavior
4.3.3 Code of Student Discipline
4.3.4 Policy on Campus Speech and Demonstration

Section 4.4: Examinations

4.4.1 Policy on Undergraduate Examinations
4.4.2 Policy on Number of Final Exams in One Day
4.4.3 Retention of Exams by Faculty

Section 4.5: Grading

4.5.1 University Grade System
4.5.2 Grade Submission Policy
4.5.3 Posting Grades
4.5.4 Faculty Policy on Assigning Grades of Incomplete
4.5.5 Faculty Policy on Grade Changes

Section 4.6: Academic Honesty

4.6.1 Academic Honesty Code
4.6.2 Academic Honesty Resources for Faculty

Section 4.7: Student Grievances

4.7.1. Student Academic Grievance Policy

Section 4.8: The Graduate School

4.8.1 The Graduate Council
4.8.2 The Graduate Faculty

A. Introduction
B. Graduate Faculty Membership
C. Nomination and Review of Graduate Faculty Candidates
D. Periodic Review of Department Plans

4.8.3 Graduate School Policies

 

Introduction: Policy on Quality Instruction

The Board of Trustees views the instruction of students as the foremost activity of Auburn University. It is proud of the outstanding levels of quality achieved throughout the institution in preparing graduates to enter the professions, graduate programs, and leadership positions in all walks of life. To underscore and support this process, the Board identifies those characteristics that it views to be central to the teaching/learning process.

  1. Class sizes, particularly at the freshman and sophomore levels, should be sufficiently small to provide for individual student attention and opportunity for free exchange of ideas.

  2. Faculty teaching loads should not be so burdensome as to preclude the availability of faculty for individual or small-group counseling, advising, and informal discussion with students.

  3. Early in their Auburn career, all students should have opportunity for exposure to the University’s best scholars. Senior faculty should have some teaching responsibility at the lower division level.
    Particular care should be exercised to assure that those who have classroom instructional responsibility possess strong communication skills.

  4. Innovative teaching approaches should be encouraged. To foster creativity in the instructional arena, a “learning center” should be organized to assist any faculty member who may desire its use. Junior faculty should be supervised carefully to assure that support is provided as needed.

  5. The curriculum should reflect a desire that graduates be effective in written and oral communication skills and reasoning skills, as well as being well founded in the major discipline.

  6. There should be an honors program and other similar opportunities developed for the exceptionally talented and curious student.

  7. Outstanding teaching will be recognized and rewarded.

  8. The Board supports a regular, validated, and effective faculty evaluation system that relies upon student, peer, and administrator input. Such a program should have performance improvement as its primary goal.

  9. The Board will strive to provide adequate operating budgets so that support materials are available to enhance the teaching/learning process.

Teaching is a dynamic and complex activity, and learning is an individual process. The Board of Trustees recognizes that a wide variety of teaching methods are available and that no singular approach is superior to others––that circumstances dictate the style most appropriate. The Board recognizes and congratulates the faculty and administration on their ability to attract high-quality students to Auburn. By endorsing this statement, the Board desires that faculty, department heads/chairs, and deans be aware of its interest in and support of their dedicated efforts to offer Auburn students the highest possible quality of instruction.

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Section 4.1
Faculty Teaching Assignments

4.1.1 Teaching Loads

The University recognizes the impossibility of creating a “teaching load” formula that would be applicable to the complex academic programs embraced by the various colleges, schools, and departments. Considerable flexibility is given to the individual department head, in consultation with the dean, in assigning faculty workloads to meet the department’s instructional, research, and public service commitments. Faculty workloads are regularly reported to the provost and are utilized by the central administration of the University in budgetary management of the academic program.

Although there is no set teaching load formula at the University level, normally every attempt is made to give appropriate reduction in the classroom assignments of those faculty who are significantly engaged in research, graduate teaching, the direction of graduate student theses, or University service. Such reduction should be applied equitably to all eligible faculty. However, the University believes it is important that senior faculty who have distinguished themselves through research and publication be directly involved in undergraduate teaching.

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4.1.2 Minimum Class Size Guidelines

Number of graduate/undergraduate registrants needed to offer a course with dean approval

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/provost/policies/Minimum_Class_Size_Guidelines.html

Section 4.2
Expectations for Faculty


4.2.1 Responsibilities of Faculty Members Conducting Classes

Auburn University recognizes that the classroom experience represents something of a partnership between student and professor. For the partnership to be successful, each has a right to expect certain things of the other: just as the professor may expect students to meet the responsibilities that he or she has made explicit on such matters as instructional objectives and evaluation procedures, so the student should expect the professor to meet his or her obligations also. The University believes that each faculty member in conducting classes should exhibit high standards of professional behavior through his or her scholarship, personal integrity, and enthusiasm for the profession of teaching.

More specifically, each professor has the following responsibilities to himself or herself and to his or her students:

  1. To state, in writing at an early meeting of the class, specific course objectives and the manner in which they are to be attained.

  2. To exercise care in the organization and presentation of all materials toward the end of achieving the stated instructional objectives.

  3. To state, in writing at an early meeting of the class, grading and evaluation procedures, including:

    a. the grading system and method of determining the final grade;

    b. the relative importance of assigned papers, quizzes, examinations, class preparation, and
    participation;

    c. the approximate schedule for examinations (other than the final exam); and

    d. the policy on unannounced quizzes.

  4. To arrive promptly at all scheduled classes. If absence is anticipated, the class should be informed in advance of contingency arrangements.

  5. To maintain regular, posted office hours each week for conferences with students.

  6. To grade and return examinations within a reasonable period of time.

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4.2.2 Textbooks and Instructional Materials

Textbook orders for each instructional semester are placed with the Auburn University Bookstore and the private bookstores in the city of Auburn through a University-wide system. Individual faculty orders are secured at the departmental level and sent directly to local bookstores. Faculty are expected to cooperate fully in placing their orders well in advance and to utilize the University system, which is devised to ensure that textbooks will be available to students at all bookstores and that instruction will not be impeded during the early part of the semester because texts are not available.

Faculty involvement in the writing or editing of textbooks published and marketed through national or regional publishing houses is regarded by the University as a legitimate and praiseworthy form of scholarly activity. At times, however, faculty members may wish to develop instructional materials for local use in their own classrooms. These nontraditional, duplicated packets or booklets of materials may be used supplementary to or in place of traditional textbooks.

The Auburn University Bookstore, working directly with the faculty member, obtains copyright clearance for duplication of all requested materials in advance of distribution. The AU Bookstore then reproduces, binds, and distributes the instructional material at cost plus overhead with no profit or revenue accruing to either the department or the faculty member. This system ensures that Auburn University and Auburn University faculty are not illegally using copyrighted material and exposing the University to liability and embarrassment. University endorsement has also been given to a procedure whereby individual faculty members, with the approval of their department heads/chairs, may arrange to have manuscripts for classroom use printed (only after obtaining copyright clearance) and sold by commercial duplicating services exterior to the campus.

Faculty shall refrain from selling textbooks or instructional materials directly to the students. Such practices are questionable financially and ethically.

Selection and production of instructional materials by faculty is essential to providing quality instruction. The freedom to choose instructional materials is central to the principle of academic freedom. Auburn University encourages faculty to publish instructional materials through reputable publishers that are marketed and used nationally. If such materials produced by a faculty member are appropriate for use in the faculty member’s classes, and if the sale of such materials produces financial gain for the faculty member or his immediate family, faculty may (a) assign the material and choose not to accept financial gain that might result from royalties or other income generated by the sale of such materials by students enrolled in the faculty member’s class, or (b) turn the decision for selecting teaching materials over to an alternate responsible entity (e.g., a department chair or a departmental committee) qualified to determine if the materials are appropriate. Each department will develop a methodology for identifying the alternate responsible entity.

The production of instructional materials such as workbooks, answer sheets, or custom texts intended for use either exclusively or primarily at Auburn University shall be considered part of the faculty member’s assigned duties. It is expected that such shall be provided to the student at departmental or university expense, or at most, the cost of reproduction through a commercial reproducer.

Teaching is a dynamic and complex activity, and learning is an individual process. The Board of Trustees recognizes that a wide variety of teaching methods are available and that no singular approach is superior to others––that circumstances dictate the style most appropriate. The Board recognizes and congratulates the faculty and administration on their ability to attract high quality students to Auburn. By endorsing this statement, the Board desires that faculty, department heads/chairs, and deans be aware of its interest in and support of their dedicated efforts to offer Auburn students the highest possible quality of instruction.

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4.2.3 Academic Contingency Policies

Provisions for individual faculty, departments, and colleges to maintain the instructional mission of the university in response to faculty absence and other emergencies

https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/AcademicContingencyPolicies.pdf

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4.2.4 Retention of Exams by Faculty

Final examinations or similar evaluative material that has not been returned by faculty members should be retained by faculty members until the first day of the third semester after the final grade has been assigned.

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4.2.5 Evaluation of Teaching

(See also Chapter 3, Section 7, “Evaluations and Reviews”)

The University views the evaluation of teaching as an ongoing process that relies on multiple assessment measures, including, at a minimum, both peer evaluations and data from student ratings of teaching effectiveness, gathered by means of the University’s standard survey instrument or an equivalent survey instrument. This policy mandates the collection of student-generated data on a regular basis, but these data are not to be used as the only mechanism to rank-order faculty; the data must not supplant other ongoing methods of teaching evaluation; and the data should be only one of several forms of teaching information gathered on a regular basis to assess teaching effectiveness.

The purposes of gathering student evaluations are

  1. To assist individual instructors in improving their own teaching.

  2. To assist academic administrators in counseling instructors about their teaching.

  3. To assist faculty in reviewing the overall educational value and effectiveness of the course.

  4. To provide input in judging the teaching component in tenure, promotion and salary determinations.

    Every course must undergo student evaluation of instruction each time it is offered. Courses with fewer than five students enrolled are exempt. Courses of an individual nature (e.g., independent study courses, theses, special projects, music studios, etc.) may be exempted from this requirement at the discretion of the department/college. Student participation is mandatory.

    Administrative procedures for the survey are explicit and uniform. Surveys are to be administered anonymously, using the University instrument or an equivalent instrument. Colleges/schools, departments, and faculty members may use additional evaluation materials in addition to, or in lieu of, the University’s survey but must collect anonymous free-response comments from students.

    University-sponsored survey instruments used to collect student evaluations of teaching effectiveness should have 8–10 questions, with at least one free-response question, and may have no more than 15 questions. The Teaching Effectiveness Committee of the University Senate will provide 8–10 broadly applicable survey questions for general use. Colleges and departments, in consultation with representative faculty, may change this survey instrument as needed and are responsible for determining the reporting of relevant results.

    Results of student evaluations may not be disclosed to faculty members before graduation for the semester. Faculty members may not contact individual students at any time to discuss survey responses or comments.

    The instructor and relevant department chairs, or others so designated by the department (e.g., course coordinators), will receive the results of the evaluation after graduation that semester. These results will include any free-response comments received from the students by means of the survey instrument. Further administrative procedures related to the collection and processing of completed survey forms may be announced from time to time by the Provost’s Office.

    Data drawn from student evaluations along with other assessments of teaching will be used in the annual review of each faculty member by his or her department head/chair, in the third-year review by the department, and in review for promotion or tenure by the department, and by the school/college and University-level Promotion and Tenure Committees. In addition, at least annually the academic dean and the provost will receive summary student teaching evaluation data about each department without identifying faculty information.

    Faculty and the various departments are urged to employ additional measures of teaching effectiveness. Possibilities include alumni assessments, employer assessments of matriculated students, evaluations from persons or organizations external to the University for which the faculty member consults or provides instructional services of some kind, and administrator assessment of performance. An important method of assessment is evaluation by professional colleagues.

    Peer evaluations, mandated by the Board of Trustees, may be achieved in a variety of ways. Faculty members and/or departments should develop an appropriate peer-evaluation strategy or strategies. Evaluation by professional colleagues might include the following:

    1. Evaluation of the faculty member’s syllabi, tests, handouts, and other materials used in class.

    2. Evaluation of the faculty member’s preparation of students for subsequent courses in the field.

    3. Evaluation of the faculty member’s work in a team teaching situation by his or her partner.

    4. Comparison of the faculty member’s work with that of others teaching the same course.

    5. Observation of the faculty member’s classes.

    6. Evaluation of a portfolio developed by the faculty member in which he or she presents him or herself as a teacher. The portfolio might include a general statement on teaching philosophy; syllabi with detailed information on course content and objectives, teaching methods, reading and homework assignments, and student evaluation procedures; materials that show the extent of student learning, such as scores on standardized tests taken before and after the course, term papers and laboratory manuals, and work from the best and poorest students; a list of courses taught with enrollment and grade distributions; etc.

    To further confirm the University’s concern for quality instruction and instructional programs, the Teaching Effectiveness Committee, the Curriculum Committee, and the Core Curriculum and General Education Committee have been established. These committees are charged with carrying out a process of continuing evaluation and enhancement of instructional programs and evaluation of proposed changes in the curriculum.

    4.2.6 Academic Regulations

    Faculty members are expected to know and observe the University’s academic regulations found in this handbook and in the Student Policy eHandbook.

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    Section 4.3
    Expectations for Students

    4.3.1 Policy on Class Attendance

    Students are expected to attend all their scheduled classes. College work requires regular class attendance as well as careful preparation. Specific policies regarding class attendance are the prerogative of individual faculty members. Faculty shall inform each class in writing at the beginning of the course regarding the effect of absences on the determination of grades.

    The student is expected to carry out all assigned work and to take examinations at the class period designated by the instructor. Failure to carry out these assignments or to take examinations at the designated times may result in an appropriate reduction in grade, except as provided in the fourth paragraph of this section.

    Instructors shall determine the policy regarding grading that they believe is best for the course. This policy shall be presented to the class, in writing, at the beginning of the term and will govern the actions of the instructor in the course.

    Arrangement to make up missed major examinations (e.g., hour exams, midterm exams) due to properly authorized excused absences (as defined by the Student Policy eHandbook) shall be initiated by the student within one week from the end of the period of the excused absence. Normally, a makeup exam shall occur within two weeks from the time that the student initiates arrangements for it. Instructors are encouraged to refrain from giving makeup examinations during the last three days prior to the first day of final examinations. The format of makeup exams and opportunities for students to make up work other than major examinations are at the discretion of the instructor whose makeup policies should be stated in writing at the beginning of the term. Instructors are expected to excuse absences for:

    1. Illness of the student or serious illness of a member of the student’s immediate family. The instructor may request appropriate verification.

    2. The death of a member of the student’s immediate family. The instructor may request appropriate verification.

    3. Trips for members of the student organizations sponsored by an academic unit, trips for university classes, and trips for participation in intercollegiate athletic events. When feasible, the student must notify the instructor prior to such absences, but in no case more than one week after the absence. Instructors may request formal notification from appropriate university personnel to document the student’s participation in such trips.

    4. Religious holidays. Students are responsible for notifying the instructor in writing of anticipated absences due to their observance of such holidays.

    5. Subpoena for court appearance.

    6. Any other reason the instructor deems appropriate.

      Additional Class Attendance Stipulations
    1. If the instructor does not appear within 20 minutes after the designated class hour, it may be assumed the class is canceled.

    2. It is university policy that all classes will meet as scheduled on the last day before and the first day after holiday periods designated by the university.

    3. Unresolved problems regarding class attendance or procedures should be referred to the University Student Academic Grievance Committee.

    4.3.2 Policy on Classroom Behavior

    Introduction

    1. The goal of Auburn University and its faculty and students is to foster a dynamic environment of higher learning where all students develop analytical skills, learn to think critically and communicate effectively, promote inquiry, pursue knowledge, and prepare for productive careers. Behavior in the classroom that impedes teaching and learning and creates obstacles to this goal is considered disruptive and therefore subject to sanctions. The purpose of these sanctions is to create and protect an optimum learning experience; they should not be considered punitive, neither by the student nor by the instructor. Disagreement expressed in a civil fashion, eccentricity, idiosyncrasy, and unconventional behavior are not, per se, disruptive to the classroom experience. These sanctions are intended only to preserve the classroom as a place to pursue knowledge, exchange ideas, and share opinions in an atmosphere of tolerance. Students have the responsibility of complying with behavioral standards. Faculty members have a professional responsibility to set reasonable limits on the expression of opinions while treating students with dignity, respect, and understanding while guiding classroom activities. At the classroom level, clear guidelines for behavior and early intervention are the foundation for an intellectually stimulating experience for students and instructors alike. Instructors are encouraged to include in their syllabi guidelines for classroom behavior. Instructors who state these guidelines early and enforce them at the first appearance of disruptive behavior prevent minor episodes of classroom misconduct from escalating into serious confrontations and help transgressors to avoid the more serious consequences of such actions. Examples of improper behavior in the classroom (including the virtual classroom of e-mail, chat rooms, telephony, and web activities associated with courses) may include, but are not limited to, the following:

      1.1. Arriving after a class has begun;
      1.2. Use of tobacco products;
      1.3. Monopolizing discussion;
      1.4. Persistent speaking out of turn;
      1.5. Distractive talking, including cell phone usage;
      1.6. Audio or video recording of classroom activities or the use of electronic devices without the permission of the instructor;
      1.7. Refusal to comply with reasonable instructor directions;
      1.8. Employing insulting language or gestures; and
      1.9. Verbal, psychological, or physical threats, harassment, and physical violence.

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    Policy

    1. When confronted with disruptive, but nonthreatening behavior, the instructor should issue a general word of caution to the class as a whole rather than to a particular student so as not to exacerbate the problem.

    2.1. If a general caution directed to the entire class does not stop the disruptive activity, the instructor should endeavor to meet in private with the disruptive student. The resulting discussion should include a description of the problem, the reason it is disruptive, and the consequences of continued violations of classroom behavior guidelines.

    2.2. If the disruptive behavior is preventing further instruction, the instructor is authorized to ask the disruptive student to leave the class immediately for the remainder of the class session. Removal from the classroom more than one class period, for an extended period, or on a permanent basis normally requires the instructor to file charges of a violation of the Auburn University Discipline Code with the vice president for Student Affairs. The department head/chair or dean may negotiate a withdrawal from the course or a transfer of the disruptive student to a different course section or course if in his or her opinion a different instructor and different classmates would diffuse the situation and provide the disruptive student with a new learning opportunity.

    2.3. If threats have been made or physical violence is imminent, the instructor should notify the Auburn University Department of Public Safety immediately. The instructor should also notify the course department head/chair or dean promptly, followed by a memo to the department head/chair or dean.

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    4.3.3 Code of Student Discipline

    Conduct expected of students; procedures for filing and processing alleged violations of the Discipline Code; hearings; sanctions that may be imposed; rights of those accused and those charging a violation

    https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/CodeofStudentDiscipline.pdf

    4.3.4 Policy on Campus Speech and Demonstration

    Regulations controlling time, place, and manner of public speeches and demonstrations on campus; procedures for approvals and scheduling

    https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/PolicyonCampusSpeechandDemonstrations.pdf

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    Section 4.4
    Examinations

    4.4.1 Policy on Undergraduate Examinations

    Examinations are classified as (1) final examinations at the end of each term, (2) special examinations, and (3) other course examinations as determined by the instructor.

    Announced tests in undergraduate courses will be administered at a regularly scheduled meeting of the course. Exceptions to this regulation may arise in specialized courses requiring performance or oral tests and in multiple-sectioned laboratory classes requiring practical laboratory tests. Faculty having sound reasons for scheduling tests at times other than regularly scheduled meeting times are to obtain approval from the department head/chair prior to the beginning of the term and are to present a written schedule of these changes to the class during the first few days of the term. Rescheduled tests are not to interfere with other scheduled academic endeavors of the students involved, and an appropriate reduction in regularly scheduled class time is to be given to compensate for the rescheduled test period.

    Final Examinations: A final examination is a desirable means of evaluation in most undergraduate courses. In unusual circumstances, performance tests, term papers, research projects, or other forms of evaluation appropriate to the objectives of the course may be substituted for a final examination with the approval of the department head/chair, who will report such action to the dean and provost. Faculty who are not giving a final examination are to present to the class at the beginning of the term a written description of the forms of evaluation to be used and the means of determining final grades. The professor teaching a 6000-level course or higher shall determine whether a formal final examination is appropriate.

    Final examinations are to be given as scheduled in the term examination schedule. Exceptions to this policy require prior approval by the provost. Rescheduled examinations must not interfere with scheduled academic activities of the students involved.

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    4.4.2 Policy on Number of Final Exams in One Day

    Procedures for students to exercise their conditional right to take no more than two final exams in a single calendar day

    https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/PolicyonNumberofFinalExamsinOneDay.pdf

    4.4.3 Retention of Exams by Faculty

    Final examinations or similar evaluative material that has not been returned by faculty members should be retained by faculty members until the first day of the third semester after the final grade has been assigned.

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    Section 4.5
    Grading

    4.5.1 University Grade System

    Final grades that may be assigned by faculty to indicate passing, failing, withdrawal, and incomplete; calculating a GPA; the S/U Grading Option, Grade Adjustment Policy (GAP), and other grade-related policies

    http://www.auburn.edu/academic/provost/undergrad_studies/uuac/advising_manual/
    universitygradesystem.html


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    4.5.2 Grade Submission Policy

    Submission of grades by faculty and staff at the end of each term; availability to students

    https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/GradeSubmissionPolicy.pdf

    4.5.3 Posting Grades

    Grades on examinations or in courses may not be publicly posted using students’ names or social security numbers. If a faculty member wishes to post grades, he or she must do so in such a manner that no student can be personally identified by others.

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    4.5.4 Faculty Policy on Assigning Grades of Incomplete

    Procedures for faculty to process student requests for an Incomplete (grade of IN) and to change an IN to another grade; responsibilities of students and of faculty

    https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/FacultyPolicyonAssigningGradesofIncomplete.pdf


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    4.5.5 Faculty Policy on Grade Changes

    Limitations on the time and circumstances for changing final grades

    https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/FacultyPolicyonGradeChanges.pdf

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    Section 4.6
    Academic Honesty

    4.6.1 Academic Honesty Code (Title XII)

    The Student Academic Honesty Code applies to all students at Auburn University. Students in either the College of Veterinary Medicine or the School of Pharmacy, while taking classes in these schools, shall be subject to honesty codes published and distributed within each school.

    https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/AcademicHonestyCode.pdf

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    4.6.2 Academic Honesty Resources for Faculty

    Summary of faculty rights and responsibilities; steps to take when reporting suspected dishonesty cases, and examples of violations from the Academic Code; ways to discourage academic dishonesty

    http://www.auburn.edu/academic/provost/academicHonestyFaculty.html

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    4.7 Student Grievances

    4.7.1 Student Academic Grievance Policy

    Procedures for addressing Student Academic Grievances

    https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/StudentAcademicGrievancePolicy.pdf

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    Section 4.8
    The Graduate School

    4.8.1 The Graduate Council

    The governing body of the Graduate School is the Graduate Council. Graduate Council members represent the graduate faculty as a whole rather than the particular areas from which they come.

    The council is advisory to the president and acts on regulations and policies governing all graduate study and graduate degrees and on curriculum requests and proposals for new graduate programs, and assists the dean of the Graduate School in carrying out regulations and policies. The council helps to formulate changes in Graduate School policy. All actions of the Graduate Council are subject to the University president’s review and approval. All general policy recommendations of the Graduate Council shall be reviewed by the University Senate before going forward to the president.

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    4.8.2 The Graduate Faculty

    A. Introduction

    The graduate faculty serves to carry out the teaching, research, and outreach missions of Auburn University. The criteria for graduate faculty teaching and directing graduate students in research scholarly, creative, or professional activity are established by the Graduate Council and by each college/department for its programs. The graduate faculty consists of all faculty approved by the Graduate Council as having met these criteria.

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    B. Graduate Faculty Membership

    Each department that offers a graduate degree shall develop and submit to the Graduate Council for approval a plan specifically detailing how those faculty members involved in teaching, directing research, or rendering other service to the program are selected and reviewed. New plans and modifications of approved plans may be submitted at any time. The Graduate Council shall approve or disapprove the plans submitted. Department heads/chairs shall be responsible for ensuring that their departments comply with their approved plan.

    While departmental plans may differ considerably, depending on local variables and on the nature of graduate instruction and research across the disciplines, all plans should include two main sections: one setting forth standards for appointment and one detailing procedures to be followed by the departments in determining whether faculty members have met those standards.

    The following guidelines shall be observed:

    1. All plans shall set forth specific and relevant standards for graduate faculty membership in the department in question. Where appropriate, plans may set forth distinct standards for the various levels of involvement in the graduate program, such as directing graduate student research, teaching graduate courses, serving on examining or advisory committees, or rendering other service to the graduate program.

    2. All plans shall clearly state the term of appointment. No term shall exceed seven years. Plans should contain criteria and standards for reappointment.

    3. All plans shall specify clear and appropriate review procedures to be followed in considering candidates for initial appointment, and, where appropriate, reappointment. All plans that provide for more than one kind of appointment shall also specify appropriate procedures for considering changes in the kind of appointment.

    4. All plans shall provide a coherent rationale for the criteria and procedures they propose.

    Criteria

    Criteria for graduate faculty teaching and mentoring will be determined by department/college for its graduate programs. At a minimum, all criteria must satisfy the minimum requirements detailed below.

    Criteria should specify in reasonable detail what that program considers to be the minimal acceptable performance for a seven-year period in terms of scholarship and teaching.

    Graduate programs not affiliated with a department/college may establish graduate faculty criteria with approval from the dean of the Graduate School.

    Graduate faculty levels may be defined that are teaching only as well as the more traditional levels that include both teaching and the directing of graduate students.

    These criteria will be reviewed and approved by the Graduate Council and the Graduate School will maintain a central archive for graduate faculty criteria.

    Review

    Faculty will continue to apply and submit documentation through a central system (GFAST at present) with seven-year terms of appointments.

    Applications for appointment/reappointment are to be reviewed and decisions rendered at the department level. In cases where a program is not affiliated with a specific department/college, decisions are to be rendered at that program level. A college/school may also choose to provide review.

    The Graduate School will review appointment/reappointment documents to ensure that the procedures/criteria for a given program are followed. Faculty denied graduate faculty status can appeal to the Graduate School for a detailed procedural review.

    Minimum Criteria for Graduate Teaching

    Earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline; or

    Documented exceptional competency and achievement.*

    *Such as “related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements.”

    Minimum Criteria for Reappointment for Graduate Teaching

    Documentation of performance at or above a level that satisfies the program’s minimum acceptable performance in teaching for the past seven years must be provided.

    Minimum Criteria for Initial Appointment for Directing Graduate Students

    Earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline; or

    Earned degree at/above the level of the student’s degree program and demonstrated exceptional competency and achievement.*

    *Such as “related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements.”

    Minimum Criteria for Reappointment for Directing Graduate Students

    Documentation of performance at or above a level that satisfies the program’s minimum acceptable scholarly performance for the past seven years must be provided.

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    C. Nomination and Review of Graduate Faculty Candidates

    Candidates are nominated for graduate faculty membership and for renewal of membership in accord with the timetable set forth in their department’s plan or in response to a call for nominations issued periodically by the dean of the Graduate School.

    Each department shall review candidates for graduate faculty membership in accord with the plan approved by the Graduate Council.

    Nominations shall be forwarded by department heads/chairs to the dean of the Graduate School for review by the dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Council. Each nomination shall include (1) a recommendation of support of or opposition to approval from the department head/chair, (2) an explanation of how the candidate’s record and performance meet approved standards and demonstrates that the department has followed approved procedures, and (3) a vita from the candidate.

    If the dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Council are satisfied that the candidate has met the criteria for his or her department and that the nominating department has complied with its approved plan, he or she shall be appointed to the graduate faculty.

    If the dean of the Graduate School or the Graduate Council judge that the candidate has not met approved criteria or that the nominating department has not followed approved procedures, he or she shall notify the nominee and the department head/chair that the nominee has not been recommended for appointment. In such a case, the candidate may request an independent review of his or her credentials. The dean of the Graduate School shall then appoint an ad hoc review committee to render an independent assessment and recommendation. The committee shall be composed of three graduate faculty members from the candidate’s discipline or from one closely related to it. The dean of the Graduate School’s recommendation and the ad hoc committee’s recommendation shall then go forward to the provost, whose decision is final. A candidate who is turned down at the department level may also request an independent review of his or her credentials by a similar committee. Such requests shall be sent to the dean of the Graduate School through the department head/chair.

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    D. Periodic Review of Department Plans

    The Graduate Council shall conduct periodic reviews of existing plans and of departmental compliance. Typically, these shall be timed to coincide with the accreditation reviews of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of (SACSCOC).

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    4.8.3 Graduate School Policies

    Policies governing academic standing, enrollment/program requirements, and curricular options for graduate students; graduate courses and curricula; graduate faculty appointments

    https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/GraduateSchoolPolicies.pdf

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    Last Updated: June 16, 2014