FACULTY HANDBOOK

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