FACULTY HANDBOOK

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.