Carolina State University
SACS Compliance Certification
August 15, 2003
Comprehensive Standards: Educational Programs 3.7.1 (qualifications)
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 in accord with the guidelines listed below. 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 all its faculty.
For tenure-track positions, these qualifications include at least a doctoral degree or equivalent professional experience; demonstrated ability or potential for teaching, research, extension, and/or another scholarly or germane creative activity; and ability and willingness to participate in university affairs. For promotion to tenured positions, the requirements also include distinguished academic achievement. The qualifications for instructors include a master’s degree or equivalent professional experience and the ability or potential for academic pursuits. Visiting and adjunct faculty are held to the same requirements.
Faculty hiring procedures (pdf) assure that these qualifications are met when faculty are recruited and hired, and reappointment, promotion and tenure (RPT) policies assure that these qualifications continue to be met as faculty advance through the ranks.
When they are first hired, new faculty must present documents attesting to their highest degree, according to both state policy and university policy. Until June 2003, such documents consisted of an official transcript, a letter from the graduate school or registrar of the degree granting institution verifying the degree, or the diploma. Materials presented by the faculty member are filed in the academic department's office, and a copy is filed in the Human Resources office. As of June 2003, degrees must be verified with a signed and stamped verification letter (pdf) from the registrar of the degree-granting institution. This documentation is on file in the university’s Human Resources office. In addition, hiring officials must verify the validity of academic and professional credentials—including registrations, licenses, certifications, and work history—to qualify or set the salary of an applicant.
NC State University periodically reviews to ensure that every instructor of record, from graduate teaching assistants and adjunct instructors to full professors, has the qualifications outlined in the Credential Guidelines associated with this standard. Such a check was performed for all 2,107 instructors of record teaching degree-credit courses during fall and/or spring semesters of 2002-03.
of Graduate Courses
Qualifications for membership in the Graduate Faculty include an earned doctorate or documented, equivalent professional experience appropriate for the area taught. Full membership in the Graduate Faculty status also requires distinction in graduate teaching or research. During 2002-03, all but 263 instructors of graduate courses were members of the Graduate Faculty.
The remaining 263 graduate course instructors were approved to teach those courses based on a review by the Graduate School of their credentials. Non-members of the Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses if the department head or director of graduate programs requests permission from the Graduate School. Permission will be granted only for one semester at a time and only if the credentials offered are at least the equivalent of the Graduate Faculty.
of Undergraduate Courses
Faculty whose credentials did not match based on this electronic review were examined individually by the Compliance Team and its staff. This individual review eliminated instructors whose degrees were in fields closely related to the field taught.
Finally, if it was still impossible to verify a match between credentials and courses, the Compliance Team requested the appropriate dean to justify the credentials. Inquiries were made for 147 course sections, seven of which had no instructor of record listed in the database. The deans provided a written response prepared by the appropriate department head, as the heads are responsible for certifying faculty credentials and assessing teaching for each course.
Information about undergraduate instructors with traditional credentials is provided for fall 2002 and for spring 2003. Information about undergraduate instructors with alternative credentials is also provided. In the end, all faculty teaching undergraduate courses were found to have acceptable credentials.