Teaching assignments and WORKLOAD, including workload equivalencies and related procedures

  1. Definitions

    Kent State University is pledged to making all of its campuses inclusive, diverse, and free from discrimination. The University’s equal-opportunity policies extend to every aspect of employment, academics, and student-life. No unlawful discrimination in employment, admissions, academic programs, recruiting, financial aid, or social, recreational and health programs is permissible or tolerated.

    The Office of Affirmative Action is the principal agency responsible for implementing fairness and good-faith practices across the University. This goal is defined in detail in the Affirmative Action Program of Kent State University, which is updated and republished from time to time. Individual faculty members are encouraged to contact either the Office of Affirmative Action on the Kent Campus or the Kent State Stark Affirmative Action Facilitator at any time if they need information regarding their rights, or if they wish to learn about procedures available to resolve concerns or complaints. All counseling is confidential.

    1. Regular and FTNTT Appointment

    A prospective faculty member’s appointment to Kent State Stark must be approved by the Dean, the Academic unit, the Collegial/School Dean, the Vice President for System Integration, and the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Curriculum Development. Appointments are then made by the Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of the President. All other faculty personnel recommendations are subject to similar approval.

    The procedure for hiring a new faculty member to the Stark Campus conforms to the Regional Campuses Guidelines for Academic Search Committees. After a campus review of enrollment trends and projections, a position request is made to the Vice President for System Integration. If approved, a job description is crafted establishing the qualifications for the position, describing the nature of the position, and establishing the deadline dates for application. The position is then advertised appropriately. The job description also identifies a person to whom applications should be directed.

    Kent State Stark search committees are formed by the Dean and approved by the Office of Affirmative Action. Committees generally consist of tenured or tenure-track faculty (although provisions are sometimes made for the participation of FTNTT faculty) and the chair is usually a senior faculty member in his or her discipline. Once committees are formally charged by the Dean, they are provided with training sessions to ensure fair-hiring practices and the following of hiring protocols (especially those developed by the Office of Affirmative Action).

    The search committee is responsible for identifying a short list of candidates to be submitted to the department chair for review and approval. From the list of candidates approved by the department, the search committee submits a list of three or four candidates to the Dean. A search committee, if it so chooses, may rank the candidates (Collective Bargaining Agreement).

    At the conclusion of the committee’s screening process and following the approval of the Affirmative Action Office, the Dean makes a recommendation to the Vice President for System Integration’s office. Upon the approval of the Vice President, an offer of appointment is made. This offer must be in writing and will minimally include the department of the prospective faculty member; dates and periods of employment; the type of appointment, tenure, or promotion; other terms of appointment, such as the initial Regional Campus to which the faculty member is assigned, promotion and tenure clauses; the responsibilities of the position; and possibilities for summer teaching. (See Regional Campuses Guidelines for Academic Searches.)

    While faculty are full members of their respective Kent Campus academic units, their tenure and teaching assignments are in the Regional Campus System, which is budgeted separately from the Kent Campus. This means that new faculty members must become aware of the structure of governance, standards for evaluation of probationary faculty, and the general culture within both their departments and the Kent State Stark Campus. This handbook, along with the Regional Campus Handbook, should provide an overview of Stark and the Regional Campuses system. However, new faculty members are strongly encouraged to learn about their own departments from their chair and other senior faculty, and to engage in a modest amount of departmental service.

    Moreover, the University has the right to reassign an individual to a different campus from his or her initial appointment. Such decisions are made by the Vice President for System Integration and are governed by considerations of seniority as well as the procedures outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreements for regular and FTNTT faculty (Regional Campus Handbook). Resident faculty status at a specific Regional Campus is determined annually based on assigned contractual teaching load for the fall semester.

  2. Faculty Ranks

    1.   Regular Full-time Faculty Ranks. “Regular full-time faculty” includes only those persons who have tenure or are “tenure-track,” i.e., who have probationary appointments. Kent State Stark follows the University’s policy with respect to faculty rank as set forth in the University Policy Register. Depending on the level of an individual full-time faculty member’s credentials, qualifications and experience, he or she will occupy one of the following ranks:

    2.   Instructor, (ii) Assistant Professor, (iii) Associate Professor, and (iv) Professor. Tenure- track appointments for new faculty members typically begin at the Instructor or Assistant levels, depending upon a new hire’s credentials and the negotiations that occur at the time of hire. A definition of tenure, a discussion of the initial probationary period, and the procedures for the granting of tenure are included in the documents “University Policy and Procedures Regarding Faculty Reappointment” and “University Policy Regarding Faculty Tenure,” which can be found in the University Policy Register. For regular full-time faculty, assignment or advancement to these ranks normally occurs by promotion, or upon initial appointment when specific criteria are met. For more details, see “University Policy Regarding Promotion” in the University Policy Register.

    3.   Full-time Instructional Non-tenure-track Appointments. FTNTT appointments follow University rules as set forth in the University Policy Register and The Non-tenure-track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement. The teaching load for a full-time FTNTT faculty member amounts to 30 hours per year. So, an FTNTT instructor must teach a combination of courses between the fall and spring semester that will yield that number of load hours. He or she may be required to make up any differences in service or other designated work—for example, advising—as required under the conditions of his or her contract with the Kent State Stark Campus and per agreement with the University. FTNTT appointments for new faculty members typically begin at the Lecturer or Assistant levels, depending upon a new hire’s credentials and the negotiations that occur at the time of hire. FTNTT faculty members completing the third year of a three-year term of annually renewable appointments must undergo a performance review as a prerequisite for subsequent appointment (Non-tenure- track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement). Other responsibilities and expectations of FTNTT faculty members in the Regional Campus System may be found in the Regional Campus Handbook.

    4.   Temporary Faculty: Adjunct, Part-time and Visiting Faculty. The Regional Campus System maintains contractual relationships with temporary faculty, contingent upon certain conditions, limitations, and policies, and consistent with the University Policy Register and the Collective Bargaining Agreements with regular and FTNTT faculties. Temporary faculty members at Kent State Stark play an important role in fulfilling its teaching mission. They are accorded the same academic freedom in the classroom as regular faculty, and temporary faculty members are encouraged to become involved in the Stark community, to the extent possible. Other responsibilities and expectations of temporary faculty members in the Regional Campus System may be found in the Regional Campus Handbook.

    Temporary appointments are ordinarily for one year or for one semester. No implication of reappointment is intended. In some instances, a department may wish to designate "temporary” for appointees who are potentially permanent staff when a particular advanced degree is attained. Temporary appointees are not covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreements with regular and FTNTT faculties.

    Service as a temporary appointee is not applicable toward tenure, promotion in rank, or similar faculty professional advancements. There is no institutional obligation beyond the period of the temporary appointment. Any number of consecutive years of service is a disconnected sequence of discrete appointments.

    If a department wishes to appoint a temporary person with rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor, that appointment should be prefaced by "Visiting." Visiting faculty members generally enjoy the same academic rights and privileges as other regular Kent State University faculty members. However, they do not enjoy the same rights of participation in University decision-making as do Kent State University regular faculty members and are ineligible for elections to the various Kent State Stark Campus faculty committees and councils.

    Temporary faculty at Kent State Stark are reviewed at least once annually by the Associate/Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs or by the program coordinator in their teaching area. Classroom performance—an important component of the scholarship of teaching—is weighted most heavily in such reviews.

    5.   Further academic ranks of the University are Research Professor, Visiting Distinguished Professor, Senior Research Fellow, Lecturer, Visiting Artist, Student Assistant, Research Associate, and Postdoctoral Fellow. More detailed information concerning these ranks is in the University Policy Register.


  3. Faculty Development

    Kent State University provides support for faculty development in teaching and scholarship. The University has faculty professional improvement (sabbatical) and research leave policies under which eligible faculty may petition for a semester or a yearlong leave. Additionally, faculty members at Kent State Stark can apply for Regional Campus Teaching, Field Experience, and Professional Development Awards. Kent State Stark also makes available release time (load lifts) and follows University policy regarding faculty travel and reimbursements for scholarly and development activities.

    The CBA calls for faculty completing certain professional development awards to submit a summary report documenting accomplishments to the Provost. Faculty will submit a copy of this report to the Dean.

  4. Teaching Policies

    1.    Teaching Loads

    Regional Campus faculty have a standard teaching load as follows, although other duties (administrative appointments, etc.), may and should provide load equivalencies as determined by the Dean for the faculty member.

    a.    The teaching load for a regular full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty member is 24 hours (or equivalent) per academic year.

    b.    The teaching load for a FTNTT faculty member is 30 hours (or equivalent) per academic year.

    c.    Teaching load for interactive and distributed learning courses will be arranged individually and in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, depending upon the scope of such courses and the amount of preparation required. It is at the discretion of the faculty member and the Dean to seek reimbursement for preparation time.

    d.    Faculty members who make a special contribution to the Campus in areas other than classroom teaching, e.g., chairing Council or advising students for the Office of Student Services, may receive special assignment hours equivalent to teaching hours to carry out those contributions. (This provision does not refer to the normal, expected faculty activities considered to be “service.”) Workload equivalencies for FTNTT faculty members will be comparable to workload equivalencies for tenure-track faculty members.

    e.    Scheduling varies by department, but each faculty member should expect a portion of contract load to be assigned during the evening hours. Class size is contingent upon facilities and need, and is determined by the Dean for Academic Affairs in consultation with the department, the campus departmental coordinator, and the instructor. A faculty member may also expect to be assigned to teach at other Kent State University campuses if enrollments do not justify a full teaching load at Kent State Stark or if there is a need at another campus.

    2.    Overload Policy

    Compensation for teaching overload at Kent State Stark is governed by the policy described in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In situations where there is a choice between using a temporary faculty member or assigning overload to a full-time faculty member, the decision shall be made by the Dean in consultation with the campus departmental coordinator.

    3.    Summer Teaching Policy

    Summer teaching opportunities may be available for Kent State Stark faculty members, and are contingent upon course demands and enrollment projections. The Dean makes summer teaching assignments. The Regional Campus System follows the rule of equitable distribution of opportunities for summer employment among members of the regular faculty bargaining unit. In actual practice, this principle requires supervision by faculty members and administrators alike, because staffing changes are irregular and positions are often not filled until the last moment, when many faculty are away from their campuses.

    Tenured or tenure-track faculty are to receive the first opportunity to teach summer school (including intersession) before any other Kent State faculty member or non-KSU personnel (Collective Bargaining Agreement). When classes are available, summer teaching shall be offered to faculty on this basis: regular full-time tenure-track, FTNTT, and finally, adjunct. The FTNTT faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that, after tenure-track faculty, Kent State Stark FTNTT faculty are to be given “next priority in consideration” for summer teaching.

    Should a full-time faculty member desire to teach a summer course on another Regional Campus, he or she must inform the Dean of the campus where teaching is desired of this intention and send a copy to the Vice President for System Integration’s Office (generally, by mid-April) preceding the summer session. This notification does not guarantee that a course will be offered, only that the faculty member’s name is added to the list for consideration if resident/tenured faculty at that campus are unavailable to teach the course. There is no reimbursement for travel to and from the campuses where assignments are made.

    The normal summer load of 6 hours per term for tenured and tenure-track faculty, referenced in the Collective Bargaining Agreement shall be understood as embracing the opportunity for compensation of services totaling up to a maximum of 12 hours for all Summer Terms combined excluding Intersession. The provision that there shall be no additional payment for any overload assignment accepted by a faculty member in excess of these limitations shall be retained.

    4.    Intersession Teaching

    Opportunities to teach a single course each year during intersession, a three-week period between the end of spring semester and the beginning of summer classes, may be available for Kent State Stark faculty members. Course offerings are approved by the Dean in consultation with department coordinators, and are contingent upon course demand, enrollment projections, and the probability of the successful delivery of the course in the intensive intersession format. An intercession assignment does not count for either summer load or for overload. For more information about intersession teaching see the University Policy Register.

    5.    Contractual Obligation to Meet Classes

    Faculty members shall meet their classes and conduct final examinations at the scheduled times. The Dean or a designee must approve changes in listed class times and room assignments. Necessary absences must be approved by the Assistant/Associate Dean in the Office of Academic Affairs.

    a.    Sickness or Personal Emergency. When classes will be cancelled due to sickness or personal emergency related circumstances, contact the Dean’s Office so that notices for students can be posted on the campus website and announcement monitors. In addition, report sick or personal leave time on the human resource time reporting system, currently in FlashLine under My Action Items, before or upon return to campus.

    b.    Conference Participation. Participation in conferences is an important part of a scholar’s professional growth; however, it should not be done at the expense of student instruction. Normally, classes should be covered during an instructor’s absence. That may mean that conferences of more than a week or multiple conferences within one semester will be discouraged. Travel to conferences or professional meetings should be cleared in advance with the Dean.

    c.    Personal Leaves-of-Absence. There are many legitimate reasons why a faculty member may request a leave-of-absence, e.g., court duty, military duty, pregnancy, illness, temporary disability, research, graduate study, or travel. However, these are typically acquired without pay. Special circumstances govern each category of leave. As an example, the University will pay a faculty member full salary if he or she is subpoenaed to attend court as a witness or for jury duty by the United States or the State of Ohio.

    d.    Professional Development. A variety of programs are available through the University, including travel grants, grants to conduct research during the summer or academic year, etc., which may require faculty to miss all or part of a semester. Special arrangements must be made with the Dean for a faculty member to go forward with such awards. For more information, contact the University Research Council.

    6.    Evaluation of Faculty Teaching

    Faculty members are expected to be professional in the classroom, maintaining order and conducting class in a climate of civility and respect. They are expected to use the complete class time for instruction. They should apply appropriate teaching techniques for a given course, depending upon class size and discipline. To exhibit that faculty are actively engaged in continuous improvement of their teaching, faculty members are encouraged to remain current in the pedagogical theories of their disciplines and to experiment with innovations in classroom teaching (i.e., use of educational technology, service-learning). Ongoing faculty professional development in teaching may be demonstrated in several ways, including but not limited to pedagogical conference attendance and/or presentations, publication of pedagogical scholarship/scholarship of teaching and learning, curriculum development, and active membership in a faculty learning community with a teaching focus. They should inform students in writing at the beginning of each semester about course objectives and requirements. Evaluations of student performance should be undertaken on a regular basis, and grades should be reported in a timely manner and per policies. Students with disabilities should be accommodated per University and Federal and local policies.

    a.    Student Evaluation of Faculty. All Stark Campus faculty members are expected to set aside time in each class each semester for student evaluations, using the approved University Student Survey of Instruction form (S.S.I.). All University personnel who teach are obligated to conduct evaluations per established procedures. All formal evaluations are tabulated by University computer services, and reviewed and summarized by the Assistant Dean. The tabulations and summaries are then provided to the faculty member.

    b.    Peer Evaluation of Faculty. Full-time faculty members should arrange for peer reviews by other faculty in their disciplines as required by their departments. Probationary faculty and faculty standing for promotion must include peer reviews in their files or portfolios. It is especially important for a probationary faculty member to be reviewed yearly by a Kent departmental colleague.

    The Dean, in consultation with departmental coordinators, has the primary responsibility for assessing the performance of temporary faculty.

  5. Faculty Responsibilities

    Because of the missions of the University and Kent State Stark, and the close relationship of the Campus with the local communities it serves, the primary responsibility of the faculty assigned to this campus is instructional, with emphasis placed on classroom teaching and its concomitant responsibilities. In addition, individual faculty members should pursue an appropriate program of professional growth and development within a particular instructional discipline. Finally, “university citizenship,” service activities that make significant positive contributions to the advancement of the educational, scholarly and governance missions and operation of the University, is a responsibility and concern of all regular full-time faculty members.

    1.    Professional Ethics

    Faculty members are bound by the Faculty Code of Professional Ethics (revised), as set forth in the University Policy Register. Kent State Stark embraces the institutional core values as noted in the University Policy Register—namely, that academic freedom is necessary to the mission of the faculty of a university, and that professional responsibility is a logical correlative of this freedom. Faculty members have responsibilities to the students they are teaching, to the University, and to the profession. Codes of conduct governing the behavior of both faculty and students are summarized in Section V of this handbook.

    a.    Harassment. Kent State Stark is absolutely committed to the principles of freedom of expression. Members of the University community have the right to hold, vigorously defend, and promote their opinions. The maintenance of civility is crucial to the learning community. Therefore, Kent State Stark is also committed to maintaining an educational and employment environment free from hostility, intimidation, or harassment based on such attributes as race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender and/or sexual orientation, or on any other basis, to the extent that they are not covered in the University Policy Register.

    b.    Equal Opportunity. Kent State Stark committed to equal opportunity for all members of the campus community. Policies associated with this commitment can be found in the University Policy Register.

    c.    Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco. Kent State Stark Campus, like the University, is committed to following state and local laws concerning alcohol and tobacco use on campus, to maintaining a workplace free of illegal drugs, using as a guideline the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226). Specific guidelines for both faculty and student conduct with respect to alcohol and drugs can be found in the University Policy Register (e.g., sections 3342-6-60, 3342-4-09 through 3342-4-11) and in the Digest of Rules and Regulations.

    2.    Responsibilities to Students

    As summarized in the University Policy Register, the “central responsibility of a faculty member is to attempt to impart a knowledge and understanding of a field of study, to develop in students appropriate and relevant skills, and to do so in accordance with the best standards of scholarship and pedagogy in the discipline.” As summarized in the Regional Campus Handbook, faculty members are expected to serve as “role models to students to help them define and support campus-wide standards of integrity.”

    a.    Instruction. In meeting these responsibilities, faculty members are expected to maintain professional standards as they conduct their classes. Summaries of expected behavior can be found in the University Policy Register and the Regional Campus Handbook. Specific information about syllabi, office hours, etc., can be found on the Stark Campus website.

    b.    Letters of Reference for Students. It is both an expectation of the teaching contract and a professional duty to provide students with letters of reference when requested. If there are reasons why a faculty member cannot in good faith provide such a letter, he or she may refuse, but this should be a rare occurrence and never simply for the convenience of the instructor. In writing letters of reference for students, faculty should exercise care in formulating their opinions and bear in mind that under Public Law 93-380 (1/1/75) students have the right to inspect all references in their files.

    3.    Responsibilities to the Campus

    Faculty members are expected to serve on committees relating to the operation of the campus. A description of campus committees is available from the Council Secretary. Faculty members report to the Kent State Stark Dean and are directly accountable to the Dean in all matters except those pertaining to course content and mode of instruction, primary responsibility for which rests with the Kent Campus department or school.

    4.    Responsibilities to the University

    a.    Conflicts of Interest. Faculty members at Kent State Stark are bound by the University policy regarding conflict of interest of University employees, as set forth in the University Policy Register.

    b.    University Policy Regarding Obtaining Outside Employment. Outside activities of a professional nature are encouraged if the activities are consistent with the individual’s responsibilities to the University and in furtherance of the aims of the University. Indeed, the University recognizes that one mark of an individual’s distinction is the esteem in which he or she is held by those outside the University who may request services, professional judgments, or expertise. No individual, however, should accept employment or pursue other activity of a professional or nonprofessional nature that compromises his or her responsibilities to the University. (See University Policy Register). Faculty must seek permission of the Dean before pursuing outside employment.

    c.    Use of Human Subjects or Live Animals in Research and Teaching. Faculty members are bound by the University policy regarding academic research involving use of human subjects or live animals for investigation, as set forth in the University Policy Register. In brief, faculty must submit a required form and secure approval from the appropriate Review Board before engaging in research that involves human subjects or live animals.

    5.    Responsibility to the Profession

    Faculty members are responsible for maintaining professional standards with respect to research, dissemination of research, and interactions with colleagues as outlined in the University Policy Register.

  6. Annual Workload Summary Reports for Tenured Faculty

    As outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, by September 15 each continuing tenured faculty member is to prepare and submit to the Dean an annual workload summary report, which is to include an updated curriculum vitae and a brief summary of the previous year's professional activities. Course syllabi for each course or sections of a course taught by the faculty member during the previous academic year are also required, but the Dean's office will typically have these on file if copies were made by one of the Faculty Secretaries. If this is not the case, these syllabi will also need to be submitted with this report. The Dean's office is responsible for adding the required summaries of course evaluations. While the University may provide an electronic system for collecting this information, faculty are not required to use this system.

    The purpose of the workload summary report is to document the workload, including utilization of specified workload equivalencies, for that academic year. This report may be used in planning future workload equivalencies. Any other use of the report requires consent of the Faculty member.