Core Requirement 2.8

 

The number of full-time faculty members is adequate to support the mission of the institution. The institution has adequate faculty resource to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs. In addition, upon application for candidacy, an applicant institution demonstrates that it meets comprehensive standard 3.7.1 for faculty qualifications. (Faculty)

 

COMPLIANCE

 

Narrative:

 

Vernon College defines full-time faculty members on the basis of the faculty member meeting the following three criteria:

 

1.    The faculty member meets the minimum qualifications established by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

2.    The faculty members’ major employment is with the institution.

3.    The faculty members’ employment with the institution is on a contract for full-time employees based on the Faculty Salary Schedule.

 

Vernon College aligns its definition of faculty status with its governing agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). According to the THECB, direct instructional activities include interaction with the students related to instruction, preparation of such instruction, and evaluation of students’ performance. It also includes administrative assignments which directly supplement the teaching function, such as heads of teaching departments, coordinator of special programs or multi-section courses, etc., and any other professional assignment which an institution considers to be directly related to the teaching function (see THECB Manual). Full-time faculty members, therefore, are those faculty whose contracts are based on 100% of their time being directly related to teaching and instructional activities.

 

Full-time faculty are employed on 9 to 12 month contracts with the majority employed on a 9 month contract basis. Part-time faculty members are employed on a per course basis and only for one semester at a time.  Applications are accepted on a continuous basis for part-time employment. (See also the Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Sections DI and Section DEA Local (Faculty), Faculty Status in the Vernon College Employee Handbook, and Faculty Teaching Load in the Vernon College Instructor Handbook for further references to the definition of full-time and part-time faculty)

 

The number of full-time faculty members employed at Vernon College is adequate to support the mission of the institution. Current data (fall 2007) shows that Vernon College employs 148 faculty members. This total is made up of 75 full-time faculty members and 73 part-time (adjunct) faculty members (see Summary of Faculty Assignments Fall 2007 for both full-time and adjunct instructors). While these numbers indicate an approximate 50% - 50% split between full-time and part-time faculty employed by the institution, actual classroom instructional responsibilities rest primarily with full-time faculty. Full-time faculty taught 73.26% of all credit contact hours and part-time faculty taught 26.64% of all credit contact hours generated by the College during the 2006-2007 academic year.

 

In keeping with the mission of the institution (Teaching, Learning, and Leading) and to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs, Vernon College strives to place the majority of the teaching load with full-time faculty. The table below compares the number of contact hours generated by full-time and part-time faculty for the 2006-2007 academic year and also (for comparative purposes) for the Fall 2006 and Fall 2007 semesters.

 

Semester /
Year
Credit
Contact
Hours
Produced
Credit
Contact
Hours
taught by
Full-Time
Faculty
Credit
Contact
Hours
taught by
Part-Time
Faculty
% Credit
Contact
Hours
taught by
Full-Time
Faculty
% Credit
Contact
Hours
taught by
Part-Time
Faculty

2006-2007

(all terms)

1,251,488 918,048 333,440 73.36 26.64
           
Fall 2006 517,888 373,840 144,048 72.19 27.81
Fall 2007 505,808 369,136 136,672 72.98 27.02

 

These figures, submitted to the THECB for funding purposes, conclusively show that full-time faculty bear the majority of the teaching load at the college. While there is no recommended ratio of full-time to part-time faculty, a 73%:27% ratio as indicated in the previous yearly average is deemed appropriate. National trends document a ratio of 70% full-time faculty and 30% part-time faculty to be the norm (Brewster). This norm is in line with data obtained from the Texas Community College Teachers Association which shows a 2006-2007 state average of 32% of the course sections taught at Texas Public Community Junior Colleges being taught by part-time faculty.

 

Further evidence that the institution employs sufficient number of faculty is provided by the Summary of Faculty Assignments Fall 2007 for both full-time and adjunct instructors which are also available in the Human Resource Office on the Vernon campus. Vernon The Summary of Faculty Assignments Fall 2007also shows the College employs at least one qualified, full-time faculty member for each discipline or workforce education program offered through the institution.

 

In addition to placing the majority of the teaching load with its full-time faculty, Vernon College also follows policies and procedures designed to promote and maintain the quality and integrity of its academic programs. Full-time teaching loads and limits on “overload” assignments are set forth in the Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Sections DI and Section DEA Local (Load), in the Vernon College Employee Handbook (Faculty Teaching Load), and Vernon College Instructor Handbook (Faculty Teaching Load).  Full-time teaching loads at the College are determined by the Dean of Instructional Services and the appropriate Division Chair. A full load is 30 hours for 9 month faculty and 42 hours for 12 month faculty. Overload instruction for full-time faculty is limited to 12 load hours per academic year, unless special approval is granted by the Dean of Instructional Services. Additionally, a minimum number of office/conference hours are required of all full-time faculty to ensure adequate availability of faculty to their students outside of the classroom. Full-time faculty members are required to be on campus a minimum of 10 hours per week for conference periods in addition to teaching their scheduled classes.

 

Prior to assignment, prospective faculty members, both full-time and part-time, are required to provide official transcripts of all postsecondary education, submitted directly from the awarding institutions, as well as any other relative certifications or documented competencies. Documentation of each faculty member’s academic preparation, technical and occupational competencies, certifications, and supporting letters of justification and other relevant documents are summarized on the Statement of Qualifications  and placed in personnel files which are maintained in the Human Resource Office at the Vernon Campus.

 

Documentation

 

1.    THECB Manual

2.      Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Sections DI and Section DEA Local (Faculty)

3.    Faculty Status, Vernon College Employee Handbook

4.    Faculty Teaching Load, Vernon College Instructor Handbook

5.    Summary of Faculty Assignments Fall 2007

6.    Full Time Faculty Assignments Fall 2007

7.    Adjunct Faculty Assignments Fall 2007

8.      Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Sections DI and Section DEA Local (Load)

9.    Faculty Teaching Load, Vernon College Employee Handbook

10. Faculty Teaching Load, Vernon College Instructor Handbook

11. Statement of Qualifications, Vernon College Employee Handbook