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2. Core requirements

Core Requirement:

2.8 The number of full-time faculty members is adequate to support the mission of the institution and to ensure the quality and integrity of each of its academic programs. Upon application for candidacy, an applicant insitution demostrates that it meets the comprehensive standard for faculty qualifications. (Faculty)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

Faculty membership is defined on the basis of Board of Regents Policy 3.2 [1] which stipulates:

"Full-time professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers, senior lecturers, and teaching personnel with such other titles as may be approved by the Board, shall be the Corps of Instruction. Full-time research and extension personnel and duly certified librarians will be included in the Corps of Instruction on the basis of comparable training. Persons holding adjunct appointments or other honorary titles shall not be considered to be members of the faculty"(BOR Policy 3.2.1.1).

Further, with the mission of a State University in Georgia, Board of Regents policy states:

"In addition to the Corps of Instruction, the faculty will consist of the president and the full-time administrative officers, and such other full-time administrative officers as the statutes of the institution may designate as having ex officio status" (3.2.1.3).

The Statues of the University of West Georgia [2] reflect BOR policy, defining the General Faculty as follows:

"The General Faculty shall consist of those persons holding the academic rank of lecturer, senior lecturer, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, duly certified librarians, and research and extension personnel included in the corps of instruction on the basis of comparable training, who are employed on a calendar or academic year basis; together with the President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the academic and administrative deans, the directors of activities relating to instruction, the Registrar, the Director of Admissions and the Vice President for Business and Finance. Visiting professors, part-time faculty members and those holding emeritus rank shall be non-voting members of the General Faculty" (Article I, Section 2, Subsection A, Paragraph C [1]).

For purposes of this element of compliance, full-time faculty members are those who have a full-time contractual relationship with the institution and are required to participate in a combination of teaching, service, or research. Part-time faculty members are those who are hired to teach by the course and have no obligation of service or research (the report for Comprehensive Standard 3.7.1 discusses how UWG faculty qualifications adhere to the SACS-defined faculty credential guidelines).

The University of West Georgia was previously established by the Board of Regents as a State University with specified responsibilities that include commitments to "teaching/learning", "scholarship and creative activity", and "service" (BOR Core Mission Statement for State Universities [3]. In August of 2013 the University System of Georgia adopted a new classification for institutions. The University of West Georgia is now a Comprehensive University. Alignment with this new classification will begin in the Fall of 2013 [4]).

As a result, Article IV, Section 1 of the Policies and Procedures of the University of West Georgia [5], establishes workload for full-time faculty as follows:

"Faculty are expected to teach four 3-hour courses or the equivalent per semester, unless a portion of that time is reassigned for administrative, research, or other purposes approved by the Dean or a lesser load is required to maintain specialized accreditation (e.g., AACSB)".

In addition to this teaching load, full-time faculty members at the University of West Georgia must: "accept a reasonable share of institution-wide service", "have an on-going research and professional development agenda", and "engage in public and professional service" (UWG Policies and Procedures, Article IV, Section 1, Paragraphs 2-5).

Instruction is provided by full-time faculty, part-time faculty, and in limited cases Graduate Research Assistants. With these instructional resources as the basis, and in light of the service and research responsibilities of tenure-track faculty, the University’s Strategic Plan establishes specific standards for the distribution of faculty [6]. Goal 8 of the Strategic Plan, as amended in April 2012 by Faculty Senate notes [7], "West Georgia will remain committed to the following targets of academic quality: student-faculty ratio of 18 to 1; average class size of 29; full-time to part-time faculty ratio of 4 to 1." The Institution has maintained an overall ratio of full-time to part-time faculty greater than 75% as judged by credit hours generated.

Faculty resources, both full-time and part-time, are used to deliver instruction. In only a few instances are Graduate Research Assistants Employed. The University is approved to offer all of its academic programs on the Carrollton Campus, and 50% or more of specific academic programs at the following off-site locations: Online; Rome, GA; Newnan, GA; Atlanta History Center (Atlanta, GA); and pending final approval, Douglasville, GA. At each location and in each academic content area, the ratio of full-time to part-time faculty is supportive of the University’s compliance with principle 2.8.

Table Descriptions

Table 1  [8] shows the number of full-time and part-time faculty in department within each college. This is simply a count of the number of individuals who taught at least one course assigned by the department during the fall 2012 and spring 2013 semesters. Definitions of full-time and part-time faculty are noted above.

Table 2 [9] provides evidence of the productivity in terms of credit hours generated by full-time faculty, part-time faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants disaggregated by instructional location, semester, course level, and content area. All locations at which a student can earn more than 50% of an academic credential are included. Exceptions are study abroad and Coweta County (far less than 25% of a degree program at each location).

Table 2 [9] also provides evidence that UWG is in compliance with the SACS "Distance and Correspondence Education" policy [10]. In particular, it demonstrates that there is a sufficient number of faculty qualified to develop and teach online courses. All courses offered more than 95% online are included.  The institutional Distance and Distributed Education Center offers multiple training and consulting sessions to educate these faculty on the best practices [11].      

Tables 3A and 3B [12] provide evidence for two collaborations UWG shares with other University System of Georgian institutions. In both collaborations, if a faculty member meets the UWG criteria for a full-time faculty member at any affiliate institution (9 institutions for eCore and 6 for the Georgia WMBA), the faculty members is considered full-time for UWG. Each program requires service to the program and professional development for faculty.

Table 3A [12] reports data for the University System of Georgia eCore program. eCore is an online core curriculum available to students at 9 USG affiliate programs. It is not a collaborative degree program as no credential is granted by any institution as a result of a student enrolling in eCore courses. During the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters, 75% and 77% of UWG credits granted through eCore were taught by full-time Faculty. Table 3B shows the credit hours awarded through the Georgia WebMBA to UWG MBA students. All faculty members who teach in the Georgia WMBA are full-time at their home institution. One hundred percent of credit hours generated in the Georgia WebMBA were taught by full-time faculty.

Supporting Documentation: