Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

 

2.8 Faculty

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.  (Faculty)

Judgment check box Compliance

Narrative

Reinhardt University employs six types of faculty [1]:

(a)       Tenured or tenure-track full-time teaching faculty members (including School Deans and Assistant School Deans)

(b)       Non tenure track (term) full-time teaching faculty members

(c)       Special annual service faculty (usually visiting professors or one-year appointments)

(d)       Short-time teaching faculty members

(e)       Administrative faculty members

(f)        Professional Librarians (with faculty status)

For the purpose of examining full-time faculty adequacy, faculty listed under (a) and (b) are considered “Full-Time,” while faculty listed under (c), (d), (e), and (f) are categorized as “Part-Time.”

Full-Time Faculty. As stated in the “Faculty Workload” section of the Faculty Handbook, “Full-time faculty members at Reinhardt are expected to teach 12 credit hours per semester (24 credits per academic year), usually in the form of four 3-credit courses per semester or three 4-credit courses per semester.” [2]  The Provost may grant faculty members reassigned to other responsibilities “a course reduction as full or part compensation for these responsibilities.” Such faculty members are still considered full-time teaching faculty members.

Section III of the Faculty Handbook specifically addresses full-time faculty responsibilities. These responsibilities include “teaching and academic advising; serving the University through participation in program, School and Faculty Senate meetings, as well as through service on faculty and University-wide committees; growing and developing professionally through scholarship; and contributing to the smooth and effective functioning of the University by following established policies and procedures. These expectations are part of the full time faculty member’s contract. [3]

Part-Time Faculty. Adjunct or part-time faculty are employees who are hired for a specific semester or academic year to provide instruction for a specific course(s).  They are expected to teach fewer than 12 credit hours per semester (24 credits per academic year).  These faculty members are given limited faculty privileges and responsibilities in their letters of appointment; they are not eligible for academic tenure or promotion in rank, are not generally assigned responsibilities for student advisement, do not serve on faculty committees and are not members of the Faculty Senate. [4]

Adequacy of Full-Time Faculty

Reinhardt examines the adequacy of its full-time faculty in each program by monitoring two metrics: 1) percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty members, and 2) student-faculty ratio.  To determine adequacy, the Provost’s Office has established the following minimum acceptable percentages of courses taught by full-time faculty: 50% for programs taught at the main campus, and 25% for degree completion programs taught offsite or online. The rationale for a lower acceptable minimum for the latter category is that Reinhardt believes that the educational experience of students in these programs is enriched by learning from adjuncts who have significant professional experience in the teaching field.

In addition Reinhardt considers a maximum acceptable threshold for the student-faculty ratio to be 30 to 1.

  1. Percentage of Semester Credit Hours Taught by Full-Time Faculty

During the academic year 2016-2017, Reinhardt employed a total of 81 full-time teaching faculty members and 105 adjuncts.  A list of full-time and adjunct faculty members by program is included in the supporting documentation. [5]

Main Campus. Reinhardt University’s 2016-2017 Report on Adequacy of Full-time Faculty [6], which disaggregates the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty by academic program, delivery modality, and location shows that the percentage courses taught by full-time faculty in the undergraduate programs at the main campus ranges from 45% in the Music programs to 100% in Political Science, Psychology, Religion, and Sociology. One should note, however, that if one excludes the private music instruction sessions, the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty in the music programs is 76%.

Only two graduate programs are taught at the main campus: the low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing and the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Early Childhood Education. In both programs more than half of the courses were taught by full-time faculty.

Online Programs.  The percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty exceeded the minimum acceptable level of 25% in each of the three online programs:  Bachelor of Business Administration (60%), Bachelor of Criminal Justice (28%) and Bachelor of Health Care Administration (50%).

Off-Site Locations. In Fall 2016, Reinhardt offered the following undergraduate programs at off-site locations: the Associate of Science in Criminal Justice and Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management and Leadership (OML). There were two locations for the OML program where the percentage of courses taught was lower than 25%: the North Fulton and the Cartersville locations. Reinhardt is committed to ensuring the 25% standard in future OML cohorts.

In both graduate programs offered at offsite locations, the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty was higher than 50%.

The report also shows also that approximately 55% of all courses offered under required general education domains were taught by full-time faculty.

  1. Student to Faculty Ratio

As the 2016-17 Common Data Set [7] reveals, the undergraduate student faculty ratio in Fall 2016 was 12 to 1 (based on 1251 student FTE and 105 faculty FTE). The low undergraduate student faculty ratio is reflected in the data on distribution of course sections by enrollment size, which indicates that 74% of the undergraduate sections had 19 or fewer students.  There were no classes with 40 or more students. For Fall 2016, the average undergraduate class was 13 while the average graduate class was 11.

Student-faculty ratios were also calculated at the program level by dividing the number of majors in each program by the number of faculty teaching in the program. [5] Both numbers were expressed as Full-Time Equivalents (FTE) with part-timers counting as one third of a full-timers, in accordance with the Common Data Set guidelines for the calculation of student-faculty ratios.  The analysis of student-faculty ratios by program reveals the following:

Main Campus. The student-faculty ratio for undergraduate programs at the main campus ranged from 2 to 1 in Interdisciplinary Studies, Religion, World Language and Cultures to 28 to 1 in Sociology.  Graduate programs at the main campus have lower ratios: 6 to 1 for the MFA and 7 to 1 for the MAT program.

Online Programs.  Student-Faculty ratios across all three programs are lower than the university average:  9 to 1 for BBA, 10 to 1 for BCJ, and 11 to 1 for BHA.

Off-Site Locations.   Undergraduate Student-Faculty ratios vary from 6 to 1 for the Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management & Leadership at the North Fulton location to 12 to1 for the Associate of Science in Criminal Justice at the same location.  Graduate Student-Faculty ratios were either 2 to 1 or 3 to 1.

Quality and Integrity of Online and Off-site Educational Programs

In accordance with the Policy and Procedures to Ensure Academic Quality in Online General Education and Elective Courses [8], the selection and development of general education and elective online course options at Reinhardt are subject to the oversight of full-time faculty and academic administration to assure compliance with the university's standards of academic quality.  This oversight process addresses three key aspects related to academic quality of the course:

a. selection of online instructional platforms;

b. selection, modification, or development of course design and content;

c. selection of qualified instructors.

In addition, program coordinators have put in place local processes and procedures to ensure full-time faculty oversight of program quality not only in the online general education and elective courses but also in all major required courses offered via online or at off-campus instructional sites.  The supporting documentation includes a description of how full-time faculty oversight is achieved in online and off-campus programs.  [9]  Program coordinators (who are full-time faculty) have authority in areas that are critical to maintaining the academic quality of thee program: hiring of adjuncts, prescribing master syllabi to be used by all faculty, prescribing similar types of assignments across courses, creating team teaching opportunities where a full-time faculty member is teamed with an adjunct, and reviewing the performance of instructional faculty.

Conclusion

In summary, the information on the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty and student faculty ratio provides evidence that Reinhardt employs an adequate number of full-time faculty to support the institutional mission and to ensure the quality and integrity of each of its academic programs. In addition, program coordinators use established oversight processes to ensure the academic quality of their programs.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] Faculty Handbook, Pages 68-72

[2] Faculty Handbook, Pages 39-40

[3] Sample Full-Time Faculty Contract, 2017-18

[4] Faculty Handbook, Pages 68-72

[5] Reinhardt University Instructional Faculty by Program, Fall 2016

[6] Fall 2016 Report of Adequacy of Full-Time Faculty

[7] 2016-17 Common Data Set, Instructional Faculty and Class Size

[8] Policy and Procedures to Ensure Academic Quality in Online General Education and Elective Courses

[9] Examples of Full-Time Faculty Oversight of Program Quality