Appointment and Employment Procedures and Regulations | Kent State University

Appointment and Employment Procedures and Regulations

  1. Faculty Ranks

    The nature of all faculty ranks is defined in the University Policy Register [UR 3342-6-08-B-1].

  2. Full-Time Faculty Credentials

    The School of Library and Information Science supports equal opportunity (UR 3342-6-01) and affirmative action (UR 3342-6­02) in its recruiting efforts. Full-time faculty positions, both tenured/tenure-track and non-tenure-track, are normally advertised nationally. Terminal degree for SLIS programs is the doctorate degree.

     

    Faculty Search Committee

    The Director appoints an Ad Hoc Search Committee, usually consisting of at least four tenured/tenure-track members.  One non-tenure-track faculty member and one student may also be appointed. The Director appoints a faculty member to chair the committee and serves as an ex officio member. The Search Committee prepares position descriptions for FAC approval. The Chair of the Search Committee arranges for advertisements to be placed and corresponds with applicants, following approval by the University Human Resources. When possible, members of the Search Committee conduct preliminary interviews at professional conferences such as ASIST, ALISE, or other professional meetings. The Committee evaluates the applicants and then recommends candidates for interviews. All members of the FAC participate in the interviewing process and provide feedback to the Search Committee. Feedback also is solicited from students, staff and other individuals who have participated in candidate site visits. The Search Committee submits a rank-ordered list of recommended candidates to the Director. The SLIS Director reviews the list and recommends one candidate for appointment to the Dean of Communication and Information and the Provost.

     

    Selection Criteria for Tenure-Track Faculty

    Appropriate educational background and potential for effective teaching, research, publications and service (to the University, the State, and the profession) are key criteria used by search committees in evaluating candidates for appointment to the tenured/tenure-track faculty.

     

    Acceptable, minimal educational credentials normally will include a Master’s degree (or equivalent) and a Doctorate in fields closely related to curricular areas within the School. Those candidates with substantial progress made toward completion of the doctoral dissertation also may be acceptable for appointments at beginning ranks. In such chases, faculty are appointed at an NTT position until the completion of their doctoral degree at which time they can move to a tenure-track position. NTTs under such circumstances have up to three years of NTT appointment (with annual reappointment review by the School) to complete their doctoral degree and move to a tenure-track position.

     

    Evidence of potential teaching effectiveness may include letters of recommendation, a guest lecture delivered by the candidate, teaching portfolio including sample syllabi and student evaluations, and information gathered through the interview process. Other evidence may be used as appropriate. Published articles, a dissertation, and plans for future work will be considered evidence in evaluating a candidate’s potential for research and publication. Potential for service will be evaluated by means of letters of recommendation and evidence of active participation in professional organizations (meetings attended, committee assignments, offices held).

     

    In addition to these general criteria, the School must maintain on its faculty a sufficient variety of specializations to cover the essential areas of the curriculum. Individuals who are otherwise well qualified may not be appointed because their areas of expertise are already represented on the tenured/tenure-track faculty.

     

    Appointments normally are made at the rank of Assistant Professor. A candidate with exceptional qualifications or extensive experience may be appointed at a higher rank, subject to approval of the Dean of the College of Communication and Information. Tenure-Track faculty members are recommended for full membership in the Graduate Faculty. Such membership must be reviewed every fifth year, as set by the university since 1969.

     

    Selection Criteria for Non-Tenure-Tack Faculty

    Non-Tenure-Track (NTT) Faculty should have appropriate educational background, including a Master’s and doctoral degree in fields closely related to curricular areas within the School. Exceptional candidates lacking a doctoral degree but with substantial professional and/or research record may be considered for an NTT appointment. NTT faculty appointments at SLIS are typically Instructional, FTNTT Faculty members whose primary role is to deliver instruction, or Practitioner, FTNTT Faculty members from academia, industry, and/or other professional fields whose primary role is to deliver instruction or service in professional programs and applied areas.

     

    NTT faculty must have substantial professional experience, be active in their field professionally, and provide evidence of potential teaching effectiveness. Evidence of effectiveness in teaching may include letters of recommendation, a guest lecture delivered by the candidate, teaching portfolio including sample syllabi and student evaluations, and information gathered through the interview process. Other evidence may be used as appropriate. Additional evidence may include:

    • a record of successful teaching in the last three years in the specialty area to be covered in the curriculum;
    • recent service in professional organizations dealing with the specialty area to be covered in the curriculum;
    • substantial professional experience in the specialty area to be covered in the curriculum;
    • a record of recent publications.

    Non-Tenure-Track faculty members are recommended for associate membership in the Graduate Faculty. Such membership must be reviewed every fifth year, as set by the university since 1969.

  3. Part-Time Instructor Credentials

    Part-time instructors must hold a Master’s degree or doctoral degree in fields closely related to curricular areas within the School, have substantial professional experience, and be active in their field professionally as evidenced by any of the following:

     

    • a record of successful teaching in the last three years in the specialty area to be covered by the course;
    • recent service in professional organizations dealing with the specialty area to be covered by the course;
    • substantial professional experience in the specialty area to be covered by the course;
    • a record of recent publications.

     

    For initial appointment, evidence of successful teaching experience (especially online teaching if they are assigned to teach online courses) and successful communication skills should be presented.  Part-time instructors should not expect continuation of appointment. Appointment decisions are made each semester based on needs, enrollment, and available funds.

     

    Part-time instructors may be recommended for temporary membership in the Graduate Faculty. Such membership must be reviewed every two years.

  4. Role and Responsibility of Faculty Members

    Each faculty member is expected to contribute to the University and to the School. Effective teaching is expected of all faculty members.

     

    Faculty members must prepare a syllabus for distribution at the beginning of each term for each course they are teaching. A copy of the syllabus also must be placed on file with the School the first day of classes. Graduate teaching by all full-time graduate faculty members with appropriate status may include supervision of culminating experiences, master’s graduate research projects, thesis or dissertation work. Meaningful and highly responsive academic advising and mentoring is also expected. Part-time instructors are not eligible for supervision of such graduate work or student academic advising.

     

    Because the School is primarily a graduate unit, research and publication are expected of all tenured/tenure-track faculty members on a systematic and continuing basis. Seeking external financial support for research and other projects is highly encouraged.

     

    Exceptional teaching is expected by all non-tenure-track faculty members. In addition, significant curriculum development efforts are expected by all Instructional FTNTT faculty members. Exceptional service efforts are expected by all practitioner FTNTT faculty members.

     

    Service on University and School committees and in professional organizations is expected of all full-time faculty members. Contribution to the governance of the School, College, University, and the profession is highly encouraged. Evidence of such contribution includes active participation in committees, engagement in all aspects of the school’s mission, and the advancement of the profession through leadership in professional organizations.

     

    Annual Work Load Summary

    Each continuing tenured Faculty member is to prepare and submit an annual workload summary report for the previous academic year by the end of each Spring semester. Faculty shall submit the annual workload summary report to the Director. This report is to identify and update the faculty member’s efforts, accomplishments, scholarly contributions, ongoing professional activities, service and interests during that academic year and plans for the next academic year.

     

    These reports will become an ongoing record of each Faculty member’s professional activities providing information related to grant activities, collaborative scholarship and teaching activities.

     

    The annual workload summary report submitted by the Faculty member, shall be accompanied by an annual updated curriculum vitae (see guidelines in Appendix B), and the course syllabi for each course or section of course taught by the Faculty member during the previous academic year. The chair or faculty member shall add to the report copies of the summaries of course evaluations for each course section taught during the previous academic year. If necessary, the Director may request additional information from the faculty member to clarify summary information and the faculty member shall respond in a timely fashion. The purpose of this report is to document the workload, including utilization of the specified work equivalencies, for that academic year. Any other use of the report requires the consent of the Faculty member.

     

    Per the CBA, Article IX, Section 2D, the procedures establishing the annual workload summary are to be included in the handbook of each academic unit.

  5. Faculty Load

    The tenured and tenure-track faculty load policy of the School of Library and Information Science is based upon a full-time instructional and research load equivalent to 24 credit hours per academic year, typically 12 hours per semester, as specified in the FT-T/TT CBA (2012), Article IX. Teaching and teaching-related load for graduate faculty includes formal class teaching and appropriate teaching credit for advising of individual investigations, seminars, culminating experiences, research projects and papers, theses, and dissertations. For tenured/tenure-track faculty, load for formal classroom teaching is typically a 2-2 semester schedule of courses, with the expectation that faculty will have substantial involvement in research, service and graduate student advising. Modification or revision of the basic workload statements (course release or increase of teaching load) and of the specification and/or application of the course load equivalents requires the approval of the full Faculty of the academic unit. Revisions of the School’s workload expectations also require approval by the Provost as well as by the responsible Dean; revisions in the specification or application of course load equivalents also require approval by the Dean as well as by the Department Chair. Overload teaching assignments are rare and subject to the approval of the Director and the Dean of CCI. Other assignments include scholarship, administrative, faculty professional development, and other assignments.

     

    The NTT load policy of the School of Library and Information Science is based upon a full-time instructional load equivalent to 30 credit hours per academic year, 15 hours per semester, as specified in the FT-NTT CBA (2013), Article IX. At SLIS, teaching load for Instructional or Practitioner NTTs is typically a 4-4 semester schedule of courses, with the expectation that faculty will have substantial involvement in service, curriculum development, graduate student advising, and supervision of culminating experiences, projects, etc.

     

    Per FT-NTT CBA, the director, along with the faculty advisory committee (FAC), shall specify which assignments appropriate to the instructional and/or other responsibilities of FT-NTT Faculty members within the school shall constitute a workload assignment of the fifteen (15) credits per semester/thirty (30) credits per academic year.

     

    Individual faculty workload expectations are subject to annual review and reflected in their workload statements.

     

    Load Adjustments

    Load adjustments may be warranted for substantial involvement by a faculty member beyond what is expected of the regular faculty load (24 hours for T/TT and 30 for NTT) in any of the following activities: graduate faculty responsibilities, major research projects, and special departmental or university administrative and service obligations that may arise.

     

    Course load adjustments may be made by the SLIS Director in consultation with the FAC and the Dean of the College of Communication and Information. The Director may increase course loads in cases in which faculty productivity in such areas as research, service, or advising are deemed insufficient. Periodic review of load adjustments should be conducted through a consultation with the FAC and the Director.

     

    The following activities may carry load adjustments:

    • Graduate Coordinator
    • Initial year of faculty appointment for establishing research and teaching agendas
    • Development of new curriculum (courses or a program of study)
    • Securing an external grant with budgeted load buyout
    • Other major administrative appointments.

     

    Service, research, and instructional activities may qualify faculty members for adjustments in more than one area.

     

    Workload Statements

    In accordance with Article IX, Section 2C of the CBA, for each term of the regular academic year, each member of the Faculty shall receive a workload statement, normally at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the term. This statement shall include the number of credit/workload hours to be devoted to instructional assignments and the number of hours within the unit’s workload equivalent policy (as noted above) to be devoted to the discharge of responsibilities in the areas of research, special service and advising activities significantly above the level expected of all Faculty in the unit, services of an administrative nature, and such other applicable workload equivalents specified in the unit’s workload policy.

     

  6. Teaching Assignments

    The SLIS Director, in consultation with individual faculty members, handles teaching assignments in the School of Library and Information Science administratively. Schedules are prepared approximately ten months in advance, by the Associate Director with input provided by the faculty. Course selection, evening and weekend on-campus assignments, teaching term, and online offerings are made based on program needs, with as much scheduling consideration as possible of the wishes of the faculty. All faculty members should be able and may be asked to teach core courses if necessary.

  7. Leaves of Absence and Professional Improvement Leaves

    1. Faculty Leaves of Absence without Pay

    (See UR 3342-6-11.9)

    Tenured/tenure-track faculty of the School may request leave of absence without pay for legitimate personal or professional reasons. Such leave must be requested by March 1 for leaves beginning the next year. Requests for leaves, which are proposed to begin during the second semester, should be filed at the beginning of the Fall semester.

     

    Requests for leave must be approved by the SLIS Director, the Dean of Communication and Information, and the Provost. Leave for the purpose of eventually accepting regular appointment at another institution is not permitted, nor may a faculty member hold tenure concurrently at the university and another institution.

     

    Special recognition is accorded to leaves of absence for research purposes (See UR 3341-6-11.8). In such cases, “special research leave” is substituted for the “leave of absence” notation in the faculty’s record.

     

    2. Faculty Leaves of Absence with Pay

    (See UR 3342-6-11)

    Leave of absence with pay is granted for court duty (UR 3342-6-11.5). Any remuneration is to be remitted to the Treasurer of the University unless the absence is outside of normal working hours.

     

    3. Other Faculty Leaves of Absence

    Leaves of absence for illness, temporary disability and pregnancy, and military service are covered in UR 3342-6-11.1, UR 3342-6-11.3, and UR 3342-6-11.6 respectively.

    4. Faculty Professional Improvement Leaves (FPIL)

    (See UR 3342-6-12 and UR 3342-6-12.101)

    Tenured members of the faculty who have completed seven years of full-time service with the University and have the rank of assistant professor or higher are eligible for faculty professional improvement leaves (i.e., sabbaticals) in accordance with University policies (UR 3342-6-12) and operating procedures (UR 3342-6-12.101). A faculty request for a professional improvement leave should state the purpose clearly in a proposal of about 300 words. The proposal is prepared and reviewed in accordance with the university guidelines distributed annually by the Office of the Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs. The proposal must be submitted to the Director by October 15 of the prior academic year.

     

    Policy Statement on Faculty Professional Improvement Leaves (FPIL)

    The School of Library and Information Science, as a graduate unit of Kent State University, welcomes the opportunities for faculty research made possible through PILs. Research and publication of the results are beneficial to the School and to individual faculty members. Because the School has a small faculty, each request must be weighed carefully in relation to the primary obligation of the School to provide a balanced array of required and elective courses for students in the M.L.I.S. program. Therefore, the following limitations usually are placed on granting PIL requests: only one faculty member can be permitted to be absent on PIL in any given semester. (If one faculty member is granted a PIL for an entire year, no other PILs can be permitted during that year. If two faculty members are to receive semester-length PILs, they must take them in different semesters.) Exceptions to these restrictions may be considered.

     

    In addition to the criteria established in the University Policy on Professional Improvement Leaves, the following criteria will be used in evaluating PIL requests:

    • the merits of the proposals as research proposals and their potential for eventual publication;
    • the merits of the proposal to meet program development needs;
    • the potential of the proposals for enhancing the regional, national or international visibility of the School.
  8. Faculty Duties

    Office Hours

    Faculty members are expected to maintain at least five scheduled office hours per week  (UR 3341-6-18.101). Office hours must be published in a place where students in courses and advisees can access them. Faculty members are expected to notify each class and their advisees of hours during which they are available for conferences and schedule appointments with students outside of the posted office hours at an agreed-upon time if students are unable to meet during the scheduled hours. Faculty are expected to be mindful of issues that effect students’ availability to have face-to-face and virtual meetings, including work schedules, time zone differences, and technology limitations. Faculty should also be mindful of the need to be responsive and timely (by the end of the day or within 24 hours when possible) in their communication with distance learners.

     

    Advising

    Faculty should be familiar with the content of the SLIS Student Handbook, which is available to all students. The Student Handbook contains policy information as it relates to SLIS programs.  Faculty members should maintain current knowledge of all policies, best practices, and advising tools of the School, the University, and the College of Communication and Information that are pertinent to student advising. When advising students, faculty are expected to be mindful of issues that effect students’ availability to have face-to-face and virtual meetings, including work schedules, time zone differences, and technology limitations. Faculty should also be mindful of the need to be responsive and timely (by the end of the day or within 24 hours when possible) in their communication with distance learners.

  9. Summer Teaching

    Historically, the School has offered summer and intersession courses and has been able to provide summer teaching opportunities to all members of the full-time faculty who wish to teach. In addition, the School has been able to secure the services of visiting specialists and part-time faculty to enrich the summer and intersession offerings.

     

    Considerations of program needs govern summer and intersession teaching assignments and decisions are made by the SLIS Director. First teaching priority is reserved for tenured/tenure-track faculty; however, summer and intersession teaching appointments are never automatic.

     

  10. Faculty Mentors

    At the time of initial hire, probationary faculty members (i.e., non-tenured tenure-track faculty) are each assigned a faculty mentor. Mentors work to foster development of faculty member’s teaching, research, and service. Mentors advise probationary faculty on the content and format of the files required for tenure and promotion. Faculty mentors are also assigned to all new NTTs and part-time instructors to advice on effective and reflective teaching. 

     

  11. Faculty Evaluations

    All faculty members (T/TT/NN/PT) are evaluated in the areas and based on criteria described in Section V of this Handbook. Additional criteria, policies and timelines of the evaluation are described in the University Policy Register and the respective T/TT and NTT CBAs.

  12. Authorization of Absence, Professional Memberships, and Travel Policy

    Faculty members who will be absent from campus for professional or personal reasons must file a Faculty Absence Authorization form requesting that absence be approved. This request should be filed well in advance or at least one week prior to the proposed absence. The SLIS Director and the Dean of Communication and Information must approve authorization of absence. Arrangements for any classes that will be missed must be satisfactory before the absence will be approved.

     

    It is expected that the faculty will belong to professional associations within their areas of interest. Most also will belong to several other organizations in their respective interest areas. Payment of personal membership dues in appropriate professional organizations is a normal responsibility of all faculty members and is not funded by the School.

     

    Travel for attendance at professional meetings is encouraged. Partial reimbursement, if funds permit, is provided in accordance with University policies (UR 3342-7-13). Faculty members are expected to consult with and seek approval from the Director prior to the event and prior to registration or travel arrangements for which the funds are requested and to submit the required absence authorization and estimated expenditures authorization form.

  13. Faculty Excellence Awards

    Article XII, Section 3 of CBA describes the policy on Faculty Excellence Awards (merit) which are given for demonstrated productivity and achievement in two categories: Teaching/University Citizenship and Scholarship. For specific performance criteria, see the indices of research and service in Section V., Subsections C. and D. (teaching and service), and Section V. B. (research) respectively. When authorized, increments are limited to faculty members whose performance in a given year is significantly above the norms for the School as a whole. The FAC will review merit guidelines for each year in which merit is to be given and recommend to the SLIS Director the appropriate standards to be used for merit consideration. Faculty may submit a separate application for each Faculty Excellence Award category. The FAC reviews all merit applications and makes recommendations to the Director for each applicant.

     

    The Director reviews the recommendations of the FAC and submits merit recommendations to the Dean of the College of Communication and Information. Considerations of Faculty Excellence Awards follow guidelines established by the Provost's office and the CBA (Article XII).

     

    Following completion of the merit process, the Director will make available to the faculty a general listing of the number and range of merit increments granted in each category.