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Terms of Appointment

          Texas A&M International University, a part of The Texas A&M University System, recognizes that the faculty is the heart of any teaching institution and much care is given to the selection of each faculty member. A serious attempt is made to include a variety of geographic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds and to represent a distribution of undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities. In compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order of 11236, Texas A&M International University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Contract Form

          The University shall provide all faculty members with an annual statement in writing of the terms of their employment, including special conditions, responsibilities, and any special prerequisites. Such a document should cover such items as rank, salary, tenure provisions, whether the position is full-time or part-time, and the inclusive dates of service. When the document includes a reference to a specific rule of the institution, the rule should be excerpted from its source and affixed to the document. If the document refers to a large part of a lengthy publication (TAMIU Faculty Handbook or TAMUS Policy Manual), a copy of the publication should be placed in several readily accessible locations or be provided to the faculty member. (TAMUS Policy 12.01 Section 6).

Search, Appointment, and Orientation of New Faculty

Search Procedures

          The faculty search procedures employed by Texas A&M International University will strive to recruit the most qualified faculty members without discrimination or violation of appropriate equal opportunity policies. Faculty positions will be advertised in recognized national scholarly publications. The University is also committed to the principle that faculty should participate actively in the writing of job descriptions for faculty positions, in the screening of applicants, in the selection and interviewing of finalists, and in the formation of hiring recommendations to be submitted to department chairs and Deans or directors. To ensure maximum faculty participation and to provide the University with the largest pool of qualified applicants, the search process for permanent, full-time tenure-track faculty (excepting Library faculty) should commence and end, whenever possible, within the regular academic year and not carry over into the summer. Search policies are available from the Office of Human Resources.

Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action

          Texas A&M International University shall provide equal opportunity for employment to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status, and shall strive to achieve full and equal employment opportunities for faculty and staff employees. This University will not enter knowingly into any contractual agreement for services or supplies with any firm failing to follow fair employment practices. (TAMUS Policy 08.01).

Application for Employment

          Applications for teaching positions are normally submitted to the Dean of the college wherein the position exists. Normally applications are accompanied by a complete curriculum vita. Appropriate transcripts are required, and letters of recommendation may be required.

Appointment Procedures

          Potential new faculty will be notified by an academic administrator of the University's offer to appoint the faculty member to the faculty. The notification will include all terms and conditions of employment as well as an acceptance deadline.

Orientation

          New faculty members will receive an academic orientation from senior faculty and/or academic unit administrators assigned to the academic unit wherein the new faculty has been assigned. Insofar as resources permit, new faculty members (especially faculty members in their first tenure-track appointment) may expect to be assigned to a senior faculty member.

Pre-employment

Employee's Affidavit

          Each faculty member is required to sign an Employee's Affidavit prior to the beginning of employment. This affidavit consists of an oath of office, a statement concerning holding more than one office or position, a statement regarding nepotism, and certification of receipt of certain state laws relating to accountability and responsibility for state-owned property, legislative influence, political aid, and use of state-owned automobiles.

Faculty Handbook

          During orientation the new faculty member will be given the current version of the TAMIU Faculty Handbook, which is the basis for the employment contract of all faculty. Acceptance of the employment contract is an explicit acceptance of the terms and conditions of employment described in the TAMIU Faculty Handbook.

Personnel Records

          Personnel records on employees are maintained in the President's Office, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Deans of the colleges, and the Office of Human Resources. It is important to keep these records updated when significant changes occur in professional training or qualifications. This is accomplished by notifying the chair of the respective department; the chair will in turn notify the President's Office, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Dean, and the Office of Human Resources.

Official File

          The "official file" for each faculty member is maintained in the Office of the Provost. The Human Resources Office maintains records of all salary data, elections, deductions, etc.

Grievance File

          If a faculty member is party to a grievance, the records of that proceeding will become a part of the "official file".

Major Faculty Responsibilities

          While academic preparation, experience, and professional responsibilities form the basis for faculty competence, faculty seeking promotion and tenure must demonstrate achievements in the areas of Teaching, Service, and Scholarship. In addition, there is an expectation that faculty seeking promotion generally impact their department and college in a positive, constructive fashion.

Teaching

          Texas A&M International University considers teaching its primary mission. Teaching includes knowledge in the field, quality in teaching, and academic advisement and career counseling. Consistent with its strong commitment to instruction, the University requires that teaching effectiveness count in promotion to all ranks. Each college must maintain a clear and fair process for evaluating teaching effectiveness. Student evaluation, peer review, and self-evaluation are recommended avenues for evaluating teaching performance. Teaching activities encompass classroom instruction as well as those professional development activities aimed at making one a better teacher or enhancing one's expertise in the teaching subject area.

          The teaching responsibility for Library faculty is fulfilled through Professional Assignment. Professional Assignment includes acquisition of materials in various forms, organization of those materials for retrieval, aiding patrons in their use, electronic connection to the world, and responsible management of all resources. Texas A&M International University places a high value on the opportunity for students and faculty to engage in independent learning and scholarly research. Consistent with its recognition of the importance of library service, the University requires that effectiveness in Professional Assignment count in promotion to all ranks. Self-evaluation, including position description as the basic criterion, with review by each librarian's supervisor, is the recommended avenue for evaluating performance.

Service

          Service encompasses a variety of professionally related activities through which members of the faculty employ their academic expertise for the benefit of the University, the community, and the profession. Texas A&M International University places a strong emphasis on service to the University and its mission. A faculty member provides service to the University through active participation and leadership in college and University committees, councils, special projects, or duties for which the faculty member is held accountable.

          As a comprehensive University located on the South Texas-Mexico border, Texas A&M International University has a significant role in multi-cultural and international issues, local and regional business and industrial development, work force development, and community, educational, health, and social development. Community service by TAMIU faculty is recognized in any and all of those areas. For purposes of evaluation, however, activities must relate to one's academic field or discipline or else be clearly approved by the University.

          Participation and leadership in professional activities and associations may be considered service when it does not include peer review. Certificates of recognition, letters of appreciation, official minutes, newsletters, products of projects, and other tangible evidence of service rendered may document Service of all types.

Scholarship

          Fundamental to any definition of scholarship is the expansion and application of knowledge and understanding about the world in which we live. For an endeavor to be considered scholarship the following criteria must apply:

1. Scholarship involves a product, a more or less tangible result, something that observers can examine. In the case of oral presentations, some material evidence of the event must be provided.

 

2. Scholarship involves academic peer review of both the quality and quantity of the scholarly products.

 

3. Scholarship implies an activity that is novel, creative, imaginative, ingenious, or original, yet not accidental. Not necessarily all of these but at least some must apply to the outcome or it is not "scholarly."

 

          Scholarship at Texas A&M International University consists of three separate yet interconnected elements: Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Integration and Teaching, and Scholarship of Application.

1. The Scholarship of Discovery. The Scholarship of Discovery involves the search for new knowledge and for a richer understanding of the existing knowledge. Creative achievements in the fine arts are considered enterprises of discovery. Productivity may be documented in the form of scholarly books, articles, oral presentations of research, artistic productions, and performances.

 

2. The Scholarship of Integration and Teaching. The Scholarship of Integration and Teaching emphasizes fitting one's own research, or the research of others, into larger intellectual patterns. It involves making connections across the disciplines, placing the discipline in a larger context, illuminating data or concepts in a revealing way, and evaluating new pedagogical approaches. In addition to the more traditional forums for scholarship, such as academic writing, productivity may take the form of a textbook, multi-media production, writing that makes one's field accessible to a wider audience, cross-curricular innovations, and interdisciplinary instructional achievements.

 

3. The Scholarship of Application. The Scholarship of Application brings learning and knowledge to bear upon the solution of practical problems. It flows directly from one's professional expertise, encompassing activities that relate directly to the intellectual work of the faculty member. Productivity may take the form of publications and presentations derived from consultation, technical assistance, policy analysis, and program evaluation.

 

          For Library faculty the Scholarship responsibility is fulfilled by Professional Enrichment activities, which include professional development and scholarly activities. Professional development is defined as activity that enhances the professional skills, knowledge, and abilities of the Library faculty member to contribute to the mission of the Library and the University and to the library profession. Productivity may take the form of course work and continuing education activities, documented study and reading with an end product which leads to the improvement of library services, and participation in professional societies as a member and by attendance at professional meetings, documented by reports of findings or new knowledge acquired. Scholarly activities are defined as activities in librarianship or another academic discipline which demonstrate the librarian's research and scholarship in the chosen discipline. Productivity may take the form of professional and scholarly publications (including electronic publications).

Definition of Faculty Status

          For the regularly appointed full-time faculty, there are four levels of academic rank: Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. For regularly appointed full-time Library faculty, there are three levels of rank: Assistant Librarian, Associate Librarian, and Full Librarian.

Instructor

          An individual entering the academic profession usually holds this rank. In addition to fulfilling faculty responsibilities, faculty holding this rank must meet the following requirements:

1. Academic Preparation: A minimum of a master's degree.

 

2. Experience: Individuals holding a master's degree are required to supplement their degree by professional or work experience in the field, special certification, license or other certification of proficiency in the field.

 

3. Teaching: Instructors must demonstrate a basic knowledge of the teaching area, careful classroom preparation, and a willingness to assist students. They must show continuing progress in teaching by expanding knowledge in the teaching specialty and developing effective instructional strategies and techniques. They must also participate in academic advisement and be familiar with University core curriculum, college degree requirements, and other matters related to academic advisement.

 

4. Service: Instructors must participate at an introductory level of responsibility in service to the college and University through committees and special projects.

 

5. Scholarship: They must show clear evidence of understanding advancements in scholarship that are related to the teaching specialty.

 

Assistant Professor

          This rank is usually the entry level for a tenure-track position. In addition to fulfilling faculty responsibilities, the following qualifications must be met for consideration of appointment to this rank. The achievement of this academic preparation and experience does not in itself ensure appointment to this rank.

1. Academic Preparation:

 

a. Holds the earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree, or

 

b. Is in the final stages of a doctoral dissertation or terminal degree project.

 

2. Experience: Part-time teaching experience or related professional/work experience is required.

 

          In addition, to be promoted to Assistant Professor, the faculty member must meet the following requirements:

1. Teaching: Show continuing progress in teaching proficiency by expanding knowledge in the teaching specialty and developing the expertise needed to teach graduate as well as undergraduate courses. Participate in professional development activities aimed at making one a better teacher or at enhancing one's expertise in a teaching subject area. Understand University and college degree requirements and other matters related to academic advisement as well as requirements for graduate study and professional entry into the field. Actively participate in academic advisement and career counseling.

 

2. Service: Participate in service to the college and University through committees, councils, and special projects. May also participate and lead in professional and community service insofar as the activities relate to the candidate's discipline and/or serves the University's mission.

 

3. Scholarship: Continue to advance in scholarly or creative activity beyond instructional assignments. Areas of accomplishment are appropriate to the academic discipline.

 

Associate Professor

          This rank represents maturity, experience and leadership in the academic profession. In addition to fulfilling faculty responsibilities, the following qualifications must be met for consideration of appointment to this rank. The achievement of this academic preparation and experience does not in itself ensure appointment to this rank.

1. Academic Preparation: An earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree.

 

2. Experience: A minimum of five years experience in full-time faculty employment at an accredited institution of higher education, including at least three years in the rank of Assistant Professor.

 

          In addition, to be promoted to Associate Professor, the faculty member must have a minimum of two full academic years of experience at Texas A&M International University prior to applying for promotion and must meet the following requirements:

 

1. Teaching: Has a broad knowledge of the discipline and an in-depth knowledge in one or more parts of the field. Has the ability, experience, and expertise to teach both undergraduate and graduate courses. May be involved in experimental, innovative teaching. Knows degree requirements for both undergraduates and graduates and is experienced in academic advisement and career counseling. Serves as a mentor for students desiring advanced degrees and career entry.

 

2. Service: Has begun to assume a position of leadership in the college and the University by serving on committees or special projects. May also participate and lead in professional and community service insofar as the activities relate to the candidate's discipline and/or serve the University's mission.

 

3. Scholarship: Has demonstrated competence and productivity in scholarly or creative activities related to the candidate's discipline.

 

Full Professor

          This is the summit of academic rank, representing a position of leadership in the University. Faculty promoted to the rank of Full Professor should model to junior faculty the highest professional, scholarly, and ethical standards of academic life. In addition to fulfilling faculty responsibilities, the following qualifications must be met for consideration of appointment to this rank. The achievement of this academic preparation and experience does not in itself ensure appointment to this rank.

1. Academic Preparation: An earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree.

 

2. Experience: A minimum of ten years of full-time faculty employment at an accredited institution of higher education, including at least five years in the rank of Associate Professor.

 

          In addition, to be promoted to Professor, the faculty member must be tenured and have a minimum of three full academic years of faculty employment at Texas A&M International University prior to applying for promotion and meet the following requirements:

1. Teaching: Has demonstrated maturity and skill in teaching, a proven record of teaching excellence, and continued demonstration of interest in improving pedagogical skills. Has assumed leadership in curriculum development and issues related to teaching improvement in the discipline. Is thoroughly familiar with University and college degree requirements and other matters related to academic advisement, career development and opportunities, and placement. Is a teacher and advisor to colleagues.

 

2. Service: Has assumed a position of leadership and service to the University on committees, councils, and special projects. May also participate and lead in professional and community service insofar as the activities relate to the candidate's teaching or research and/or serve the University's mission.

 

3. Scholarship: Has recognized achievements in scholarly or creative activities and is capable of advising colleagues in such activities.

 

Assistant Librarian

          This rank is the entry level for a tenure-track position, assigned to individuals who are beginning their Library professional careers. In addition to fulfilling Library faculty responsibilities, Library faculty holding this rank must meet the following requirements:

1. Academic Preparation: An earned master's degree in library science (MLS) from an American Library Association (ALA) accredited program (ALA recognizes the MLS as the terminal degree for librarians).

 

2. Professional Assignment: Demonstrate a basic knowledge of librarianship, professional responsibilities, and a willingness to assist Library patrons.

 

3. Service: Participate at an introductory level of responsibility in service to the Library and University through committees, councils, and special projects.

 

4. Professional Enrichment: Participate in professional development activities and demonstrate understanding of current developments in librarianship.

 

Associate Librarian

          This rank represents maturity, experience and leadership in the academic library profession. In addition to fulfilling Library faculty responsibilities, the following qualifications must be met for consideration of appointment to this rank. The achievement of this academic Library preparation and experience does not in itself ensure appointment to this rank. The deciding factor in promotion to Associate Librarian is the evaluation of Professional Assignment.

1. Academic Preparation: An earned master's degree in library science from an ALA-accredited program.

 

2. Experience: A minimum of five years experience in full-time library professional employment, including at least three years in the rank of Assistant Librarian, and a minimum of two years experience at Texas A&M International University.

 

          In addition, to be promoted to Associate Librarian, the Library faculty member must meet the following requirements:

1. Professional Assignment: The Associate Librarian has a broad knowledge of librarianship and an in-depth knowledge in one or more parts of the field; has the ability, experience and expertise to perform all duties in assignment area and is able to contribute to new services and innovative programs; assists in the training of new librarians and/or other employees; and demonstrates consistently meritorious professional performance.

 

2. Service: Has begun to assume a position of leadership in the Library and the University by serving on committees or special projects. May also participate and lead in professional community service.

 

3. Professional Enrichment: Has actively pursued opportunities for professional development in areas related to academic librarianship. May also have produced scholarly publications or engaged in other scholarly activities.

 

Full Librarian

          This is the summit of Library academic rank conferred by the Library and is reserved for individuals whose performance judged over an extended period of time has been considered exemplary. The standard of performance required for promotion to Full Librarian is substantially higher than that required for promotion to Associate Librarian. The deciding factor in promotion decisions is the evaluation of Professional Assignment; however, the other criteria apply. The achievement of this academic Library preparation and experience does not in itself ensure appointment to this rank.

1. Academic Preparation: An earned master's degree in library science from an ALA-accredited program.

 

2. Experience: A minimum of ten years experience in full-time library professional employment, including at least five years in the rank of Associate Librarian.

 

          In addition, to be promoted to Full Librarian, the Library faculty member must have a minimum of three years of full-time experience at Texas A&M International University and meet the following requirements:

1. Professional Assignment: Has demonstrated maturity and skill in library specialty, a proven record of outstanding performance and continued demonstration of interest in improving Library services. Has assumed leadership in areas related to library specialty, developing and managing new programs and services for the Library and improving existing programs and services. Is familiar with basic issues and developments in all areas of the Library and library profession. Trains and acts as mentor to less-experienced librarians and other employees and is an advisor to colleagues.

 

2. Service: Has assumed a position of leadership and service to the University on committees, councils, and special projects. May also participate and lead in professional and community service insofar as the activities relate to the candidate's discipline or serve the University's mission.

 

3. Professional Enrichment: The Full Librarian has established a consistent record of professional development; assists in the professional development of other librarians; and has produced a significant output of scholarly activity.

 

Others with Faculty Status

          From time to time it may become necessary to add members of the faculty whose ranks and positions have not been previously defined. At the time of appointment, these definitions need to be clarified. Typical of ranks and positions not elsewhere defined are the following: Lecturer, Adjunct, Special Appointment, Emeritus, Visiting, Administrators with Faculty Rank, and Fixed-Term Faculty.

1. Lecturer. Lecturers may be either full-time of part-time faculty members. Typically, they will not be appointed to a tenure-track position. Normally they will not possess the academic or professional qualifications necessary to be appointed to the rank of Instructor.

 

2. Adjunct. Adjunct faculty may be appointed at any rank for which they are qualified, on either a full-time or part-time basis. Normally the appointment is of a temporary or part-time nature, and is made to ensure that classes that could not be offered by otherwise qualified full-time tenure-track faculty may be offered. These appointments are made at the discretion of the various academic Deans, with the guidance and approval of the Provost.

 

3. Special Appointment Faculty. From time to time the University may appoint a faculty member as a Poet-, Writer-, or Artist-in-Residence. Special Funding faculty, or as some other title not elsewhere defined. Normally these appointments are of a temporary nature (usually one year or less), and they are not normally positions that can be tenured.

 

4. Emeritus. The Emeritus title is conferred upon individuals who have made significant contributions to the University through long and distinguished service in administration, teaching, research, and/or service while holding positions identified by these titles. As a general rule, over ten years of employment would be considered long service. Emeritus titles are granted by action of the Board of Regents upon nomination by the President and recommendation of the Chancellor. (For more detail see TAMUS Policy 31.08 Section 1 and TAMIU Rule 31.08.01.L1).

 

5. Visiting. Visiting faculty may be appointed at any rank. They are not eligible for the rights and privileges granted to tenure-track and tenured faculty until they are given a tenure-track appointment. Normally these renewable appointments (at the University's option) are of one-year duration.

 

6. Administrators with Faculty Rank. Anyone who holds faculty status is expected to participate in the teaching process a minimum of once per year. Failure to participate in the teaching process for a period of more than two years is justification for the Faculty Senate to request that the Provost seek revocation of the faculty status, rights, and privileges of the non-participating party. If faculty status is revoked, the administrator would be entitled to appeal as specified in the sections of the Faculty Handbook describing appeals in the promotion and tenure process.

 

7. Fixed-Term Faculty. Fixed-term faculty are coequal and have similar roles and responsibilities to tenure-track faculty, but they are hired for fixed, renewable terms and are not eligible for tenure. The essential difference is that fixed-term faculty are expected to specialize in one or more faculty responsibilities (teaching, research, service) and are not required to perform in all areas like tenure-track faculty. Fixed-term faculty are defined in TAMUS Policy 12.07. The policy leaves many details up to the university, including the titles and ranks of fixed-term faculty, their specific responsibilities and how they are evaluated, and their rights and prerogatives compared to tenure-track and tenured faculty. Documents which provide these details for fixed-term faculty in various colleges and departments at TAMIU are appended to this handbook. These documents should include details on how faculty may move between fixed-term and tenure track (if and to the extent that that is permitted). Tenured faculty can only be moved to fixed-term at their own request. Provision must be made for how fixed-term faculty are promoted in rank, and there should be some standard increase in salary (not necessarily the same as for tenure track faculty) for promotions in rank. In general terms, full-time fixed-term faculty have the same voting rights and rights of participation (on committees, etc.) as tenure-track faculty, except that they cannot vote on any matter concerning tenure or serve on any committee that requires tenure. Fixed-term faculty may serve on the Faculty Senate, unless they have over 50% administrative appointment.

 

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