.17 Faculty.

A. The faculty employed by an in-State institution shall be competent on the basis of their formal education and professional experience to enable them, through effective instruction and other activities, to achieve the educational objectives of the institution.

B. A faculty member shall have completed formal studies at an institution accredited by an organization recognized as an accrediting agency by the United States Department of Education to grant institutional accreditation or internationally recognized institution at least through the master's or first professional degree, or its equivalent, in the field in which the faculty member teaches. "Equivalent" means documented outstanding achievement in the arts, music, letters, science, research, business or industry, or public service. A faculty member shall demonstrate successful experience and provide continuing evidence of keeping abreast of developments in the faculty member's field.

C. The highest educational requirements for faculty members who teach courses of a technical or vocational nature at an associate degree-granting institution shall be compatible with their teaching assignments, with practical experience being given special consideration.

D. An associate degree-granting institution shall ensure the quality of the general education courses offered by:

(1) Assigning a full-time employee, with appropriate credentials, to be responsible for coordinating and supervising the general education offerings;

(2) Having a plan for relating the general education requirements to the curriculum offered by the institution; and

(3) Ensuring that faculty teaching in the general education courses comply with the requirements set forth for all faculty in this chapter.

E. Faculty members who engage in instruction shall be able to communicate effectively in both written and spoken English.

F. At least 35 percent of the full-time faculty in colleges offering baccalaureate or higher degrees, and 50 percent of the full-time faculty in universities and in separately incorporated graduate institutions or centers shall hold a terminal degree in the field in which they teach.

G. At least 50 percent of the total credit hours offered by an institution within a normal academic year of 2 semesters or 3 trimesters, normally September to May, which are creditable toward a formal award, shall be taught by full-time faculty members at the institution.

H. Full-time faculty members of the parent institution shall teach at least 1/3 of the credit hours offered in an off-campus program.

I. Institutions Granting Baccalaureate or Higher Degrees.

(1) There shall be at least one full-time faculty member with a degree in an appropriate discipline in each degree program, except as provided in §I(2) of this regulation.

(2) For degree programs with a collective title involving more than one major discipline and with areas of concentration in unrelated disciplines, such as general studies, interdisciplinary studies, or liberal studies, there shall be at least one full-time faculty member with a degree in an appropriate discipline in each area of concentration.

J. In programs at an associate degree-granting institution in which 20 or more degrees are granted annually, there shall be at least one full-time faculty member with an appropriate degree in an appropriate discipline.

K. Institutional Waiver of Definition of Full-Time Faculty.

(1) An institution may apply to the Commission for a waiver from the definition of "full-time faculty member" found in Regulation .03B of this chapter.

(2) In order to obtain a waiver, an institution shall demonstrate that the unique role, scope, and mission of the institution require a waiver in order for the institution to operate.

(3) After making the demonstration required in §K(2) of this regulation, the institution shall:

(a) Designate by name the faculty members whose primary responsibility is instruction, scholarship, research, or service who will perform the duties normally required of full-time faculty;

(b) Document that designated faculty members substantially participate in the development or implementation of one or more of the following activities at the institution requesting the waiver:

(i) Academic programs;

(ii) Professional programs;

(iii) Research programs;

(iv) Service programs;

(v) Admission or admission policies;

(vi) Academic advising;

(vii) Faculty appointments; or

(viii) Institutional governance;

(c) Document that the designated faculty shall, as a group, participate in all of the activities listed in §K(3)(b) of this regulation;

(d) Document that the designated faculty shall perform the requirements of full-time faculty under §§F, G, and H of this regulation; and

(e) Document that full-time faculty members, as defined in Regulation .03B of this chapter, shall fulfill the requirements of §§I and J of this regulation.

(4) Documentation may include but not be limited to the following:

(a) Minutes of meetings;

(b) Contractual obligations; or

(c) Job descriptions.

(5) The request for a waiver shall be placed on the agenda of a regularly scheduled public meeting of the Education Policy Committee. The Chairman of the Education Policy Committee shall present the Committee's findings to the Commission at its next regularly scheduled public meeting. The decision of the Commission is considered final and not subject to further review.

(6) If the Commission is satisfied that an institution meets the requirements of this section, it may grant a waiver to the institution on such terms and conditions, including time limitations, as the Commission considers appropriate.

L. Part-time faculty shall have appropriate qualifications for their assignment.

M. Graduate teaching assistants:

(1) Shall be students in good standing in a graduate program leading to a degree in the academic discipline that they are assigned to teach, or to a degree in an appropriately related discipline;

(2) May only provide classroom instruction in courses at a degree level lower than the one they are pursuing;

(3) Teaching a course, shall be supervised by a faculty member of the institution who has ultimate responsibility for the course; and

(4) Shall be able to communicate effectively in both written and spoken English.

N. The in-State institution shall have evidence of a defined nondiscriminatory faculty selection and evaluation process that is systematically planned and executed.

O. Faculty professional assignments:

(1) Shall be based directly on institutional policy;

(2) Shall be reasonable and consistent with professional standards; and

(3) May not exceed published professional standards of the institution.

P. Teaching faculty shall schedule and publish office hours for purposes of student advising and counseling.

Q. Faculty Handbook.

(1) An in-State institution shall publish a faculty handbook that encompasses the institution's personnel practices affecting faculty members, as well as other appropriate policies.

(2) The faculty handbook shall have accurate and current information.