Faculty Handbook

PREFACE

The purpose of the Faculty Handbook is to provide information, as well as sources of information, which faculty find beneficial. Every effort has been made to provide current and accurate information. However, as with all other publications, information can become outdated quickly. Therefore, the hand-book cannot be relied upon as the final authority on policies, procedures, or other issues. The provisions of the handbook are not intended to be contractual.

Corrections and additions to the Faculty Handbook may be made to the online version from time to time.

This handbook is the result of the work of many people, complied by the Faculty Handbook Committee, jointly appointed by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Chair of the Faculty Senate. Changes and corrections should be sent to the Faculty Senate office, mail stop 9728.

 

I. General Information


A. History of the University

The University began as The Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi, one of the national land-grant colleges established after Congress had passed the Morrill Act in 1862. It was created by the Mississippi Legislature on February 28, 1878, to fulfill the mission of offering training in "agriculture, horticulture and the mechanical arts. . .without excluding other scientific and classical studies, including military tactics." The College received its first students in the fall of 1880, in the presidency of General Stephen D. Lee. Other federal legislation provided funds for extending the mission of the College: in 1914, the Smith-Lever Act called for "instruction in practical agriculture and home economics to persons not attendant or resident," thus creating the state-wide effort which led to Extension offices in every county in the State; and, in 1917, the Smith-Hughes Act provided for the training of teachers in vocational education.

By 1932, when the Legislature renamed the College as Mississippi State College, it consisted of the Agricultural Experiment Station (1887), the College of Engineering (1902), the College of Agriculture (1903), the School of Industrial Pedagogy (1909), the School of General Science (1911), the College of Business and Industry (1915), the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service (1915), and the Division of Continuing Education (1919). Further, in 1926 the College had received its first accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

By 1958, when the Legislature again renamed the College as Mississippi State University, the Graduate School had been organized (1936), doctoral degree programs had begun (1951), the School of Forest Resources had been established (1954), and the College of Arts and Sciences had been created (1956).

The School of Architecture admitted its first students in 1973, the College of Veterinary Medicine admitted its first class in 1977, and the School of Accountancy was established in 1979, rounding out the present structure.

Additional information about Mississippi State University can be found in John K. Bettersworth's book, People's College: A History of Mississippi State, University Press of Mississippi, 1979.

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B. Vision and Mission Statements

VISION

The vision of Mississippi State University is to be the most respected land-grant institution in the region.

MISSION

The mission of Mississippi State University is to educate the workforce and leaders of the future, produce robust research for our state and nation, and provide expert services to our citizens, communities and businesses.

-- Approved by the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning, November 2007

OPERATING PRINCIPLES

Enhancing its historic strengths in agriculture, natural resources, science, and engineering, Mississippi State entered the twenty-first century with additional strengths in a comprehensive range of graduate and undergraduate programs. These include architecture, the arts, business, education, the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and veterinary medicine. The Meridian Campus focuses on meeting the needs of place-bound students and working adults through upper division and graduate programs in education, business, liberal arts, and social work.

The university's educational programs emphasize the exploration of ideas and the discovery, application, and dissemination of knowledge. The university embraces its role as a major contributor to the economic development of the state through targeted research and the transfer of ideas to the marketplace, aided by faculty-industry relationships and by interdisciplinary initiatives. Building on its land-grant tradition, MSU extends its resources and expertise throughout the entire state for the benefit of Mississippi's citizens. Through integration of its programs in learning, research, and service, through traditional scholarship, through statewide extension and outreach, and through engagement with business, industry, government, communities and organizations, the university is committed to maintaining its tradition as the People's University.

Access and Excellence
Mississippi State University will provide access and opportunity to students from all sectors of the state's diverse population. The university promotes citizenship and leadership in its students and fosters in them an understanding of their history and culture, an appreciation of the arts, a tolerance for opposing points of view, a facility with written and spoken language, an understanding of scientific principles and methods, a command of modern technologies, a competence in critical thinking and problem solving, a commitment to life-long learning, and a spirit of inquiry. MSU will provide mentoring and support to the students admitted to maximize their chances of success and to help Mississippi reach and surpass the national average in the percentage of our population that holds a college degree, and will provide access for working and place-bound adult learners, particularly through its Meridian Campus and distance learning programs. The university will develop competent and informed citizens and professionals who are equipped to lead in the world of work and in their communities through traditional academic programs, experiential learning, and opportunities for leadership development and community service.

Statewide Mission
Mississippi State University will serve the State of Mississippi and beyond through its broad range of instruction, research, and outreach functions. The university maintains four strategically located research and extension centers around the state and has staff in every county of Mississippi. The institution regularly enrolls students from each of the state's eighty-two counties and is actively engaged with business and industry, agriculture and natural resources, schools, communities and organizations in every part of the state.

Research and Economic Development
As a principal research university in the Southeast, MSU will continue to build on existing strengths in engineering and agricultural sciences and pursue emerging opportunities in other fields that match the university's areas of expertise and the needs of the state, including automotive research and development, computational sciences, biotechnology, early childhood learning, biological engineering, remote sensing, and alternative energy sources, among others. The university will contribute to the development and revitalization of communities throughout the state through programs such as those of the Carl Small Town Center and the Stennis Institute of Government and through projects such as the creation in downtown Meridian of the Riley Education and Performing Arts Center.

Outreach and Service
MSU will continue to build on its land-grant tradition and statewide presence through partnerships with business and industry and the agricultural sector, with communities and organizations, and with others. The university will strengthen its numerous partnerships with K 12 schools and community colleges, continue to play a major role in preparing the state's school teachers and other education professionals, reach out to the youth of the state through 4-H and other programs targeted toward youth development, and serve non-traditional students through non-traditional means.

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C. Principles for University Governance

As recommended by the Faculty Senate, Feb. 9, 1996;
As recommended by the Administrative Council, Feb. 12, 1996;
As recommended by Professional and Support Staff Advisory Council, Feb. 14, 1996;
As recommended by the Student Association;
Approved by the General Faculty, March 5, 1996 and
Amended by vote of the General Faculty, Fall 1999.

Preamble

The triad mission of learning, research, and service of Mississippi State University can best be achieved through cooperation, collaboration, and consultation among the membership of the entire university community. Achievement of that mission requires an understanding and commitment to the formal and informal decision processes by which the university conducts its work and maintains its standards. It also requires a recognition by the university community that the university must ultimately respond to legitimate external entities and forces that shape policy and render decisions.

Members of the university community need to understand the university's noble and extensive mission and the part each member plays in its achievement. They need to understand how formal authority is shared, the scope and form of their involvement in governance, and the need for those in authority to achieve balance between codification and discretion. This understanding enhances each member's ability to sustain and strengthen the essential nature of the university and facilitates effective university governance and responsiveness to the needs of the people of Mississippi.

Central to effective and efficient university governance is open consultation, communication, and participation in decisions and decision-making bodies, and understanding of the responsibilities and limitations of authority by all members of the university community. Success of the university depends on collegial relationships and mutual respect among the faculty, professional and support staff, students, administrative officers, and representatives of external entities.

All members of the university community must be accountable for their roles and responsibilities. Policies and procedures to measure performance in these roles and responsibilities are essential to achieving the mission and goals of the university.

Mississippi State recognizes the value of diverse opinions in decision making and pursues its mission in an atmosphere of shared governance and open communication. Faculty and staff are involved in policy formulation and in implementing the learning, research and service missions of the university. Faculty and staff also recognize their shared accountability for the performance of the university in carrying out its mission.

In the spirit of promoting effective governance of the university, the following statements of policy relative to members of the university community are adopted. The policies are designed to generate and promote understanding, candor, trust, accountability, and participation in the processes that accomplish the mission and goals of the university.

Principles

Authority. Ultimate authority for governance of the university is vested by the State of Mississippi in the Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning and delegated by the board to the president. The president exercises that authority through the vice presidents, deans, directors, and other officials of the administration in consultation, as appropriate, with units of the university and with the faculty, professional and support staff, and students.

Consultation. To facilitate open communication and effective university governance, the president and other administrative officers of the university will exercise due diligence in consulting with the faculty, professional and support staff, students, and external constituents on issues affecting them. Consultation is characterized by early discussions with the affected constituencies, jointly formulated procedures for consultation, reasonable deadlines within the constraints of the academic calendar, access to appropriate information, adequate feedback, and timely communication of decisions to the affected constituencies.

Representation. Effective university governance generally requires that the faculty, professional and support staff, students, and external constituents be represented on budgetary and decision-, policy-, and procedure-making entities. Appropriate representation of these groups is normally obtained through the university's council and committee structure. Elected and appointed representatives should, as far as possible, be selected specifically for the roles in which they will serve. When temporary special committees, study groups, or task forces are established by the president to address matters affecting the mission of the university, a majority of the membership should be composed of elected representatives drawn from the general faculty. Professional and support staff, students, and external constituencies should be included as appropriate. The chairs of these bodies may be appointed by the president.

Faculty Representation. By the Charter of Organization of the Faculty of Mississippi State University, the Robert Holland Faculty Senate is the official representative of the faculty on all matters not delegated by the general faculty to other elected faculty bodies.

University-level curriculum, promotion and tenure, and grievance committees should be composed of elected representatives from the general faculty. These bodies elect their own chairs.

Professional and Support Staff Representation. The Professional and Support Staff Advisory Council is the official representative body for the professional and support staff. The staff should have appropriate representation on matters affecting them. Consultation with the staff should be conducted through their elected representatives and/or the staff council, as well as through normal administrative channels.

Student Representation. The Student Association is the official representative of undergraduate and graduate students of the university. Undergraduate and graduate students should be represented on appropriate university councils, committees, and task forces as well as committees of external entities related to the university. Consultation with students should be conducted through their elected representatives and/or the student association.

Administrative Representation. Administrative officers of the university represent entities for which they have administrative responsibilities on councils, committees, and task forces of the university. Officers who are members of the general faculty may also be represented through the faculty senate, and other officers may be represented through the staff council.

External Entities Representation. To advance the mission of the university, the officers of the administration may appoint members of external entities to serve on councils, committees, and task forces.

Roles and Responsibilities.

Administration. The president has been delegated authority to administer the university, to lead the university so that its mission and goals are achieved, and to coordinate university relations with officers of the Board of Trustees. The president recommends the appointment of appropriate administrative officers for the university to the Board of Trustees. The president exercises primary authority through members of the administration in:

  1. Control and allocation of the budgeted appropriation and other funds;
  2. Establishment of the administrative organization;
  3. Approval of personnel appointments;
  4. Administration of university programs and policies;
  5. Administration of student affairs and services;
  6. Administration of physical plant and fiscal affairs;
  7. Administration of athletics;
  8. Administration of resource development and fund-raising; and
  9. Accomplishment of all other assignments to the university by the Board of Trustees.

The president is required by the Board of Trustees to articulate long-range university goals and to see that high standards are maintained in all university programs. The president exerts a major influence on the specific direction of change, not only through basic judgments on budgets and staff, but also in the continuous evaluation of existing university programs and in the planning of overall program direction. Such evaluation and planning necessitates the participation of faculty, staff, students, representatives of external entities, and administrative groups and is accomplished through the offices of the vice-presidents.

The president is also responsible for maintaining fair employment practices, promotion procedures, and wage and salary distribution, as well as good working conditions for the benefit and safety of all personnel employed by the university.

Faculty. The principal responsibilities of the faculty are teaching, research, and service. Because an important additional responsibility of the faculty is to ensure that the university fulfills its educational mission, the faculty must be involved in the generation and implementation of policies that impact the university's mission. On matters primarily affecting the academic mission of the university (curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, advising, degree requirements, faculty scholarship, faculty status, faculty service), the principal responsibility for formulating and evaluating ideas lies with the faculty. The faculty advises the administration through appropriate channels on these matters. The administration customarily follows this advice. On those extraordinary occasions when this advice is not followed, the administration will identify the reasons that render the proffered advice unwise or impracticable and so inform the faculty. A less direct but no less important role of the faculty is to advise the officers of the university about certain administrative matters that are intrinsically related to the health of the university. Among these matters are:

  1. Assessment of faculty performance;
  2. Selection of university officers;
  3. Determination of university priorities; and
  4. Establishment of principles for determining salaries.

Professional and Support Staff. The staff council is an advisory organization with the primary goals of facilitating communication between the staff and the administration and providing input to the administration on university policies and procedures. The primary role of the staff is to support the faculty and the administration in fulfilling the university's mission. The staff conducts the day-to-day affairs of the university, provides essential input to the faculty and administration in planning and decision-making processes, and reports on the operations of the university for internal (management) and external (accountability) purposes. On matters of university governance affecting the academic mission of the university, the staff's role is advisory only.

Students. The purpose of the Student Association is to stimulate university-wide student involvement in all areas of university life that lead to achievement of the university's mission. The voice of students is important in all aspects of the university, and students should provide input, when appropriate, through university committees, councils, and task forces.

Administrative Councils and Committees. Administrative councils and committees play important roles in the governance of the university. These councils and committees may be composed of faculty, staff, students, administrators, and representatives of external entities. The members are elected by the appropriate bodies or are appointed by the president or appropriate vice-president to advise the administration in the development of institutional policy, procedure, and practice. A listing of the university's councils and committees with the membership of each is published annually by the Committee on Committees.

Participation

Evaluation. Evaluation of Administrators and Faculty. The performance of faculty, staff, and administrative officers should be evaluated periodically. Students should participate in periodic evaluation of the instructional faculty, and those evaluations should be considered important sources of guidance to improve course content and overall learning and teaching effectiveness. The faculty, staff, administrative officers, and students should participate in periodic evaluations of those responsible for the units affecting their roles in the university community. The role of the various groups in such evaluations should be in accordance with their legitimate interest in the performance of the person being evaluated and the group's competence to make evaluative judgments. Evaluations should conform to commonly accepted procedures of evaluation established in consultation with those being evaluated and those evaluating.

Financial Decisions. Representatives chosen by the faculty, staff, and students should be included in university level discussions of resource allocation and budgetary policy and procedures. The administration may choose additional faculty, students, and staff to participate in discussions of these issues. Participation in these issues may also occur in colleges, schools, departments, and other units.

Administrative, Faculty, and Professional Staff Appointments. All professional positions will be filled in consultation with the affected faculty, staff, and students, and with the appropriate external constituencies. On those extraordinary occasions when the advice of a search committee is not followed, the administrator making the appointment will inform the committee of the reasons that render the proffered advice unwise or impracticable.

For the Provost and the Vice Presidents for Agriculture and Research, for deans, directors, chairs, and heads of academic, research, or service units, and for permanent faculty and staff positions, search committees will contain a majority of elected representatives of the faculty and staff, as appropriate, drawn from the affected on- and off-campus units.

For the Vice Presidents of Business Affairs, External Affairs, and Student Affairs, search committees will be appointed by the President in consultation with the Holland Faculty Senate Chair. The administrator making the appointment will publicize the membership of the search committee and the process of selection.

Administrators who serve primarily as advisors or assistants to executives and who do not regularly exercise independent executive and budgetary authority (for example, presidential or vice presidential assistants and some associate and assistant vice presidents, deans, or directors) may be appointed without a search committee.

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D. On-Campus Enrollment
1950 - 3,415 1980 - 11,409
1960 - 4,983 1990 - 13,514
1970 - 9,605 1996 - 16,561

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E. The Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine

For more than a century, MSU's commitment to agriculture has benefited the state's major industry and provided service to its people. The Division is composed of seven major units, including the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Forest Resources, the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, the Cooperative Extension Service, and the Office of International Programs. The separately funded units are the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service.

The College of Veterinary Medicine

The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) was established by an act of the Mississippi Legislature in March, 1974. It operates as a separately budgeted unit within the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine at MSU. As part of a comprehensive land-grant university, the College provides veterinary medical support to the agribusiness community and animal owners of the state and region.

The College is the only state agency in Mississippi with a primary focus on food animal diseases and their implications to production and public health. The college addresses food safety issues in red meat animals, poultry, and fish, and has just developed a center for Environmental Health Sciences. Instructional program courses lead to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, a four-year curriculum, and graduate degrees in veterinary medical science. Hospital residency training programs prepare eligible veterinarians for certification in specialty areas such as internal medicine.

Forest and Wildlife Research Center

The Forest and Wildlife Research Center (FWRC) was authorized by the Mississippi Legislature with passage of the Renewable Natural Resources Act of 1994. This Act consolidated within a single administrative unit at Mississippi State University programs of research which focus on the forest, wildlife and fisheries resources of Mississippi. To this end FWRC was assigned the mission to conduct research and technical assistance programs relevant to the efficient management and utilization of the forest, wildlife and fisheries resources of the state and region and the protection and enhancement of the natural environment associated with these resources. Within the scope of this mission, FWRC has responsibilities for developing through research: (1) natural resource management systems which ensure the optimal production of goods and services while protecting and enhancing the forest and aquatic environments; (2) harvesting and manufacturing technologies that promote the efficient utilization of the state’s timber resource; (3) biological and economic data bases which address specific problems and opportunities related to the state’s forest and wildlife resources, including environmental issues related to those resources; and (4) policy analyses which provide options for renewable resources management and use in Mississippi.

The research center is composed of the Department of Forestry, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Forest Products Laboratory. The agency’s base research program involves approximately 100 separate research activities and covers project work in 14 research areas in forestry, forest products, wildlife, and fisheries. This research program serves a diverse list of clients which includes forest landowners, forest-based industries, other state agencies, and various forest resources user groups. Faculty in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center hold joint appointments for teaching purposes in the College of Forest Resources.

The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station

Mississippi State University meets its responsibility for agricultural research through the work of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES). Experiment station staff conduct basic and applied research in the field, in laboratories at the MAFES headquarters at MSU, and at 17 sites located strategically throughout the state. Sites include four regional Research and Extension Centers and the Main Station in Starkville. These Centers coordinate research at locations throughout the State. Studies also are conducted on privately owned land of farmer cooperators.

While the primary mission of the Experiment Station is performing agricultural and forestry research for the state, its presence on the campus adds strength to the teaching program. Most Division department heads and staff members are joint teaching and research employees. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides some full-time staff members.

The Experiment Station operates on state and federally appropriated funds supplemented by income from sales of products from the research projects. Grants from private industry and other sources, including federal and state agencies, provide additional funds.

The Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service

The Cooperative Extension Service, created by the Federal Smith-Lever Act of 1914 and by the Mississippi Legislature, is to provide informal (out of classroom) education for Mississippians - to contribute to economic development and a higher quality of life.

Extension is a unique agency responsible for disseminating research-based information and technology that are primarily useful to commercial agriculture, but also are useful to economic development, youth, and farm families. The Extension Service has been described as Mississippi State University's "classroom in the field," with offices located in all 82 counties, and is the only agency with a statewide educational delivery system. Professional state and county staffs provide leadership and information to improve agriculture, related sectors of the economy, and families and youth. Research and Extension Centers in Verona, Raymond, Biloxi, and Stoneville are also part of this statewide network to provide up-to-date information to Mississippians.

Educational programs and assistance are provided in four broad areas: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family & Consumer Education, 4-H Youth Development, and Enterprise and Community Resource Development. Programs are based on state and local needs identified by local advisory groups, and centered around major areas of programming such as sustainable agriculture systems; forestry, wildlife, and other natural resources; water quality and conservation; communities in economic transition; nutrition, diet, and health; family and economic well-being; waste management; youth-at-risk; and financial management.

 

II. ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION


A. Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning consists of twelve members who, according to a constitutional amendment of 1944, are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Each Governor appoints four members who serve for twelve years. The Board has general supervision of the affairs of all the public senior institutions of higher learning. By policy, it contracts with all teaching personnel and heads of budget units for their services.

The Board elects one of its members president and one vice president for one year or until successors are named. The Board appoints a non-member as Commissioner of Higher Education. Other office personnel of the Board are appointed by the Commissioner upon the approval of the Board.

By statute, the Board is required to hold two regular meetings annually, one in June and the other in January. It holds as many special meetings as are necessary. Usually, the Board meets each month in Jackson on the third Thursday; as a general rule, official meetings of the Board are open.

Further information concerning policies of the Board can be found in the By-laws and Policies, Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, State of Mississippi (continually revised). The Board office is located in the Education and Research Center, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, Mississippi 39211, phone 601-432-6972.

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B. The President

The President of Mississippi State University is the sole agent of the Board of Trustees on the campus. Full authority to manage the institution is conferred upon the President, in accordance with policies and procedures established by the Board and with certain laws specifically applicable to the institution. In conferring full authority, the Board requires full responsibility; the President alone reports to the Board; and, in turn delegates limited and specific authority to several administrative officials, each with responsibility commensurate with the delegated authority. The President's specific responsibilities include financial management of the institution; the physical plant and real property; recruiting, contracting with, and supervising all personnel; recruitment, admission, and instruction of all students; and relationships with people or units outside the institution. All functions of the University as it conducts teaching, research, and services are the President's responsibilities.

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C. Other Senior Administrative Positions

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for leading and administering the academic programs of the university. The Provost prepares, allocates, and administers the academic budgets; administers all academic personnel procedures, including affirmative action, recruitment, appointment, retention, and promotion and tenure; provides leadership for deans, directors, faculty, and support staff to meet stated goals; encourages faculty research and scholarly activities; ensures that academic procedures preserve academic freedom; manages academic facilities and support services, including the Library; Information Technology Services; Registrar's Office; the University Academic Advising Center; the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Effectiveness; Career Services; the Honors Program; and the Summer Developmental Program. In the absence of the President, the provost serves as the chief executive officer of the university.

Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine

The Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine is responsible for providing administrative leadership and coordination of the units making up the division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine: the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Mississippi State University Extension Service, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Forest Resources, and College of Veterinary Medicine. Responsibilities for instructional programs are shared with the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Vice President for Development and Alumni

The Vice President for External Affairs is primarily responsible for coordinating the operations and activities of the MSU Foundation, Alumni Affairs, University Relations, and the University Television Center. The primary function of these units is to influence alumni, friends, opinion leaders and the general public concerning the value of the contributions of the university to the State of Mississippi and beyond, and to raise private financial support. The Vice President also plans, coordinates, and monitors efforts to promote the interests of the university in the public sector and to secure private funds, ensuring that university programs are matched and coordinated with sources of private funds most appropriate to meet these needs. The university golf course, university aircraft operations, and WMSV campus radio station also report to the Vice President for External Affairs.

Vice President for Research and Economic Development

The Vice President for Research and Economic Development has administrative responsibility for research and externally sponsored activities in the academic division of the University, including the School of Architecture and the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business and Industry, Education, and Engineering, as well as biomedical research activities in the College of Veterinary Medicine. All activities concerned with the development and coordination of basic and applied research are coordinated under the Vice President and include formally organized research centers and institutes, as well as individual faculty research. The Vice President supervises and administers operation of university level centers and institutes, the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration, Regulatory Compliance, Facility Security, and Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing.

Vice President for Student Affairs

The Vice President for Student Affairs is in charge of planning, implementing, and administering services to meet students' out-of-class needs and providing programs to help students develop psychologically, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. The vice president supervises and administers the Division of Student Affairs; establishes the philosophy and the tone for the operation of the Division and determines, in consultation of other professionals, the areas of emphasis, administrative style, educational focus, organizational structure, and programs and services to be provided for students.

Chief Administrative Officer

The Chief Administrative Officer of the University is responsible for providing administrative leadership and coordination of the units making up Administrative Affairs. The Chief Administrative Officer is responsible for fiscal planning and the development of budgets for support services, human resources management, the operation and maintenance of the physical plant, custodial services, campus landscape, the university laundry/cleaners, dining services, and university-owned faculty and staff housing.

Chief Budget and Financial Officer

The Chief Budget and Financial Officer of the University is responsible for providing administrative leadership and coordination of the units making up the Office of Budget and Finance. The business and financial functions of the university are centralized in the Office of Budget and Finance, which is responsible for receiving, managing, and disbursing funds from all sources; and for fiscal planning and the development of budgets for the university. The Chief Budget and Financial Officer is also responsible for fiscal planning and the development of budgets for the office of the controller and treasurer; accounts payable and travel; property control and receiving; procurement and contracts; and printing services, mail services, and office supply.

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D. Administrative Councils

The President is advised and assisted in administering the affairs of the University by these principal committees:

  1. The Administrative Council

    The Administrative Council is chaired by the President and consists of the Vice Presidents, the Chief Budget and Financial Officer, the Chief Administrative Officer, the college Deans, Directors of MSU-ES and MAFES, the Athletic Director, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, the Chair of the Staff Council, the President of the Student Association, the Associate Provost, Associate Provost for Information Services, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, and University Counsel. The official function of the council is to "advise the president on matters which he presents to it" and "act with the consent of the president on matters brought before it."

  2. The Executive Council

    The Executive Council is chaired by the President consists of the Vice Presidents, the Chief Budget and Financial Officer, the Chief Administrative Officer, the Athletic Director, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, the Chair of the Staff Council, and the President of the Student Association. It also has a non-voting staff consisting of the University Counsel, the Director of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Effectiveness, and the assistants to the President. Minutes of the council are on-line at http://msuinfo.ur.msstate.edu/~farrisj/exec/.

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E. Academic and Research Councils

1. The Academic Council
The Academic Council, chaired by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, advises the Provost on academic policies and procedures and serves as a communication link with major university offices. Members of the Council include the Associate Vice Provosts and the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, all academic deans and directors, and other invited University administrators whose offices directly affect, or are affected by, academic regulations and decisions.

2. The Academic Deans Council
The Academic Deans Council provides leadership in establishing academic policies and procedures, in making decisions about academic programs, and in recommending new degree programs. This body participates in developing long-range plans for the University. The Academic Deans Council is chaired by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and includes the Associate Provosts and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, the deans of the schools and colleges, the Dean of Continuing Education, the Dean of University Libraries, the Dean of the Meridian Campus, the Vice Chair of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate, and the Vice President of the Student Association.

3. The Associate Deans and Directors Council
The Associate Deans and Directors Council recommends academic policies and operational procedures to the Academic Deans Council and implements approved policies and decisions. The Associate Deans and Directors Council consists of the Associate Provost, who serves as chair, Associate Provost for Information Technology, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, an associate or assistant dean (or designated representative) from each school, college, or division, as assigned by the appropriate dean, and all directors of units that report to Academic Affairs. Other persons may be invited to attend as resource persons.

4. The Graduate Council
The Graduate Council is the executive committee of the Graduate Faculty and is responsible for the formulation of academic policy and programs related to graduate study at Mississippi State University. In addition, the Council may advise the college deans on any matter they or the deans feel is appropriate. The Chairperson of the Graduate Council is elected from the membership for a renewable one-year term.

The Council is composed of one elected member from each of the academic colleges or schools offering graduate study (programs), and one less in number appointed by the Provost. Not more than two appointed faculty members may be from the same college or school. To be eligible for membership on the council, members must have Level 1 status on the Graduate Faculty. The term of office is three years. Vacancies on the Council are filled in the same manner in which the member vacating the position was selected.

In addition to the faculty, the Council has one graduate student representative who is usually the president of the Graduate Student Association and is appointed for a one-year term.

Ex officio members of the Graduate Council include the Director of Graduate Studies, the Vice President for Research, the Dean of University Libraries, the Dean of Continuing Education, the Associate Provost, the Graduate Studies Manager, the Associate Director of Admissions, and the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.

5. The Research Council

The Research Council, chaired by the Vice President for Research, advises the President on research policies and procedures and acts on routine research matters. Members of the Council include Directors of research in each academic college, Directors of major research units, representatives of the Faculty Senate and Student Association, and other University administrators whose offices directly affect, or are affected by, research regulations and decisions.

6. The Research Directors Council
Composed of representatives of research units that report to the vice president for research. Considers operational matters pertaining to research. This committee reports to the Vice President for Research.

7. The Research Operations Council
Considers appropriate research development strategies and daily operation of the university research program. Serves as a research planning group. This committee reports to the Vice President for Research.

8. The Council on International Affairs
The Council on International Affairs advises the Provost on policy matters dealing with international education. Members of the Council include the International Student Advisor, directors and coordinators of units significantly involved in international activities, and representatives of various colleges and divisions

9. The Academic Department Heads' Executive Committee
The Academic Department Heads' Executive Committee advises the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs on issues affecting academic department heads. It also plans and coordinates the activities which seek to improve the performance of academic department heads and serves as a liaison with all academic departments.

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F. Standing Committees

Each fall the Standing Committees listing is published on the university website at http://www.ur.msstate.edu/standing2/ announcing appointments of faculty, staff, and students to the university's system of over 70 standing committees. Committee appointments, which begin in August, typically are for terms of not more than three years, although successive appointments may be made. The website displays the year in which an individual's appointment to a particular committee expires. Individuals whose university titles are given in lieu of an expiration date serve on that committee by virtue of their position or special expertise, and are appointed for indefinite terms.

The Committee on Committees receives nominations and suggestions for committee membership from committee chairs and from the campus at large. It is composed of the university Vice Presidents, Chief Financial and Budget Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, Student Association representative, Athletic Director, chairs of the Faculty Senate and Staff Council, the Assistant to the President, who serves as secretary, and the Special Assistant to the President, who serves as chair. Announcements requesting nominations are published in the MSU Memo in the spring. Care is taken to ensure balance in committee assignments among colleges, schools, and administrative offices and among the different academic ranks and staff classifications, and to ensure the appropriate committee representation of women, minorities, and students.

Most of the committees serve as advisory bodies. Ad hoc committees are appointed during the year as the need arises.

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G. Nonacademic Personnel

Nonacademic divisions of the University are generally organized in ways similar to the organization of the academic subdivisions, with departmental heads in charge. The heads, subject to the approval of their superiors, are responsible for hiring personnel and for supervising their performance. The organizational chart of the University shows how the nonacademic departments relate to the President.

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H. Organizational Chart

 

III. THE FACULTY


(Note: This revision of the Faculty Handbook contains a modification of the original Charter of the Organization of the Faculty. Formatting has been changed for the sake of clarity. The only changes in content are those made by amendment, to correct errors, or to eliminate duplication.)

A. ORGANIZATION OF THE FACULTY: CHARTER

The Faculty of Mississippi State University is organized under the guidelines set down in the Charter of Organization of the Faculty of Mississippi State University. The faculty is divided into two categories, the General Faculty and the Graduate Faculty.

The Charter of Organization of the Faculty of Mississippi State University

The General Faculty

  1. Composition

    The General Faculty shall consist of all professionals of the University with these appropriate ranks:

    AcademicResearch ExtensionClinical
    Instructor Extension InstructorClinical Instructor
    Assistant ProfessorAssist. Res. Prof.Assist. Ext. Prof.Assist. Clin. Prof.
    Associate ProfessorAssoc. Res. Prof.Assoc. Ext. Prof.Assoc. Clin. Prof.
    Professor Research ProfessorExtension ProfessorClinical Professor

    and other appropriate ranks as recommended by the Robert Holland Faculty Senate and approved by the General Faculty.

    The Director of Human Resources shall compile and submit a current list of the General Faculty from each unit to the appropriate unit administrator at the beginning of the academic year. The administrator shall resolve any discrepancies with the Director of Human Resources. The unit administrator is responsible for updating the Director of Human Resources in a timely fashion when any changes occur to the General Faculty in that specific unit. The Director of Human Resources shall be responsible for supplying the President of the Faculty Senate with a current list of the General Faculty by January 1 of each year.

    The General Faculty shall be the final judge in all questions concerning its composition. Any changes in the colleges or divisions to be represented on the Robert Holland Faculty Senate must be approved by a simple majority vote of the General Faculty.

  2. Voting Eligibility

    All the members of the General Faculty may vote.

  3. Officers

    The officers of the General Faculty shall be a Chair, who is the President of the University, and a Vice Chair, who is the President of the Faculty Senate. The Vice Chair shall act as the recorder at meetings and as the Chair of the General Faculty in the absence of the President or his/her designated representative. In the latter case, the Vice Chair shall appoint a member of the General Faculty to act as recorder.

  4. Organization

    The Chair of the General Faculty shall appoint a committee to draft the necessary bylaws not contradictory to this charter, to enable the General Faculty to perform its functions. These bylaws will become effective upon approval by two-thirds of members eligible to vote.

  5. Meetings

    The General Faculty shall meet twice a year within 30 days after completion of registration of spring and fall semesters and at other times upon call of the President of the University or of the Faculty Senate or by petition of 25 percent of the General Faculty. A quorum shall consist of two hundred and fifty (250) members who are present and eligible to vote. In the absence of a quorum, any business requiring a vote, including amendments to the bylaws, may be conducted by a mail vote within one month of the meeting date. The Vice Chair will be responsible for accomplishing the balloting and for reporting the results to the faculty within one month of vote.

  6. Functions
    1. The General Faculty shall elect, according to the Charter of the Faculty Senate, the members of the Faculty Senate.

    2. The General Faculty shall function individually or collectively to recommend and refer to the Faculty Senate those matters dealing with the academic community and welfare of the University which it would desire to have the Senate consider. This does not deny the right of direct approach of any member of the General Faculty to the President or the administration.

    3. The General Faculty shall consider all matters referred to it by the President or the Faculty Senate or members of the General Faculty and make recommendations concerning them at its discretion.

  7. Amendments

    The Charter of Organization of the General Faculty can be amended by a petition submitted by the officers of the General Faculty, or by a petition signed by 25 voting members and the subsequent approval by a two-thirds vote taken at the next meeting of the General Faculty provided that not less than 30 days have elapsed since submission of the text of the amendment to each member of the General Faculty. Amendments shall then be submitted to the President of the University and become effective upon the President's approval.

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B. ORGANIZATION OF THE FACULTY: BYLAWS

  1. Membership List

    The Vice Chair of the General Faculty shall keep available a current list of the membership of the General Faculty.

  2. Meetings

    Members of the General Faculty shall be notified at least seven days in advance of the date of each meeting unless an urgent meeting is summoned to deal with some emergency which will not admit delay.

    Convocations of the faculty community that are called for the purpose of introducing new members and welcoming the community to a new school year may not be considered as meetings of the General Faculty that are called for by the Charter.

  3. Committees

    Standing Committees

    1. The Robert Holland Faculty Senate, as prescribed in the charter of Organization of the Faculty of Mississippi State University, is a standing committee of the General Faculty.

    2. There shall be a standing committee entitled the University Instructional Improvement Committee.

    Special Committees

    The General Faculty may create special or ad hoc committees for special purposes at any time.

  4. Order of Business

    The regular order of a meeting shall be:

    1. Reading and approval of minutes of the preceding meeting
    2. Old business
    3. Reports of committees
    4. Question time
    5. New business.

    During that portion of the meeting devoted to question time, which shall not exceed forty-five minutes of substance unless it is by vote of the meeting, the Chair shall reply to those questions on the operation, policies, practices, and other aspects of the University which have been submitted to his/her office over the signature of a General Faculty member at least five days prior to the meeting. The Chair shall have caused these questions to be conveniently grouped by subject, reproduced and furnished to members of the General Faculty as they assemble for the meeting. He/she shall be free, however, to request any other qualified person in advance to make the response to a question or group of questions.

    Following the reply to a printed question, supplementary questions pertaining to the substance of the original question may be asked from the floor. The last fifteen minutes of the meeting shall be reserved for open questions from the floor.

    If time does not allow answers to be given to all of the written questions that have been received for the meeting, a written response to the unanswered questions will be sent to members of the General Faculty within two weeks of that meeting.

  5. Authority and Records

    The general authority for parliamentary procedure in all matters not inconsistent with these bylaws shall be Robert's Rules of Order, current edition.

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C. THE ROBERT HOLLAND FACULTY SENATE

The General Faculty elects representatives (senators) to the Robert Holland Faculty Senate, which functions as a channel of communication between the faculty and the President. The Robert Holland Faculty Senate advises the President on matters referred to it.

  1. Composition

    Senators of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate, referred to elsewhere in this document as the Faculty Senate, shall be elected from the members of the General Faculty who have had at least one year of service. Administrative officers at or above the Assistant Dean level (or equivalent) at Mississippi State University shall not be eligible for elected membership. The President and Vice Presidents are members of the Senate ex officio. Four advisory (non-voting) members shall be the Presidents of the Graduate Student Association and the Student Association, or their designates, and elected representatives of the Division of Student Affairs and the Professional and Support Staff Council.

    Senators shall be elected by secret ballot from and by full time faculty members of the divisions of the University to be listed below. Faculty members are eligible to vote only within and for members of their particular division. The maximum number of senators on the Faculty Senate shall be 50. The senate seats shall be allocated on the basis of proportional representation from each of the divisions. All divisions shall be entitled to at least one senator.

    Senate representation shall be refigured at two-year intervals or as necessitated by a change in the number of units represented. The units to be represented are as follows: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and associated personnel of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, College of Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Industry, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Forest Resources and associated personnel of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus, and the Library. Other units composed of members of the General Faculty may be represented upon the recommendation of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate and the approval of the General Faculty. Faculty equivalent individuals who report to various administrative entities but do not hold appointments in one of the units listed above shall be assigned to one of the above units by the appropriate Vice President.

    Each senator shall serve a period of three years, with elections between January 15 and March 15 for membership to be assumed in April. A senator may serve two consecutive terms, after which he/she is ineligible for membership for a year. A senator elected to serve out more than half of an unexpired full term shall be considered, for this purpose, to have served a full term.

  2. Voting Eligibility

    Only elected members of the Faculty Senate (senators) may vote.

  3. Officers

    Officers of the Faculty Senate shall consist of a President, Vice President, and Secretary who shall be elected in April by a secret majority vote of the senators. These officers shall serve for a period of one year (July 1 through June 30). Those holding the offices of President and Vice President shall not be eligible for more than two consecutive terms.

  4. Organization

    The President of the Faculty Senate will appoint a committee to draft the necessary bylaws not contradictory to this Charter, to enable it to perform its function. These bylaws will become effective upon approval of two-thirds of the senators.

  5. Support

    The University shall consider in its budget an appropriation of funds or the appointment of facilities sufficient to allow the Faculty Senate to perform its functions.

  6. Meetings

    The Faculty Senate shall meet once a month during the regular school year, except December, and upon call of the President of the Senate or petition of seven of its senators. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the senators eligible to vote.

  7. Functions

    1. The Faculty Senate shall make recommendations to the President of the University on matters pertaining to the welfare of the University.

    2. The Faculty Senate shall consider all matters brought before it by the President of the University, the Administration, the General Faculty, or individuals of the General Faculty, and make recommendations concerning them when appropriate.

    3. The Faculty Senate shall keep the General Faculty fully informed of recommendations.

    4. The Faculty Senate shall be represented by its President or his/her representative on the Administrative Council, Athletic Council, Board of Directors of the Alumni Association, Budget Committee, Committee on Committees, Executive Council, Planning Committee, and University Faculty Senates Association.

    5. The Faculty Senate shall be represented by its Vice President or his/her representative on the Academic Deans Council, Traffic Committee, and University Faculty Senates Association.
The Bylaws of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate

The Robert Holland Faculty Senate, having been brought into being by the Charter of Organization of the Faculty of Mississippi State University, conscious of its role as an agency for stimulating, ascertaining, and appropriately articulating considered views and opinions of and for the General Faculty that would assist the continued evolvement of the University toward the highest degree of perfection attainable, and desiring in prayerful sincerity to serve this ideal constantly with its maximum ability, adopts the following provisions as its bylaws, this 5th day of April, 1968. Current bylaws appear below.

  1. Duties of Officers

    President

    The President of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate is the chief administrative official of the Senate and its presiding officer. He/she has the powers and responsibilities commensurate with such functions. Specifically, he/she is charged with the responsibility to:

    • send to senators, so as to reach them not less than three full days before a meeting, a notice of the specific items of subjects that he/she knows to be on the agenda for the coming meeting;
    • cause a brief summary of the actions of each meeting to be prepared and distributed to members of the General Faculty within two weeks following each meeting;
    • appoint the members and the Chair of each committee;
    • appoint a senator to keep the records of a meeting at which the Secretary is absent;
    • transmit to the President of the University, or to such other person to whom a Senate recommendation may be directed, the recommendation of the Senate;
    • keep the Senate informed of the disposition of each recommendation that is made;
    • state clearly each issue that is being voted on before the vote is taken and announce the results of the vote immediately thereafter;
    • notify newly elected senators of their right to participate in the nomination of candidates for the position of President of the Senate;
    • notify the dean or head of each college or division when any vacancy occurs that an election should be held to fill such vacancy on the Senate;
    • appoint members of other committees as specified by University policy;
    • represent Faculty Senate on the Administrative Council*, Athletic Council, Board of Directors of the Alumni Association, Budget Committee, Committee on Committees, Executive Council, Planning Committee, and University Faculty Senates Association. (*The Administrative Council was reinstated in the spring of 1997.)
    Vice President
    1. The Vice President of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate shall preside at Senate meetings in the absence of the President. When the Senate is to be represented by the President and he/she is unable to represent it, the Vice President shall be designated to represent it.
    2. If for any reason the position of Senate President should become vacant, the Vice President shall become President, and a new Vice President shall be elected according to the procedure set forth in this document.
    3. In the event of the absence of the President and the Vice President at a meeting, the Senate must select one of its senators to be the Temporary President for that meeting.
    4. The Vice President of the Senate or his/her representative shall represent the Faculty Senate on the Academic Deans Council, Traffic Committee, and University Faculty Senates Association.
    Secretary

    The Secretary of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate shall:

    • keep a clear and accurate record of the transactions of each Senate meeting, which records are to be assembled by him/her with other papers of the Senate each calendar year and deposited in the Library of the University;
    • keep current a membership list of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate, which shall include the date of expiration of each elected senator's term;
    • keep current a membership list of each committee of the Senate;
    • keep available a number of copies of the Senate's bylaws, as amended, giving a copy to each newly elected senator.
    Parliamentarian

    1. The general authority for parliamentary procedure in all matters not inconsistent with these bylaws shall be Robert's Rules of Order, current edition.

    2. The Senate President may be his/her own parliamentarian, or he/she may appoint a senator to be his/her parliamentarian. In either case, the person discharging that office, in addition to the regular functions of such an office, shall keep available for easy reference at each Senate meeting;
      • a copy of the Charter of the General Faculty, a copy of the bylaws of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate, and a guide to aid in parliamentary procedure;

      • a current list of all decisions of the General Faculty and of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate, which remains binding on the actions of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate;

      • a current list of pertinent rulings of the Senate President.
  2. Procedures

    Studies and Recommendations

    1. Each proposal for a study or recommendation by the Robert Holland Faculty Senate must be presented to the Senate President in writing with the proposer's name appearing thereon. Each new proposed study or recommendation shall be provided in writing or read by the President to the Senate prior to voting to accept the study or recommendation.

    2. After introduction, the question shall be on sending the proposed study or recommendation to committee for further processing.

    3. Upon the Senate's approval, each proposed study or recommendation shall be assigned to the appropriate committee by the President, and a report from that committee is expected in a timely manner at a subsequent meeting of the Senate.

    4. Following the questions of fact, debate shall take place on the question of adopting the proposed recommendation, as presented by the committee, as a recommendation of the Senate. Amendments may be offered from the floor.

    5. One recommendation, or more, adequately based on such a report, may be adopted in the meeting at which the report is given only if the committee has provided the senators with a written copy of its report at least three full days before the meeting at which the report is given.

    6. A recommendation of no action, or the failure of a committee to make a report or recommendation, shall not preclude the right of the Senate to take further action on a proposed recommendation or a variation of it.

    External Resolutions

    The proposing and adopting of resolutions pertaining to persons or matters outside the Senate shall follow the procedure of proposed recommendation, for adoption, except that if such a proposed resolution shall have been presented to the Senate President so as to have been included by him/her in the notification of the agenda to the senators at least three full days in advance of a meeting, it can be moved for adoption at that meeting.

    Internal Affairs

    Motions and resolutions pertaining to internal matters of the Senate, which are not otherwise provided for by these bylaws or by the Senate's charter, can be initiated and passed upon in a single meeting. A majority vote of those senators present and voting "aye" or "nay" is required for adoption of such motions and resolutions.

    Amending the Bylaws

    Each proposal for an amendment to these laws shall follow the procedure of a proposed recommendation, except that for any amendment to be adopted it must receive a two-thirds vote of the senators present.

    Election of Senators

    Each senator shall serve a period of three years, with elections held between January 15 and March 15 for membership to be assumed in April. Colleges/units may elect senators by any procedure provided that:

    • the call for nominations is open to the entire college/unit for a reasonable time;
    • each person named on the ballot has agreed to serve, if elected;
    • there is a clear provision, announced in advance, to determine how multiple vacancies of different terms (three-year term, completion of three-year term, sabbatical-replacement) will be filled;
    • there are provisions for run-off elections to ensure that only candidates receiving a majority vote are elected;
    • elections occur during the 9-month academic year, except in units in which all faculty members have 12-month contracts.
      • Criteria used for the representation of external units on the Faculty Senate include:
        • the unit be led by a dean or equivalent;
        • the unit comprise at least 15 faculty members;
        • the unit be located at least 50 miles from the Starkville campus.

    Election of Officers

    1. Nominations for the position of President of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate shall be a written note to the President by any person who shall be a senator in the forthcoming year. The nominations shall be made during the time interval between the regular March meeting of the Senate and five days before its April meeting, herein called its election meeting. The President's notice of the agenda for the election meeting shall contain an alphabetical list of the names that have been placed in nomination. If no more than one name has been received in nomination, then additional names can be placed in nomination from the floor. No person shall be considered a nominee unless he/she shall have served on this Senate at least one year.

    2. At the election meeting, secret balloting for the Office of President, from among those nominated, shall be conducted immediately following the President's report.

    3. If no person receives the vote required by the Charter (a majority of the senators), a second balloting shall take place between the top two vote receivers of the first balloting, or top three vote receivers should there be a tie for second place. Balloting shall continue on those names which were on the second ballot until one receives the required vote. Nominations from the floor will be allowed if there is still a deadlock after five ballots.

    4. The Senate shall then proceed to nominate and elect first a Vice President who has served on the Senate at least one year and then a Secretary. In both cases the procedure for election and the required vote as described in Item 2 and Item 3 of this section shall be the same as that given for the election of the Senate President.

    5. Following the election of all officers, the retiring President shall present the new officers to the Senate.
  3. Order of Business

    The regular order of business of the Senate shall be:

    1. Adoption of minutes.
    2. Recognition of new members and guests of the Senate (when appropriate).
    3. Report of President. This shall include a report of the disposition of previous Senate recommendations and resolutions and the report of communication to the Senate.
    4. Report of Vice President.
    5. Report from Faculty Senate designates on university committees.
    6. Business to be sent to committee.
    7. Standing committee reports.
    8. Special committee reports.
    9. Old business.
    10. New business. Those proposed recommendations, studies, and resolutions that have been submitted to the President in writing shall be considered first, and then items that might be brought up from the floor shall be considered.
  4. Committees
    Standing Committees

    1. The Robert Holland Faculty Senate shall have standing committees through which it can systematically and continually keep itself informed. These committees and their jurisdictions, until the Senate otherwise directs by a majority of senators, shall be:

      Academic Affairs--those matters that are directly concerned with the University achievement of its primary purpose;

      Ancillary Affairs--those matters that are subservient and subordinate to and adjuncts of the primary purpose of the University but which do not fall within the areas of student or faculty affairs;

      Faculty Affairs--those ancillary matters which exclusively or primarily affect the General Faculty;

      Student Affairs--those ancillary matters which exclusively or primarily affect the students;

      Charter and Bylaws--for regular review and recommendation concerning the operating procedure, structure, size, representation, and other internal matters of the Senate; to report the number of General Faculty in each unit represented on the Faculty Senate at the February meeting of each year; to report at the February meeting of every odd-numbered year the number of senators each unit is to have on the Faculty Senate until the next reapportionment. The Chair of the Charter and Bylaws Committee will serve as the Chair of the Faculty Handbook Committee, and as Editor of the Faculty handbook.

      University Resources--study the allocation of resources within the University and acquaint the Faculty Senate with such allocations; make yearly recommendations to be considered by the Faculty Senate which might be forwarded to the University administration concerning faculty salaries, increments for promotion, and related matters;

    2. All senators (with the exception of the President and Vice President) will be appointed to a standing committee by the President. Each senator shall serve on that committee to which he/she is appointed throughout his/her term on the Senate, unless he/she asks for and receives removal by the Senate President. The Chair of each standing committee shall be appointed yearly by the newly elected Senate President.

    3. Each standing committee shall receive, inform itself concerning, and report to the Senate through one of its members on any proposed recommendation, study, or other matter which shall have been referred to it by a vote of the Senate. In the discharge of its responsibility, it shall seek collectively, and its members shall seek individually, such factual information and the opinion of such interested parties as will provide the Senate with a firm and complete basis for sound and responsible decisions.

    Special Committees

    By a vote of the Senate, or on the initiative of the Senate President, special committees can be created temporarily to handle such matters as do not readily fall within the jurisdiction of one of the standing committees, or to handle such matters as might require intensive work or special handling.

    The majority of the members of a special committee shall be from the Faculty Senate.

    The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate shall be a special committee chaired by the Senate President and shall consist of the Vice President, Secretary, and all the Chairs of Standing Committees of the Senate. This Committee shall act as an advisory committee to the Senate President on all matters brought to the attention of Senate by any of its members or any items affecting the faculty brought to the attention of the Senate President by members of the administration.

  5. Terms
    1. The terms of office of the Senate's officers shall begin July 1 and end June 30 for the following year. These officers retain full voting rights in the Faculty Senate until the completion of their terms as officers.

    2. The terms of senators shall begin with the first day of April following their elections and shall end on March 31 of the last year of their term, except that the term of any of the Senate's officers is considered to be extended until his/her successor is chosen if it would otherwise expire.

    3. The terms of persons elected to fill unexpired terms of senators who resign or otherwise relinquish their membership are limited to the unexpired terms of the senators being replaced. Election and active membership of these replacements shall take place immediately following the occurrence of the vacancy.

    4. Each senator shall serve a period of three years, with elections between January 15 and March 15 for membership to be assumed in April. A senator may serve two consecutive terms, after which he/she is ineligible for membership for a year. A senator elected to serve out more than half of an unexpired full term shall be considered, for this purpose, to have served a full term.

    5. During reapportionment years, when a unit loses one or more senators and either none of the senators' terms expire that year, or more than one of the senators' terms expire that year, the faculty of the affected unit must determine which individual(s) will continue to represent them.

    6. When units represented on the Faculty Senate are deleted by a vote of the General Faculty, the terms of the affected senators will expire in March of that year.

  6. Meetings
    1. The Faculty Senate shall meet once a month during the regular school year, except December. All meetings shall be held in the second week of each month, except when there is a conflict with scheduled holidays, in which case the meetings shall be held in the third week of the month.

    2. All meetings shall be open unless by a two-thirds vote of the senators present the Senate should otherwise direct for any meeting or part thereof.

    3. The Senate, by a specific vote and for a specific purpose, may allow itself to be addressed by a non-member. The vote must be a majority of those present.

    4. While the Senate has authority to make rules and regulations concerning the orderly manner and the time limitations thereof, no part of these bylaws or of such rules and regulations as shall be made by the Senate shall ever prevent, obstruct, or inhibit the right of a senator or a member of the General Faculty from personally bringing a matter to the attention of the Senate during that portion of the meeting devoted to new business.

    5. Urgent meetings of the Senate can be called to consider a matter which is felt to warrant immediate attention without the usual three-day notice of the meeting being given and the urgent matter shall be the agenda of the meeting; but such a meeting shall be null and void unless its purpose shall have been clearly stated to each senator available for notification of the meeting.

    6. For elected senators to be counted as present, they must be physically present for all regularly scheduled Faculty Senate meetings unless granted an excused absence.

    7. When a senator misses three consecutive regular meetings of the Senate without sufficient justification, his/her dean shall be notified by the President of the Senate and requested to hold a new election to replace the recalled member.

  7. Voting

    1. Voting on the adoption of recommendations, external resolutions, amendments to the bylaws, and the appeal of rulings of the President shall be by a show of hands. The charter requires secret voting for the election of Senate officers. In any other matter another method of voting may be used except that if one-third of the senators present request it, the vote must be by show of hands.

    2. The affirmative vote of two-thirds of the senators present shall be sufficient to suspend provisions of the Senate's bylaws in order to expedite the handling of a particular matter, but the provisions of the bylaws on vote and voting shall not be suspended.

    3. Only senators may vote, and the vote of a majority of successive members voting "aye" or "nay" shall be sufficient in all instances not otherwise provided for by the Senate Charter or its bylaws.

    4. A roll-call vote shall be held when one-fifth or more of those present vote in favor.

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D. THE UNIVERSITY INSTRUCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE

  1. Purpose

    The purpose of the University Instructional Improvement Committee is to enhance the learning environment at Mississippi State University. To this end, the Committee is responsive to and supportive of the administration and faculty of Mississippi State University. The Committee acts as a catalyst to aid the faculty and administration in performing the duties related to instruction. The Committee promotes the development and recognition of teaching excellence in an era of increased teaching accountability. This committee is committed to the career development of both the students and faculty at MSU. A commitment to excellence in teaching is essential to provide a good environment for learning.

  2. Composition

    The Committee is composed of 16 members selected from the faculty to a three-year term, with provision for reappointments to one additional three-year term. The Chair and other officers should be elected by the Committee from its membership during the spring semester.

    The officials will serve one-year terms beginning at the start of the fall semester. Appointments to the Committee should be staggered with four or five new members appointed each year. Appointments will be made in the spring semester for terms which begin at the start of the fall semester. Twelve of the sixteen members are to be appointed by the deans or directors or elected from the respective units: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Business and Industry, Continuing Education, Cooperative Extension Education, Engineering, Forest Resources, Veterinary Medicine, Library, and Computing Center.

    Representatives from units with standing Instructional Improvement Committees should come from members of these Committees. During the spring semester, the Chair of the University Instructional Improvement Committee will notify the deans or directors when a new appointment should be made. Two members of the committee will be appointed by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from the faculty at large. Two members are to be appointees selected from the Faculty Senate membership.

  3. Functions

    Goals and Responsibilities:

    1. Supports and promotes teaching excellence.
    2. Provides communication among the college committees.
    3. Makes appropriate recommendations to the Administration and faculty. Reports are submitted simultaneously to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Senate.

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E. THE GRADUATE FACULTY

The Graduate Faculty are those Mississippi State University faculty whose expertise and professional accomplishment are considered by their departmental head and college deans to be of superior quality, and as such, appropriate for instruction of students enrolled in graduate degree programs.

Privileges and Duties/Responsibilities

The privileges and duties/responsibilities of the membership on the Graduate Faculty include:

  1. teaching graduate-level courses and seminars;
  2. advising graduate students;
  3. supervising\guiding graduate student research and study to its completion;
  4. serving on graduate committees, including thesis and dissertation committees;
  5. serving on examining committees for graduate students;
  6. serving as a Graduate School representative on doctoral preliminary and final oral examinations;
  7. remaining current and actively productive in terms of scholarly/research/creative endeavors;
  8. participating in the formulation of graduate curricula and policy; and
  9. being eligible to serve on the Graduate Council.
Membership

Membership on the Graduate Faculty shall be restricted to those who (a) have an earned terminal degree (highest degree awarded in the discipline) in or related to the faculty member's area of assigned graduate responsibility*; and (b) hold academic rank of Assistant Professor or higher, or research rank as Research Scientist I or higher at Mississippi State University. To be appointed to membership in Level 2 category, the individual must have demonstrated satisfactory performance in scholarly/research/creative endeavors according to the criteria prescribed in the tenure and promotion policies document of the individual's college/school. To be appointed to membership in Level 1 category, the individual must have demonstrated excellent and current performance in scholarly/research/creative endeavors according to the criteria prescribed in the tenure and promotion policies document of the individual's college/school.

Members of the Graduate Faculty in Level 2 category of membership are authorized to: (a) teach graduate-level courses in each field of specialization for which they have formal advanced study or demonstrated competence through independent scholarly activity; (b) to serve as members of any graduate committee, and (c) to serve as chairs of master's non-thesis committees, chairs/directors of master's thesis or specialist's thesis/special problem committees; and (d) to serve as co-director (with a Level 1 member of the Graduate Faculty) of doctoral dissertations.

Members of the Graduate Faculty in Level 1 category of membership are authorized to do (a), (b), and (c) above. In addition, they are authorized to serve as chairs of doctoral committees and as directors of doctoral dissertations. The Graduate Council recommends that Level 1 Assistant Professors chairing or directing their first doctoral/dissertation committee be appointed as co-chairs or co-directors with an experienced Level 1 member.

Individuals who are not eligible for Graduate Faculty Membership as described above and individuals who do not hold academic or research ranks or are not employed by Mississippi State University), but do meet the requirements/qualifications for appointment to the Level 1 or Level 2 categories may be appointed to the Graduate Faculty by the Graduate Dean via the recommendation of a department head and his/her college/school dean. Such adjunct appointments will be differentiated for record-keeping purposes as appointments in Level 1A (A is for Adjunct) or Level 2A categories. The term of appointment for such individuals will be limited and will be determined by the Graduate Dean.

The Graduate Dean has the authority to approve qualified individuals who do not hold membership on the Graduate Faculty to teach designated graduate courses upon the recommendation of the appropriate department head and college/school dean. Such approval must be renewed every five years.

*Subject to special considerations, an individual who has not earned the highest degree awarded in the discipline, but has demonstrated exceptional competence in one's field of specialization (i.e., has attained high professional status as recognized by one's professional peers) may be appointed to the Graduate Faculty.

Appointment Process

  1. The initial appointment of individuals to the Graduate Faculty and the determination of membership category or a change in Graduate Faculty membership category shall be approved by the Gradate Dean based upon recommendations from the various department and colleges/schools.

  2. Each department with graduate programs will determine the procedures for handling recommendations concerning Graduate Faculty membership at the departmental level (with the approval of the academic dean of the college/school). Each college/school will determine the procedures for handling recommendations concerning Graduate Faculty membership at the college/school level. The department and/or the college/school may establish qualifications which exceed the minimum qualifications established by the Graduate School, e.g., a department and/or college may choose to review the quality of theses/dissertations directed by the faculty member.

  3. Recommendations for initial appointment to the Graduate Faculty may be made at any time during the academic year. Recommendations for reappointment or a change in Graduate Faculty membership category must be made according to the timeliness outlined below in the section entitled "Procedures for Reappointment...".

  4. Effective with the Fall 1993 semester, the term of appointment to the Graduate Faculty shall be for five years. During the fifth year of appointment, Graduate Faculty members in Level 1 category must undergo review for reappointment. If the candidate or the department head does not submit a request for reappointment in this category, the faculty member will automatically be reappointed in the Level 2 category. The underlying criteria for reappointment to Level 1 membership is a record of sustained involvement in graduate education and a sustained record of scholarly/research/creative endeavors.

Procedures for Reappointment or Change in Level of Membership
  1. The Graduate Dean issues a call for reappointment (i.e., notifies all members due for review during the academic year) or change in level of membership requests by September 1.

  2. A request for reappointment or change in level of membership can be initiated by the department head or by the individual faculty member. A request letter should be accompanied by Part I of the past five (5) Annual Faculty Review Forms, which includes a listing of the individual's publications, presentations, and other scholarly activities. If Annual Faculty Review Forms do not include a listing of theses, Special Problems, and/or dissertations directed/co-directed for the past five (5) years, this information (if required) should also be provided so that the quality of these documents can be reviewed. In addition, professional development activities for past five (5) years should be provided (if not included on the Annual Faculty Review Forms). The request is processed through the appropriate departmental procedures (as determined by the department, with approval of the academic dean of the college/school) and college/school procedures (as determined by the college/school) following the same notification requirements as outlined in the Faculty Handbook for promotion and tenure decisions. That is, the faculty member will be officially notified as to the disposition at each level of his/her request. Written recommendations of decisions will come from each level in the process and will be placed on file in all the appropriate offices.

    The same timeliness used for processing promotion/tenure recommendations should be followed for requests for reappointment or change in level of membership on the Graduate Faculty. That is, faculty members requesting reappointment must have provided the department head or appropriate official will all pertinent and available information by November 15. Departmental recommendations must be submitted to the academic dean by January 15. School/college recommendations must be submitted to the Graduate dean by February 15.

  3. University administrators seeking appointment, reappointment or change in level of membership will follow the same procedure as other faculty members. In lieu of the Annual Faculty Review Forms, their request letter should be accompanied by a current vita which contains the following information for the past five (5) years: a listing of theses, Special Problems, and/or dissertations directed (if required); professional development activities; and a list of publications, presentations, and/or other scholarly activities.

  4. The Graduate Dean will evaluate the requests and forward the notification of his/her action to the faculty member with copies to the college/school dean and department head by March 10.

  5. The faculty member may withdraw the request for reappointment at any time before action is taken by the Graduate Dean.

Appeals

Appeals of faculty regarding Graduate Faculty status recommendations shall be made to the Graduate Dean. Guidelines for the appeals process will be developed by a committee of the Graduate Council.

 

IV. FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES AND ACADEMIC OPERATING POLICIES


Most important issues of an academic nature are established as Academic Operating Policies (AOPs) by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. An alphabetized list of the AOPs is found at the end of this chapter. Copies of the AOPs are available in offices of department heads and deans. These policies are periodically revised; therefore, since the descriptions that follow may not accurately reflect recent revisions, current policy should be consulted when needed.

A. Academic Freedom (AOP 13.11) and Responsibility (AOP 13.03)

Mississippi State University recognizes the fact that in the republic of scholars there are certain indisputable rights to freedom of expression. The University encourages the search for knowledge and truth, and does not abridge the scholar's right to reveal his/her findings through appropriate channels by both spoken and written word, even if in doing so he/she may find variances with students, and professional peers, as well as with the lay community. The scholar must, however, recognize the fact that as a human being he/she is also the possessor of opinions, some of which may be subject to human frailty of bias and error. As a free citizen, he/she has the right to express these opinions. The degree to which one expresses them as a scholar, claiming sanctuary in the University is a matter of academic responsibility. The University shall insist upon scholarly objectivity within and outside the classroom.

The basic functions of a university are the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, the development of critical thinking, and the education of citizens and professional workers for the society of which the university is a part.

The indispensable condition for the successful discharge of these functions is an atmosphere of intellectual freedom. Unless free to pursue the quest for knowledge and understanding, wherever it may lead, and to report and discuss the findings, whatever they may be, the university faculty member cannot properly perform work. As a participant in an enterprise that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, the faculty member has a special interest in promoting conditions of free inquiry and furthering public understanding of academic freedom.

Freedom entails responsibilities. It is incumbent upon the faculty member to accept the responsibilities which are concomitant with the needed freedom. All members of the University community are obligated to adhere strictly to the highest standards of integrity in study, research, instruction, and evaluation.

It is presumed that those who instruct and administer will observe such standards of integrity. Administrators and senior faculty members are presumed further to encourage these standards among their junior colleagues. Students are presumed to accept the concept of academic integrity and to seek to live by it, but they may need continuing clarification of the concept and guidance in its observance. Particularly, students need the assurance that those who work honestly will not suffer thereby in comparisons with the dishonest. Those who cannot or will not adopt the concept and practices of academic honesty do not belong within the University.

The faculty member has the following obligations to:

  1. Make clear the objectives of the course or program, to establish requirements, to set standards of achievement, and to evaluate the student's performance.
  2. Meet classes as scheduled and, when circumstances prevent this, arrange equivalent alternate instruction.
  3. Describe to students, within the period in which a student may add or drop a course, orally, or in writing, or by reference to printed course descriptions, the general content and objectives of a course; and announce the methods, and standards of evaluation, including the importance to be assigned to various factors in academic evaluation and, in advance of any evaluation, the permissible materials or references allowed during evaluation.
  4. Present a reasonable range of opinions on controversial issues within the scope of the course. A faculty member's own views on such issues should always be identified as such. Wherever values, judgments, or speculative opinions constitute part of the subject matter, they should be identified as such and should not be offered as fact.
  5. Evaluate fairly and impartially the student's work. Such evaluation should be consistent with recognized standards and must not be influenced by irrelevancies such as religion, race, sex, political views, or be based on the student's agreement with the teacher's opinion on controversial issues in the discipline.
  6. Protect the student's freedom to learn, especially when that freedom is threatened by repressive or disruptive action.
  7. Serve as an intellectual guide and counselor to students, be available for private conferences, provide accurate information and assist students in achieving their academic goals.
  8. Demonstrate respect for the student and treat the faculty-student relationship with confidence.
  9. Avoid any exploitation of students for personal advantage.
  10. Engage in those scholarly activities necessary for the upgrading of knowledge and skills. Only by so doing can the faculty member adequately teach students. Beyond the obvious requirement of keeping up with the literature in one's field, the faculty member may find it necessary or useful to conduct research and/or participate in research conferences, workshops, institutes, consulting, and other forms of post- graduate training or experience. It is the faculty member's responsibility to seek out such activities and the University's responsibility to encourage such endeavors.
  11. Assume certain tasks outside the University, such as conducting research, consulting for government or industry, or holding office in scholarly or professional societies. Such activities are appropriate insofar as they contribute to the faculty member's development as a scholar, or at the very least, do not interfere with that development. On the other hand, acceptance of such obligations when such activities may be incompatible with the faculty member's primary dedication as a scholar cannot be condoned.
  12. Serve both the University and the community, always attempt to portray accurately the strengths and weaknesses of the University and be willing to render service when called upon and capable.

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B. Professional Ethics

It is the responsibility of each faculty member and administrator to maintain an academic environment conducive to the positive educational development of all students and fellow faculty members. This standard of professional conduct requires each member to behave in a manner which is free of intimidation and harassment based on sex, race, religion, politics or professional interest. Special care must be taken to avoid exploitation of students or colleagues for private or professional advantage especially those vulnerable to the faculty member's authority.

Professional behavior must be maintained in the relationships between students, faculty members, and administrators. Sexual harassment, intimidation, or exploitation of professional relationships undermines the academic freedom of all. Protection of the atmosphere of trust essential in an academic community is the primary professional responsibility of all faculty members.

Allegations of harassment or discrimination by students will be dealt with according to the Student Harassment/Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Allegations of sexual harassment will be dealt with according to the MSU Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures. Other professional ethics violations will be dealt with according to the procedure in the following section.

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C. Professional Ethics Violation

Formal accusation of a faculty member or an administrator of an ethics violation is a very serious matter. If, after exhausting informal means, an individual feels that the ethics violation is continuing or that the violation has not been rectified in sufficient degree, the individual can communicate the ethics violation in writing to the immediately responsible administrative official. This written communication must include the fullest possible documentation of the violation. In turn, the administrative official must respond to the accusing individual in writing with a copy of the letter to the accused individual member within a reasonable length of time, generally within 30 days. In this letter, the administrative official must acknowledge receipt of the formal accusation. The administrative official's letter may also indicate the actions that will or will not be taken with regard to the alleged ethics violation and include a rationale for the selected course of action.

If the accusing individual feels the administrative official's actions are inadequate, the individual may forward copies of his/her original letter plus the administrative official's letter recognizing the accusation to the administrative official next highest in rank and request further consideration. This administrative official will normally react by convening a committee (three or more members) of the accused individual's peers to evaluate the accusation and the response of the immediate administrative official. Conclusions and recommendations formulated by the higher administrative official, after due consideration and consultation with the committee, will normally be final. The accusing individual should forward a letter to the administrative official of next highest rank only after serious and reflective consideration of the response of the immediate administrative official.

If the individual accused of the ethics violation feels that the sanctions dictated by his/her immediate administrative official or higher level administrative official are unjustified and/or unfair, the accused individual can appeal these sanctions through the established grievance procedure of the University.

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D. Attendance at Classes: Teaching Faculty (AOP 13.04)

It is assumed that instructors will be in classes during the full scheduled times unless hindered by reasons beyond their control and that, when teachers cannot meet classes, timely announcements will be made. In those cases in which the teacher is absent and has not been able to notify the class ahead of time, custom has it that the class remain in the classroom ten minutes after the beginning of the period, unless otherwise indicated by the instructor.

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E. Attendance at Graduation

All faculty are encouraged to attend graduation ceremonies. Such activities are part of their service responsibilities. Each academic unit should have a policy of shared and rotating responsibility to insure appropriate representation at each graduation ceremony.

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F. Reporting Absences (AOP 12.09)

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G. Examinations (AOP 12.04)

  1. Time and Place
    A schedule of time and place for examinations if published for each examination period. Except for the latitude described below, all examinations must be in conformity with the published schedule. When teaching more than one section of the same course, the instructor may grant permission to one or more students to take the final examination in any one of the instructor's sections, provided this procedure does not result in a conflict or in too many examinations in one day.
  2. Examinations
    All final examinations shall be held as specified on the examination schedule except for classes meeting fewer than two lectures per week and/or certain other classes whose examinations may be given at particular times by special permission from the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Exceptions to the published examination schedule will be announced in the classes affected. Classes meeting fewer than two lecture hours per week and all laboratories will have their examinations at the last regular meeting of the class. Evening classes will have their examinations at the regular meeting hour of the class during the examination period.

    Exceptions to this schedule should be discouraged. However, if any exceptions are considered, they must be approved by the respective department head and dean, and copies of these approvals placed on file in the dean's office.

  3. Advanced Standing Examinations
    Application forms for advanced standing examinations must be obtained from and submitted to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University. The academic calendar, published in the Bulletin of the Mississippi State University, will specify final date for filing applications. Applicants must be regularly enrolled students in residence on the campus, when they file their application and when they take the examination.

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I. Classroom Regulations (AOP 10.08)

Smoking in Classrooms—As a means of reducing fire hazard, Mississippi State University regulations prohibit smoking in classrooms and other designated areas, such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, Humphrey Coliseum, and the Animal Husbandry Building.

Classroom Allocation—Classes are scheduled for certain rooms by the Coordinator of Schedules in the Office of the University Registrar. With certain rare exceptions involving specialized equipment, departments do not have exclusive use of any classroom. Room changes are made only through the Coordinator of Schedules. Faculty are not authorized to make changes on their own initiative and without prior approval. Such changes are requested through a faculty member's department head and dean to the Coordinator, so that all records are in agreement.

Issuance of Keys to Buildings—Ordinarily, academic buildings are locked at 10:00 p.m. Staff members desiring to remain in the buildings or to enter them after this hour may secure keys from the person designated for each building. Academic deans can identify these persons.

Facility Alterations—Alterations are not to be made to physical facilities or properties of the University without prior approval of the Physical Plant Department. Likewise, changes or additions to mechanical, electrical, or other such service must first be cleared with the Physical Plant Department.

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J. Summer School Teaching (AOP 13.12)

Summer school operates on a self-sustaining basis. Salaries and expenses of instructional programs during the summer sessions depend upon resources generated by student enrollments. It may not be possible for all nine-month faculty who wish to teach in summer school to do so. Students' needs are balanced with departmental funds for summer school. Attention is paid to class size and numbers of sections needed for a given course. Compensation for summer teaching is eight percent of the previous nine-month salary base for quarter-time commitment. A quarter-time commitment most usually includes being the instructor of record of one class and other duties associated with being a regular full time faculty member, e.g. committee assignments, advising, etc.

The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs serves as the Director of Summer School. Academic deans and department heads are responsible for decisions on course offerings and teaching assignments. The Director of Summer School and the academic deans establish the budget for each college/school. The deans and department heads administer their respective budgets.

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K. Office Hours

Offices are regularly operated on a schedule of 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday each week except on approved holidays and during other periods designated by the President. Offices at college and institutional levels which have multiple secretaries will be expected to be open during the noon hour. Individual faculty members should arrange their office hours to accommodate the needs for student conferences in keeping with departmental policies and customs. It is understood that work will be performed on Saturdays and other periods not considered regular office hours when required.

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L. Distinguished Professors (AOP 13.02)

One of the highest awards the University can bestow upon a faculty member is that of Distinguished Professor. It is not a faculty rank but an honorary distinction. This recognition is based on distinguished scholarship as evidenced by a record of outstanding research, teaching, and service and is conferred only on a faculty member at Mississippi State University who has attained national or international status. In that context, a minimum of three years of service at MSU is necessary for consideration.

The criteria for selection is rigorous. They include a distinguished record as a scholar, demonstrated research achievements, and national or international prominence as verified by external reviewers from the candidate's specific field. Outstanding performance in teaching and service, and motivating colleagues and students toward their best personal goals and objectives are also to be considered in the appraisal of a nominee. Appropriate documentation must be provided to support the case for excellence in all three of the areas of research, teaching, and service. No administrator at the level of dean or above is eligible for consideration as a Distinguished Professor.

Nomination of a professor for designation as a "William L. Giles Distinguished Professor" will originate with the department or the college/school in which the nominee holds the rank of professor. If the nomination originates with the department, it must be forwarded to the dean for review. The nomination, along with appropriate documentation, will then be forwarded to the Provost for review and further consideration. A University Distinguished Professors Review Committee will play a major advisory role to the Provost in considering the recommendations for Distinguished Professors. It will consist of five members: Vice President for Research, Chair, two current Distinguished Professors designated by the Provost, one member designated by the President, and the Chair of the Faculty Senate or designee.

The total number of Distinguished Professors constitutes a relatively small percent of the faculty. No stipulation is made concerning the number of Distinguished Professors that may be named in any one year. There may be years in which no Distinguished Professors will be designated. The appointment of Distinguished Professors will occur during the Spring Semester of each year based upon a schedule established by the Office of Academic Affairs.

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M. Emeritus Appointments (AOP 13.01)

The President annually will present to the Board of Trustees recommendations for emeritus appointments. Nominations of individuals should be sent to the President, through appropriate channels, for consideration for subsequent recommendation to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. In the month of June of each year, the Department of Human Resources will provide the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs a list of names of individuals with academic rank who have retired or are planning to retire from positions at Mississippi State University during the current fiscal year.

The Provost will have the individuals reviewed through appropriate administrative channels for recommendations for emeritus appointments and then present recommendations to the President. Individuals not holding academic rank must be nominated through their divisional vice president, considered by the Executive Council and recommended to the President. The President will then present recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

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N. Evaluation of Teaching Performance (AOP 13.15)

The results of the evaluation should be combined with other measures of teaching performance and be used for both personnel decisions and to assist in the process of faculty improvement. Personnel decisions in this case will include annual raises, annual evaluations, and promotion and/or tenure decisions. Students will be informed that the student evaluation results should so be used.

  1. Student Evaluations
    Student evaluations will be conducted as either a web-based instrument or as a paper instrument at the discretion of the instructor.
  2. Development of the Survey
    1. The survey will measure aspects of each of the following categories: (i) the course, (ii) the instructor, and (iii) the method of delivery.
    2. The Teaching Evaluation Committee generally will be responsible for updating and changing the student evaluation form.
  3. Reporting the Results
    1. All procedures and processes for statistical reporting shall be developed and reviewed by the Teaching Evaluation Committee. The Teaching Evaluation Committee will consult with the Student Association.
    2. The faculty member shall receive a copy of the statistical report and all comments for every evaluated class and section the individual teaches.
    3. Department heads, deans or directors, and the provost shall be provided only with statistical results.
  4. Additional Evaluation of Teaching

    Student evaluations shall not be the only criterion used to review teaching performance. Used alone, evaluation results may or may not provide accurate and appropriate information upon which to base judgments about teaching effectiveness. By themselves, student evaluations of teaching may indicate trends and provide faculty members with useful information about methods of instruction and practices. Used in combination with other types of information about teaching performance, student evaluations can yield useful information about teaching effectiveness.

    Faculty members are expected to provide the department head and dean with additional information to support the evaluation of their teaching performance. A faculty member can choose one or more of the following criteria to provide the additional information to support evaluation of his or her teaching performance:

    1. Department Head evaluation on teaching
    2. Dean evaluation
    3. Peer evaluations (internal or external)
    4. Self-evaluation or report
    5. Scholarly research/publication related to teaching
    6. Course syllabi and exams
    7. Teaching grants and awards
    8. Additional student input in the form of letters, emails, faculty nominations, etc.
    9. Curriculum development and innovation
    10. Additional evaluation materials

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O. Exit Interviews of Departing Faculty (AOP 13.20)

A departing faculty member, who wishes to express his/her views or to provide an evaluation of one's working environment, shall be granted such an opportunity during an exit interview with the appropriate department head or dean. If possible, a summary report should be prepared by the department head of the departing faculty for the purpose of addressing any problems or concerns, including suggestions for improvement. The report should be forwarded to the dean and to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

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P. Faculty Released Time for Specified Committee Chairs (AOP 13.21)

The University operates under the philosophy that certain committee positions filled by faculty members carry specified released time in order to perform the assigned functions. There are three such positions. The University will reimburse the appropriate departments for the percent of the faculty time released for these activities according to the following:

  1. Faculty Senate Chair—Released time of 50% during the fall and spring semester plus 8% for the summer. The rate for the summer is based on the salary of the faculty member at the time he/she serves as chair. These equivalent funds will be transferred to the faculty member's department in August of each year. In the event the faculty member fails to complete the year's obligation, the funds remaining revert to the Office of Academic Affairs.
  2. Faculty Athletics Representative—Released time of 25% during the fall and spring terms. These equivalent funds will be transferred to the faculty member's department in August. In the event the faculty member fails to complete the year's obligation, the funds remaining revert back to the Office of Academic Affairs.
  3. Curriculum Committee Chair—Released time of 25% during the academic year. These equivalent funds will be transferred to the faculty member's department in August. In the event the faculty member fails to complete the years obligation, the funds remaining revert to the Office of Academic Affairs.

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Q. Sabbatical Leave (AOP 13.06)

Any members of the faculty of the State Institutions of Higher Learning of the State of Mississippi shall be eligible for sabbatical leaves, for the purpose of professional improvement, for not more than two semesters immediately following any twelve or more consecutive semesters of active service in the Institutions of Higher Learning of this State where such faculty member is employed or for not more than one semester immediately following any six or more consecutive semesters of such service. Absence on sick leave shall not be deemed to interrupt the active service herein provided for.

Applications for sabbatical leave shall be made to the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning, with the approval of the President of the University. Approval or disapproval of the applications for sabbatical leave shall be made on the basis of regulations prescribed by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Any person who is granted a sabbatical leave and who fails to comply with the provisions of such leave may have his or her leave terminated by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher learning. No person on sabbatical leave can be denied any regular increment of increase in salary because of absence on sabbatical leave. Service on sabbatical leave shall count as active service for the purpose of retirement and contributions to the retirement fund shall be continued.

In order to provide for the above leaves the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning shall have power to adopt rules and regulations regarding such (Statue, Section 37-101-183, Mississippi Code 1972, annotated. Source: Codes, 1942, Section 6797.5; Laws, 1958, Chapter 307, Section 1-9)leave. In no instance shall leave be granted unless there is a contract providing for continued service, after expiration of the leave, in the college where the faculty member is employed.

Every person on sabbatical leave shall enjoy all the rights and privileges pertaining to his or her employment in the institution of higher learning in which such person is employed, which such person would have enjoyed if in active service during such leave in the position from which such leave was taken. Each person granted sabbatical leave may receive and be paid compensation up to the rate of fifty per cent of such person's annual salary. Compensation payable to persons on sabbatical leave shall be paid at the same time and in the same manner salaries of the other members of the faculty are paid.

Regulations Established by the Board of Trustees for Faculty Members Seeking to qualify for Sabbatical Leave

  1. To qualify for one semester (4-1/2 months) of leave, a faculty member must have served full-time on the faculty of one of the Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning for six (6) consecutive semesters of regular session work before the effective date of leave; to qualify for two semesters (9 months) of leave, he/she must have served full time on the regular faculty of the institution twelve (12) consecutive semesters of regular session work in the institution before the effective date of leave. However, a faculty member eligible for two semesters of sabbatical leave may receive sabbatical leave for one semester at full pay in lieu of two semesters of leave a half pay; and a faculty member eligible for one semester of sabbatical leave at regular one-half pay may receive two semesters of leave at one-forth pay.
  2. A faculty member who is granted leave will be under regular contract with the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning for the full period of the leave.
  3. Application for sabbatical leave will be made to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher learning through the Office of the Chancellor or President of the employing institution. Standard application forms may be obtained from the faculty personnel officer.
  4. A faculty member granted leave must enter formal agreement with the Board of Trustees to remain on the full-time regular faculty of the employing institution for one semester for each semester of leave granted, which semester shall follow immediately the termination of the leave period. This formal agreement must require repayment of salary received while on leave by anyone given leave (sabbatical or other) who does not return to work for the specified time required. (This policy applies to any employee on leave with pay.)
  5. Leave shall be granted "for the purpose of professional improvement" only. Sabbatical leaves allowed under the Mississippi statute are not granted as rest periods, vacations, earned leave with part pay, nor for any other purpose except as explicitly stated in law. Faculty members may have the right, while on sabbatical leave, to receive any grant or stipend designed primarily to further professional growth of students, scholars, and professional people, whether under the sponsorship of an institution of higher education or of an organization known generally to engage in educational promotions meritorious to higher education. Faculty members on such leave may not accept full-time employment or enter into any written or implied obligation of employment which would violate the contracts for full service he/she will have with his/her institution while on leave.
  6. A faculty member on sabbatical leave remains a full-time employee of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning with all benefits and responsibilities continued by law. These rights and benefits include those of retirement, insurance, housing, longevity, and other benefits.
  7. The compensation due while on sabbatical leave will be paid according to the regular policy of the institution, and shall be paid from the regular payroll. By law, compensation for leave may not be paid for more than two semesters (nine months) of leave time.
  8. Not more than four percent of the full-time regular faculty of any one institution may be on sabbatical leave during any one semester.
  9. Board of Trustees' approval of leave must not be later than June prior to the fiscal year in which the leave is to take place.
  10. Sabbatical leave periods normally will be during regular session semesters. The bookkeeping of leave time use is left to each institution with the intent of the Board specifically expressed as desiring a continuous time period for each leave granted. However, it is not intended herein to allow leave for summer school attendance only.
  11. Time allowed for leave to faculty members while studying at their own expense to acquire advanced degrees may be counted as employed time in determining eligibility for academic leave.
  12. Salaries for faculty members on sabbatical leave will be those for the year in which they are to take their leave, rather than for the previous year (MSU Policy, 7/79).

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R. Faculty Grievance Procedures (AOP 13.05)

The University emphasizes the importance of ensuring the rights of its faculty. Policies are formulated to assist administrators and faculty in working harmoniously toward the collective goals and objectives set forth by the Board of Trustees. When a situation arises that results in a grievance to an individual faculty member, efforts will be made to determine the facts and to respond appropriately and justly.

If the grievance is related to tenure, promotion, or termination of a tenured professor, the faculty member should refer to the Tenure and Promotion Policies (Chapter V). Grievances relating to salary (unless based on discrimination) and notice of nonreappointment or termination of nontenured faculty are not covered by this grievance procedure. A faculty member holding an administrative position will have access to these procedures with regard to his/her faculty duties, but will not have access to the procedures with regard to his/her administrative duties.

Whenever possible, problems should be solved at the level at which they arise. However, each faculty member shall have the right to a hearing and an appeal for redress of grievance through established channels. Access is restricted to University employees or those who were employees when the event leading to the grievance occurred. The grievant may withdraw a formal grievance at any stage of the proceeding but may not reinstate it once it is withdrawn. The withdrawal request should be made in writing to the individual hearing the grievance.

Grievance Initiation:

Before any formal grievance is filed, there shall be an informal discussion between the grievant and the person who has committed the alleged injury. A written request for an informal discussion should be initiated within 10 working days after the grievant has become aware of the perceived injury. In the case of a grievance between faculty members, the immediate supervisor should be provided with a copy of all pertinent documents.

In case of doubt concerning whose action caused the grievance, the administrator immediately supervising the grievant is the appropriate administrative officer with whom the grievant should initiate an informal discussion. The informal discussion should be held and a response provided to the grievant within 10 working days; if a response is not received within 10 working days, it shall be considered a denial.

If a settlement cannot be reached informally, the aggrieved faculty member may then submit a formal grievance and proceed according to the following schedule.

  1. The grievance must be submitted in writing; it will contain a statement of the facts and a precise description of the remedy sought by the grievant.
  2. The grievance must be signed, dated, and filed within five working days from the receipt of a response, or in the case of no response, within 15 working days from the date of the request for an informal discussion. The grievance shall be filed with the respondent if a faculty member (with a copy to the immediate supervisor), or with the administrator whose initial decision caused the grievance.
  3. At the department level, if either party elects, the grievance shall be heard with the assistance of an advisory committee, chosen by the department head to include at least three members from the departmental faculty. The grievant may challenge any individual selected, with the total number of challenges limited to three. At the request of the grievant, the final selection of the advisory committee will be made by the department head in consultation with the Faculty Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate.
  4. The administrator should review the grievance and inform the grievant of the procedure to be followed no later than five working days after the filing of the formal grievance.
  5. The administrator or the advisory committee (when used) should meet together with both parties, review the grievance, and render a recommendation in writing no later than 10 working days. This review is intended to be an informal procedure rather than a formal hearing of the grievance.
  6. The administrator's written decision should be provided to the parties to the grievance within five working days of the receipt of the committee's recommendation. Failure of the administrator to respond within the time periods noted above shall be deemed a denial of the grievance.

Administrative Decision Appeals:

If the faculty member objects to the decision by the administrative officer, a written appeal should be initiated within 5 working days and shall include copies of the original grievance, written decision(s), and reasons for the appeal. The written appeal should be transmitted to the next level of administration.

At each level of appeal, the administrator should proceed in accordance with the grievance procedure schedule noted in AOP 13.05. The use of an advisory committee is at the discretionary at levels above the department. All parties to a grievance should be kept informed.

After exhausting all appeals through the dean's level, the aggrieved faculty member may appeal in writing to the Provost within 5 working days. Before hearing the appeal, the Provost should conduct informal discussions with both parties to the grievance and the administrative officer who rendered the decision in question. If no solution is reached, a Grievance Committee shall be chosen within 5 working days by the Provost from the Faculty Grievance Panel in consultation with the Faculty Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate.

Grievance Committee Hearing:

The Grievance Committee will schedule a hearing to be held within 10 working days. The Grievance Committee will elect its own chairperson, who will act as presiding officer and give notice of a time and place to the parties involved at least two working days prior to the hearing. These time limits are a guide and may be changed by mutual written agreement of the Grievance Committee and the parties to the grievance. A copy of the notice and the written appeal will be furnished to the members of the Grievance Committee.

The formal hearing will be conducted in private, and the parties concerned may have a nonparticipating advisor of their choice. A record of the proceedings shall be kept and made available to the parties concerned at reasonable cost. The grievant will present his/her own case and has the right to present whatever evidence, written or oral, he/she considers relevant or material to the grievance, including calling witnesses.

After the presentation by the grievant, the respondent may present his/her case under the same rules as the grievant. The Grievance Committee may also call witnesses. Both the grievant and the respondent may question all witnesses. The University may be represented by its General Counsel.

The Committee may receive any evidence of probative value, making a reasonable effort to obtain the most reliable evidence possible. All questions relating to the admissibility of evidence will be decided by the Chairperson.

Evidence must relate to the grievance and be of the type relied on by faculty members or administrators in the conduct of their professional affairs. After all evidence is received, the Grievance Committee will meet privately, and the majority opinion will constitute the committee's recommendations. The committee should provide its recommendations in writing to the Provost, with copies to the parties to the grievance, no later than 5 working days from the last date of hearing of the case. Minority opinions of the committee may be submitted to the Provost along with committee recommendations. Recommendations to the Provost are advisory in nature.

The Provost should send a written recommendation to the President of the University within 5 working days of receipt of the Grievance Committee's recommendations. If the Provost's recommendation differs from the Grievance Committee, the grievant, the respondent, and the committee will be informed in writing of the reasons. The President will send a written decision, which is the final University decision, to the grievant and to the respondent within 5 working days.

Faculty Grievance Panel:

The Faculty Grievance Panel will consist of two full-time tenured faculty members and an alternate from each academic college/school. Representatives will be elected in the spring of each year for two-year alternating terms, to commence on August 15.

Faculty members who have served a full two-year term will not be eligible for reelection to a consecutive two-year term (or for appointment to an unexpired term) for two years. Should a panel member be unable to complete a two-year term of service, the alternate will serve the unexpired portion of the term.

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S. Travel (AOP 13.08)

Travel by staff and faculty members to professional, scientific, and educational meetings for the purpose of the improvement of instruction and of professional advancement for official business of the institution shall be encouraged within budgetary limitations of the institution. Travel authorization forms should be completed and approved for all university travel, regardless of whether university funds will be used to cover the expenses of the traveler. Travel is subject to the following stipulations:

  1. MBNA Individual Business Credit Cards are available for use in defraying official travel expenses. Applications for the MBNA Visa/MC may be obtained from the Office of Accounts Payable and Travel, Human Resources Management, or the Alumni Association or by going to www.mbna.com to apply on line. Cash advances may be obtained for out-of-state travel. When planning a business trip through the Contract Travel Agency, authorized travelers have the option of purchasing public carrier transportation with personal funds or by charging the transportation cost to the University's Employee Business Travel Account (EBTA). Conference registration fees incidental to business travel may be prepaid by University check directly to the conference through the Office of Accounts Payable and Travel.

  2. Arrangements for public transportation, hotel accommodations and rental vehicles for travel outside the State of Mississippi must be made through the state-contract travel agent when traveling by public carrier.

  3. Travel outside the continental United States (including travel to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Canada) requires approval by the President of the University. Approval by the Board of Trustees and the Governor's Office is no longer required. Administrative approval should be obtained prior to making travel plans or 30 days in advance of the trip.

Because of the nature of their work, members of the Cooperative Extension Service ordinarily do not secure specific prior approval for travel within Mississippi.

Faculty and staff members other than Cooperative Extension Service workers must secure written prior approval of the department head or next higher administrator for travel outside the state or to attend in-state conventions, associations, conferences, workshops, seminars and clinics.

Sometimes government rates are available upon request when proof of Mississippi State University employment is presented (MSU identification card) during motel/hotel registration. MSU ID cards may be obtained through the Campus Card Office. Tourist rate is ordinarily used in air travel.

Faculty and staff members are requested to keep accurate records of their expenses and should check with the Office of Accounts Payable and Travel for information concerning requested documentation to substantiate expenses.

Travel by University personnel is governed by a Board of Trustees policy. Additional information related to travel is covered in OP 62.01 Travel.

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T. Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities (AOP 12.35)

Students with disabilities requesting academic accommodations must identify themselves to the office of Student Support Services. Current documentation, within a three-year period, verifying the disability must be submitted. The office of Student Support Services will make the initial notification to the student’s advisor and to the dean’s office in the college where the student is enrolled in classes. The dean’s office will inform instructors of students with disabilities in their class; the student is required to identify himself/herself to the instructor as needing accommodation. The instructor, as a representative of the university, is obligated to provide reasonable accommodation.

In the event that a request for academic accommodation is denied, the office of Student Support Services will recommend that the accommodation requested be reviewed by the committee on Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities and recommendations be made on behalf of the student. Regarding course substitutions, requests to the committee must be accompanied by current documentation. In the case of students with learning disabilities, documentation should provide persuasive evidence that the student is capable of academic success except in the area where the disability exists. Also it is anticipated that there will be a history of the learning disability an that this history will be corroborated by appropriate documents. Standardized test scores and other standard evaluations should reveal clear deficiencies in these areas. In addition, an appeal for substitution will be made only after documented use of supportive services.

The recommendation from the office of Student Support Services, along with documentation, will be considered by the committee on Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities. The determination of this committee will be forwarded with documentation to the department in which the student is majoring, the student’s dean’s office, the office of Student Support Services, and the Affirmative Action Office. If only college requirements are being appealed, the dean and department head will make the final decision. For appeals requesting substitution of university requirements, the dean will forward a recommendation to the office of Academic Affairs.

Students with Disabilities who believe appropriate academic accommodation as defined in this policy has not been made should seek assistance from the office of Affirmative Action.

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U. Academic Add/Drop Policy (AOP 12.01)

The purpose of this Academic Operating Policy and Procedure (AOP) is to stimulate a greater sense of responsibility and commitment in students relative to choice of courses, course requirements, and the decisions to drop courses; and to establish an add/drop policy that consists of a definitive set of guidelines.

  1. Regular Sessions
    1. Add/Drop without penalty - A student has through the fifth class day into the semester to drop a course and through the sixth class day to add a course without being assessed a fee or academic penalty.
    2. Drop after the fifth class day through the 30th class day into the semester - A student who elects to drop a course during this period must receive the approval of his/her advisor, will be assigned a W on his/her academic record, and be assessed a fee. The advisor who permits the drop will specify its effective date.
    3. Drop after the 30th class day into the semester - A student cannot drop courses after this period except in documented cases of serious illness, extreme hardship, or failure of the instructor to provide significant assessment of his/her performance. A request to drop a course during this period must be approved by the student's advisor and academic dean. The dean who permits the drop will specify its effective date. A student receiving permission to drop will receive a W on his/her academic record and be assessed a fee.
    4. Faculty are expected to provide a student with significant evidence or assessment of his/her class performance within the first 30 class days of the semester.
  2. Summer Sessions
    1. Five-week sessions
      1. Add/Drop without penalty - A student has through the first class day of the session to drop a course, and through the second class day to add a course without being assessed a fee or an academic penalty.
      2. Drop after the first class day of the session through the 14th class day: A student who elects to drop a course during this period must receive the approval of his/her advisor, will be assigned a W on his/her academic record, and be assessed a fee. The advisor who permits the drop will specify its effective date.
      3. Drop after the 14th class day: A student cannot drop a course after this period except in documented cases of serious illness, extreme hardship, or failure of the instructor to provide significant assessment of his/her performance. A request to drop a course during this period must be approved by the student's advisor and academic dean. The dean who permits the drop will specify its effective date. A student receiving permission to drop will receive a W on his/her academic record and be assessed a fee.
      4. Faculty are expected to provide a student with significant evidence or assessment of his/her class performance within the first 14 class days of the session.
    2. Ten-week sessions
      1. Add/Drop without penalty - A student has through the second class day of the session to drop a course, and through the third class day to add a course without being assessed a fee or an academic penalty.
      2. Drop after the second class day of the session through the 28th class day: A student who elects to drop a course during this period must receive the approval of his/her advisor, will be assigned a W on his/her academic record, and be assessed a fee. The advisor who permits the drop will specify its effective date.
      3. Drop after the 28th class day: A student cannot drop a course after this period except in documented cases of serious illness, extreme hardship, or failure of the instructor to provide significant assessment of his/her performance. A request to drop a course during this period must be approved by the student's advisor and academic dean. The dean who permits the drop will specify its effective date. A student receiving permission to drop will receive a W on his/her academic record and be assessed a fee.
      4. Faculty are expected to provide a student with significant evidence or assessment of his/her class performance within the first 28 class days of the session.
  3. Shortened Format Classes
    1. Courses with 10-15 class days
      1. Add/Drop without penalty: A student has through the first class day of the session to drop a course, and through the second class day to add a course without being assessed a fee or an academic penalty.
      2. Drop after the first class day of the session through the fifth day of class: A student who elects to drop a course during this period must receive the approval of his/her advisor, will be assigned a W on his/her academic record, and be assessed a fee. The advisor who permits the drop will specify its effective date.
      3. Drop after the fifth class day: A student cannot drop a course after this period except in documented cases of serious illness, extreme hardship, or failure of the instructor to provide significant assessment of his/her performance. A request to drop a course during this period must be approved by the student's advisor and academic dean. The dean who permits the drop will specify its effective date. A student receiving permission to drop will receive a W on his/her academic record and be assessed a fee.
      4. Faculty are expected to provide a student with significant evidence of assessment of his/her course performance within the first five days of class.
    2. Courses with 16-24 class days
      1. Add/Drop without penalty: A student has through the first day of the session to drop a course, and through the second class day to add a course without being assessed a fee or an academic penalty.
      2. Drop after the first class day of the session through the ninth day of class: A student who elects to drop a course during this period must receive the approval of his/her advisor, will be assigned a W on his/her academic record, and be assessed a fee. The advisor who permits the drop will specify its effective date.
      3. Drop after the ninth class day: A student cannot drop a course after this period except in documented cases of serious illness, extreme hardship, or failure of the instructor to provide significant assessment of his/her performance. A request to drop a course during this period must be approved by the student's advisor and academic dean. The dean who permits the drop will specify its effective date. A student receiving permission to drop will receive a W on his/her academic record and be assessed a fee.
      4. Faculty are expected to provide a student with significant evidence of assessment of his/her course performance within the first nine days of class.

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V. Policy on Class Attendance: Students (AOP 12.09)

Upon registration, the student accepts the responsibility of attending all classes and completing any academic requirements the instructor may prescribe. Absences are generally a matter between the instructor and the student. When absence from class is essential due to extenuating circumstances such as accidents or death/serious illness in the immediate family, it is the responsibility of the student to inform his or her instructor. Class absences which are medically related are also to be handled directly between the student and his or her instructor. The John C. Longest Student Health Center does not issue medical excuses for class or examination absences. If other circumstances warrant, particularly in the case of an absence which will work a severe hardship on the student, the Dean of Students' office (phone 325-3611) will assist upon request by the faculty member. Instructors may report absences to the Division of Student Affairs at any time and are expected to report students with continued consecutive absences.

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W. Auditing Classes (AOP 11.11)

Students are not permitted to enter classes as auditors unless authorized by the Dean of the College or School and by the Registrar, upon recommendation of the instructor concerned. A course being audited counts as part of the regular load on the same basis as if taken for credit. Auditors are not required to take tests and/or examinations or to prepare other written assignments. Otherwise, conformity to regular classroom decorum is the same as that required for all students. At the time the request for audit is approved, the professor will inform the auditor of attendance expectations

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X. Withdrawal from the University (AOP 12.02)

The purpose of this Academic Operating Policy and Procedure (AOP) is to define the policy for allowing students to withdraw from Mississippi State University. Any student leaving the University prior to the end of the period of enrollment, except for temporary absences, should initiate withdrawal procedures at his/her Academic Dean's office. By completing this procedure, the student may prevent future difficulties in obtaining transcripts or in re-entering the University, and will avoid having Fs automatically recorded for all courses taken during the semester.

A student who withdraws after the 10th day of classes will receive grades of W, for each course scheduled. No withdrawals will be allowed during the last two weeks before the beginning of final examinations for the fall and spring semesters, and during the last week prior to the beginning of examinations for each five-week/ten-week summer term.

The withdrawal of any student shall not be effective on a date prior to the actual date of withdrawal, except in documented cases of serious illness or extreme hardship, and then only upon recommendation of the student's academic dean. If the effective date of withdrawal and the actual date on which the withdrawal occurs are separated by more than one calendar year, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs must approve the withdrawal upon the recommendation of the academic dean.

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Z. Grade Appeals and Academic Review Board (AOP 13.14)

Grade appeal process through academic review board:

  1. Composition of the board
    The Academic Review Board will be composed of one member of the teaching faculty from each of the schools or colleges of the University; there shall be one alternate from each of the schools or colleges. Members will be elected by their University division (in the same manner and at the same time as the Faculty Senate representatives). The member and alternate who represent the Graduate School and are elected by the Graduate faculty shall be full members of that faculty. In addition, to the elected member, the Board will also include a student recommended by the Student Association president and three faculty members at large appointed by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who should ensure adequate minority representation. The student member serves one year. Faculty members shall serve two years, and alternates two years, beginning on July 1 following their election; they may be reelected.
  2. Statement of policy
    Student performance should be evaluated according to academic criteria, not on the basis of opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

    The instructor (defined as one who has the responsibility for a class, directed individual study, or thesis) has the authority in class, overall matters, affecting the conduct of the class, including assignment of grades.

    Students shall have protection through orderly appellate procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. The method of grading by instructors should be made clear to students, and instructors should be required to justify disputed grades. All records on which grades are based should be retained on file for a minimum of six months.

    Appeals associated with the fairness of grades must be filed with the instructor's department head within 45 calendar days of the beginning of the next regular semester (Fall, Spring) following the term in which the grade is assigned.

    The grade appealed shall remain in effect until the appeal process is concluded. Any associated effects (loss of eligibility or privilege of any kind) shall be invoked, even though an appeal is pending or planned.

  3. Appeal procedure
    1. The student is to take the complaint to the instructor involved.
    2. If the student does not obtain satisfaction, the student may acquire a grade appeal form from any academic dean's office or from the Registrar's Office, fill it out, and take it to the instructor's department head. The department head acknowledges the receipt of the form and returns the duplicate to the student.
    3. If the department head, upon reviewing the complaint is unable to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the student, the student may appeal to the academic dean (reviewing dean) to whom the department head reports. The department head shall immediately forward the appeal form with a letter of recommendation to the dean. The dean will then send copies of all materials to the student's dean, if different from that of the department head's dean.
    4. If the reviewing dean is unable to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the student, the student may appeal to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The reviewing dean shall immediately forward the appeal form with a letter of recommendation to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs who should be furnished a complete case file. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs may then refer the case to the Academic Review Board.
    5. Hearing procedure. The following guidelines are established for the direction of the Academic Review Board conducting formal hearings on academic appeals:
      1. The instructor and student shall be informed in writing by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the place and time of the hearing.
      2. The instructor and student will be allowed 72 hours to prepare for the hearing. The instructor may request additional time by showing cause. The instructor and student shall be advised that they have the right to appear with an advisor if they so choose.
      3. The majority of the hearing Board members (or their alternates) shall constitute a quorum. In the event a quorum is not present, both the student and instructor must agree to proceed with the hearing, otherwise the hearing will be rescheduled.
      4. Academic Review Board Hearings are of a private, confidential nature. They are closed to the public.
      5. The instructor shall be asked to appear in person to present his/her case to the Academic Review Board, and the instructor may call witnesses in his/her behalf. However, the instructor may elect not to appear before the Review Board. Should the instructor elect not to appear, the hearing shall be held in his/her absence. The failure of an instructor to appear must be noted without prejudice; however, the Board will act upon the evidence presented to it and would prefer to have the faculty member present. The student must appear in person to present his/her case and may also call witnesses in his/her behalf.

        It will be left to the discretion of the Academic Review Board whether or not to permit the introduction of any particular written statement. If written evidence is to be presented against the instructor, the instructor shall be allowed to see the actual signed statements at least 72 hours before the hearing. Unsigned statements shall not be admissible as evidence.

      6. The instructor or student shall have the right to challenge any member of the Academic Review Board for good cause and request that the individual be disqualified for that hearing. This dismissal of a challenged hearing Board member shall be at the discretion of the hearing Board Chairperson. Should the Chairperson be directly involved in the case, the chairperson shall excuse himself/herself and a Chairperson Pro Tempore shall be selected for that hearing.
      7. The instructor shall be presumed to have assigned the proper grade until it is proven otherwise. The burden of proof to the contrary rests with the student.
      8. The instructor and student shall have an opportunity to be present during the presentation of all evidence and to challenge the admissibility of any evidence. They shall have the opportunity to question all witnesses. The Chair of the Academic Review Board shall supervise any questioning of this nature, and, at the Chair's discretion, may strike any questions which are not relevant to the purpose of the hearing. The Board may question the instructor, the student, and any witnesses.
      9. All matters upon which the decision may be based, must be introduced and discussed at the hearing, and the decision shall be based solely upon the evidence presented. Under no circumstances shall any mention be made during the hearing of past charges made against the instructor.
      10. The recommendation in each case shall be made by a majority of Academic Review Board members present and voting.
      11. Recommendations of the Board will be issued in writing to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs shall transmit the recommendations and the Provost's decision to the instructor and the student.
  4. Retention of records

    As part of the University's grade appeal procedure, faculty members are required to keep records on grades, examinations, projects, term papers, and other pertinent material not returned to the students on file for a minimum of six months.

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AA. Honor Code (AOP 12.07)

Mississippi State University instituted an Honor code in the fall of 2007. All students are expected to abide by the following statement of conduct: "As a Mississippi State University student I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do."

Misconduct in research or scholarship includes fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing, or reporting research or other academic work. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data. Mississippi State University students are responsible for authenticating any assignment submitted to an instructor or graduate committee, excluding examinations. If asked, a student must be able to produce proof that the assignment submitted is indeed the work of that student. Students must keep appropriate records at all times. The inability to authenticate one's work, should the instructor or graduate committee request it, is sufficient grounds to initiate an academic dishonesty case.

Complete details of the Honor Code are found in AOP 12.07

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BB. Academic Amnesty (AOP 12.19)

The purpose of this Academic Operating Policy and Procedure (AOP) is to assist undergraduate students in making timely progress toward a degree by invoking the academic amnesty policy at Mississippi State University. Academic Amnesty is designed to provide former undergraduate students, either at Mississippi State University or elsewhere, an opportunity to reenter higher education at Mississippi State University without the burden of past academic difficulties (i.e., grades of "D" and/or "F"). If approved for this program, a student may have specific previously completed courses eliminated from the computation of his or her grade point average; these courses may not be applied toward graduation.

To be eligible for the program, an individual may not have attended any post-secondary institution of higher education for a period of at least five years. Academic amnesty may be requested through the student's academic dean's office at any time after admission or re-admission to Mississippi State University until the end of the semester preceding that in which the student graduates. Academic amnesty will be applied to the student's record only once, and the new grade point average will be noted on the transcript at the end of the semester during which the request was approved.

Students admitted under this policy must complete current curriculum requirements in residency to earn a degree. This policy pertains only to Mississippi State University and students should be advised that it may not be honored at other institutions of higher learning.

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CC. Academic Fresh-Start (AOP 12.17)

The purpose of this Academic Operating Policy and Procedure (AOP) is to assist students in making timely progress toward graduation by invoking a fresh start. Students who have not been enrolled in any post-secondary institution at any time for at least twenty-four consecutive months may petition for "academic fresh-start." All college credits earned prior to being granted academic fresh-start will be eliminated from the computation of the student's grade point average and may never be used toward graduation at Mississippi State University.

Students admitted under this policy must complete current curriculum requirements in residency to earn a degree. This policy may not be honored in other institutions of higher learning.

Fresh-start may be requested through the student's academic dean's office at any time after admission or re-admission to Mississippi State University until the end of the semester preceding that in which the student graduates. The student's transcript will reflect the complete academic record but will contain the notation at the appropriate point that all previous credits and grades have been declared void for the purposes of academic standing and graduation. Fresh-start will be applied to the student's record only once, and the new grade point average will be noted on the transcript at the end of the semester in which the request was approved.

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DD. Shackouls Honors College (AOP 11.01)

The institution-wide Shackouls Honors College is a challenging variation of the standard curriculum, through which hundreds of undergraduate students from all eight colleges/schools enrich their academic experiences. Under the auspices of the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, more than forty departmental honors courses and special courses serve as degree program requirements or electives for students in all colleges/schools. These limited enrollment sections taught by selected senior faculty members are open to all qualified students.

To enroll in honors courses, a student must have been admitted to the Honors College and must maintain standards for retention. Requirements governing the Honors College, including a full explanation of its offerings and phases, can be found in the University catalog (consult the index).

Students who complete Phase I and/or Phase II of the Shackouls Honors College are identified as participants in the program, and their achievement is noted in all official University records.

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EE. Cooperative Education Program (AOP 12.23)

The Cooperative Education Program is designed to provide compensated, academically relevant and career related work experiences to qualified MSU students. Some 800 MSU students are currently enrolled from the following Colleges/Schools: Agriculture & Life Sciences; Architecture; Arts & Sciences; Business & Industry; Education; Engineering, and Forest Resources.

Career related co-op work experience offers numerous benefits to participants. Among the benefits derived are confirmed career choice, blending of theory with practical applications, instilling of self- confidence, and enhanced employment opportunities upon graduation.

Additional information may be obtained from the Cooperative Education Program, 222 Walker Building or by calling 325-3823.

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>FF. Veterans Administration: Students (AOP 10.07)

Students attending school under one of the various Veterans Administration programs are required to attend class and are subject to special academic regulations. Faculty members who have students receiving VA benefits registered in their classes should consult the Mississippi State Bulletin, special policy statements sent to the general faculty, and the office of the University Registrar for specific information concerning VA students.

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GG. Buckley Amendment (AOP 10.06)

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment) passed by Congress on November 19, 1974, requires educational agencies or institutions to provide eligible students access to their educational records. It also requires that certain identifiable information may not be revealed from a student's educational records to unauthorized third parties without the prior written consent of the student. However, directory information, as defined in the Bulletin, may be released without the written consent of the student.

Additional information concerning the Buckley Amendment is available from the Office of the University Registrar.

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HH. Shortened Format Courses (AOP 11.05)

A shortened format course is defined as a format shorter than a semester length. A faculty member may offer a course that meets such definition. However, the department must seek and be granted approval through the usual administrative channels, including the Office of the Provost. The quality and integrity of the course is very important, and therefore, the following terms are important.

  1. By definition, the semester hour means 50 minutes of instruction or one contact hour per week for a semester of 15 instructional weeks. Therefore, any proposed shortened format course must generally maintain this standard.
  2. The amount of reading and analysis required must be similar to that of a regular course.
  3. The need for concentrated immersion in the subject matter must be considered.
  4. The general nature of the learning requirement must be considered.
  5. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, our regional accreditation agency, requires that at least one calendar week of reflection and analysis should be provided to students for each semester hour of credit awarded.

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II. Adoption and Sale of Textbooks and Related Educational Materials (AOP 10.13)

Educational material is defined as any instruments, devices, software, or published, dittoed, mimeographed or other materials used in the classroom or laboratory. All information required for ordering educational materials must be submitted to the Bookstore, located at the Mini-Mall and on the ground floor of the Colvard Union. Information received by the Bookstore will be distributed to private competitors. Recommendations to students, as to source for materials, should not list one supplier over another.

  1. There are no restrictions on the use of textbooks published by faculty members. In fact, Mississippi State University encourages faculty members to write and publish.
  2. Students are not allowed to pay for educational material directly to teachers for any course materials unless prior approval from the appropriate administration has been received by the teacher.
  3. If the educational materials are sold to students through means other than Mississippi State University Bookstore, a written request for exceptions must be obtained from the usual administrative channels.
  4. If any conflict of interest arises as a result of sales of textbooks or other educational materials, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Deans Council and Faculty Senate and Student Government, will appoint a committee to hear the case and advise the Provost on a course of action.
  5. Copyright clearance must be obtained by the authoring department or faculty, where necessary, for compilations to be resold through the MSU Bookstore. University Legal Counsel or Bookstore may assist in this process, if so desired.
  6. Royalties may not be paid to individual faculty for compilations produced while in the University employ and copied for resale through the MSU Bookstore.

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JJ. Academic Outreach and Continuing Education (AOP 34.01)

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KK. Teaching at Meridian Branch

The off campus degree-granting center at Meridian offers opportunities each semester for parent campus faculty to teach at the Meridian Center. All teaching assignments are made or approved by the appropriate academic department head and dean. Staff members teaching on an overload basis receive compensatory pay.

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LL. Alphabetical Index of Academic Operating Policies and Procedures

Title Policy Number
Academic Add/Drop Policy 12.01
Academic Administrators 10.02
Academic Accommodation 12.35
Academic Fresh Start 12.17
Academic Freedom 13.11
Academic Honesty 12.07
Academic Outreach and Continuing Education 34.01
Academic Policy/Procedure Manual 10.01
Academic Probation 12.15
Academic Promotion and Tenure 13.07
Academic Records 12.13
Academic Suspension and Dismissal 12.16
Attendance at Classes: Students 12.09
Attendance at Classes: Faculty 13.04
Auditing a Class 11.11
Buckley Amendment 10.06
Certificate of Recognition 12.08
Classroom Regulations 10.08
Classroom Attendance and Reporting Absences 12.09
College-Level Examination Program 12.27
Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Courses 11.04
Cooperative Education Program 12.23
Councils - Academic, Deans, Associate Deans 10.03
Credit, Grades and Standing 12.12
Degree Requirements - Undergraduate 12.11
Developmental Studies 12.30
Distinguished Professors 13.02
Emeritus Appointments 13.01
Establishment of Centers and Institutes 13.16
Evaluation of Teaching Performance 13.15
Exit Interviews of Departing Faculty 13.20
Faculty Released Time for Specified Committee Chair 13.21
Faculty Responsibilities 13.03
Final Examination Policy 12.04
Freshman Course Loads 12.31
Grade Appeals and Academic Review Board 13.14
Graduate Admission Criteria 21.01
Grievance Procedure 13.05
Honor Code 12.19
Human Subjects 10.09
International Programs 35.01
Leave Policies 13.13
Legal Resident Status 31.02
Mississippi State University Library 32.01
Nepotism 10.05
Other Employment 13.10
Pass-Fail Option 12.25
Ph.D. Degree, Research and Special Skills Requirements 21.02
Recognition of Academic Achievement 12.10
Retake Policy 12.20
Sabbatical Leave 13.06
Schedule Planning and Registration 31.10
Shortened Format Courses 11.05
Special Non-Degree Classification 11.02
Special Teaching Programs 34.01
Student Courseload 12.22
Summer School Teaching 13.12
Textbooks and Related Educational Material, The Adoption and Sale of 10.13
Trademark Licensing 06.03
Travel by Faculty and Staff 13.08
Tuition Remission 60.225
Undergraduate Credit by Examination 12.26
University Honors Program 11.01
Veterans Administration: Students 10.07
Veterans Academic Status 12.21
Withdrawal from the University 12.02

 

V. Promotion and Tenure Procedures


Revised and Approved by the Robert Holland Faculty Senate, 3-18-08
Signed by Interim President Vance H. Watson, 6-30-2008

1.0 Scope

1.1. This document records Mississippi State University's policies and procedures governing academic tenure and promotion in academic rank. These policies and procedures were drawn up by the Robert Holland Faculty Senate in accordance with the Bylaws and Policies of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) (sections 402, 403, and 404) and have been approved by the Robert Holland Faculty Senate and the president.

1.2. This document applies only to faculty members in tenure-track positions. The appointment and termination of non-tenure-track faculty members is governed by IHL Board Policy 404.01-401.02, and their promotion is governed by university, college, school and departmental policies. Such faculty members are not eligible for tenure, but may apply for open tenure-track positions.

1.3. Suggested changes and recommendations to this document can originate from the President, the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, or the Faculty Senate. The President of the Faculty Senate will distribute copies of the suggested change(s) and recommendation(s) to all Senate members and the Faculty Senate will prepare its own recommendation(s). The Faculty Senate's report on the recommended changes in the promotion and tenure document will be reviewed at two regularly scheduled Senate meetings before a vote on the recommendations will be held. A copy of the Faculty Senate's decision will be sent to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee. Final action on the recommendation(s) will be taken by the President and announced through all appropriate channels.

1.4. The procedure outlined in section 1.3 will be followed, unless some extraordinary occasion should demand a more immediate change. In all cases, however, the Faculty Senate must vote to approve all changes and the University Committee on Promotion and Tenure will be a part of the process of consideration.

1.5. The policies and procedures in effect in any academic year must have been fully approved by the Faculty Senate and signed by the president by 1 July of that year.

1.6. Copies of all officially-approved, university promotion and tenure policies and procedures, including subsequent revisions, together with their dates of approval, will be kept in the Faculty Senate Office and the Office of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee. In addition, an electronic copy of the current policies and procedures will be posted on the MSU Web site (at www.facultysenate.msstate.edu).

1.7. Changes to this document become official on the day the revised document is signed by the President. All units within the MSU system are expected to be in compliance with all changes within one year of that date. Unaltered sections of the document remain in effect regardless of changes that are made to other sections.

2.0 Academic Rank

2.1. A faculty member of professorial rank must have a professional or terminal degree appropriate to the discipline (or the equivalent in training and experience), a strong commitment to higher education and to the mission of Mississippi State University, and a willingness to assume the responsibilities and obligations appropriate to a university faculty member.

2.2. Academic ranks at Mississippi State University include:

2.2.1. Assistant Professor: A faculty member who has met the requirements in section 2.1 and has the potential to be successful in the areas of teaching, research and/or creative achievement, and service.

2.2.2. Associate Professor: A faculty member who has met the criteria for assistant professor, who has consistently demonstrated an ability to perform at a satisfactory level in teaching, research and/or creative achievement, and service, and who excels in at least one of these areas. Based upon the criteria established in the departmental promotion and tenure documents, an associate professor is developing a national reputation, and is showing potential for sustained contributions to the university and to his/her profession or field.

2.2.3. Professor: A faculty member who has met the criteria for associate professor, who has consistently demonstrated an ability to perform at a satisfactory level in teaching, research and/or creative achievement, and service, and who excels in at least two of these areas. Based upon the criteria established in the departmental promotion and tenure documents, a professor is expected to have a national reputation in the person's area of expertise.

3.0 Promotion.

Promotion is never granted routinely for simple satisfactory performance or for length of service, but reflects progressively higher professional competence and accomplishment. Promotion from assistant professor to associate professor, or from associate professor to professor, will normally only be considered after a faculty member has served at least five years in rank so that sustained productivity at MSU can be demonstrated. Applications for promotion prior to that time will be regarded as early action and considered only for exceptionally strong and well documented cases. Rank should reflect comparable stature with others in similar disciplines in other university settings. Professional achievement at another academic institution may be considered for promotion.

4.0 Tenure

4.1. The granting of tenure is a faculty-driven process and is the academic community's chief guarantee of academic freedom for the faculty member to perform his/her academic duties without undue or inappropriate external pressures.

4.2. Definition: Tenure is defined by IHL Board Policy 403.01 as:
Continuing employment that may be granted to a faculty member after a probationary period upon nomination by the Institutional Executive Officer for election by the Board.

4.3. IHL Board Policy 403.0104 further provides that a tenured faculty member is protected from dismissal except under the extraordinary circumstances stated in section 12.0.

4.4. According to IHL Board Policy 403.01, tenure is granted in a department, unless otherwise designated by the IHL Board.

4.5. Attainment of tenure at Mississippi State University is by no means automatic, based on years of service, but is the result of a thorough evaluation of a faculty member's performance in teaching, research and/or creative achievement, and service. The proportions of these activities will vary by discipline. Excellence in one area and satisfactory performance in the others are needed to qualify a faculty member for tenure.

4.6. Tenure is granted with the university's expectation that the faculty member will continue to perform at or above the minimum standards set by the department, school, or college, and university.

4.7. Eligibility. Tenure may hereafter be granted only simultaneously with promotion to associate professor, or to associate professors, or to professors. Faculty members of all professorial ranks in specifically designated tenure-track positions may work toward tenure. Graduate assistants and adjuncts, non-ranked library personnel, research assistants and associates, lecturers, instructors, visiting or adjunct professors, and all other employees are non-tenure-track. An instructor, even if a full-time employee in an academic department, may not be automatically promoted to assistant professor upon earning a terminal degree.

4.8. Probationary period.

4.8.1. A faculty member must apply for and be recommended for tenure by the president during sixth full contract year of employment in a tenure-track position. Failure to earn tenure at the end of the sixth full contract year will result in a terminal contract in the seventh full contract year. The probationary period for tenure-track faculty begins at the start of the faculty member's first full contract year. A full contract year is defined as one that starts on August 16 for 9-month employees and on July 1 for 12-month employees and continues until the next contract period. If the initial contract is for a partial year, e.g., starts after August 16 for a 9-month employee and after July 1 for a 12-month employee, that time is not included in the probationary period.

4.8.2. Up to five years at other universities may be counted in this probationary period, as determined and agreed upon by the departmental promotion and tenure committee, the department head or director, the dean, and the faculty member in the letter of offer at the time of initial appointment.

4.8.3. For clearly stated personal reasons (e.g., emergencies related to health, activation of military service, pregnancy, childcare, care of parents), a faculty member may request an extension of up to two years from the first five years of this probationary period for an approved leave of absence or a modified assignment. Such an extension must be agreed to by the department head or director, the dean, the Provost, and the faculty member at the time the leave is applied for. The departmental promotion and tenure committee shall be notified of the extension and the revised probationary period.

4.8.4. IHL Board Policy 403.0101 allows a faculty member or an administrative employee who held faculty rank at the level of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor and tenure at another institution to be awarded tenure at the time of initial appointment if recommended by the faculty of the tenuring department, the dean, the provost, and the president, and awarded by the Board.

4.8.5. For faculty members with a shortened probationary period (for reasons described in 4.8.2) or a lengthened probationary period (for reasons described in 4.8.3), the "third-year review" should be held at the mid-point of the individual's probationary period.

5.0 Relation of Promotion and Tenure

5.1. Faculty members who have met the requirements for promotion, but who have not fulfilled the probationary period for tenure, may be promoted without tenure.

5.2. Faculty members who are granted tenure as assistant professors automatically meet the criteria for associate professor.

6.0 Performance Standards and Evaluation of Professional Activities

6.1. Every faculty member is expected to meet high standards of professional competence, integrity, and collegiality and to further the goals of his/her department or unit. In every case, a faculty member's performance in teaching, research and/or creative achievement, and service will be judged by all participants in promotion and/or tenure decisions on the basis of specific criteria in written policy statements, developed by the appropriate academic units. All criteria should be based on the application of the highest professional standards and are to be in harmony with the following university criteria:

6.1.1. Teaching. Criteria may include regular classroom and laboratory instruction; supervision of field work, internships, performances, and fellowships; direction of theses and dissertations; development of educational materials; conduct of other academic programs that confer university credit; presentation of non-credit and off-campus public lectures and demonstration; and other teaching activities as defined by the academic units. Excellence in teaching includes the ability to impart the knowledge, methods, and standards of the discipline, the ability to communicate effectively with students by counseling, advising, or motivating them, the ability to direct students in their own research, and the ability to evaluate student work accurately and fairly according to prevailing academic standards of the discipline. Excellence in teaching may be documented by peer reviews, student evaluations, sample course materials, graded student work, recordings of teaching sessions, graduate student theses and dissertations, and any other documentary materials that demonstrate teaching effectiveness.

6.1.2. Research and/or Creative Achievement. Criteria may include systematic, original investigation directed toward the enlargement or validation of human knowledge, the solution of contemporary problems, or the exploration of creative forms that bring greater meaning to life. Excellence in research and/or creative achievement must be established by critical peer evaluation, using standards prevailing in the discipline. Excellence may be documented by books, articles, or reviews published by commercial or university presses or in refereed journals of international, national, or regional prestige; research grants, leading to high quality research; presentation of papers before professional groups; invited participation in scholarly conferences; editorial work for professional journals or publishers; or artistic or humanistic performances, presentations, or shows. Evidence of substantive progress on long-term projects that meet the criteria above may be considered as specified by the academic units.

6.1.3. Service. Criteria may include activities which enhance the scholarly life of the university or the discipline, improve the quality of life or society, or promote the general welfare of the institution, the community, the state, or the nation. Thus it includes outreach and extension of academic knowledge to the public, participation on departmental, college, or university committees, or on regional, national, or international scholarly committees, boards, or review panels, or on public boards as a representative of the scholarly community. Membership or participation in such bodies may constitute satisfactory service, but excellence requires leadership or initiative leading to substantial improvements or progress.

6.2. In evaluating a faculty member being considered for tenure, the appropriate faculty committees and academic administrators will give adequate consideration to the faculty member's professional performance. Adequate consideration of a tenure case consists of a conscientious review, which seeks out and considers all available evidence bearing on the relevant performance of the faculty member, and assumes that the various academic units follow their approved procedural guidelines during the tenure and promotion review process. Such consideration should be based upon adequate deliberation over the evidence in light of relevant standards and exclusive of improper standards (i.e., any criterion not related to the professional performance of the faculty member). The evaluation of a tenure case should constitute a bona fide exercise of professional academic judgment.

7.0 Annual Faculty Evaluation and Review

7.1. At the time of initial appointment, each faculty member will be informed in writing by the department head or unit administrator whether the appointment is tenure-track or non-tenure-track and will be given a copy of this promotion and tenure policy, as well as college and departmental promotion and tenure policies (or will be referred to appropriate web sites for online versions of these documents). The new faculty member will respond in writing that the terms of employment are understood and agreed to.

7.2. During the probationary period, the department head will counsel each faculty member annually about progress toward promotion and tenure. This annual evaluation will comprise a written review of the previous year's progress and a written agreement about the faculty member's objectives, responsibilities, and expectations for the coming year, and the department head's assessment of progress toward tenure.

7.3. The written agreement about the coming year must be consistent with the promotion and tenure criteria of the department, the school or college, and the university. If the department head and the faculty member cannot reach agreement, the matter will be referred to the dean or director.

7.4. The annual evaluation, signed by both parties, will be sent to the dean or director. A copy will be placed in the faculty member's personnel file. The faculty member has the right to attach a dissenting statement to all copies of this evaluation.

7.5. No record in personnel files relating to promotion or tenure is to be added, changed, or withdrawn without the knowledge of the faculty member and the unit administrator. Personnel files are confidential and are available only to the faculty member and university officials. Appropriate administrators will make all pertinent information available to elected promotion and tenure committees and administrators when the faculty member is a candidate for promotion and tenure. If material from a personnel file (or other material that is not in the candidate's promotion or tenure application) is provided to a committee or administrator, then the candidate will be provided a copy of the material and an opportunity to submit his/her written comments regarding the material before the material is considered by the committee or administrator. Otherwise, no additions will be made.

8.0 Promotion and Tenure Committees

8.1. University Committee on Promotion and Tenure

8.1.1. The University Committee on Promotion and Tenure serves four functions:

8.1.1.1. to advise the provost on promotion and tenure matters, including the review of criteria, policies, and procedures for promotion and tenure used by schools or colleges;

8.1.1.2. to hear appeals from faculty members whose nominations for promotion or tenure have been denied;

8.1.1.3. to review suggested changes in this document; and

8.1.1.4. to hear appeals from tenured faculty members who have been recommended for termination.

8.1.2. The committee consists of one member elected from each academic unit with an administrative head. Committee members will elect a chair who reports directly to the provost. Members must be full-time, tenured professors, rank of associate professor or above. No dean, associate dean, assistant dean, department head, or unit leader providing an official promotion and tenure evaluation will be a member of the committee. They are elected in the fall by a majority vote of the unit's full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members with the rank of assistant professor and above. Members may serve for two consecutive three-year terms, excluding partial terms. A partial term will be filled by election, as needed. The committee will annually elect its chair, who will be a full voting member of the committee.

8.2. College Promotion and Tenure Committees

8.2.1. Every college will establish and maintain a promotion and tenure committee. Each college will develop its own criteria for membership on the committee, and the procedures for electing members to that committee. All full-time faculty members who are not deans, associate deans, department heads, or equivalent are eligible to serve on the committee.

8.2.2. The responsibilities of a college promotion and tenure committee will be the following:

8.2.2.1. write promotion and tenure policies and procedures for their college, which include the mechanism for their adoption and revision;

8.2.2.2. approve the promotion and tenure documents of departmental committees within the college, ensuring that such documents are consistent with the mission of the university and the college, and the university promotion and tenure document;

8.2.2.3. assist departments in developing procedures for a third-year review of all non-tenured, tenure-track faculty;

8.2.2.4. assist departments in developing a criteria for external peer reviews, including the identification of comparable departments or schools at other colleges or universities;

8.2.2.5. assist departments in developing definitions of excellence, satisfactory, and unsatisfactory as it pertains to the evaluation of candidates for promotion and tenure;

8.2.2.6. assist departments in developing definitions of teaching, research and/or creative achievement, and service consistent with the mission of the department or school;

8.2.2.7. conduct a vote on all applications for promotion and tenure, ensuring department standards are fairly applied and university standards are maintained; and

8.2.2.8. approve the original departmental promotion and tenure document and policies and all subsequent changes.

8.3. Department and School Promotion and Tenure Committees

8.3.1. Every department and school will establish and maintain a promotion and tenure committee.

8.3.2. The faculty of each school or department will determine the structure of its promotion and tenure committee, subject to the conditions that:

8.3.2.1. The committee consists of at least three members.

8.3.2.2. All members of the committee are full-time faculty members with rank equal to or greater than that for which the candidate has applied in a particular case. (Thus an associate professor could sit on the committee to review applications for tenure and promotion to associate professor, but could not sit on the committee to review applications for promotion to professor.) If three members are not available because of absence, recusal or insufficient rank, the professorial faculty of that department will elect substitutes from the professors of an appropriate unit.

8.3.2.3. Unless a unit uses a committee-of-the-whole, the members of the committee must be elected. The length of terms will be determined by the unit.

8.3.2.4. No member of the committee will consider the application of a relative.

8.3.2.5. No dean, associate dean, assistant dean, department head, or unit leader providing an official promotion and tenure evaluation will be a member of the committee. No faculty member may participate in an applicant's promotion or tenure review at more than one level.

8.3.2.6. The committee will annually elect its chair.

8.3.2.7. The membership of the committee will be made known to the faculty.

8.3.2.8. An individual will not serve in a year that his or her promotion application is being considered.

8.3.3. Among the responsibilities of the department and school promotion and tenure committee are the following:

8.3.3.1. Write a promotion and tenure document, which is approved by a majority of the faculty in the department, the department head, and the college promotion and tenure committee. This document should detail the specifics, including any uniqueness, of the department or school in which the individual is to be tenured and should contain:

8.3.3.1.1. procedures for a third-year review of all non-tenured, tenure-track faculty;

8.3.3.1.2. criteria for external peer reviews, including the identification of comparable departments or schools at other colleges or universities;

8.3.3.1.3. definitions of excellence, satisfactory, and unsatisfactory as it pertains to the evaluation of candidates for promotion and tenure; and

8.3.3.1.4. definitions of teaching, research and/or creative achievement, and service, consistent with the mission of the department or school, including criteria for developing a national reputation and an established national reputation.

8.3.3.2. Conduct a review by end of the third year of all non-tenured, tenure-track faculty.

8.3.3.3. Conduct a vote on all applications for promotion and tenure.

8.3.3.4. Conduct a vote including all professorial faculty in the department or school to approve the original promotion and tenure document and policies and all subsequent changes.

8.3.4. College, school or departmental promotion and tenure committees will consider if submitted, but are not bound by, the Department Head's annual review of a candidate's progress toward tenure or promotion. Candidates are not required to submit their annual reviews.

8.3.5. Prior to the offer of hire, the appropriate promotion and tenure committee will make a formal recommendation on the initial appointment of a faculty member or administrator at the rank of associate professor or professor, on the acceptance of experience as the equivalent of a terminal degree, and on the award of years of credit at another institution of higher education toward fulfillment of the minimum probationary period for tenure.

9.0 Procedures for Faculty Promotion and Tenure

9.1. The process

9.1.1. The decision to recommend tenure to the IHL Board of Trustees is made by the president. All judgments made at lower levels of the university are recommendations to the president.

9.1.2. External letters will be solicited from professionals in the field who can provide an impartial evaluation of the candidate's work and accomplishments. The external reviewers will generally be tenured professors at MSU peer institutions, or more prestigious institutions, and should not include individuals who are in a conflict of interest with the candidate. The identity of the reviewers will be blind to the candidate except as may be required by law or ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. The specific procedures regarding solicitation and use of external letters of evaluation are to be detailed in school and departmental policies.

9.1.3. The candidate makes a formal application for promotion and/or tenure by completing the MSU Application for Promotion and Tenure form and attaching supporting documentation. Each unit will specify the format and the level of detail for the supporting documentation. Except for the candidate's optional written response to recommendations at each level, as described in Section 91.5, no material may be added or removed from this file after a decision has been made at the department level, unless the candidate, department head and the departmental committee agree. The request will be made in writing, define what is being added or removed, state the purpose for the change in the application, be signed by all parties, and be included as part of the formal application.

9.1.4. Except for the candidate's optional written response to recommendations at each level, as described in Section 9.1.5, the candidate takes no part in the process after submission of the application, unless requested to do so by those considering the application, until a decision has been announced by the president. No discussion of correspondence relating to the application is to be initiated by the candidate with the reviewing authorities. Deliberation at all levels will be confidential.

9.1.5. The candidate will be officially notified of the disposition of the application at each level of the process. A written recommendation and rationale will be made at each level in the process. These written recommendations will be provided to the candidate and placed on file by the department head, dean or director, and provost. These recommendations will be the basis of future discussions of professional development between the faculty member and the department head. The candidate may respond in writing to the written recommendation and rationale of either the department head or the dean/director, or both. If the candidate elects to provide a written response to a recommendation, it must be submitted to the review level to which the response is made within 5 working days of receipt of the recommendation. The response will become part of the formal application.

9.1.6. The faculty member has the right to discontinue the review process for tenure or promotion at any point before a decision has been made.

9.1.7. Departmental and college committees on promotion and tenure will assist their department head or director and dean, respectively, in reviewing the eligibility of all faculty members who have met the minimum requirements for advancement in rank or tenure.

9.1.7.1. These committees will base their recommendations upon available and pertinent evidence documented in the faculty member's promotion and tenure application and information in the personnel file that is applicable to the candidate's performance in professional activities.

9.1.7.2. A single vote evaluating the three areas (teaching, research and/or creative achievement, and service) as a whole will be taken on promotion and tenure.

9.1.7.3. These committees will arrive at their recommendations on the question of promotion or promotion and tenure by a simple majority vote, conducted by secret ballot. This recommendation, with accompanying reasons, including the committees' detailed evaluation of teaching, research and/or creative achievement, and service, will be provided in writing to their respective department head or director and dean.

9.1.8. The respective administrators (department or school head or director, and dean) will make separate recommendations, based upon available and pertinent evidence, documented in the faculty member's promotion and/or tenure application and permanent file including the recommendation of their committees. The administrators' recommendations may agree or disagree with that of their respective committees.

9.2. Chronology

9.2.1. By October 1, a faculty member eligible for consideration for promotion and/or tenure must have provided the department head with all pertinent and available information. The department head has the responsibility to assist, where appropriate, the faculty member in preparing materials for tenure and promotion review. The department head also has the responsibility to provide the departmental promotion and tenure committee with the faculty member's materials.

9.2.2. By November 15, the department head will send to the dean or director a separate packet of materials for each candidate, consisting of:

9.2.2.1. The formal application of the candidate with attached materials. Copies of publications, works of arts, etc., will be included only if specifically requested by the dean.

9.2.2.2. A letter concerning each candidate, giving the following information:

9.2.2.2.1. the department head's evaluation of the candidate's teaching effectiveness, research and/or creative achievement, and service including professional service;

9.2.2.2.2. the summary vote of the department committee; and

9.2.2.2.3. a summary of the procedures followed by the academic unit in evaluating the candidate.

9.2.2.3. The external peer review letters.

9.2.3. By January 15, the dean or director will send to the provost a separate packet of materials for each candidate, consisting of:

9.2.3.1. The formal application of the candidate with attached materials, including all materials received from the department head. Copies of publications, works of art, etc., will be included only if specifically requested by the provost.

9.2.3.2. A letter concerning each candidate, giving the following information:

9.2.3.2.1. the dean or director's evaluation of the candidate's teaching, research and/or creative achievement, and service;

9.2.3.2.2. the summary vote and written recommendation of the college committee; and

9.2.3.2.3. a summary of the procedures followed by the academic unit in evaluating the candidate.

9.2.4. By March 10, the provost will have reviewed the applicant's packet (as described in section 9.2.3) and made a recommendation to the president.

9.2.5. The president will review the recommendation of the provost and will decide to accept or reject that recommendation.

9.2.6. The president will transmit that decision, together with reasons for a negative decision, to the faculty member directly, with copies to the dean or director, department head, and chairs of college and departmental promotion and tenure committees.

10.0 Appeals

10.1. Faculty members who have been denied promotion or tenure may, within ten working days of the date on the president's decision letter, request an appeals hearing before the University Committee on Promotion and Tenure. The request must be made through the provost who will forward the request to the University Committee on Promotion and Tenure. Grounds for requesting an appeal are:

10.1.1. that the decision was prejudiced, arbitrary, or capricious; or

10.1.2. that the procedures contained in the promotion and tenure policies of the IHL, MSU, or those in the applicant's college or unit promotion and tenure policies were not properly followed.

10.2. The University Committee on Promotion and Tenure, upon request of the provost, will review the entire case. The appeal will be heard by at least five members. Members should recuse themselves from appeals by candidates who are relatives or with whom they have some conflict of interest, if the committee member has served in the previous levels of evaluation of the appellant or if for any reason the committee member feels he/she cannot be objective. A committee member will not vote on an appeal unless he/she has heard all hearings pertaining to the case. If five members are not available because of absence or recusal, the chair may, with the concurrence of the committee, appoint substitutes from among the professors of the general faculty. In special circumstances potentially prejudicial to the appellant, the chair may, with the concurrence of the committee, appoint an ad-hoc committee to assist in the resolution of the appeal. This ad-hoc committee reports its findings back to the University Committee on Promotion and Tenure.

10.3. The committee will review all available pertinent information and will conduct interviews with appropriate persons, i.e., appellant, unit head, unit committee chair, dean, college committee chair and provost. The committee will render its recommendation, in writing, to the provost. The committee will also provide a copy of this written recommendation to the candidate.

10.4. The provost will transmit the committee's written recommendation along with his or her own recommendation to the president, who will make the final on-campus decision. This decision will end the university appeals process. A copy of each recommendation will be provided to the candidate.

10.5. The Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning may grant a further appeal as outlined in Board of Trustees Policy 403.0105.

10.6. Candidates who are denied tenure and who have no time remaining in their probationary periods will receive terminal contracts for the following year.

11.0 Notice of Non-reappointment of Non-tenured, Tenure-track Faculty

11.1. Non-tenured, tenure-track faculty members will be notified in writing of the university's intention not to renew their contracts as provided in IHL Board Policy 403.0102:

11.1.1. not later than March 1 before the date of contract termination during the first year of service;

11.1.2. not later than December 1 before the date of contract termination during the second year of service; or

11.1.3. not later than September 1 before the date of contract termination after two or more years of service.

11.2. This schedule of notification does not apply to persons holding temporary, part-time, or adjunct positions.

12.0 Dismissal of Tenured Faculty

12.1. Termination of service of a tenured faculty member is made only under these extraordinary circumstances (as outlined in IHL Board Policy 403.0104):

12.1.1. financial exigencies as declared by the Board;

12.1.2. termination or reduction of programs, academic or administrative units as approved by the Board;

12.1.3. malfeasance, inefficiency or contumacious conduct; or

12.1.4. for cause.

12.2. Termination for cause of a tenured faculty member or the dismissal for cause of a faculty member prior to the expiration of a term appointment will not be recommended by the Institutional Executive Officer until the faculty member has been afforded the opportunity for a hearing. In no event will the contract of a tenured faculty member be terminated for cause without the faculty member being afforded the opportunity for a hearing.

12.3. In all cases, the faculty member will be informed in writing of the proposed action against him/her and that he/she has the opportunity to be heard in his/her own defense. Within ten (10) working days from the date of the president's decision, the faculty member will state in writing his/her desire to have a hearing. He/she will be permitted to have with him/her an adviser of his/her own choosing who may be an attorney. The institution is directed to record (suitable for transcription) all hearings. In the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony will include that of faculty and other scholars.

12.4. Tenured faculty members, who are dismissed for reasons stated in sections 12.1.1 or 12.1.2 will remain employed for a minimum of 9 to 12 months, consistent with current contract periods of time, from date of notification. Tenured faculty members, who are dismissed for reasons in sections 12.1.3 or 12.1.4 will have their contracts terminated at any time subsequent to notice and hearing with no right to continued employment for any period of time. At the discretion of the Institutional Executive Officer, any faculty member's salary may be paid, and he/she may be relieved of all teaching duties, assignments, appointments and privileges when he/she is dismissed for any reasons stated above or pending a termination hearing.

 

VI. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES


Most important personnel issues, especially those in state and federal law, are established as Human Resources Management Policies and Procedures by the Department of Human Resources Management. Those most relevant to faculty are described in this chapter. A more complete list is found at the end of the chapter. These policies may be found in the offices of department heads, deans, and directors. These policies are periodically revised; therefore, since the descriptions that follow may not accurately reflect recent revisions, current policy should be consulted when needed.

A. Administrative Leave - Jury Duty and Witness, Extreme Weather or Disaster (HRM 205)

Administrative leave is discretionary leave with pay, other than personal leave or major medical leave, which may be granted for jury or witness duty, extreme weather conditions or in the case of disaster.

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B. AIDS and Other Life-Threatening Illnesses (HRM 420)

Mississippi State University recognizes that employees who are HIV infected or who have contracted AIDS or other potentially disabling conditions such as cancer and heart disease may wish to continue their employment as long as their conditions allow. It is the policy of the University to accommodate the affected employees if they are able to meet minimum performance standards of their job and their conditions are not a threat to themselves or others within the work environment. Employees who have such life-threatening illnesses will be eligible for participation in all University sponsored benefits programs under the same terms and conditions as all other employees including, but not limited to, medical and personal leave, health insurance, life insurance, leaves of absence, performance appraisal, discipline and employment. Employees who refuse to perform job duties which require working with a co-worker or student who is known or suspected to be HIV positive or to have AIDS or other potentially infectious diseases will be counseled by professionals within the Student Health Center about the virus and its mode of transmission in order to displace any fears the employee may have. If the employee continues to refuse to perform in the required working relationship, disciplinary action, up to and including termination, may be taken.

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C. Alcohol and Controlled Substances Testing of Employees with a Commercial Driver's License (HRM 421)

Controlled substances testing shall be conducted on all applicants for employment in positions requiring a commercial driver's license. In addition, alcohol and controlled substances testing shall be conducted on current employees whose University employment requires them to possess a commercial driver's license. Testing will be done pre-employment, randomly, when there is reasonable suspicion, post accident, and upon return to work following misuse of alcohol or use of controlled substances. Employees who test positive for prohibited alcohol levels or a controlled substance will be disciplined. Discipline shall, at a minimum, conform to those proscribed by the applicable federal regulations, but may also include other disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

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D. Conflict Of Interest/Ethics (HRM 416)

Mississippi statutory law requires state employees to abide by certain ethical standards as public employees. The law applies to all employees of Mississippi State University, as well as to all other state employees. It specifically prohibits public employees from using their official positions and/or information gained through the course of employment to obtain pecuniary benefit for themselves other than compensation provided for by law, or to obtain pecuniary benefit for any relative or any business with which they are associated. Violations of this policy include immediate discharge and possible civil penalties.

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E. Drug-Free Campus (HRM 410)

The University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on University property or as a part of any University activity. Students or employees failing to observe the drug and alcohol policy will be subject to the imposition of sanctions by the University in accordance with established disciplinary action procedures. For students, sanctions may include suspension or expulsion. For employees, sanctions may include termination of employment. Any student or employee found in violation may also be referred to the appropriate authorities for prosecution. Employees receive an annual written statement concerning sanctions, health risks, available counseling, treatment and/or rehabilitation programs associated with illicit drug and alcohol use.

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F. Drug-Free Workforce (HRM 409)

This policy is applicable to University employees working in sensitive positions on grants and/or contracts funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and its branch agencies and that contain the provisions of the DOD's Drug-Free Workforce Rule of 1988. These persons are also covered by provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. Employees in sensitive positions who are working on those Department of Defense grants and/or contracts wherein the grant/contract agreement includes the Drug-Free Workforce clause are specifically prohibited from using illegal drugs, both on and off campus. Employees who are covered by this policy are also subject to urine testing on a controlled and carefully monitored basis to identify illegal drug users.

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G. Drug-Free Workplace (HRM 408)

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace at Mississippi State University. Violations of this policy shall result in mandatory evaluation or treatment for substance use/abuse or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. A drug-free awareness program, designed to inform employees about the dangers of drug use/abuse, the policies of the University concerning a drug-free workplace, the availability of the drug counseling and referral program, and the penalties that may be imposed for violations, is periodically conducted by the Department of Human Resources Management.

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H. Employment Authorization (HRM 104)

The selection of candidates for employment at the University shall be approved by the dean/director, president, vice president or Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, as appropriate. The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning has the sole power and authority to select the President of the University and to contract with all deans, professors, and other members of the teaching faculty, and executive, administrative, managerial, and other professional employees of the University who receive contracts. The vice presidents of the various University divisions have the sole power and authority to authorize the employment of the administrative, managerial, and other professional staff who do not receive contracts. If the salary of non-contract employees exceeds $50,000 per year, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning has the sole power and authority to authorize employment. Deans/directors of the various University divisions have the power and authority to employ non-exempt staff and graduate assistants with vice president's approval, if appropriate.

Hiring Toolkit

I. Contracts and Annual Employment Letters (HRM 112)

Employees are provided written letters of offer upon initial employment and annual pay notification letters thereafter. Any special conditions of employment must be noted in the annual pay notification letter. Annual contracts are issued, as appropriate. The Department of Human Resources Management will issue all employment contracts to the appropriate vice president each year. The vice president will distribute the contracts, as appropriate. Signed contracts will be returned to the Department of Human Resources Management. Contracts must not be altered without written approval by the president. Contractual employees will not be issued payroll checks until a properly signed contract is returned to the Department of Human Resources Management.

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J. Employment of Relatives (HRM 114)

The employment of a family member of a present employee or the appointment of a present employee to a new/different position is prohibited when such employment would create a situation where one family member would be in a supervisory position over the other family member and/or influencing progress, performance, or welfare. Family members are defined as an employee's spouse, children, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and in-laws or step-relatives of those listed above. Exceptions may be made to this policy, if approved in writing through the chain of command to the appropriate vice president, provided the subordinate employee's supervision is formally transferred to a supervisory authority one or more levels above the supervisory family member employee, and, if all matters dealing with the subordinate employee's progress, performance, welfare, assignment, salary, tenure, and promotion are in fact unaffected by the other family member's employment or position.

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K. Employment of Retirees (HRM 115)

Individuals who have retired from the University or other State of Mississippi Service, may be reemployed on an emergency basis as an employee or independent contractor, if they have been withdrawn from service a minimum of 45 calendar days, beginning with the effective date of retirement. If the individual retired as a nine-month-employee, he/she may not be re-employed in an educational institution any earlier than 45 consecutive days after the beginning of the next school year. These individuals may be re- employed to assist in meeting critical short-term staffing needs under the following conditions: a period not to exceed 120 days in a twelve month position or 89 days in a nine month position and compensated at an appropriate rate; an unspecified period during the fiscal year paid at a rate not to exceed 25% of the individual's average compensation used in calculating retirement benefits, or; an unspecified number of days at a rate not to exceed 25% of the rate normally paid for the position.

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>L. Family and Medical Leave (HRM 208)

Employees are eligible for Family and Medical Leave of up to twelve (12) weeks during the fiscal year based upon the following qualifying events: childbirth or placement of a child through adoption or foster care; due to the serious health condition of a child, spouse or parent; or, in the case of the employee's own serious health condition. Accrued personal and major medical leave and/or an unpaid leave of absence, as applicable, may be utilized for any part of the twelve week leave period. The University will continue to pay the employee only contribution to the State Employees’ Health Insurance Plan for the twelve (12) week period whether the leave is paid or unpaid. Employees considering such leave should contact the Department of Human Resources Management for complete benefit arrangements. Employees taking Family and Medical Leave are guaranteed the right to return to their previous or an equivalent position with no loss of benefits at the end of the leave.

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M. Holidays (HRM 200)

The University closes its offices and functions for regular business and activities in observance of Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Winter Holidays, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and at other times approved by the President. All regular employees receive their regular pay for holidays if they are present for work or in an approved paid leave status immediately prior to and immediately following the holiday(s).

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N. Leave for Childbearing Purposes (HRM 207)

Leave is granted to regular employees for the purpose of childbearing. Upon proper request, up to twelve (12) weeks of Family and Medical Leave will be granted during the fiscal year due to childbirth. Employees are not required to be away from work for any minimum period of time prior to or following childbirth and may return at any time they are able to resume their regular duties. Employees who utilize leave for childbearing purposes are eligible to return to their former position or to an equivalent position in the department from which they were granted leave. Contact should be made with the Department of Human Resources Management for arrangements to continue existing insurance benefits during any period of unpaid absence.

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O. Leave For Death in the Immediate Family (HRM 204)

When an employee is absent from duty due to death in the immediate family (spouse, parent, step-parent, brother, sister, child, step-child, grandchild, grandparent, son- or daughter-in-law, mother- or father-in-law, or brother- or sister-in-law), up to three days of earned major medical leave per occurrence may be used. If additional time is needed for that absence, major medical leave and/or personal leave policies apply, as appropriate.

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P. Leave of Absence (HRM 210)

A leave of absence without pay for up to one (1) year may be granted for, but not limited to, medical disability of employees or their family members, enrollment in educational course work relating to an employee's position, temporary relocation of the employee's spouse, professional development beneficial to the employee and the University or for family emergency. No service time in the Public Employees' Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Plan nor personal and major medical leave are earned for any period of leave of absence without pay. Arrangements should be made with the Department of Human Resources Management for insurance coverage and payment of benefit premiums during any leave period without pay.

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Q. Major Medical Leave With Pay (HRM 202)

Major medical leave is earned by all employees who work one-half time or more, except student employees and reemployed retirees, after one month of continuous service. Accruals are based on employment status and length of annual employment periods. Major medical leave may be used for illness or injury of an employee or member of the employee's immediate family (spouse, parent, step-parent, sibling, child, step-child, grandchild, grandparent, son- or daughter-in-law, mother- or father-in-law, brother- or sister-in-law) after the employee has used one day of personal leave or leave without pay if the employee has no accrued personal leave. Nine-month faculty may use major medical leave for the first day of absence due to illness. Major medical leave may be used, without prior use of additional personal leave to cover regularly scheduled visits to a doctor's office or a hospital for the continuing treatment of a chronic disease, as certified in advance by a physician. If the original medical certification form indicates specific dates of scheduled health care, no additional medical certification is required, otherwise, a medical certification form must accompany each Application for Leave, indicating that the scheduled visit is for continuing treatment of a chronic disease or condition. For each thirty-two (32) hours or more (combined personal and major medical leave) major medical leave shall be authorized only when certified by the employee's or family member's attending physician. There is no limit to the accumulation of major medical leave and it is transferable with employees to other State of Mississippi agencies and institutions.

The following monthly and annual accrual rates are based on employment for 40 hours per week.

Employees Other Than Nine-Month Faculty

Continuous Service Monthly Accrual Annual Accrual
1 month to 3 years 8 hours 12.0 days
37 months to 8 years 7 hours 10.5 days
97 months to 15 years 6 hours 9.0 days
over 15 years 5 hours 7.5 days

Nine Month Faculty

Continuous Service Monthly Accrual Annual Accrual
1 month to 3 years 13 1/3 hours 15 days
37 months to 8 years 14 1/5 hours 16 days
97 months to 15 years 15 2/5 hours 17 days
over 15 years 16 hours 18 days

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R. Military Leave (HRM 206)

Employees who are members of the National Guard or any reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States ordered to duty for training or exercises are entitled to 15 days of paid military leave in a calendar year. Personal leave or leave without pay may be granted for any additional days of absence. Employees are entitled to reemployment upon discharge from the service, including, but not limited to, reinstatement to their former position or a similar position, protection from arbitrary discharge, and reinstatement of benefits.

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S. On-The-Job Injury Leave (HRM 203)

Employees injured in the course of their employment who are receiving worker's compensation benefits may use accrued major medical leave or personal leave to supplement payments received from Workers' Compensation insurance. Employees who have exhausted all accrued personal leave or major medical leave or who do not wish to use accrued leave may request Family and Medical Leave. If employees are not able to return to work at the end of the medical leave of absence, they may be terminated.

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T. Outside Employment (HRM 415)

In accordance with regulations of the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning, employees who desire to engage in outside employment or practice of profession (including consulting) must complete and process through administrative channels an Application for Permission to Engage in Outside Employment or Practice of Profession. This request, which covers each fiscal year, must be approved prior to engaging in outside employment or practice of profession or being connected with any public office either by election, appointment, or employment other than employment at the University.

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U. Personal Leave With Pay (HRM 201)

Personal leave with pay is earned by all employees who work one-half time or more, except nine-month faculty, student employees and reemployed retirees, after one month of continuous service. Accruals are based on employment status and length of annual employment periods. Personal leave may be taken at times agreed upon by the employee and his/her department head or supervisor. Such time away from work with pay may be used for vacation, time off to care for a family member, or any personal reason. There is no limit to the accumulation of personal leave and upon termination of employment, employees are paid for unused personal leave not to exceed 240 hours. Accrued leave is transferable with employees to other State of Mississippi agencies and institutions.

The following monthly and annual accrual rates are based on employment for 40 hours per week.

Continuous Service Monthly Accrual Annual Accrual
1 month to 3 years 12 hours 18 days
37 months to 8 years 14 hours 21 days
97 months to 15 years 16 hours 24 days
over 15 years 18 hours 27 days

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V. Professional Leave of Absence (HRM 211)

A professional leave of absence without pay may be granted for a period of up to two (2) years during any (10) year period of state service. During a professional leave, service must be performed with a public institution or public agency of the state, or another state or federal agency. Additionally, the professional leave must benefit both employees and the University. As a condition of granting such leave, employees must agree to return to University employment on a full-time basis immediately following the termination of the approved leave for a period of time equivalent to the period of the professional leave. Creditable service for retirement purposes is earned provided employees pay to the Public Employees' Retirement System the actuarial cost of such credit during the period of absence. Arrangements should be made with the Department of Human Resources Management for insurance coverage and payment of benefit premiums during any leave period without pay.

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W. Security of Records (HRM 419)

The Department of Human Resources Management is responsible for the security and proper use of employee records. Information in the human resources records system is available to employees, University officials, and external agencies on a "need-to-know" basis as appropriate. In all other cases, employment records are only released upon the receipt of a properly executed subpoena.

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X. Terminal Leave/Transferring Leave (HRM 209)

Upon termination of employment, employees are paid in a lump sum for the unused portion of their earned personal leave time, not to exceed 240 hours. This payment is made in the last salary or wage payment of the terminating employee. Any unused personal leave in excess of 240 hours will be counted as creditable service for those employees participating in the Public Employees' Retirement System, but will be forfeited for those participating in the Optional Retirement Plan. Payments will be made to designated individuals or beneficiaries the total amount of accumulated personal leave for those persons who die prior to separation from the University. Up to 960 hours of medical leave may be paid to employees who present medical evidence that their health condition is such that they can no longer work in a capacity with the University and a written letter of resignation. Employees who transfer from one unit to another within the University or to another state agency or institution retain their cumulative earned personal and major medical leave provided their employment is continuous.

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Y. Tuition Remission- Dependent Children of Employees (HRM 226)

The University provides a Tuition Remission Program which enables dependent children of eligible employees to enroll in courses of study at the University at reduced tuition. Dependent children are eligible to receive fifty percent tuition remission until the degree requirements for one baccalaureate degree are met as long as they maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Dependent children are responsible for required fees. Eligible dependent children may receive the reduced tuition for classes that begin subsequent to employees' date of employment provided the employment began on or before the last day to add courses. A dependent child is defined as one who is an unmarried natural child, adopted child, step-child or legal ward and is less than 25 years of age as of the first day of the semester for which application for remission is made. Dependent children of retired benefits eligible employees, deceased employees with four years of creditable service or of regular benefits eligible employees on an approved leave of absence are eligible for the Tuition Remission Program.

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Z. Tuition Remission- Employees (HRM 225)

Mississippi State University provides a Tuition Remission Program which enables eligible employees to enroll in courses of study at the University in order to enhance personal and professional development. Tuition may be remitted for six (6) undergraduate or graduate credit hours per semester (fall, spring, or summer) with a maximum of eighteen (18) credit hours per calendar year. Employees are responsible for certain required fees. Employees are eligible for this benefit on the first day of their regular employment provided the employment began on or before the last day to add courses. One course may be taken during the normal working day as approved by the unit head provided the lost time from work is made up during the same work week or compensatory or personal leave is taken. The second course must be taken during non-work hours. Employees who receive remission under this policy in any given academic semester and terminate employment during that semester, will be responsible for reimbursement to the University for a pro-rata share of tuition remitted if the individual remains in the course.

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AA. Use of Tobacco on Campus (HRM 411)

In order to provide a healthful environment, indoor smoking is limited to designated smoking areas. Approval to allow smoking in private offices is determined by each academic or administrative department. Departments may designate a "smoking permitted" area if such space is requested by smokers with consideration being given to the ratio of smokers to non-smokers, ventilation, traffic flow, and compliance with governmental regulations and laws. Areas which may not be considered as "smoking permitted" are: reception rooms or waiting rooms; restrooms; hallways; working areas which include any non-smokers; University vehicles and van pools when non-smokers are present; classrooms; auditoriums; theaters; and any other areas where smoking is prohibited by law.

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BB. Use of University Property (HRM 417)

Employees may use University property only for University purposes and in no event be used for personal profit or gain. Property includes, but is not limited to, land, buildings, facilities, equipment, supplies, or labor.

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CC. Alphabetized List of HRM Policies Most Relevant to Faculty

Subject Policy Number
Administrative Leave - Jury Duty and Witness 205
AIDS and Other Life-Threatening Illnesses 420
Alcohol and Controlled Substances Testing of Employees with a Commercial Driver’s License 421
Benefits Administration- 9-11 Month Employees 217
COBRA- Continuation of Group Health Coverage 216
Conflict of Interest/Ethics 416
Contracts and Annual Employment Letters 112
Drug-Free Campus 410
Drug-Free Workforce 409
Drug-Free Workplace 408
Employment Authorization 104
Employment of Relatives 114
Employment of Retirees 115
Extreme Weather or Disaster 205
Family and Medical Leave 208
Holidays 200
Leave of Absence 210
Leave For Childbearing Purposes 207
Leave For Death In The Immediate Family 204
Major Medical Leave With Pay 202
Military Leave/Veterans’ Reemployment Rights 206
On-The-Job Injury Leave 203
Optional Insurance Programs 214
Optional Retirement Plan 221
Outside Employment 415
Personal Leave With Pay 201
Pre-Tax Benefit Plan 215
Professional Leave of Absence (an AOP) 211
Safety 414
Security of Records 419
Sexual Harassment 402
State Employees’ Health Insurance Plan (SEHIP) 213
State Retirement- Public Employees’ Retirement System 220
Supplemental Salary Payments/Salary Adjustments 319
Termination of Employment 405
Terminal Leave/Transferring Leave 209
Tuition Remission-Dependent Children 226
Tuition Remission- Employees 225
Use of Tobacco On Campus 411
Use of University Property 417
Workers' Compensation Insurance 218

 

VII. OTHER UNIVERSITY POLICIES


These policies are periodically revised; therefore, since the descriptions that follow may not accurately reflect recent revisions, current policy should be consulted when needed.

A. Academic Grading and Student Classification (AOP 12.12)

For information concerning the following topics, refer to the latest issue of the Bulletin of the Mississippi State University:

Academic Standing
Classification of Students
Grading Procedures
Dropping of Courses (see also IV. E.)
Withdrawal from the University (see also IV. E)

Additional information can be obtained from one's dean, department head, or from the University registrar.

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B. Affirmative Action Policies

Mississippi State University has four policies dealing with affirmative action. They are OP 03.02 Equal Opportunity Statement, OP 03.03 Harassment Policy and Procedures, OP 03.04 Harassment Training for Supervisors, and OP 03.05 The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Reasonable Accommodations in Employment.

Mississippi State University is formally committed to the principles of equal opportunity, affirmative action and diversity. Discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or veteran's status is a violation of federal and state law and MSU policy and will not be tolerated. Discrimination based upon sexual orientation or group affiliation is a violation of MSU policy and will not be tolerated. This nondiscrimination applies to all programs administered by the University.

Responsibility for communicating, interpreting, and monitoring the University's affirmative action policies has been assigned to the Office of Diversity and Equity Programs. The office is located on campus in 106 McArthur Hall. For additional information concerning the university's equal opportunity policy, call 662-325-2493.

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C. Laboratory Animal Welfare (OP 79.05)

The use of laboratory animals is essential to teaching, testing, and research, and must be considered a privilege, not a right, of the academic and scientific communities. To ensure that animal care and use on campus are in compliance with local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and policies, the University Laboratory Animal Veterinarian (ULAV) has been established in the Office of the Vice President for Research. This unit is a university-wide resource that provides or oversees health care, and technical and scientific support and compliance oversight for MSU programs using animals in biomedical research, testing and teaching.

The ULAV is advised on a university-wide basis by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, a standing committee reporting to the Vice President for Research. The committee is charged with (1) establishing and reviewing compliance with standards and procedures relating to laboratory animal welfare, and (2) advising individuals and agencies dealing with such animals.

University instructors and researchers planning projects that utilize vertebrate animals in biomedical research, testing, and teaching must submit their proposed protocol to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee for review and approval of animal care and use aspects, including animal costs, during the planning process. Also, researchers seeking outside funding for projects that utilize vertebrate animals must obtain IACUC a pproval before funding can be awarded.

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D. Biological Safety (OP 79.02) (OP 79.07)

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and Biosafety Officer (BSO) ensure the protection of workers who generate, process, and dispose of potentially hazardous biological materials at Mississippi State University. This oversight is also intended to ensure the welfare and safety of the surrounding community and environment.

Primary and secondary containment will be accomplished in a manner compliant with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (59 FR 34496). This document has been revised to reflect current research in whole animals and whole plants, as well as in vitro work. Containment is provided by adherence to standard and special microbiological practices using appropriate equipment in properly designed facilities. Information concerning such practices, techniques, equipment, and facilities at four biosafety levels is detailed in Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL). Proper manipulation of blood and other tissue/fluids within the context of "universal precautions" is summarized in the OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.1030 "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens, Final Rule.

Any individual planning to use (a) microorganisms, biological toxins, or other materials which may pose a biological hazard to humans, animals, plants or the environment, for which biosafety level 2 or greater practices, techniques, equipment, or facilities are required, or (b) employ r ecombinant DNA technology must do so with IBC approval. The Biosafety Office should be contacted prior to proposal submission or, in the case of non-funded research, prior to study initiation. All laboratories and animal facilities certified to be biosafety level 2 or above are to be inspected by the BSO on a periodic basis.

Individuals planning to obtain materials referenced above for which Biosafety level 2 or greater practices, techniques, equipment, or facilities are required must contact the BSO prior to receipt of such materials.

Agricultural field work with transgenic crop species for which USDA-APHIS notification guidelines are applicable does not require IBC approval because it must be performed in a manner compliant with USDA-APHIS guidelines Researchers should, however, inform the IBC of the proposed research by submitting a copy of the proposal to the Biosafety Office for filing. The BSO will forward a copy to the IBC Chair who will notify pertinent members of the intended work. Agricultural field work with all other transgenic plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, as well as genetically modified microorganisms, must be submitted to the IBC for approval.

It is the responsibility of laboratory directors to provide adequate biosafety training for laboratory personnel under their supervision. The NIH Guidelines stipulate that principal investigators (i.e., laboratory directors) must have adequate training in standard microbiological procedures. Furthermore, the laboratory director is responsible for providing laboratory staff with (a) protocols describing potential biohazards and appropriate precautions, (b) training in methods and manipulations to ensure biosafety, (c) training in general biosafety principles and practices including accident response, and (d) information regarding precautionary medical procedures. The Biosafety Officer is available to assist laboratory directors with all aspects of such training.

Please refer to OP 79.02 for additional biosafety requirements and to OP 79.07 for information related to crisis planning for biosafety.

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E. Conflict of Interest (OP 70.9) (HRM 60-416)

In accordance with federal regulations, the University has a responsibility to manage, reduce, or eliminate any conflicts of interest that would reasonably appear to be affected by a financial interest of an investigator. Thus, the University requires that investigators disclose any significant financial interest that may present an actual or potential conflict of interest in relationship with an NSF or NIH sponsored project.

In addition, Mississippi statutory law requires that state employees abide by certain ethical standards. No university employee shall use their official positions to obtain pecuniary benefit for themselves other than that compensation provided for by law, or to obtain pecuniary benefit for any relative or any business with which they are associated. No employees may intentionally use or disclose information gained in the course of or by reason of their official positions or employment as a public servant in any way that could result in pecuniary benefit for themselves, any relative, or any other person, if the information has not been communicated to the public or is not public information.

The President, upon recommendation of the Committee on Committees, shall appoint the Conflict of Interest Review Committee (CIRC) with one representative from each college or equivalent unit, and the University Research Ethics Review Officer. Term shall be for three years and shall be renewable. The Committee shall report jointly to the Vice President for Research and the Vice President of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, and have the responsibility for reviewing annually the Mississippi State University Conflict of Interest Policy; review all Financial Disclosure Forms where there is significant financial interest; oversee the review of projects where there is significant financial interest; and recommend action to the appropriate Vice President where the CIRC is unable to manage appropriately the conflict of interest.

Further details are contained in OP 70.09 and HRM 60-416.

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F. Copyright Policies (OP 1.20, OP 30.02, OP 30.03, and OP 91.203)

Mississippi State University is devoted to the creation, discovery, and dissemination of knowledge to serve the public and is committed to complying with all applicable laws regarding intellectual property. That commitment includes the full exercise of the rights accorded to users of copyrighted works under federal copyright law. MSU has specific policies that relate to general issues of copyright in education and research (OP 1.20), to computer software (OP 30.02 and OP 30.03), and to student musical performances (OP 91.203).

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G. Decals and Parking (OP 91.307)

Any individual who operates or parks a motor vehicle or motorcycle on the campus and streets of Mississippi State University shall register the vehicle at the beginning of each academic school year. Subsequent to the beginning of the academic school year, a vehicle must be registered within twenty-four hours (excluding weekends and holidays) after it is first brought on the university campus or streets, unless the individual has been issued a temporary or a special permit for the vehicle. The cost of a decal may be obtained by contacting the Office of Parking Services at 662-325-2661.

Further details related to parking and traffic rules and regulations can be found in OP 91.307.

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H. Ethics in Research and other Scholarly Activities (OP 80.2)

Misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or other serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing, carrying out, or reporting results from research or other scholarly activities. Failure to comply with applicable federal requirements for protection of human subjects, the environment, the public, or for ensuring the welfare of laboratory animals or failure to comply with other applicable legal requirements governing research or other scholarly activities are covered under separate guidelines. Further, this document is not intended to relate to student conduct that is covered in the student handbook. (Care must be taken to differentiate between misconduct and honest errors and ambiguities of interpretation.)

Anyone having reason to believe that a member of the faculty, staff, or student body has engaged in misconduct in research or other scholarly activity should consult informally in person with the Research Ethics Review Officer. If the result of such discussion confirms the seriousness of the allegation, the matter then shall be reported by the Research Ethics Review Officer, in writing, to the department head of the respondent, his/her dean and vice president, the Vice President for Research and the respondent. The identity of the complainant will be kept confidential during the inquiry.

The procedures for proceeding with an inquiry and investigation into any allegation are detailed in the Ethics in Research and Other Scholarly Activities Policy. The policy covers all faculty, staff and students (where not covered by other University policy). The Research Ethics Officer is the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs. The policy is in full compliance with federal policies relating to the ethical conduct of research. The Office of Sponsored Programs homepage should be consulted for the current policy on this subject.

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I. Federal Property (OP 70.05)

The State of Mississippi has stringent requirements with regard to use, inventory and disposal of property. In addition, the Federal Government imposes additional requirements for property furnished by, owned by, or purchased with federal funds under the Federal Acquisition Regulations - FAR-Part 45.

The Department Head and/or Principal Investigator(s) are responsible for the procurement, movement, maintenance, reporting and disposal for all federal property assigned to a sponsored project. The Property Control Office is responsible for maintaining a detailed listing of Government furnished and Contractor acquired property for all sponsored projects. All correspondence and property transactions are channeled through the Property Control Office. The Property Control Office will perform periodic property audits to verify that all federal property is property inventoried and accounted for.

Mississippi State University has published a "Property Manual for Government Property" which details procedures for the purchase, inventory, reporting and disposal of Federal Property. Non-compliance with the processes and procedures detailed in the manual can result in property audit exceptions, fines for serious or repeated non-compliance and suspension of Mississippi State University from receiving federal funds.

For additional information, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs at 325-7404 or Property Control at 325-2545. The Office of Sponsored Programs homepage should be consulted for the current policy on this subject.

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J. Guidelines for Student and Other University Organizations (OP 91.200)

  1. University Organization Definition

    University organizations are those whose active membership is composed entirely of students, and/or faculty, and/or staff. They are subcategorized into the following types:

    1. Student Organizations - groups organized for students;
    2. Student/Faculty Organizations - groups organized for both students and faculty;
    3. Faculty and/or Staff Organizations - groups organized primarily for faculty and/or staff.

  2. Benefits and Privileges

    The benefits and privileges of a registered organization follow:

    1. The opportunity to incorporate, as prescribed by university guidelines, the university name into the organization's name;
    2. Eligibility to reserve and use university facilities;
    3. Listing in publications such as The Reveille or found online at http://www.msstate.edu/web/security.html, and
    4. The privilege to participate in university events such as orientation, homecoming, organizational fairs, etc.

  3. General

    1. Only those organizations registered with the university may conduct activity on the university campus.
    2. The university shall not be responsible for injury or damage to persons or property resulting from the activities of the organizations or for any debts or liabilities incurred by such organizations.
    3. Organizations shall not engage in or condone any form of hazing. Hazing occurs when a person or organization who, in the course of another person's initiation into or affiliation with any organization, intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or to a third person.
    4. Organizations shall be held responsible for the conduct and actions of each member of the organization while acting in the capacity of a member or while attending or participating in any activity of the organization.
    5. Organizations must comply with all policies, regulations, and procedures established by Mississippi State University and with all laws, regulations, and ordinances, whether federal, state, or local.
    6. An organization must represent the interests of its members and control of the organization must rest with the local campus group. The organization must not have a knowing affiliation with an organization whose aims and goals are illegal.
    7. Registration of an organization (for other than a temporary period) will be on an annual basis and will be effective until the beginning of the next academic year (fall semester, unless rescinded sooner by the university). The registration of any organization shall be subject to renewal by the university for each ensuing year. Annual renewal of the registration shall be dependent on the organization's demonstration of compliance with its purposes, aims, and activities as stated in its constitution, and compliance with all rules and regulations of the university. Registration forms are located in the Colvard Union.
    8. Any registered student organization may be placed on probation, suspension, or restriction, or have its registration withdrawn by the Dean of Students after having been accorded due process in accordance with provisions found online at http://www.msstate.edu/web/security.html (see OP 91.100). Other registered organizations (with the exception of faculty organizations) may have their registration withdrawn at any time by the Vice President for Student Affairs after having been accorded appropriate due process. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for reviewing faculty organizations, and may withdraw their registration after affording appropriate due process.
    9. Registered organizations may build, buy, rent, or lease a house or other facility on campus only with the written approval of the university. Arrangements can be made through the Colvard Union.

  4. Student Organizations

    Freedom and Responsibility of Registered Student Organizations

    Freedom of action granted a registered student organization also implies a responsibility of the organization for developing the direction, scope, and character of the organization in promoting the total educational program of the university. The only limitations placed upon this freedom are those imposed by the stated purposes of the organization, by university and board policy, and by law.

    The university, through the registration process set forth, seeks the freedom of existence for student organizations and ensures that designated privileges and support are readily available equally to all organizations that uphold the registration requirements. The university does not, however, automatically endorse the mission, goals, or purpose of any organization. Mississippi State University, while encouraging active participation in non-classroom activities, seeks to ensure that first and foremost students successfully meet their educational goals and requirements.

  5. Registration of Organizations

    1. Student, Faculty, Staff, and University Organizations

      In order to obtain registration as an organization, a group must present their petition to organize to the Colvard Union, Division of Student Affairs. Applications and information are available in this office (325-3322). The five steps listed below constitute a petition for university registration:

      1. Hold organizational meetings. Groups may hold three organizational meetings.
      2. Elect officers. Fill out information requested on the application (submit 15 copies).
      3. Draw up a constitution and by-laws (submit 15 copies).
      4. Make a list of members' names and net IDs.
      5. Provide the name(s) of organizational advisor(s).

    2. All Organizations

      1. Submit a statement of assurance of compliance signed by an officer of the organization that it will adhere to all rules and regulations, policies and procedures of Mississippi State University and with all laws and ordinances, whether federal, state, or local.
      2. The petition is submitted to the Student, Faculty, and Staff Organizations Committee which renders a favorable or unfavorable decision. This decision is subject to review by the Vice President for Student Affairs, or in the case of faculty organizations, by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
      3. The petitioning group is notified as soon as the final university decision regarding registration is made. Upon receipt of the letter of registration, the group may then assume all privileges and activities of a registered organization until registration expires or is withdrawn. All on-campus activities of the petitioning group, both before and after registration, must be registered in the Colvard Union.
  6. Please see OP 91.200 for additional details.

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    K. Code of Student Conduct (OP 91.100)

    Mississippi State University recognizes students as adults who are expected to obey the law and the rules and regulations of the university, to take personal responsibility for their conduct, to respect the rights of others, and to have regard for the preservation of state and university property, as well as the private property of others. Some aspects of misconduct that are unacceptable include, but are not limited to: cheating or academic misconduct, vandalism, fraud, hazing, harassment (see OP 03.03), possession of firearms or explosive devices on campus, theft, gambling, trespassing, disorderly conduct, violation of traffic rules, disobedience to university officials, failure to pay financial obligations to the university, and violation of civil of criminal ordinances or laws.

    The Dean of Students, by delegated authority, is assigned the responsibility of receiving and dealing with all disciplinary matters concerning the behavior of individuals, groups, and/or student organizations. The Dean, who has sole discretion, assigns cases based on the type of behavior, status, and case load of various councils and boards. The Dean of Students' Office also has sole discretion in the determination of sanctions for students, groups, or student organizations found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct.

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    L. Hazardous Waste (OP 56.07) (OP 79.01) (OP 79.09)

    Many teaching, research, and maintenance activities at the University generate hazardous waste. The definition for material that constitutes a hazardous waste is established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in 40 CFR Part 261. The USEPA strictly regulates the storage, handling, and disposal of regulated waste streams.

    The Hazardous Waste Management Committee, a standing committee that reports to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, is responsible for developing and approving the procedures and policies for the handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes on the University campus.

    The Chemical Hygiene Officer is responsible for the collection, disposal, and shipment of hazardous waste. He/she develops training for campus personnel that generate hazardous waste. The Office of Regulatory Compliance is responsible for maintaining the required disposal records. Hazardous waste shipments must be approved by the Office of Regulatory Compliance before removal from campus.

    Department and unit heads are responsible for the compliance of their organization by ensuring that all personnel and students generating a hazardous waste complete appropriate training. Live session and online training is available from the Office of Regulatory Compliance. University researchers seeking outside funding for projects that will produce hazardous waste must indicate that waste will be generated on Sponsored Programs Administration's Internal Approval Sheet prior to submission of a proposal to a funding agency.

    The campus procedures and regulations applicable to the handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes can be obtained from the Office of Regulatory Compliance located at 70 Morgan Avenue or by visiting the Office's web site at http://www.orc.msstate.edu .

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    M. Human Research Subjects (OP 79.03)

    University policy and federal regulation require that all research involving human subjects be reviewed and approved by the University's Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (IRB) prior to initiation of the research. This requirement applies to all human subject research conducted by faculty, staff, and students, on- and off-campus, regardless of the funding support, if any, for the project. Projects conducted by non-MSU affiliated persons at MSU facilities also fall under the auspices of this policy.

    More details are provided in OP 79.03.

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    N. Intellectual Property (OP 76.01)

    Mississippi State University (MSU) is dedicated to learning, service, and research. A primary means for implementing these three areas of dedication is the transfer and dissemination of knowledge to the public. MSU personnel recognize as two of their major objectives the development of new knowledge and dissemination of both old and new knowledge to the public. Inherent in these objectives is the need to publish scholarly and creative works and the need to develop intellectual property. Intellectual property is defined as any patentable materials, copyrighted materials, trademarks, software, art and creative endeavors, know-how, and trade secrets, whether or not formal protection is sought.

    An Intellectual Property Advisory Committee will oversee and evaluate the Intellectual Property management program, review current procedures and practices and make recommendations for future directions, resolve conflicts of interest, arbitrate and recommend final decisions concerning ownership of Intellectual Property, and assist in mediating and resolving any disputes between the University and developers. A majority of the committee will be composed of faculty. The Committee on Committees will appoint the committee based on nominations by the deans/directors, with final approval by the Vice President for Research. Committee membership will include no fewer than four and no more than ten experienced faculty, administrative and professional staff members, one of whom shall be designated by the Vice President for Research to serve as Chair. Care will be taken to include representation from areas with major, constant involvement with intellectual properties. The Chair may add additional non-voting members as necessary. The MSU Director of Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing will be an ex officio, non-voting member of this committee.

    The MSU policy on Intellectual Property covers many topics related to intellectual property such as disclosure of intellectual property, assignment of rights, distribution of possible income from commercialization, and the rights of inventors. Please consult the actual policy (OP 76.01) for the details.

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    O. Lobbying (OP 80.07)

    As required under the Byrd Amendment 31 USC, Section 1352 (PL 101-121), Mississippi State University has a Lobbying Policy. The regulations were issued in 54 FR 52306-32, December 23, 1989 and clarification was issued in 55 FR 245-40-42 on June 15, 1990. The federal legislation was enacted to maintain the integrity of the process by which the federal government makes awards to recipients by reducing the impact of lobbyists unduly influencing members of Congress and officers and employees of the congressional and/or executive branch of government and federal agencies who might be in a position to determine funding priorities. The regulations were issued in interim form as a common rule for non-FAR agencies on February 26, 1990 (55 FR 6738ff). The regulations are applicable to all federal grants, contracts, loans or cooperative agreements entered into on or after December 23, 1989. It is applicable to both proposers and awardees and sub-proposers and sub-awardees. Specific certification is required for agreements exceeding $100,000.

    No federal funds may be used for lobbying purposes. Requirements for compliance, disclosure, prohibitions, and other issues are covered in the MSU Policy (OP 80.7). The contact person for all questions related to potential lobbying is the Director of Sponsored Programs Administration.

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    P. Political Activities (OP 01.14)

    While participation by employees of the University in various community and public affairs is expected and encouraged, it must be remembered that it is unlawful for any officer or employee of the University to influence or attempt to influence, directly or indirectly, any employee to vote or not to vote for any particular person or group of persons in any election. It is also unlawful for any administrator or supervisor to make any statement, public or private, or to give out or circulate any report or statement calculated to intimidate or coerce or otherwise influence any employee as to his or her vote. § 23-15-871, Mississippi Code of 1972.

    Political activities by an employee will not be prohibited at such times as the employee would not be ordinarily required to render services to the institution or if the employee elects to take and the institution grants leave of absence without pay. Straughter v. Collins, 819 So. 2d 1244 (Miss. 2002).

    Rules/Guidelines

    1. General Principles

      1. These guidelines are intended to describe illegal activities and to set forth rules regarding the use of the University's name, personnel, facilities, equipment, and supplies in connection with political campaigns.
      2. It should be emphasized that employees of the University have complete freedom, as individuals, to support candidates of their choice and to campaign for them, subject only to limitations imposed by federal or state statutes and regulations. Thus, political activities by an employee will not be prohibited at such times as the employee would not be ordinarily required to render services to the institution or if the employee elects to take and the institution grants leave of absence without pay.
      3. A key factor in these guidelines is that state or federal funds or other resources may not be utilized in any way, directly or indirectly, to advance or attempt to advance the cause of any political candidate or political party.
      4. The basic premise underlying these policy guidelines is that the University, as an institution, must be absolutely neutral in all political campaigns... In no way shall its endorsement, directly or indirectly, be given to any candidate or political party.
      5. It must be recognized that policy guidelines of the kind set forth here are not intended to deal with all possible political activities and situations.
      6. It is hoped, and expected, that all University employees will apply the basic principle of neutrality in all political activities involving them as representatives of the institution and in their utilization of the personnel, facilities, equipment, and supplies of the University.
      7. These guidelines apply to the institution as a whole and to each of its components, e.g., colleges, schools, divisions, departments, centers, institutes, laboratories, as well as to individual positions.

    2. Endorsement Issues

      1. Employees are free to endorse any candidate of their choice, but the endorsement (whether oral, written, or in graphic form) should never imply in any way that the candidate is endorsed by the University or a component thereof.
      2. In correspondence, statements, or other material relating to personal political activity, the University title of an employee shall be used only for identification. If such identification might reasonably be construed as implying either the support or opposition of the University with regard to such personal political purposes or activity, the identification shall be accompanied by an explicit statement that the individual is speaking for himself and not as a representative of the University or any of its offices or units
      3. The foregoing provision has particular application to candidates for public office who are presently employed or have been previously employed by the institution. In the case of an emeritus faculty or staff member, for example, it must be made clear that the candidate's affiliation with the University does not constitute endorsement or support for the candidate.
      4. The name, insignia, seal, or address of the University or any of its offices or units or a University telephone number shall not be used for personal political purposes or activity.
      5. A political advertisement should not list the title of an employee after the name, e.g., Jane Doe, Associate Professor of Anonymous Sciences, MississippiState University," if doing so will imply the support of the University for the party or candidate.
      6. Stationery bearing the letterhead of the University or any of its components should never be used in any correspondence, advertising, or in any other manner that indicates or implies endorsement of any candidate.
      7. Appearances on platforms or on radio or television.
        1. Employees should make every effort to make it clear that their appearance at a political gathering or on a speaker's platform, on radio, or on television, is as an individual and not as a representative of the University, e.g., attempt to persuade the person introducing an employee to avoid use of the title when introduced.
        2. Employees should make every effort to prevent the use of their University titles after their names in graphic presentations on television or in radio advertising.

    3. Appearances of Political Candidates on Campus

      1. For any event staged by a registered non-student organization, or any component of the University, the following shall apply:
        1. If any candidate who has qualified for an office is invited to make an appearance on the campus, every other candidate who has qualified for that office must be invited and treated with equality, no matter what the assessment of an individual, group or the media might be of that candidate's chances of election.
        2. Each candidate must receive equal billing, e.g., one must not be billed as "Principal Speaker" and the other as "Panelist" or "Respondent", etc.
        3. Each candidate must be given equal time to speak.
        4. Where multiple candidates are involved, the order of speaking must be determined in some random manner, e.g., by drawing.
        5. If it is desired to have only one candidate for an event, then each candidate who has qualified must be invited to subsequent events as nearly equal in terms of time, place, etc. as feasible. Negotiations in arranging these subsequent events with candidates must be on a thoroughly equal basis.
      2. Presiders, Moderators, Chairs, Etc.
        1. The presider, moderator, chair, etc. must treat each candidate in an equal manner.
        2. To the extent feasible, it would be highly desirable to have as the presider, moderator, chair, etc. , a person not presently or in the past closely associated with any of the candidates and one who has not publicly endorsed any of them.

    4. Teaching

      1. Neither faculty nor students shall make use of courses or class time for organizing personal political activities.
      2. Political topics and materials are not exempt from the general rule that course instructors, as well as teaching assistants, are obligated to teach each course in reasonable conformity with the subject and course description announced in advance; academic freedom does not justify the introduction of a significant amount of extraneous subject matter, or of irrelevant discussion or activities, into the conduct of a class.
      3. In courses where contemporary political topics and materials constitute the subject matter itself, faculty and students should treat them as subjects of study and analysis in accordance with the accepted intellectual standards of academic inquiry and discourse. When such courses use "participant observation," "action involvement," or other comparable pedagogical techniques, care should be taken to avoid involvement in any collective political activity either on behalf of one candidate or on one side of an issue.
      4. Employees, when undertaking personal political activity in conjunction with other employees or students, shall establish clearly the voluntary nature of such activity and maintain the clear separation of personal political activity from the educational program and from University operations and resources.
      5. Protecting the academic integrity of classes is the responsibility of the class instructor. This authority or trust must not be delegated to others by, for example, allowing the subject matter or format of the course to be determined conclusively by a vote of the students or by allowing the course to be deflected from its intended aim by extra-academic pressures, political, social, or other.

    5. Displays

      1. General
        1. The display or distribution of political materials -- including political posters, notices, handbills, signs and banners -- shall conform to campus regulations.
        2. All candidates must be given equal opportunities for displaying materials in accordance with these regulations.
        3. If it is not feasible to give such equal opportunity, then no candidate shall be permitted to make a display, e.g., if it is not feasible to string banners over one of the University streets for all candidates who wish to have them, then no banner shall be hung.

      2. Lapel Buttons

        While legally, employees may be free to wear lapel buttons at will as individuals, it is advisable not to wear them when performing an official university function, e.g., teaching a class, presiding over a meeting lest it may be construed as attempting to illegally influence another's vote as a state employee.

      3. Bumper Stickers
        1. Employees have full freedom to affix bumper stickers to their personal motor vehicles.
        2. No stickers or displays of any type may be attached to a University vehicle, even if temporary.

    6. Use of University Employees, Facilities, Equipment, Supplies and Services

      University employees, facilities, equipment, supplies and services resources shall not be utilized in any way, directly or indirectly, to advance or attempt to advance the cause of any political candidate or political party.

      1. Employees

        The general principle is that it is illegal to utilize the time of any person or any material paid for by state or federal funds in support of a candidate for public office.

      2. Facilities.

        1. Quoting from the policies of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, State of Mississippi (BT Minutes, 9/90), "In general it shall be the policy of the several institutions not to make available the buildings and other facilities of the institutions to outside organizations. Exceptions to this policy may be approved by the executive officer of an institution. No exception shall be approved for commercial enterprises, political or sectarian meetings, without specific approval of the Board." These prohibitions do not apply to "inside organizations", i.e., those organized within the University community commonly referred to as registered organizations.
        2. Auditoriums, assembly halls, conference rooms, gymnasia, classrooms, etc. may be made available to registered organizations for political gatherings which they sponsor in accordance with University policy for reservation and use of such facilities.
        3. University sites or facilities shall not be used for organizing and maintaining personal political activities.
        4. University offices shall not be used as a headquarters or office in connection with the organization of personal political activity.
        5. Parades, rallies, demonstrations, etc., on University grounds must be conducted in accordance with institutional regulations, including required advance permits, noise levels, etc., and all candidates for an office must be treated with equality in staging these events.

      3. Equipment.

        University equipment (such as vehicles, telephones, and computers) shall not be used to advance the cause of any candidate.

      4. Supplies.

        1. Utilizing University supplies in support of a candidate is prohibited--specific examples: stationery, envelopes, tapes, labels, etc.
        2. University publications may be sold or given away to a candidate or his/her supporters provided this is done on the same basis as for any other purchaser or person.
        3. Food or drinks of any kind may not be provided to a candidate or his/her supporters except as regularly sold to the public.

      5. Services.

        Mail and other services, including databases, of the University may not be used in connection with political purposes or activity.

    7. Political Contributions

      1. No funds in any way supplied from University revenues may be utilized to support any candidate for office.
        1. University revenues means all funds received by the institution, from whatever source derived, including state appropriations, federal funds, auxiliary enterprise revenues, sales, etc.
        2. The prohibition includes funds of employee and student organizations which are derived from University revenues.
      2. Employees are free, of course, to contribute personally to candidates or parties of their choice.
        1. Contributions should in no way imply that the funds contributed were derived from a University source.
        2. Donors must ensure that the contributions they make are credited to them in their individual capacities and not as holders of positions at the University.
      3. Organizations of employees of the University which raise funds independently of the institution are free to make contributions to candidates of their choice in the name of the particular organization, but care must be taken to assure that the organization is not viewed as representing the University.

    8. Dealing with Political Solicitation at Athletic Events on Campus

      1. The University will allow the following political activities at athletic events on campus:
        1. Signs on personal vehicles are permissible (even very large ones).
        2. Walking among the fans -- talking, waving, etc. is permissible.
        3. Wearing items of political persuasion on person is permissible except for University employees present in their employment capacity at the event.
      2. The University will not allow the following political activities at athletic events on campus:
        1. Attaching signs to university property (fence, ground, light pole, etc.).
        2. Activities that create an unsafe or disruptive environment.
      3. Registered student organizations such as the College Democrats or the College Republicans may choose to sponsor candidates on campus. Advance approval must be obtained as to time, manner, and place from the Dean of Students.

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    Q. Procurement and Contracts

    The Department of Procurement and Contracts handles all the purchasing for the institution. Proper approval and/or authority must be in place before making any purchase. Specific information about all procedures can be found on the website of the Office of Procurement and Contracts.

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    R. Radiological Safety (OP 79.08)

    Mississippi State University is committed to full compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in all radioactive material licenses and x-ray registrations issued to the University, the applicable sections of the Regulations for Control of Radiation In Mississippi, Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (or equivalent standards for shipments by air), and Title 40 Code of Federal regulations as applicable to campus work involving radioactive materials. The responsible department head or director shall assure that work conducted is in compliance with all applicable licenses and regulations. Compliance with the terms and conditions of x-ray and electron microscope registrations issued to Mississippi State University is the responsibility of the authorized users specified on the registration and the department head or director.

    Most radioactive materials work on campus is conducted under Educational Broad Scope License MS-EBL-02. All proposed uses of radioactive materials under MS-EBL-02 must be approved by the University Radiological, Chemical, and Laboratory Safety Committee as required by the license. The University Radiological Safety Officer shall manage daily duties associated with the radiation safety program and other such duties as specified in license MS-EBL-02. The Vice President for Research is responsible for administrative matters associated with the license and other duties as required in the license.

    The University Radiological, Chemical, and Laboratory Safety Committee members are appointed by the Vice President for Research. Members must satisfy the requirements of the license MS-EBL-02. The Chair of the Committee and Radiological Safety Officer shall present the Vice President a list of eligible University personnel annually. Efforts will be made to select committee members to represent the various departments on campus that use radioactive materials and to bring expertise to the committee necessary to thoroughly evaluate all proposed uses of radioactive materials.

    The committee may review chemical or laboratory safety matters within its jurisdiction which have been submitted in writing to the Regulatory Compliance Office or the committee chair. A brief investigation will be conducted by the RSO and a report will be prepared. The Committee chair will determine if a full committee review or limited review is required. Upon completion of the review, the committee's written recommendations shall be made to the requestor.

    The committee may appoint advisory members as needed to conduct chemical and laboratory safety reviews.

    If the committee determines a safety matter under the jurisdiction of the committee poses an immediate hazard to property or persons, an immediate notification will be made to responsible parties and the appropriate vice president(s).

    Waste generated that is both radioactive and also regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) radioactive waste will be managed at the MSU radioactive waste storage facility or at another designated waste storage facility if generated off the main campus. Storage precautions will be implemented based on chemical and radiological properties of the material.

    Any radiological safety personnel handling the waste will be trained in both radiological and chemical response to safely to handle the material on campus and if necessary respond to spills or leaks of the mixed waste.

    Any shipment of radioactive material from the MSU campus will comply with any applicable US DOT (or other applicable transportation regulations). Packages of radioactive materials must be packaged under the supervision of the Radiological Safety Officer. All packages containing radioactive materials must be inspected by the Radiological Safety Officer before being submitted to the carrier/transporter.

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    S. Salary Payments and Deductions

    MSU employees are paid on a semi-monthly pay schedule. Checks and direct deposit confirmations are distributed on the 15th of the month (or on the preceding Friday if the 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday), and on the last working day of the month.

    If you are a nine-month faculty member beginning employment on August 16, you may choose to be paid over nine months or over twelve months. If you choose payment over twelve months, you will complete a Faculty Pay Distribution Agreement, which should be sent to Human Resources Management, mail stop 9603, 150 McArthur Hall. If you choose to be paid over nine months, the University will calculate the amount necessary to continue your benefits during the summer months and deduct those premiums over the nine-month period you are paid. Please note that this election cannot be changed once your first check is issued.

    More information about salary payments such as the direct deposit option and other benefits can be found on the website of Human Resources Management.

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    T. Sexual Harassment (OP 03.03)

    As members of the University community, students, faculty, administrators, and staff have the responsibility to respect and not violate the rights of others and to show tolerance for opinions that differ from their own. However, nothing in this policy prohibits appropriate admonition, argument, and correction by a teacher in the conduct of his/her professional responsibility in the interest of maintaining order, upholding standards, stimulating thought, or promoting competence. Such action is, by definition, not a violation of this policy. Likewise, nothing in this policy precludes management's inherent authority to plan, direct and evaluate the activities of other organizational members in accordance with sound management principles and directives, including communicating, training and disciplining employees.

    Harassment based upon race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, age, disability or veteran status is a form of discrimination in violation of the law and will not be tolerated. Harassment based upon sexual orientation or group affiliation is prohibited by this policy and also will not be tolerated.

    Except where knowingly false, punitive action against any person complaining of harassment is prohibited by law or this policy and will not be tolerated.

    All students, faculty and staff are expected to adhere to this university policy and will be held accountable for violating it. Mississippi State University will respond promptly to all complaints of harassment and retaliation. Violation of this policy can result in serious disciplinary action up to and including expulsion for students or discharge for employees. Disciplinary action for violations of this policy is the responsibility of an employee's unit head or other appropriate administrator, or for students, the Dean of Students.

    Resolutions of complaints of harassment may be achieved using an informal or formal procedure. The procedures used by both processes are different, but the intent is the same – to stop the harassment, resolve the complaint in a timely manner, and protect individuals' rights. Both begin with notification of the appropriate office within 30 calendar days of the incident. Complaints should be made orally or in writing to the Office of Diversity and Equity Programs or one of the following: Dean of Students Office (respondent is a student), Office of Academic Affairs (respondent is a faculty member), or Human Resources Management (respondent is an employee other than faculty). The Office of Diversity and Equity Programs and the additional appropriate office will work in tandem.

    All time limits outlined in this procedure are designed for the expeditious resolution of complaints. Lack of strict adherence to these time limits shall not be grounds for objection or appeal of findings by any party involved in this process.

    Informal Resolution

    Complaints of harassment may be resolved through informal resolution efforts, but should not normally extend beyond 10 working days from the initial date of complaint. A variety of informal options can be attempted with or without the aid of the identified representative from the appropriate office listed above. The option used is not limited to the following list.

    1. The complainant may confront the respondent in person regarding the conduct with or without the assistance of a unit head or appropriate representative as identified above.


    2. The complainant may confront the respondent in writing regarding the conduct with or without assistance of the appropriate representative.


    3. The complainant may ask the appropriate representative to notify the respondent of the complaint and seek to resolve the complaint.


    4. The complainant may ask the appropriate representative to have the complaint mediated between the parties.

    Formal Resolution

    If the complaint of harassment is not resolved informally or the complainant chooses the formal option at the outset, the claim should be put in writing and filed with the appropriate office discussed above. If this is a complaint that was unresolved informally, the appropriate office must be notified, within 5 working days, of the intent to pursue this through a formal process. A representative from the appropriate office will promptly designate a person to investigate the complaint. This representative may differ from the one assisting in the informal resolution.

    Responsibilities of the Investigating Official

    The person designated to investigate the allegation will inform the complainant that:

    1. The University is not precluded from taking any action it deems appropriate, including informing the respondent of the allegations and pursuing an investigation even in cases when the complainant is reluctant to proceed or fails to reduce the complaint to writing.


    2. The manner and frequency with which the complainant will be updated about the status of the investigation.


    3. The need for a high level of discretion during the investigatory process.
    Normally within 5 working days of receipt of the assignment, the person designated to investigate the allegation will advise of and provide the respondent:
    1. The specific allegations and a copy of the written complaint if the complaint is in writing.


    2. The manner and frequency in which the respondent will be updated about the status of the investigation.


    3. The need for all parties to exercise a high level of discretion during the investigatory process and the University’s policy with respect to retaliation.


    4. An opportunity to submit a written response to the complaint within 10 working days of notification of the complaint.

    Complaint Investigation

    1. The purpose of the investigation is to gather facts.


    2. Depending upon the facts of the case, an investigation may range from a one-on-one conversation between the investigating official and the respondent to an inquiry with multiple witness interviews. The investigator will produce a written finding of facts at the conclusion of the investigation.


    3. Investigations should normally be completed within 45 calendar days from the date the complaint was first asserted. If this is not reasonably possible, the investigator should make the complainant and the respondent aware of the status of the review and provide an estimated conclusion date.

    Submission of Investigative Report

    Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator shall submit the report to the appropriate university official:

    1. The dean of the college within which a respondent faculty member is employed, with a copy of the report submitted separately to the provost.


    2. The director of Human Resources Management (when the respondent is an employee other than faculty).


    3. The Dean of Students (when the respondent is a student).

    Final Determination and Action

    Upon receipt of the investigative report, the appropriate university official, as defined above, shall take the following action:

    1. The dean of the college shall review the report and submit an initial determination to the provost that states that a violation of the policy either did or did not occur. If an initial determination is that a violation did occur, then the dean shall also submit an initial proposal to the provost stating what "prompt remedial action" the dean considers appropriate, including potential disciplinary action. The provost will make the final determination as to what actions, if any, be taken.


    2. The director, Human Resources Management shall review the report and forward it to the appropriate "administrative official" (the department head or higher level administrative official in the respondent's administrative chain). The administrative official shall review the report and submit an initial determination through administrative channels to the division head (vice president or other direct report to the president) stating that a violation of the policy either did or did not occur. If the initial determination is that a violation did occur, then the administrative official shall also submit an initial proposal to the division head stating what "prompt remedial action" the administrative official considers appropriate, including potential disciplinary action. The division head will make the final determination as to what actions, if any, are to be taken.


    3. The Dean of Students shall review the report and handle the matter in accordance with OP 91.100.


    Notification of Decision and Appeal Process

    Upon conclusion of the determination process, the complainant and respondent will receive a written copy of the decision. The complainant or respondent may appeal the decision in writing, within 10 working days, to the President. The appeal must be based on new facts not previously available, the sanction is arbitrarily harsh or capricious, or procedures were not followed that substantially affected the result. The President will render a final decision within 15 working days. This decision completes the university process.

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    U. Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace (HRM 60.118)

    Mississippi State University employees expect to work in a drug-free environment. The University expects its employees to be free from the effects of alcohol and drugs while on the job or in the workplace. Mississippi State University conducts a testing program pursuant to Sections 71-7-1, et seq., of the Mississippi Code of 1972, Ann., entitled "Drug and Alcohol Testing of Employees" (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"), and you are hereby advised of the existence of said Act. The use and abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol is a serious and growing problem throughout the United States. A substance abuse policy and substance testing policy has been implemented in response to concern that the use and abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol by employees in, and applicants for, certain employment presents, among other things, serious safety and security risks. The Mississippi Legislature has supported the implementation of drug and alcohol free workplace policies by enacting the Act.

    If an employee believes that he or she has a problem with alcohol or drugs or if substance abuse is causing problems in his or her life, that employee is requested to please review the information regarding outside resources available to the employee as posted on the Human Resources Management Web site (www.hrm.msstate.edu).

    Please refer to OP 60.118 for more details and to the following related policies: OP 60.119 Drug-Free Workplace, OP 60.120 Drug-Free Campus, and OP 60.121 Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use Testing of Employees with a Commercial Use Driver’s License.

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    V. Student Sanctions for Alcohol Offenses (OP 91.119)

    It is the policy of Mississippi State University to maintain a safe and healthful environment for its students, faculty, and staff. Therefore, the university has established for students policies concerning alcohol use on campus. It is a violation of Mississippi State University Student Code of Conduct for a student to unlawfully possess, consume, or sell alcohol on campus. It is incumbent on students to become knowledgeable of these policies, whether for individual decision-making or for the planning of programs and events for student organizations.

    1. A student who is currently found guilty of an alcohol policy infraction, and who is not on probation for previous alcohol- related infractions will face one of the following sanctions:
      1. The student will attend a meeting with the Dean of Students in which the student will receive a verbal admonishment and a description of the consequences for future infractions. This meeting will be followed by a letter which contains the same information. In addition, the student will be assigned to an online education class covering the health, safety, academic, and legal consequences of alcohol misuse. Furthermore the student will be required to pass a test on the information provide by the website. The student will pay a fee established by the University for the Online Course
      2. The student will be assigned to attend a class conducted by the Center for Alcohol and Drug Education (CADE) housed at the MSU Student Health Center and may be placed on probation for a year from the date of the occurrence.
    2. A student who is already on probation for alcohol infractions, and who is currently found guilty of any other alcohol policy infraction, may be suspended from the university.
    3. For a student who is already on probation for an offense not related to alcohol, and who is found guilty of an alcohol infraction, the Dean of Students' Office will have discretion to link the two offenses or not.
    4. If a student is under the age of twenty-one, a letter will be sent to the parent/guardian notifying them of the student's violation of Mississippi State University's alcohol policy.

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    W. Information Security (OP 01.10)

    Mississippi State University is committed to protecting critical information in all forms for which it is the custodian and to maintaining a robust, proactive, and evolving information security program. This includes protection from a variety of threats such as fraud, embezzlement, sabotage, terrorism, extortion, privacy violation, service interruption and natural disaster. Information security is the responsibility of all individuals who access and maintain Mississippi State University information resources, i.e. students, employees, alumni, affiliates, contractors, and r etirees, and others as appropriate. Each individual must be aware of, committed to, and accountable for their role in the overall protection of critical information.

    MSU is subject to numerous federal and state laws and regulations regarding the protection of data, among them:

    1. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, (FERPA) commonly referred to as the Buckley Amendment, protects the rights of students by controlling the creation, maintenance, and access of educational records. It guarantees students' access to their academic records while prohibiting unauthorized access by others.
    2. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) includes significant privacy requirements by creating national standards to protect personal health information.
    3. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), while targeted at financial institutions, requires universities to maintain an information security program for the protection of financial information.
    4. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Requirements apply to all members, merchants, and service providers that capture, store, process, or transmit credit card data.

    Security of protected information is a complex issue, requiring a multi-faceted framework. While technology provides numerous tools to facilitate safeguarding of protected information, ultimately institutional awareness, commitment, vigilance, and persistence are the keys to a successful program.

    In addition to personal accountability, other elements of MSU's information security framework include:

    • The Information Security Program - The program identifies technologies, procedures, and best practices to ensure ongoing institutional focus on the protection of information. Key elements of the Information Security Program include:
      • Data Classifications and Individual Responsibilities
      • Risk Assessment
      • Safeguards
      • Training
      • Awareness
      • Monitoring
      • Audit and Compliance
    • The Incident Response Plan - The plan prescribes procedures to effect a timely and appropriate response in the event of an information security breach. Key elements of the plan include:
      • Incident Reporting
      • Investigation
      • Communication
      • Forensic Analysis
      • Post-mortem
    • The IT Disaster Recovery Plan - The plan mandates procedures to effect the timely and orderly restoration of information technology resources and services in the event of a significant interruption or natural disaster. Key elements of the plan include:
      • Organizational Preparedness
      • Continuity of Critical Applications
      • Restoration of Normal Operation
    • The Committee for the Security of Protected Information - This body is charged with oversight and coordination of the Information Security Program, the Incident Response Plan, and the IT Disaster Recovery Plan. The committee will review significant security incidents and recommend appropriate action and remediation.

    It is expected that the individual components within the overall policy framework will continually evolve in response to changing information security technologies, requirements, and threats.

    Related Policies. The following are MSU policies which have relevance and application to information security:

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    IX. UNIVERSITY RESOURCES AND SERVICES


    A. (University) Academic Advising Center

    The University Academic Advising Center (UAAC), created January 1993, meets the needs of a growing segment of our undergraduate community, the undecided or undeclared (UND) and the special non-degree (SND) students. It also coordinates academic advising activities for faculty and staff advisors interested in heightening their skills and increasing their knowledge. UAAC, housed in the north end of the Lloyd Ricks Annex, strives to provide intrusive or developmental academic advising services not offered by other units at MSU. The unit reports directly to the Office of the Provost and works in conjunction with the Deans' offices in the academic colleges to facilitate transfer when the student declares a major. This unit strives to develop programs, initiate advising support, and make use of all related University services in the most efficient, cost effective method through efforts of a coordinator and direction of UAAC advisory board made up of faculty and professional advisors.

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    B. Alumni Association

    More than 118 years ago, 17 of the 29 members of Mississippi A&M's first three graduating classes came back to campus to form what is now the Mississippi State University Alumni Association. It established as its purpose perpetuating the memories of college life in a manner that serves to bind together the classes of different years and to strengthen the good influence that the University exerts through its graduates. As it was well over a century ago, the mission of the Alumni Association today is to generate support for Mississippi State University through the development and implementation of programs, activities, and events for its alumni and friends. The Alumni Association is located in the Butler-Williams Alumni House on campus.

    The Association operates on an annual budget of about $1.2 million, about 75 percent of which is self- generated. Annually, the Association has an active membership of around 25,000. The Association supports 69 in-state and 20 out-of-state alumni chapters, eight college/school alumni societies, and four special interest alumni societies. In addition to a 48-member National Board of Directors, there are six statewide committees. This totals more than 400 volunteer workers on all levels and provides for wide participation of former students and friends in the promotion of their alma mater each year.

    Some of the services rendered by the Association annually in the promotion of the University are the maintenance and continuous updating of the permanent records of all alumni; the mailing of more than 500,000 pieces of mail including the Mississippi State Alumnus magazine and Mississippi State Connection, a publication for young alumni, to keep alumni and friends informed about the University; the planning and organizing of numerous alumni meetings and special events on campus and off; support of various fund-raising programs for the University, including the Annual Giving Program; support of the University's requests from the Mississippi Legislature; an active student recruiting campaign for the University; support of excellence in teaching, research, and service areas through the annual Faculty Recognition Program; and support of Staff Appreciation Day.

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    C. Analytical Support and Food Safety Laboratory

    The laboratory is located in the Wise Center. It provides specialized chemical analysis for faculty, staff, and outside agencies with research projects of interest to the university. The laboratory provides customers with analyses performed according to Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs) to comply with regulations of federal agencies. The primary analyses performed are high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas-liquid chromatography (GC), atomic absorption spectroscopy (AA), and UV-visible spectroscopy. (Contact: 325-1406 or 325-1205).

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    D. Animal Health Center

    The Animal Health Center is the veterinary medical teaching hospital in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The hospital is staffed by specialists in the fields of Community Practice and Avian/Exotic Medicine, Small Animal Surgery, Small Animal Internal Medicine, Equine Surgery and Medicine, Food Animal Surgery and Medicine, Pharmacy, Radiology, and Anesthesiology.

    Faculty, staff, and students may enroll their personally-owned companion animals in the hospital program designed to provide routine primary care at modest cost savings. Referral and specialty services are also available at fair market rates.

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    E. Bookstore

    The Bookstore is located in the Colvard Union. Its primary function is to provide textbooks and related supplies to students, faculty and staff. The Bookstore sells new and used books at prices standard in most university bookstore operations. It also purchases used books at standard prices. A faculty member may receive a desk copy which is initially charged to the department. This charge can be reversed by providing the Bookstore with an unmarked publisher's copy within 60 days.

    Requests for books, text changes, and supplies are made through the appropriate department head or textbook coordinator. Forms for this purpose are available in the office of the department head or the Bookstore.

    Personal computers, peripherals, and supplies can be purchased at substantial savings at The PC Place located in Colvard Union Bookstore.

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    >F. Career Services Center

    Job search assistance and career counseling are provided for Mississippi State University students and alumni through the Career Services Center, located in Suite 316 of the Colvard Student Union. Providing individual career and job counseling, furnishing career information, making employment referrals, arranging for employers to interview on campus, and organizing career outreach programs are services included in the scope of Career Services.

    Professional career counselors assist students in choosing academic majors and careers relevant to their interests and abilities. Individual employment counseling is available for graduating students seeking full-time jobs. The Student Job Service provides assistance to students seeking part-time and summer jobs. Career counseling and employment services for alumni are provided through the Alumni Career Service.

    Seminars on various topics (resume writing, interviewing, career planning) are offered throughout the year. For students who are unsure of their career and/or educational plans, a three-hour course, Career Planning (COE 1233), is taught each fall and spring semester.

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    G. Center for Alcohol and Drug Education

    See Chapter VII. Substance Abuse (by Students)

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    H. Child Care

    Aiken Village Preschool, located in Aiken Village and operated by the MSU Housing Department, serves children ages 3 to 5 years in a unique setting that encourages learning by doing. Hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. until 5:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, contact Aiken Village Preschool at 325-3909, Aiken Village Building #20, Starkville, MS 39759.

    The Center for the Study of Young Children, an experimental child study laboratory for the School of Life Sciences, is housed in two adjacent buildings in the center of the MSU campus. The Infant-Toddler Center, located at 23 President's Circle, serves children who are six weeks through two years of age. The Child Development Center, located at 19 President's Circle, serves children who are three and four years old. Developmentally appropriate learning activities are planned daily for children. During fall, spring and summer semesters university students are actively involved with young children at the Center. The Center operates according to the twelve month university calendar and is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30. p.m. For further information, contact the School of Life Sciences at 325-2950.

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    I. The Computing Center

    The Computing Center consists of two divisions:

    Information System and User Support

    Information Systems and User Support provides for the development, implementation, maintenance and support of computer systems and software for administrative and academic units of the University. This includes systems analysis, systems design, systems integration and programming for Student Information Systems, Student Support Systems, Financial Systems and Human Resources Systems. Information Systems and User Support is also responsible for university-wide database administration, as well as user services functions such as software site license administration, computing consulting, short course offerings, monitoring of student labs in Butler Hall and McCain Engineering and the Help Desk.

    The central office for Information Systems and User Support is located in 117 Allen Hall.

    Systems and Networks

    Systems and Networks is a campus-wide service organization within the Division of Business Affairs. It is responsible for planning, deployment, maintenance support and operation of the University's computing, networking and information technology infrastructure. This includes the campus fiber optic backbone, departmental and building networks, wide area network connections including the Internet, the University's compressed interactive video network, and large scale compute, server and information resources. Additionally, Systems and Networks provides support as required for departmental workstations, servers and computer systems.

    Systems and Networks also supports general purpose computing labs located in Butler Hall, McCain Hall and Mitchell Memorial Library. These labs, which are available to all students and faculty, provide PC and Macintosh workstations and a wide array of applications including Internet access.

    The division is organized into five functional areas - UNIX Systems, LAN Systems, Video Systems, Hardware Support and Operations. Normal business hours are 8-5, Monday through Friday. The main office is located in 117 Allen Hall. Two main phone numbers are available. 325-0728 can be used to reach the Director and general staff offices. 325-0741 can be used to request service or report a problem.

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    J. Conference Center

    Housing and Residence Life offers affordable housing for small conferences or short-term classes all year round. Herbert Hall is located within walking distance of all central buildings with convenient free parking and a security access system. Rooms are equipped with refrigerators, phones and linens. Lounge areas include microwaves, cable TVs, washers and dryers, irons and ironing boards. First floor rooms and rest rooms are wheelchair accessible. A large conference room with audiovisual equipment is available upon request. For further information, contact Housing and Residence Life at 325-3555.

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    K. Counseling Center

    The Counseling Center offers a variety of services to the MSU community. Services are available for full- time students, prospective students, part-time students, and spouses of students. This service is also provided to University faculty members and staff, as available.

    The Counseling Center staff is comprised of competent professionals with extensive training in counseling and is experienced in assisting others to assist themselves. The Counseling Center staff respects the ability of each individual to make self-relying choices, facilitating development in the process.

    Counseling may be helpful in dealing with personal and social problems and study difficulties. Occasionally, students seeking extensive psychotherapy are seen at the Center or, when appropriate, referred to other qualified on-campus or community agencies. All sessions with counselors are strictly confidential and no information will be released without the student's written consent.

    The Counseling Center is located in Room 201, YMCA Building. It is open from 8-5, Monday through Friday. Appointments may be made in person or by calling 325-2091.

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    L. Dining Services

    University Dining Services provides a variety of food choices, dining environments, and prices. The MSU Cafeteria and The State Fountain, featuring MSU ice cream products and fresh baked goods, is located in Perry Hall. The Food Court (Taco Bell, Wendy's, Subway, and The Great Wall) is located in the Colvard Union. The Pegasus Dining Room offers breakfast and lunch at the Wise Center. Gooch's featuring Stone Willy's Pizza is located next to The Laundry. "Food for Thought" Snack Shop, located in the Library, offers cappuccino/expresso.

    Dining Services offers a full line of catering services ranging from coffee for two to elegant dinners for large parties. Catering may be arranged by calling 325-2965.

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    M. Golf Course

    Approximately three miles east of the campus on Highway 82 is the Mississippi State University Golf Course. Faculty members may pay annual fees to obtain reduced rates. Dues and green fees are paid at the golf course pro shop. Golf carts are available.

    The 18-hole, par-72 course was designed by golf architect Brian Ault and constructed by the university's Campus Landscape Department. The course doubles as a learning laboratory for students in the Professional Golf Management Program, and the Sports and Turf Management Program. The PGM Program was established in 1985 and only one of four such programs sanctioned by the Professional Golfers' Association. A 5,000-square foot club house, designed as a PGA Model Facility, was completed in 1993. It houses a golf shop, snack bar and grill, a multi-purpose classroom for the PGM and Turf Grass Management programs, a locker room with showers, and an outdoor eating area.

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    N. Health Center

    In order to attract and keep highly qualified physicians, and allow them to maintain proficiency in their medical specialty of Family Medicine. the physicians at the Longest Student Health Center are allowed to conduct a limited private practice. There is no obstetrics, and pediatrics is limited to children over the age of one year.

    In order to provide the most affordable health care services to their patients, all of the physicians participate in the Key Physician Network, North Mississippi HealthLink, and other cost containment programs. Payment is requested at the time service is rendered, however, the Health Center will file insurance claims and request that reimbursement be made directly to the patient.

    Private patients are seen by appointment (except emergencies). Appointments may be scheduled through the Appointments Desk at 325-7539. Clinic hours for private patients are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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    O. Holmes Cultural Diversity Center

    The Holmes Cultural Diversity Center (HCDC), formerly known as The Office of Minority Affairs, was established in 1979 to enhance campus life for African Americans at Mississippi State University. The name was changed to reflect MSU's desire to create a campus that values and embraces all cultural differences. Some of the primary goals of the HCDC are to provide support and encouragement for African American students to achieve academic excellence, to assist with their adjustments to college life, to provide culturally enlightening programs, to provide cultural diversity workshops and classroom lectures, and to make the overall college experience for students a productive and successful endeavor.

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    P. (Office of) Institutional Research

    The Office of Institutional Research assimilates, analyzes, and reports to the President, Vice Presidents, and others, external and internal information needed for orderly planning and to provide background information needed in the formulation of policy decisions. Institutional Research assists the university community through its research and consulting activities. A major component of this activity is the Evaluation Service. This service, utilizing its optical scanning equipment, scores and analyzes more than 100,000 faculty-constructed tests and processes an equal number of questionnaires and student ratings of instruction each year.

    The office is a primary contact with State and Federal agencies, educational groups, other institutions of higher education, and individuals for the purpose of information and data exchanges. A major activity of the office is maintaining a responsive and productive relationship with these external entities.

    The Office of Institutional Research is located in 269-A Allen Hall, telephone 325-3920.

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    Q. International Services Office

    The International Services Office (ISO), as a functional unit of the Division of Student Affairs, provides leadership for Mississippi State University in fulfilling its international role by providing information and assistance to students, faculty, administrators, the local community, and international visitors. The Foreign Student Adviser provides information to students, departments, international visitors, scholars, and researchers relevant to immigration policies and requirements and assists with maintenance and updating of immigration documents. The Sponsored Student Specialist assists students from other countries who are sponsored by various governments and organizations, and monitors students' progress relevant to MSU and sponsored program requirements.

    In accordance with MSU policy, the ISO verifies required student health insurance coverage and immigration status prior to registration at MSU, and conducts orientation for new foreign students. The ISO is located at 15 Morgan Avenue.

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    R. Laundry and Dry Cleaning

    Laundry and dry cleaning services are provided for students, faculty, and staff by the Mississippi State University Laundry and Dry Cleaners, located in the Roberts Building on Lee Boulevard. Services include wash, dry and fold; wash, starch, and press; dry cleaning; alteration/repair; and linen rental. Please check with the MSU Laundry and Dry Cleaners for drop-off service.

    The Laundromat, located in the One-Stop, is open 24 hours a day and is token operated. The dispenser for tokens accepts one or five dollar bills. A product dispenser is also available.

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    S. (The) Learning Center (TLC)

    The major purpose of The Learning Center (TLC) is to help Mississippi State University students improve their academic performance. To that end, TLC offers both credit classes and non-credit services. The services are available to all students of MSU, graduate and undergraduate.

    Faculty members are the key to the success of The Learning Center. Faculty know the students and their individual needs better than anyone else. They have regular contact with students and can help student recognize their own needs. For more information, call 325-2957 or visit 267 Allen Annex.

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    T. Lectern

    The CAB Lectern Committee is responsible for bringing to campus nationally known speakers as well as lecturers on topics of interest to the campus community.

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    U. Libraries

    The Mississippi State University Library System is composed of the main library (Mitchell Memorial Library) and two branch libraries (Architecture Library and the Veterinary Medicine Library). Facilities and collections of all libraries are available to all students and faculty. The library system contains a collection of approximately 1,302,774 volumes (including micro-text), manuscripts, maps, pamphlets, and subscriptions to more than 7,574 titles (periodicals, serials and newspapers) chosen to support the educational effort of the University's program of teaching, research and service. The Library serves as a selective depository for the publications of the U.S. Government. This collection of documents has been augmented by the acquisition of selected publications of other public agencies, including the reports of state and territorial agricultural experiment stations, Mississippi State documents, the United Nations, and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). The Library also acquires the publications of the Atomic Energy Commission, now expanded into the United States Department of Energy.

    The Libraries' DRA Online Library Automation System is accessible through the University's local area network, providing remote access campus-wide, state-wide and nationally. OPAC terminals are located throughout the main library and in the two branch libraries. Bibliographic online information retrieval services are available to students, faculty and researchers through CD-ROM databases and with the assistance of Reference Librarians/Subject Specialists who are available to assist patrons with online searching. Interlibrary Loan, a special service to faculty members and graduate students, provides access to other research libraries in the state, region and nation. Copiers are available for general use.

    During the regular sessions, the libraries observe set hours, which are published through the media and posted throughout the library system. Shorter hours and partial services are maintained during vacation and holiday periods. These schedules will be announced and will be posted accordingly. Faculty members may borrow books for a period of four (4) months. A system of reserve books is operated for the benefit of faculty members who wish to place materials on reserve for class use. Reserve books usually are restricted for use in the Library and overnight use, but may be reserved for a longer period of time. A collection of previously given tests is maintained as a part of the reserve section, and faculty members are encouraged to place their old tests in these files. Faculty members may also schedule special tours and seminars for their classes.

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    V. Lyceum Series

    The Lyceum Series is the fine arts performing series at MSU that provides varied programs of music, drama, dance and other artistic offerings. The series is managed by the Performing Arts Committee. Each fall a brochure is mailed to all faculty and staff announcing the year's offerings. Season tickets are available at that time by mail or at the performances. Individual event tickets may be purchased at the door on the night of the performance.

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    W. MAFES Meat Laboratory

    As part of research in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, MAFES Meat Laboratory, located in Room 110 Ballew Hall, offers a wide variety of meat products. The meats come from animals used for feeding trials and different research projects at MSU's South Farm. Often, the meats are used for student meat cutting demonstrations and training. The lab is open every weekday. For more information, call 325-2932 or 325-3566, or visit Ballew Hall.

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    X. MAFES Sales Store

    The MAFES Sales Store, located in Room 160 of Herzer Building, is the home of MSU's famous cheeses, as well as a variety of fresh dairy products and meats. The cheeses, made from MAFES-produced milk, are produced by the campus dairy manufacturing plant, which serves as a self-supporting major research pilot plant and teaching laboratory.

    The store is open weekdays and most special event Saturdays. Store services include seasonal mail-orders for Easter and Christmas gift selections. For information about price lists and gift mailing, call 325-2338, or write to Box 9806, Mississippi State, MS, 39762.

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    Y. Mail Service

    Campus Mail provides free pickup and delivery of interdepartmental mail (excluding packages) on the campus of Mississippi State University. The unit services all authorized campus mail drops on a scheduled basis, twice daily (morning and afternoon), Monday through Friday. Deliveries are not made during University holidays. The Campus Mail Office is located in the basement of Bost, telephone 325- 3585.

    The post office, property of the US Postal Service, is located on the bottom floor of the YMCA Building. The lobby of the post office remains open 24 hours a day. The window is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Additional boxes are located in the basement of Lee Hall. The basement of Lee Hall is open 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily.

    Post office boxes are rented on a yearly basis. There are 7204 post office boxes (5704 in the main post office and 1500 in the basement of Lee Hall). Boxes range in price from $7.25/yr. to $50/yr. There is a one dollar deposit for each key.

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    Z. Mississippi State University Foundation, Inc.

    The Mississippi State University Foundation, Inc., was incorporated for the purpose of promoting and supporting the mission of Mississippi State University through soliciting contributions from alumni and friends to meet the needs of the university that either cannot or are not adequately met by other sources. Donors have the privilege of restricting their gifts for specific areas if they wish. Unrestricted gifts are channeled into areas of greatest need or placed in an endowment fund from which only the income is used. All gifts are tax deductible.

    Over the years the Foundation has played an increasingly significant role in providing support to improve and strengthen programs and services at the university. Every college and department has benefited, either directly or indirectly, as Foundation funds have been used to construct new buildings, make available salary supplements in strategic areas, purchase needed equipment, support lectureships and honors programs, and provide scholarships and professorships.

    Along with its continuing program to secure gifts on an annual basis for current use, the Foundation actively promotes a program of deferred giving through bequests, life insurance, irrevocable trusts, etc. This program has met with excellent response and promises to be the source of some very sizable gifts.

    Information about the Foundation and any of its programs and services is available upon request from MSU Foundation, Inc., P. O. Drawer 6149, Mississippi State, MS 39762, telephone number: 325-3410.

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    AA. MoneyMate

    MoneyMate is a free service offered to all Mississippi State University faculty, staff, and students. It is a prepaid spending account which provides a safe, easy, and convenient method of payment for goods and services on our campus. Your Bulldog Advantage Card (the University ID card) serves as not only your identification but also is the "key" to accessing your MoneyMate funds. The amount of your initial deposit and any subsequent deposits is strictly up to you. MoneyMate is accepted only on the University campus at all of these convenient locations: All University Dining Services facilities, Union Food Court, University Bookstore, University Florist, The Laundry and Drycleaners, Telecommunications, Mitchell Memorial Library, Butler Hall laser printers, and The Hair Company located in the Union. To open a MoneyMate account or direct further questions concerning MoneyMate, call the MoneyMate office at 325- 3387 or you may stop by the MoneyMate office located in room 12 Lee Hall.

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    BB. Music Maker Productions

    Music Maker Productions is a student committee selected to produce professional entertainment by well known performers to meet the diverse musical and entertainment wishes of the Mississippi State community. Please call 325-2743 for information regarding their activities during the upcoming year.

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    >CC. Non-Traditional Students

    An applicant who is twenty-one years old, or whose high school class has been graduated for a minimum of three years and who does not meet regular admissions requirements may apply to schedule courses as a special non-degree student. Contact the Advising Center for Entering Students at 325-4052.

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    DD. Personal Computers: Sales

    MSU Bookstore, located in the Colvard Union, offers faculty, staff, and students a source to purchase computer related products at a substantial educational discount. Manufacturer's educational discounts range from 10% - 60%. Product line includes Windows, DOS, Macintosh, and Power PC platforms. Apple Computer, Inc. offers an educational loan program for faculty, staff, and students for the purchase of any Apple product. Store hours are 7:45 - 6:00 Monday through Friday, and 10:00 - 2:00 on Saturday.

    Apple Service is provided by the Computing Center Technical Services, located on 53 Magruder street. Hours are 8:00 - 5:00 Monday through Friday.

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    EE. Printing Department

    The MSU Printing Department, located in Auxiliary Plaza on Russell Street, provides a full line of printing services for the University. The Printing Department also offers professional quick copy service at Quick Copy Centers located in the basement of Lee Hall and Auxiliary Plaza. Coin operated copiers are located at Gooch's Deli, the Lee Hall Quick Copy Center, and Allen Hall.

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    FF. Professional Development Programs

    Employees are encouraged to adopt and pursue personal/professional development plans and objectives. Numerous workshops and learning resources are provided through the Department of Human Resources Management for the personal and professional development of employees. Development opportunities are planned on a semester-by-semester basis and communicated to all employees. Workshops address such topics as supervision, interviewing skills, University policies, work/family issues, technical job competencies, and wellness.

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    GG. Recreational Facilities

    The recreational facilities available to faculty are the Intramural Sports Center, Sawyer Tennis Courts, outdoor racquetball courts, McCarthy Gymnasium, intramural sports fields, the Blumenfeld swimming pool, fitness area, and a quarter mile jogging track. The Department of Recreational Sports provides listings of recreation facilities, intramural sports, and reservation services. The appropriate identification card is required for entry to several recreation facilities. To participate in the intramural sports program, an activity fee is required.

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    HH. Space Scheduling Procedures

    1. University and University-affiliated Organizations

    a. University and University-affiliated organizations must contact the Facilities Use Coordinator to reserve the facilities needed. The organization will provide the following information: person in charge, time of activity, food service (if applicable), social request forms (if applicable), and custodial service (if applicable).

    b. The Facilities Use Coordinator will contact the person in charge of each requested facility to determine if the facilities are available for use.

    c. If the facilities are available, the Facilities Use Coordinator will assist with the completion of the coordination forms to be signed by an officer of the organization.

    d. The activity then will be placed on the University activities calendar.

    e. Coordination forms will be routed to the proper persons including the representative of the scheduling organization.

    Note: All departments scheduling activities within their facilities should notify Facilities Use of their meetings in order that a current up-to-date record is kept on all University activities.

    2. Non-University Organizations

    a. Non-university organizations must contact the Facilities Use Coordinator to schedule activities on campus. The organization will be asked to send a letter to the Facilities Use Coordinator requesting use of the University facilities. The letter must include the following information: person in charge, facility requested, date of activity, length of reservation period, exact time of the activity, and food service (if applicable).

    b. When the letter is received from the organization, the Facilities Use Coordinator will determine if the organization is eligible to use the University facilities. If the organization is not eligible, the Facilities Use Coordinator will send a letter informing the organization. If the organization is eligible, the Facilities Use Coordinator will contact the person in charge of each facility requested to determine if the facilities are available for use.

    c. If the facilities are available, the Facilities Use Coordinator will complete the coordination forms.

    d. The activity then will be placed on the University activities calendar.

    e. Coordination forms will be routed to the proper persons including the representative of the scheduling organization. A copy of the completed form and an acknowledgment letter will be sent to the non- University organization.

    3. Specific information concerning space scheduling procedures can be obtained from the office of Facilities Use, 325-3228.

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    II. Student Media

    The Reflector, the campus newspaper, appears twice weekly during the regular term. Edited and managed by students, it provides a wide range of news, features, and commentary of interest to the campus community. Its editorial offices are in the Student Media Center.

    The Reveille, the annual yearbook, is published each spring by a selected student staff to provide for the participants a lasting record of life in the University. The Reveille offices are in the Student Media Center.

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    JJ. Student Support Services

    Established in 1982, the office of Student Support Services provides support for low income, first generation college students and to students with disabilities to facilitate participation in campus life. The program is designed to provide personal, social, and academic support to eligible students in an effort to help them remain in college. Students are offered a variety of services designed to meet their own particular academic needs. Generally, services provided are counseling, advocacy, coordinating tutoring, interpreting, attendant care services, and other services as needed to provide support toward academic success. The office of Student Support Service is located in 01 Montgomery Hall.

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    KK. Telecommunications

    Telecommunications manages the university's telephone system and the University Long Distance System (LDS). The organization is established as an auxiliary department under the Vice President, Business Affairs and is funded solely from operating revenues. Local telephone service (dial tone, custom dialing features, switching) is provided by South Central Bell from the Starkville Central Office. Telecommunications purchases, installs and maintains all telephone instruments.

    The University Long Distance System (LDS) provides faculty, staff and on-campus students with direct access to the world-wide telephone network. The system utilizes transmission facilities which are leased from major long-distance carriers. An LDS "Charge-A-Call" number is required to use the system. The "Charge-A-Call" number may be used to place a direct dial long distance call from any unrestricted campus telephone. The call will be billed at a discounted rate to the "Charge-A-Call" number rather than the calling station number. Each "Charge-A-Call" number is associated with a university account number (department/project accounts) or a social security number (faculty/staff and student personal accounts). The Telecommunications business office is located in the basement of Lee Hall, room 10, telephone 325- 2212.

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    LL. Television Center

    The University Television Center is a full service television production unit. The Center provides services for field recording, studio production, post production, video graphics, video duplication, satellite uplinks and downlinks, and audio production. Since the Television Center's beginning in 1988, the unit has been active in distance learning and is recognized nationwide as a leader in the field. A transportable satellite uplink truck allows the Television Center to broadcast remote productions by satellite uplink from any location in the continental United States - a number of which have been broadcast nationally by PBS.

    The Television Center also provides fixed uplink transmission for the institution from its studio at the Wise Center. Live, interactive courses and programs can be originated from this facility to any receive site in Mississippi, the nation, and beyond. The Center also provides bi-directional conferencing and teaching facilities for fiber optic and compressed video programming.

    To support multimedia development and educational video production, the Center provides digital video and audio editing facilities and personnel. Non-linear editing suites for audio and video allow faculty and researchers to create video and audio programming for a wide variety of applications. Documentaries, video discs, grant presentation videos, and fund raising videos can be produced for specific applications.

    The Center also provides the creative staff and technical support personnel to assist faculty including: script writing; field production on broadcast or nonbroadcast formats; program design and formatting; video editing and animation; studio production; and distance learning presentation skills and materials development.

    In the area of video graphics, the Center has a full 3-D animation suite that is used to create animations for educational and promotional videos. The staff of the Center are also actively involved in supporting the electronic visualization and television production programs in the Department of Art, the School of Architecture, and the Department of Communication.

    To support high quality video and audio production, an extensive music and sound effects library is available to be used on any video or audio project. These libraries include a wide variety of music from country to classical and sound effects for any application.

    In support of the advancement of the university, the Television Center creates fund raising videos, recruiting videos, promotional spots, news programs, sports programs, and sports news releases for commercial news outlets.

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    MM. Transportation

    The Transportation Department maintains 14 vans, seven automobiles and four buses which are available for rent by departments. Transportation also maintains and operates the Campus Transit System with five twenty-three passenger buses. The department operates a daily Shuttle Service to Jackson, Mississippi, for the primary purpose of transporting students, faculty and staff along with official packages and letters to and from the Education and Research Center in Jackson. In addition, the department operates a service station servicing other departmental vehicles. The Transportation Department is located at 47 Magruder Street.

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    NN. (Colvard) Union

    The Colvard Student Union, named for former President Dean W. Colvard, serves as the community center of the Mississippi State campus. The Union organizes and implements many social, cultural, educational, and recreational activities and events for the MSU community throughout the year.

    The Campus Activities Board and Music Maker Productions develop and coordinate a variety of programs that include films, lectures, concerts, dinner-theater productions. Madrigal dinners, art exhibits, craft fairs, skills presentations, and the like. CAB also sponsors numerous non-credit courses which draw upon the knowledge and skills of many members of the Starkville-MSU community to provide interested students, faculty, and others with instruction in subjects such as scuba diving, aerobics, country and western dancing, and photography. Programs sponsored by the Campus Activities Board and music Maker Productions are generally open to faculty, staff, and their families.

    The Dawg House, the Union's gameroom, located on the ground floor, houses Starkville's only bowling lanes, as well as billiard tables, pin-ball machines, video-games, and a jukebox. The gameroom can be reserved for private and public parties and get-togethers.

    The Colvard Student Union makes available to the campus community meeting and conference rooms, reception rooms, the multi-purpose Ballroom, the Small Auditorium, the Art Lounge, display space, banquet and dining rooms, and food service in the Union Food Court. The Union also houses the Career Services Center, the CAB and Music Maker offices, The Hair Company, a check cashing facility, and the MSU Bookstore.

    The Union Information Desk, located on the second floor, is open daily until 10 p.m.; it furnishes information about activities and events happening in the Union and around campus. Adjacent to the Information Desk is the Ticket Office, which distributes tickets to major campus events during the year.

    For further information regarding Union activities, please call the Union Director's office at 325-2513, the CAB office at 325-2930, the Union Information Desk at 325-3342, or the Gameroom at 325-3904.

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    OO. University Florist

    The University Florist located in the Mini Mall, offers complete floral services. This includes fresh cut flowers, foliage and blooming plants, wedding and party designs, funeral arrangements, balloons, stuffed animals, gifts, and other specialties. The shop is operated by Retail Floristry students under professional supervision as an organized training activity of the Horticulture component in the Plant and Soil Sciences Department.

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    PP. (The Office of) University Relations

    University Relations works to improve the likelihood of the university's success in private fund-raising, student recruitment, and government relations and to create a reservoir of good will among the numerous university constituencies, including alumni, parents of students, donors, opinion leaders, prospective students and others. While much of the University Relations effort is directed toward external audiences, aiding internal communication within the university also is an important role. Publications, media relations, and public relations efforts are conducted on behalf of the entire university. Sections within University Relations include publications, photography, news and information, and Internet services.

    The publications group writes, designs, and produces publications in support of the goals outlined above. Staff members are responsible for the university's quarterly alumni magazine and semi-annual young alumni tabloid; for the faculty/staff newsletter, Memo; and for a monthly newsletter for volunteer leaders and opinion leaders, President's Report. The section also produces student recruiting materials for Student Affairs, fund-raising materials for the Development Office, and a variety of other specialized and general purpose publications. The publications staff provides design services and production assistance to the entire campus community.

    University Relations staff members also maintain more than 4,000 pages of World Wide Web documents providing a wide array of information about the university and are responsible for design and maintenance of top-level university Web pages.

    The Photography section provides photos to support both the publications unit and the news bureau. News photos from Mississippi State are regularly provided to Associated Press. The unit maintains a file of campus photos that faculty and staff may use in developing presentations about Mississippi State and provides a variety of photographic services to the campus on a fee basis.

    The news bureau has primary responsibility for media relations, which includes identifying and promoting the achievements of faculty, staff, and students and helping position Mississippi State in the public mind as the state's leading provider of higher education and a major contributor to the state's economic, social, and intellectual progress. The staff develops news and feature stories, fact sheets, media advisories, and experts lists to keep a variety of constituencies informed of noteworthy accomplishments and activities at the university. Staff members regularly work with broadcast and print media to provide answers to questions about the university, background for stories, or resources for commentary on current events or breaking news. The news bureau also works closely with the campus radio station, WMSV, and the University Television center to provide news and public affairs programming.

    For more information, contact the Office of University Relations, 102 George Hall, 325-3442.

     

    X. MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION


    A. Housing (OP 63.01)

    There are rental housing units available to faculty and staff members. They range in size from two- bedroom apartments to four-bedroom houses. Factors taken into consideration in the assignment of housing are employee types, date of application, size of the family, new or old employees of the University and type of unit desired. Applications for assignment to university housing are directed to the Physical Plant, Faculty/Staff Housing, 325-2052.

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    B. Employee Identification Cards

    Employee Identification Cards are issued to faculty, staff, retirees, and affiliate employees by the Campus Card Office located in 12 Lee Hall. An ID allows employees to identify themselves for admittance to special events and provides library privileges and other special services only available to Mississippi State employees. New employees whose employment paperwork has been processed through the Department of Human Resources Management may go directly to the Campus Card Office and request an identification card. If a request for an ID is made prior to appointment papers being prepared, a letter containing the employee's name, social security number and employment category should be provided to the Campus Card Office.

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    C. Intercollegiate Athletics

    Mississippi State University is a member of the Southeastern Conference, which includes in its membership twelve of the leading universities of the south. Regulations regarding participation in athletics are subject to the action of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Southeastern Conference. Intercollegiate sports for men include football, basketball, baseball, cross-country, track, tennis and golf. Intercollegiate sports for women include basketball, volleyball, tennis, golf, cross- country, and track. Overall supervision of intercollegiate athletics is provided by the Director of Athletics.

    Campus athletic facilities include Scott Field (football stadium) with a current capacity of 41,200, and the M Club Faculty Club which seats over 400 persons, a multi-purpose coliseum which seats 9,200 for basketball, four practice football fields, a six-court tennis complex, a lighted baseball park with a capacity of 6,700, an all-weather running track, and a physical fitness complex which contains approximately half a football field covered with astro turf, a weight room, a training room, a team meeting room, and a locker room.

    Faculty and staff may purchase reduced-price season tickets for football, basketball and baseball through the MSU Athletic Ticket Office, 325-2600. New faculty and staff will receive order information directly from the ticket office prior to each sport season.

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    D. Length of Service Recognition

    Each year faculty and staff members who complete 5 year increments of employment with the University are recognized for their length of service. At the annual Awards Day program, the President of the University presents service pins to personnel in recognition of their number of years service.

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    E. Mississippi Public Records Act (OP 06.04)

    All public records are public property, and any person shall have the right to inspect or obtain a copy of such records, unless exempted by this law. Examples of records exempted include personnel, worker's compensation, academic, and criminal investigation records. The request must be in writing, and a reasonable fee for copying may be charged in advance. Unless written procedures are in place that provide otherwise, public bodies have one working day to comply with written requests for public records. A fine and legal fees may be assessed against individuals refusing to comply with this law.

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    F. Voluntary Organizations

    American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

    Membership in the American Association of University Professors is open, by application, to any member of the University faculty who devotes half of his/her time to teaching or research or both. Members receive the AAUP Bulletin which is devoted to the general interests of the profession.

    Major efforts of the organization are devoted to supporting freedom of teaching and research, promoting security of academic tenure, maintaining and improving professional ethics and standards, and advancing the economic welfare of the profession. There is an active local chapter.

    American Association of University Women (AAUW)

    Individual membership in the American Association of University Women is open to all holders of the baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Mississippi State University holds college/university membership in this Association.

    The Starkville branch is concerned with being an active presence in the community through its annual legislative forum held during the legislative session and through its active programming which addresses current issues relating to education, the arts, the economy, and other fields. The Association provides graduate fellowship assistance through its Education Foundation. Meetings are held monthly during the academic year. Contact the President's Office at 325-3221 for more information.

    Association of Retired Faculty (ARF)

    The Association of Retired Faculty began in July 1986, with 73 charter members. Membership is open to classroom teachers and/or researchers in the University who have retired, are within five years of expected retirement, or are aged sixty or older.

    Chief purposes of the Association are to keep its members in touch with each other and with the University, to facilitate assistance and counsel for senior faculty both approaching and after retirement, and to make the members' accumulated capabilities available to the University at need. Meetings are held in April, July, and December, with a variety of programs and activities. Detailed information may be secured from the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    Faculty and Professional Women's Association (FWA)

    The major objective of the Faculty and Professional Women's Association is to address the professional interests and concerns of women at the University. The FPWA supports and encourages women in professional, academic, and administrative opportunities. Membership is open to currently employed and retired faculty and professional women.

    MSU Newcomers' Club

    The purpose of the MSU Newcomers' Club is to promote friendship and a wider range of acquaintances among faculty and staff women and wives of teaching, research, and staff members who have been employed by the institution and cooperating agencies for less than five years. Meetings are held once a month, August through April. Special interest groups for tennis, arts and crafts, painting, and other interests meet twice a month. For further information, contact the Union Information Desk.

    Women's Club

    The Mississippi State University Women's Club provides social contacts, promotes spirit of friendliness, offers cultural opportunities, and promotes student welfare. Membership is open to: wives of faculty, staff, and eligible employees of cooperating agencies; female faculty, staff, and eligible employees of cooperating agencies; wives of retired or deceased members of the faculty, staff, and eligible employees of cooperating agencies; and, retired female faculty, staff, and eligible employees of cooperating agencies. The club meets monthly during the academic year. The spouse of the MSU President serves as Special Counselor of the organization.