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3.7.1 Faculty Competence PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 September 2009 12:16

3.7.1 Faculty Competence

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. (See Commission guidelines "Faculty Credentials")

Responsible Unit: Division of Academic Affairs/Deans/Chairs

Compliance Judgement



Faculty Credential Guidelines:

Faculty teaching general education courses at the undergraduate level: doctorate or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).

Faculty teaching associate degree courses designed for transfer to a baccalaureate degree: doctorate or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).

Faculty teaching associate degree courses not designed for transfer to the baccalaureate degree: bachelor’s degree in the teaching discipline, or associate’s degree and demonstrated competencies in the teaching discipline.

Faculty teaching baccalaureate courses: doctorate or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline). At least 25 percent of the discipline course hours in each undergraduate major are taught by faculty members holding the terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate, in the discipline.

Faculty teaching graduate and post-baccalaureate course work: earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline.

Graduate teaching assistants: master’s in the teaching discipline or 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline, direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations.


North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) is a public, doctoral/research intensive, land-grant University and a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina (UNC) system. The University comprises two colleges and six schools offering degrees at the baccalaureate, masters and doctoral levels in a total of 183 majors. NC A&T is committed to attracting and retaining academically qualified and professionally competent faculty members who will assist the University in achieving its fundamental mission of “exemplary undergraduate and graduate instruction, scholarly and creative research, and effective public service. [1]” Beginning in the fall 2001, the faculty of NC A&T engaged in a strategic planning initiative that added to this mission, the University’s vision to become “the premiere interdisciplinary university” preparing our students to “meet the complex needs of the global society [2].” To accomplish this vision, NC A&T understands that it requires faculty who demonstrate: (1) “disciplinary excellence and…a commitment to knowledge and research,” (2) who appreciate “the influences of diverse thoughts, values, processes, resources” and (3) who can participate as members of “cross-functional teams with expertise from a variety of disciplines.” In every academic unit, NC A&T seeks to employ faculty members properly credentialed and superbly qualified, prepared, and capable of engaging in the full range of instructional, scholarly, research, and service activities. As such, NC A&T’s faculty has enabled the University to earn the distinction as the top producer of African–American engineers and technologists, to become the first among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to earn national accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for its accounting program, and to assist the School of Business and Economics in earning its reputation as the largest producer of minority certified public accountants [3]. Other programs and achievements at NC A&T speak to the caliber and distinction of its faculty. The University Studies general education program was developed as a direct consequence of the interdisciplinary focus of the Futures’ initiative and is expressed as such in its mission statement [4]. As NC A&T moves towards its vision of a globally aware interdisciplinary university, it moves forth and provides opportunities for the enhancement of the global awareness and international competencies of its faculty as well as its graduates and staff. One of the ways in which it does this is through initiatives promulgated by the Office of International Programs [5]. University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Expected to become operational in the year 2011, a major priority is the recruitment and selection of its faculty, faculty competent to fulfill the exigencies of joint/interdisciplinary appointments and “nano” research interests [6]. The faculty at NC A&T has been essential to NC A&T’s rise to preeminence as an educational institution. All NC A&T faculty are deemed qualified to teach at the University, competent not only to carry out the University’s mission but also in helping the University to achieve its future vision.

Each faculty member at the time of his/her application and appointment is evaluated for his/her potential to contribute to the mission, vision, and goals of NC A&T. The qualifications of faculty selected to teach at NC A&T are determined, and the resulting faculty appointments made in conformity with the criteria stipulated in the Principles of Accreditation of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Faculty Credentials Guidelines. This is in accord with the requirements of the UNC guidelines and is stated as such on the University’s New Hire Checklist [7]. The credentials and qualifications of the full roster of faculty who taught at NC A&T during the fall 2008 and spring 2009 semesters are presented in the NCA&T Faculty Credentials Roster [8]. World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credentials Evaluators (ECE) are the agencies used to verify the credentials of all faculty with a terminal degree from a non-United States university [9] [10]. A record of that verification is part of the permanent record of these faculty members and is included in his/her personnel file in the Office of the Provost/EPA Salary Administration.

In some instances, state law or program accreditation requirements extend the qualification requirements beyond those stipulated by SACS. For example, the professional program in the Department of Chemistry (American Chemical Society Certification Program) is approved by the American Chemical Society. The Society’s guidelines require that “at least three-fourths of the chemistry faculty must hold the Ph.D. or an equivalent research degree [11]. This exceeds the requirements of the “Twenty-five Percent Rule,” SACS Comprehensive Standard 3.5.4 which states that “At least 25 percent of the discipline course hours in each major at the baccalaureate level are taught by faculty members holding the terminal degree – usually the earned doctorate – in the discipline, or the equivalent of the terminal degree.” Similarly, the School of Nursing is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and was most recently reaccredited in 2008. The faculty credentialing requirements for NLNAC are in line with the SACS guidelines i.e., “Faculty are credentialed with a minimum of a master’s degree with a major in nursing and maintain expertise in their areas of responsibility” and “a minimum of 25% of the full-time faculty hold earned doctorates [12].” However, in addition to these qualifications, for initial appointment as a nursing faculty, North Carolina law requires “unrestricted registered nurse licensure with at least two years of documented practice experience [13]”. Finally, all teacher education programs at NC A&T are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction. Associated with some programs, e.g. Child Development Early Education and Family Studies (B-K Teacher Licensure) are additional licensure requirements for university faculty teaching in or supervising students in these programs [14].

The credentials of all fulltime faculty, all special faculty, and all part-time faculty are assessed by the appropriate department/program head and dean of their school or college, before the faculty member is hired and can teach any classes. The hiring department must complete a EPA New Hire Checklist [7], which includes as a requirement for faculty teaching credit courses leading toward a baccalaureate degree, a “Letter of Verification of Masters Degree with a Major in the Teaching Discipline from Chair to Dean or Letter of Verification of Masters Degree and 18 Graduate Credit Hours in the Teaching Discipline from Chair to Dean.” It further stipulates that “all faculty members teaching courses at the doctoral degree level must hold the earned doctoral degree in the teaching discipline or related discipline”and that these requirements follow SACS Standards. This checklist requires the signature of the department chairperson as well as that of the school or college dean. The required letter of verification is forwarded to the Office of the Provost/ EPA Salary Administration and remains as part of the employment package and personnel file of the new faculty member. The qualifications of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) are governed by the guidelines published in the UNC Policy Manual, Section 400.3.5 Training, Monitoring, and Evaluating Graduate Teaching Assistants and are followed by the NC A&T School of Graduate Studies [15][16].

Tenure System – Tenure Track Faculty

Tenure system faculty are considered “permanent faculty.” They are selected on the basis of demonstrated professional competence, for their potential to contribute to the total educational, research, and service components of the University’s mission, and on an assessment of institutional needs and resources as required by the UNC Board of Governors, The Code, [17]. As such, they provide continuity to the academic program and are expected to become involved in the full range of faculty responsibilities including: curriculum planning, advising, faculty governance, service on committees, scholarly contribution, etc. For faculty appointed to this category, the appropriate terminal degree is required; this is usually the doctorate but in some instances, may be the master’s degree. The majority of A&T faculty are tenure system faculty although increasingly the percentage of non-tenure system faculty has increased. This issue was addressed in a 2002 report to UNC Board of Governors [18]. The details relating to the distribution and academic ranks of NC A&T faculty who are tenured or tenure tract is documented in the response to Core Requirement 2.8. The NCA&T Faculty Handbook, Appendix C-3 lists the criteria for initial appointment of tenure system faculty and their relationship to the expectations for reappointment and promotion [19]. Criteria related to formal training and experience focus on (1) the highest degree, (2) teaching effectiveness, (c) research and or creative activity, and (4) interpersonal skills. These categories parallel those utilized for evaluation in consideration of promotion, reappointment and granting of tenure and for post tenure review as published in the NCA&T Faculty Handbook [20] [21].


The rank of instructor is the working title given faculty members who at the time of appointment, lack one or more qualifications such as the terminal degree, required by the department or school for appointment to the rank of assistant professor. There is however, a reasonable expectation that the faculty member will progress to the professorial rank [22]. As such, a faculty appointment to a position as instructor is considered a tenure track appointment. The initial appointment is a one year probationary appointment, renewable for three additional successive one-year terms. Near the end of the third term, the faculty member will receive written notice of either a fourth consecutive term, promotion to assistant professor, or a terminal one-year appointment at the end of the current term. These options are available at the end of the fourth, fifth, and sixth consecutive terms. No appointment beyond seven years is allowed. Instructors are evaluated utilizing the same criteria, guidelines, and requirements applied to reappointment, promotion and tenure decisions as for regular faculty. Promotion at any time to assistant professor constitutes an initial appointment at that rank. The classification of a faculty member as instructor may also include a prefix qualifier such as adjunct or clinical. Faculty members identified as instructors can be found in almost any academic unit throughout the university.


At NC A&T the title “lecturer” is a designation within the category designated as Special Faculty within the NC A&T Handbook [23]. Lectures are faculty appointees who are primarily engaged in teaching activities. A significant proportion of the faculty in some departments such as the departments of English and Journalism and Mass Communication, are identified as lecturers [24] [25]. Lectures are also included among the faculty listed in University Studies and in the Departments History, Human Performance and Leisure Studies, Math, and Psychology among others. Lecturers may be further qualified as visiting or adjunct as are lecturers listed in the Department of History [26]. The academic credentials for lecturers vary and include individuals having the baccalaureate, masters, or PhD as the highest academic degree. The details pertaining to a faculty member’s appointment as a lecturer are varied and based on the guidelines pertinent to Special Faculty. Lecturers do not participate in the tenure system and may not be promoted within this rank. They may however, receive salary increases.

Clinical, Research, Adjunct Faculty

The terms adjunct, clinical, and research are used as “pre-fix qualifiers” for the faculty titles included in the category of Special Faculty Appointments [23]. The titles of Clinical Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Assistant Professor and Clinical Instructor are inclusive for a majority of the faculty in the School of Nursing. Faculty appointments to which the designation of clinical, research, or adjunct is added to the title may be fixed term, fulltime and part-time appointments predominantly for faculty engaged in teaching in such a way that it provides a framework for teaching, and/or supervising students in an academic, clinical, or field setting. Clinical faculty do not participate in the tenure system and thus tenure may not be acquired in the clinical ranks. Clinical faculty may however, be appointed to a higher rank within the academic rank.

At NC A&T, the titles of Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, Research Assistant Professor and Researcher have been used to identify faculty with a primary research appointment according to the criteria of the UNC Policy Manual Section 300.2.5 [27]. Such an individual may also have joint appointment in the instructional program. Research appointments are fixed term appointments. Again, tenure may not be acquired in the research ranks; however, appointment to a higher rank is possible based on the appropriate criteria. Only a few such faculty are designated as research faculty at NC A&T. Research faculty are found appointed to positions within the departments of Biology, Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical and Chemical Engineering. In other departments, individuals with major responsibilities as a researcher and with limited teaching responsibilities may be identified only on the basis of faculty rank. Such an example is a faculty member and researcher in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Dr. Ahmedna is a researcher involved in teaching a graduate level course, Research Methods in Food and Nutrition. In 2007 he gained national attention for his work in developing allergen-free peanuts. He has been involved in the development of other value-added agricultural products and processes. Dr. Ahmedna has been able to apply for several patents as the result of his research at the university [28]. As indicated by its Carnegie ranking as a high research activity university, the research environment at NC A&T is active and productive. Numerous other faculty members have been able to apply for patents as a result of the research activities conducted in their laboratories. Students are greatly benefited by working with these faculty researchers.

The titles of Adjunct Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, and Adjunct Instructor are generally used to indicate faculty with limited responsibilities in the department or academic area making the adjunct appointment. The individual may be involved in teaching, research, practice or service and does not receive regular salary from the appointing department but may receive compensation from the department for that portion of his/or her time contracted for instructional duties. The term “adjunct” is also used to denote an individual in a part-time position or with a part-time commitment to the appointing department; however in some cases, “adjunct” may be used in the title designation for fulltime employment.

ROTC Faculty

NC A&T hosts Army and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) on it campus. They are designated as the Department of Military Science and Leadership and the Department of Aerospace Studies, respectively. They provide instruction in leadership training courses for students interested in military careers. Faculty in the ROTC Program receive salary directly from the federal government and are not paid by NC A&T or the State of North Carolina. They are however accounted as members of the faculty and accorded faculty rank on the basis of their military credentials. ROTC faculty members may have a joint teaching appointment in another academic unit. The courses taught as part of the ROTC program are included in the CoursEval student evaluation of performance as are all courses taught at NC A&T [29]. As faculty members in the ROTC program, ROTC faculty members do not participate in performance evaluation as do other NC A&T faculty.

Distinguished Professorships, Endowed Chairs

NC A&T State University has fourteen (14) named endowed professorships or Distinguished Named Professorships. A faculty member awarded this position is given the honorary title “Distinguished Professor.” A Distinguished Named Professorship is awarded to an existing tenured faculty member who receives the honorary title with additional salary and research funds either to retirement or for a fixed period of time, depending on the funding source. The faculty member appointed should have a record of outstanding accomplishment in that discipline or field as a teacher and scholar or practitioner and the discipline to which the person is appointed should be one of major importance to the educational program of the institution. The procedures followed for selection and appointment are to be fully consistent with the institution’s tenure policies and regulations and other applicable personnel policies. The Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund was established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1985 to provide grants for endowed professorships and is addressed in the UNC Policy Manual Section 600.2.3 [30]. In May 2007, the C.D. Spangler Foundation announced a program to support the creation of up to 96 distinguished professorships across the 16 University of North Carolina campuses. It included full private funding to endow one distinguished professorship on every UNC campus [31]. Conferral of a Distinguished Named Professorship on a faculty member requires approval by the University's Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure (APT) Committee and the Board of Trustees. Upon approval of the Board of Trustees, the Office of the Chancellor issues the appointment or reappointment letter. NC A&T includes or has included among its Distinguished Named Professors: (1) Dr. Edward Fort, Department of Human Development and Services, School of Education. Dr. Fort is a former Chancellor of NC A&T. (2) Dr. Joseph Monroe, W. K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Community Based Food Systems. Dr. Monroe is the recently retired Dean, June 2009, of the College of Engineering, and (3) Judge Henry Frye, Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice. Judge is a retired former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Extension Faculty

Faculty members associated with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Program are listed among the faculty in each of the departments in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. The Cooperative Extension Program is their primary job responsibility but they may have a teaching assignment/appointment in the academic department. Their teaching effective is evaluated by the chairperson of the respective academic department. The courses taught are again subject to the student evaluation of instruction process. Guidelines respective of extension faculty are addressed in the UNC Policy Manual Section 400.3.7 [32]

Graduate Teaching Assistants

Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) are selected by the department chairperson, mentor, or appointed by the School of Graduate Studies at NC A&T to a particular academic unit or researcher. They are to provide assistance for classroom instruction, help in tutorial or review sessions, and/or help in laboratory sessions. Each must attend an orientation session where introductory topics such as ethics, job responsibilities, and evaluation are discussed [33]. A sequential workshop on teaching pedagogy is conducted by The Academy for Teaching and Learning ATL. The employment of graduate students at NCA&T is consistent with the guidelines provided in the UNC Board of Governors Policy Manual Section 400.3.5.1 [15] and the School of Graduate Studies Handbook [16]. The assignment of each GTA is made in regard to his or her individual qualifications and the performance of each GTA is evaluated annually by personal interview with the Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies [34]. Graduate students are not employed or appointed as the instructor of record for any course at NCA&T.

Some academic units lack specific published policies regarding the periodic evaluation of instructional faculty and may use a more generalized form based on university guidelines. All such faculty, full-time tenured, Special Faculty and otherwise, are evaluated in accordance with the provisions of The Code Section 602[17]UNC Policy Manual Section 400.3.1.1 [35] which speaks to policies of academic tenure and promotion and to procedures for the evaluation of faculty, respectively. All tenured, tenure tract and Special Faculty are reviewed annually by his or her department chairperson in accordance with his or her specific job responsibilities. Samples of the documents/instruments used in the evaluation process are included for review [36] [37] [38]. In all cases, the criteria for evaluation are in accordance with those listed in the Faculty Handbook, Appendix C-2, Criteria for the Evaluation of Faculty [20]. Moreover, for purposes of promotion and establishing rank, all academic areas utilize the criteria as published in the Faculty Handbook, Appendix C-3, Policies concerning the Minimum Requirements and General Criteria for Promotion in Rank and/or Permanent Tenure as a basic guideline [19]. Some adjunct faculty very limited responsibilities, i.e. teaching only one or two courses. As such, an evaluation of their teaching effectiveness is generally limited to the Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) survey results which are collected for each course section taught each semester. Those results are reviewed and discussed in consultation with the Department Chairperson during the Annual Review. The results of the evaluation are generally housed in the faculty member’s personnel files in the departmental office. Copies of the Annual Review of all faculty are forwarded to the office of the respective dean. They are discussed in more detail in the response to Comprehensive Standard 3.7.2 . The evaluations of graduate teaching assistants are maintained in the office of the Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies. and the

In summary, NC A&T has utilized the criteria and guidelines published by SACS to establish and evaluate the credentials of faculty hired to teach at NC A&T. Similarly, its faculty has developed and utilized published criteria to establish the competencies required of faculty members to be hired to assist the university in accomplishing its mission, and for the routine and periodic evaluation of the same. NC A&T has a diverse, highly qualified and talented faculty that has allowed it a great measure of success in achieving its mission and movement towards its vision as an interdisciplinary university.

Supporting Documents

[1] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010, Mission Statement

[2]    FUTURES, Vision

[3]    Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010, Historical Statement

[4]    UNST, Mission Statement

[5]    International Program, Mission Statement

[6]    SOE, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Information Brochure

[7]    Human Resources, EPA Faculty New Hire Checklist

[8]    Faculty, Credentials Roster, Fall 2008 - Fall 2009

[9]    Admission, Transcript Services, World Education Services (WES)

[10]   Admission, Transcript Services, Educational Credentials Evaluators (ECI)

[11]   Faculty Standards, American Chemical Society, p.4

[12]   SON, National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC): Standards, Faculty & Staff

[13]   SON, NC Board of Nursing: Faculty Requirements

[14]   SOE, NC State Board of Education, Department of Public Instruction: Teacher Licensure

[15]   UNC-GA, Code, Section 400.3.5.1

[16]   Graduate Studies, Handbook

[17]   UN-GA, Code, Chapter VI, Section 602

[18]   NC General Assembly, Report, BOG, Non-Tenured Faculty

[19]   Faculty Handbook, 2007, Appendix C-3

[20]   Faculty Handbook, 2007, Appendix C-2

[21]   Faculty Handbook, Appendix B-3, Post-Tenure Review Policy

[22]   Faculty Handbook, Instructor

[23]   Faculty Handbook, Appendix B-2, Section 8 Special Faculty

[24]   Directory of Faculty, Department of English

[25]   Directory of Faculty, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication

[26]   Directory of Faculty, Department of History

[27]   UNC-GA, Code, Section 300.2.5

[28]   Faculty Researcher, News Article

[29]   CourEval Student Evaluation of Instruction, Survey Topics

[30]   UNC-GA, Code, Section 600.2.3

[31]   Foundation Endowment Program, UNC C.D. Spangler

[32]   UNC-GA, Code, Section 400.3.7

[33]   Graduate Studies, Graduate Student Orientation

[34]   Graduate Studies, GTA Evaluation Document

[35]   UNC-GA, Code, Section 400.3.1

[36]   Faculty Evaluation, SAES

[37]   Faculty Evaluation, School of Technology

[38]   Faculty Evaluation, College of A&S

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 February 2010 09:54 )

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