University of North Georgia (UNG) is compliant with this core requirement.
With 419 full-time instructional faculty and 317 part-time faculty serving a student body of approximately 14,200 (of which 9,200 are fulltime), UNG is able to support its educational mission and ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs. The student/faculty ratio, based on full-time-equivalent (FTE) faculty and FTE students, is 21:1. In accordance with its mission to provide "a culture of academic excellence in a student-focused environment that includes quality education, service, inquiry and creativity," UNG serves students across four campus locations in Dahlonega, Gainesville, Oconee, and Cumming. The UNG Statutes define the faculty and faculty senate . The role of the faculty member is further defined in section 3.1 of the Faculty Handbook, which describes faculty responsibilities in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service .Section 3.2 of the Faculty Handbook includes a policy that describes the distribution of faculty workload in support of these areas of responsibility. In alignment with UNG's classification as a SACSCOC Level V institution, full-time, tenure-track faculty are expected to teach 24 hours per academic year plus the equivalent of 6 hours of other responsibilities, to include scholarship and service. Departments may define faculty workload using contact hour equivalents if appropriate to the discipline. Full-time, tenure-track graduate faculty are expected to teach 18 hours per academic year plus the equivalent of 12 hours of other responsibilities. Non-tenure track faculty are assigned 15 hours of teaching per semester or 12 hours of teaching plus the equivalent of 3 hours of other responsibilities. Faculty workload also may be adjusted to meet professional guidelines and best practices. These workload expectations are being phased in beginning with the fall 2013 semester. Most departments will implement new faculty workloads in fall 2013 and it is anticipated that faculty workloads will be fully implemented by fall 2014. Flexibility is provided to accommodate individual faculty assignments in teaching, scholarly and professional activities, service, and administrative assignments. UNG's faculty workload policy, with its emphasis on teaching aligns with UNG's promotion and tenure policies, which place greatest emphasis on teaching excellence.
The UNG Faculty Senate has a significant role in institutional governance and in the review of academic policies and procedures and curricula to ensure program quality and integrity. Faculty Senate Bylaws define the membership and function of most university statutory and standing committees. Faculty Senate membership includes proportional representation from all campus locations. Institutional academic policies and procedures and curricular decisions are governed by statutory committees of the Faculty Senate, including the Academic Affairs Committee, General Education Committee, and Graduate Council. Discipline-specific academic policies, curricular decisions, and assessment of student learning are governed by faculty at the departmental (vs campus) level and submitted for approval by the university committees mentioned above. In many departments, part-time faculty have long-standing relationships with the university and participate in departmental meetings to review the curriculum and assess student learning.
Adequate Full-Time Faculty to Support University of North Georgia's Educational Mission
A high percentage (79%) of UNG’s semester credit hours generated are taught by full-time faculty. Disaggregated data for full-time faculty by discipline, campus location, and mode of instruction document the adequacy of UNG's full-time faculty to meet its mission. Those data confirm that a high percentage of full-time faculty support is present across disciplines as well as across campus locations and modes of instruction with few exceptions. In those areas with higher part-time instruction, appropriate oversight is provided by full-time faculty in the department and academic administrators to ensure program quality and integrity. Faculty teaching assignments for spring 2013 and for subsequent semesters are based primarily on campus faculty assignments prior to consolidation. However, in some cases, departments provide faculty members with the opportunity to split their workload assignments across campus locations and mode of delivery. These opportunities are helpful to departments in best matching faculty credentials, expertise, and full-time status with curricular requirements and student enrollment demand. These opportunities are also beneficial to faculty members who now have greater opportunities to teach a full array of introductory and advanced coursework in their disciplines. It is expected that departments will further fine-tune faculty assignments to optimize staffing to support academic programs and student success. In addition, for FY14, 11 new full-time, tenure-track faculty positions were funded to address the areas of greatest need and student demand (4 in science/mathematics, 3 in humanities, 2 in business, and 2 in graduate programs -- 1 each in physical therapy and clinical mental health counseling) Furthermore, a substantial budget has been identified to provide benefits for full-time, temporary faculty across all campus locations.
Full-time Faculty by Discipline, Campus Location, and Mode of Instruction
On the Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses, over 80% of credit hours generated are taught by full-time members of the UNG faculty (83% and 81%, respectively). Full-time staffing is adequate to support the degree programs offered on each of the campus locations. Additional full-time, tenure-track faculty lines have been added in music and visual arts for FY14. These faculty positions should bring balance to the staffing across sites and assist both programs as they work toward future discipline-specific accreditation. On the Oconee campus, 59% of credit hours generated are taught by full-time faculty. The Oconee campus provides general education coursework and a limited number of associate degree programs. In cases where part-time representation is greater, high percentages are an artifact of the limited number of course sections in a discipline area (i.e., only 1 or 2 sections are listed on the schedule). For example, only a limited number of business and teacher education courses are provided at the site. Similarly, the credit hours noted in physics represent only two sections of lecture/lab. In cases where a larger number of course sections are included on the schedule, changes to degree programs, graduation requirements, and home campus assignments will reduce the percentage of part-time faculty required. For example, health and physical education has been removed as a graduation requirement for UNG students effective fall 2013. This degree change will reduce the demand for course sections provided by part-time faculty. In addition, fine arts general education options have been expanded from five course options to thirteen under the new core curriculum effective in fall 2013. This curricular change will reduce the demand for music appreciation course sections that have been taught exclusively by part-time faculty on the Oconee campus in the past. The Cumming campus is UNG's newest campus location and opened in fall 2012 with a limited schedule of courses. Coursework on the Cumming campus are taught by a combination of full-time and part-time faculty, with an overall 72% of credit hours generated at the site being taught by full-time members of the UNG faculty. As with the Oconee campus, cases where part-time representation is high are an artifact of the limited number of course sections in a discipline area. Moreover, as noted above, health and physical education (the only discipline with 100% part-time staffing) has been removed as a graduation requirement. Individual courses taught at other off-campus sites and online are almost exclusively taught by full-time members of the UNG faculty. The percent of credit hours taught by full-time faculty in these areas is 90% and 86%, respectively. The only discipline area with a high percentage of online coursework taught by part-time faculty is in history. In order to continue to provide students with a highly-qualified instructor in Western warfare, a former full-time member of the UNG faculty has been permitted to continue to teach online courses for the university part-time. To further address online instruction, the Office of Distance Education and Technology Integration is working with all departments, including history, to provide faculty professional development and support services to increase the number of full-time faculty members and course offerings available online.
UNG is committed to the incorporation of high impact practices into classroom instruction. This commitment is reflected in the emphasis on service, inquiry, creativity, and global learning in the UNG mission statement. Faculty professional development support to incorporate service learning, undergraduate research, creative expression, international programs and study abroad are supported by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, and the Center for Global Engagement. Faculty scholarship also is supported by the Office of Grants and Contracts and by the Office of the Provost, which provides annual scholar awards to support faculty research.