Faculty Teaching Performance | Kent State University

Faculty Teaching Performance

(Note:  The section below was “Addendum B” in the 6/22/2011 version of the School Handbook).

 

The Faculty Senate has endorsed the Report on Faculty Teaching Performance for distribution through the office of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs to Deans and Heads of all academic units throughout the University. It is the specific intent of the Faculty Senate that this document be the subject of discussion among the faculty at Kent State University, that the list of the basic requirements stated below be included in the Faculty Handbook of each department or school, and that the report be advertised and discussed with new faculty, with part-time and temporary instructors, and with graduate fellows and teaching assistants in every academic unit.

The list below does not address those subtle and complex qualities that go toward making an outstanding course or an outstanding professor. Rather it addresses those items that lie within the power of faculty to follow, exhibit, or adopt.

1.  Class Management

The following items are seen as minimal expectations of any college instructor. For the most part they involve actions and procedures easily undertaken and readily assessable.

     a.  Regular and reasonable office hours consistent with school policy and the needs of students.

     b.  Provision of syllabus including, but not limited to, the following:

          i.  a statement on course objectives and expectations,

          ii.  a general calendar indicating the substance and sequence of the course and important dates and deadlines; and

          iii.  a clear statement of grading policy and grade weighting

     c.  Punctuality in starting/ending classes.

     d.  Reasonable notification of and provision for faculty absence.

     e.  Adequate notification of assignments, examinations, and changes in syllabus.

     f.  Provision of reasonable make-up procedures for legitimately missed exams or other graded work.

     g.  Evaluation of work with adequate and constructive comments written on the students' papers or orally to the whole class as is appropriate to the character of the test or assignment.

     h.  Evaluation of work within a reasonable time frame that allows the student to benefit from the instructor's comments prior to the next assignment.

2.  Basic Pedagogy

The intellectual and judgmental skill essential for acceptable teaching is more open to interpretation than class management techniques. However, the following items are presented as constructive suggestions for improving teaching on our campuses.

     a.  Content, assignments, and approach reasonable to the level, aims, and nature of the course.

     b.  Concern for appropriate teaching technique.

     c.  Effective use of class time.

     d.  Adequate class and course preparation.

     e.  Testing and grading practices relate directly to course content and assignments.

     f.  Communication skills appropriate to the level of students and subject matter in the course. 1

     g.  Knowledge and currency regarding subject matter. 2

3.  Student-Faculty Relations

Interpersonal relations inevitably are difficult to prescribe and evaluate, and yet they set the tone and environment for the learning experience. In this regard, the Committee views the following as essential.

     a.  Courtesy/civility/respect.

     b.  Establishing a climate wherein questions, relevant comments, and intellectual interaction are encouraged.

     c.  Nondiscriminatory treatment of students based on their personal or social backgrounds, preferences, or characteristics.

 

1  It is largely the responsibility of the administration to identify the problem area in communication skills through appropriate screening procedures and when complaints are raised concerning faculty. A plan for faculty improvement should be prescribed and then appropriate class assignments be made for the faculty member involved.

2  It is the responsibility of faculty members to remain current in the material covered in their own courses and to be knowledgeable about developments in their disciplines, especially as regards changes in cognate courses within the department or school curriculum. The administration shares this responsibility, first in providing time and encouragement for professional development, and secondly, in responsibly managing class assignments appropriate to the knowledge and background of the individual faculty member.