Part 3 - 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. 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.  (Faculty competence)

Compliance
Partial Compliance
Non-Compliance

Narrative

As stated in the Mission and Scope Statement, the University of New Orleans offers degrees at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. UNO faculty qualifications are identified in Administrative Policy AP-AA-13.2 Teaching Credentials for the Faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants. The following excerpt from the policy states the importance of qualified faculty to the mission of the University:

The University aspires to seek the best possible faculty member for a given position, as evidenced in part by possession of the terminal degree in the discipline. Only rarely is permission granted to fill a tenure-track position with someone who does not possess or expect to possess the terminal degree at the start of his or her appointment.

The qualifications required for faculty are aligned with the SACSCOC Faculty Credentials Guidelines:

To teach at the undergraduate level. A master’s degree in the discipline or any master’s degree and 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline

To teach at the graduate level. The terminal degree for the discipline.

Provisions are included in University policy for other qualifications or experience that justify the teaching assignment to substitute in lieu of formal academic preparation. Procedures are also in place to allow Graduate Teaching Assistants to teach with appropriate qualifications as described below.

The University of New Orleans has policies and procedures in place to support the hiring, evaluation, tenure, and promotion of faculty. The hiring process for faculty generally includes three key stages: creation of the position, the advertisement and search period, and the appointment process. The overall process is described in the Faculty Section of the Employee Handbook. Although the process for conducting faculty searches varies slightly among departments, final approval of faculty appointments rests with the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.

  1. Creation of the Position

A justification for creating a new position or filling a vacated position is submitted to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs via the Dean of the college associated with the position request. Accompanying the justification is a Permission to Hire Form which identifies the funding source for the proposed position.

  1. Advertisement and Search

Upon approval to advertise the position, the college or department responsible party develops an advertisement using the advertisement template and submits the proposed advertisement to the EEO officer in Human Resources for approval. When the advertisement is approved, the advertisement is posted on the Human Resources website in addition to outside sources. Typically, all faculty positions are advertised in the Chronicle of Higher Education; however, additional professional outlets associated with the discipline of the position are often utilized.

  1. Appointment

A Search Committee is usually appointed at the department level to oversee the search process. Following a review of all applicants, the Search Committee identifies one or more candidates to invite to participate in the next level of interview, typically involving an on-campus visit. Once a decision to recommend a specific candidate has been reached by the committee, a hire “packet” is submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs. Key components of the hire packet include: the permission to hire memo, a copy of the proposed letter of offer, a copy of the position description, a Vitae for the applicant, three letters of recommendation, a completed Employment verification form (to verify previous employment),official transcripts, a completed EEO compliance form, and a copy of the approved advertisement. An example of these materials is provided for a recent faculty hire.

Prior to sending an offer letter, the potential faculty member’s credentials are analyzed at the college and university levels to ensure compliance with AP-AA-13-2 Teaching Credentials for the Faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants. The offer letter must include the recommended rank, salary, and tenure probation period for the candidate. An official transcript of all graduate degrees earned and coursework completed must be submitted to the University. Transcripts for all employed faculty are maintained by the Office of Human Resource Management. No appointment is valid until the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors has given its approval of the applicant, the rank, the salary, and the period of appointment.

“Time-Limited” faculty appointments to non-continuing positions are individually negotiated and may be renewed. The qualifications for such appointments are comparable to those of the corresponding regular faculty ranks. All candidates for non-continuing positions must meet the same faculty credential requirements specified in AP-AA-13.2 as well as individual accrediting body requirements of the relevant college/program.

All active faculty are maintained in an electronic system (Faculty 180) that identifies the specific degree(s) held by the faculty member, the specific discipline associated with the degree and additional qualifications held by the faculty member. This information is available to department chairs, deans, human resource personnel and key personnel in the Office of Academic Affairs to ensure that faculty assignments to specific courses can be determined based on the qualifications of the faculty member.

As stated above, possession of the terminal degree is a key factor in the hiring process of faculty at the University of New Orleans. Table 1 identifies the number and percentage of faculty with terminal degrees for the 2013 - 2014 academic year. Table 2 presents a list of faculty with terminal degrees by college/department. Table 3 provides the percentage of faculty with terminal degrees for the University.

Table 3: Number and Percentage of Faculty with Terminal Degrees

2013-2014
Type Number of Faculty Number with Terminal Degree Percentage with Terminal Degree
Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty 252 250 99%
Non Tenured Track Faculty 75 42 56%
Part Time Faculty 160 100 63%
Total 487 392 80%

 

The University of New Orleans 2020 Strategic Plan also includes a goal aligned with the importance of hiring and maintain effective faculty:

Goal Three: Maintain a high-quality faculty and staff that support a student-centered, urban research university. Strategies related to this goal include:

  • Recruit high-quality, diverse faculty and staff;
  • Retain high-performing faculty and staff;
  • Increase faculty and staff involvement in university-wide decision-making.

Faculty Rosters

A modified format of the Faculty Roster Form published by SACSCOC is provided for each academic department by college. The template includes the faculty member’s name, employment classification (full time, part time, graduate teaching assistant), courses taught in the fall 2013 and/or spring 2014 semesters, academic degree/discipline, other qualifications, and designation by one of the following categories:

Clearly Meets Credential Guidelines – The faculty member is obviously qualified to teach all assigned courses because he or she holds at least a master’s degree in the same field of all assigned undergraduate courses, and a terminal degree in the same field of all assigned graduate courses if applicable.

Justified with Other Relevant Qualifications – The faculty member is qualified to teach all assigned courses based on a sufficient clarification and justification of his or her “relevant” academic degrees and/or other relevant considerations beyond those of academic degree preparation (attach explanation and documented justification).

Justified After Corrective Action Was Taken to Reassign – The faculty member is qualified to teach all remaining teaching assignments after corrective action was taken involving the future assignment of particular instructional responsibilities in question (attach explanation and documentation of corrective action taken and a statement of justification for the remaining teaching assignments).

Corrective Action Was Taken to Terminate Employment – The University has determined that it cannot sufficiently justify or defend the instructional qualifications of the faculty member for these teaching assignments and has taken corrective actions to terminate his or her future employment as an instructor of record at this level and/or in this field (attach documentation of termination).

The total number of instructors of record for the fall 2013 semester was 553. Of the 318 full time faculty, 304 (96%) were classified as “clearly meets credential guidelines” and the remaining 14 (4%) were classified as “justified with other relevant qualifications”. Of the 159 part time faculty, 125 (79%) were classified as “clearly meets credential guidelines” and the remaining 34 (21%) were classified as “justified with other relevant qualifications”. A total of 76 graduate teaching assistants served as instructors of record. A total of 74 graduate teaching assistants (97%) were classified as “clearly meets credential guidelines”. Two graduate teaching assistants (3%) were classified as “justified after corrective action was taken to reassign”. One graduate teaching assistant in the Department of English did not complete 18 graduate credit hours prior to assuming his teaching position due to a grade of “I”. The “I” grade was removed prior to the end of the semester; thus, the student met the criterion during the semester. Another graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Foreign Languages was inadvertently assigned to teach in Fall 2013 with only 15 graduate hours completed. The student did meet the criterion for the spring 2014 semester.

Faculty Rosters and the spreadsheet used to calculate the data are organized by department within each academic college.

College of Business Administration (Faculty Roster)

College of Education and Human Development (Faculty Roster)

College of Engineering (Faculty Roster)

College of Liberal Arts (Faculty Roster)

College of Sciences (Faculty Roster)

Graduate Teaching Assistants

Graduate Teaching Assistants provide support to the University’s teaching mission, both as assistants to regular faculty and as instructors of record. AP-RE-06-2 Graduate Assistants stipulates two roles for Graduate Teaching Assistants:

Teaching Assistant. These students provide instructional or tutorial support for faculty teaching undergraduate students.  Examples of Teaching Assistant duties include preparing examinations, grading assignments, conducting and assisting in preparation of lectures, leading discussion groups, maintaining class records, as well as tutoring students outside of formal lecture and laboratory classes.  The Teaching Assistant is neither the instructor nor responsible for assigning course grades.

Teaching Associate.  These students provide instruction to undergraduate students and are instructor of record for undergraduate courses.  Only students who have a master’s degree or 18 graduate credit hours in the area of instruction are eligible to be employed in this capacity.  A Teaching Associate never provides instruction to graduate students.

University policy also specifies that graduate students employed as Teaching Associates (Instructor of Record) must have a master’s degree or 18 graduate credit hours in the specified teaching field as stated in the guidelines published by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  If a student on an F-1 Visa is to be hired as a Teaching Associate, they must provide evidence of above average English proficiency.  Graduate Assistants are not permitted to be employed as a part-time faculty member.

Table 4 provides the number of graduate teaching assistants by college.

Table 4: Number of graduate teaching assistants

College Graduate Teaching Assistants (not instructor of record) Graduate Teaching Assistants (instructor of record) Total Graduate Teaching Assistants
Fall Spring Fall Spring Fall Spring
College of Business Administration 3 4 11 9 14 13
College of Education and Human Development 0 0 0 0 0 0
College of Engineering 2 1 0 0 2 1
College of Liberal Arts 34 32 37 30 71 62
College of Sciences 72 69 21 15 93 84
Total for University 111 106 69 54 180 160

 

Table 5 provides the number of credit hours by department taught by Graduate Teaching Assistants in the 2013-14 academic year.

Table 5: Number of Credit Hours Taught by Graduate Teaching Assistants

College/Discipline Fall 2013 Spring 2014
College of Business Administration 55 20
College of Liberal Arts 111 87
College of Sciences 60 51
Total 226 158

 

All Graduate Teaching Assistants are supervised by faculty and are evaluated by the chair of the department in which they are employed. Additionally, all courses taught by Graduate Teaching Assistants are evaluated by enrolled students using the same instrument used for all other courses at UNO. Individual departments provide varying levels of additional training and supervision for Graduate Teaching Assistants.

Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document IconAP-AA-13.2-Teaching-Credentials-for-the-Faculty-and-Graduate-Teaching-Assistants-8-12-14University of New Orleans Administrative Policy on Faculty Credentials
Document IconFaculty_180_WebsiteFaculty 180 website
Document IconFaculty_Credentials_COBAFaculty Rosters for College of Business Administration
Document IconFaculty_Credentials_COEFaculty Rosters for College of Engineering
Document IconFaculty_Credentials_COEHDFaculty Roster for College of Education & Human Development
Document IconFaculty_Credentials_COLAFaculty Rosters for College of Liberal Arts
Document IconFaculty_Credentials_COSFaculty Rosters for College of Science
Document IconSACSCOC Faculty Credentials GuidelinesSACSCOC Guidelines on Faculty Credentials
Document IconTable_1_Faculty_InformationFaculty Type, Degree and Tenure Information by Department
Document IconTable_2_List_Faculty_Term_DegTable 2 - List of Faculty with Terminal Degrees by Department
Document IconUNO_Employee_Handbook_Faculty_ApptUniversity of New Orleans Employee Handbook Faculty Appointment Process
Document IconUNO_Strategic_Plan_2015-2020University of New Orleans Strategic Plan: UNO 2020