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Faculty Affairs

Academic Year

The academic year for faculty begins the date the faculty reports for duty for the fall semester and concludes the Monday after spring Commencement. This is the duty period that faculty members are expected to observe. The first pay period begins on September 1 and the last pay period ends on May 31. Faculty members may chose to have their nine month salary divided into twelve equal payments. Faculty members may receive appointments for summer teaching at the discretion of their department chairperson and dean of their respective colleges.

 

Academic Freedom

Institutions of higher education exist for the common good. The common good depends upon a free search for truth and its free expression. Hence, the faculty member must be free to pursue scholarly inquiry without undue restriction and to voice and publish conclusions concerning the significance of evidence considered relevant. The faculty member must be free from the corrosive fear that others, inside or outside the university community, because of their differing view, may threaten the faculty member’s professional career or the material benefits accruing from it (www.aaup.org/aaup).

Each faculty member is entitled to full freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject taught. Each faculty member is also a citizen of the nation, state, and community, and when speaking, writing, or acting as an individual citizen, must be free from institutional censorship or discipline.

Recent experience at several U.S. universities indicates that, from time to time, an allegation of misconduct in research or scholarly activity may be made against a member of an institution's faculty. If such an allegation were made at Texas Tech University, the allegation would be dealt with according to OP 74.08.

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Academic Integrity

It is the aim of the faculty of Texas Tech University to foster a spirit of complete honesty and a high standard of integrity. The attempt of students to present as their own any work that they have not honestly performed is regarded by the faculty and administration as a serious offense and renders the offenders liable to serious consequences, possibly suspension.

The instructor in a course is responsible for initiating action for dishonesty or plagiarism that occurs in his or her class. In cases of convincing evidence of or admitted academic dishonesty or plagiarism, an instructor should take appropriate action. Before taking such action, however, the instructor should attempt to discuss the matter with the student. If cheating is suspected on a final exam, the instructor should not submit a grade until a reasonable attempt can be made to contact the student, preferably within one month after the end of the semester. See
OP 34.12
and the section on “Academic Dishonesty” in the Code of Student Conduct for more information.

“Scholastic dishonesty” includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, falsifying academic records, misrepresenting facts, and any act designed to give unfair academic advantage to the student (such as, but not limited to, submission of essentially the same written assignment for two courses without the prior permission of the instructor) or the attempt to commit such an act.

“Cheating” includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Copying from another student’s test paper.
  2. Using materials during a test that have not been authorized by the person giving the test.
  3. Failing to comply with instructions given by the person administering the test.
  4. Possessing materials during a test that are not authorized by the person giving the test, such as class notes or specifically designed “crib notes.” The presence of textbooks constitutes a violation only if they have been specifically prohibited by the person administering the test.
  5. Using, buying, stealing, transporting, or soliciting in whole or part the contents of an unadministered test, test key, homework solution, or computer program.
  6. Collaborating with or seeking aid or receiving assistance from another student or individual during a test or in conjunction with an assignment without authority.
  7. Discussing the contents of an examination with another student who will take the examination.
  8. Divulging the contents of an examination, for the purpose of preserving questions for use by another, when the instructor has designated that the examination is not to be removed from the examination room or not to be returned to or kept by the student.
  9. Substituting for another person, or permitting another person to substitute for oneself to take a course, a test, or any course-related assignment.
  10. Paying or offering money or other valuable thing to, or coercing another person to obtain an unadministered test, test key, homework solution, or computer program, or information about an unadministered test, test key, homework solution, or computer program.
  11. Falsifying research data, laboratory reports, and/or other academic work offered for credit.
  12. Taking, keeping, misplacing, or damaging the property of the university, or of another, if the student knows or reasonably should know that an unfair academic advantage would be gained by such conduct.

“Plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the appropriation of, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means material that is attributable in whole or in part to another source, including words, ideas, illustrations, structure, computer code, other expression and media, and presenting that material as one’s own academic work being offered for credit. Any student who fails to give credit for quotations or for an essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines, Internet documents, reference works or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student is guilty of plagiarism.

“Collusion” includes, but is not limited to, the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing academic assignments offered for credit or collaboration with another person to commit a violation of any section of the rules on scholastic dishonesty.

“Falsifying academic records” includes, but is not limited to, altering or assisting in the altering of any official record of the university, and/or submitting false information or omitting requested information that is required for or related to any academic record of the university. Academic records include, but are not limited to, applications for admission, the awarding of a degree, grade reports, test papers, registration materials, grade change forms, and reporting forms used by the Office of the Registrar. A former student who engages in such conduct is subject to a bar against readmission, revocation of a degree, and withdrawal of a diploma.

“Misrepresenting facts” to the university or an agent of the university includes, but is not limited to, providing false grades or resumés; providing false or misleading information in an effort to receive a postponement or an extension on a test, quiz, or other assignment for the purpose of obtaining an academic or financial benefit for oneself or another individual; or providing false or misleading information in an effort to injure another student academically or financially.

Instructor Responsibilities. The instructor in a course is responsible for initiating action in cases where there is an admitted act or convincing evidence of academic misconduct. Before taking such action, the instructor should attempt to discuss the matter with the student. If the alleged misconduct involves a final exam, the instructor will withhold the grade until a reasonable attempt can be made to contact the student after the end of the semester.

Instructor Sanctions. If academic misconduct is determined by the instructor, a failing grade shall be assigned to either the assignment in question or to the course grade. When a student is given a failing grade in a course as a result of academic misconduct, the instructor shall report in writing to the instructor’s department chair the facts of the case and the action to be taken against the student. The chair shall provide a copy to the student, to his or her academic dean (and the Graduate Dean in the case of graduate students) and to the Student Judicial Programs office.

Grade Appeal Procedure. The Grade Appeal Procedure may be used to appeal a failing course grade, but not a failing grade given for a class assignment. The disciplinary penalty of a grade of F shall not be implemented until the disciplinary procedure of grade appeal process has been exhausted. A student may continue the course work until a final decision is made.

Repeated Academic Misconduct. In cases of repeated violations, either the instructor (through his or her department chair and/or academic dean) or the academic dean may refer the case to the Student Judicial Programs office for further disciplinary proceeding.

School of Law. Law students are subject to discipline procedures as described in the Honor Code of the School of Law.

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Academic Regulations

Regulations concerning admission, registration, grading practices, class attendance, the university calendar, and other similar matters are stated in the current Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog. Faculty members are advised to consult the catalog in order to become familiar with those regulations. Information concerning admission of graduate students is contained in the Graduate School section of the catalog. Additional information may be distributed as needed by memoranda or letters.

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Adoption and Sale of Textbooks and Related Materials

Texas Tech University encourages faculty members to publish textbooks and other professional works. Such textbooks may be used by the author or by other staff members in their classes if the textbook has been printed by a recognized and reputable publishing house at its own risk and expense, has been made available for open sale, and has been approved for classroom use by a committee of the department. Such approval must be made in writing and is to be secured annually.

Educational material in any multigraphed form, which is to be sold for use in class or in laboratory work, must be approved by a departmental committee. Such material is to be made available to students through an established bookstore or copying service. A member of the faculty or staff may not have any financial interest in, or receive any financial compensation from, the sale of such material. Under no circumstances shall money be paid by a student to a teacher or instructor for any instructional material.

A committee shall be appointed by the Faculty Senate to render an advisory opinion or to hear any appeal lodged with the provost by either faculty, administrator, or student, concerning any alleged conflict of interest from the sale of textbooks or other materials. (OP 30.18)

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336, was signed into law on July 26, 1990. This far-reaching statute does more than simply add “disability” to the list of protected classes under federal law and is not simply a duplication of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It was the institution of Congress to effect sweeping changes in the attitudes and practices of American businesses and state and local government agencies in order to remove barriers to employment and services for persons with disabilities. With the growing number of disabled students on campus, it is important that faculty members be aware of how they are identified, when and how to make reasonable accommodation, the services available to disabled students, and the assistance available to faculty in this process.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require that universities, and all faculty and staff therein, make reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities in all programs and activities, both academic and nonacademic. If such reasonable accommodation is denied to any disabled student, the institution may be held in violation of the law.

It is advisable that you ask in each first class session that students with disabilities or health problems identify themselves to you (privately after class or during your office hours) and indicate to you any special accommodations you will need to make for them during the semester (for example, extended time examinations). Examples of how this may be done are included below. While disabled students are always told to notify their professors, some may be reluctant to do so.

Faculty are not allowed to provide accommodation for a student’s disability needs unless the student provides proof of a disability for which the accommodation requested is appropriate. While such proof should ideally be provided at the beginning of the semester, accommodation requests can be submitted at any time during a semester. The accommodations begin on the date the letter is signed by both the instructor and the student and are NOT retroactive.

The university-approved mechanism for doing so is a Letter of Accommodation (LOA) from Student Disability Services. The LOA on official university letterhead indicates to professors that the student has given proof of his or her disability and that the accommodation noted is considered appropriate and reasonable.

No further proof of disability should be required of the student. Students presenting verification other than the LOA should be referred to Student Disability Services in West Hall, Room 335 for the appropriate identification. No requirement exists that accommodation be made prior to completion of the approved university process.

Faculty should be aware of the related student grievance process as detailed in the Student Handbook.

It is our hope that this system will enable faculty and staff to easily and quickly access those resources necessary to respond effectively to these students’ needs, particularly those students whose disabilities are not visible or as familiar as others. Student Disability Services is available to advise and assist faculty members in the accommodation process.

Faculty can train in disability awareness and accommodation procedures for any employees of the university. Student Disability Services also provides a comprehensive faculty guide to working with students with disabilities. Copies are available to any faculty member either electronically or in printed version. They can be reached at 806.742.2405.

Keep in mind that the purpose of classroom accommodation is to eliminate the competitive disadvantage caused by the disability itself. Students with disabilities should be expected to do the same quality of work and the same quantity of work as every other student. It is the method by which this is accomplished that is sometimes different.

An example for a statement in class would be: “I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has a disability that may require some special accommodations. I am sure we can work out whatever arrangements are necessary. Please see me after class or during my office hours.”

Faculty are required to insert the following into each course syllabus:

Any student who, because of a disability, may require special arrangements in order to meet the course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make any necessary arrangements. Students should present appropriate verification from Student Disability Services during the instructor’s office hours. Please note instructors are not allowed to provide classroom accommodations to a student until appropriate verification from Student Disability Services has been provided. For additional information, you may contact the Student Disability Services office in 335 West Hall or 806-742-2405.

This is required as part of OP 34.22 , “Establishing Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities” and is the only acceptable statement. Any other syllabus statement should be removed and replaced with the official statement above in order to assist the university with maintaining ADA compliance.

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Appointments

Original appointment to the faculty of Texas Tech University is confirmed by use of an official letter which sets forth the regular and standard conditions of employment, including salary and period covered and is conditional on criminal background clearance and on receipt in the Provost’s office of all official baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral transcripts, a CV, and proof of authorization to work in the United States. Special provisions and conditions, if any, are included with the letter. The letter bears the signature of the Provost or of a designated representative at the time it is sent to the appointee, as well as instructions for completion and disposition of the copies. Notification will be given of subsequent changes in rank or salary
(OP 32.17).

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Awards and Honors

Awards and honors are available to faculty through selection by the Honors and Awards Council, the Texas Tech Association of Parents, Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa, Faculty Development Committee, Research Council, Alumni Association, the Teaching Academy and deans. Some of these awards are Spencer A. Wells Faculty Award, Hemphill Wells New Professor Excellence in Teaching Award, Barnie E. Rushing Jr. Faculty Distinguished Research Award, Faculty Distinguished Leadership Award, Faculty Recognition Award by Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa, President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, President’s Academic Achievement Award, President’s Book Award, Alumni Association New Faculty Award, Excellence in Equity Award, and the Teaching Academy’s Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award.

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