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Academic Freedom

          It is essential that each faculty member be free to pursue scholarly inquiry, and to voice and publish individual conclusions concerning the significance of evidence that the faculty member considers relevant. Each faculty member is entitled to full freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject which he or she teaches, but should not introduce controversial matter which has no relation to the classroom subject. Each faculty member is also a citizen of the nation, state and community; and when speaking, writing, or acting as such, must be free from institutional censorship or discipline. (TAMUS Policy 12.01 Section 1, quoted selectively).

          TAMUS Policy 12.01 Sections 1 and 2 define academic freedom and outline the basic protections and responsibilities of faculty with regard to academic freedom. Faculty members must recognize that the public will judge their profession and system academic institutions by their statements (TAMUS Policy 12.01 Section 2.2). The controlling principle is that a faculty member's expression of opinion as a citizen cannot constitute grounds for dismissal unless it clearly demonstrates the faculty member's unfitness for his or her position, as described in the Non-reappointment section of this Handbook. Extramural utterances rarely bear upon the faculty member's fitness or job performance. Moreover, a final decision should take into account the faculty member's entire record as a teacher and scholar.

Faculty Responsibilities

Teaching Faculty

          Texas A&M International University is committed to excellence in instruction, a concern for students, and the integrity of the institution. As such, all teaching faculty are expected to:

1. Make known to students in writing the goals and requirements of each course, the nature of the course content and the methods of evaluation to be employed.


2. Meet classes as scheduled.


3. Instruct so as to meet course objectives.


4. Maintain competence in teaching fields.


5. Be professional in conduct, in the classroom, and show respect for the students.


6. Be available to students for consultation on course work during regular published office hours.


7. Serve as academic advisor in accordance with college policy on advisement.


8. Engage in Service activities according to requirements for performance by rank as stated in this Handbook, and applicable college and department policies.


9. Engage in Scholarly activity according to requirements for performance by rank as stated in this Handbook, and applicable college and department policies.


          While these responsibilities provide the foundation of good teaching and professionalism, they do not alone qualify one for tenure or promotion. See relevant sections of this Handbook for additional information concerning promotion and tenure.

Library Faculty

          All Library faculty are expected to:

1. Adhere to the American Library Association Code of Ethics.


2. Maintain knowledge and competence in their areas of specialization.


3. Be professional in conduct and show respect for patrons.


4. Perform their professional assignments in a manner that supports the Library's mission within the University.


5. Engage in Service activities according to requirements for performance by rank as stated in this Handbook, and applicable Library policies.


6. Engage in Professional Enrichment activities according to requirements for performance by rank as stated in this Handbook, and applicable Library policies.


Academic Services and Support (Media, Computer, etc.)

          A faculty member should reasonably expect support from the University for the successful accomplishment of the faculty member's Teaching, Scholarship, and Service responsibilities. The faculty member should expect to utilize adequate care to ensure that the support provided by the University is not misused.

Program Evaluation

          It is the responsibility of every faculty member to remain current in his or her area of expertise. If in their expert opinion, a program should be added, revised, or dropped, the faculty member has a responsibility to share their opinion with the appropriate curriculum committee or to bring their opinion to the Academic Oversight Committee of the Faculty Senate.

Student Advising

          Each full-time faculty member is expected to advise and council a designated group of students concerning academic course requirements, as well as personal matters related to their overall educational experiences. The faculty member's basic responsibilities are to assist assigned graduate and/or undergraduate advisees in enrolling in appropriate courses as specified by individual degree plans provided by the Office of Admissions and Advisement, and to monitor each student's total course load with respect to degree of difficulty and the student's non-academic responsibilities, e.g., full-time work or familial responsibilities.

Student Records (FERPA)

          The University accumulates data and keeps records to enable staff and faculty to plan educational opportunities to meet the needs of individual students, to better understand students to counsel them more effectively, and to assist to placement in graduate education or employment programs after graduation. These records should be considered confidential and the privacy of the student protected.

          Preliminary (first day) class rolls are distributed as soon as possible after registration. These rolls should be checked by faculty and discrepancies reported to the Office of the Registrar. Corrections are incorporated in the final class roll, which reflects registration as of the official census date (twelfth class day for long semesters, fourth class day for summer sessions). These final class rolls must be signed by the instructor as correct and returned to the Office of the Registrar in a timely manner.

          Forms for assigning grades are distributed after the final day for dropping classes. These forms must be completed by faculty and returned to the Office of the Registrar by the specified due date. The Office of the Registrar will not release grades to students until the final reports are prepared and mailed.

          These records are required by the state of Texas and may be audited as part of the funding process.

Posting Grades

          Faculty are legally prohibited from publicly posting student grades in such a fashion that students can be identified by anyone other than themselves or their designated representatives; however, it is often necessary to disseminate information outside the classroom about student performance. Therefore, when such necessity occurs, instructors may post grades in such a way that the student's privacy is protected. This means that student names or complete Social Security numbers may not be used. Instructors may use whatever method they devise so long as individual privacy is protected.

Office Hours

          Each faculty member is expected to establish, post and maintain a reasonable number of office hours. The determination of the number of office hours will be made in consultation with the faculty member's department chair. The following constraints should be considered:

1. All faculty members are expected to have office hours.


2. Office hours will be scheduled for the convenience of students.


3. Office hours must be posted outside the faculty member's office, and recorded with the department chair.


4. All faculty members, regardless of their assignments, are expected to maintain an absolute minimum of three and an absolute maximum of forty office hours per week.

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