SACS Compliance Report

Section 1: Principle of Integrity 

1.1 Integrity

Core Requirement 1.1

The institution operates with integrity in all matters. (Integrity)

 

Section 2: Core Requirements  

2.1 Degree Granting Authority

Core Requirement 2.1

The institution has degree-granting authority from the appropriate government agency or agencies. (Degree-granting Authority)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is a senior campus in the University of South Carolina (USC) system, which includes the Columbia campus, three senior campuses (USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, and USC Upstate) and four regional campuses (USC Lancaster, USC Salkehatchie, USC Sumter and USC Union). The South Carolina (SC) Code of Laws, Title 59, Chapter 101, Section 59-101-10 “Designation of State colleges and universities” lists the University of South Carolina as a university within the state of South Carolina.

According to the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina, the overarching purpose is to “define the mission, role and scope of the University System and each of its major component institutions..., establish the general policies of the University System..., lay out the University System’s broad program of educational activity..., approve the budget for the next fiscal year, and...provide ultimate accountability to the public and the General Assembly.” The Board grants USC Upstate degree-granting authority through its power to define the mission, scope and role of its component institutions as stated in the Bylaws of the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees, Article III, Section 1 “Duties of the Board”.

Created by the SC Code of Laws, Title 59, Chapter 103, Section 59-103-15 “Higher education mission and goals”, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE) is charged with furthering the state’s higher education goal “to be a global leader in providing a coordinated, comprehensive system of excellence in education by providing instruction, research, and life-long learning opportunities which are focused on economic development and benefit the State of South Carolina.” As such, they provide oversight to all South Carolina colleges and universities. The SC Code of Laws, Title 59, Chapter 103, Section 59-103-35 “Submission of budget; new and existing programs,” gives the SCCHE the authority to approve degree programs for colleges and universities in the state of South Carolina. The section states, “No new program may be undertaken by any public institution of higher education without the approval of the commission. The provisions of this chapter apply to all college parallel, transferable, and associate-degree programs of technical and comprehensive education institutions.”

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2.2 Governing Board

Core Requirement 2.2

The institution has a governing board of at least five members that is the legal body with specific authority over the institution. The board is an active policy-making body for the institution and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the financial resources of the institution are adequate to provide a sound educational program. The board is not controlled by a minority of board members or by organizations or interests separate from it. Both the presiding officer of the board and a majority of other voting members of the board are free of any contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution.

A military institution authorized and operated by the federal government to award degrees has a public board on which both the presiding officer and a majority of the other members are neither civilian employees of the military nor active/retired military. The board has broad and significant influence upon the institution’s programs and operations, plays an active role in policy-making, and ensures that the financial resources of the institution are used to provide a sound educational program. The board is not controlled by a minority of board members or by organizations or interests separate from the board except as specified by the authorizing legislation. Both the presiding officer of the board and a majority of other voting board members are free of any contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution. (Governing Board)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Since its inception in February 1967, the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate), then the Spartanburg Regional Campus of the University of South Carolina, has been governed by the University of South Carolina Board Of Trustees. The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees (the Board) was created on December 19, 1801 and was confirmed by law in the South Carolina (SC) Code of Laws, Chapter 117, Title 59, Sections 59-117-10 through 59-117-11. According to the Bylaws of the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees, Article III, Section 1 “Duties of the Board”, their overarching purpose is to “define the mission, role and scope of the University System and each of its major component institutions..., establish the general policies of the University System..., lay out the University System’s broad program of educational activity..., approve the budget for the next fiscal year, and...provide ultimate accountability to the public and the General Assembly”.

The composition of the Board is defined in the Bylaws of the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees, Article II, Section 1 “Composition”. These bylaws define how Board members are selected to ensure that all regions in South Carolina are equally represented on the Board and guards against the possibility of a minority of Board members or outside organizations gaining control of the Board. In addition, all meetings are conducted in compliance with the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. The Board Meeting Schedule and Board Minutes (available online only) are publicly available via the Board website. This transparency assures that the Board is focused on the responsibilities bestowed upon it by the South Carolina Legislature to control the University and that the Board is operating within its designated powers.

Finally, neither the Chair of the Board nor a majority of other voting members of the Board have contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution. The current members of the Board may be found on the Biographical Summaries section of the Board of Trustees website as well as the Governing Board (Information on Board Members).

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2.3 Chief Executive Officer

Core Requirement 2.3

The institution has a chief executive officer whose primary responsibility is to the institution and who is not the presiding officer of the board. (Chief Executive Officer) (See Commission policy “Core Requirement 2.3: Documenting an Alternate Approach.”)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

In the University of South Carolina (USC) System, each four-year senior campus is headed by a Chancellor. The University of South Carolina Organization Chart reflects the reporting structure of the Chancellors to the USC Board of Trustees (the Board) through the President.

The Bylaws of the Board, Article XI, Section 3 “Authority and Duties of the Chancellors” state that “The Chancellors shall be the chief administrative officers of their respective campuses and shall have full authority to administer campus affairs and to formulate and issue regulations and orders not inconsistent with the Bylaws, rules, policies and procedures of the Board and the President.” The Bylaws further state, “The Chancellors’ responsibilities include:

  1. Responsibility to the Board through the President for the execution of all laws, policies, rules, and regulations relating to the University of South Carolina System;
  2. Responsibility for all of the factors that contribute to the quality of academic and support programs of the campus;
  3. Responsibility for the general supervision of all relationships between students and the various levels of campus administration;
  4. Responsibility for the financial management of the campus and its component parts;
  5. Responsibility for personnel administration;
  6. Responsibility for operation and maintenance of the physical plant, purchase of supplies and equipment, and the maintenance of appropriate inventories and records of real and personal property under the jurisdiction of the campus;
  7. Responsibility for fund raising, intercollegiate athletics, auxiliary enterprises, and alumni activities;
  8. Responsibility for cooperating closely with the local higher education commission on all matters pertaining to the applicable campus; and
  9. Whenever practicable, attend all meetings of the Board and keep the chairman of the local higher education commission apprised of the schedule of such meetings.”

The Bylaws of the Board, Article V, Sections 1 and 2 state that the Ex Officio Chairman of the Board, the Governor of South Carolina, shall preside at all meetings of the Board when present. In the Governor’s absence, the permanent Chairman of the Board shall preside at all meetings of the Board. Should both the Ex Officio Chairman and the permanent Chairman both be absent, the Vice-Chairman shall preside. None of these positions may be held by a Chancellor within the USC System.

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2.4 Institutional Mission

Core Requirement 2.4

The institution has a clearly defined, comprehensive, and published mission statement that is specific to the institution and appropriate for higher education. The mission addresses teaching and learning and, where applicable, research and public service. (Institutional Mission)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) provides a comprehensive, clear, published mission addressing teaching, learning, research and service.

USC Upstate’s mission statement is specific to the goals and intentions of the institution and serves as guidance in all activities of the University. Any changes to the mission must be approved by the Spartanburg County Commission on Higher Education, the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees, and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE), pursuant to the South Carolina Code of Laws Section 59-103-45 (6). Therefore, according to the SCCHE Policies for Academic Mission, SCCHE has the authority “to review and approve each institutional mission statement to ensure it is within the overall mission of that particular type of institution”.

USC Upstate’s mission statement is published in print and electronic media formats. Selected examples include the website, 2011-2012 Student Handbook, and 2011-2012 Academic Catalog.

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2.5 Institutional Effectiveness

Core Requirement 2.5

The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that (1) incorporate a systematic review of institutional mission, goals, and outcomes; (2) result in continuing improvement in institutional quality; and (3) demonstrate the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission. (Institutional Effectiveness)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) engages in ongoing institution-wide planning and evaluation of its activities and the outcomes of those activities in support of the institution’s mission and continuous improvement endeavors. The University accomplishes its strategic planning through the activities of the Strategic Issues Advisory Committee with additional evaluative activities including academic program assessment, administrative area assessment, and general education assessment.

The strategic plan is the primary vehicle for annual planning and its implementation. The current USC Upstate strategic planning process was initiated in 2003 and is used to align the institution’s organization and budget structure with the mission, vision and goals. The Strategic Plan is reviewed each year and revised as necessary to respond to the changing environment. All areas of the University participate in the strategic planning process. Our collaborative organizational model includes faculty and staff in the overall planning for the institution.

The Annual Strategic Report is organized by the University’s six major goals and their corresponding objectives to provide an overarching framework. Each spring, Chancellor’s Cabinet members work with their respective units to develop tactics that support these objectives and address the priorities for the upcoming academic/fiscal year. In spring of each year, the units submit updates on their tactics to summarize their accomplishments and progress from the current academic/fiscal year. At the same time, they develop tactics with operational and budget priorities for the upcoming academic/fiscal year. The final year-end report demonstrates each unit’s progress towards accomplishing their goals.

A crucial component of the strategic planning process is the gathering and review of data to help make informed decisions. The Strategic Issues Advisory Committee, appointed by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, has responsibility for evaluating data used to measure institutional progress on goal achievement and in recommendations for planning. The annual Strategic Issues Advisory Committee Report is distributed to the Chancellor’s Cabinet and placed on the Strategic Planning website for the campus to review, discuss and use in planning and decision making. 

In 2008, a system-wide strategic plan, Focus Carolina, was announced. Individual campuses within the USC system were requested to align strategic their efforts. USC Upstate demonstrates alignment of goals each year in a presentation to the President of the USC System.

Academic Program and Administrative Area Assessments
The performance of all organizational units, academic programs, and personnel is reviewed annually to determine effectiveness and to identify how to support continued progress in achieving the University’s mission. Each academic and administrative unit participates in annual assessments intended to support continuous improvement. The general education assessment process supports continuous improvement in the general education program.

The academic program and administrative area assessment processes have similar purposes and outputs, the primary difference being whether the assessment focuses on a degree-granting unit of the institution or administrative, non-degree granting units. Degree-granting areas measure “Goals and Student Learning Outcomes” (SLOs), whereas administrative units measure “Intended Outcomes”.

Each year, academic and administrative areas collect assessment data relating to their previously determined outcomes, analyze these data, look for trends over time or anomalies, and use the results to determine the extent to which they are meeting their goals. The units also use the results to develop initiatives geared toward improving performance and these improvement measures are implemented and assessed the following year.

 Administrative Assessment Report Examples

Administrative Assessment Report Policies and Procedures

2009-10
2008-09
2007-08
 Program Assessment Report Examples Program Assessment Report Policies and Procedures English 2009-10 Report 
English 2009-10 Evaluation
Political Science 2009-10 Report
Political Science 2009-10 Evaluation
Chemistry 2009-10 Report 
Chemistry 2009-10 Evaluation
Physical Education 2009-10 Report
Physical Education 2009-10 Evaluation

General Education Assessment

In addition to the academic program and administrative area assessment processes, the University engages in ongoing assessment of the general education curriculum. The General Education Committee developed a curriculum consisting of five competencies, each with one or more associated SLOs that together provide the foundational knowledge and experience necessary for success in our undergraduate program. General Education competencies and SLOs are applicable across the institution, regardless of degree. This allows for assessment of the outcomes at the university level, rather than the course or program level. The faculty review assessment results each year. Each unit develops and implements continuous improvement measures for their general education courses.

General Education Policies and Procedures
Competency 1: Communication
Competency 2: Quantitative Reasoning and Scientific Inquiry
Competency 3: Critical Thinking
Competency 4: Globalization and Diversity
Competency 5: Information Technology Literacy

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2.6 Continuous Operation

Core Requirement 2.6

The institution is in operation and has students enrolled in degree programs. (Continuous Operation)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Spartanburg was founded in 1967 with an enrollment of 177 students. Enrollments increased and the University was renamed University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) in 2004.

USC Upstate now offers more than 40 bachelor’s degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and teacher education, and master’s degrees in education. Among the fastest growing universities in South Carolina, USC Upstate is a diverse and dynamic community with a 2010 Fall enrollment of over 5,500 students and more than 19,000 alumni.

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2.7.1 Program Length

Core Requirement 2.7.1

The institution offers one or more degree programs based on at least 60 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the associate level; at least 120 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the baccalaureate level; or at least 30 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the post-baccalaureate, graduate, or professional level. If an institution uses a unit other than semester credit hours, it provides an explanation for the equivalency. The institution also provides a justification for all degrees that include fewer than the required number of semester credit hours or its equivalent unit. (Program Length)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) offers the following degrees (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Professional Nursing, Bachelor of Fine Arts) at the baccalaureate level and one degree (Master of Arts) at the graduate level. All USC Upstate baccalaureate degree programs require a minimum of 120 credit hours, while all USC Upstate graduate degree programs require a minimum of thirty six credit hours. One credit hour at USC Upstate is consistent with the traditional Carnegie Foundation definition of approximately one hour (fifty minutes) of lecture time for a single student per week over the course of a semester of fourteen to sixteen weeks.

Degree Programs and Hours Required
The degrees offered by USC Upstate at the baccalaureate level (B.A., B.S., B.F.A.) are each based on at least 120 semester credit hours. The University offers thirty-four major programs of study. Major programs of study for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Fine Arts require a minimum of 120 semester hours. These undergraduate majors are listed both on the website and the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog. Examples of required semester hours within programs of studies are the Bachelor of Science with a Major in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science with a Major in Special Education-Learning Disabilities, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Professional Nursing.

Major programs of study for the Master of Education require a minimum of 30 semester hours. These programs are listed both on the website and the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog. Examples of required semester hours within programs of studies are the Master of Education in Early Childhood, Master of Education in Elementary Education, and Master of Education in Special Education-Visual Impairment.

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2.7.2 Program Content

Core Requirement 2.7.2

The institution offers degree programs that embody a coherent course of study that is compatible with its stated mission and is based upon fields of study appropriate to higher education. (Program Content)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate’s (USC Upstate) mission denotes the Institution’s primary responsibilities are to offer baccalaureate education to the citizens of the Upstate of South Carolina and to offer selected master’s degrees in response to regional demand.

The academic programs of USC Upstate are designed to fulfill this mission and many take advantage of its metropolitan setting. Professional schools and departments are responsible for ensuring that their programs remain current and in compliance with their respective accreditation agencies. All program content is reviewed annually using University Program Assessment Reports. The annual assessment reports also ensure that all degree programs are current, embody a coherent course of study compatible with the University’s mission, and are appropriate to higher education.

Undergraduate program requirements, as stated in the online or printed versions of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog, are defined by the program faculty, sequentially planned, compatible with the mission, and based upon fields of study appropriate to undergraduate education. All courses leading to a baccalaureate degree follow a sequential progression consistent with the elements of high quality university degree programs. This progression is shown in each program description and defined in each undergraduate program of study in the online or printed versions of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog identified by the following areas: General Education (Core Curriculum Requirements), Courses Appropriate to the Major, Major courses, Minor courses (if required for the program), School/Department Degree Requirements, and University Degree Requirements.

Graduate program requirements, as stated in the online or printed versions of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog, are defined by the program faculty, sequentially planned, compatible with the mission, and based upon fields of study appropriate to graduate education. The progression is shown in each program description and defined in each graduate program of study.

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2.7.3 General Education

Core Requirement 2.7.3

In each undergraduate degree program, the institution requires the successful completion of a general education component at the collegiate level that (1) is a substantial component of each undergraduate degree, (2) ensures breadth of knowledge, and (3) is based on a coherent rationale. For degree completion in associate programs, the component constitutes a minimum of 15 semester hours or the equivalent; for baccalaureate programs, a minimum of 30 semester hours or the equivalent. These credit hours are to be drawn from and include at least one course from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural science/mathematics. The courses do not narrowly focus on those skills, techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession. If an institution uses a unit other than semester credit hours, it provides an explanation for the equivalency. The institution also provides a justification if it allows for fewer than the required number of semester credit hours or its equivalent unit of general education courses. (General Education)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) requires the successful completion of a general education component at the collegiate level. USC Upstate’s general education program has gone through major revisions as noted in the General Education Proposal – Spring 2006 – April 19, 2006 and the Approved Revisions to Gen Ed Program – February 2009. The current description of the general education program is listed in the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog. Our competency-based general education program provides students with a breadth of knowledge and common academic experience in line with the mission.

Each graduate from USC Upstate is obligated to finish a collegiate-level general education program that is a substantial component of his/her undergraduate degree program. USC Upstate’s general education program requires 43-46 credit hours. The bachelor’s degrees at USC Upstate require 120-130 credit hours. The Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology Management, which is the only degree program that could call for up to 130 hours, requires a general education program of 45 credit hours. Hence, for each bachelor’s degree program at USC Upstate, the general education program makes up at least one third of the total credit hours, making our general education program “a substantial component of each undergraduate degree.”

The general education program at USC Upstate “ensures breadth of knowledge.” Each USC Upstate student must complete a broad range of courses to acquire the wide base of knowledge. A required distribution of courses is drawn from eight general content areas: communication, mathematics and logic, information technology, natural sciences, arts and humanities, foreign language and culture, history, and social and behavioral sciences. These eight areas cover a wide spectrum of fields guaranteeing breadth of knowledge and a solid foundation for upper level courses. Students are required to complete courses from each of these areas. Therefore, students will be exposed to at least one course from humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural science/mathematics. The General Education Course Distribution lists all the specific courses for each of the eight general content areas.

USC Upstate’s general education program was developed on a competency-based general education model. According to this model, students demonstrate achievement in a common set of general education competencies rather than demonstrate mastery of individual course content. A competency-based general education model stipulates that competencies should be broad based and serve as the foundational and supporting skills on which the majors can build rather than a collection of course-content-specific knowledge strung together. Competencies and student learning outcomes were created to collect and evaluate information (acquire knowledge), integrate and draw conclusions (create knowledge), and communicate this knowledge to others. They were also created to focus general education on essential skills and knowledge all students should possess at the end of their USC Upstate learning experience. The five competencies and nine related student learning outcomes (SLOs), as outlined below, form the framework for the assessment plan.

  • Competency 1: The USC Upstate graduate should demonstrate an ability to communicate in English, both orally and in writing.
    • SLO 1.1: Students are able to create and deliver coherent, grammatically correct oral presentations.
    • SLO 1.2: Students are able to create coherent, grammatically correct responses to prompts and questions.

 

  • Competency 2: The USC Upstate graduate should demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to apply scientific investigation and quantitative and logical reasoning.
    • SLO 2.1: Students demonstrate an ability to apply scientific reasoning by drawing appropriate conclusions from scientific data.
    • SLO 2.2: Students demonstrate an ability to apply quantitative and logical reasoning by producing solutions to or analyses of appropriate problems.

 

  • Competency 3: The USC Upstate graduate should be able to integrate and critically evaluate information.
    • SLO 3.1: Students are able to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of varying points of view.
    • SLO 3.2: Students demonstrate the ability to distinguish between pertinent and irrelevant information.

 

  • Competency 4: The USC Upstate graduate should understand and demonstrate an awareness of distinctive features of language and cultures.
    • SLO 4.1: Students demonstrate knowledge of linguistic and cultural diversity and contributions of such diversity to society.

 

  • Competency 5: The USC Upstate graduate should demonstrate responsible and appropriate use of information knowledge.
    • SLO 5.1: Students are able to gather and correctly process information through appropriate use of technological tools.
    • SLO 5.2: Students demonstrate the ability to use information technologies to communicate information to others.


Each course in the general education program supports at least one SLO in two different competencies as outlined in the Course Alignment Matrix. For new courses to be included in the general education program, a rational explanation of how the course satisfies this requirement and contributes to student abilities must be submitted to the General Education Committee for approval using the General Education Competency Alignment form. The General Education Committee is responsible for reviewing all courses for inclusion in general education curriculum and determining the course contribution to the goals of the program and University. Each degree program lists the general education courses that satisfy the requirements for humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, natural science/mathematics.

General Education Requirements by Program


USC Upstate recognizes general education transfer credits from national and international accredited institutions. Articulation agreements support this process. For courses not covered in these agreements, faculty review syllabi, catalog descriptions, catalogs, and other supporting documentation to determine course equivalencies of transfer courses.

Upstate Direct Connect was started in fall 2010 to enhance and streamline the transfer from 2-year institutions. Students who graduate with an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or select Associate of Applied Science degrees from Greenville Technical College, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg Methodist College, or Tri-County Technical College and meet our admission requirements are admitted to USC Upstate. Joint Resolutions and Collaborative transfer advisement forms aid in this process.

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2.7.4 Course Work for Degrees

Core Requirement 2.7.4

The Institution provides instruction for all course work required for at least one degree program at each level at which it awards degrees. If the institution does not provide instruction for all such course work and (1) makes arrangements for some instruction to be provided by other accredited institutions or entities through contracts or consortia or (2) uses some other alternative approach to meeting this requirement, the alternative approach must be approved by the Commission on Colleges. In both cases, the institution demonstrates that it controls all aspects of its educational program (See Commission Policy Core Requirement 2.7.4; Documenting an Alternative Approach). (Course work for Degrees)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) provides instruction for 28 undergraduate degrees and 3 master’s degrees awarded by the institution. Compliance and the institution’s ability to provide instruction for multiple programs are demonstrated by the courses identified within programs of study that are listed in the online and printed versions of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog.

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2.8 Faculty

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 its academic programs. (Faculty)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) employs a strong instructional base of full-time and part-time faculty. Full-time faculty are comprised of tenured, tenure track, and non-tenured members teaching at least 6 hours per semester. Tenured and tenure track full-time faculty carry the academic ranks of professor, associate professor, assistant professor. Non tenured, full time faculty members carry the academic rank of senior instructor or instructor.

Each candidate for appointment at the rank of instructor is expected to have earned the master’s degree and to offer evidence or promise of competence in teaching. Many of these faculty are employed in the Schools of Nursing and Education and are highly skilled in their roles as nurses or teachers. An instructor who holds at least a master’s degree and has held a full-time faculty appointment at USC Upstate for a minimum of six years may apply for promotion to Senior Instructor. Part-time, visiting or temporary faculty are not eligible for tenure.

Conditions for Appointment and Advancement in Rank are presented in the Faculty Manual. All full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members, unless the terms and conditions of their appointment letters states otherwise, are expected to engage in teaching, scholarship and service. Duties of full-time instructors in most departments and schools are focused in the areas of teaching and service. The initial letter of appointment indicates faculty member’s academic rank, tenure or tenure-track status and penultimate year for promotion and tenure.

In fall 2010, over 65% of the 224 full-time faculty at USC Upstate held terminal degrees in their discipline (MLS, MFA, EdD, PhD, DNS, or DNP). The University is also committed to recruit highly-qualified faculty who reflect the demographic composition of the student population. While the realities of the academic labor market preclude achieving this goal in the short term, approximately 15% of full-time faculty in 2010 had a racial or ethnic background from a minority group. The proportion of full-time female faculty was 55%.

In fall 2010, the ratio of full-time faculty to students was 1:16 overall, ensuring quality teaching-learning interactions between faculty and students. The ratio of full-time to part-time faculty has been relatively stable over a three-year period, despite fluctuations in state funding. The stability of this ratio reflects USC Upstate’s emphasis on the quality and integrity of academic programs. Full-time Faculty Per Major are adequate to support the University’s mission and to ensure the quality and integrity of academic programs.

Separate accreditations are conducted systematically for the professional schools attesting to their excellence and the quality of their faculty. The George Dean Johnson, Jr. School of Business and Economics was last visited for reaffirmation in 2010; the School of Education was reaffirmed in spring 2011; and the Mary Black School of Nursing will receive its reaffirmation team in fall 2011. Several programs within the College of Arts and Sciences are also accredited by discipline specific organizations such as engineering technology management, computer science, and healthcare informatics.

Many full-time faculty teach general education courses, not only to ensure quality of instruction, but also as a means to attract majors in their specific discipline. For the past few years, approximately 50% of all General Education Courses are taught by full-time faculty. In general education, full-time to part-time faculty ratios indicate that full-time faculty teach critical introductory courses.

The mission of the University states that “the University’s primary responsibilities are to offer baccalaureate education to the citizens of the Upstate of South Carolina and to offer selected master’s degrees in response to regional demand.” This continues to guide our hiring and evaluation of qualified faculty. To ensure faculty quality, all faculty members undergo a formal Annual Performance Review as specified in the Faculty Manual. Tenured faculty members also undergo post-tenure review every six years (available for review onsite).

Distance Learning

Distance Learning” is defined by USC Upstate as a teaching modality that is independent of time and place and uses technology, such as the Internet or other interactive technology, to engage the learner. USC Upstate operationally defines distance education as courses that are delivered entirely through an off-campus medium using a teaching modality that is independent of time and place and comprised of the most up-to-date pedagogical strategies and innovative technologies to engage the learner.

Faculty who express an interest in offering courses in an alternative delivery format are offered the opportunity to learn the strategies for successful implementation of courses to ensure quality of the distance learning course are equal to the quality of courses offered in class. A Center for Teaching Excellence was established in fall 2010, with the addition of a position devoted to Distance Education in the summer of 2011. The Director of Learning Technologies is responsible for offering ongoing educational professional development. A Technology Training Specialist, a part-time faculty member, assists in delivery of the offerings. Courses are offered to assist students and faculty in the use of distance learning course material to include the use of Blackboard and other electronic media and communication tools. Beginning in fall, 2011, all new faculty are required to obtain a certificate in online teaching prior to teaching an distance education course offering. The certificate course is offered as a joint initiative through the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Office of Distance Education.

USC Upstate follows the “Principles of Accreditation” in all the distance education offerings.
The RN to BSN program and other distance education courses within specific programs are consistent with the mission of the institution. As with all curricular offerings, faculty assume primary responsibility for and exercise oversight of distance education to ensure rigor and quality of the course offerings.

Faculty workload is calculated on credit hour offerings regardless of teaching modality, and faculty do not receive extra compensation for teaching courses using educational technology. As with all course development, faculty retain ownership of all materials they develop. Faculty are apprised of copyright issues related to teaching during orientation for new faculty members as well as periodic workshops held by librarians.

Adequate numbers of full-time faculty teach those courses. All faculty are evaluated using Student Opinion Polls (SOP) for each course in every semester. Students enrolled in distance education courses evaluate faculty using online SOPs (available for review onsite).

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2.9 Learning Resources and Services

Core Requirement 2.9

The institution, through ownership or formal arrangements or agreements, provides and supports student and faculty access and user privileges to adequate library collections and services and to other learning/information resources consistent with the degrees offered. Collections, resources, and services are sufficient to support all its educational, research, and public service programs. (Learning Resources and Services)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

LIBRARY
The library employs 11 full-time plus 1.5 FTE part-time library faculty with earned Master’s in Library Science degrees from graduate programs accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). The library also employs 14 full-time plus .5 FTE part-time support staff, and student workers. Additional technical support comes from staff members of the USC Thomas Cooper Library in Columbia who perform cataloging and processing for select materials. These include the books designated for the Juvenile collection and DVDs.

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) provides appropriate facilities and learning/information resources to support the University’s mission. The USC Upstate Library Mission Statement and Goals serves as a guide for the Library to promote the metropolitan mission of the University by serving the curricular information needs of USC Upstate students, faculty and staff, and where possible, the educational needs of the broader community.

Facilities
The USC Upstate Library is housed in a multi-floor building shared with classrooms and other campus services such as the Scholars’ Academy and the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). The Library occupies approximately 36,643 net square feet of space in a 61,739 square foot building (approximately 59% of the building). Library operations and services within the building include access services (circulation, reserves, interlibrary loan), the reference desk, two library classrooms that are also used as open computer labs, a 24/7 computer lab, technical services, library administration, library faculty offices, library staff workspaces, group study rooms and individual carrels, circulating collections and in-house use collections (including reference, archives, and special named collections).

Although a new library building (New Library 1st Floor Plan, New Library 2nd Floor Plan, New Library 3rd Floor Plan, New Library Campus View, New Library Campus View Close-up, New Library Road View) is planned, bond funding from the state has not been forthcoming. While the number of possible seats within the current library has remained stable at 420, as enrollment increased, the percentage of students that can be seated decreased. Numerous measures have been taken to guarantee appropriate and adequate support. The second floor of the library building was renovated in 2010 to give more floor space to the library. The library now occupies the entire first floor of the building and almost 9,000 square feet on the second floor.

The first floor of the library offers comfortable sofas and chairs for individual study, small tables for quiet group study, computer pods for individualized research opportunities, and group study rooms for those who require discussion and demonstration space. There is also an Assistive Equipment Study Room for library users with disabilities. This room is equipped with adjustable lighting, a computer with Job Access With Speech (JAWS) software, and a Kurzweil reader.

Two library classrooms are located on the first floor. One accommodates 28 students; the other, 37 students. When not being used to teach information literacy classes, they are open general use computer labs. Both contain Dell Optiplex 620 PCs. Because of the increasing number of instances that the general labs must be closed for classes, an additional “24/7” computer lab, accessible from inside the library, was created. During the library’s open hours, it serves as an additional general computer lab for students. When the library is closed, secure access is available via the student ID smart card at the external entrance to the lab. The 24/7 lab houses 12 Dell Optiplex 620 PCs and four Intel-based iMacs. Finally, there are 16 Dell Optiplex 620 PCs available in the public reference area. Printers are available in all areas mentioned above. Ear buds are available for purchase at the circulation desk for use with any computer equipment anywhere in the library.

Moveable compact shelving was installed to house bound print periodicals, reducing the footprint of the bound periodicals shelving by 872 square feet (from 2,016 to 1,144), approximately a 43% reduction. Bound print periodicals that were duplicates of electronic information available (such as JSTOR and PsycArticles) were weeded from the print collection as use of the print copies dropped to zero over the past three years. A duplicate list is now run each summer and duplicates are removed.

Stationary shelving that was replaced on the first floor by compact shelving was moved to the 2nd floor. This allows for continued growth of the circulating collection for the next several years. Named collections now have unique spaces within the library – this includes the University Publications, Hub City Writers’ Project Archives, Thomas Moore Craig Southern History and Literature Collection, and Pre-1900 Collection. In addition, new space was acquired for an initiative begun in 2010 known as the “Archives of the Upstate”. The second floor of the library also offers individual study carrels for students and is designated as a “quiet floor.”

When available, electronic resources are added to assure access for distance learners as well as onsite learners. Via subscription to more than 200 databases, the USC Upstate Library provides direct access to the full-text of more than 36,000 journals. An annotated list of databases is available on the library’s website. All databases are available remotely using the campus proxy server. Faculty, staff and students may access these information resources from their homes, offices, residence hall rooms, etc.

The library’s resources are available in a variety of formats including 121,747 electronic books, 584 print journal subscriptions, over 131,000 print books, 51,182 microforms, and more than 6,000 CD/DVDs. In addition, the library has begun a digitization project and the following items are available electronically: all university yearbooks, all university catalogs, former SACS self-study and reaffirmation documents, and numerous student literary publications.

As part of the University of South Carolina System, the library also provides students and faculty with access to the system’s 3.1 million books, 3.9 million microform items, and 24,000 current serials in print.

USC Upstate is a member of the statewide academic library consortia Partnerships Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL). PASCAL fosters cooperation in many ways including shared licensing of electronic resources, universal borrowing, and inter-library loans. The USC Upstate participates in the “PASCAL Delivers” program, a rapid book delivery service to students and employees. With its effective communication system and an efficient delivery system, library users may search the online PASCAL Catalog, locate books in any member library, submit an electronic request for delivery of a book to their home institution, and receive those books within a few days. This service provides access to an additional 6 million volumes. During the 2010-2011 academic year, PASCAL Delivers initiated their “PICK-UP ANYWHERE” service which allows users to specify any location within the state for the documents to be sent. This feature is of particular value in support of USC Upstate’s Education Program offered on the USC Sumter campus, its online RN to BSN Nursing Program.

USC Upstate Library extends its fiscal responsibility by participating in the Carolina Consortium – a group of academic libraries in North Carolina and South Carolina who use their bulk purchasing power to obtain favorable pricing on a variety of electronic resources that are of significant interest to the scholarly community. As of 30 June 2011, the Carolina Consortium included 134 community colleges, public universities, and private institutions of higher learning. The total amount members paid to participate in consortium purchases was approximately 230 million dollars less than if the member institutions had each paid independently. Carolina Consortium also provides professional development opportunities for USC Upstate librarians.


HUMAN RESOURCES
One of the responsibilities of each library faculty member is to serve as liaison to an individual academic unit at USC Upstate. As a liaison, each works with the unit to identify materials for purchase as well as to provide information literacy instruction and unique services as the unit requires. All but one library faculty member shares in staffing the reference desk. The Library Reference Desk Policy provides guidelines that all faculty are expected to follow when staffing the desk. The one faculty member who does not participate in staffing the reference desk is the Coordinator for Access Services and manages the service desks in circulation and in the computer labs.

Library Budget
Over the past 10 years, the budget for the USC Upstate Library has remained between 3.7% and 4.2% of the total university budget. This is well within accepted national guidelines that range from three to five percent. Within the library’s budget, 30.2% is allocated for library materials. This includes print books and journals, media, and electronic formats. Although microforms remain part of the collection, they are no longer actively purchased.

Library Collections
The USC Upstate library’s collections include the following (current as of 30 June 2010):

  • Print Monographs: 140,602
  • E-Books: 121,747
  • Print Serials: 584 active subscriptions; 36,369 items
  • E-Journals and Newspapers: 31,063
  • Microforms: 51,182
  • Media: 6,775
  • Maps: 345
  • Databases: 228

OTHER INFORMATION RESOURCES SITES, SERVICES, AND COLLECTIONS

The University Writing Center
The Department of Languages, Literature, and Composition (LLC) maintains the Writing Center. Available 35 hours per week, it is dedicated to assisting both experienced and inexperienced writers at all stages of the writing process in any discipline. Students are assisted with pre-writing and revision strategies as well as with proofreading techniques. Tutors offer help with global aspects of writing such as thesis construction, organization and paragraphing, and local aspects such word choice, mechanics, grammar and research documentation. In addition, tutors assist with other writing projects such as resumes, cover letters, admissions essays, and scholarship letters.

A faculty member serves as Director of the Center. Administrative duties include hiring and training student tutors, facilitating in-class and freestanding workshops, tutoring, and maintaining statistics. Tutors are students who have been selected to work in the Center because of their outstanding writing and teaching ability and are paid through the LLC budget. Students who utilize the Writing Center benefit from sharing their writing with a fellow student who is both knowledgeable and service-oriented. By working with tutors, students have the opportunity to learn more about writing and to become better writers over time.

The Writing Center provides free 50-minute one-on-one tutoring sessions. Scheduled appointments are encouraged, but efforts are also made to accommodate walk-ins. The center is furnished with a reception area with one PC, three tutoring cubicles (one with a computer), and two computer clusters of five PCs each. The center also functions as an open computer lab during operating hours.

The Mathematics and Computer Science Lab
The Mathematics Tutoring Lab is available 55 hours per week. Attached to the Math Tutoring Lab is a separate computer lab containing eight computer stations. Computer Science tutoring is offered in that lab. The Math Tutoring Lab is supervised by a faculty member but student-tutors staff the lab. Tutoring is offered as a drop in service; no appointments are necessary. The goal of the tutoring lab is to provide assistance to students for 100 and 200 level mathematics courses.

The Language Lab
The Department of Languages, Literature, and Composition (LLC) maintains a Language Lab available 32 hours per week. The Lab offers free tutoring to students in Spanish, French, and German.

A faculty member coordinates the hiring and training of student tutors with the necessary skills in foreign languages. The Lab features 25 computers with headphones and microphones, allowing students to complete listening and speaking exercises.

The Stäubli Robotics Laboratory
The Stäubli Robotics Laboratory houses eight industrial robotic arms provided to USC Upstate by the Stäubli Corporation and J&J Industrial Services. Selected Computer Science courses provide hands-on working knowledge of these machines and also teaches the theoretical underpinnings of such technologies.

Paid internship programs have been established with robotics industries in the region. For example, a unique relationship has been forged with SEW Eurodrive, a leading company in the field of drive engineering, establishing the SEW Eurodrive Research Assistantship Award. This award pays a student research assistant to work on research projects in the lab. Awards are available every spring and fall. SEW also provided funding every year to support Robotics Summer Camps and the purchase of additional lab materials.

Undergraduate Research Lab
Undergraduate students who assist professors in conducting research graduate with enhanced analytical and communication skills; knowledge of a specific discipline; and work etiquette. The Undergraduate Research Lab supports Mathematics and Computer Science students who are:

  • Undergraduate Research Assistants supported by research grant funds
  • Participating in an Internship
  • Taking an Independent Study

Networking Lab
The Networking Lab facilitates instruction in local and wide area networking, providing the resources for hands-on application of the theoretical concepts that are studied.

Nursing Labs
A Learning Resource Center (LRC) (11,000 square feet), located on the Spartanburg campus, is state of the art, equipped with two adult high fidelity patient simulators and multiple medium fidelity simulators. A partnership with a local hospital system resulted in a creation of a Joint Center for Nursing Research and Scholarship with a focus on a critical care simulation room and a state-of-the-science home health teaching/learning environment.

USC Upstate Greenville Campus
At the USC Upstate Greenville campussite, the F.W. Symmes Library and Media Center provides 6,144 square feet of physical space. Within that space are eight group study rooms and separate seating for approximately 50 people. There is a small print reference collection of 115 volumes available. Sixty computers are available with 12 of those specifically reserved for USC Upstate students. Students at the Greenville campus have access to the same online catalogs and databases as students at the Spartanburg campus. Librarians from USC Upstate are onsite at the Greenville campus at least two days each week.

For the nursing program, the Greenville LRC includes two lab rooms and another lab room in SimHub ©, three high fidelity patient simulators, medium fidelity simulators with equipment, teaching resources, and supplies.

USC Upstate Education Program at USC Sumter
Students attending the USC Upstate education program at the USC Sumter campus use the USC Sumter library. The Sumter library has designated space for USC Upstate to have a small juvenile collection of 181 books onsite. Upstate students physically located at the USC Sumter campus have access to all USC Upstate databases and catalogs by using the USC Upstate proxy server and their IDs and logins.

TECHNOLOGY

Information Technology and Services Departments

  • Client Services assists faculty, staff and students to effectively incorporate technology into their endeavors. This department is responsible for campus-wide computer and technology support, and the ITS Client Help Desk.
  • Network Services is responsible for the network backbone, wired and wireless access environment, active directory structure, and server applications for the campus. They also manage USC Upstate's telephone and digital network services, including all hardware and equipment repairs. This group also handles student telephone service and voice mail.
  • Information Systems is responsible for USC Upstate's administrative databases used by offices and departments across the university. They support the gathering, processing, and interpretation of information relative to the administrative tasks that support the academic mission.
  • Media Services provides other non-computer needs for all departments at USC Upstate, such as audio and video production services, media (videotape, CD, and DVD) duplication, and project consultation as time allows.
  • Learning Technologies guides and supports the use of technology to enhance the academic environment. This service creates and sustains innovative and interactive programs to support student engagement and excellence in teaching and learning. The department provides an on-going program of development opportunities including workshops, seminars, customized programs, webinars on a variety of topics, as well as individual and group consultation and instruction for faculty, staff and students.


Service goals include:

  • Explore pedagogical innovation by partnering with faculty to pilot and evaluate new instructional technologies
  • Provide formal and informal support of faculty in the use of instructional technology
  • Make available a variety of resources and practical ideas in the adoption and use of instructional technology
  • Serve as a communication channel to facilitate campus-wide collaboration and sharing of instructional technology innovation
  • Support faculty scholarship in the area of teaching and learning with technology.

In addition to the regular program of development opportunities, services include:

  • Blackboard training and support for hybrid and online courses. USC Upstate uses Blackboard course management software. Blackboard is employed by many faculty to provide syllabi, assignments, reserve readings, and links to authoritative sites on the Internet. A growing number of faculty are using interactive tools such as discussion boards, the virtual classroom, and group email.
  • Instructional applications support
  • Online teaching and learning support
  • Online resource materials maintenance.

Open Labs
Labs are open to current students, faculty, and staff for general use; regular class periods are not scheduled in these labs. Computers are loaded with Microsoft Windows XP, Office 2007, and software requested by the department monitoring the lab. Apple computers are running OS X 10.5 with Microsoft Office for Mac 2008.

Location Department Equipment 
Administration109
Administration 117 
Information Tech. & Services – Advanced Digital Media Lab  10 Dell Precision 390 Workstations
1 Power Mac G5
2 Dell XPS One PCs
Hodge 264 Math & Computer Science 15 Dell Optiplex 755
PCs
Library 115 Library 37 Dell Optiplex 620 PCs
Library 24 Hour Lab Library 12 Dell Optiplex 620
PCs
4 Intel-based iMac’s
Library 118 Library 28 Dell Optiplex 620
PCs
Library Reference Area Library 16 Dell Optiplex 620
PCs
Palmetto House Housing  20 HP t5740 thin clients using VMWare View
Campus Life Center Campus Life  10 HP t5740 thin clients using VMWare View
University Center Greenville UCG Library 12 Dell Optiplex 760
PCs

Instructional Labs

Instructional labs are generally restricted to classroom use only. Regular class periods are scheduled in these labs. PCs in these labs are loaded with Microsoft Windows XP, Office 2007, and software requested by the department monitoring the lab. Apple computers are running OS X 10.5 with Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 and department specific software.

Location Department Equipment 
Admin 116 Information Technology & Services  31 WYSE C90 Thin Clients using VMware View
CASB 151 Psychology 18 Dell Studio Laptops
HEC 2009 School of Education 24 WYSE C90 Thin Clients using VMware View
HEC 2036 School of Nursing 64 IBM Laptops
Hodge 254 Math & Computer Science 24 Dell Optiplex
755 PCs
Hodge 255 Math & Computer Science 24 Dell Optiplex
755 PCs
Hodge 265 Math & Computer Science 24 Dell Optiplex
755 PCs
HPAC 121 Fine Arts & Communications – Graphic Design 17 Apple iMacs
HPAC 123 Fine Arts & Communications – Graphic Design 5 Dell Optiplex 520 P’s
HPAC 134 Fine Arts & Communications / Languages, Literature & Composition 20 Dell Optiplex
760 PCs
George Dean Johnson College of Business & Economics - "The George" George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business & Economics 36 HP t5740 thin clients using VMWare View
Media 220 Informatics 18 Dell Optiplex
760 PCs
Media 124 History, Political Science, Philosophy, and American Studies 24 Dell Studio
15 Laptops
Media 321 Information Technology Services 24 Dell Optiplex
760 PCs
Smith 416 Natural Sciences & Engineering 22 Dell Optiplex
760 PCs
University Center Greenville (1 to 1 Pilot) School of Education 50 Dell Latitude Laptops
Location Department  Equipment  
University Center Greenville (1 to 1 Pilot) School of Education 50 HP mini Laptops
Visual Arts Center 116 Fine Arts & Communications – Graphic Design 18 Intel-based iMacs

 

Departmental Tutorial Labs
These labs are open to members of the student body who need assistance with their studies or need access to discipline-specific software. Tutorial labs are not general-use labs and, in some cases, may be restricted to students majoring in the department in which the labs are found. PC’s in these labs are loaded with Microsoft Windows and Office and discipline specific software requested by the department monitoring the lab.

Location Department Equipment
HEC 2014 (LRC) Mary Black School of Nursing 14 Dell Optiplex
760 PC’s
Hodge 242  Math & Computer Science 12 Dell Optiplex
755 PC’s
HPAC 136 Writing Center 14 Dell Optiplex
760 PC’s
HPAC 234 Languages, Literature & Composition – Foreign Language Lab 26 HP t5740 thin clients using VMWare View
Rampey Center for Student Success 8 Dell Optiplex
745 PC’s

 

Support Documents:

2.10 Student Support Services

Core Requirement 2.10

The institution provides student support programs, services and activities consistent with its mission that promote student learning and enhance the development of its students. (Student Support Services)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) through various departments and divisions provides programs, services and activities that are integral components of the University community and deeply committed to the institution’s metropolitan mission. Student services, programs, and activities are provided throughout all divisions at the university. The holistic development of students is accomplished through the provision of a broad range of co-curricular activities and support services which facilitate learning, physical, emotional, intellectual, interpersonal, ethical and cultural growth. Annual plans are developed for each unit that provides the services, programs and activities. These plans provide detailed information regarding ongoing outcomes and recommended improvements to better serve students. Specifically, the Division of Student Affairs has identified student learning outcomes (SLOs) which complement the university’s mission and facilitate student development. These SLOs address the following areas:

  • Self Awareness
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Cognitive Development
  • Intercultural Skills/Awareness
  • Social Responsibility
  • Healthy Behavior

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

Students are encouraged to participate in one or more of the many registered clubs and organizations. Co-curricular involvement promotes academic success, leadership development, and service to the campus and greater upstate community. Student organizations include academic, honorary, fraternities and sororities, as well as special interest groups.

Performing Group opportunities for students include:

  • The Debate Team provides students the opportunity to improve their research, reasoning, and communication skills by competing among themselves and with other competing teams from other colleges and universities.
  • The USC Upstate Gordon-Colloms Gospel Choir extends its appeal to any student interested in gospel music. The choir meets on a regular basis to rehearse and presents several performances each year. Students can also earn academic credit.
  • The Shoestring Players theatre group presents several major productions, smaller presentations, and original revues each year. Any student interested in theatrical performance and production may audition. An international theatre internship was recently initiated with the Rose Theatre in London, UK.
  • The University Singers perform traditional, popular, and jazz selections. All students are eligible to join. Vocalists may earn academic credit.
  • The Jazz Band includes students who study music or play as ahobby. They perform concerts each semester that feature classic jazz and contemporary music. Musicians may earn academic credit.

The Student Government Association (SGA) is the official elected governing body representing all students. It is composed of executive officers and representatives from each school and campus organization. The SGA serves as a liaison for the student body to the faculty and administration and recommends policies and procedures that affect students.

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) involves students in creating and planning a diverse range of programs and social events for the campus community. The three main purposes of CAB are: (1) to provide social and educational programming for the USC Upstate campus community; (2) to be innovative when serving a diverse student population; and (3) to help educate and unite various groups in the production, promotion, and organization of programs, as well as in the recruitment and retention of students.

Campus Media promotes an annual publication called WritersINC. It is a student-run literary journal that features the artwork, poems, and literature of writers from USC Upstate and various neighboring two-year institutions. In addition, campus-wide news is disseminated to the greater campus community through the Carolinian student newspaper. Students are directly responsible for the design, layout, articles, special feature stories, and editing of the newspaper and its content. These publications are funded by student activity fees and both have a faculty member who serves as an advisor.

Campus Recreation/Intramurals offers activities such as intramural sports, outdoor recreation, group fitness, aquatics, and sport clubs. The 60,000 square-foot Wellness Center provides a recreational facility for the USC Upstate community (weight room, 2 racquetball courts, basketball courts, running track, exercise room, 8 lane lap pool). A ropes course is also available that focuses on strengthening groups and energizing individuals through a variety of high and low ropes elements. A healthy lifestyle is encouraged to enhance the personal development of the student through physical activity.

Athletics offers 17 intercollegiate sports that compete within NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference. The University supports men’s and women’s teams for basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field. Women’s softball and volleyball and men’s baseball are also supported.

Volunteer & Community Service programs contribute to the university mission by enabling the student to be an active participant in the community. The community service program provides “community building” opportunities for students to join together in a variety of volunteer activities through local service organizations and nonprofits.

STUDENT ENROLLMENT SERVICES

The four services below are designed to serve the needs of Upstate students seamlessly from recruitment through graduation.

The Financial Aid Office provides financial aid to students in need. Approximately 78% of USC Upstate students receive some form of financial aid. Assistance is available in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work study programs. Scholarships are awarded through the USC Upstate Scholars Program (academically talented students enrolling at Upstate for the first time) and the Foundation Scholars Program (providing awards to both new and continuing students based on a variety of factors such as academic merit, financial need, special talents, and specific major).

The Registrar's Office is responsible for providing information related to records, registration, and student course enrollment. They also manage student transcripts containing admission data, current status, and a detailed statement of the scholastic record.

The Division of Enrollment Services oversees orientation for new, transfer, and non-traditional students. A staff of students facilitates orientation and assists incoming students with the various processes, resources, programming, and transition to the university campus.

The Cashier's Office/Student Account Services manages financial transactions for student tuition and associated fees, deposits, refunds, and revenue.

STUDENT SUPPORT PROGRAMS

These programs support student learning and developmental success:

The Academic Support Center is responsible for campus tutoring, University 101 classes, learning communities, supplemental instruction, and the early intervention program.

Opportunity Network is a TRIO-funded program that provides additional support for at-risk students. Students qualify for participation in Opportunity Network if they fall into one of these at-risk groups: (1) first-generation college students; (2) students with disabilities; (3) low income, as established by Federal Government guidelines; or (4) students who demonstrate academic need. The program provides personal, career, academic, and social counseling.

Career Center works closely with students to clarify their occupational goals and provides career counseling. Career Services collaborates with the academic units to identify internship opportunities as well as employment prospects.

The University Writing Center services are available 35 hours per week. Scheduled appointments are encouraged, but efforts are also made to accommodate all students. The Writing Center provides free 50-minute one-on-one tutoring sessions. A faculty member serves as Director of the Center. Tutors are University faculty members and students who have been selected to work in the Center because of their outstanding writing and teaching ability. Tutors assist writers at all stages of the writing process in any discipline.

The Language Lab services are available 32 hours per week offering free tutoring to students in Spanish, French, and German. A faculty member coordinates the hiring and training of student tutors with the necessary skills in foreign languages. The Lab features 25 computers with headphones and microphones, allowing students to complete listening and speaking exercises.

The Mathematics Lab services are available 55 hours per week. Student tutors staff the lab. Tutoring is offered as a drop-in service. Computer Science tutoring is offered in an attached lab.

Counseling Services offers a confidential and comprehensive support system providing resources and information to students. These resources are accessible in person and online at no additional charge. Outreach services are offered through educational workshops, crisis management, and awareness campaigns.

Non-Traditional Student Services provides advocacy and support for students who are 25 years of age or older, married, parents, veterans of the armed forces, working full-time and attending college, or college graduates returning to school.

Alcohol & Drug Programs advocate low-risk use of alcohol and other drugs by providing preventive, educational workshops and services, media campaigns, and substance-free events. The programs aid students in examining their own choices about alcohol and drugs and the perceptions surrounding drinking. The programs also provide information on risk reduction. Additionally, selected programs provide counseling and resources for students who are experiencing problems with alcohol and/or drugs.

Disability Services ensure that the campus facilities, curriculum, and resources are accessible to all students on campus. Individuals protected under Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 are those with physical, sensory, or learning disabilities, as well as health impairments, psychological impairments, and other types of disabilities. Accommodations may include alternative test administration, books in electronic format, note-taking services, priority registration, and assistive technology.

Health Services offers services to all enrolled students. A nurse practitioner provides care and/or offers referrals. Services include health screenings, school physicals, family planning, over-the-counter medicines, educational programs, blood pressure screenings, lab tests, and a variety of vaccinations.

Residential Life Programs provide housing facilities that foster an atmosphere conducive to personal growth and academic success. USC Upstate students have three options for on-campus living: two residence halls, Magnolia House (freshmen only), Palmetto House (upperclassmen); and the Villas (apartments for upperclassmen). An environment supportive of a diverse population is cultivated to challenge residents to be responsible community citizens and positive role models.

The Center for International Studies provides opportunities for international experiences. Reciprocal agreements with universities around the world offer opportunities to study or intern abroad. For international students, the Center provides curricular and personal support as well as assistance with internship placements in international and American local businesses. Other services include the English Language Learning Institute, Faculty Development, International Programs and Events, and the World Languages Institute.

The Library serves students with its physical and virtual collections. The physical collections contain over 240,000 volumes in a variety of formats including print and electronic books and journals, microforms, media, and maps. In addition to the 140,000+ printed books, the Library subscribes to 584 print journals with a collection of 36,369 items. It also offers 31,063 electronic journals, 121,747 e-books and 228 databases (including the statewide collections of databases known as DISCUS). The USC Upstate Library is a member of several consortia including the South Carolina statewide academic library consortia Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL) and the collaborative interstate Carolina Consortium that includes academic libraries from both South and North Carolina.

The Bookstore sells course materials, general reading and reference books, a selection of stationery products, art supplies, and a variety of University clothing and souvenirs, and is accessible online.

University Public Safety and Parking maintains a visible presence on campus through foot patrol, bicycles, and motor vehicles. The Department of Public Safety exists to serve and protect the physical and human assets of the University of South Carolina Upstate by promoting and maintaining a safe, secure and healthy campus environment. This is realized through engaged community-oriented policing, effective fire prevention and inspection, service-oriented Fleet Management operations, efficient Parking Services and a professionally run Office of Risk Management. Our mission significantly contributes to and supports an environment where staff, students and faculty may flourish in the pursuit of academic excellence. University Police officers are responsible for a broad range of services including the investigation of criminal conduct, facilitating crime prevention programs, and responding to medical emergencies. All officers are CPR and First-Aid certified. All officers are graduates of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, commissioned as State Constables, and vested with statewide police authority.

Computer Labs consist of approximately 600 computers in more than 20 locations. The labs range from instruction-only labs in academic departments to open labs for general student access. Students can find an online list of labs including location, hours of operations, applications available, and level of assistance.

Media Services assist students with media-rich projects, such as DVD and videotape programs, and PowerPoint presentations, etc. Services include the Advanced Digital Media Lab and Laptop Check-Out.

Multicultural Programs educate, influence, and cultivate the campus community by offering cultural, educational, and outreach programs and services. Further, these programs and services give students an opportunity to learn, develop, and grow personally and interpersonally as they are challenged to interact with individuals who are different. Members of the campus community engage in educationally-structured learning activities challenging stereotypical modes of thinking and promoting interactions that foster intellectual and social development.

The Student Judicial System is governed by the Code of Student Behavior as outlined in the 2011-2012 Student Handbook. The Dean of Students is responsible for the oversight of the judicial system and processes. The Director of Housing handles infractions associated with residential facilities. Athletics has its own disciplinary system that parallels other areas as outlined in the Student-Athlete Handbook 2011-2012.

Support Documents:

2.11.1 Financial Resources

Core Requirement 2.11.1

The institution has a sound financial base and demonstrated financial stability to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services.

The member institution provides the following financial statements: (1) an institutional audit (or Standard Review Report issued in accordance with Statements on standards for accounting and review services issued by the AICPA for those institutions audited as part of a system-wide or state-wide audit) (Financial Resources) and written institutional management letter for the most recent fiscal year prepared by an independent certified public accountant and/or an appropriate governmental auditing agency employing the appropriate audit (or Standard Review Report) guide; (2) a statement of financial position of unrestricted net assets, exclusive of plant assets and plant-related debt, which represents the change in unrestricted net assets attributable to operations for the most recent year; and (3) an annual budget that is preceded by sound planning, and subject to sound fiscal procedures, and is approved by the governing board. Audit requirements for applicant institution may be found in the Commission policy “accreditation procedures for applicant institutions.” (Financial Resources)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina’s (USC Upstate) operating budget and audited financial statements demonstrate a growing financial base in support of mission-driven programs and services. Financial stability has been achieved by an integrated budgeting development process with financial decisions based on the University’s annually reviewed strategic plan and a responsive decision-making management structure that effectively addresses revenue and expenditure changes. The long-term financial commitment of Spartanburg County in funding land acquisitions for dedicated use provides a permanent and stable master plan footprint for campus development at considerable savings to the university.

Change in Net Assets
As reported in the statement of net assets in the audited financial statements, total net assets have increased 60.3% from $27.2 million for 2004-05 to $43.6 million in 2009-10. This $16.4 million increase over the five years represents an average increase of 12% per year. For consistency and comparison of information, financial reports for 2007, 2008, and 2009 have been reclassified to reflect the 2010 changes in accounting and reporting standards related to restricted and unrestricted funds, and operating and non-operating revenues (Summary of Changes in Net Assets from 2007 to 2010, Statement of Net Assets 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).

The percent change in operating revenue and expenses, including restricted and unrestricted funds, has increased each year from 2007 to 2010 from a total of $37.7 million to $46.6, an increase of $8.9 million or 23.6%. State appropriation is reported as non-operating revenue, and state support declined from $15.2 million to $10.4, a reduction of $4.7 million or 31.2% (Summary of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets from 2007 to 2010). The most significant reductions in state appropriations occurred in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The majority of the loss in state funding was absorbed by additional tuition and fee revenue from enrollment growth, tuition rate changes, operational efficiencies, and cost control measures. However, net assets declined for the 2008-09 year by $1.3 million. The assets were managed in the annually developed budget plan. For the past decade, USC Upstate made a strategic decision to maintain a tuition rate at or below other South Carolina public comprehensive universities and has accomplished this goal. The change in tuition over the past two years for USC Upstate has been the lowest among the South Carolina public comprehensive universities (In-State Undergraduate Fee Rate Increases Over the Past Two Years, 2008-09 to 2010-11). Therefore, the significant and rapid decline in state appropriations is being addressed without higher than average percentage increases in the tuition rate.

 

Change in Unrestricted Net Assets
Unrestricted net assets, reclassified for 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 for consistency with 2009-10 reporting requirements, grew from $5.6 million in 2006-07 to $9.5 million for 2009-10, an increase of $3.8 million or 67.6%. The decline in 2009 represents a strategic decision to accommodate mid-year reductions in state appropriations (Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Unrestricted Net Assets, 2007 to 2010).

Net assets decreased in 2008-09 as a result of significant reductions in unrestricted state appropriations which declined by 30.4% from $14.6 million to $10.1 million. This loss in state support was partially offset with revenue from enrollment growth and changes in tuition and fees which increased from $32.4 million to $44.2 million, a 36.3% increase. Adjustments in operating expenditures and other cost control measures were implemented during the budgeting process.

 

The net result of the changes in the two major sources of revenue is an increase of 16.8% in operating and non-operating revenues from 2007-08 to 2009-10.

Capital Assets – Buildings and Equipment
Capital assets, net of depreciation, increased significantly from $33.4 million in 2007 to $73.3 million in 2010 (Change in Capital Assets Net of Depreciation, 2007 to 2010).

 

Capital Assets – Land
Land, totaling approximately 350 acres for campus master plan development, has been acquired by Spartanburg County for use by USC Upstate. These land assets, valued at $5,582,260, are in addition to the capital assets for building and equipment shown in the University’s financial statements.

 

State Budget Development Process
The state’s budget planning process involves the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE), the Governor, and the General Assembly. The initial submission of budget requests is made to the SCCHE as required by SC Code of Laws, Section 59-103. The funding base requirement is determined by the SCCHE approved formula computation called the Mission Resource Requirement (MRR) which considers student credit hours by discipline, average faculty salaries, and facilities data. This provides a need-base for USC Upstate and all other higher education institutions with actual funding realized and shown as a percent of the MRR total. The total funding need as computed by the SCCHE has primarily increased from growth in enrollment space as new facilities have been added. Although some incremental state funding adjustments have been made using this formula, most have been made relative to the prior-year actual funding level with all institutions receiving a comparable adjustment. This has been the case in the last two years with all higher education institutions receiving the same funding reduction percentage (State Budget Process for USC System, Fiscal Year 2010-11).

USC Upstate receives designated state appropriations as passed by the Legislature in the annual appropriations bill. For 2009-2010, the actual amount USC Upstate received was 38% of the computed MRR formula, considerably below the average for peer South Carolina Public Comprehensive Universities (State Funding Percentages for SC Public Comprehensive Universities for 2009-10).

Sources of Funding
The distribution among the sources of funding for the general operating budget changed during the past several years as a result of economic conditions, decreased state appropriations, and increased tuition and fee revenue. The tuition and fee increase resulted from enrollment growth and strategic changes in tuition and fee rates. Consistent increases in enrollment and the higher percentage of full-time students expanded the revenue base. USC Upstate maintained a tuition rate at the average among the SC public comprehensive universities (SC Comprehensive Universities In-State Undergraduate Fee Rate Comparison 2001-11). For 2009-10, state support represented 19% while tuition and fees comprised 68% of the general operating budget (Sources of Operating and Non-Operating Revenues for Unrestricted Net Assets 2007-10).

With student revenue as the major source of funding, USC Upstate’s Office of Risk Management led the state to obtain business interruption insurance from the South Carolina’s Insurance Reserve Fund. Insurance covers housing, bookstore, and campus academic facilities. Business Interruption Insurance of $23,490,000 provides protection against loss of tuition and fee income caused by peril covered under the building and contents policy. Coverage also provides for extra expenses incurred to deliver academic instruction during the period of loss recovery (Business Interruption Insurance for 2010).

Strategic Plan and the Budgeting Process
The strategic plan for USC Upstate guides both revenue and expenditure decisions in the budget development process. Tactics are proposed with funding requests. Allocation decisions are made for both capital and operating activities. The strategic plan is updated annually to include prior-year accomplishments and to evaluate progress of new and revised initiatives.

The Chancellor initiates the annual budget development work and outlines the budget situation, the schedule, and the guidelines for budget requests. The Strategic Issues Committee provides priorities to the Chancellor’s Cabinet. In collaboration with their respective units, Cabinet members submit unit requests. This information is consolidated and reviewed by the Cabinet. A fee and scholarship committee, appointed by the Chancellor and chaired by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services, considers all new fee requests and changes and makes recommendations to the Cabinet (USC Upstate Budget Development Process for 2010-11).

Consolidated unit requests, the strategic plan, and projected revenue are used to determine a balanced budget plan by the Chancellor’s Cabinet. As approved by the Chancellor, this plan is presented to the USC System President (Strategic Planning Overview 2010-11). Comprehensive budget information is submitted for review and approval by the USC Board of Trustees. The budget plan for the coming year is aligned with state funding throughout the process.

For implementation purposes, budgets are loaded into the University management information system with Cabinet members and unit managers given responsibility to commit expenditures and control funds. Budget and expenditure tracking can be accessed continually and a summary report is provided quarterly to the Cabinet by the budget office for further review and adjustments as necessary

Financial Reports and Audits
An independent audit was conducted for USC Upstate for fiscal year 2009-10. Prior to that year, financial statements were conducted and reported within the audited financial report for the USC system. Statements of net assets, revenue, expenses, and changes in net assets were included for USC Upstate. The opinion of the independent certified public accountant is that the audited financial statements were presented fairly and conformed to generally accepted accounting principles. A Summary of Financial Information from audited financial statements from 2006-2007 to 2009-2010 highlights the financial stability of the institution. (Audited Financial Statement June 2006, Audited Financial Statement June 2007, Statement of Net Assets June 2007 - Reclassified, Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets June 2007 - Reclassified, Audited Financial Statement June 2008, Statement of Net Assets June 2008 - Reclassified, Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets June 2008 - Reclassified, Audited Financial Statement June 2009, Statement of Net Assets June 2009, Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets June 2009 - Reclassified, Audited Financial Statement June 2010, Statement of Net Assets June 2010, Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets June 2010)

Support Documents:

2.11.2 Physical Resources

Core Requirement 2.11.2

The institution has adequate physical resources to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services. (Physical Resources)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) has adequate physical resources to implement the mission and support the programs and services for current enrollment. This finding is based on assessment of physical resources available including land and campus facilities, strategic facilities planning, growth of facilities consistent with enrollment, and appropriate space allocations.

Land Acquisitions
In the first twenty-one years, 1967 to 1988, major acquisitions were made that established the primary footprint for the Spartanburg campus. In the last twenty-three years, 1988 to 2011, a number of contiguous land acquisitions and exchanges have taken place to further define campus boundaries and core areas. For master plan development, surveys of campus land were done that corrected earlier survey information and adjusted for acreage provided to the state and county for road construction. The surveys dated January 31, 2008 and November 30, 2009 determined that the Spartanburg campus is comprised of 330 acres of land (Land Acreage Changes, 1967-2010).

Master Plan Development
The University has a master plan, updated annually, that defines spaces for academic, support services, recreation, athletic, housing, parking, and other facilities with an infrastructure network for roads, utilities and technology (USC Upstate Master Plan, August 2010). Revisions to the master plan include capital projects and land acquisitions.

Growth in Campus Facilities
In total, USC Upstate has over 1.1 million square feet of gross space for programs and services and 736,759 square feet in educational and general space with a replacement cost for buildings of $184 million. Over the past five years, from 2005 to 2010, gross space increased by 47% and educational and general space increased by 55% (Facilities Growth by Gross Square Feet 1968-2010, Facilities Growth by Educational and General Square Feet, 2000-2010).

In addition to the space managed by the University, educational space is provided for programs at the USC Upstate Greenville Campus and USC Sumter. At USC Sumter, USC Upstate uses six offices and two classrooms, approximately 2,700 square feet, to provide education programs. At the USC Upstate Greenville Campus, 15,504 square feet is dedicated space for USC Upstate faculty offices and laboratories. General classroom and support space is also provided.
(Adequacy of Physical Resources)

Non-residential programs occupy 809,612 gross square feet in 22 buildings at the residential campus site and one academic building in downtown Spartanburg (Non-Residential Facilities). In addition, USC Upstate has about 15,000 square feet of dedicated space and shares classrooms and other academic spaces with member institutions in the University Center of Greenville.

Two dormitory-style residential buildings and twelve apartment-style buildings totaling 286,060 square feet are available for student housing (Residential Facilities). These facilities accommodate up to 1,044 students. The two dormitory facilities accommodate 700 students, primarily freshmen. As living and learning environments, these facilities have study areas, a computer lab, classrooms, and other service areas.

Campus Facilities
The campus facilities are listed below. Visitors to the USC Upstate website can view an interactive campus map (available online only).

 Academic Institutional Support, Student Services and Public Services
College of Arts & Sciences Building John C. Stockwell Administration Building
G.B. Hodge Center Burroughs Child Development Center
George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics Olin B. Sansbury, Jr. Campus Life Center
Health Education Complex Dr. Lawrence E. Roël Garden Pavilion 
Horace C. Smith Science Building Facilities Management Complex 
Humanities & Performing Arts Center Health Services
Library Building John M. Rampey Center  
Media Building Smith Farmhouse
The P. Kathryn Hicks Visual Arts Center Support Facility  
University Readiness Center University Services Building
Recreation and Open Space Residential 
Amphitheater Magnolia House 
Cleveland S. Harley Baseball Park Palmetto House
County University Soccer Stadium  Villas
Cyrill Softball Stadium  
Louis P Howell Athletic Complex  
Susan Jacobs Arboretum  
Tennis Complex  
Youth Soccer and Intramural Fields  
Upstate Rotary International Peace Park  

Sources of Funding for Capital Projects

Based on the original costs, over $150 million has been invested in campus facilities from a number of sources including state, federal, Spartanburg County, the USC Upstate Foundation, and the University.

Space Allocation Plan and Changes
To align program space needs with available physical resources, a professional planning and design service developed a Space Utilization Study for the campus during 2008-09. The work included an assessment of space and projected future space needs based on proposed program changes. This plan included the relocation of programs to new facilities and the renovation of vacated spaces for other purposes. These facility developments were included for implementation in the University’s strategic plan, the campus master plan, and capital budgets. One major change was the addition of the Health Education Complex that opened fall 2008. Housed in the academic wing are the Mary Black School of Nursing and the School of Education. A Wellness Center was included in the Health Education Complex. The Mary Black School of Nursing had occupied a smaller academic building of 24,576 square feet which was converted to faculty offices, psychology labs, and administrative support for the College of Arts and Sciences.

In order to serve students more effectively, admissions, financial aid, registration, cashier, bookstore, and other services were moved from the Stockwell Administration Building and the Sansbury Campus Life Center to the Health Education Complex. This move in 2009 allowed the consolidation of Information Technology areas on the first floor of the Stockwell Administration Building and improved spaces for academic support, advancement, human resources, business affairs, and other services. The bookstore’s relocation created a large area in the Sansbury Campus Life Center for student activities further focusing its student service purposes.

In the summer of 2010, the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics relocated with all new office and classroom furniture and technology equipment to a new facility in downtown Spartanburg. The Johnson College of Business and Economics and the School of Education were formerly housed in the Media Building which was also renovated for the College of Arts and Sciences.

A service building, purchased by the USC Upstate Foundation and leased to the University, was renovated for campus receiving, mail services, warehousing, and other functions. The vacated space became the permanent home for University Public Safety and Parking.

Other academic space changes and improvements included smart classrooms, additional science laboratories in the Smith Building, a new digital lab in the Visual Arts Center, and a new sound system in the Humanities and Performing Arts Theater.

Growth in Academic Facilities
Growth in facilities supports the growth in enrollment. Over the past ten years, FTE enrollment increased by 61% compared to the increase in educational and general space of 62%. Most of this change occurred in the past five years, giving academic programs relatively new facilities with a 55% increase in education and general space with a 21% increase in enrollment during that period. As a result, much progress was made on educational space per student (Educational and General Space per FTE, 2000-10).

The number of classrooms and laboratories on campus increased significantly in the last five years with an increase in classrooms from 64 to 108, and an increase in laboratories from 26 to 38 (Classroom Space and Utilization from 2000 to 2010, Laboratory Space and Utilization from 2000 to 2010).

There are four distance-learning classrooms on the residential campus and two at the USC Upstate Greenville campus controlled and managed by USC Upstate for a total of six sites. In addition, USC Upstate uses two distance-learning classrooms at USC Sumter and one in the Johnson College of Business and Economics. Of the other classrooms, 87% have “smart technology” equipment including a ceiling mounted projector, screen, computer, DVD player, document camera, speakers, and lectern. Several modular classroom buildings were used during construction and building renovations and will be phased out. With the new facilities, average weekly utilization of classroom space was improved.

New construction and building renovations provided adequate program space to support enrollment changes and University needs. However, additional education and general space will be needed in the future. A 2009 comparison of education and general facilities per FTE indicated that USC Upstate was 32% or about 300,000 square feet below the average among the South Carolina public comprehensive institutions (Educational and General Space per FTE Comparison for 2009). This difference was related to years of operation, enrollment growth, and state capital improvement funding. USC Upstate has grown more in recent years compared to other institutions but received a lower amount of state capital improvement funds. Additional state capital funding has been requested. The primary request for a new library and the renovation of the existing library currently ranks 10th among all projects for higher education institutions (State Permanent Improvement Plan Requests for 2010-11). The State Legislature has not authorized a capital bond bill in the past ten years, delaying the implementation of this master plan project. In 1999, $1 million was provided and used for a program study and preliminary design (Summary of State Funding for Capital Projects for USC Upstate, 1968-2011).

Allocation of Space for Instruction and Academic Support Programs
Building and room inventory information is updated annually by Facilities Management including changes in room uses and addition or removal of facilities. This information is reported to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE). Of the assignable space for 2009, excluding residential and other such areas, the largest uses were 73% for instruction and 9% for academic support programs (Assignable Area by Program for 2009, Excluding Residential Facilities).

The percentage of space allocated for instruction was the highest among all South Carolina public comprehensive institutions. The percentage for instruction and academics combined ranks among the highest in the group with 83% of assignable space, well above the average of 70% (Assignable Area by Program for 2009 Comparison, Excluding Residential Facilities).

Equipment and Technology Resources
Based on a replacement cost assessment for insurance purposes, building contents available for programs are valued at $42.9 million with an additional $4 million for technology equipment. New furniture was purchased and installed at the time of occupancy for new academic and housing facilities including the Health Education Complex, Magnolia House, Palmetto House, and the Johnson College of Business and Economics. Furniture replacements are managed by Facilities Management and academic equipment by the respective units. These needs are addressed as required in annual budget development activities. Technology equipment is managed by the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology including implementation plans and replacement cycles.

Support Documents:

  • Adequacy of Physical Resources
  • Assignable Area by Program for 2009 Comparison, Excluding Residential Facilities
  • Assignable Area by Program for 2009, Excluding Residential Facilities
  • Classroom Space and Utilization from 2000 to 2010
  • Educational and General Space per FTE, 2000-10
  • Educational and General Space per FTE Comparison for 2009
  • Facilities Growth by Educational and General Square Feet, 2000-2010
  • Facilities Growth by Gross Square Feet 1968-2010
  • Laboratory Space and Utilization from 2000 to 2010
  • Land Acreage Changes, 1967-2010
  • Non-Residential Facilities
  • Residential Facilities
  • State Permanent Improvement Plan Requests for 2010-11
  • Summary of State Funding for Capital Projects for USC Upstate, 1968-2011
  • USC Upstate Master Plan, August 2010

Section 3: Comprehensive Standards

3.1.1 Mission

Comprehensive Standard 3.1.1

The institution has a clear and comprehensive mission statement that guides it; is approved by the governing board; is periodically reviewed by the board; and is communicated to the institution’s constituencies. (Mission)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The Mission of the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) outlines the institution’s purpose and role in higher education relative to teaching, research, and public service. The current mission statement reflects revisions that were approved by the Chancellor’s Cabinet, Faculty Senate, and Staff Council in spring, 2006. The final approvals for the revisions to the mission statement were made on May 2006 by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE) and June 2006 by the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees. The mission statement is reviewed and updated periodically within the strategic planning process that includes review of the vision, goals and objectives.

The mission statement accurately guides the institution’s operation. The statement is congruent with the institution’s vision and values. It is from the mission statement that the institution establishes goals to extend and explain in greater detail the institution’s operation. It is then used annually to prioritize tactics in the strategic planning process.

The mission statement is communicated to the University’s constituencies through online and current campus publications including the Website, 2011-2012 Academic Catalog, and 2011-2012 Student Handbook.

Support Documents:

3.2.1 CEO Evaluation/Selection

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.1

The governing board of the institution is responsible for the selection and the periodic evaluation of the chief executive officer. (CEO evaluation/selection)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

In accordance with the University of South Carolina (USC) Board of Trustees Bylaws, Article XI: Section 3, the chief executive officer for the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is the Chancellor. As stipulated in the USC Board of Trustees Bylaws, Article XI: Section 1, the Chancellor reports to the President of the University of South Carolina System. The Board of Trustees Bylaws, Article III: Section 1 (M) stipulates that it is the duty of the Board to “approve appointments and salaries of principal officials which shall be defined as those persons elected by the Board as well as university officers having the rank of vice president or chancellor or equivalent rank.” The most recent appointment was ratified at the June 17, 2011 Board of Trustees meeting (available online only). USC Upstate Letter of Notification of change in leadership was sent to SACS on August 24, 2011.

Within the authority granted by the USC Board of Trustees Bylaws, Article XI: Section 3, through the President of the USC System, the Chancellor is evaluated on the duties and responsibilities as outlined below. These duties and responsibilities include responsibility to the Board through the president to:

  • Execute all laws relating to the University of South Carolina System.
  • Bear primary responsibility for:
    • overseeing all of the factors that contribute to the quality of academic (teaching, research, and public service) and support programs of the campus.
    • generally supervising of all relationships between students and the various levels of campus administration.
    • managing the finances of the campus and its component parts in conformity with university management policies and practices.
    • administering personnel including employment and termination, wage determination and condition of employment within prescribed policies for all employees except those positions requiring action by the president or the board, in which cases the chancellor shall make recommendations to the president.
    • operating and maintaining the physical plant, purchase of supplies and equipment, and appropriate inventories and records of real and personal property under the jurisdiction of the campus.
    • cooperating closely with the local higher education commission on all matters pertaining to the USC Upstate campus, and striving, where possible within established university system policy, to respond to local preferences and priorities.
    • Whenever possible, attending meetings of the board and keeping the chairman of the local higher education commission apprised of the meeting schedule and of the board’s standing invitation to a representative of the local commission to attend.


Support Documents:

3.2.2 Governing Board Control

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.2

The legal authority and operating control of the institution are clearly defined for the following areas within the institution’s governance structure: (Governing board control)

  • 3.2.2.1 institution’s mission;
  • 3.2.2.2 fiscal stability of the institution;
  • 3.2.2.3 institutional policy, including policies concerning related and affiliated corporate entities and all auxiliary services; and
  • 3.2.2.4 related foundations (athletic, research, etc.) and other corporate entities whose primary purpose is to support the institution and/or its programs.

3.2.2.1 Institution’s mission

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina (USC) Board of Trustees (BOT) Bylaws Article III, Section 1, “Duties of the Board,” states that the board shall define the mission, role and scope of the University System and each of its major component institutions. The BOT adopted the current USC Upstate Mission Statement on June 2006.

The Chancellor bears responsibility for carrying out the institution’s Mission, for the fiscal stability of the institution, and for institutional policies, including those concerning related and affiliated corporate entities, all auxiliary services, and related foundations and other corporate entities whose primary purpose is to support the institution and/or its programs.

Support Documents:

3.2.2.2 Fiscal stability of the institution

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The legal authority and powers of the governing board are enumerated by the provisions of the South Carolina Code of Laws, Sections 59-117. The University of South Carolina (USC) Board of Trustees (BOT) Bylaws, Article III, Section 1: Duties of the Board, states, "The Board shall define the mission, role and scope of the University System and each of its major component institutions, shall establish the general policies of the University System, shall lay out the University System’s broad program of educational activity, shall approve the budget for the next fiscal year, and shall provide ultimate accountability to the public and the General Assembly.”

Within these fundamental responsibilities, the BOT will perform, where appropriate, many essential functions, including but not limited to:

  • "Levy fees and charges and examine from time to time admissions policies as established by the faculties and the administration;"
  • "Review and approve requests for appropriations;"
  • "Review and approve annual budgets and budget changes;"
  • "Approve all gifts where restrictions are indicated, designate the use of unrestricted gifts, and approve and designate the use of testamentary gifts;"
  • "Approve all loans, borrowing, and issuance of bonds;"
  • "Approve appointments and salaries of principal officials which shall be defined as those persons elected by the Board as well as University officers having the rank of Vice President or Chancellor or equivalent rank;"
  • "Approve compensation policy for faculty and staff."

In accordance with Article XI, Section 3 of the Board's Bylaws, the Chancellor bears responsibility for the financial management and operational control of the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) campus and its component parts conforming with the USC management policies and practices. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the preparation of budgets, maintenance of financial records and accounts for activities of the campus, the receipt and expenditure of all campus funds, and preparation of required financial reports. The USC BOT minutes on June 2008 and March 2010 reflect actions taken over the last several years relative to USC Upstate’s fiscal stability.

Support Documents:

3.2.2.3 Institutional policy, including policies concerning related and affiliated corporate entities and all auxiliary services

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The annual appropriations act of the State of South Carolina includes General Provisions delegating authority to the University of South Carolina (USC) Board of Trustees (BOT) to maintain policies concerning related and affiliated corporate entities and all auxiliary services. Proviso 89.9 of the 2010-2011 Appropriations Act states:

Notwithstanding other provisions of this act, funds at state institutions of higher learning derived wholly from athletic or other student contests, from the activities of student organizations, and from the operations of canteens and bookstores, and from approved Private Practice plans at institutions and affiliated agencies may be retained at the institution and expended by the respective institutions only in accord with policies established by the institution's Board of Trustees. Such funds shall be audited annually by the State but the provisions of this act concerning unclassified personnel compensation, travel, equipment purchases and other purchasing regulations shall not apply to the use of these funds.

As delineated in the USC BOT’s Bylaws, Article III, Section 1: Duties of the Board, "The Board shall define the mission, role and scope of the University System and each of its major component institutions, shall establish the general policies of the University System, shall lay out the University System’s broad program of educational activity, shall approve the budget for the next fiscal year, and shall provide ultimate accountability to the public and the General Assembly." The following are duties delegated to the BOT pertaining to policies related to and affiliated with corporate entities and all auxiliary services:

  • "Establish policies and goals of the University and [to] direct the President to implement and achieve these policies and goals;"
  • ”Levy fees and charges and examine from time to time admissions policies as established by the faculties and the administration;”
  • ”Approve or delegate authority for approval of all major contractual relationships and other major legal obligations executed in the name of the University;”
  • ”Establish auditing policies and standards and appoint independent auditors; and “
  • ”Establish and maintain within the administrative procedures of the University the policy and practice that the administrators [President, Secretary, and Treasurer] of the University...shall serve in such capacities at the will and pleasure of the Board; that the administrators of the University having the rank of Vice president, Chancellor, University Campus Dean, Academic Dean, Director or the equivalent thereof and any other person reporting directly to the President shall serve in such capacities at the will and pleasure of the President.”

Auxiliary services at USC Upstate include bookstore, housing, dining services (Sodexo), health services, vending and concessions. Sources of revenue include housing fees, meal fees, book sales, ticket sales, and sales of other commodities and services. The BOT, as evidenced by the Bylaws, Article III, Section 1, Item P: Authority for Approval, must approve or delegate authority for approval of all major contractual relationships and other major legal obligations executed in the name of the University. With respect to auxiliary services, Board of Trustees Policy 1.04 stipulates that:

  • “The President of the University and the Secretary of the Board of Trustees are delegated authority to sign contracts and agreements which are binding upon the University;”
  • ”The Chancellors of the four-year campuses, and the Vice Provost and Executive Dean for System Affairs and Extended University, are authorized to sign contracts and agreements on behalf of their respective campuses with a total value not in excess of $25,000, excepting research and research-related agreements, and employment agreements;” and
  • ”The Director of Purchasing shall have the authority to sign official University of South Carolina purchase orders, provided such purchase orders comply with the provisions of the South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code.”

Support Documents:

3.2.2.4 Related foundations (athletic, research, etc.) and other corporate entities whose primary purpose is to support the institution and/or its programs

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

According to the South Carolina Code of Laws, Sections 59-117-40, the University of South Carolina (USC) Board of Trustees (BOT) has the legal authority to approve or delegate authority to approve all major contractual relationships such as contracts of agreements with foundations and other related entities.

As delineated in the BOT's Bylaws, Article III, Section 1: Duties of the Board, "The Board shall define the mission, role and scope of the University System and each of its major component institutions, shall establish the general policies of the University System, shall lay out the University System’s broad program of educational activity, shall approve the budget for the next fiscal year, and shall provide ultimate accountability to the public and the General Assembly."

The following duties are delegated to the BOT pertaining to governing board control of related foundations and other corporate entities whose primary purpose is to support the institution is the responsibility to:

  • "Approve all gifts where restrictions are indicated, designate the use of unrestricted gifts, and approve and designate the use of testamentary gifts;"
  • "Approve or delegate authority for approval of all major contractual relationships and other major legal obligations executed in the name of the University;" and
  • "Establish investment policies and procedures which will provide for prudent investment and preservation of funds entrusted to the University"

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) has the ability to accept gifts and grants of a complex nature due to its relationship with the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education. The Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education was created under Act. No. 36 of the 1967 Session of the General Assembly of South Carolina and was charged with the encouragement of higher education in Spartanburg County and adjacent areas. According to the Bylaws of the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education “the Commission is empowered to enter into contracts, make binding agreements, negotiate with educators and educational institutions, subject to existing legislative authority and generally, to take such actions in its name as are necessary to secure for Spartanburg County and adjacent areas the necessary educational facilities to provide higher education.”

The Bylaws of the USC Upstate Foundation identify the organization as that of an eleemosynary, nonprofit corporation whose purposes shall be similar to those of any charitable or eleemosynary corporation. The Bylaws of the USC Upstate Foundation state that it “was established to support the University of South Carolina (the “University”) in all of its educational, instructional, scientific, literary, research, service, charitable, and outreach endeavors. The primary purpose of the Foundation is to receive, solicit, accept and hold, administer, use, invest, endow, and disburse gifts, bequests, devises, and all types of property for the exclusive benefit of the University. The Foundation is dedicated to maximizing support from the private sector for the university to provide a margin of excellence beyond that which could be achieved with state appropriated funds only.”

Support Documents:

3.2.3 Board Conflict of Interest

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.3

The board has a policy addressing conflict of interest for its members. (Board conflict of interest)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is governed by the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the University of South Carolina (USC) System. The USC BOT Conflict of Interest Policy addresses conflict of interest for its members. The policy requires members to submit a Conflict of Interest Reporting Form including but not limited to employment by the University or any entity affiliated with the University or receipt of gifts in excess of $100.

Support Documents:

3.2.4 External Influence

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.4

The governing board is free from undue influence from political, religious, or other external bodies, and protects the institution from such influence. (External influence)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is governed by the Board of Trustees (Board) of the University of South Carolina (USC) System as stated in the South Carolina Code of Law, Section 59-117-10. A duty of the Board is to remain free from undue influence from political, religious, or other external bodies and protect the institution from such influence.

The Board has delegated to the USC System the right and duty to establish policies and procedures to protect the institution from undue influence specifically Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity in Education and Employment; Sexual Harassment; Discriminatory Harassment; Discrimination on the Basis of Personal Characteristics such as age, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability status, and sexual orientation; and nepotism.

As a public body, the board adheres to the provisions of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. All books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings or other documentary materials associated with the board, unless closed to the public or otherwise exempted, are considered part of the public record and are publicly available.

The Board shields the institution from undue pressures principally by requiring a decision-making environment based firmly on written, established process. Checks and balances exist throughout, and the culture of transparency and inclusiveness in planning and execution assures that efforts to impose external pressure are weighed and judged against the formally adopted mission, goals and objectives, then discussed openly. Limits on tuition increases provide an example of an external political attempt to influence members of the Board. Despite the Legislator’s stated desire to limit tuition increases in 2006-2012, the Board exercised its statutory obligation and independent judgment in determining appropriate tuition increases for each of its campuses. Through its actions, the Board actively and consistently shielded the institution from undue influence and pressures.

Support Documents:

3.2.5 Board Dismissal

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.5

The governing board has a policy whereby members can be dismissed only for appropriate reasons and by a fair process. (Board dismissal)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is governed by the Board of Trustees (Board) of the University of South Carolina (USC) System. There are 17 voting members on the Board. The composition of the Board, in compliance with South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 59-117-10 includes 16 members elected by the South Carolina General Assembly from each of the state’s judicial circuits, and one at-large member appointed by the Governor. Ex-officio members of the Board are the Governor of the state (or designee), State Superintendent of Education, and President of the Greater University of South Carolina Alumni Association. The regular term of office of each elected trustee is four years, with the terms commencing on July 1 of the year of election. Trustees may continue to serve after their term has expired until a successor has been elected and qualified.

Board members can be removed only in accordance with Articles of Impeachment as stipulated in the South Carolina Constitution Article XV Section III which states:

[f]or any willful neglect of duty, or other reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground of impeachment, the Governor shall remove any executive or judicial officer on the address of two thirds of each house of the General Assembly: Provided, that the cause or causes for which said removal may be required shall be stated at length in such address, and entered on the Journals of each house: And, provided, further, that the officer intended to be removed shall be notified of such cause or causes, and shall be admitted to a hearing in his own defense, or by his counsel, or by both, before any vote for such address; and in all cases the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and be entered on the Journal of each house respectively.

The Board has full authority to request impeachment proceedings of any member by the General Assembly, an authority reaffirmed by action of the Board in the setting of Policy BTRU 2.03 as noted in Board Minutes of February 4, 2011. USC has not invoked policies pertaining to Board dismissal.

In case a vacancy should occur in the board among the members elected by the General Assembly, the Governor, in compliance with the South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 59-117-30, may fill it by appointment until the next session of the General Assembly. Any vacancy occurring in the office of the member appointed by the Governor shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by appointment in the same manner of original appointment. Elections to fill vacancies which are caused by the death, resignation, or removal of an elected trustee may be held earlier than the first day of April of the year in which the unexpired term ends, but the term of the person elected to fill the vacancy expires on the last day of June of the year in which the term of the former member would have expired.

Support Documents:

3.2.6 Board/Administration Distinction

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.6

There is a clear and appropriate distinction, in writing and practice, between the policy-making functions of the governing board and the responsibility of the administration and faculty to administer and implement policy. (Board/administration distinction)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is governed by the Board of Trustees (Board) of the University of South Carolina (USC) System. The Board lays out the USC System's broad program of education activity, approves the budget each fiscal year, and provides ultimate accountability to the public and the General Assembly. The USC System and the USC Upstate Organization Charts illustrate the structure. (NOTE: As of August 1, 2011, Dr. Thomas Moore assumed the role of Chancellor at USC Upstate.)

The powers of the Board are prescribed by the provisions of the South Carolina Code of Laws Section 59-117-40 which states that “The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina is hereby constituted a body corporate and politic, in deed and in law under the name of the University of South Carolina.” Within the authority prescribed to the Board is the power: “to make bylaws and all rules and regulations deemed expedient for the management of its affairs and its own operations not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of this State or of the United States;…adopt such measures and make such regulations as may in the discretion of the board of trustees be necessary for the proper operation of the University; [and]…to appoint committees of the board of trustees or officers or members of the faculty of the University, with such power and authority and for such purposes in connection with the operation of the University as the board of trustees may deem wise.”

As outlined in the Board of Trustees Bylaws Article III Section 1, “the Board shall define the mission, role and scope of the University System and each of its major component institutions, shall establish the general policies of the University System, shall lay out the University System’s broad program of educational activity, shall approve the budget for the next fiscal year, and shall provide ultimate accountability to the public and the General Assembly. Within these fundamental responsibilities, the Board will perform, where appropriate, many essential functions, including but not limited to… establish policies and goals of the University and direct the President to implement and achieve those policies and goals; … approve compensation policy for faculty and staff; [and] …establish auditing policies and standards and appoint independent auditors.”

The USC Board, as an active, policy-making and oversight board, takes actions relative to USC Upstate that are recorded in the Board meeting minutes (available online only). As a senior campus in the USC System, USC Upstate has extensive autonomy and local decision-making capacity within the context of organizational policies and system-wide approval mechanisms. With the approval of the USC President and Board, USC Upstate controls its own Budget, is responsible for all Curriculum and Program Development, Hiring and Personnel Issues, the recommendation of Tenure and Promotion, and Awarding of Degrees. The USC system supports various functions for all campuses such as data, legal, and financial systems including payroll. The existing system structure provides institutional autonomy for decision-making relative to USC Upstate’s mission and purpose.

Support Documents:

3.2.7 Organizational Structure

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.7

The institution has a clearly defined and published organizational structure that delineates responsibility for the administration of policies. (Organizational structure)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is governed by the Board of Trustees (Board) of the University of South Carolina (USC) system which includes the Columbia campus, three senior institutions (USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, USC Upstate) and four regional campuses (USC Lancaster, USC Salkehatchie, USC Sumter, USC Union).

The USC System Organization Chart and the USC Upstate Organization Chart illustrate the clearly-defined organizational structure of the USC system and USC Upstate. (NOTE: As of March 1, 2017, Dr. Brendan Kelly assumed the role of Chancellor at USC Upstate.)

USC Upstate is organized as follows: Academic Affairs, Administrative and Business Affairs, Athletics, Enrollment Services, Information Technology and Services, Student Affairs, and University Advancement. The head of each area reports directly to the Chancellor. The head of Academic Affairs carries the title of Senior Vice Chancellor, clearly indicating that the chief academic officer is the senior member of the Chancellor's administrative team (Cabinet). This Cabinet constitutes the senior administration for USC Upstate. Reporting lines for each are shown in the USC Upstate Organization Chart. Detailed duties are given in the position descriptions for each senior administrator (Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Business Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services/Director of Admissions, Dean of Students, Athletic Director, and Executive Director of University Boards and Public Affairs).

Changes to policies are submitted to the Cabinet for review and discussion. Final approval is made by the Chancellor. Cabinet members are responsible for disseminating policy and procedure changes. USC Upstate policies may not contradict USC Policies and Procedures governing the entire system. USC Upstate Policies and Procedures are available online.

Support Documents:

3.2.8 Qualified Administrative/Academic Officers

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.8

The institution has qualified administrative and academic officers with the experience, competence, and capacity to lead the institution. (Qualified administrative/academic officers)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Senior academic and administrative officers are required to possess the credentials, experience and capacity appropriate for their areas of responsibility. The senior administrative organization includes the Chancellor, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Business Affairs, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services, Dean of Students, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Services, Athletic Director, and Executive Director, University Boards and Public Affairs. All senior administrators for the Spartanburg and Greenville campuses and the Sumter site are well qualified for their positions.

Non-academic units are led by directors, while academic units are led by deans. Curriculum vitae, resumes, and transcripts are on file for senior academic and administrative officers. The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for maintaining faculty files which include credentials and transcripts for all deans. The Office of Human Resources (HR) maintains personnel files that contain position descriptions, resumes, and applications for all senior administrative officers. Transcripts for senior academic administrative officers are maintained in the Office of Academic Affairs and all other non-academic officer transcripts are housed in HR.

The appointment process and annual performance reviews are designed to ensure the initial and continuing competency of all administrators. Senior administrators are evaluated annually by the Chancellor. All other administrative staff are evaluated annually by their immediate supervisor relative to their job responsibilities and to performance goals set the prior year. (Files are available for onsite review.)

Support Documents:

  • Evaluations (Files are available for onsite review.)
3.2.9 Faculty/Staff Appointment

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.9

The institution defines and publishes policies regarding appointment and employment of faculty and staff. (Faculty/staff appointment)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) recruits and employs faculty and staff with appropriate qualifications in order to maintain its operations and meet its educational mission. USC Upstate follows human resource policies as established by the University of South Carolina (USC). The USC System is governed by human resource and academic affairs policies approved by the USC Board of Trustees. USC Upstate advertises all full-time and part-time positions and is an equal opportunity employer.

Recruitment and appointment of faculty is a function of Academic Affairs under the leadership of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Policies and standards for faculty and administrative appointments are outlined in the USC Policies and Procedures Manual, ACAF 1.00: Recruitment of Academic Personnel, and in the Faculty Manual. In addition, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs meets with faculty search committees to review guidelines.

The human resource policy, HR 1.24 Appointment, Transfer, Promotion of Classified Employees, sets forth the uniform system for filling vacant classified positions pursuant to regulations of the South Carolina Office of Human Resources. All classified positions are posted through the USC Jobs Online System and on the USC Upstate website for Faculty and Staff. Depending on the nature of the position and the adequacy of the applicant pool, additional advertising locations may be utilized.

Support Documents:

3.2.10 Administrative Staff Evaluations

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.10

The institution evaluates the effectiveness of its administrators on a periodic basis. (Administrative staff evaluations)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Administrative staff members at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) are evaluated on a periodic basis by their supervisors. The method of evaluation is determined by the staff member’s classification.

Administrative staff members in classified positions are evaluated each year. The procedure for the performance appraisal for classified employees is specified in the Performance Appraisal for Classified Employees Policy using the Employee Performance Management System (EPMS). The EPMS consists of two cyclic phases that occur annually: (1) a planning phase for the employee and the supervisor to develop a plan of action that will guide the employee’s job performance over the coming year and (2) an evaluation phase for the employee and supervisor to discuss the employee's actual performance, and a rating is recorded.

Academic administrators are evaluated by their supervisor. As is the case for classified administrators, the evaluation occurs each year. Typically a report is provided of accomplishments for the previous year and goals for the coming year. Supervisors provide written feedback. The members of the USC Upstate Cabinet are evaluated annually by the Chancellor. (Evaluations are available for onsite review.)

The President of the University System is responsible for the evaluation of the Chancellor. The Chancellor also meets frequently with the President to report on the progress made toward goals and objectives of the institution and on major new initiatives. An evaluation will be completed on the newly-appointed Chancellor in the 2011-12 academic year.

Support Documents:

3.2.11 Control of Intercollegiate Athletics

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.11

The institution's chief executive officer has ultimate responsibility for, and exercises appropriate administrative and fiscal control over, the institution's intercollegiate athletics program. (Control of intercollegiate athletics)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The Chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) carries out the expressed commitment of the University of South Carolina (USC) Board of Trustees (Board) to assure full compliance with all athletic conference and national association rules, regulations, constitutions and bylaws. As detailed in the Board of Trustees Bylaws: Article XI, Section 3(G), the Chancellor will "bear responsibility for fund raising, intercollegiate athletics, auxiliary enterprises, and alumni activities."

The University of South Carolina Upstate sponsors 17 sports that compete for championships in the Atlantic Sun Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Men’s sports include: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track. Women’s sports include: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball.

Membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association dictates that institutions abide by all NCAA rules and regulations. The 2010-2011 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Manual states in Principle 2.1.1 that "it is the responsibility of each member institution to control its intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Association. The institution’s president or chancellor is responsible for the administration of all aspects of the athletics program, including approval of the budget and audit of all expenditures."

In keeping with this principle, the USC Upstate Department of Athletics’ Organization Chart shows a direct link between the intercollegiate athletics program and the Chancellor (NOTE: As of March 1, 2017, Dr. Brendan Kelly assumed the role of Chancellor). Further, the Athletics Policy Manual clearly stipulates that the Chancellor has ultimate responsibility for, and exercises appropriate administrative and fiscal control over, the institution's intercollegiate athletics program. As required by NCAA rules, USC Upstate submitted a self-study of its athletic program during its reclassifying period in its move to Division I in April of 2010 (self-study available for review onsite).

The Chancellor exercises fiscal control over the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program. South Carolina law precludes the use of state appropriated funds for intercollegiate athletics. All privately raised funds are deposited into a USC Upstate Foundation account and are disbursed in accordance with University policies and procedures. To comply with NCAA rules pertaining to Budgetary Control, the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and the Chancellor review and approve the expenses affecting the Intercollegiate Athletics programs.

Support Documents:

3.2.12 Fund-raising Activities

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.12

The institution's chief executive officer controls the institution's fund-raising activities exclusive of institution-related foundations that are independent and separately incorporated. (Fund-raising activities)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

As detailed in the Board of Trustees (Board) Board Bylaws, Article XI Section 3 (G), the Chancellor will "bear responsibility for fund raising, intercollegiate athletics, auxiliary enterprises, and alumni activities." The Chancellor is directly responsible for the orderly management of fund raising, fiscal affairs and auxiliary enterprises, and for the maintenance and development of the University of South Carolina Upstate’s (USC Upstate) financial resources. The Chancellor has the power necessary to discharge this responsibility, specifically to:

  • submit the annual budget to the President and Board for approval and control annual operating budgets;
  • control appropriate funds to include collection and expenditure of student fees and tuition, subject to the specified provisions of respective USC System policy; and
  • solicit and receive funds on behalf of USC Upstate.

As outlined in the USC Upstate Organization Chart, the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, who also serves as the Executive Director of the USC Upstate Foundation, reports directly to the Chancellor. The duties of the Vice Chancellor include working with the Chancellor to oversee fund raising at USC Upstate and coordinating ways to establish and procure private gift support. (NOTE: As of March 1, 2017, Dr. Brendan Kelly assumed the role of Chancellor)

Funds received from donors are designated by the donor for deposit with USC Upstate or the USC Upstate Foundation, an eleemosynary corporation. This affiliated corporation is organized and operated exclusively for the benefit of USC Upstate.

Support Documents:

3.2.13 Institution-related Foundations

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.13

Any institution-related foundation not controlled by the institution has a contractual or other formal agreement that (1) accurately describes the relationship between the institution and the foundation and (2) describes any liability associated with that relationship. In all cases, the institution ensures that the relationship is consistent with its mission. (Institution-related foundations)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Consistent with its Mission, the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) has the ability to accept gifts and grants of a complex nature through its relationship with the USC Upstate Foundation, Inc. and the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education.

According to the Bylaws of the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education, “the Commission is empowered to enter into contracts, make binding agreements, negotiate with educators and educational institutions, subject to existing legislative authority and, generally, to take such actions in its name as are necessary to secure for Spartanburg County and adjacent areas the necessary educational facilities to provide higher education.”

The Certificate of Incorporation (1973) for the USC Upstate Foundation identifies it as a South Carolina nonprofit, public-benefit corporation to accept “gifts for charitable, benevolent, cultural and educational purposes for the exclusive use and benefit of the University of South Carolina Spartanburg,” now the University of South Carolina Upstate.

The Bylaws of the USC Upstate Foundation state that the “USC Upstate Foundation (“Foundation”) is a non-profit corporation that operates within the provisions of Sections 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. It is a sole-support Foundation for USC Upstate, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina.”

The Office of University Advancement houses USC Upstate Foundation, Alumni Relations, and Development. The Mission of the Office of University Advancement is to support USC Upstate in all of its educational, research, instructional, scientific, literary, service, charitable, and outreach endeavors. The Foundation has a fiduciary responsibility for protecting its resources and spending its funds in accordance with the gift agreements signed by donors.

Support Documents:

3.2.14 Intellectual Property Rights

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.14

The institution's policies are clear concerning ownership of materials, compensation, copyright issues, and the use of revenue derived from the creation and production of all intellectual property. These policies apply to students, faculty, and staff. (Intellectual property rights)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina (USC) System policies and procedures related to intellectual property rights are uniform and apply to faculty, staff, and students at all campuses including the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate). The University recognizes the right of all employees to engage in the uncommissioned creation of scholarly, pedagogical, and artistic works subject to copyright, and to copyright such works and to receive royalties from their use. "Uncommissioned” in this case means work that does not receive substantial aid from the university or from an outside agency through university channels. Scholarly books and articles, textbooks resulting from usual teaching activities, painting, musical compositions, graphic art, and media materials are examples of work that might be uncommissioned. The University gains a right to materials subject to copyright when such materials result from activity commissioned by the University or by an outside agency through university channels.

The policies and procedures related to intellectual property rights for faculty, staff, and students are published in the following documents:

Information pertaining to and assistance in the implementation of these policies is provided through the USC Intellectual Property Office. These policies address the rights to, interests in, and protection and transfer of intellectual property created by USC faculty, staff, and students.

The legal title to all University-commissioned educational, literary, and media materials is vested in the University with the following exception: materials produced on grants from the federal government or other outside sponsors are subject to the conditions of the contract or grant (to be negotiated solely by the University) with respect to ownership, distribution, use, and other residual rights of and to such materials. All such materials bear the required statutory notice of copyright and name the University as the copyright proprietor. After consultation with the authors, the University, at its discretion, may use, assign, transfer, license, lease, or sell all or part of its legal rights in educational, literary, and media materials.

Although the search for commercially-exploitable inventions is not a specific function of the University, a discovery leading to such an invention may be a by-product of creative endeavors undertaken for other purposes. When such a discovery is made, the University assists the inventor in evaluating, patenting, and exploiting the discovery, while safeguarding the interests of all concerned parties. This policy pertains to all undergraduate students, part- and full-time members of the faculty and staff, all other agents and employees of the University, and all other individuals who have made substantial use of university resources.

Support Documents:

3.3.1 Institutional Effectiveness

Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1

The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in each of the following areas: (Institutional Effectiveness)

  • 3.3.1.1 educational programs, to include student learning outcomes
  • 3.3.1.2 administrative support services
  • 3.3.1.3 educational support services
  • 3.3.1.4 research within its educational mission, if appropriate
  • 3.3.1.5 community/public service within its educational mission, if appropriate

3.3.1.1 Educational programs, to include student learning outcomes

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) engages in ongoing institution-wide assessment of its academic, support, administrative, research, and service activities in support of the institution’s mission and continuous improvement endeavors. Generally, these assessment activities are divided into two processes—academic program assessment and administrative area assessment.

USC Upstate identifies expected outcomes related to student learning, assesses the extent to which those outcomes are achieved through its educational programs, and effects curricular and programmatic improvements based upon the assessment results. Evidence of compliance with this standard is demonstrated through program accreditation where available and in all programs through the institution’s own academic assessment procedures. In accordance with State requirements, USC Upstate submits annual Institutional Effectiveness Reports that document ongoing improvements.

Evidence of Assessment via Professional Accreditations
In order to receive professional accreditation, programs must go through detailed self-analysis and demonstrate that they employ best practices within the discipline. Educational units that are professionally accredited must show expected outcomes, assessment measures, and use of assessment measures to effect curricular changes. Programs within education, nursing, business, computer science and engineering technology management are accredited by their respective national accrediting organizations: National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE); and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

The Planning, Institutional Effectiveness, and Assessment Process
As the means for analyzing, evaluating, and improving the curriculum and the learning process, academic assessment at USC Upstate is an ongoing activity at multiple levels that focuses on the extent to which goals for learning outcomes are being met. Faculty in each program have the primary responsibility for determining appropriate educational outcomes which extend beyond student grades as well as the methods and instruments for evaluating the level at which the outcomes have been accomplished.

USC Upstate requires each academic unit to implement an ongoing assessment program that clearly articulates goals and objectives for student learning in the major, measures these outcomes on a regular basis, analyzes the findings, and uses the results for curricular improvements and adjustments. Each assessment process follows the Program Assessment Report Policies and Procedures and is based on student learning outcomes (SLOs) integral and specific to the respective major. The SLOs are developed by faculty in each academic unit to reflect the primary educational objectives of the major and are intended to promote student success in post-graduation endeavors. Quantitative and qualitative data are collected to determine the extent to which students have achieved the identified SLOs. For majors with state licensing exams (Education: PRAXIS II; Nursing: NCLEX), exam results are included. Based on assessment results, action plans are created to improve performance, skill, and/or knowledge relevant to the SLOs. Each report is reviewed by the Faculty Assessment Committee who provides feedback to the unit. USC Upstate’s planning and assessment process is broad-based, systematic, and appropriate to the institution. With faculty representation and inputs from all units, the process continues to evolve with the primary goal of providing excellent programs and services. Examples of the assessment report and feedback are accessible below.

    Examples 
 Annual Assessment Report Feedback  
Political Science  Political Science 
English   English  
Psychology  Psychology 
Criminal Justice  Criminal Justice 
Business  Business 

Support Documents:

3.3.1.2 Administrative support services

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Administrative support services are distributed throughout the organizational structure of the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) and fall under the supervisory responsibility of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Business Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Advancement, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services, Dean of Students, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Services, and Athletic Director. Regardless of location, the administrative units have as their primary purpose support for the University’s mission.

USC Upstate’s planning and assessment process is broad-based, systematic, and appropriate to the Institution. All administrative support units participate and submit annual assessment activities (available onsite only). Examples of administrative assessment reports are accessible below.

USC Upstate has implemented an administrative assessment process that parallels academic program assessment. Each administrative unit articulates goals and objectives, measures outcomes on a regular basis in multiple ways, analyzes the findings, and describes how findings are used for improvements in annual program review reports submitted to the senior administrator responsible for each division. Strategic changes or suggestions for improvements that require additional allocation of resources are carefully examined by the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

The assessment measures most frequently used by administrative support units are internal and external audits, counts of reports generated and clients served, timeliness of reports issued or service delivered, results of stakeholder surveys, financial reviews, and fundraising and revenue reports. Across the institution, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data have been used to evaluate and improve the quality of support services provided. For example, the 2009 NSSE results indicated that fewer of our seniors used computers in academic work than those in peer institutions. Subsequently, a secure 24/7 computer lab was opened in the 2010-11 academic year. The results of our improvement process are reported in the annual State Accountability Report (available online only) based on the Malcolm Baldrige performance excellence criteria.

Support Documents:

3.3.1.3 Educational support services

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Educational support services are distributed throughout the organizational structure of the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) and fall under the supervisory responsibility of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Business Affairs, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services, Dean of Students, and Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Services. Regardless of location, the units have as their primary purpose support for the University’s mission.

USC Upstate’s planning and assessment process is broad-based, systematic, and appropriate to the Institution. All educational support units participate in ongoing assessment activities. Each articulates goals and objectives, measures outcomes on a regular basis in multiple ways, analyzes the findings, and describes how findings are used for improvements in annual program review reports submitted to the senior administrator responsible for each division. Strategic changes or suggestions for improvements that require additional allocation of resources are carefully examined by the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

The assessment measures most frequently used by educational support units are internal and external audits, counts of reports generated and clients served, timeliness of reports issued or service delivered, results of stakeholder surveys, financial reviews, and fundraising and revenue reports. Across the institution, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data have been used to evaluate and improve the quality of services provided. For example, the 2009 NSSE results indicated that 42% of students had never participated in a community service project. Community service has since been incorporated as a requirement into University 101.
The results of our improvement process are reported in the annual State Accountability Report (available online only) based on the Malcolm Baldrige performance excellence criteria.

USC Upstate implemented an academic support unit assessment process that parallels academic program assessment to provide meaningful feedback to the unit on the performance of services. Examples of the assessment report are accessible below.

Support Documents:

3.3.1.4 Research within its educational mission, if appropriate

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) research support services are provided by the Office of Sponsored Awards and Research Support (SARS). The Director of Research, who reports to the Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, coordinates two types of support services: internal funding programs and dissemination outlets.

Internal funding programs to support faculty and faculty-mentored student research include Scholarly Start-Up Package, Faculty Course Reallocation Program, Student Research Assistant Program, Student Travel Program, and Student Mini-Grant Program. In addition to these support programs, faculty can apply for the Teaching and Productive Scholarship award offered by the Committee for Faculty Excellence as well as the Promising Investigator Research Award offered by USC Columbia. Furthermore, USC Upstate students can apply for the Magellan Scholars Program offered by USC Columbia and the Honors Research Assistant Program offered by the USC Upstate Honors Program.

Students or faculty receiving funds from SARS are required to present their work at the Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium which is held every spring semester. This symposium has grown into a regional event with a dozen colleges and universities participating each year. Students who present at the Annual Symposium are also invited to submit extended versions of their papers to the USC Upstate Undergraduate Research Journal.

SARS also produces the Year in Review publication which summarizes all USC Upstate faculty research and scholarly accomplishments in terms of articles, presentations, etc. Starting with the 2010 Year In Review, this publication is used to assess and track the campus-wide quantity and quality of faculty research accomplishments.

Support Documents:

3.3.1.5 Community/public service within its educational mission, if appropriate

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is firmly committed to stewardship of place and to its metropolitan mission as formalized in, and reflected by, its institutional goals and objectives related to community engagement. This core value drives institutional practices that engender opportunities for community service for faculty, students, and administration. Current conditions indicate that protocols, capacities, and supports for campus-wide community engagement are increasing, as is USC Upstate’s capacity to respond to community needs, and the strength of its partnerships.

The primary portal through which USC Upstate’s public service and community engagement is most deftly demonstrated is the Metropolitan Studies Institute (MSI). The mission of the MSI is to support research efforts between USC Upstate and the community, enhancing relationships, promoting the reciprocal flow of information and ideas, assisting community and economic development and increasing the strategic use of the University’s scholarship and outreach capabilities.

All MSI research initiatives are reciprocal and practical – that is, engaged and translational.
Through MSI, USC Upstate provides data collection, analysis, and reporting for the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project. Until this past year when the MSI shepherded projects in two smaller neighboring counties, Spartanburg County was the only South Carolina County to have a community indicators project.

Community Engagement is a core value that is incorporated into a wide variety of USC Upstate’s activities. Engagement with the community is not limited to “bolt on” centers or programs, but is evidenced throughout the curriculum and through faculty and administrator service on local boards, task forces, and community groups. In fact, USC Upstate is a valued presence at most developing community initiatives.

Support Documents:

3.4.1 Academic Program Approval

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.1

The institution demonstrates that each educational program for which academic credit is awarded is approved by the faculty and the administration. (Academic program approval)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The Process for Curriculum Revision at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is well developed and documented in the Faculty Manual. Unit academic affairs committees bring forward proposed changes. Curriculum changes then may be reviewed as appropriate by the General Education Committee, Interdisciplinary Programs Committee, Graduate Committee, and Executive Academic Affairs Committee. In addition, the Budget Facilities and Planning Committee has responsibility for long range planning including the addition and deletion of programs. Once approval at the committee level is obtained, a proposed change then moves to the Faculty Senate. Changes approved by Faculty Senate are submitted to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Any change introducing distance learning based programs, off-campus programs, or curriculum change is subject to the same review and governance structure. These courses are also subject to the same assessment processes and review.

All South Carolina College and University programs require oversight approval from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE). Following the SCCHE Guidelines, the following are examples of academic program procedures followed at USC Upstate: Program Planning Summary and Full Program Proposal. Planning summaries, full program proposals, and program modifications are developed as follows:

STEPS FOR APPROVAL OF NEW PROGRAMS

  1. Academic units discuss possibility of new program with Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  2. If decision is to pursue a new program, a program summary using the SCCHE format is prepared by the unit and sent to the Senior Vice Chancellor for submission to SCCHE for approval. Academic Affairs submits all program summaries and, as required, program proposals to SCCHE, the University of South Carolina Columbia (USC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
  3. Once SCCHE has approved the program summary, the full program proposal is developed in collaboration with the Senior Vice Chancellor.
  4. The full program proposal is then submitted to the Academic Affairs Committee of the school or college proposing the new program.
  5. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to faculty of school or college submitting proposal.
  6. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Academic Budget and Facilities Planning Committee.
  7. If approved, the undergraduate full program proposals are submitted to the Executive Academic Affairs Committee; the graduate full program proposals are submitted to the Graduate Committee.
  8. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to the Faculty Advisory Committee for inclusion on Faculty Senate agenda.
  9. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Faculty Senate.
  10. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Senior Vice Chancellor.
  11. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Chancellor.
  12. Academic Affairs submits the full program proposal to the Office of the Provost at USC.
  13. If approved, the Office of the Provost submits the full program proposal to the President for review and approval (signature).
  14. If approved, Office of the Provost submits the full program proposal for the agenda of the Board of Trustees’ Academic Affairs and Faculty Liaison Committee.
  15. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to the Board of Trustees.
  16. If approved, Office of the Provost sends the full program proposal to SCCHE.
  17. SCCHE submits the full program proposal to the Advisory Committee on Academic Programs (ACAP)
  18. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to the SCCHE Academic Affairs and Licensing Committee (CAAL)
  19. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to SCCHE.
  20. Once approved, Academic Affairs submits the new program prospectus to SACS.

Support Documents:

3.4.2 Continuing Education/Service Programs

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.2

The Institution’s continuing education, outreach, and service programs are consistent with the institution’s mission. (Continuing education/service programs)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) encourages academic units to offer continuing education, outreach, and service programs consistent with the University’s metropolitan mission and the specific expertise of the academic area. Outreach programs, regardless of delivery method or site, are reviewed to ensure that offerings are consistent with unit mission and priorities.

At the University level, the Metropolitan Studies Institute provides outreach and research services directly in support of the University metropolitan mission. These high profile projects raise the visibility of the institution. Outreach programs are also tied to the mission of each academic unit and examples are listed below:

Support Documents:

3.4.3 Admissions Policies

Comprehensive Standards 3.4.3

The Institution publishes admissions policies that are consistent with its mission. (Admissions policies)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Consistent with the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) metropolitan Mission, admissions policies are appropriate and include guidelines for all students including on campus, off campus, and distance learning. USC Upstate’s primary responsibility is to offer baccalaureate education and select master’s degrees to the citizens of the Upstate. The Undergraduate and Graduate admissions policies are published in the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog and are available on the Website. Detailed transfer and articulation agreements are developed with partner institutions. For example, an articulation program, Upstate Direct Connect, was developed with select two-year institutions to assist students completing associate degrees to transfer to USC Upstate to continue toward a baccalaureate degree. Articulation agreements are also signed with International partner institutions. Periodic meetings between the partner institutions and the appropriate faculty allow for the review and revision of the agreements as needed.

Support Documents:

3.4.4 Acceptance of Academic Credit

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.4

The Institution has a defined and published policy for evaluating, awarding, and accepting credit for transfer, experiential learning, advanced placement, and professional certificates that is consistent with its mission and ensures that course work and learning outcomes are at the collegiate level and comparable to the institution’s own degree programs. The institution assumes responsibility for the academic quality of any course work or credit recorded on the institution’s transcript. (Acceptance of academic credit)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) Transfer Policies and Criteria are published in the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog and are also available on the Website. These policies and criteria encompass all courses regardless of delivery method. Advance Placement Credit policies and criteria are also detailed in the catalog.

Policies and criteria for Credit by Examination, Military Credit, and Credit for Non-Collegiate Programs are also defined and published in the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog and available on the University website. World Education Service is used for international transcript evaluation. In these cases, the process requires final determination of credit by the dean of the college or school where the student is enrolled. This process ensures all course work and outcomes are at the appropriate collegiate level and comparable to USC Upstate’s degree programs. USC Upstate assumes responsibility for the academic quality of all credit recorded on the institution’s transcript.

Support Documents:

3.4.5 Academic Policies

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.5

The institution publishes academic policies that adhere to principles of good educational practice. These are disseminated to students, faculty, and other interested parties through publications that accurately represent the programs and services of the institution. (Academic policies)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) consults a variety of sources, including University of South Carolina system-wide policies, South Carolina Commission on Higher Education policies, state regulations, and specialized accrediting bodies in constructing its academic policies. Once crafted, all documents undergo a multi-step vetting process to ensure that they accurately represent USC Upstate’s Mission, programs, and services before they are published and disseminated to students, faculty, and other parties through the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog, the University website, Faculty Manual, the Student Handbook and recruitment brochures. Publications are updated to ensure that they continue to adhere to principles of good educational practice and are accurate.

Academic policies are reviewed by all units, Faculty Senate (as appropriate), and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Academic policies apply to on-campus, off-campus, and distance learning programs. These are published in the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog, 2011-2012 Student Handbook, individual course syllabi, and on the University Website. The catalog, handbook, and course syllabi are updated regularly. The academic catalog and handbook are published at the beginning of each academic year in print and on the institution’s website. The catalog contains information on admission, registration, transfer credit, student grievance procedures, financial aid, tuition and fees, and academic standards.

Support Documents:

3.4.6 Practices for Awarding Credit

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.6

The institution employs sound and acceptable practices for determining the amount and level of credit awarded for courses, regardless of format or mode of delivery. (Practices for awarding credit)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) uses a credit hour definition based on the historical Carnegie unit that is the norm within the University of South Carolina system as outlined in the Policy Document for Creation and Revision of Academic Courses. Seminar courses, internships, clinical experiences, and other courses that do not share the traditional lecture/laboratory format require the same number of contact or instructional hours as traditional lecture/laboratory classes. Delivery of courses by alternate methods such as distance learning or during flexible semesters (e.g., summer or other interim sessions) are still designed with contact time and content equal to the traditional in-class delivery of courses.

Support Documents:

3.4.7 Consortial Relationships/Contractual Agreements

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.7

The institution ensures the quality of educational programs and courses offered through consortial relationships or contractual agreements, ensures ongoing compliance with the comprehensive requirements, and evaluates the consortial relationship and/or agreement against the purpose of the institution. (Consortial relationships/contractual agreements)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) does not offer programs or courses through consortial relationships where another institution offers course work on our behalf. International articulation agreements are referred to as “consortium agreements.” However, the acceptance of each course is evaluated as part of the initial articulation agreement and reviewed and revised as part of the ongoing articulation review process.

Contract agreements include Dual Enrollment Programs with local high schools. For these programs, faculty meet USC Upstate’s expectation for credentials and teach using USC Upstate’s syllabi and assessment processes.

Another type of contract agreement between USC Upstate and the high schools is the Scholars Academy, a partnership between the University and Spartanburg County's public school districts. Academically advanced high school students take courses on the USC Upstate campus. Students may earn as many as 60 college credits. Courses are taught by USC Upstate faculty using the approved course syllabi. Finally, the School of Education offers a number of Contract Courses to school districts. Both Scholars Academy and School of Education contracts involve USC Upstate agreeing to deliver the course, not receiving a course from another provider.

Support Documents:

3.4.8 Noncredit to Credit

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.8

The institution awards academic credit for course work taken on a noncredit basis only when there is documentation that the noncredit course work is equivalent to a designated credit experience. (Noncredit to credit)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Policies and criteria for Credit by Examination, Military Credit and Credit for Non-Collegiate Programs are defined and published in the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog. The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) accepts credit for non-collegiate programs as recommended by the American Council on Education. The process requires documentation with final determination of credit in these cases by the dean of the college or school where the student is enrolled. This process ensures all course work and outcomes are at the appropriate collegiate level. USC Upstate assumes responsibility for the academic quality of all credit recorded on the institution’s transcript.

Support Documents:

3.4.9 Academic Support Services

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.9

The institution provides appropriate academic support services. (Academic support services)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) offers a variety of student support programs, student enrollment services, and student activities. The Student Success Center offers coordinated academic support services. Divisions of the Center include the Academic Support Center, Opportunity Network, and Career Services. Additional student support programs are offered through Student Affairs, Enrollment Services, Academic Affairs, and Information Technology and Services. The variety of services includes new and transfer student orientations, international student services, Writing Center, Math Lab, Disability Services, Testing Center, Center for Teaching Excellence, Library, Learning Technologies, Information Technology Services, and Office of Sponsored Awards and Research. Initiatives, such as the supplemental instruction program and the early intervention program, are offered every semester with faculty involvement.

Decisions as to the level of support services are determined by the administrative unit’s assessment process and updated as part of the annual strategic planning process. Programs are available for all students independent of campus and delivery method. A comprehensive list of services is documented in the following table including links to select websites.

Student Activities
Service Office Division
Registered Clubs and Organizations Student Life Student Affairs
Performing Groups Fine Arts and Communication Studies Student Affairs
Student Government Association Dean of Students Student Affairs
Campus Activities Board Student Life Student Affairs
Student Media Student Life Student Affairs
Campus Recreation/Intramurals Campus Recreation Business Affairs
 Intercollegiate Athletics Athletics Chancellor
 Volunteer & Community Services Student Life Student Affairs

 

Student Enrollment Services
Service Office Division
Financial Aid Student Financial Aid Enrollment Services/Academic Affairs
Records & Registration Records, Registration and Veterans’ Affairs Enrollment Services/Academic Affairs
Orientation Admissions Enrollment Services/Academic Affairs
Financial Services Student Account Services Business Affairs

 

Student Support Programs
Service  Office Division
Academic Support Academic Support Center Student Success/Academic Affairs
Opportunity Network Opportunity Network Student Success/Academic Affairs
Career Services Career Services Student Success/Academic Affairs
Writing Center Languages, Literature & Composition Academic Affairs
Foreign Language Lab Languages, Literature & Composition Academic Affairs
Mathematics Lab Math & Computer Science Academic Affairs
Counseling Services Counseling Services Student Affairs
Non-Traditional Student Services Counseling Services Student Affairs
Alcohol & Drug Program Counseling Services Student Affairs
Disability Services Disability Services Student Affairs
Academic Coaching Disability Services Student Affairs
Health Services Health Services Student Affairs
 Residential Life Programs Residential Programs Student Success/Academic Affairs
 Center for International Studies International Studies Academic Affairs
Library Library Academic Affairs
Bookstore Bookstore Business Affairs
 University Police University Public Safety and Parking Business Affairs
 Computer Labs  Client Services Information Technology & Services
 Media Services Learning Technologies Information Technology & Services
 Multicultural Affairs  Student Life Student Affairs


Support Documents:

3.4.10 Responsibility for Curriculum

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.10

The institution places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum with its faculty. (Responsibility for curriculum)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) Faculty Manual states that the primary responsibility for the content, quality and effectiveness of the curriculum, regardless of location or delivery method, belongs to the faculty:

“In all matters pertaining to the standards of admission, registration, requirements for the granting of degrees earned in course, the curricula, instruction, research, extracurricular activities, discipline of students, the educational policies and standards of the university, and all other matters pertaining to the conduct of faculty affairs, including the discipline of its own members, the faculty has legislative powers subject to the review of the Chancellor, the President, and the Board of Trustees.”

The supporting structure of Faculty Governance, including assessment and curriculum committees, is designed with the intent to implement this charge. Faculty Senate Minutes document the primary responsibility for the content and curriculum rests with the faculty. Assessment Reports document the primary responsibility for quality and effectiveness rests with the faculty.

Support Documents:

3.4.11 Academic Program Coordination

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.11

For each major in a degree program, the institution assigns responsibility for program coordination, as well as for curriculum development and review, to persons academically qualified in the field. In those degree programs for which the institution does not identify a major, this requirement applies to a curricular area or concentration. (Academic program coordination)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

At the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate), each program coordinator has the appropriate terminal degree to be academically qualified to teach within the discipline. The department chair is frequently the program coordinator. However, for departments with multiple degrees, faculty from the discipline may serve this coordinating function without formal administrative appointment. The following table lists the program coordinators.

USC Upstate Program
USC Upstate Academic Catalog Page

Degree
Type

Program
Coordinator 
Interdisciplinary Studies BA or BS Yancy McDougal
Communication BA Ben Myers
Art Studio in Graphic Design BFA Jane Nodine
Art Education BA  Mary Lou Hightower
Commercial Music BA  Gregg Akkerman
English BA  Peter Caster
Spanish BA  Shannon Polchow
Information Management and Systems BA  Ron Fulbright
Mathematics BS Jerome Lewis
Computer Information Systems BA  Jerome Lewis
Computer Science BS Jerome Lewis
Biology BS  Jeanne Chapman
Chemistry BS  Lisa Lever
Engineering Technology Management BS Tim Ellis
Psychology BA or BS  Judy Kizer
History BA Carol Loar
Political Science BA Allison Clark Pingley
Sociology BA  Clif Flynn
Criminal Justice BS Clif Flynn
Business Administration BS Darrell Parker
Early Childhood Education BA  Laura Hooks 
Elementary Education BA Greta Freeman
Middle Level Education BA  Judy Beck
Secondary Level Education BA or BS Judy Beck
Physical Education BS  Ben Snyder
Physical Education: Exercise & Sport Science BS  Ben Snyder
Special Education – Learning Disabilities BS  Holly Pae
Nursing BS Lynette Hamlin 
Early Childhood Education M.Ed  Tina Herzberg
Elementary Education M.Ed  Tina Herzberg
Visual Impairment M.Ed. Tina Herzberg

Support Documents:

  • See above chart.
3.4.12 Technology Use

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.12

The institution’s use of technology enhances student learning and is appropriate for meeting the objectives of its programs. Students have access to and training in the use of technology. (Technology use)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) recognizes the importance of information technology literacy as central to the students’ education and future employment. Students are exposed to a variety of technological initiatives that ensure proficiency at levels acceptable to their disciplinary and professional standards. All programs integrate technological preparation throughout the curriculum and also develop these skills in conjunction with specific instruction from faculty librarians who promote use of electronic research tools, web-based bibliographic tools, and other cutting-edge research techniques.

Information technology literacy is one of five student learning outcomes for the general education program and is assessed systematically. The results of the spring 2010 assessment yielded recommendations to strengthen the information technology literacy skills of students. The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is based in part on this assessment.

Technology Access, Training & Support

Technology Infrastructure: The majority of the computing environment on campus is supported in the Windows XP, 2007 and Macintosh OS-X environments. The Information Technology & Services (ITS) division offers assistance to students, faculty and staff in a variety of commonly used applications (such as Microsoft Office, electronic mail, and the Internet). Network services are provided through USC Upstate’s state-of-the-art Cisco network providing 100 megabit connections to the desktop, multiple gigabit connectivity between buildings, access to the entire University of South Carolina network and the Internet. ITS manages over 55 Windows servers, providing the campus community with electronic mail, network printing, file sharing, office communication, portal services, www services, IP phones and department specific network applications. The division maintains and upgrades computer hardware on a three to four year replacement cycle, and software as required so that faculty, staff and students have access to current technology to accomplish their work. An 802.11n wireless network is available for use within all buildings and housing on campus. Faculty personal network space for securing and sharing documents is easily available using a mapped drive through a secure on-campus network or from off campus using a secure SharePoint portal. All academic and administrative departments also have shared portal access for easy file sharing and storage. Data from the servers are backed up regularly in daily or weekly increments and tapes are stored offsite at a remote location. Students are provided 25 gigabit secure online storage in the cloud through their Live@edu accounts.

Technology Enhanced Classrooms: The ITS Media Services Department is responsible for installing and maintaining a wide range of instructional technologies in USC Upstate's classroom and instructional spaces. Classrooms are equipped with an LCD projector or display, VCR/ DVD player, network/Internet access, and an instructor podium. Many classrooms also have electronic interactive white boards and document cameras. The entire campus has wireless accessibility, and wireless laptops are used in curricular and co-curricular activities. ITS Learning Technologies staff members provide training, tutorials and assistance to faculty, staff, and students in the use of classroom technologies.

Computer Labs: Information Technology & Services division provides staff expertise to develop, configure, test, deploy and maintain the operating system, installed applications and network printing for student access to open access lab, instructional labs and tutoring labs that combined house 533 computers . The Client Services Department of ITS actively monitor the lab workstations and printers to ensure all systems are functioning properly. Students have access to one of the computer labs in the Library 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week using their USC Upstate student ID smart card.

Instructional Services: The Learning Technologies department of ITS in partnership with the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) is promoting 21st Century Learning Initiatives to connect USC Upstate faculty and staff to the latest innovative practices and advancements in instructional technology through webinars, workshops, and seminars, as well as offering consultations for departments and individuals. In addition, Learning Technologies and the CTE maintains web pages that provide access to training videos, videotaped presentations, blogs, teaching tools, and newsletters with practical tips for faculty and staff.

In support of all course offerings, University Technology Services (UTS) on the University of South Carolina Columbia campus maintains Blackboard, an online course management system available to the entire USC community. Every course offered at USC Upstate has a Blackboard course generated for it. USC Upstate departments and organizations may also use Blackboard to share information. All courses are automatically populated with a student roster based on information from the Registrar’s office. The Blackboard course management system is used for both distance education and face-to-face classes in addition to providing online communities for academic programs, residence halls, student organizations, and faculty groups. Throughout the academic year, ITS Learning Technologies staff on the Upstate campus offers several training events on Blackboard and sessions about other instructional technology tools.

Library: Students not only visit the Library to conduct research but also make use of the facilities and resources for course-related activities such as studying, report writing, and computer usage. The Library houses 90 desktop computers, one of which is dedicated for disability access with specialized software.

Technology Support: To enhance technological knowledge and computing skills, student must have access to quality software, hardware, and technical support. The Information Technology & Services Division at USC Upstate assists faculty, staff and students in meeting their computing needs, coordinates telecommunications services, and provides student email and wireless Internet access across the entire campus. Student Email used for official communications is Microsoft Live@EDU, a secure hosted service.
ITS Client Services staff and student assistants are located at the Help Desk from 8:30 A.M. – 5:30 P.M. Monday through Fridays year-round to assist faculty, staff and students with computing needs. During the 2010-2011 academic year, the Help Desk logged 3375 customer work orders through the Help Desk TrackIT system. The average time to close a call was 21 hours with 584 requests being closed within the first hour. Upon closure of a request for technical assistance, clients are periodically asked to complete an online satisfaction survey. The assessment data indicate an average 92% satisfaction rate by clients.

Support Documents:

3.5.1 College-level Competencies

Comprehensive Standard 3.5.1

The institution identifies college-level general education competencies and the extent to which graduates have attained them. (College-level competencies)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate’s (USC Upstate) faculty developed a competency-based general education program that provides students with a common academic experience and creates a foundation for life-long learning. Through a competency-based general education model, students demonstrate achievement of a common set of general education competencies in addition to mastery of individual course content.

Competencies and student learning outcomes are aligned with the University’s mission to address the overarching principles of general education: “to collect and evaluate information (acquire knowledge), integrate and draw conclusions (create knowledge), and communicate this knowledge to others.” The general education program focuses on essential skills and knowledge demonstrated by students at the completion of their program of study. The five competencies and nine related student learning outcomes (SLOs) are:

  • Competency 1: The USC Upstate graduate should demonstrate an ability to communicate in English, both orally and in writing.
    • SLO 1.1: Students are able to create and deliver coherent, grammatically correct oral presentations.
    • SLO 1.2: Students are able to create coherent, grammatically correct responses to prompts and questions.
  • Competency 2: The USC Upstate graduate should demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to apply scientific investigation and quantitative and logical reasoning.
    • SLO 2.1: Students demonstrate an ability to apply scientific reasoning by drawing appropriate conclusions from scientific data.
    • SLO 2.2: Students demonstrate an ability to apply quantitative and logical reasoning by producing solutions to or analyses of appropriate problems.
  • Competency 3: The USC Upstate graduate should be able to integrate and critically evaluate information.
    • SLO 3.1: Students are able to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of varying points of view.
    • SLO 3.2: Students demonstrate the ability to distinguish between pertinent and irrelevant information.
  • Competency 4: The USC Upstate graduate should understand and demonstrate an awareness of distinctive features of language and cultures.
    • SLO 4.1: Students demonstrate knowledge of linguistic and cultural diversity and contributions of such diversity to society.
  • Competency 5: The USC Upstate graduate should demonstrate responsible and appropriate use of information knowledge.
    • SLO 5.1: Students are able to gather and correctly process information through appropriate use of technological tools.
    • SLO 5.2: Students demonstrate the ability to use information technologies to communicate information to others.

General education courses are designed to support at least one SLO from two different competencies. General education course proposals include an explanation of how the goals of the course support student learning outcomes. A Course Alignment Matrix was developed to identify each general education course and its associated competencies and SLOs.

At least once yearly, the General Education Committee assesses each competency and related SLOs in senior seminar courses. For each competency, a member of the General Education Committee joins faculty members from units offering courses that support the competency to comprise a competency assessment team (CAT). The CATs evaluate assessment results and provide feedback and suggestions for refinement to the individual departments.

The General Education Committee collects all relevant information and writes an annual General Education Assessment Progress Report. The USC Upstate general education curriculum has undergone one complete assessment cycle. The General Education Assessment Progress Report, January 2011, provides a summary of assessment data and action plans for improvement. The General Education Committee also develops more detailed reports by competency (Competency 1, Competency 2, Competency 3, Competency 4, Competency 5) on assessment and action plans and disseminates the information to the appropriate units.

Support Documents:

3.5.2 Institutional Credits for a Degree

Comprehensive Standard 3.5.2

At least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree are earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree. In the case of undergraduate degree programs offered through joint, cooperative, or consortia arrangements, the student earns 25 percent of the credits required for the degree through instruction offered by the participating institutions. (Institutional credits for a degree)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Academic Residency Requirements are stated in the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) 2011-2012 Academic Catalog: “The last twenty-five percent of the semester hours of the degree program must be completed in residence at the University. In residence means that students are regularly enrolled in the University, are members of a class which is supervised by a faculty member of USC Upstate, and in other ways conform to the requirements that are normally connoted by the term in residence. In residence requirements may not be met by courses for which credit is earned by exemption or examination, or courses for which transfer credit was awarded. Students who have not established credit for the prescribed number of hours in residency are not eligible for graduation.” An audit of all student records for spring 2010, fall 2010, and spring 2011 indicated graduates earned at least 25 percent of their credit hours required for their degree at USC Upstate. For those four graduates who did not meet that requirement, a Waiver signed by the appropriate dean/chair is in their file.

Support Documents:

3.5.3 Undergraduate Program Requirements

Comprehensive Standards 3.5.3

The institution defines and publishes requirements for its undergraduate programs, including its general education components. These requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs. (Undergraduate program requirements)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) defines and publishes general education and major requirements for all programs in the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog. These requirements are explained to new students during mandatory orientation sessions. In addition, students are informed about requirements by academic advisors who meet with them during registration periods. Advisement worksheets are available for all programs of study and examples are available as follows:

To conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for program development or substantial modification, all South Carolina College and University programs require oversight approval from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE). Following the SCCHE Guidelines, the academic program proposal procedure at USC Upstate consists of a two-step process: program planning summary and full program proposal. Planning summaries, full program proposals, and program modifications are developed as follows:

STEPS FOR APPROVAL OF NEW PROGRAMS

  1. Academic units discuss possibility of new program with Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  2. If decision is to pursue a new program, a program summary using the SCCHE format is prepared by the unit and sent to the Senior Vice Chancellor for submission to SCCHE for approval. Academic Affairs submits all program summaries and, as required, program proposals to SCCHE, the University of South Carolina Columbia (USC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
  3. Once SCCHE has approved the program summary, the full program proposal is developed in collaboration with the Senior Vice Chancellor.
  4. The full program proposal is then submitted to the Academic Affairs Committee of the school or college proposing the new program.
  5. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to faculty of school or college submitting proposal.
  6. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Academic Budget and Facilities Planning Committee.
  7. If approved, the undergraduate full program proposals are submitted to the Executive Academic Affairs Committee; the graduate full program proposals are submitted to the Graduate Committee.
  8. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to the Faculty Advisory Committee for inclusion on Faculty Senate agenda.
  9. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Faculty Senate.
  10. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Senior Vice Chancellor.
  11. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Chancellor.
  12. Academic Affairs submits the full program proposal to the Office of the Provost at USC.
  13. If approved, the Office of the Provost submits the full program proposal to the President for review and approval (signature).
  14. If approved, Office of the Provost submits the full program proposal for the agenda of the Board of Trustees’ Academic Affairs and Faculty Liaison Committee.
  15. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to the Board of Trustees.
  16. If approved, Office of the Provost sends the full program proposal to SCCHE.
  17. SCCHE submits the full program proposal to the Advisory Committee on Academic Programs (ACAP)
  18. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to the SCCHE Academic Affairs and Licensing Committee (CAAL)
  19. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to SCCHE.

Once approved, Academic Affairs submits the new program prospectus to SACS.

For each new program proposal or modification, faculty consider a well-designed structure that is related to stated student learning outcomes. Each baccalaureate degree program includes at least 120 semester credit hours of general education courses, courses in the major and free elective courses. Many degree programs also require a set of courses that constitute a minor or cognate. Faculty also consider standards from relevant accrediting agencies in developing programs. Programs such as the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology Management are accredited by their respective national accrediting agencies (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). All education degree programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Specialized accreditation ensures that degree programs are coherent and follow commonly accepted standards and practices in the relevant discipline.

Support Documents:

3.5.4 Terminal Degrees of Faculty

Comprehensive Standards 3.5.4

At least 25 percent of the discipline course hours in each major at the baccalaureate level are taught by faculty members holding the terminal degree-usually the earned doctorate-in the discipline, or the equivalent of the terminal degree. (Terminal degrees of faculty)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

For the 2010-2011 academic year, at least 25% of the discipline course hours (Fall 2010 and Spring 2011) in each major at the baccalaureate level were taught by faculty members holding the terminal degree or its equivalent.

Nursing
In Nursing, doctorally-prepared faculty members act as lead faculty. Clinical courses have a 1 to 8 ratio of faculty/students necessitating the employment of master clinicians to provide high quality instruction in healthcare facilities. These master clinicians meet the South Carolina Board of Nursing regulations as faculty. Nursing data includes student credit hours taught or supervised by faculty with a terminal degree.

Engineering Technology Management
For the Engineering Technology Management program, 84 student credit hours out of 273 (31 percent) were taught by terminally qualified faculty.

Support Documents:

3.6.1 Post Baccalaureate Program Rigor

Comprehensive Standard 3.6.1

The institution's post-baccalaureate professional degree programs, and its master's and doctoral degree programs, are progressively more advanced in academic content than its undergraduate programs. (Post-baccalaureate program rigor)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Master’s degree programs at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) are progressively more advanced in academic content than undergraduate programs. The post-baccalaureate template demonstrates the increased rigor for the graduate programs. Currently, all master’s degree programs are within the School of Education. Each has been approved, aligned with National Board of Professional Standards, and has advanced learning outcomes.

Degree programs have been approved by the USC Upstate faculty, the South Carolina Department of Education, and the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education (SCCHE). All three bodies require advanced programs to have more rigorous academic content than undergraduate programs.

The advanced programs’ curricula build on the foundation of candidates’ undergraduate programs. All candidates have a valid South Carolina teaching certificate which guarantees that they have the prerequisite background in initial teacher preparation. The master’s degree programs build on this foundation with advanced content in elementary education, early childhood education, and special education: visual impairment.

All degree programs are closely aligned with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). As noted on the NBPTS website: “Every child deserves an accomplished teacher—one who is qualified to equip students with the skills to succeed in the 21st century global community. NBPTS Standards “… give teachers and schools the tools to define and measure teaching excellence.” NBPTS Standards are based on the Five Core Propositions that form the foundation for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. In addition, the SCCHE Guidelines for New Program Approval requires, “programs at the graduate level that focus directly on teacher education (not educational leadership, etc.), should include a concise but complete description of how the proposed program addresses the core propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.”

Learning outcomes of the advanced degree programs are defined by the core values of the School of Education Graduate Program. Candidates demonstrate their attainment of learning outcomes through a professional portfolio (example available for review onsite). In addition, each student’s portfolio must demonstrate attainment of Specialized Professional Association standards (Examples: early childhood, math education at the secondary level, middle school).

Support Documents:

3.6.2 Graduate Curriculum

Comprehensive Standard 3.6.2

The institution structures its graduate curricula (1) to include knowledge of the literature of the discipline and (2) to ensure ongoing student engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences. (Graduate curriculum)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Graduate programs at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) provide an opportunity for students to pursue advanced study with faculty actively engaged in scholarly pursuits. While specialization is basic to graduate work, graduate programs respond to the advanced educational needs of the local and regional population.

As noted in the printed and online versions of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog, three graduate programs are offered at USC Upstate: Master of Education in Early Childhood Education, Master of Education in Elementary Education, and Master of Education in Special Education: Visual Impairment. These programs are intended to prepare graduates to meet the challenges of teaching effectively in a diverse society. Through reflection informed by theory, research, and performance-based assessment of K-12 students, graduate students will be capable of providing meaningful and relevant learner-centered instruction. These programs nurture a sense of professional responsibility that includes working collaboratively with colleagues, parents, and individuals in the community; participating actively in professional organizations; and continuing personal and professional growth. With a commitment to diversity, these reflective professionals believe that all children can learn; create a learning environment that is anti-discriminatory; understand, respect, and accommodate for group and individual differences; instruct for empathy and tolerance; instruct for altruism; and promote justice.

Instruction in all graduate programs fosters independent learning so that graduates have the ability to work and contribute to a profession or field of study. Degree requirements for graduate programs include a professional portfolio (example available for review onsite), which is the major tool used to assess the performance of students. The completion of this project requires students to be self-motivated, independent learners. Students are introduced to professional portfolios during a training session required for admission as a degree candidate. The portfolios are arranged according to the core values and dispositions (CVDs) of the School of Education. The CVDs are: reflective teaching practice, learner-centered instruction, performance-based assessment, commitment to diversity, and professional responsibility. Coordinated with the framework of core values and dispositions are the standards of the respective specialized professional associations. Over the course of the graduate program, students develop, maintain, and refine their professional portfolios. Students’ advisors complete a formative assessment of the portfolio during their program of study. Students may register for courses beyond 18 credit hours after achieving a rating of “satisfactory” or higher on each category of the portfolio. The professional portfolio is completed, presented, and defended before a panel during a seminar/practicum course, which may not be taken until the student has completed 30 hours on the program of study. The student must be able to articulate clearly, both in a rationale statement and orally, the connection between chosen artifacts, best practice, theory, and research.

Faculty members maintain broad-based input on the content, quality, and effectiveness of all courses and programs. Before any programs of study can be instituted, they must be analyzed for their appropriateness to the institution’s mission and earn approval through a series of reviews. An integral component to ensure appropriate academic content is the review process for new courses and curriculum changes by the Graduate Committee. Any program development or modification includes the following steps:

  • Origination and approval by discipline faculty in consultation with senior administrators to ensure adequate campus resources are available to support the proposal.
  • Review and approval by the School of Education Graduate Committee.
  • Review and approval by the School of Education faculty.
  • Review and approval by the University Graduate Committee.
  • Review and approval by the University faculty.
  • Review and approval by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  • Review and approval by the Chancellor.
  • Review and approval by the University Board of Trustees.

Single courses follow a similar pattern of review and approval, from the School of Education to the Graduate Committee, Faculty Senate, and General Faculty.

The Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
The Master of Education in Early Childhood Education program is nationally recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). It is nationally accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The standards set by these agencies helps to ensure that students possess knowledge of the literature of the discipline and participate in appropriate professional practice and training experiences.

A review of the Early Childhood Education program of study shows that students must complete 15 credit hours of core required courses, 12-15 credit hours of Specialized Early Childhood requirements, and a three credit hour seminar. Syllabi for the courses making up the curriculum list assignments that ensure both knowledge of the literature and engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences. The five outcomes of the program are:

  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions of Reflective Teaching Practice – The reiterative cycle of teaching, describing and analyzing classroom experiences builds professional competence.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions for Learner-Centered Instruction – The emphasis on the learners’ involvement in the construction of knowledge and skills in the classroom setting.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions for Performance-Based Assessment – The use of real life/authentic tasks or products to measure the learners’ accomplishment of curriculum goals.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions for a Commitment to Diversity – The affirmation of cultural and individual diversity based on the belief that all children can learn.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to Professional Responsibility – The use of expert knowledge when confronted with typical and unique situations in classroom practice.

The introduction, reinforcement, practice, and mastery of these outcomes across courses are delineated in the form of a course assignment alignment for the Early Childhood Education program. Also included is an alignment of course assignments to their impact on K-12 student learning; analysis of K-12 student assessment data; understanding of major concepts and theories of student learning; awareness of current research and policies.

The Master of Education in Elementary Education
The Master of Education in Elementary Education reflects a commitment to the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). It is nationally accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The standards set by these agencies help to ensure that students possess knowledge of the literature of the discipline and participate in appropriate professional practice and training experiences.

A review of the Elementary Education program of study shows that students must complete core and content methods classes. All students are required to complete 15 hours of core courses, 12-15 credit hours of content methods courses required courses, and a three credit hour seminar.

Student learning outcomes of the Master of Education in Elementary Education require both knowledge of the literature of the discipline and student engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences. These five learning outcomes are:

  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of Reflective Teaching Practice – The reiterative cycle of teaching, describing and analyzing classroom experiences builds professional competence.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for Learner-Centered Instruction – The emphasis on the learners’ involvement in the construction of knowledge and skills in the classroom setting.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for Performance-Based Assessment – The use of real life/authentic tasks or products to measure the learners’ accomplishment of curriculum goals.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for a Commitment to Diversity – The affirmation of cultural and individual diversity based on the belief that all children can learn.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to Professional Responsibility – The use of expert knowledge when confronted with typical and unique situations in classroom practice.

The introduction, reinforcement, practice, and mastery of these outcomes across courses are delineated in the form of a course assignment alignment for the Elementary Education program. Also included is an alignment of course assignments to their impact on K-12 student learning; analysis of student assessment data; understanding of major concepts and theories of student learning; awareness of current research and policies.

The Master of Education in Special Education Visual Impairment
The Master of Education in Special Education Visual Impairment reflects a commitment to the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). It is nationally accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The standards set by these agencies helps to ensure that students possess knowledge of the literature of the discipline and participate in appropriate professional practice and training experiences.

A review of the Special Education: Visual Impairment program of study shows that students must complete a three credit hour research course, six credit hours of professional studies courses, and 30 credit hours of Visual Impairment Studies. Student learning outcomes of the Master of Education in Special Education Visual Impairment require both knowledge of the literature and student engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences. These five learning outcomes are:

  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of Reflective Teaching Practice – The reiterative cycle of teaching, describing and analyzing classroom experiences builds professional competence.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for Learner-Centered Instruction – The emphasis on the learners’ involvement in the construction of knowledge and skills in the classroom setting.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for Performance-Based Assessment – The use of real life/authentic tasks or products to measure the learners’ accomplishment of curriculum goals.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for a Commitment to Diversity – The affirmation of cultural and individual diversity based on the belief that all children can learn.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to Professional Responsibility – The use of expert knowledge when confronted with typical and unique situations in classroom practice.

The introduction, reinforcement, practice, and mastery of these outcomes across courses are delineated in the form of a course assignment alignment for the Special Education: Visual Impairment program. Also included is an alignment of course assignments to their impact on K-12 student learning; analysis of K-12 student assessment data; understanding of major concepts and theories of student learning; awareness of current research and policies.

Support Documents:

3.6.3 Institutional Credits for a Degree

Comprehensive Standard 3.6.3

The majority of credits toward a graduate or a post-baccalaureate professional degree are earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree. In the case of graduate and post-baccalaureate professional degree programs offered through joint, cooperative, or consortia arrangements, the student earns a majority of credits through instruction offered by the participating institutions. (Institutional credits for a degree)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The majority of credits toward a graduate or post-baccalaureate professional degree at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate)are earned through instruction in the School of Education. The School of Education permits a maximum of 12 credit hours totransfer for any graduate degree program and requires a minimum of 36 hours for all graduate degree programs; therefore, the students complete more than 50 percent of credits from USC Upstate. The process and guidelines are published in the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog and the Graduate Programs in Education Faculty/Student Handbook.

Support Documents:

3.6.4 Post Baccalaureate Program Requirements
3.7.1 Faculty Competence

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.

Support Documents:

3.7.2 Faculty Evaluation

Comprehensive Standard 3.7.2

The institution regularly evaluates the effectiveness of each faculty member in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenured status. (Faculty evaluation)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) conducts evaluations of all faculty members in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenure status. All teaching faculty at USC Upstate (referred to in the current faculty manual as the University of South Carolina Spartanburg [USCS], the previous name of our campus) are evaluated through both student and administrative evaluations. The Faculty Manual defines faculty members as “the president, the chancellor, other USCS administrators with faculty status, professors, associate professors, assistant professors, all full-time instructors and full-time lecturers in baccalaureate and associate degree programs, visiting faculty members, emeriti professors, librarians, associate librarians, assistant librarians, and such other persons as the faculty sees fit to elect”.

The Faculty Manual outlines the criteria, process and timeline for evaluating faculty for all full-time faculty members. As shown in the example provided, each unit maintains discipline specific criteria.

Review Criteria for Full-time Faculty
Faculty are evaluated by the rating administrator who may be a chair, assistant or associate dean, or dean (evaluations available for onsite review). All faculty receive ratings of outstanding, more than satisfactory, satisfactory, less than satisfactory, or unsatisfactory in the areas of teaching, scholarly and/or creative activities, and service. In addition to a rating for each of the areas, each faculty member is also given an “overall rating” that represents a compilation of the component ratings.

Teaching: Of the three basic areas of faculty responsibility, teaching effectiveness receives the major emphasis and forms the core of a performance review. All faculty members are expected to reach and maintain a high level of teaching effectiveness. At a minimum, this involves preparing course syllabi, keeping course materials current, grading responsibly, returning student work in a timely fashion, being in class regularly and on time, motivating students to learn in and out of class, maintaining office hours, and counseling or advising students as appropriate or needed.

Scholarly and/or Creative Activities: Faculty members are expected to stay current in their area(s) of disciplinary expertise and to pursue research, scholarly,and/or creative activities in accordance with their professional interests. USC Upstate values and supports a broad range of research, scholarly, and/orcreative activities. Scholarly pursuits are considered as vital to professional growth as externally-funded research. USC Upstate is an institution whose primary mission is teaching; therefore, research, scholarly, and/or creative activities that are connected to an instructor’s teaching are encouraged. In any endeavor, the quality of the work is more important than the quantity.

Service: Faculty members are expected to engage in service. This may be at the unit, University, community, and/or professional level. Documentation of service activities may include letters, awards, and/or citations.

Review Process for Full-time Faculty
Every new full-time tenure track faculty member must be formally evaluated in the initial year of their appointment. All successive evaluations for full-time faculty are conducted on an annual basis. As part of this annual evaluation, each faculty member provides a self-appraisal of performance with appropriate documentation in the areas of teaching, scholarly, and/or creative activities, and service. Documentation of effective teaching includes the results of student opinion polls (SOPs) (actual results are available for review onsite) that are completed anonymously for each class,regardless of delivery method, by students through a standardized institutional process.

Faculty members are responsible for creating and maintaining thorough, up-to-date files and/or portfolios for use in the review process. Files contain, in addition to the curriculum vitae, summaries of activity related to teaching; research, scholarly, and/or creative activities; and service as noted above.

The rating administrator and the faculty member sign and date the completed evaluation to show that a performance review has been conducted. All faculty members receive copies of their annual evaluations. Signing does not imply agreement, and the faculty member is at liberty to challenge the evaluation. Faculty members who dispute any part of the annual evaluation may submit a rejoinder to the Senior Vice Chancellor (SVC) for Academic Affairs.

The SVC evaluates Deans on the basis of their annual documented self-reports. Deans have the same opportunity to submit a rejoinder as that outlined for full-time teaching faculty members; in their case, the rejoinder would be submitted to the Chancellor. The Deans evaluate chairs and assistant or associate deans. Chairs and assistant or associate deans have the same opportunity to submit a rejoinder as that outlined for full-time teaching faculty members; in their case, the rejoinder would be submitted to the SVC.

Post Tenure Review
Tenured faculty members participate in Post Tenure Review every six years. The faculty member’s Post Tenure Review portfolio is evaluated by a unit Peer Review Committee and the rating administrator. The recommendations, with rationales, are forwarded to the SVC who reviews the file and makes a recommendation. If the post tenure review indicates unsatisfactory performance, the faculty member is required to work with his or her academic unit head to design a professional development plan outlining the strategies for improvement. The faculty member has a maximum of three years to satisfy the goals of the professional development plan.

Adjunct Faculty
It is the responsibility of the Deans/Chairs to evaluate all adjunct faculty during their first year of teaching at USC Upstate and periodically thereafter. The evaluation is based on a review of syllabi, sample tests, and assignments; reports of classroom observations; and results of SOPs of teaching submitted each semester for every course taught. The Deans/Chairs keep records of these evaluations on file as documentation of the adjunct faculty member’s performance of those duties specified in the contract letter and provide a copy to the faculty member being evaluated. Since the primary responsibility of adjunct faculty is teaching, the areas of service to the school and community and professional achievement (scholarship) may have a lessercomponent in the evaluation.

Faculty Manual Changes
Continual improvement is fundamental to excellence at USC Upstate. Therefore, the Faculty Manualhas been revised and is awaiting the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees approval. Examples of changes include addition of wording to recognize that librarians’effectiveness differs from that of teaching faculty, andacademic units can best determine the contents of faculty files for administrative review. Teaching effectiveness, scholarly and/or creative activities, and service remain the guiding principles of faculty evaluation and teaching effectiveness remains the major emphasis in the revised faculty manual.

Support Documents:

3.7.3 Faculty Development

Comprehensive Standard 3.7.3

The institution provides ongoing professional development of faculty as teachers, scholars, and practitioners. (Faculty development)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) provides ongoing professional development opportunities for all faculty as teachers, scholars, and practitioners. On-campus workshops and lecture opportunities as well as support for offsite development activities facilitate the role and expertise for all faculty.

Center for Teaching Excellence
A newly-created Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) supports all faculty efforts to improve student learning and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration in the development of innovative practices of teaching and learning. The CTE promotes teaching excellence by providing print and electronic resources, instructional services, individual consultations, videotaping, workshops on effective teaching strategies, technical assistance and advocacy, media production assistance, and website resources. In its initial year of operation, the Center offered Workshops/Seminars to support faculty teaching.

Department of Learning Technologies
The Department of Learning Technologies serves to support and guide instructional design and technology to enhance the learning environments. Classroom-based Programs and Online Development Opportunities are available for individuals and groups of faculty. Faculty have utilized these services in the 2010-11 academic year.

Committee for Faculty Excellence
Annual funding is available through each academic unit to full-time faculty members for professional development activities. A University-created committee, the Committee for Faculty Excellence (CFE) (formerly called the Teaching Excellence Committee) supports and promotes faculty excellence and faculty development in the areas of teaching and productive scholarship. Each year the Committee awards monies to support faculty scholarly endeavors through a Teaching and Productive Scholarship (TAPS) Fund. The purpose of this fund is to promote scholarship including original research projects, programs that support curriculum development, and travel for presentation of scholarship. Funded Projects support the scholarship process with formal presentations and/or publications, improve pedagogy and curriculum development, and/or enable service projects requiring application of scholarly and/or professional knowledge.

Sabbatical Leave
As stipulated in the Faculty Manual, tenured associate professors or tenured professors with six or more years of full-time faculty status at USC Upstate are eligible to apply for Sabbatical Leave. Sabbatical leaves, which are awarded through a competitive internal peer-review process, are intended to allow time for further professional development through significant scholarly/creative projects. The normal sabbatical award is one half year at full pay or one full year at half pay with full benefits continuing over the course of the sabbatical. Up to four sabbaticals can be awarded each year. Recipients of sabbatical leave are separated from all other university duties during the sabbatical. Requests are submitted to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (SVC) in the fall of each academic year. The CFE evaluates the merits of the proposals and submits a recommendation to the SVC who bases the final decision on the recommendation of the Committee as well as the impact of the proposed leave on department/school operations and institutional resources. Forty Sabbaticals have been awarded since the last reaffirmation of accreditation.

Sponsored Research
The Office of Sponsored Awards and Research assists faculty and staff with identification of funding sources, preparation of proposals, and submission of proposals via the USC electronic research administration system (USCeRA). Sponsored Funding to USC Upstate has been obtained from federal, state, and local governments, along with private foundations. Total funding for fiscal years 2010-2011, 2009-2010, and 2008-2009 was $2,683,372; $2,823,424; and $1,878,198, respectively.

New Faculty Development Programs
New faculty members may be assigned a senior faculty mentor, who provides guidance and support for new faculty in their roles as well as information about unit and University policies and procedures. For example, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an extensive orientation program for new faculty “Getting Off to a Fast Start.” The George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics sponsored a Series of successful entrepreneurs and practitioners to share with faculty and students thoughts of their success and advice.

All new faculty participate in an orientation program organized by the Office of Academic Affairs. Activities have included workshops to enhance classroom and clinical teaching and to support promotion and tenure activities.

Support Documents:

3.7.4 Academic Freedom

Comprehensive Standard 3.7.4

The institution ensures adequate procedures for safeguarding and protecting academic freedom. (Academic freedom)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

As a center of learning, the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. Academic freedom is essential to effective instruction, continuing scholarship, and active service, and applies to both teaching and research. USC Upstate safeguards and protects Academic Freedom adhering to the policies outlined in the Faculty Manual. USC Upstate policies pertaining to academic freedom are in accord with the statement of academic freedom adopted by the American Association of University Professors.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions not only in the classroom, but on the campus as a whole. The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community — faculty, staff, and students.

Faculty members often play dual roles of citizen and professor. Due to their special position in the community, when faculty members speak or write as citizens, they are under special obligations since the public may judge their profession and their institution by their expressions. Faculty members are expected to be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, respect the right of others to express their opinions, and make every effort to indicate that they are not spokespersons for the University. USC Upstate faculty members are encouraged to carry out their duties in a professional, ethical, and collegial manner.

Faculty members who believe that their academic freedom has been infringed upon may request in writing that the Faculty Welfare Committee initiate an investigation. The Faculty Welfare Committee will refer the request to the Grievance Committee as appropriate and grievance procedures are followed.

To promote the welfare of the University and as an assurance that academic freedom will be protected, USC Upstate supports the Tenure Process. After a successful probationary period and application, it is the policy of USC Upstate to recommend tenure for its full-time tenure-track faculty members. In the University of South Carolina (USC) System, the authority for recommending tenure to the President of the University System rests with the Chancellor. Final authority for recommending tenure to the USC Board of Trustees resides with the President, and final authority for approving recommendations of tenure rests with the Board of Trustees.

Support Documents:

3.7.5 Faculty Role in Governance

Comprehensive Standard 3.7.5

The institution publishes policies on the responsibility and authority of faculty in academic and governance matters. (Faculty role in governance)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) has established policies that explicitly delineate the responsibilities and authority of its faculty in all governance and academic matters. USC Upstate's policies and procedures regarding faculty rights and responsibilities are published in the Faculty Manual. As noted in the Faculty Manual, “the Board of Trustees is the governing body of the university and the powers of the President and the faculty are delegated by the Board in accord with its policies. In all matters pertaining to the standards of admission, registration, requirements for the granting of degrees earned in course, the curricula, instruction, research, extracurricular activities, discipline of students, the educational policies and standards of the university, and all other matters pertaining to the conduct of faculty affairs, including the discipline of its own members, the faculty has legislative powers subject to the review of the Chancellor, the President, and the Board of Trustees.”

Representative minutes from the Faculty Senate meetings of January 22, 2010, November 5, 2010, and March 25, 2011 demonstrate adherence to policies pertaining to faculty roles in governance.

Support Documents:

3.8.1 Learning/Information Resources

Comprehensive Standard 3.8.1

The institution provides facilities and learning/information resources that are appropriate to support its teaching, research, and service mission. (Learning/information resources)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

LIBRARY
The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) provides appropriate facilities and learning/information resources to support the University’s mission. The USC Upstate Library Mission Statement and Goals serves as a guide for the Library to promote the metropolitan mission of the University by serving the curricular information needs of USC Upstate students, faculty and staff, and where possible, the educational needs of the broader community.

Facilities
The USC Upstate Library is housed in a multi-floor building shared with classrooms and other campus services such as the Scholars’ Academy and the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). The Library occupies approximately 36,643 net square feet of space in a 61,739 square foot building (approximately 59% of the building). Library operations and services within the building include access services (circulation, reserves, interlibrary loan), the reference desk, two library classrooms that are also used as open computer labs, a 24/7 computer lab, technical services, library administration, library faculty offices, library staff workspaces, group study rooms and individual carrels, circulating collections and in-house use collections (including reference, archives, and special named collections).

Although a new library building (New Library 1st Floor Plan, New Library 2nd Floor Plan, New Library 3rd Floor Plan, New Library Campus View, New Library Campus View Close-up, New Library Road View) is planned, bond funding from the state has not been forthcoming. While the number of possible seats within the current library has remained stable at 420, as enrollment increased, the percentage of students that can be seated decreased. Numerous measures have been taken to guarantee appropriate and adequate support. The second floor of the library building was renovated in 2010 to give more floor space to the library. The library now occupies the entire first floor of the building and almost 9,000 square feet on the second floor.

The first floor of the library offers comfortable sofas and chairs for individual study, small tables for quiet group study, computer pods for individualized research opportunities, and group study rooms for those who require discussion and demonstration space. There is also an Assistive Equipment Study Room for library users with disabilities. This room is equipped with adjustable lighting, a computer with Job Access With Speech (JAWS) software, and a Kurzweil reader.

Two library classrooms are located on the first floor. One accommodates 28 students; the other, 37 students. When not being used to teach information literacy classes, they are open general use computer labs. Both contain Dell Optiplex 620 PCs. Because of the increasing number of instances that the general labs must be closed for classes, an additional “24/7” computer lab, accessible from inside the library, was created. During the library’s open hours, it serves as an additional general computer lab for students. When the library is closed, secure access is available via the student ID smart card at the external entrance to the lab. The 24/7 lab houses 12 Dell Optiplex 620 PCs and four Intel-based iMacs. Finally, there are 16 Dell Optiplex 620 PCs available in the public reference area. Printers are available in all areas mentioned above. Ear buds are available for purchase at the circulation desk for use with any computer equipment anywhere in the library.

Moveable compact shelving was installed to house bound print periodicals, reducing the footprint of the bound periodicals shelving by 872 square feet (from 2,016 to 1,144), approximately a 43% reduction. Bound print periodicals that were duplicates of electronic information available (such as JSTOR and PsycArticles) were weeded from the print collection as use of the print copies dropped to zero over the past three years. A duplicate list is now run each summer and duplicates are removed.

Stationary shelving that was replaced on the first floor by compact shelving was moved to the 2nd floor. This allows for continued growth of the circulating collection for the next several years. Named collections now have unique spaces within the library–thisincludes the University Publications, Hub City Writers’ Project Archives, Thomas Moore Craig Southern History and Literature Collection, and Pre-1900 Collection. In addition, new space was acquired for an initiative begun in 2010 known as the “Archives of the Upstate”. The second floor of the library also offers individual study carrels for students and is designated as a “quiet floor.”

The Library is open with full services 82.5 hours per week. Library hours (with no services) are extended by an additional two hours each night (Sunday through Thursday) through the use of University security officers. Although no services are offered, this does provide the students with a quiet and safe study environment an additional 10 hours per week. Finally the library’s 24/7 computer lab is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week with the only closure being the holiday break between Christmas and New Year’s when the entire campus is closed.

When available, electronic resources are added toassure access for distance learners as well as onsite learners.Via subscription to more than 200 databases, the USC Upstate Library provides direct access to the full-text of more than 36,000 journals. An annotated list of databases is available on the library’s website. All databases are available remotely using the campus proxy server. Faculty, staff and students may access these information resources from their homes, offices, residence hall rooms, etc.

The library’s resources are available in a variety of formats including 121,747 electronic books, 584 print journal subscriptions, over 131,000 print books, 51,182 microforms, and more than 6,000 CD/DVDs. In addition, the library has begun a digitization project and the following items are available electronically: all university yearbooks, all university catalogs, former SACS self-study and reaffirmation documents, and numerous student literary publications.
As part of the University of South Carolina System, the library also provides students and faculty with access to the system’s 2.6 million books, 3.5 million microform items, and 14,000 current serials in print.

USC Upstate is a member of the statewide academic library consortia Partnerships Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL). PASCAL fosters cooperation in many ways including shared licensing of electronic resources, universal borrowing, and inter-library loans.The USC Upstate participates in the “PASCAL Delivers” program, a rapid book delivery service to students and employees. With its effective communication system and an efficient delivery system,library users may search the online PASCAL Catalog, locate books in any member library, submit an electronic request for delivery of a book to their home institution, and receive those books within a few days. This service provides access to an additional 6 million volumes. During the 2010-2011 academic year, PASCAL Delivers initiated their “PICK-UP ANYWHERE” service which allows users to specify any location within the state for the documents to be sent. This feature is of particular value in support of USC Upstate’s Education Program offered on the USC Sumter campus, its online RN to BSN Nursing Program.

USC Upstate Libraryextends its fiscal responsibility by participating in the Carolina Consortium – a group of academic libraries in North Carolina and South Carolina who use their bulk purchasing power to obtain favorable pricing on a variety of electronic resources that are of significant interest to the scholarly community. As of 30 June 2011, the Carolina Consortium included 134 community colleges, public universities, and private institutions of higher learning. The total amount members paid to participate in consortium purchases was approximately 230 million dollars less than if the member institutions had each paid independently. Carolina Consortium also provides professional development opportunities for USC Upstate librarians.

HUMAN RESOURCES
The library employs 11 full-time plus 1.5 FTE part-time library faculty with earned Master’s in Library Science degrees from graduateprograms accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). The library also employs14 full-time plus .5 FTE part-time support staff, and student workers. Additional technical support comes from staff members of the USC Thomas Cooper Library in Columbia who perform cataloging and processing for select materials. These include the books designated for the Juvenile collection and DVDs.

One of the responsibilities of each library faculty member is to serve as liaison to an individual academic unit at USC Upstate. As a liaison, each works with the unit to identify materials for purchase as well as to provide information literacy instruction and unique services as the unit requires. All but one library faculty member shares in staffing the reference desk. The Library Reference Desk Policy provides guidelines that all faculty are expected to follow when staffing the desk. The one faculty member who does not participate in staffing the reference desk is the Coordinator for Access Services and manages the service desks in circulation and in the computer labs.

Library Budget
Over the past 10 years, the budget for the USC Upstate Library has remained between 3.7% and 4.2% of the total university budget. This is well within accepted national guidelines that range from three to five percent. Within the library’s budget, 30.2% is allocated for library materials. This includes print books and journals, media, and electronic formats. Although microforms remain part of the collection, they are no longer actively purchased.

Library Collections
The USC Upstate library’s collections include the following (current as of 30 June 2010):

  • Print Monographs: 140,602
  • E-Books: 121,747
  • Print Serials: 584 active subscriptions; 36,369 items
  • E-Journals and Newspapers: 31,063
  • Microforms: 51,182
  • Media: 6,775
  • Maps: 345
  • Databases: 228

OTHER INFORMATION RESOURCES SITES, SERVICES, AND COLLECTIONS

The University Writing Center
The Department of Languages, Literature, and Composition (LLC) maintains the Writing Center. Available 35 hours per week, it is dedicated to assisting both experienced and inexperienced writers at all stages of the writing process in any discipline.Students are assisted with pre-writing and revision strategies as well as with proofreading techniques. Tutors offer help with global aspects of writing such as thesis construction, organization andparagraphing, andlocal aspects such word choice, mechanics, grammar and research documentation. In addition, tutors assist with other writing projects such as resumes, cover letters, admissions essays, and scholarship letters.

A faculty member serves as Director of the Center. Administrative duties include hiring and training student tutors, facilitating in-class and freestanding workshops, tutoring, and maintaining statistics. Tutors are students who have been selected to work in the Center because of their outstanding writing and teaching ability and are paid through the LLC budget. Students who utilize the Writing Center benefit from sharing their writing with a fellow student who is both knowledgeable and service-oriented. By working with tutors, students have the opportunity to learn more about writing and to become better writers over time.

The Writing Center provides free 50-minute one-on-one tutoring sessions. Scheduled appointments are encouraged, but efforts are also made to accommodate walk-ins. The center is furnished with a reception area with one PC, three tutoring cubicles (one with a computer), and two computer clusters of five PCs each. The center also functions as an open computer lab during operating hours.

The Mathematics and Computer Science Lab
The Mathematics Tutoring Lab is available 55 hours per week. Attached to the Math Tutoring Lab is a separate computer lab containing eight computer stations. Computer Science tutoring is offered in that lab. The Math Tutoring Lab is supervised by a faculty member but student-tutors staff the lab. Tutoring is offered as a drop in service; no appointments are necessary. The goal of the tutoring lab is to provide assistance to students for 100 and 200 level mathematics courses.

The Language Lab
The Department of Languages, Literature, and Composition (LLC) maintains a Language Lab available 32 hours per week. The Lab offers free tutoring to students in Spanish, French, and German.

Afaculty member coordinates the hiring and training of student tutors with the necessary skills in foreign languages.The Lab features 25 computers with headphones and microphones, allowing students to complete listening and speaking exercises.

The Stäubli Robotics Laboratory
The Stäubli Robotics Laboratory houses eight industrial robotic arms that were provided to USC Upstate by the Stäubli Corporation and J&J Industrial Services. Several Computer Science courses are offered, which not only provide hands-on working knowledge of these machines, but also teaches the theoretical underpinnings of such technologies.

A unique relationship has been forged with SEW Eurodrive, a leading company in the field of drive engineering, establishing the SEW Eurodrive Research Assistantship Award. This award pays a student research assistant to work with Dr. Sebastian van Delden on research projects in the lab. Awards are available every Spring and Fall. SEW also provided funding every year to support Robotics Summer Camps and the purchase of additional lab materials.Paid internship programs have also been establishing with robotics industries in the region.

Undergraduate Research Lab
Undergraduate students who assist professors in conducting research benefit tremendously. They graduate with enhanced: analytical and communication skills; knowledge of a specific discipline; and work etiquette. The Undergraduate Research Lab supports Mathematics and Computer Science students who are:

  • Undergraduate Research Assistants supported by research grant funds
  • Participating in an Internship
  • Taking an Independent Study

Networking Lab
The Networking Lab facilitates instruction in local and wide area networking, providing the resources for hands-on application of the theoretical concepts that are studied.

Mary Black School of Nursing Learning Resource Center
The Nursing Learning Resource Center (LRC) provides the opportunity, equipment, and personnel necessary to meet the goals and objectives of the Bachelor of Science Degree Programs in Nursing. Use of the LRC is restricted to USC Upstate Nursing students.

The objectives of the LRC are:

  • Provide the opportunity for students and faculty to learn new skills and psychomotor behaviors in an environment rich in knowledge, equipment, and expertise.
  • Provide the expertise and equipment necessary for faculty and students to produce or otherwise develop creative products which reflect learning or add to the knowledge and/or equipment base.
  • Encourage collaborative partnerships among faculty, students and staff within and without the School of Nursing.
  • Provide consultative services to a variety of consumers, students, faculty, and the community.

Faculty are generally available to help Monday through Friday from 8am - 4 pm. Periodically, skills demonstrations are offered. Please check in the Learning Resource Center for times and dates of demonstrations.

Nursing videos, computer software and simulation models are available. Students can access the Internet on our computers, as well as perform word processing. When practicing skills and performing skills evaluations, students are required to bring their Nurse Pak, although limited supplies are available.

USC Upstate Greenville Campus
At the USC Upstate Greenville campussite, the F.W. Symmes Library and Media Center provides 6,144 square feet of physical space. Within that space are eight group study rooms and separate seating for approximately 50 people. There is a small print reference collection of 115 volumes available. Sixty computers are available with 12 of those specifically reserved for USC Upstate students. Students at the Greenville campus have access to the same online catalogs and databases as students at the Spartanburg campus. Librarians from USC Upstate are onsite at the Greenville campus at least two days each week.

USC Upstate Education Program at USC Sumter
Students attending the USC Upstate education program at the USC Sumter campus use the USC Sumter library. The Sumter library has designated space for USC Upstate to have a small juvenile collection of 181 books onsite. Upstate students physically located at the USC Sumter campus have access to all USC Upstate databases and catalogs by using the USC Upstate proxy server and their IDs and logins.

TECHNOLOGY

Information Technology and Services Departments

  • Client Services assists faculty, staff and students to effectively incorporate technology into their endeavors. This department is responsible for campus-wide computer and technology support, and the ITS Client Help Desk.
  • Network Services is responsible for the network backbone, wired and wireless access environment, active directory structure, and server applications for the campus. They also manage USC Upstate's telephone and digital network services, including all hardware and equipment repairs. This group also handles student telephone service and voice mail.
  • Information Systems is responsible for USC Upstate's administrative databases used by offices and departments across the university. They support the gathering, processing, and interpretation of information relative to the administrative tasks that support the academic mission.
  • Media Services provides other non-computer needs for all departments at USC Upstate, such as audio and video production services, media (videotape, CD, and DVD) duplication, and project consultation as time allows.
  • Learning Technologies guides and supportsthe use of technology to enhance the academic environment. This service creates and sustains innovative and interactive programs to support student engagement and excellence in teaching and learning. The department provides an on-going program of development opportunities including workshops, seminars, customized programs, webinars on a variety of topics, as well as individual and group consultation and instruction for faculty, staff and students.

Service goals include:

  • Explore pedagogical innovation by partnering with faculty to pilot and evaluate new instructional technologies
  • Provide formal and informal support of faculty in the use of instructional technology
  • Make available a variety of resources and practical ideas in the adoption and use of instructional technology
  • Serve as a communication channel to facilitate campus-wide collaboration and sharing of instructional technology innovation
  • Support faculty scholarship in the area of teaching and learning with technology.

In addition to the regular program of development opportunities, services include:

  • Blackboard training and support for hybrid and online courses. USC Upstate uses Blackboard course management software. Blackboard is employed by many faculty to provide syllabi, assignments, reserve readings, and links to authoritative sites on the Internet. A growing number of faculty are using interactive tools such as discussion boards, the virtual classroom, and group email.
  • Instructional applications support
  • Online teaching and learning support
  • Online resource materials maintenance.


Open Labs
Labs are open to current students, faculty, and staff for general use; regular class periods are not scheduled in these labs. Computers are loaded with Microsoft Windows XP, Office 2007, and software requested by the department monitoring the lab. Apple computers are running OS X 10.5 with Microsoft Office for Mac 2008.

Location Department Equipment
Administration109
Administration 117
Information Tech. & Services – Advanced Digital Media Lab

10 Dell Precision 390 Workstations
1 Power Mac G5
2 Dell XPS One PCs

Hodge 264 Math & Computer Science 15 Dell Optiplex 755 PCs
Library 115 Library 37 Dell Optiplex 620 PCs
Library 24 Hour Lab Library 12 Dell Optiplex 620 PCs
4 Intel-based iMac’s
Library 118 Library 28 Dell Optiplex 620 PCs
Library Reference Area Library 16 Dell Optiplex 620 PCs
Palmetto House Housing 20 HP t5740 thin clients using VMWare View
Campus Life Center Campus Life 10 HP t5740 thin clients using VMWare View
University Center Greenville UCG Library 12 Dell Optiplex 760 PCs

Instructional Labs

Instructional labs are generally restricted to classroom use only. Regular class periods are scheduled in these labs. PCs in these labs are loaded with Microsoft Windows XP, Office 2007, and software requested by the department monitoring the lab. Apple computers are running OS X 10.5 with Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 and department specific software.

Location Department Equipment
Admin 116 Information Technology & Services 31 WYSE C90 Thin Clients using VMware View 
CASB 151 Psychology  18 Dell Studio Laptops 
HEC 2009 School of Education 24 WYSE C90 Thin Clients using VMware View 
HEC 2036 School of Nursing  64 IBM Laptops 
Hodge 254 Math & Computer Science  24 Dell Optiplex 755 PCs 
Hodge 255 Math & Computer Science  24 Dell Optiplex 755 PCs
Hodge 265 Math & Computer Science 24 Dell Optiplex 755 PCs 
HPAC 121 Fine Arts & Communications – Graphic Design  17 Apple iMacs 
HPAC 123 Fine Arts & Communications – Theatre Design 5 Dell Optiplex 520 P’s 
HPAC 134 Fine Arts & Communications / Languages, Literature & Composition 20 Dell Optiplex 760 PCs 
George Dean Johnson College of Business & Economics - "The George" George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business & Economics 36 HP t5740 thin clients using VMWare View
Media 220 Informatics 18 Dell Optiplex 760 PCs
Media 124 History, Political Science, Philosophy, and American Studies 24 Dell Studio 15 Laptops 
Media 321 Information Technology Services 24 Dell Optiplex 760 PCs 
Smith 416 Natural Sciences & Engineering  22 Dell Optiplex 760 PCs 
University Center Greenville (1 to 1 Pilot) School of Education 50 Dell Latitude Laptops 
Location Department  Equipment 
University Center Greenville (1 to 1 Pilot) School of Education 50 HP mini Laptops 
Visual Arts Center 116 Fine Arts & Communications – Graphic Design 18 Intel-based iMacs 

Departmental Tutorial Labs

These labs are open to members of the student body who need assistance with their studies or need access to discipline-specific software. Tutorial labs are not general-use labs and, in some cases, may be restricted to students majoring in the department in which the labs are found. PC’s in these labs are loaded with Microsoft Windows and Office and discipline specific software requested by the department monitoring the lab.

Location Department Equipment
HEC 2014 (LRC) Mary Black School of Nursing 14 Dell Optiplex 760 PC’s
Hodge 242 Math & Computer Science 12 Dell Optiplex 755 PC’s
HPAC 136 Writing Center 14 Dell Optiplex 760 PC’s
HPAC 234 Languages, Literature & Composition – Foreign Language Lab 26 HP t5740 thin clients using VMWare View
Rampey Center for Student Success 8 Dell Optiplex 745 PC’s

Support Documents:

3.8.2 Instruction of Library Use

Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2

The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources. (Instruction of library use)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of library and other learning/information resources.

The Library Instruction Program supports the educational mission of the Library by teaching information literacy concepts and skills that facilitate proficiency in the research process and enhance critical thinking. By preparing students to be proficient in these areas, the program also supports the University’s metropolitan mission. Information literacy concepts and skills are necessary for our graduates to participate effectively as responsible citizens in a diverse, global, and knowledge-based society, to pursue excellence in their chosen careers and to continue learning throughout life.

The Library Instruction Program assists our students in acquiring and developing information literacy—a core competency that achieves mastery of the research and critical-thinking concepts and skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, evaluate, and use information effectively, efficiently, and ethically. The Library Instruction Program collaborates with classroom faculty and staff as essential partners in teaching information literacy, targets courses and programs for instruction and support to ensure that information literacy is integrated into the curriculum, and generally promotes information literacy throughout the university community.

The Program
All library faculty members participate in both formal and informal instruction. Individual and group instruction to students and other users is providedupon request.

Online individual instruction is available through tutorials accessible through the library’s webpage. The initial tutorial on How to Start Your Library Research guides the user through the steps of establishing logon procedures and the basic steps to beginning research. On the library’s webpage, there are also short tutorials for each step of the research process, including such topics as “How To Find A Book” and “How To Find A Journal Article”. In addition, the library faculty have created over 80 Library Guides to assist in the research process.

Library faculty also collaborate with classroom faculty members to offer customized instruction informal sessions held either in the library, in classrooms on campus, or via electronic transmission. All University 101 and English 101/102 classes have at least one instructional session that covers the use of the library as well as the print and electronic collections. The Library uses the American Library Association's Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education as the basis for its instructional programs.

The following table shows the number of formal library instruction sessions provided each year as reported in Library's Annual Report.

Library Instruction Sessions Per Year (All Sites)
Library Instruction Sessions 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06
Number of sessions per year 235 229 270 221 210
Total attendance at allsessions 4,694 4,583 5,383 4,651 4,197


The following table provides information for the non-residential campus sites.

Library Instruction At Non-Residential Campus Sites
Library Instruction Sessions 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06
USC Upstate Greenville campus:          
Number of sessions per year  9 12  10  13  10 
Total attendance at all sessions 230 275 218 243 201 
Distance Education (including Sumter):          
Number of sessions per year
Total attendance at all sessions 81 77  93  31  90 

 

The following table provides a snapshot of the instructional sessions for selected subject areas for 2009-10.

Library Instruction For Selected Subject Areas – 2009-10
Discipline Summer II 2009 Fall 2009  Spring 2010 Summer I 2010  Total 
Art/Art Education   1  
Biology   6  
Chemistry   12 16  30 
Communication   4
Criminal Justice    
Undergraduate Education      
Graduate Education    
Engineering Technology Mgmt.      
English 101/102 45  43    89 
English    

History      
Information Man. Sys.      
Interdisciplinary Studies    
Non-Profit Admin.      
Nursing    
Psychology   13    20 
Sociology   2  
Speech      
University 101   30  1   31 

The Library has collaborated with various units and departments on campus to create a First-Year Information Literacy Program. This program is a collaboration of the Library Instruction Program with University 101, English 101 and English 102. The program is designed to give a firm foundation in the research process and the acquisition of basic research skills to first-year students. Students learn about information literacy concepts and develop research skills from their professors in the classroom, from librarians in three dedicated library sessions, and from assignments on which classroom and library faculty collaborate. The goal is to focus on research as a process and to reinforce that process between the library and the classroom and across the three courses. The program is overseen by a First-Year Information Literacy Advisory Committee made up of members from the Library, the Student Success Center and University 101, and the English division. That Advisory Committee has created Policies and Procedures, a set of Information Literacy Standards for First-Year Students,and a framework of information literacy sequencing for those three courses. In 2009-10, the success rate for participation in this program by the classroom faculty is 96% (only 5 classes out of 123 did not schedule a session in the library).

In 2007-08, library faculty created an iPod audio tour of the library to be completed by incoming freshmen prior to their on-site sessions. Over the summer of 2010, the tour was changed to an interactive video tour (full tour available online only) with a follow-up assignment.

The library faculty at USC Upstate take seriously our obligation to provide high-quality instruction and continually improve our program. To this end, we encourage both student and faculty feedback on individual library sessions. Each librarian discusses the feedback process with requesting faculty at the time a session is scheduled. In fall 2009, we began using Class Climate to administer student feedback forms. Printed forms may still be administered in class but online forms are also a possibility. By using Class Climate, we are able to track two questions on the student form and one question on the faculty form for program assessment.

A new information literacy initiative for incoming transfer students was begun in 2010. Titled “Foundation in Information Literacy” or FIL, students are encouraged to complete an online inventory that is administered through Blackboardto give them (and us) an idea of their level of competence in research and information literacy skills. An online Library Guide was created for students to use as follow-up to the inventory and we offer workshops designed especially for transfer students.

Support Documents:

3.8.3 Qualified Staff

Comprehensive Standard 3.8.3

The institution provides a sufficient number of qualified staff—with appropriate education or experiences in library and/or other learning/information resources—to accomplish the mission of the institution. (Qualified staff)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The library employs 11 full-time plus 1.5 FTE part-time library faculty with earned Master in Library Science degrees from master’s programs accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). The library also employs14 full-time plus .5 FTE part-time support staff, and student workers to provide a wide range of library services, including reference, information literacy, collection development, acquisition, cataloging circulation, reserves, interlibrary loans, and computer lab support. Additional technical support comes from staff members of the University of South Carolina Thomas Cooper Library in Columbia who perform cataloging and processing for select materials. These include the books designated for the Juvenile collection and DVDs.

Each academic unit on campus is assigned a library faculty liaison who works with the individual unit to identify materials for purchase as well as provide information literacy instruction and unique services as each unit requires. Each library faculty member also participates in staffing the reference desk.

During fall and spring semesters, the main university library is staffed seven days per week for a total of 87.5 hours. Reference services are provided 82.5 hours per week. The University Center Greenville (UCG) Library is open 66.5 hours per week withUSC Upstate library faculty onsite to provide reference service 30 hours each week. When library faculty are not onsite at the UCG library, the students and faculty have remote reference service available via telephone, e-mail, and instant messaging using MEEBO.

Two library faculty members also physically staff the reference desk at the Greenville Campus four days each week (Monday – Thursday). All library faculty are available to teach information literacy classes at the Greenville campus dependent upon their liaison areas and the classroom faculty’s request. The library staff at the Spartanburg campus also ensure that all databases are accessible to the Greenville Campus as well as catalog and process materials designated for that onsite library.

The library faculty roster and credentials are presented on a SACS template but are also available through the Faculty Credentials Database. Library staff are presented only on the SACS template.

Support Documents:

3.9.1 Student Rights

Comprehensive Standard 3.9.1

The institution publishes a clear and appropriate statement of student rights and responsibilities and disseminates the statement to the campus community. (Student rights)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Students attending the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) have specific rights and responsibilities. USC Upstate publishes and disseminates this information in annual publications online and in print including undergraduate and graduate student handbooks, and the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog. The print publications are distributed to all students on the Spartanburg and Greenville campuses and to the USC Upstate education students in Sumter during the first week of classes. The handbooks are also posted electronically on the website. Student rights and responsibilities as required for disclosure by law are available in the Financial Aid, Student Affairs, and Academic Regulations sections of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog.

Policies that address student rights and responsibilities are reviewed by the University of South Carolina System General Counsel for changes and additions. The 2011-2012 Student Handbook includes policies that govern both academic and non-academic grievance rights of students including but not limited to disability-related issues, English fluency, parking, code of student behavior, mental health disturbances, and housing.

Registration at USC Upstate assumes the student’s acceptance of responsibility for compliance with all rules and regulations. Similarly, USC Upstate accepts its obligation to provide for its students, faculty and staff an atmosphere that protects and promotes its educational mission and guarantees its effective operation. To meet these obligations and responsibilities, the University requires certain standards of conduct. All students, faculty and staff at the University share the responsibility to respect:

  • the fundamental rights of others as citizens
  • the rights of others based upon the nature of the educational process
  • the rights of the institution
  • the rights of everyone to fair and equitable procedures for determining when and upon whom sanctions for violations of University standards should be imposed

The Student Rights and Freedoms section of the undergraduate 2011-2012 Student Handbook describes procedures for addressing Violations of the Academic Code of Conduct and Violations of the Non-Academic Code of Conduct including violations by student organizations. Thestudent judicial systemisgoverned by the Code of Student Behavior as outlined in the undergraduate 2011-2012 Student Handbook. If a student believes he or she has been treated unjustly or improperly by a faculty or staff member, a grievance can be filed in accordance with the Student Grievance Policy.

The Dean of Students is responsible for the oversight of the judicial system and processes as outlined in the 2011-2012 Student Handbook. The Director of Housing handles infractions associated with residential facilities. Athletics has its own disciplinary system that parallels other areas as outlined in the 2011-2012 Student-Athlete Handbook.

Disciplinary procedures are clearly defined, broadly available, and consistently adhered to. To illustrate adherence to the published policy and procedures, two examples of charges of violations of the Academic Code of Conduct are provided: one academic and one non-academic.

The 2011-2012 Student Handbook outlines a comprehensive formal process that addresses written grievances. These grievances include a spectrum of situations ranging from academic, non-academic, lingual (the inability of students to understand the spoken and/or written English of an instructor), and disability-related grievances. USC Upstate consistently and stringently adheres to its grievance policies in order to resolve and/or bring about the best possible outcome for all grievances.

The overall purpose of the USC Upstate student grievance process is to provide all enrolled students with a standardized, clear process for reporting unresolved grievances and for seeking resolution where conditions and/or treatment by a faculty and/or staff member could be deemed unjust, inequitable or create an unfavorable environment and /or situation. The University’s obligation and commitment is to ensure that all students receive fair and equitable treatment in a timely manner when reporting grievances of any nature. Furthermore, any student may report a given grievance without fear of reprisal.

The process for handling student grievances is as follows:

  • Each respective student grievance is assigned a case file that contains complete documentation applicable to the reported grievance.
  • Each case and its relevant details are processed and entered in a specific database software program (Maxient) which is designed to catalog all forms of student grievance and code of conduct.
  • The Dean of Students conducts an investigation with all parties involved including immediate supervisors, deans, division chairs, etc., as applicable and necessary.
  • Follow up documentation is provided to the student with regard to outcome/sanctions.

Support Documents:

3.9.2 Student Records

Comprehensive Standard 3.9.2

The institution protects the security, confidentiality, and integrity of student records and maintains special security measures to protect and back up data. (Student records)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

With respect to the security, confidentiality and integrity of student records, the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) operates in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (available online only), the South Carolina Family Privacy Protection Act of 2002, and the University of South Carolina (USC) System policies (ACAF 3.03) as they relate to handling of and access to records.

By USC System policy, all computerized student academic records are maintained on a USC system-wide mainframe. The mainframe houses the databases for academic records, admissions, financial aid, financial transactions, advisement, and other similar student records. The Computer Services Division at USC Columbia uses an IBM 9672-R53 enterprise server running OS390. Every Tuesday night, the data is backed up with tapes on an off-site rotation. The Production Control area of Computer Services is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. USC Upstate users access the mainframe with a router using a T1 line. The University is currently in the process of replacing this legacy system with a new Banner-based software system. The project, called OneCarolina, not only will replace the mainframe system but also will encompass many of the miscellaneous home-grown databases that offices have created.

USC Upstate offices that handle student records in electronic and hard-copy forms adhere to specific procedures designed to ensure the security, confidentiality and integrity of the documentation. USC Upstate’s Information Technology and Services provides Monday-Friday scheduled backups of locally maintained public and secured servers. Success/failure reports are run daily on the backups. Every Monday, Iron Mountain Company collects the backup tapes which are then stored offsite creating a secure redundant repository.

Most student records are stored on the mainframe through the Information Management System (IMS) or Visual Information Processing (VIP). Batch processing of information is occasionally accomplished through the Time Sharing Option (TSO). Security measures associated with each are discussed below.

Registrar’s Office
The Registrar is responsible for granting initial IMS access to University employees. An employee who requires access must submit a request to the Registrar through the immediate supervisor and list the reason(s) the access is needed. Requests for access to specific modules within IMS are discussed with appropriate personnel with oversight for those areas. For example, if an employee seeks access to financial aid information, the Registrar discusses the appropriate level of access with the requesting party and the Director of Financial Aid. In some special situations, key student employees are also given IMS access to enable them to complete their tasks in their respective areas (usually Records, Admissions, and Financial Aid). Once the need for such access has been determined, the Registrar notifies Information Technology and Services to request a user id through USC Columbia. Once the user id has been assigned, USC Columbia notifies Information Technology and Services. The Registrar instructs University personnel about the responsibilities associated with IMS access as well as the implications related to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). As a means to lessen the chances of a security breach, IMS passwords expire monthly.

While many entries into IMS such as registration transactions and grades are made locally through the Registrar’s office, there are some transactions such as grade changes or name changes that are routed to USC Columbia to be entered. Hard copies of such changes are securely maintained. Several weeks after a batch is sent for entry, IMS is reviewed to make sure the changes have been accurately entered. After this verification, local hard copies of the documents are shredded. The actual change request form that was sent to Columbia is microfilmed and securely archived. Scanned copies of forms can be viewed locally by records personnel if necessary.

Students and faculty typically access student records through VIP. To gain access to VIP, faculty are asked to complete online FERPA training. Student access to VIP is through a PIN that is automatically emailed to the student. The Registrar reminds faculty and staff annually of the provisions of FERPA and their responsibilities to adhere to the law.

Admissions
Admissions trains new staff members on the need to protect the security of students’ documents and records. FERPA requirements are periodically reviewed as part of staff meetings or office retreats. Student workers receive FERPA training from the Career Services Office (via the Work Study Coordinator) and are required to sign a confidentiality agreement showing their understanding of the requirements.

In an attempt to protect personal data from visitors to the Admissions Office, privacy screens have been installed over the PC monitors in the reception area and partitions separate computers for student use in the lobby area. Students inquiring about their status from a staff member at one of these three stations are asked to write their name and last four digits of their social security number on a visitor card. Number key pads are used at the front service area so student privacy is protected.

Access to Admissions records – both hard copy and electronic – is limited to individuals with a legitimate need for such access. Hard copy files (applications, transcripts, etc.) are kept in the secure file cabinets in the processing office to which approximately 15 people (professional Admissions/Enrollment Services staff, Admissions student workers) have “walk in” access. Access to the University’s mainframe database (IMS) in which admissions data is stored is provided and monitored by the Registrar and is assigned via individual user accounts with role-based access. Faculty/staff outside Admissions have access to a very basic “view only” screen.
Currently document imaging is used for all documents related to the admissions process. Hard copies of documents are kept in secured cabinets and shredded after 90 days on file. The electronic file for all enrolled students is sent to the USC Columbia Office of the Registrar for permanent storage.

Admissions began using the EMAS constituent relationship management software package in 2010 to facilitate communication with prospective students. Data are downloaded daily from the mainframe into EMAS, but the mainframe is the dominant “system of record.” Changes to information in EMAS in no way affects data stored on the mainframe. Access within EMAS is role-based, with only the Admissions Director and two system administrators having edit access to the entire package.

Financial Aid Office
To ensure the security of its records, the Financial Aid Office maintains hard copies of financial aid records. These records are filed in locked cabinets in a secured room with restricted employee-only entry. Electronic records are protected by a series of login steps and passwords accessible to Financial Aid staff only.

Only the last four digits of the social security numbers are printed on documents. Students who come to the office for assistance are asked to write down their identifying information so that it is not overheard. The identifying information is subsequently shredded.

Up-to-date training of staff takes place so that they are aware of FERPA and other privacy laws to ensure the integrity of records. Access to records/code sets, inquiries, and updates varies by staff roles and responsibilities. Staff have access only to data needed to perform their jobs.

The principal financial aid records are maintained on the mainframe and are accessed via IMS. Working copies are kept within a secured electronic database that meets Title 4 requirements and in secured paper files.

All records are maintained and kept secure for the required time period outlined by the U. S. Department of Education, NCAA, CHE and USC Upstate. Records that are no longer required to be maintained are shredded.

Health Services, Counseling Center, and Disability Services
Student records in the Counseling Center are primarily in hard copy hand-written format. At the conclusion of the work day, student files are secured in file cabinets inside a locked office. Only counselors and the administrative assistant are allowed access to the files and ensure that cabinets are secured.

Within the Health Services center, there is a database for all clients. All members of Health Services (nursing professionals, director, and administrative assistant) have access to the records. The database is password protected and can only be accessed with Health Services staff log-on. All files are kept locked inside the administrative assistant’s office.

All hard copies of files of students who request disability services are maintained in the Disability Services suite in a locked cabinet. Only authorized personnel (Director, Assistant Director, and administrative assistant for Disability Services) have direct access to these records. Electronic files are maintained with a password protected system and only the Director, Assistant Director, and administrative assistant of Disability Services have direct access to the system.

Professional opinions and private case notes regarding conversations and student issues are maintained in a confidential electronic system that is only accessible to Disability Services staff. These notes are not a part of the student’s official file.

For all areas, professional staff are bound by confidentiality requirements of their profession. All staff are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. Any requests for copies of student records must be accompanied by a written authorization from the student. Photo identification is required when an individual walks in requesting a copy of his or her own records. In all instances when information is released, a record is maintained of what records were released, to whom they were released, and the date they were released.

To ensure student health records will not be lost, both paper and electronic documentation are maintained. The database and back-up services are recoverable within a 30-day period. The Disability Services server is also backed-up on a regular basis with the University server system.

Center for International Studies
Paper copies of international student files are stored in a locked file cabinet in the Center for International Studies. Electronic student records are all password protected and stored on a password protected server and in the Federal Immigration Database (SEVIS). Only four authorized users are allowed to access the database and make changes to student records – the Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services, Director of Admissions, and Director and Associate Director of International Studies. The time and date of access by all authorized users of SEVIS is itself recorded in the database.

Immigration requires that a copy of international student advising files is kept for one year after students graduate or separate from the University. After that time, paper copies of the files are shredded. SEVIS electronic records remain available for access/viewing in the SEVIS Database.

Student Life
Student records pertaining to student activities and membership in organizations are password protected and maintained on a secure server. Only professional staff (Director, Assistant Directors, and Office Manager) can access these records. Some organizations such as Greek organizations require the institution to submit academic records of student members to national offices. Before such information is submitted, students must sign an authorization to release the records. Under no circumstances are social security numbers or other personally sensitive information released through the Office of Student Life.

Athletics & NCAA Compliance
To ensure the security of student athlete records, hard copies are secured in locked file cabinets. Electronic copies of student athlete information are maintained on the NCAA Compliance Assistant, a secure Internet-based NCAA database and within other NCAA or Atlantic Sun
Conference reports completed on secure sites. Prospective student athlete information is housed on a secure internal server. The integrity of this information is password protected.

Career Services
Career Services maintains files that contain hiring forms related to student employment, password protected databases (Spartan Careerlink, SIGI3) with student and alumni contact information, student resumes, student personality assessment results, and experiential education application forms with contact information. Employment and career interest inventories are only entered into secured databases on a server and no hard copies are stored. Only Career Services staff have access to the information on the databases.

Housing and Residential Life
Hard copies of student housing records are secured in a locked file room. Only selected Office of Housing and Residential Life staff have direct access to the file room. Electronic records are kept in secured areas on the network and are backed up daily. The shared (P) drive that houses the electronic records is accessible only through ACCESS by staff with varying levels of access. The housing data management software, Odyssey HMS, is maintained on its own server located at USC Columbia and backed up nightly. Access to HMS is granted through the system administrators depending on job responsibilities.

Confidentiality is addressed through the security of records, limited access to records, confidentiality agreements, and training sessions. The Office of Housing and Residential Life has procedures in place to minimize errors and prevent unauthorized access or changes to records. In HMS, all transactions are recorded in the software’s Admin Module, including the identity of the user and action performed. Paper documents are logged electronically in HMS system before they are filed.

Administrative records are kept in the office for one fiscal year and then moved to secure storage for five years before being shredded. Student housing records are kept in active files as long as the student is housed and then retained for five years after termination of contract.

Dean of Students, Discipline & Policies
Academic Integrity and Student Behavior discipline records are maintained in the Dean of Students office. Records are maintained through an electronic database and backed up through an offsite server. Certain paper copies are secured in locked file cabinets and are only assessable by the Dean of Students, Director of Housing, and the administrative assistants in those areas. Persons not directly involved with a discipline case, an appellate review of a decision, or the enforcement of a sanction do not have access to the record or results of a hearing or sanctioning meeting without a legitimate educational need to know or the authorization from the charged party. Records of major violation cases which have been resolved with a sanction less than suspension are maintained for a period of at least 7 years from the date of the last offense. Records may be retained by the University beyond the normal 7-year period in special circumstances, including, but not limited to, situations when legal action is taken by any party involved. When a date for purging records has been reached, records in all formats are destroyed. Records where the discipline sanction was suspension or expulsion will be maintained indefinitely.

Department of Public Safety
Criminal reports processed through the Department of Public Safety are generally considered public information and are available through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. However, information related to victims of sexual assault and/or juvenile cases is excluded from public disclosure.

Electronic records are maintained in the Department’s Report Management System while paper copies are secured in a locked file cabinet within the Department. Reportable offenses are electronically transmitted monthly through the South Carolina Incident Based Reporting System (SCIBRS) to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Non-reportable incidents are also maintained in a secured file cabinet within the Department.

All employees of the Department of Public Safety are required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement upon commencement of employment. To ensure the integrity of student records, a supervisor is required to review, approve, and sign all reports. Once a report is approved by a supervisor, it may only be changed or amended with the approval of the supervisor. No official record is ever destroyed with the exception of misdemeanor cases pursuant to an order of expunction received by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Data Warehouse, OnDemand, CMS, and other Reporting Systems
Access to the DataWarehouse, OnDemand, and Conversational Monitoring System is heavily secured and given to a limited number of individuals with operational support job responsibilities (e.g., Information Technology and Services; Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning). These tools allow for both designed and ad-hoc queries and reports. In accord with system-wide data access policy (UNIV 1.50), the University of South Carolina system-wide Data Stewards, who are managers of functional areas (typically at the level of Comptroller, Registrar, or Director of Admissions) must approve access to the data under their charge through these tools.

Support Documents:

3.9.3 Qualified Staff

Comprehensive Standard 3.9.3

The institution employs qualified personnel to ensure the quality and effectiveness of its student affairs programs. (Qualified staff)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) employs staff with appropriate credentials and experience in the areas for which they are responsible. Employees in student support areas focus on services and programs to help students develop a life-long love of learning, develop critical inquiry skills, behave collegially, and embrace their rights and responsibilities as citizens of a broader community.

Student services are spread across multiple units at USC Upstate. The Division of Student Affairs, Division of Enrollment Services, and Student Success Center provide support to students.

  • Enrollment Services includes the offices of Admissions, Records/Registration/Veterans Affairs, and Financial Aid.
  • The Division of Student Affairs includes the offices of Student Life, Campus Recreation, Housing and Residential Life, Disability Services, Counseling, and Health Services.
  • The Student Success Center includes the offices of Academic Support, Career Center, Opportunity Network, and Academic Advising.

Qualified staff in each area provides support for students regardless of location. All staff are physically located on the Spartanburg campus but interact with students as appropriate in person on the phone or via interactive technology.

USC Upstate’s employment process requires that each applicant provide a detailed application, resume, and cover letter that addresses the requirements outlined in the job description. A search committee follows guidelines consistent with University System policies as well as federal and state laws. Applications are screened to assure that the most qualified candidates are invited to interview for the advertised position.

Like all departments across campus, units that provide student services follow the policy of Employee Performance Management System in evaluating the performance and effectiveness of their staff. All staff are evaluated annually.

Professional growth and training for staff is supported. Each department has funds that can be used for professional development. Staff are encouraged to attend state, regional, or national conferences (e.g., Association for University College Counseling Directors [AUCCCD], Annual College Student Educators International [AFA], National Association for Campus Activities [NACA], Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education [NASPA], Association for Student Conduct Administration [ASCA], and the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association [NIRSA]). Professional development also includes on-campus opportunities (e.g., training in mental health, stress management, social networks). Staff involvement in professional and community organizations is considered another form of professional development.

Support Documents:

3.10.1 Financial Stability

Comprehensive Standard 3.10.1

The institution’s recent financial history demonstrates financial stability. (Financial stability)

Judgement: Compliant 

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) maintains financial stability and provides sufficient financial resources for the performance of the University’s mission.The stability is a result of an integrated strategic planning and budgeting process with annually developed tactics, a collaborative management structure with responsive decision-making, and increased revenues from enrollment-growth and tuition.Audited financial statementsand operating budget reports indicate stable financial resourcesand, at the same time, address declined state funding for operations.

Strategic Planning and Budgeting
The University’s financial decisions to implement revenue-generating strategies and guide allocation of funds for academic and other programs are based on a comprehensive strategic plan (Strategic Plan 2009-2014). The budget development process achieves a balanced budget plan for each fiscal year (Budget Development Process 2010-2011).This plan, combined with a budget management structure, provides the necessary operating controls and implementation decisions to maintain a stable financial position.

Audited Financial Statement
USC Upstate’s independent audit 2009-2010 was conducted by Elliott Davis, LLC. A separate report on financial statements is provided for the period ending June 30, 2010. In prior years, USC Upstate financial statements and other information were included in a comprehensive report for all campuses within the USC system (Audited Financial Statement 2006; Audited Financial Statement 2007;Statement of Net Assets 2007– Reclassified; Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets 2007– Reclassified; Audited Financial Statement June 2008; Statement of Net Assets 2008– Reclassified; Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets 2008– Reclassified; Audited Financial Statements, June 30, 2009; Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets 2009 – Reclassified; Audited Financial Statements, June 30, 2010; Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets 2010).

In the last four years, net assets increased from $39,258,347 in 2006-2007 to $43,663,000 in 2009-2010, an increase of 11.2% or $4,404,653 (Summary of Changes in Net Assets from 2007 to 2010, Statement of Net Assets 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).

 Change in Net Assets from 2007 to 2010

The primary sourcesfor operating revenues are student tuition and fees with changes in net assets reflecting substantial increases in revenue generated from tuition, fees from enrollment growth, and changes in the rate structure. Operating revenue increased from $37.7 million in 2007-2008 to $46.6 million in 2009-2010, an increase of $8.9 million or 23.6% over the three-year period.

Total Operating Revenue from 2007 to 2010 Restricted and Unrestricted

Student tuition and fee revenue increases, net of scholarship allowances, provided $4.6 million in operating revenue to meet operating expenses and offset the reduced level of state appropriations (Summary of Revenue, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets from 2007 to 2010).

Tuition and Fees, less Scholarship Allowance from 2007 to 2010 Restricted and Unrestricted

State appropriations, reported as non-operating revenue, decreased by 31.2% from 2006-2007 to 2009-2010, a loss of $4.7 million.

 State Appropriations from 2007 to 2010 Restricted and Unrestricted

Operating expenses grew by 18.5%, primarily related to enrollment growth with additional expendituresin instruction, student services and facilities. Salaries and employee benefitsincreased from $35 million in 2007-2008 to $39.9 in 2009-2010, a 13.8% increase.When the decline in state appropriations continued in 2009-2010, increased expenditures were held to only 1.3% of the prior year. The largest increase of $2.7 million was in operation and maintenance of plant expenses and was directly related to the opening of new campus facilities (Schedule of Operating Expenses by Program and Function for 2007, Schedule of Operating Expenses by Program and Function for 2010, Change in Operating Expenses by Program from 2007 to 2010).

 Operating Expenses from 2007 to 2010 Restricted and Unrestricted

Unrestricted net assets increasedfrom $5.6 million in 2007-2008 to $9.4 million in 2009-2010, an increase of 68% or $3.8 million. This change was primarily the result of a 36.3% increasein student tuition and fees, a 30.4% decrease in state appropriations from $14.6 million to $10.1 million, and a decrease in operation expenses in 2009-2010.Although the state appropriations for operations declined, state grants for student scholarships increased, making tuition and fee payments more affordable for qualifying students with academic-based and need-based aid (Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Unrestricted Net Assets. 2007 to 2010).

Capital assets increased significantly from $33.4 million in 2006-2007 to $73.3 million in 2009-2010, an increase of $39.9 million or 120%. This growth reflectedthe development of new facilities (Change in Capital Assets, Net of Depreciation from 2007 to 2010).

Operating Budget
The operating budget expenses were maintained within available revenue with no unresolved budget deficits. All personnel and other financial obligationswere met in a current manner according to payment policies. There was no borrowing for operations. The general operating budget fund balance, although relatively small, has remained positive and is authorized to be carried forward each year.

Tuition and fee revenue providedan increased percentage of the operating budget, changing from 60% in 2006-2007 to 70% in 2009-2010, while the state appropriations percentage decreased from 27% to 16%. Managing enrollment growth, strategicallypricing tuition and fees, and controlling spending continue to be effective in addressing the decline in state dollars and provide additional resources for campus development and academic programs (Sources for Operating and Non-Operating Revenues for Unrestricted Net Assets, 2010).

Given the importance of tuition and fee revenue and the impact rate increases could have on enrollment, USC Upstate has maintained for over 10 years an undergraduate full-time tuition rate at or below the average of the other South Carolina public comprehensive universities. For 2009-2010, tuition for USC Upstate ranked sixth among the 10 universities, about 1% below the average rate (S.C. Comprehensive Universities In-State Undergraduate Fee Rate Comparison, 2001-2011).

Bond Issues, Capacity and Debt Coverage Ratio
Over the past five years, USC Upstate issued two institution bonds totaling $16,885,000 and two revenue bonds totaling $28,920,000 for the construction of academic and housing facilities respectively. The housing revenue bond, Series 2009A, issued March 1, 2009, received a credit rating of AA from Fitch and an Aa3 rating from Moody’s. The institution bond, Series 2009B, issued June 1, 2009, with the full faith and credit of the state, received a credit rating of AAA from Fitch, an AAA from Moody’s, and AA+ from S&P. The University is current with all debt payments and bond disclosure information. Currently, the University has $11.5 million in additional bond capacity with a debt coverage ratio of 1.8. This excess capacity of over $1 million is transferred to a projects reserve fund to be used as needed for capital projects on a direct pay basis. In addition to the institutional bonds, the CPF Properties II, LLC, an entity created within the USC Upstate Foundation for property development, issued a bond for the construction of the George DeanJohnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics and is funded from private contributions and a University operating lease, fully funded in the University’s budget (Bond Issues by Project and Sources of Funds, June 30, 2010; Bond Capacity, 2010-11).

Bond Issues, Spartanburg County for USC Upstate Land Acquisitions
Spartanburg County issued four bonds totaling $5,582,260 for the acquisition of land.In addition to the land acquisitions, Spartanburg County provided $4 million from a separate bond issue to provide campus road infrastructure as matching funds for a South Carolina Department of Transportation road improvement project in support of USC Upstate. Of the bonds issued totaling$9,582,260, Spartanburg County has retired 58% leaving a total balance of $4,033,740. Spartanburg County is current on all indebtedness payments for outstanding bonds (Spartanburg County Bond Issues and Principal Balances for USC Upstate, June 30, 2010).

Spartanburg County Bonds Issued and Balances for USC Upstate June 30, 2010

Support Documents:

3.10.2 Submission of Financial Statements

Comprehensive Standard 3.10.2

The institution provides financial profile information on an annual basis and other measures of financial health as requested by the Commission. All information is presented accurately and appropriately and represents the total operation of the institution. (Submission of financial statements)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

As a public higher education institution, the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) develops, publishes and submits to various entitiesfinancial statements and related documents that accurately reflect the Institution’s operations. The Report on Financial Statements is the annual audit report conducted by the independent certified public accounts, Elliott Davis, LLC. Prior to 2009-2010, the financial statements and information for USC Upstate were included in a combined USC system report. The financial statements include:Total Assets, Total Liabilities and Net Assets, Statement of Net Assets, Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Assets, Statement of Cash Flows and Schedule of Operating Expenses by Function. These statements reflect the total financial operations of USC Upstate.For reporting integrity, the financial statements are provided in accordance with the requirements of Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) (Audited Financial Statements June 30, 2006; June 30, 2007; June 30, 2008; June 30, 2009; and June 30, 2010).

Included as a note and reported as a component unit to the audited financial report is financial information for the USC Upstate Foundation, formerly the Carolina Piedmont Foundation, which existsprimarily to provide financial, capital development and other assistance to USC Upstate.The foundation’s new name reflects more appropriately its relationship with the university. The USC Upstate Foundation accepts gifts for university programs, and provides student housing and other real property for the benefit of USC Upstate. Consolidated Financial Statements for each year are compiled and audited by an independent auditor selected by the Board of Directors of the Foundation. Financial information drawn from the foundation’s annual audit is included in the University’s audited report providingconsistency and proper disclosure (USC Upstate Foundation Audited Financial Statements, Consolidated Financial Statements, June 30, 2008 and 2007; USC Upstate Foundation Audited Financial Statements, Consolidated Financial Statements, June 30, 2009 and 2008; USC Upstate Foundation Audited Financial Statements, Consolidated Financial Statements, June 30, 2010 and 2009).

South Carolina requires an annual State Accountability Report for all agencies and entities thatcontain program expenditures and performance measures. This report discloses how USC Upstate uses financial resources to achieve goals and implement the mission (State Accountability Report for 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010).

Title 59, Section 103-10 of the South Carolina Code of Laws established the State Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE) and its mission, goals and responsibilities. Data submitted to SCCHE includes numerous reports and information maintained in the Commission’s Management Information System (CHEMIS). USC Upstate reports enrollment, financial information and other required data for disclosure to the public and for trend analysis and comparison with other South Carolina higher education institutions.

The 2011 Profile for Financial Information, along with other required information,was completed consistent with financial information reported in the audited financial statements and submitted to the National Center for Education Statistics and the Commission on Colleges.USC Upstate has not received any request for further information related to these reports (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System[IPEDS] for 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010).

A budget document for each fiscal year, part of the annual budget development process, is presented to the USC System Board of Trustees for review and approval. This contains a comprehensive set of financial reports including tuition and fees, revenues and expenditures, state appropriations, restricted and unrestricted funds resources and uses, auxiliary funds, and related information (University of South Carolina Budget Document, Fiscal Year 2010-2011).

USC Upstate is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Atlantic Sun Conference and, as required, provides anIndependent Accountants’ Report on Applying Agreed Upon Procedures to the university and to the NCAA in accordance with standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The report for June 30, 2008 was performed by Elliott Davis, LLC(Independent Accountant’s Report for Intercollegiate Athletic Programs, June 30, 2008; June 30, 2009; June 30, 2010).

Support Documents:

3.10.3 Financial Aid Audits

Comprehensive Standard 3.10.3

The institution audits financial aid programs as required by federal and state regulations. (Financial aid audits)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Federal Aid Programs
Federal awards program expenditures and control measures are audited annually in a USC System audit and include the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) financial aid programs. The audit indicates compliance with the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133(A-133 Audit Report 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010). In addition, the Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) is submitted annually for appropriate disclosure of federally-funded financial aid programs and future participation funding(FISAP, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011).

State Aid Programs
South Carolina provides lottery-funded scholarship awards to USC Upstate students based on merit-based and need-based criteria. These awards receive appropriations as passed in the annual state budget. The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE) conducts audits of the various scholarship programs for compliance and expenditure reporting. All financial activities required by SCCHE for reconciliation of funds and processing of awards were accomplished. The Data Verification Audit conducted by SCCHE indicated that appropriate systems are in place to administer the state aid programs and no findings or exceptions were reported based on an on-site evaluation of files and financial records (South Carolina Commission on Higher Education Data Verification Audit, August 17, 2007).

The number of lottery-funded awards and scholarship disbursements for USC Upstate students has grown continuously with 2,183 awards being made in 2008-2009 and total scholarship expenditures exceeding $8.4 million.

 

Support Documents:

3.10.4 Control of Finances

Comprehensive Standard 3.10.4

The institution exercises appropriate control over all its financial resources. (Control of finances)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Control of financial resources at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is accomplished by an organizational structure with defined management and processing responsibilities, an effective budget planning and management program, a comprehensive set of operating policies and procedures,and a system of regular audits to insure compliance with established polices and control measures.

Organization
The Chancellor is ultimately responsible to the President and the University of South Carolina (USC) Board of Trustees (Board) for the financial operations at USC Upstate. Senior academic and administrative officers are required to possess the credentials, experience and capacity appropriate for their areas of responsibility. The senior administrative organization includes the Chancellor, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Business Affairs, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services, Dean of Students, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Services, Athletic Director, and Executive Director of University Boards and Public Affairs. Each senior administrativehasthe responsibility to approve, manage and control the respective functions (USC Upstate Organization Chart – NOTE: As of March 1, 2017, Dr. Brendan Kelly assumed the role of Chancellor at USC Upstate).

Greater efficiency and additional controlling responsibilities for processing and compliance are achieved as units in the USC system coordinate business and financial activities with the respective system offices.These offices provide support for all business and financial services to include cash management and accounts receivables, purchasing, accounts payable, payroll and travel.

Budget Management and Controls
As outlined in the budget development process, a financial plan approved by the Chancellor, establishes the use of capital and operating funds. Cabinet areas are allocated budgets for management and control consistent with the University’s organizational structure. Within each area, unit budgets are approved by the respective Cabinet member. Management guidelines and expenditure restrictions are determined for personnel, contractual services, supplies, equipment and other expenses (USC Upstate Budget Development Process 2010-2011).

Policy and Procedures
USC Upstate complies with USC System Policies and Procedures established for all campuses within the System.Unique USC Upstate policies and procedures approved by the Chancellor are developed for managing campus operations (USC Upstate Policies and Procedures).As a state entity, USC Upstate also complies with state laws and regulations.Professional development is provided regularly on campus for personnel handling purchasing, cash receipting, travel, human resources, and other procedures.

Auditing
The USC System Internal Audit Department, reporting directly to the Board, conducts periodic campus and program audits to insure compliance with University policies and procedures. Corrective measures are taken based on the outcome of this work. The audit report and subsequent tracking reportsare reported to the USC Fiscal Policy Committee and the Board. USC Upstate has no outstanding corrective measures for the latest internal audit conducted April 30, 2008 (USC Upstate Internal Audit Report, April 30, 2008).

USC Upstate Foundation
In support of the mission of USC Upstate and as approved by the Board, the USC Upstate Foundation (formerly the Carolina Piedmont Foundation)receives gifts on behalf of the University. In cooperation with the administration of USC Upstate, the donation determines the projects to be financed by these funds and provides financial management of those funds. TheVice Chancellor for University Advancement has responsibility for financial management of the foundation based on the partnership agreement between the USC Upstate Foundation and the Board (USC Upstate Foundation Affiliation Agreement).TheFoundation operates under approved bylaws and an investment policy with established responsibilities, guidelines, and fiduciary standards for fund management (USC Upstate Foundation Bylaws; USC Upstate Foundation Investment Policy, Objectives and Guidelines).

An annual independent audit of the Consolidated Financial Statements is conducted and reported to the Board of Directors of the Foundation. Information is also disclosed in the USC System’s independent audit as a component unit of the University(USC Upstate Foundation Audited Financial Statements, Consolidated Financial Statements, June 30, 2008 and 2007; June 30, 2009 and 2008; and June 30, 2010 and 2009).

Support Documents:

3.10.5 Control of Sponsored Research/External Funds

Comprehensive Standard 3.10.5

The Institution maintains financial control overexternally funded or sponsored research and programs. (Control of sponsored research/external funds)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Control over externally funded and sponsored research and programs is maintained through the Sponsored Awards Office at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) in conjunction with the Sponsored Awards Management (SAM) and the Contract and Grant Accounting (CGA) Offices at the University of South Carolina (USC) Columbia.

All universities in the USC System follow common submission, reporting, and budget guidelines as determined by the USC Board of Trustees (Board). The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) resides at USC Columbia. All campuses submit their proposals through SAM for final approval and submission to the grantor.

The Director of Sponsored Awards serves as a liaison between USC Upstate and the pre- and post-award offices in Columbia. The liaison is responsible for processing and administration of externally-funded and sponsored research and programs. This includes following University, federal, and other procedures and guidelines in the development, submission, and management of grants.

Other control and management activities of the Office of Sponsored Awards include but are not limited to:

  • communication of grant funding opportunities
  • coordination of grant development activities (internally and externally)
  • preparation and submission of grant-funding proposals including grant budget development
  • review of the proposal to assure compliance with sponsor and institution guidelines
  • training for faculty and staff regarding grants policies and procedures
  • development and maintenance of relevant policies/procedures
  • grants management of funded projects
  • grant records management

All of the above identified activities are managed on an ongoing basis throughout the year by the Director of Sponsored Awards under the supervision of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Pre-Award
For pre-award services, the Director of Sponsored Awards works with a sponsored programs administrator at SAM. SAM has easily accessible policies in place to govern proposal and budget development. These include the following:

All proposals are submitted through the University’s online proposal management system, University of South Carolina Electronic Research Administration (USCeRA),that allows for tracking, approving, and managing proposals and associated awards. USC Upstate faculty and staff upload their proposals where they can be viewed, routed, and signed electronically.

Lists of proposals submitted and awards made can be accessed at any time through the USCeRA system. These lists may include the following: awarding agencies, titles of grants, department numbers, principal investigator, periods of grants, amount requested or awarded, and amounts of applicable indirect cost rates.

Indirect costs agreements guide dispersal of funds. Indirect costs are provided by some external agencies that award grants and contracts to USC and support the general operations and administration necessary for grants activities.

The Board contracts with an accounting firm to conduct annual audits of all System institutions, including an audit of federal award programs. SAM maintains links to the 2009-10 A-133 audit for the University and the South Carolina Research Foundation. There were nomaterial deficits in compliance in the most recent audits.

Post-Award
SAM collaborates with CGA to create a restricted account within the University accounting structure for grants awarded.Responsibility for the administration and supervision of the award is shared by the department in which the grant was developed and the Office of Sponsored Awards (in conjunction with Contract & Grant Accounting). The program director or coordinator of the grant is responsible for maintaining files required to verify compliance with all provisions of the grant including grant goals, objectives, budgets and timelines. The program director is responsible for all aspects of grants management, including meeting performance and fiscal goals.

The Office of Sponsored Awards provides guidance for the management process, including information on and assistance with authorization of expenditures, cost-sharing, reporting of time and effort, purchasing, travel authorizations, equipment, post-award changes in the project, retroactive cost transfers, and close-out of the grant. The University has developed an accounting intranet that provides access to budgets, expenses, and copies of backup documentation.

The Academic Affairs Budget Manager provides budgetary and expenditure controls for all grants in Academic Affairs. Responsibilities include reviewing expenditures, tracking expenses against budget allocations, financial reporting and other accounting duties.

CGA maintains financial control over all grant funds and establishes, monitors, and reports on externally restricted funds that are used to support USC Upstate programs and services. Expenditures for grants and contracts follow the same rules and procedures as all other expenditures in the University, and all personnel are subject to Board policies.

The Director of Sponsored Awards works with a grant accountant at CGA to complete all reporting. CGA has easily accessible policies in place to govern grant and budget management. These include the following:

  • BUSF 2.18 Petty Cash
  • BUSF 2.19 Cash Advance - University Accounts
  • BUSF 3.00 Contract and Grant – Accounting
  • BUSF 3.03 Contracts and Grants - Cost Sharing
  • BUSF 3.06 Contracts and Grants - Participant Support
  • BUSF 3.09 Contracts and Grants - Consultant Services
  • BUSF 3.12 Contracts and Grants - Personnel Activity Reporting System
  • BUSF 3.15 Contracts and Grants – Closeouts
  • BUSF 3.19 Contracts and Grants - Elimination of Accounts Overdrafts
  • BUSF 3.30 Other Educational and General Program Accounts (E Funds)
  • BUSF 9.10 Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)

The financial procedures for managing grants and contracts are conducted in accordance with the above policies as well as the standards of the particular funding source, state law, andGenerally Accepted Accounting Principles. The procedures are in compliance with the requirements of the federal principles and guides (OMB Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions; OMB Circular A-133 Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations; OMB Circular A-110, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations).

Total sponsored funding to USC Upstate over the last several years follows:

Year Total Award # of Awards Total Proposals # of Proposals
2007 $1,039,052 31 $2,964,418 28
2008 $2,494,057 31 $1,718,030 25
2009 $1,878,198 28 $3,142,054 41
2010 $2,823,424 37 $5,178,032 53

Support Documents:

3.11.1 Control of Physical Resources

Comprehensive Standard 3.11.1

The institution exercises appropriate control over all its physical resources. (Control of physical resources)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Control and management of physical resources at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) has been accomplished by compliance with state laws and regulations, University policies and procedures, and an organizational structure with assigned responsibilities.

Organizational Structure and Unit Responsibilities
All unit managers and the respective offices that have specific management and control duties share responsibilities for equipment accountability and control of facilities. The Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Business Affairs manages those functions in the offices of Facilities Management, Purchasing,and Risk Management.The Vice Chancellor for Information Technology is responsible for planning, installation, maintenance, and control of technology resources. (USC Upstate Organization Chart – NOTE: As of March 1, 2017, Dr. Brendan Kelly assumed the role of Chancellor at USC Upstate)

Facilities Management is responsible for the physical assets of USC Upstate. It is comprised of capital planning and construction services, building maintenance, custodial services, and landscaping services. As established in the University’s strategic plan, capital projects are planned, designed, and implemented by Facilities Management. Routine, preventative, and deferred maintenance is managed through a work management system that is used to initiate, assign, control, and report maintenance activities. The Office of Information Technology and Services determines technology services and equipment requirements, submits procurements requests, coordinates installations, and maintains an inventory of equipment.Computers and printers are recorded and maintained by serial number in an inventory management system with a software program that tracks each piece of equipment daily.

Acquisition of equipment, inventory control, and disposal of surplus property is the responsibility of the Purchasing Department in the Office of Business Services. Procurement of equipment, supplies, and services is performed in accordance with state purchasing regulations and policies established by the USC Board of Trustees. USC Upstate has procurement authority up to $50,000 with USC state agency certification. Procurements above that limit are processed by USC Upstate and implemented by the USC Purchasing Department as authorized by the SC Office of Materials Management. For certain qualifying purchases below $2,500, units can use purchasing cards assigned to individual managers. Specific accounting procedures and documentation are required for control and auditing purposes (Policy for Property Accountability).

A centralized inventory accountability system tracks items exceeding a value of $5,000. Control is maintained with an annual physical inventory by unit managers, coordinated by the USC Upstate Purchasing Department.All items were accounted for in the physical inventory for 2010. Surplus property is removed from the inventory and disposed of according to South Carolina (SC)regulations (Equipment Inventory for 2010). Furniture and equipment, including technology, owned by USC Upstate in all locations(Spartanburg, Greenville, and USC Sumter) are managed using the same operating policies and procedures. Additional supervision and control of space and equipment is provided by the University Center of Greenville (UCG) as directed by the UCG Board of Directors and at USC Sumter as a campus within the USC System.

The Office of Risk Management (ORM) maintains insurance on all buildings, building contents, technology and other special educational equipment, other non-building campus facilities, andcampus vehicles. This insurance is provided by the Insurance Reserve Fund of the State. Coverage is adjusted annually with required additions and deletions throughout the year.Insurance is maintained at 95% of the replacement cost for buildings valued at $167 million and has a $1,000 deductible on each incident. Technology and other equipment are insured for the determined value of $8.7 million. When losses occur, ORM makes claims for cost recovery and provides funds to the respective unit for replacement through the procurement process. Historically, losses and insurance claims have been extremely low. Only 26 items were reported with insurance payments of about $86,000 paid in a seven-year period from 2002-03 to 2008-09. However, in 2009-10 two incidents caused an unusually high number of claims. A fire in a landscaping services building resulted in $149,500 in claims,and the theft of computer equipment resulted in $28,000 in claims, for a total of $177,500. For 2010-11, no losses were reported or insurance claims filed (Revised Insured Values for Building and Contents, 2011;Summary of Insurance Claims, 2002-03 to 2010-11).

The Office of Special Events and Facilities Scheduling is responsible for scheduling, coordinating the delivery of services, and managing non-academic use of facilities for on- and off-campus activities (Facilities Use Policies and Guidelines; Performing Arts Center Policies and Procedures).

State Regulations
USC Upstate adheres to the rules and regulations for capital project development.Control measures for facilities design and construction are defined in the Manual for Planning and Execution of State Permanent Improvements in the Office of the State Engineer of the SC Budget and Control Board.Purchasing and procurement of supplies, equipment, and services are performed in accordance with state regulations and established USC System policies and procedures.

Support Documents:

3.11.2 Institutional Environment

Comprehensive Standard 3.11.2

The institution takes reasonable steps to provide a healthy, safe, and secure environment for all members of the campus community. (Institutional environment)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) recognizes the importance of providing a healthy, safe, and secure campus environment and invests in programs, policies, facilities, and management structures to implement this objective.

Environmental Health and Safety
Environmental health and safety initiatives are primarily managed within the units under the responsibility of the Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Business Affairs. Academic laboratories are supervised by the respective academic units. The USC System provides a comprehensive set of programs through the Office of Environmental Health and Safety to include onsite inspection and recommendations; information on federal standards, codes, and regulations; training and other services.

The Office of Risk Management (ORM) assists in campus inspections,distributes reports to respective areas for compliance, coordinates the delivery of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training, and performs a number of risk management functions including identifying risks and mitigating activities. In coordination with assigned laboratory managers, the Risk Management Director disposes of hazardous chemical and biological waste according to prescribed procedures.Inspections of laboratories and operating procedures for the storage and disposition of waste are implemented for Spartanburg and Greenville campuses.

Examples of inspections are:

Liability, Property, and Other Insurance
To protect the assets of the University and provide recovery from a loss or incident,ORM maintains and annually renews insurance coverage with the state insurance provider, the South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund. Coverage includes buildings, contents, equipment, data, professional and tort liability, student workers’ compensation, and business interruption insurance.Coverage applies to assets, personnel, and programs for the Spartanburg and Greenville campuses and USC Sumter.

University Public Safety
University Public Safetyincludesadministration, investigations, parking services, fire and emergency services, risk management, motor pool, and identification cards (CarolinaCards), issued for faculty, staff, and students (Department of Public Safety Organization Chart).

For the Spartanburg campus, under the direction of the Chief of Police, USC Upstate maintains a full-service, 24/7 police department staffed by professional law enforcement officers.All officers are certified by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and accredited by the State of South Carolina. Fire suppression services are outsourced to the North Spartanburg Fire Department. Fire prevention services are provided by an on-staffSouth Carolina fire marshal. Emergency medical services are administered by Spartanburg County EMS.

The Police Department is certified by the State of South Carolina as the law enforcement agency of record for USC Upstate. Primary fiduciary duties include protection of life and property through enforcement of state criminal statutes, traffic laws, county ordinances, and University policies. Execution of these duties is governed by professional standards as set forth by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, industry-wide-accepted best practices, and department policies as reflected by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

In addition to compulsory criminal justice academy training, all officers must complete a minimum of 40 in-service training hours every three years in order to maintain law enforcement certification. Training curricula address disciplines such as perishable skills, legal updates, defensive driving, and domestic violence. Annually, officers must complete training in OSHA issues pertinent to law enforcement, first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), bloodborne pathogens, and firearms.Officers also obtain specialized teaching certifications to support the law enforcement mission includingvictim’s advocacy, fatal vision, rape aggression defense (RAD), firearms, Taser use, defensive driving, defensive tactics, and active shooter response.

University police officers wear badges and uniforms and patrol in a variety of modes:marked vehicles equipped with emergency lighting and sirens,bicycles, electric vehicles, and foot. Security service is provided for campus facilities including academic buildings, residence halls, special events, and athletic contests. Police officers or security personnel lock and unlock buildings as scheduled. Access for faculty and staff is provided by identification card access pursuant to authorization. Doorsinresidence hallsremain locked at all times and are equipped with card access systems.

University Public Safetycommunicates by several methods. Each officer and police vehicle is equipped with radios to allow communication on campus and with emergency first responding partners (Spartanburg County Sheriff, EMS, North Spartanburg Fire Services, and Regional One helicopter services). Mobile data terminals are installed in vehicles to access criminal databases of the State Law Enforcement Division, National Crime Information Center, and South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle Management (DMV). In addition, cameras and audio equipment in patrol cars activate when a vehicle stop is initiated.

Safety and Security Initiatives:

  • Campus Safety Walk – Each academic year, members of the Student Government Association,University Public Safety, and Facilities ManagementDepartment participate in a campus safety walk, during both daylight and nighttime hours, to identify potential hazards and security concerns across campus (Campus Safety Walk 2010-11).
  • Fire Inspections and Drills – The campusFire Marshal conducts annual building evacuations in all academic and support buildings. Evacuation drills in residence halls are conducted at least twice each semester. In addition, the Fire Marshal conducts annual fire and safety inspections of all campus buildings (Schedule of Fire Safety Inspections). Inspections of new and retrofit construction related to fire/life safety issues are conducted on an as-needed basis in collaboration with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, North Spartanburg Fire Department, and the campus Fire Marshal. A fire safety report is prepared annually (Clery Report 2009-10).
  • Crime Reports –University Public Safety prepares an annual reportto comply with the Clery Act. These statistics are used by the department toimplement strategic crime prevention measures through community-oriented policing (Clery Report 2009-10).
  • Emergency Telephones – Emergency telephones are located on the outside of campus buildings and in other selected locations across campus. These telephones connect the caller directly to the University police.In 2010-11, thirty new emergency phones were installed on the Spartanburg campus includingthe George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics (Proposed and Existing Emergency Call Boxes).
  • Emergency Preparedness – USC Upstate has developed a comprehensive National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant emergency management plan reflecting an “all hazards” philosophy addressing preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery (Emergency and Safety Procedures Guide). Training exercises are conducted each semester to test response and recovery capabilities. Additional training for coordinators is held throughout the year. In 2009-10, a full-scale active shooter exercise was conducted on campus with participation of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department, North Spartanburg Fire Department, the Coroner’s Office, Spartanburg Emergency Medical Services, and Regional One.
  • Emergency Notification, “SpartAlert” – The University community is notified of a potential or existing emergency via SpartAlert, the campus-wide emergency notification system, which employs text messaging, e-mail, and voice over IP telephones. The system is tested each semester.
  • Campus Surveillance and Security Systems – The University has developed a five-year comprehensive security hardware plan that encompasses surveillance systems, intrusion alarms, card access, emergency call boxes, upgraded door locks, and defibrillators (Campus Security Master Plan).
  • Intrusion Alarm Systems – A number of intrusion and panic alarm systems have been installed at strategic locations to deter theft and protect personnel.
  • Access Control Systems – Most campus buildings are now equipped with the Cbord card access system for enhanced security. In the resident student parking lots, card-controlled gates have been installed for residents and staff.

Parking and Traffic Control
Parking Servicescontrols the use of parking facilities and issues citations. With access to the SC DMV, vehicle identification is more effective.Reported traffic accidents were at a five-year low in 2010, a 25% decrease from the previous year. This decrease is attributed to the use of radar, speed bumps, and uniform speed limits on campus (Traffic Accidents, 2005 to 2009).

Security at Off-campus Locations
USC Upstate programs and services are provided at the Greenville campus facilities managed by Greenville Technical College (GTC).Security services are provided by the GTCOffice of Campus Police.Information on the services provided and crime reports for the Greenville campus location are available at the GTC Website.

At USC Sumter, where the USC Upstate School of Education offers programs, security is provided as a part of the overall USC Sumter security services. Crime Statistics indicates very low criminal activity.

Safety Survey Results
An Employee Satisfaction Survey was conducted in 2008 and 88% of employees responded that they strongly agree or agree to the statement “I feel safe on campus.”

Health Services
SC Upstate operates an outpatienthealth services facility,with supervision of a nurse practitioner,which providesselected clinical services and health information for students, faculty, and staff. As stipulated in the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog, all students, including international, are required to have a History of Current Immunizations on file prior to enrollment with proof of certain immunizations as a condition of enrollment.In addition, proof of certain immunizations is also a condition of admission to the Nursing Program or residence in student housing.

Support Documents:

 

3.11.3 Physical Facilities

Comprehensive Standard 3.11.3

The institution operates and maintains physical facilities, both on and off campus, that appropriately serve the needs of the institution’s educational programs, support services, and other mission-related activities. (Physical facilities)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) operates and maintains physical facilities that have been developed throughout the history of the University from the initial land acquisition of 50 acres to 350 acres (Land Acquisitions by Year). Campus property was re-surveyed in 2008 to adjust for roadways and make survey corrections which yielded a footprint of 330 acres. Through strategically-developed capital improvements incorporated into the campus master plan, educational and support programs expanded from the initial 43,110 square feet to 1,101,312 square feetwith 48% of these improvements made since 2000 (USC Upstate Master Plan; Facilities Growth by Gross Square Feet).The plan defines core areas of use including academic, institutional support, residential, recreational, parking, and others. Needs are determined in the University’s strategic planning process which incorporates mission-driven goals and initiatives for both operating programs and capital improvements. Financial plans and strategies for these capital initiatives are also included in this integrated strategic planning process (Strategic Plan).The master plan is reviewed annually.

Included in the educational and academic square footage is space in the University Readiness Center (URC). The facility was constructed in a unique partnership arrangement with the South Carolina National Guard. The URC is managed and maintained by USC Upstate as specified in an operating agreement (University Readiness Center Operating Agreement).

Growth in Academic Space
Increases in educational and general space were needed to accommodate growth in student enrollment. Over the past 10 years, educational and general space increased from 455,074 square feet in 2000 to 736,759 in 2010, a 62% increase. During that same period, full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollment increased from 3,012 to 4,839 or61% (Educational and General Space per FTE).To create living and learning environments in campus housing, 6,900 square feet of educational space was constructed in the residential facilities.

Significant classroom space was added over the past 10 years with the number of classrooms increasing by 104% from 53 to 108 classrooms. The number of laboratories increased from 20 to 38 in that same time period, a 90% increase. Much of this space was added in the last three years (Growth in the Number of Classrooms and Laboratories from 2000 to 2010).

Use of Classrooms and Laboratories
With the development of additional classrooms and laboratories, utilization ratesas measured by the South Carolina Commission for Higher Education (SCCHE) declined slightly even thoughthe University is enrolling more students. This indicates additional overall capacity for both daytime and evening use. Compared tothe 10 South Carolina public comprehensive universities, USC Upstate ranks sixth in use of both classrooms and laboratories, 6% above the average for classroom use,and 14% below average for laboratory use.

USC Upstate provides academic instruction in Greenville at the University Center of Greenville(UCG) and occupies 15,504 square feet of dedicated space for faculty offices, laboratories and other support purposes(Space Used by USC Upstate at the University Center Greenville).In addition, the Center provides general classroom and support space for USC Upstate and other members of the consortium. This facility is managed by the Center’s administration under the governance structure of the UCG Board(UCG Board Bylaws). Maintenance services are contracted with Greenville Technical College (GTC).

With growing demand for baccalaureate degrees offered by USC Upstate in the Greenville area and specifically for students in transfer programs at GTC, enrollment growth potential exists. However, additional spacewill be required to address long-term growth.

Based on an Operating Agreement with USC Sumter, facilities are provided for upper-level and graduate School of Education courses offered by USC Upstate. Those facilities are controlled and maintained by USC Sumter.

State Funding of Facilities
The master plan includes a new library,also called the “Information Resource Center”, designed in 1999 with $1 million instate funds allocated for architectural services with planned construction funding to follow. However, South Carolina Legislature has not authorized a bond bill in the past 10 years (State Funding for Capital Projects for USC Upstate).In the state’s submission document for capital project funding for all state agencies, the Comprehensive Permanent Improvement Plan (CPIP), the USC Upstate Library ranks tenth among all state higher education projects with a funding request of $29.8 million (State Capital Permanent Improvement Plan Requests for 2010-11). Recent renovations in the existing library, including installation of compact shelving, and advancement in technologies provide additional space and services.

Land Resources
Land has been acquired by Spartanburg County for use by USC Upstate. Spartanburg County has assigned control and use of this acreage to Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education (the Commission) (Spartanburg County Ordinance). Although some interim land acquisitions were made by the Commissionand the USC Upstate Foundation in recent years, these have been re-purchased by Spartanburg County. These assets are provided for use by USC Upstate at no cost. All grounds maintenance and improvements areprovided by the University. Land use as defined in the University’s master plan is submitted to the Commission for review and approval.

In addition, lease agreements exist for other facilities that include land parcels. The business services facility is leased from the USC Upstate Foundation and includes six acres of land. The George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics is leased from CPF Properties II, LLC and includes one acre of land.

Space Needs Assessments and Development Strategies
As new facilities were built, programswere relocated to accommodate enrollment growth and provide improved support services. In 2008, with the completion of the 150,000-square-foot Health Education Complex (HEC) and Wellness Center, a number of areas moved to HEC including the Mary Black School of Nursing, School of Education, Enrollment Services (Admissions, Records, Registration and Veteran’s Affairs, Financial Aid, Bursar), and Bookstore.

One building project completed in 2010 was the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, a 60,000-square-foot academic facility constructed in downtown Spartanburg. Built with substantial private funding support, this strategically-placed academic facility provides opportunities for engagement with the business community. Specific maintenance plans and services were developed to support this facility’s operating requirements.

To maximize the benefit of vacated spaces from the construction of new facilities, a campus-wide space-needs-assessment was conducted for all academic and support programs by Michael Keeshen& Associates (Space Utilization Study, Summaries:Student and Diversity Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, Academic Affairs).Building renovations were defined, funded, and implemented which included many core renovations in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Prior to the completion of new academic facilities construction and to provide classroom facilities for instruction, USC Upstate acquired threetemporary modular classrooms. These units will be phasedout asinvestments and space benefits from installations are fully realized. One modular unit was recently removed.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Assessments and Improvements
The offices of Facilities Management and Disability Services meet annually to assess ADA-related needs and priorities. Recent upgrades include complete sidewalk connectivity to campus buildings, sidewalk repairs,Braille lettering, and automatic doors for all academic buildings(Campus Map of ADA Facility).New construction and renovations are in compliance with ADA mandates.

Residential Facilities
Residential facilities comprise approximately 26% of the total gross square footage of theUniversity space. These facilities are operated as auxiliary enterprises and maintained by a combination of on-site facilities-maintenance staff, contractual services, and support from the Office of Facilities Management (OFM).Current space will accommodate some growth (Residential Facilities Gross Square Feet).

Parking Facilities
Over the past 10 years, the number of parking spaces for the University community has increased by 189%, from 1,259 to 3,643. This growth has out-paced the growth in FTEenrollment of 21% during the same period and, as a result, a significantly higher space per student ratio exists. Forty percent of the parking spaces have been constructed in the last five years, representing a 69% increase from 2005 to 2010.

Facilities Maintenance Program
In order to preserve and enhance physical assets, the University provides maintenance services and appropriate levels and types of insurance.For 2010, buildings and other campus improvements were insured by the State’s Insurance Reserve Fund based on replacement cost of approximately $167 million and contents values at $43 million. Additional coverage includes $4 million for data equipment, $162,000 for art collections, and $538,500 for maintenance equipment, worker’s compensation, and liability coverage. The University recognizes the importance in achieving its mission of timely replacement or corrective action associated with any loss related to equipment or buildings (Replacement Cost and Revised Insured Values for Buildings and Contents, 2011).

The OFM is responsible for construction;energy management;facilities operations; preventative, routine and non-routine maintenance; landscaping; and building custodial services. The organizational structure includes director and supervisor levels with respective job certifications and training as required (Organization Chart for Facilities Management).

The South Carolina Energy Office of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board uses SchoolDude utility management software to report energy usage and progress on energy conservation plans. OFM uses three SchoolDude programs to schedule preventative maintenance, control maintenance activities, and provide utility tracking, analysis, and reporting. South Carolina Code of Laws 48-52-620 requires agencies to have an energy management plan and to reduce energy consumption annually.USC Upstate made a 6.1% efficiency improvement based on energy intensity as shown in the report “Energy Use and Cost Annual Summary FY09”.

To maintain equipment and facilities, work orders are entered, approved, and tracked with assignments made to individual staff members. Cost of labor and materials is recorded and reported for each order. For preventative maintenance, schedules are determined for work performed weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually, and work orders are used as required byinspection and service operations. Schedules are updated as new equipment is added and adjustments are made based on the equipment requirements and the facility’s needs. Each facilityis also assigned a building and floor coordinator to assist OFM and serves as the contact person for that building. Each coordinator is trained on the maintenance system to submit work order requests for routine and emergency maintenance issues. OFM staff receives requests and assigns priorities based on the nature of the request (Facilities Management Policies and Procedures).

Maintenance Expenditures
Major maintenance projects have been completed as separate capital projects and have been included in campus renovation projects. Over $19.5 million has been expended throughout the history of the campus, 1968 to 2010,for renovation and maintenance projects including roof replacements, mechanical system and controls upgrades, exterior repairs, and electrical system improvements. As areas were renovated, maintenance work was completed along with interior finishes including flooring, door and window installations,painting, ceiling replacements, and other upgrades (Renovation and Maintenance Projects).

Included in the general operating budget are separate budgets for maintenance and care of building and grounds. Expenditures for these maintenance programs have increased by 39% in the last five years.

Facilities and Safety Survey Results
The Office of Institutional Research conducted surveys of employees, first-year students, and graduates to determine their degree of Satisfaction with Facilities and Safety Programs. The appearance of buildings and grounds received very high ratings. Of the first-year students surveyed in 2008-09, 83% were very satisfied or satisfied with campus facilities. For graduates, 91% indicated they were very satisfied or satisfied with the campus appearance including all grounds and outsides of buildings. Building interiors and comfort levels received marks of 75% and 74% respectively in the graduates’ survey. Less than 4% were very dissatisfied; however, a much larger number than desired, about 22%, were dissatisfied with the building interior and comfort levels. An administrative assessment of building maintenance and custodial services indicated that 64% found the services to be excellent or good and 27% indicated an average rating. OFM is aware of this information and is upgrading interior spaces for both function and appearance.

Support Documents:

3.12.1 Substantive Change

Comprehensive Standards 3.12.1

The institution notifies the Commission of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy and, when required, seeks approval prior to the initiation of changes. (Substantive change)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) complies with the substantive change policies of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE). The Office of Academic Affairs tracks all Programmatic Changes, and as appropriate, notifies both SCCHE and SACS.

Support Documents:

3.13 Policy Compliance

Comprehensive Standards 3.13

The institution complies with the policies of the Commission on Colleges. (Policy compliance)

3.13.1 Accrediting Decisions of Other Agencies

Applicable Policy Statement
Any institution seeking or holding accreditation from more than one U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting body must describe itself in identical terms to each recognized accrediting body with regard to purpose, governance, programs, degrees, diplomas, certificates, personnel, finances, and constituencies, and must keep each institutional accrediting body apprised of any change in its status with one or another accrediting body.

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The two U.S. Department of Education accrediting bodies that recognize the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). For each of these accreditations the submitted self-studies and reporting describes the institution in identical terms.

Section I-A of the CCNE Self Study 2011 demonstrates the congruence of the Mary Black School of Nursing mission, goals, and student outcomes with those established by USC Upstate. Identical terms are used to describe the institution in the CCNE self-study as are used for SACS/COC. The final edits and formatting of this self-study will be completed in the Fall of 2011 and available for review by the onsite visit team.

The University mission is also described in the same terms in the USC Upstate Institutional NCATE Report as for SACS/COC. The NCATE 2009 and 2010 Annual Report keeps the accrediting body apprised of any substantive change. For each accrediting body USC Upstate is described in identical terms within the reporting format required.

Support Documents:

CCNE Self Study 2011
Institutional NCATE Report

  • NCATE Annual Reports

2009
2010

3.13.2 Collaborative Academic Arrangements: Policy and Procedures

Member institutions are responsible for notifying and providing SACSCOC with signed final copies of agreements governing their collaborative academic agreements (as defined in this policy). These arrangements must address the requirements set forth in the collaborative academic arrangements policy and procedures. For all such arrangements, SACSCOC-accredited institutions assume responsibility for (1) the integrity of the collaborative academic arrangements, (2) the quality of credits recorded on their transcripts, and (3) compliance with accreditation requirements.

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Coursework offered abroad in international universities is reviewed and evaluated by USC Upstate professors and their related chairpersons and/or academic deans to ensure that the level and content of work meets academic requirements as stipulated by each department. The International Academic Agreement Procedure guides the development of collaborative arrangements.

Coursework is reviewed only from institutions that are duly accredited by their local authorities and are approved by national governing boards resident in the country. In many cases, USC Upstate faculty members observe onsite the delivery of course content to insure that the academic level is consistent with departmental requirements. The International Agreements provide the parameters for transfer of relevant University coursework.

Support Documents:


3.13.3 Complaint Procedures Against the Commission or Its Accredited Institutions

Each institution is required to have in place student grievance and public complaint policies and procedures that are reasonable, fairly administered, and well-publicized. (See FR 4.5). The Commission also requires, in accord with federal regulations, that each institution maintains a record of complaints received by the institution. This record is made available to the Commission upon request. This record will be reviewed and evaluated by the Commission as part of the institution’s decennial evaluation.

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) takes seriously its responsibilities as an institution of public trust, and we invite comments from all of our constituencies. Toward that end, a process for making public complaints is easily accessible from our SACS Website. Any complaints received are catalogued in the Chancellor’s Office and are available for inspection upon request.

Support Documents:


3.13.4 Distance and Correspondence Education

At the time of review by the Commission, the institution must demonstrate that the student who registers in a distance or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the credit by verifying the identity of a student who participates in class or coursework by using, at the option of the institution, methods such as (1) a secure login and pass code, (2) proctored examinations, and (3) new or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.The institution makes it clear in writing that (1) it has processes that protect student privacy and (2) it notifies students of any projected additional student charges associated with verification of student identity at the time of registration or enrollment.

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is committed to safeguarding academic integrity and adheres to guidelines that ensure the identity of students participating in courses regardless of delivery method. The secure data management infrastructure of USC Upstate consists of four main systems each requiring independent logins created and maintained by students. These systems consist of (a) network login (wired/wireless); (b) Visual Information Processing (VIP) intranet data system; (c) Blackboard course content management system; and (d) Microsoft Outlook Live student email system. Each of these systems, working in tandem, provides assurance of network security including student identity.

Blackboard is the platform for delivering all course content material. Faculty take full advantage of the built-in security features within Blackboard (SafeAssign, Course Statistics, Test/Survey Manager, etc.) ensuring student identity and academic integrity.

In addition to the aforementioned security measures, a Testing Center is provided on the Spartanburg campus. The Testing Center is used to provide (a) on-site proctored exams for online classes; (b) make-up exams; and (c) a space for small groups to conduct on-line activities. Faculty may elect to administer examinations through the Testing Center.

Students, upon admission to the University, have access to policies regarding student privacy (FERPA Policy) and academic integrity. USC Upstate adheres to strict protocol ensuring the identity of students participating in distance education courses. USC Upstate has no additional student charges to verify identity.

Support Documents:


3.13.5 Reaffirmation of Accreditation and Subsequent Reports

a. An institution includes a review of its distance learning programs in the Compliance Certification.

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate)operationally defines distance education as courses that are delivered entirely through an off-campus medium using a teaching modality that is independent of time and place and comprised of the most up-to-date pedagogical strategies and innovative technologies to engage the learner.

In preparation for compliance certification, a review of all distance education programs was conducted. USC Upstate offers a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels through distance education with the majority of the identified coursework in the table delivered as blended courses. However, due to the nature of coding in the USC System, it was unclear how many courses are truly offered as per the stated definition. USC Upstate adopted the coding system to alert students to the potential that some of the coursework may be offered using alternative technologies. As demonstrated in the table, the majority of the coursework offered in an alternative format was conducted at the level of general education coursework. While the majority of academic programs were not originally designed to be offered in alternative formats, the reality of today’s students’ desires for flexibility and quality drive the need to offer the courses using a variety of technologies.
Currently, only two programs are entirely offered through distance education. The Mary Black School of Nursing offers the final two years of the RN-BSN Degree Program through distance education and the School of Education offers its graduate programs through distance education. These programs received prior SACS approval. All other colleges and schools at USC Upstate offer courses through distance education as determined by the individual needs of the unit.

Each degree program at USC Upstate is evaluated annually through an established Program Assessment process (USC Upstate Program Assessment Policies and Procedures). The purpose of program assessment is to produce meaningful feedback for the academic unit on the performance of its students. Program Assessment Reports are submitted October 1 to the Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness and Compliance by assigned Assessment Coordinators from each unit every academic year. A minimum of two reviewers evaluate, rate, and provide feedback for each program report using an established rubric. Programs are rated across eight report categories as “Established”, “Adequate”, “Developing”, “Underdeveloped”, or “No Data”. Programs receiving a rating of “Developing” or below in any category must revise and resubmit until all categories are rated “Adequate”or above.

Faculty members teaching distance education courses are evaluated in the same manner as all other faculty members in accordance with the Faculty Manual. All faculty are provided professional development opportunities in best practices and effective teaching pedagogy appropriate to delivery method. These opportunities are offered through collaborative partnerships among the Center for Teaching Excellence, Department of Learning Technologies, and Office of Distance Education. Effective August 15, 2011, all newly-hired faculty were required to participate in a “Teaching Online” initial certification course prior to teaching distance education courses.The aforementioned measures ensure that all programs are reviewed systematically and courses taught by USC Upstate faculty contain the same rigor and meet the same standards regardless of delivery method.

Semester Total Number of Courses Offered  Number of Distance Education Courses Percentage of DE Courses at USC Upstate
Spring 2011 1319  118  8.95%
Fall 2011 1434 117  8.16% 

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b. If an institution is part of a system or corporate structure, a description of the system operation (or corporate structure) is submitted as part of the Compliance Certification for the decennial review. The description should be designed to help members of the peer review committees understand the mission, governance, and operating procedures of the system and the individual institution’s role within that system.

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is a senior campus of the University of South Carolina (USC) System. As a senior campus we are separately accredited. USC serves the state from its flagship Columbia campus, three senior campuses, and four regional campuses. The USC System is committed to serving the citizens of South Carolina through its academic excellence and outreach. It has forged a variety of cooperative relationships with other academic institutions and health systems throughout the state and a number of international connections for academic exchange and collaborative research.

The history of USC Upstate is a chronicle of remarkable development. In 1967, the University was founded in response to efforts undertaken by G.B. Hodge, MD, together with fellow members of the Spartanburg County Commission on Higher Education, and a remarkably strong founding faculty, primarily to avert a serious health care labor shortage crisis when Spartanburg General Hospital announced plans to eliminate its diploma program for registered nurses. A citizen's committee investigated the situation and ultimately requested that Spartanburg be included in the USC System. The Spartanburg Regional Campus, as it was first known, opened its doors in the fall of 1967 to 177 students on the first floor of the Spartanburg General Hospital nursing residence.

Enrollment continued to increase, which resulted in the school becoming a four-year university in 1975 and being renamed the University of South Carolina Spartanburg. During the next 20 years, the campus began to take physical shape with the construction of additional academic buildings, enrollment continued to grow and degree offerings were expanded.In 1974 Spartanburg became a senior campus and was empowered by the Board of Trustees to award baccalaureate degrees.As a senior comprehensive public institution, the University’s primary responsibilities are to offer baccalaureate education to the citizens of the Upstate of South Carolina and to offer selected master’s degrees in response to regional demand.

In the 1990s, a metropolitan Mission was developed for the institution and a 10-year strategic master plan for the campus was implemented. The University's numerous partnerships with public and private corporations and other educational institutions, coupled with the mission to offer baccalaureate education to the citizens of the Upstate of South Carolina, led to a name change. On June 30, 2004, with USC Board of Trustees approval, USCS changed its name to the University of South Carolina Upstate.

The USC System Organization Chart, demonstrates the Chancellor of USC Upstate reports directly to the USC System President. No other administrator at USC is directly responsible at theSystem level. Policies and Procedures are developed system-wide with selected Procedures Unique to Our Campus.

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3.13.6 Separate Accreditation for Units of a Member Institution

a. All branch campuses related to the parent campus through corporate or administrative control (1) include the name of the parent campus and make it clear that its accreditation is dependent on the continued accreditation of the parent campus and (2) are evaluated during reviews for institutions seeking candidacy, initial membership, or reaffirmation of accreditation. All other extended units under the accreditation of the parent campus are also evaluated during such reviews.

Judgement: Not Applicable

b. For an extended unit to be eligible for accreditation as a separate institution, it is located in and chartered or incorporated within one of the eleven states, Latin America, or other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges. Furthermore, if the institution is part of a system covering more than one accrediting region, the locus of administrative control for the institution is within the geographic jurisdiction of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Judgement: Not Applicable

c. If the Commission on Colleges determines that an extended unit is autonomous to the extent that the control over that unit by the parent or its board is significantly impaired, the Commission may direct that the extended unit seek to become a separately accredited institution. A unit which seeks separate accreditation should bear a different name from that of the parent. A unit which is located in a state or country outside the geographic jurisdiction of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and which the Commission determines should be separately accredited or the institution requests to be separately accredited, applies for separate accreditation from the regional accrediting association that accredits colleges in that state or country.

Judgement: Not Applicable

3.14.1 Publication of Accreditation Status

Comprehensive Standards 3.14.1

A member or candidate institution represents its accredited status accuratelyand publishes the name, address and telephone number of the Commission in accordance with Commission requirements and federal policy. (Publication of accreditation status)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) widely acknowledges its accreditation status in a variety of printed and electronic formats. In all cases, the accreditation status and the contact information for SACS is accurately represented on the Website and printed materials such as the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog and 2011-2012 Student Handbook.

University Communications, located in the Office of Advancement, is the primary department responsible for monitoring the USC Upstate website and all materials for accurate representation of accreditation status.

Another office charged with responsibility for creating, implementing and monitoring accurate representation of accreditation status is Enrollment Services under the auspices of the Chancellor. Enrollment Services is responsible for creating and disbursing all recruitment and admission material for the University. All materials are reviewed on an annual basis for accuracy and integrity of all documents.

The Office of Academic Affairs bears the responsibility for creating, implementing and monitoring the academic unit websites for accuracy of accreditation status. The USC Upstate website is reviewed on an annual basis for accuracy of accreditation status.

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Section 4: Federal Requirements  

4.1 Student Achievement

Federal Requirement 4.1

The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement including, as appropriate, consideration of course completion, state licensing examinations, and job placement rates. (Student achievement)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate)assesses student achievement with respect to course completions, retention and graduation rates, state licensing examination results, and job placement rates.This commitment to student success is evaluated through data analyses and reporting processes.

The Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning provides data analyses and reports to support the assessment of student success.The School of Education PRAXIS II and Mary Black School of Nursing NCLEX 2010 results are compiled and reported in compliance with the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE) mandate that first-time pass rates on state examinations be submitted annually. Similarly, the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)requires submissions of student success data through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), including retention and graduation rates.

Progress toward program completion is analyzed using grade distributions. Freshman Course Completion Rates are provided annually to the deans and chairs in order to develop and implement initiatives to improve student performance. For example, course success rates in Biology 110 indicated students had difficulty succeeding in the course. Additional tutors were hired to assist students to achieve success.

Similarly, analyses of success measures for Transfer Students and Graduates are compiled periodically. The reports contain a wide range of data including student characteristics; indicators of studentsuccess; retention; graduation rates;job placement rates; matriculation to other schools and firstsemester, firstyear, and cumulative grade point averages. These reports are available to theUniversity community on the USC Upstate website. The findings from these analyses have been the impetus for significant student success initiatives such as the creation of the Student Success Center.

USC Upstate also periodically surveys current students, graduates, and alumni. The table below lists selected surveys, the population addressed, and the frequency of administration.

Instrument Stakeholders Frequency
Educational Benchmark Exit Survey Seniors - business, nursing, education Every three years
ACUHO-I/EBI Resident Study Housing Every three years
Transfer Surveys All transfers from the previous academic year Three-year rotating basis
Graduate Surveys All graduates from the previous academic year Three-year rotating basis
Alumni Surveys Graduates Every other spring, 2–4 years after graduation
Student Opinion Polls Current students End of every course
First Year Initiative Survey Students in University 101 Annually
Administrative Department Surveys – Counseling Services, Disability Services, etc. All faculty and staff Annually
Major Surveys – Engineering Technology Management, English, Nonprofit, etc. Current students taking courses in each area Annually
Academic Department Graduate Surveys—Education, History, Engineering Technology Management, etc... Graduates from the previous year Annually
NSSE – National Survey of Student Engagement Current freshmen and seniors Every three years
FSSE – Faculty Survey of Student Engagement All faculty Every three years
Senior Surveys School of Education seniors End of fall and spring semesters
Faculty Survey of Administrators All faculty Annually
Employee Satisfaction Survey All faculty and staff Annually
Employer Surveys (Education, Graduate Education, Engineering Technology Management) Employers of graduates Annually or every other year
Administrative Area Surveys All faculty and staff Annually

Some specific examples of how data results have been used in making changes in the School of Education are:

  • Education Benchmark Survey (EBI):The School of Education (SOE)affirmed, using 2007 EBI results, that the school needs a stronger male and minority male enrollment. As a result, the school implemented “Men Teach,”a program that targets high school seniors and males who are undecided about attending college for the purpose of promoting a college education (regardless of major),with an emphasis on a career in the field of education.
  • Employer Survey: Data from the ongoing SOE Employer Survey identified the need to better integrate the use of technology throughout educationdegree programs rather than relying on an introductory course. Faculty in the School of Education use Promethean boards since that technology mirrors the technology used in K-12 classrooms.

Some specific examples of how data results have been used in making changes in the Office of Disability Services as a result of the Student Evaluation of Disability Services Annual Survey:

  • Students with disabilities indicated that the “low-distraction” testing environment provided for them was not sufficiently “low-distraction.” Disability Services modified the structure of the testing environmentby creating more private spaces.
  • Students with disabilities indicated they did not feel sufficiently prepared forinitial discussions with faculty about accommodations. In response, Disability Services created a document entitled “Tips for Discussing Accommodation Letters."
  • Students with disabilities indicated that their instructors were not assigning volunteer note-takers. Disability Services centralized the process within its office, which both faculty and students prefer.

The results of assessments and evaluations of student success are used to refine the institution’s strategic planning processes.

Support Documents:

2007 EBI results
Freshman Course Completion Rates
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
School of Education PRAXIS II
School of Nursing NCLEX 2010 results
SOE Employer Survey
Student Evaluation of Disability Services Annual Survey
Student Success Center

  • Success Measures:

Graduates
Transfer Students
Tips for Discussing Accommodation Letters

4.2 Program Curriculum

Federal Requirement 4.2

The institution’s curriculum is directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution and the diplomas, certificates, or degrees awarded. (Program curriculum)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) Mission is “to become one of the Southeast’s leading “metropolitan” universities … a university that acknowledges as its fundamental reason for being its relationship to expanding populations along the I-85 corridor. It aims to be recognized nationally among its peer metropolitan institutions for its excellence in education and commitment to its students, for its involvement in the Upstate, and for the clarity and integrity of its metropolitan mission.”

The primary responsibility of USC Upstate is “to offer baccalaureate education to the citizens of the Upstate of South Carolina and to offer selected master’s degrees in response to regional demand.”The mission emphasizes that, “USC Upstate strives to prepare its students to participate as responsible citizens in a diverse, global and knowledge-based society, to pursue excellence in their chosen careers and to continue learning throughout life. Curricula and services are designed for the University’s students, four to seven thousand in headcount, who are diverse in background, age, race, ethnicity, educational experience and academic goals. Students are drawn in large proportion from the Upstate where many choose to remain for their careers. A broad range of major curricula are provided in arts and sciences and in professional fields of study required by the regional economy, including business, education, and nursing. Through on-site instruction, distance learning, continuing education and inter-institutional articulation agreements, both traditional students and working professionals are served across the region.”

To ensure that all curricula are directly related and appropriate to the mission, each degree program for which academic credit is awarded is approved by numerous faculty and university committees, the administration, and state and regional agencies.

A full program proposalfor new degrees as well as substantive content changes in a program of studymust be approved through the following process:

Steps for Approval of New Programs

  1. Department discusses possibility of new program with Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  2. If decision is to pursue a new program, a Program Summary using the CHE format is prepared by the department and sent to the Senior Vice Chancellor for submission to CHE for approval for a new program. (Academic Affairs, not the departments, submits all Program Summaries and Program Proposals to CHE, USC Columbia and SACS.)
  3. Once CHE has approved the Program Summary, the development of the full Program Proposal, using the CHE format, is prepared in collaboration with the Senior Vice Chancellor.
  4. Submission of the program proposal to the Academic Affairs Committee of the school or college proposing the new program.
  5. If approved, submission of program proposal to faculty of school or college submitting proposal.
  6. If approved, submitted to Academic Budget and Facilities Planning Committee.
  7. For graduate program proposals only, program proposal is submitted to Graduate Committee and not to the Executive Academic Affairs Committee.
  8. If undergraduate program proposal is approved, submitted to the Executive Academic Affairs Committee.
  9. If approved, submitted to the Faculty Advisory Committee for inclusion on Faculty Senate agenda.
  10. If approved, submitted to Faculty Senate.
  11. If approved, submitted to Senior Vice Chancellor.
  12. If approved, submitted to Chancellor.

Once approved on campus, the signature page that accompanies the program proposal must have all the correct signatures before the proposal can be submitted to USC Columbia.

  1. Academic Affairs submits the proposal to the Provost’s office in Columbia.
  2. If approved, Provost’s office submits the program proposal to the President for review and approval (signature).
  3. If approved, Provost’s office places the program proposal on the agenda of the Academic Affairs and Faculty Liaison’s committee of the Board of Trustees.
  4. If approved, submitted to the Board of Trustees.
  5. If approved, Provost’s office sends Program Proposal to CHE.
  6. At CHE, Program Proposal submitted to the Advisory Committee on Academic Programs (ACAP)
  7. If approved, submitted to the Academic Affairs and Licensing Committee (CAAL) of CHE.
  8. If approved, submitted to the full CHE.
  9. Once approved, Academic Affairs submits notification to SACS.

At each step in the approval process, consideration is given to the appropriateness of the degree or program to the purpose and goals of the institution. Guidelines of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education Policies and Procedures for New Academic Program Approval and Program Termination “take a statewide viewpoint (and, in some cases, a regional or national viewpoint)” as programs are examined for compatibility with the mission, role, and scope of the institution.

Schools and colleges use numerous strategies to assure that their curricula are directly related andappropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution.For example, a guiding strategy of our metropolitan mission is “engagement” with the various economic, service and cultural sectors of the region. The Johnson College of Business and Economics fulfills the metropolitan mission by offering a business curriculum that engages students with the business community. Specifically, the New Business Enterprise class (SBAD 471, 2011-2012 Academic Catalog) works with businesses in the Upstate on developing business plans.

The mission of the Mary Black School of Nursing (SON) is to “…serve the citizens of Upstate South Carolina by providing education programs in nursing that are of the highest quality.”The programs offered at the Mary Black School of Nursing are “…designed for students who are diverse in background, age, race, ethnicity, educational experiences, and needs.”To achieve this mission, the curriculum was developed to facilitate and guide student achievement toaddress the health care needs of the population. The curriculum is enhanced through simulation, immersive technology, and the clinical experience. The Joint Center for Nursing Research and Scholarship was created to support future and current nurses through the use of technology.In addition, partnerships with area hospitals have resulted in funding for hiring additional full-time faculty members, as well as establishing and purchasing equipment for the Learning Resource Centers on both campuses.Partnerships have also resulted in joint offerings of programs and research activities.

The School of Education(SOE) meets the needs of the state and the local school districts by offering twelve certification degree programs at the undergraduate level, three master degrees, and one add-on certificate program. In keeping with our mission, the SOE has sustained ongoing reciprocal relationships with neighboring school districts. For example, with a general theme of “Preparing Teachers for a Diverse Society” the Teaching Fellows Program at USC Upstate seeks to provide a wide range of enrichment experiences for this group of outstanding education majors, to nurture them as a community of learners, to introduce them to possibilities for leadership in K-12 schools, and to retain the Fellows – notonly at the institution but in the profession as well.In addition, the SOE teaches courses on-site in public schools, provides in-service programs to teachers, provides clinical student placements, and designs and provides contract graduate courses to support immediate teacher certification needs.

The programs within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) also meet the needs of the community and region. For example, the Annual South Carolina Upstate Research Symposium highlights undergraduate research in the curriculum. This initiative resulted in partnerships among businesses, faculty and students. In 2010, a minor in Child Advocacy Studies was created to address child maltreatment.In addition, a Center for Child Advocacy was established to serve as a resource for the community.Likewise, the theater program has contributed magnificently to the cultural and artistic life of the community through their theater camps for children. These camps and productions not only serve to engage the youth of the community, but they provide hands-on experience in all aspects of theatrical production for students enrolled in the theater concentration.

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4.3 Publication of Policies

Federal Requirement 4.3

The institution makes available to students and the public current academic calendars, grading policies, and refund policies. (Publication of policies)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) makes available to the public current academic calendars, grading policies, and refund policies in several ways. Academic calendar information can be found in the 2011-2012 Student Handbook, on the Website and in the annual publication of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog.
Grading Policies are published in both the printed and website versions of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalogunder Academic Regulations. Printed copies of the catalog are presented to all degree-seeking freshman and transfer students during orientation and to others upon request.
Refund Policies and Drop and Withdraw Deadlines are also available in both the print and online versions of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog under Fees and Expenses. Information related to Payment Information and Refund Schedules are available in the Cashier’s Office/Student Account Services on the Upstate campus and on the USC Upstate website.

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4.4 Program Length

Federal Requirement 4.4

Program length is appropriate for each of the institution’s educational programs. (Program length)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) determines program length in accordance withthe best practices implemented by the USC system. All USC Upstate baccalaureate degrees require a minimum of 120 credit hours, and all USC Upstate master’s degrees require a minimum of 36 credit hours. These minimums reflect national norms and are based on a traditional full-time schedule of 15 hours per semester over eight semesters (four academic years) for a baccalaureate degree and a full-time schedule of nine hours per semester over four semesters (two academic years) for a master’s degree.

The curricula for new degree programs and curricula changes, including program length, are Reviewed or Approved by appropriate department deans or chairs, unit academic affairs/curricula committees, the Executive Academic Affairs Committee, Faculty Advisory Committee, Faculty Senate, and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Some USC Upstate Undergraduate Degrees require more than 120 credit hours and Master’s Degrees require more than 30 credit hours. When this is the case, the additional required credit hours have been reviewed or approved by appropriate department deans or chairs, unit academic affairs/curricula committees, the Executive Academic Affairs Committee, Faculty Advisory Committee, Faculty Senate, and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. These additional credit hours are generally required to meet the demands of USC Upstate’s general education program and/or those of state, professional, and/or national accreditation agencies.

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4.5 Student Complaints

Federal Requirement 4.5

The institution has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and is responsible for demonstrating that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints. (Student Complaints) (See also Commission Policy “Complaints Procedures for the Commission or Its Accredited Institutions.”)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) provides a comprehensive and formal procedure by which it addresses student academic, non-academic, and disability-related grievances. USC Upstate accepts responsibility to adhere to and follow these procedures consistently in order to provide the best possible outcome or resolution. All students, including those in distance education and graduate programs, follow these procedures for academic and non-academic grievances. Students may report a given complaint without concerns of recourse.

Procedures

Procedure Statement
Academic Grievances Academic grievances include, but are not limited to, grading, acceptance into programs, academic policies, and transfer credits. Students may submit an academic grievance form per University procedure. The policy and procedure are available to students in the printed or online versions of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog and 2011-2012 Student Handbook.
Non-Academic Grievances A non-academic grievance is defined as a dissatisfaction occurring when a student thinks that any condition affecting him/her is unjust, inequitable or creates an unnecessary hardship. Such grievances include, but are not limited to, the following problems: mistreatment by any University employee; wrongful assessment and processing of fees, records and registration errors; English fluency grievance; racial, sexual, and disability-based discrimination/harassment.
  Harassment based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status and sexual orientation is a form of discrimination in violation of federal and state law and University of South Carolina system policies.
  Discriminatory harassment includes conduct (oral, written, graphic, or physical) directed against any person or group of persons because of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability or veteran status that has the purpose or reasonably foreseeable effect of creating an offensive, demeaning, intimidating, or hostile environment for that person.
  Students may submit a non-academic grievance form per University procedure. The policy and procedure is available to students in the printed or online versions of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog and 2011-2012 Student Handbook.
Parking Violation Appeals Students who perceive they have received a traffic citation either via error or without just cause may submit a parking violation appeal form per University procedure. The policy and procedure is available to students in the printed or online version of the 2011-2012 Student Handbook.

Student Complaints

Student complaint procedures provide enrolled students with a standardized easy-to-use process for reporting complaints in which conditions and/or treatment by a faculty and/or staff member are perceived as unjust, inequitable or create an unfavorable environment and/or situation. The University’s obligation and commitment to the student is to ensure that all students receive fair and equitable treatment in a timely manner when reporting complaints of any nature.

Example of an Academic Grievance Process

Student Name: Anonymous

Grievance: Grade Discrimination for Receiving a Grade Less than C in a Senior Seminar Class

Step 1:
Appealed to faculty member and faculty member denied appeal.

Step 2:
Appealed to Chair of department and Chair denied appeal.

Step 3:
Appealed to Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Dean denied appeal.

Step 4:
Appealed to Academic Grievance Panel and Panel denied appeal.

Step 5:
Appealed to Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Chancellor denied appeal.

Step 6:
Appeals to Chancellor and Chancellor denied appeal.

Step 7:
The resolution of the case was documented and the case closed.

Example of a Non-Academic Grievance Process:

Student Name: Anonymous

Grievance: Student was alleged to have committed the following:

  • Theft of Any Kind
  • Theft or Abuse of Computer Time
  • Unauthorized Entry/Presence/Use or Abuse of University Facilities
  • Violations of Local, State or Federal Laws

NOTE: The Dean of Students (DOS) received information from University Police that a current student had been arrested for computer theft. The University Police also issued a no trespass to the student which prohibited the student from being on University property. The DOS then notified the student in writing of theft allegations. Student was immediately suspended from the University.

Step 1:
Allegations were entered into a professional, comprehensive database software system.

Step 2:
The Dean of Students Office contacted the student in writing to request the student make an appointment to meet with the DOS and to notify the student of the suspension.

Step 3:
The DOS met with the student. The student did not accept responsibility and requested that the matter be handled by an Honor Council.

Step 4:
The Honor Council hearing was requested with optional hearing dates and times that work with the student’s schedule.

Step 5:
The DOS notified appropriate University officials and requested availability to meet with the Honor Council.

Step 6:
The student was contacted to confirm the date of the Honor Council and was invited to bring witnesses.

Step 7:
Three faculty and two students were identified to participate in the Honor Council.

Step 8:
The Honor Council reviewed files.

Step 9:
The Honor Council convened and reviewed the case.

Step 10:
The Honor Council met with appropriate University officials.

Step 11:
The student met separately with the Honor Council.

Step 12:
The Honor Council found the student responsible and assigned sanctions for violations.

Step 13:
The DOS notified the student in writing of the findings.

Step 14:
The student was dissatisfied with the findings and filed a written appeal to the Appeals Committee.

Step 15:
The Appeals Committee consisted of three faculty members, reviewed all the facts in the case, and upheld the original decision of the Honor Council. Also, the DOS sent a letter detailing the outcomes of the appeals.

Step 16:
Case was finalized in the database system and the case was closed.

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4.6 Recruitment Materials

Federal Requirement 4.6

Recruitment materials and presentations accurately represent the institution’s practices and policies. (Recruitment materials)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

Recruitment materials and presentations by the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) accurately represent the institution’s practices and policies. Prospective students may receive a variety of recruitment publications either by request, campus visit, or by recruitment mailings. To ensure that all recruiting materials accurately represent the institution’s practices and policies, each document is reviewed by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services and the Director of University Communications. Statements regarding specific academic programs and statistics made in recruitment materials are reviewed in conjunction with the corresponding division/department chair/director. These reviews verify that the material accurately represents USC Upstate. Publications are developed for three primary target audiences: high school juniors/seniors, transfer students, and non-traditional students. The primary recruitment materials and other major publications include:

In 2009, the primary recruitment materials were written and developed by Stamats, a higher education marketing firm. In the development process, representatives from Stamats visited the campus to interview students, faculty and staff for publication content and a professional photographer photographed the campus, its students and faculty for inclusion in publication materials. After the primary publication materials were developed by Stamats, the content was reviewed for clarity and accuracy by the AssociateVice Chancellor for Enrollment Services, the Enrollment Services Publications Coordinator, the Director of University Communications, and two representatives from the Office of Admissions to ensure the material accurately represented the university and its practices and policies. Once the publication material was reviewed and determined to be accurate, the publications were printed and disseminated to students.

Other recruitment materials such as the Campus Brief Sketch and departmental flyersare produced and distributed by the Office of Admissions on an “as-needed” basis. The Website includes information for prospective students.The information is reviewed and updated as needed.

Student recruitment presentations are made in area high schools and two-year educational institutions and at area recruitment events by well-qualified admissions counselors. Campus visit events are presented by Admissions and Enrollment Services representatives, student ambassadors and faculty representatives. Campus tours are given by Admissions counselors and student ambassadors.

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4.7 Title IV Program Responsibilities

Federal Requirement 4.7

The institution is in compliance with its program responsibilities under Title IV of the 1998 Higher Education Amendments. (In reviewing the institution’s compliance with these programs responsibilities, the Commission relies on documentation forwarded to it by the U.S. Department of Education.) (Title IV program responsibilities)

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) Office of Financial Aid is responsible for administering federal, state, institutional, and private funding to financially assist students with their education costs. USC Upstate is in good standing in accordance with the Program Participation Agreement (PPA). The Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR) signed with the U.S. Department of Education authorizesthe University to participate in Title IV financial aid programs. Reauthorization was completed in 2006, and the Institution’s PPA is effective until 2012.

The Office of Financial Aid is compliant with all annual audit and review requirements for the administration of Title IV student aid funds in accordance with federal regulations. The Fiscal Operations Report, Application to Participate (FISAP) and the required A-133 Audit Reports are completed and electronically submitted to the U. S. Department of Education on a timely basis in accordance with federal regulations.

USC Upstate adheres to all federal regulations as set forth under the Title IV student financial aid program regulations. Financial aid policies and procedures are in compliance with all Title IV regulations. Student eligibility is verified according to federal regulations. Verification rules are reviewed each year and the financial aid system is modified to comply with the new rules and regulations. All required consumer information concerning federal aid is provided to students by the Office of Financial Aid and can be found on the Financial Aid Website.

There are no outstanding issues between the Department of Education and USC Upstate with regard to the administration of Title IV programs and no known complaints have been filed with the Department of Education regarding the administration of Title IV programs. USC Upstate submits the FISAP report to the Department of Education in a timely manner, and, therefore, has not been placed on cost-reimbursement method of payment. The Institution has not been required to obtain a letter of credit in favor of the Department of Education.

There are no significant unpaid dollar amounts due back to the Department of Education and USC Upstate is not aware of any infractions which would jeopardize Title IV funding. USC Upstate’s most recent Default Rate Calculation for the Federal Family Education Loan program is 5.1 % for fiscal year 2007.

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