Comprehensive Standard 3.7.1

The institution employs competent faculty members qualified to accomplish the mission andgoals of the institution. When determining acceptable qualifications of its faculty, an institution gives primary consideration to the highest earned degree in the discipline in accordance with the guidelines listed below. The institution also considers competence, effectiveness, and capacity, including, as appropriate, undergraduate and graduate degrees, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes. For all cases, the institution is responsible for justifying and documenting the qualifications of its faculty. (Faculty competence) 

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) employs competent faculty who have credentials consistent with the Southern Association of Colleges and School guidelines and who engage in high quality teaching, research, and service.

New faculty members at USC Upstate are recruited based on their academic credentials, experience in teaching, and research record, thus supporting the mission and goals as a metropolitan institution committed to active learning through excellence in teaching, faculty and student scholarship, research, creative activities, and service.

Faculty searches at USC Upstate are governed by the search procedures outlined in the USC Policies and Procedures ACAF 1.00. Search procedures involve a partnership between faculty and administration in appointing committees that conduct nation-wide searches to ensure the most qualified candidate pools. The Chief Diversity Officer meets with all search committees to ensure a diverse pool of qualified candidates. Criteria utilized by search committees to recruit the most qualified candidates include but are not limited to graduate and undergraduate degrees, teaching effectiveness, related work experience, professional licensure or certification, honors and awards, research, scholarship, and service. Search Committee Chairs submit full reports on the strengths and weaknesses of all candidates interviewed by telephone, and provide reports on the applicant pool. A short list of candidates is forwarded to the Senior Vice Chancellor (SVC) for Academic Affairs who authorizes campus interviews. Following on-campus interviews, the search committee submits recommendations to the Dean of the appropriate unitwho then submits a recommendation to the SVC to extend an offer of employment. Once approved, the Dean negotiates details of the appointment. The SVC prepares the letter of appointment. Reports of the interviews and review of applicants are submitted to Human Resources after each search is concluded.

Permanent, tenured and tenure-track faculty hold ranks of assistant professor or librarian, associate professor or librarian, and professor or librarian. The institution seeks qualified faculty who possess a terminal degree in the field for all tenure and tenure-track positions. USC Upstate may from time to time grant tenure on appointment of candidates if they have achieved tenure at accredited peer institutions. These are normally at either the associate professor or professor ranks. Full-time non-tenure track instructors must hold a Master's degree and have at least 18 credit hours in the field in which they teach. Adjunct faculty are hired on a semester-by-semester basis. As with full-time faculty, the institution places primary emphasis on the educational credentials of its adjuncts. In exceptional cases, adequate justification of alternative professional experience and demonstrated contributions to the teaching discipline must be provided and approved, in lieu of formal academic preparations.Faculty members have appropriate credentials to teach assigned courses as shown on the Faculty Roster.  Although administrators and library faculty are listed on the roster, they did not teach courses in fall 2010 or spring 2011 but remain on the database.

Faculty who do not explicitly meet minimum guidelines on degree and coursework must be certified on an individual basis by providing documentation of alternative credentials and exceptional expertise in the field. A memo of justification of alternative credentials, along with supporting evidence and documentation, must be submitted to the SVC for any faculty candidate not meeting the minimum USC Upstate requirements for teaching courses. Official copies of credentials for full-time and part-time faculty are maintained in the Office of the SVC.

In accordance with the mission of the institution, the University offers degrees at the baccalaureate and master’s levels. No associate or doctoral degrees are offered.  Graduate courses are taught by members of the graduate faculty – individuals whose professional and scholarly accomplishments and effectiveness in teaching qualify them for active participation in graduate instruction at the University. As shown on the Faculty Roster, all graduate courses associated with degree programs are taught by individuals with an appropriate terminal degree in the discipline of instruction.

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