Teaching Policies | Stark Faculty Handbook | Kent State University

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.