4.1 Academic Freedom
Providence College endorses and supports the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges. (See Policy and Informational Documents for the Faculty of Providence College.) Faculty members should understand the 1940 Statement in the light of the statement in this Handbook that acceptance of the contract shall be deemed to include acceptance of the Mission Statement and the Statement of the Objectives of the College. The faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of his/her other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an agreement in writing with the provost or a College-approved grant. The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his/her subject, but he/she should be careful not to introduce into his/her teaching controversial matter which has no relation to his/her subject. The College faculty member is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and representative of an educational institution. When he/she speaks or writes as a citizen, he/she should be free from College censorship or discipline. Nevertheless, his/ her special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and as an educational officer, he/she should remember that the public may judge his/ her profession and the College by his/her utterances and behavior. Hence, he/she should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that he/she is not a College spokesperson.
4.2 Professional Responsibilities
4.2.1 General Responsibilities
The items listed under this heading are specifically those generally described as “the responsibilities and obligations of faculty members at the College” on all contracts for teaching services. Acceptance of the teaching contract includes acceptance of these responsibilities.
- Basic Responsibilities of Faculty. Contracts of employment for faculty require the fulfillment of basic responsibilities in accordance with standards for professional ethics and collegiality as described in Appendix H . These basic responsibilities include acceptance of the Mission Statement and the Statement of Objectives of the College, adherence to College policies, and performance of activities associated with teaching, scholarship, and service.
- Familiarity with Official Publications. Faculty members are expected to be familiar with academic rules, regulations, and requirements as outlined in the publications of the College. These publications include, but are not limited to, the Faculty Handbook, the Undergraduate Catalog, and policies as promulgated by the College. Knowledge of the Catalog is critical in the formal process of academic advisement and is important in assisting and guiding students on a daily basis.
- Adherence to College Policies. Faculty are expected to adhere to official College policies as published in this Faculty Handbook, the Undergraduate Catalog, or as otherwise promulgated by the College. The College assumes responsibility to make copies of this Faculty Handbook and the Undergraduate Catalog available to all faculty.
- Professional Conduct.
- Professional Ethics. The specific language of the American Association of University Professors “Statement on Professional Ethics” set forth in Appendix H is incorporated herein and compliance therewith is an obligation of all faculty in the performance of their duties and responsibilities for the College.
- Plagiarism. The specific language of the American Association of University Professors “Statement on Plagiarism” set forth at Appendix P is incorporated herein and compliance therewith is an obligation of all faculty in the performance of their duties and responsibilities for the College.
- Faculty Attendance at Academic Functions. Unless officially excused by the provost, all members of the Ordinary Faculty are expected to attend all formal academic exercises of the College in appropriate academic attire. Academic exercises include, but are not necessarily limited to, the Convocation at the beginning of Fall Semester and the Awards Ceremony and Commencement at the end of Spring Semester. Faculty are expected to attend and to participate in all general and department faculty meetings.
- Participation in Political Activity.
Faculty members, in the exercise of their rights as citizens to participate in political affairs, are expected to respect their responsibility to dissociate such activity from any implication of endorsement by the College. Either as individuals or as groups, faculty members have the responsibility to see to it that any public statements which they make do not have the appearance or give the impression of being official College pronouncements.
4.2.2 Teaching Responsibilities
- Priority of Good Teaching. Providence College is primarily an undergraduate institution in which the major responsibility of faculty members is to do effective teaching and to give priority at all times to the academic development of their students. Since teaching and productive scholarship are interrelated, it is expected that members of the faculty shall engage in scholarship with a view to improving their teaching as well as their professional competence.
- Faculty Office Hours. Each full-time faculty member shall hold appropriate and regular office hours. Office hours shall be posted and shall be on file with the department office.
- Course Syllabi. Each faculty member is responsible for designing and distributing to students and filing with the concerned department a clear and concise plan for learning.
- Primacy of Classroom Time. Classes shall begin on time and continue until the designated ending time.
- Faculty Absences and Cancellation of Classes. A faculty member who by reason of illness or because of an emergency cannot meet his/her classes should, if possible, immediately inform the chair of his/her department or the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies. In such cases it shall be the responsibility of the department chair to arrange for a substitute, or in situations where this is not immediately possible, to inform the students concerned. If for any reason the chair should not be available, this responsibility shall be assumed by the Office of Academic Affairs.
- Changes in Class Schedule. No faculty member is permitted to change the class schedule assigned preceding the beginning of each semester. A request for such a schedule change may be submitted by the faculty member prior to the start of the new semester to the department chair, who may request such a change from the Office of Enrollment Services.
- Care and Control of Classrooms/Technologies. Assignment and changes of all classrooms are the responsibility of the Office of Enrollment Services. All requests for assignment and/or changes shall be submitted by the department chair to the Office of Enrollment Services. No one is authorized to change the location of his/her class without prior approval of the Office of Enrollment Services. Classrooms are assigned to each faculty member according to the size of the class and the nature of the course. Faculty members shall report any physical damage found in classrooms and report any missing furniture. Requests for podia, chairs, etc. should be channeled through the Office of Enrollment Services. Smoking is not permitted in any classroom. No faculty member may install hooks, screens, bulletin boards, etc., or store materials in any classroom.
- Administrative Regulations and Instructional Procedures. Members of the faculty are expected to observe the following:
- Class Rosters. Faculty members shall not allow unauthorized students in their classrooms. For each section of an assigned course, the faculty member has access to a class roster of all students registered for that section. A student shall not be permitted to attend the course if his/ her name does not appear on the roster unless he/she can present official documentation for enrollment in the course. Each student is provided with a course schedule. All questions concerning the accuracy of a student’s registration should be directed to the Office of Enrollment Services (Academic Scheduling and Registration).
- Final Assessments. All faculty members are expected to familiarize themselves with the final assessment schedule published by the Office of Enrollment Services for each semester. Faculty are to assign final assessments commensurate to the number of credits earned in the course and in accordance with the federal definition of a credit hour. Specifically, three hours of work should be expected for each credit hour being earned (i.e., the final assessment for a 3-credit course should require at least 9 hours to prepared for and/or complete). Final assessments must be due or conducted at the time designated. No change may be made with respect to the hour of these assessments without the written permission of the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies and authorization from the Office of Enrollment Services (Academic Scheduling and Registration). In no circumstances shall a final assessment be rescheduled to the College-designated reading period or outside of the final assessment period. Individual students may be given permission by the course instructor to take the final assessment at another time because of illness or some other sufficiently serious reason.
- Other Examinations and Quizzes. Students have both a right and an obligation to make up an examination if the examination is announced at least one week before its administration and the examination is considered as taking up fifty (50) minutes of class time under the following conditions: if the student presents serious and verifiable reason for not taking the examination, either prior to the examination or within three calendar days after its administration. In cases of announced quizzes of less than full class time, a student has the right and the obligation to consult with his/her instructor either prior to the quiz or within three (3) calendar days after its administration regarding a possible make-up. Whether or not such a make-up is to be given is determined by the instructor, but the student retains the right to appeal to the department chair, whose decision is final.
- Grading System. All faculty members are expected to follow College regulations concerning the proper determination and recording of grades. These regulations are outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog.
- Grade Reports. Faculty are to submit semester grades to the Office of Enrollment Services no later than three (3) business days after the date of each Final Examination. Mid-semester grades are to be submitted to the Office of Enrollment Services no later than one week following the mid-semester date as published in the official academic calendar.
- Academic Advisement. Before the beginning of classes, all incoming students are assigned an advisor by the department chair or the director of academic advising. Major functions of academic advising include:
- Providing students with information on policies, procedures, and programs;
- Assisting students in choosing educational and career objectives commensurate with their interests and abilities;
- Assisting students in exploring the possible short and long-range consequences of their choices;
- Making students aware of the wide range of services and educational opportunities that may be pertinent to their educational objectives;
- Helping with the selection of courses to meet curricular and graduation requirements during pre-registration for subsequent semesters; and
- Checking the academic progress of students.
- Restriction on Private Tutoring. Members of the faculty shall not do any private tutoring of Providence College students for compensation.
4.2.3 Scholarly Responsibilities
- Teaching and Scholarship. Since teaching and productive scholarship are interrelated, it is expected that members of the faculty shall engage in scholarship with a view to improving their teaching as well as their professional competence.
- Professional Growth and Development. Membership and active participation in learned societies, representing the College in professional meetings, and actively seeking research opportunities are responsibilities of all faculty members that relate directly to their professional growth and effectiveness in working with their students. Professional growth may include the following:
- Service on state, regional, and national committees or panels;
- Attendance at updating workshops, seminars, short courses and institutes;
- State, regional, or national offices or other positions in learned or professional societies;
- Travel related to one’s field of teaching, research, or creative activity;
- Performance or exhibitions before local, state, regional, or national groups;
- Publications, presentations or papers delivered before learned societies or conventions.
- Grant Applications. The Office of Sponsored Research and Programs is prepared to assist faculty members in the preparation of grant applications. All faculty are strongly urged to investigate opportunities for grant support. All grant proposals must be cleared through the provost before being submitted to potential granting agencies. The College’s Grant Administration Policy is set forth in the Policy and Informational Documents for the Faculty of Providence College. The College provides institutional support grants for faculty research projects. These are administered through the Committee on Aid to Faculty Research. Application information is distributed to the faculty annually by the chair of that committee.
- Academic Growth and Development. A faculty member shall not enroll in a formal program of study leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree during the academic year without prior written consent of the provost.
4.2.4 Service Responsibilities
- Service to the College. Service to the College may include but is not limited to performance of administrative tasks, committee assignments, participation in College activities, advising student organizations, performance of public relations functions, and/or student recruitment.
- Committee Assignments. Members of the Ordinary Faculty are expected to contribute to the academic improvement of the College by serving on those committees which relate to their department or to the general growth and development of the College in the pursuit of their stated objectives.
- Other Assignments. Members of the Ordinary Faculty may be assigned additional responsibilities within their department, and/or within the College. These may include, but are not limited to student advisement, advisor to student organizations, special projects, or special committees.
- Advisors for Student Activities. Faculty members who accept the responsibility of acting as advisors to student clubs and activities are performing a service of great importance to the College. They should recognize that such student clubs and activities are experiences in which undergraduates should gain a sense of responsibility. Consequently, wherever possible, faculty advisors should allow the students to carry the routine responsibilities for the operation of the club or activity. It is most important, however, for faculty advisors to keep a periodic check on the fiscal affairs of student clubs or activities with which they are associated. Faculty advisors are required to make a report to the vice president for student affairs each semester concerning the club’s program and fiscal status. Members of the faculty who are working with student editors on publications must be aware of the need to exercise a prudent supervision over editorial policies which may affect the public image of the College. When faculty advisors are associated with students in planning social activities, they should make certain the students are fully aware of the College regulations governing such events and take all reasonable measures to arrange for the students concerned to see that these regulations are respected. Faculty advisors must not authorize student organizations to engage in activities that are contrary to law or College policy nor are faculty advisors authorized to participate in any such activities. The general responsibilities of faculty advisors for student activities should:
- provide continuity for the organization from year to year;
- help the officers plan and manage a program that will achieve the objectives of the club or organization;
- attend the regular meetings of their group;
- endeavor to have the organization contribute to the spirit and objectives of the College;
- be present during the entire length of any function sponsored by the group, unless suitable faculty substitutes have been arranged;
- encourage individual student development within the framework of the club or organization;
- channel all publicity releases through the Office of Media and Community Relations.
4.3 Faculty Workload
The teaching load of full-time faculty is usually nine (9), but sometimes twelve (12), credit hours per semester. The total number of credit hours assigned per semester shall not exceed twelve (12) and the total number of separate course preparations per academic year shall not exceed six (6).
The assignment of teaching workloads shall be made by the chair in consultation with the faculty member.
It is the chair’s responsibility to assure that equitable workload assignments are made within the department with due regard to the guidelines contained herein.
The following factors shall usually be considered in the determination of individual teaching loads:
- Difficulty of courses, with particular attention to:
- the number of students;
- the number of course preparations in the academic year;
- the introduction of a new course or the substantial revision of an existing course;
- the number and nature of required assignments and examinations.
- Modes of instruction which do not fit the usual lecture recitation pattern, e.g. laboratory instruction, studio courses, research and independent studies courses.
- Evidence of active involvement in scholarly projects and research beyond that normally expected of keeping current in one’s field, e.g. activity ultimately directed toward scholarly papers and presentations.
- Evidence of significant college service or community service, provided it is consistent with the faculty person’s academic discipline and is offered without compensation. faculty rights and responsibilities.
- Particular needs of the department that may arise from time to time such as the absence of faculty for illness.
A department chair shall be entitled to a teaching load reduction equivalent to at least three (3) credit hours per academic semester but not reduced to a total less than three (3) credit hours per academic semester.
For purposes of teaching load assignments, two lectures and two seminars of Development of Western Civilization (excluding those offered through the Liberal Arts Honors Program) shall be considered the equivalent of six credit hours.
While affirming the right of the department chair to assign a twelve credit hour load to a faculty member when circumstances warrant such an assignment, the College also recognizes that a nine credit hour teaching load is both a more typical and more desirable teaching assignment. While the maximum number of separate course preparations shall not exceed six per academic year, the desirable number of separate course preparations is five per academic year. The school dean has the authority to assure that the teaching workloads within each department are in conformity with the guidelines contained herein, to require justification for any unusual deviations, to have final authority, in consultation with the provost, in assigning teaching workloads in cases that are in dispute, and to determine, in consultation with affected faculty and appropriate chairs and program directors, workload allocations for team-taught courses.