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Faculty Affairs

Nepotism

All appointments will be made on the basis of qualifications and suitability of the appointee, subject to applicable statutes and the provisions of Section 03.01.8, Regents’ Rules and
OP 70.08. No persons related to an administrator within a prohibited degree shall be eligible for initial appointment to a position in an area of responsibility over which the administrator has appointive authority, in whole or in part, regardless of the source of funds from which the position’s salary is to be paid. Exceptions to this restriction on the initial appointment of a person will be made only by the Board of Regents upon recommendation of the President and the Chancellor and then only when the administrator in question does not directly supervise the person to be appointed. If the appointment, reappointment, reclassification, reassignment, or promotion of an employee places the employee under an administrative supervisor who is related within a prohibited degree, all subsequent personnel and compensation actions affecting the employee shall become the responsibility of the next higher administrative supervisor. The provisions of this subparagraph shall apply when two employees marry and one spouse becomes the administrative supervisor of the other. All instances in which an employee marries an administrative supervisor, is placed under the administrative supervision of a relative, or is made the administrative supervisor of a relative within the prohibited degree will be reported to the Board of Regents as an information item. (OP 70.08, Section 03.01.11, Regents’ Rules)

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Off-Campus Student Trips and Activities

OP 79.13, Policy for University-Related Travel by Motor Vehicle, governs the use of motor vehicles in any activity related to the academic research and/or administrative responsibility of the department involved. This policy relates to travel undertaken by students to a university-related activity located more than 25 miles from the university. It applies to travel undertaken by registered student organizations. Registered student organizations are free to make such off-campus trips as are deemed worthwhile by the membership and sponsors of the organization. Students and their parents should understand that participation in such off-campus trips and activities is at the student’s own risk. If personal injury or accident should occur to students or other persons during such activities, Texas Tech will assume no responsibility, financial or otherwise. Faculty and staff sponsors and organization officers are urged to take all possible precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of all persons participating in the off-campus activity. The questions of financial liability for accident or injury and appropriate insurance coverage should be specifically identified by each group making an official off-campus trip as being the responsibility of each individual student.

Special Instruction fees may offset the cost of travel for activities specially related to instruction for a course.

There is no official registration procedure for official off-campus trips, and there are no official excused class absences for students who participate in off-campus trips by student organizations. Students will be responsible for making their own individual arrangements with instructors for classwork missed while participating in an off-campus trip. Instructors will be free to set their own requirements for classwork missed under such circumstances; they must grant students an opportunity to make up all course work missed while participating in an off-campus trip. Each student traveling to participate in a university-related activity must execute the Student Activity Release Form prior to the activity. (OP 79.13)

The university provides an optional group accident and health insurance plan for students, with enrollment during registration for the fall and spring semesters. Also available is a very economical trip insurance plan for student groups and their faculty or staff sponsor. Insurance application forms may be obtained by the sponsor at the Contracting Office. Trip insurance may also be purchased from private insurance companies. (OP 34.06)

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Office Hours

Each faculty member should maintain scheduled office hours as directed by the dean of the college and/or the individual department. Schedules should be posted and made available to students.

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Operating Policies and Procedures

The Texas Tech University Operating Policy and Procedure system was developed to standardize university-wide policies and procedures and to provide a consistent and coherent method of defining university policies. The system is intended to:

        • Provide a university-wide pattern of developing policies and procedures.
        • Outline a standard format for policies and procedures.
        • Provide a rapid means of identification of policies and procedures.
        • Facilitate continuity regardless of changes in personnel assignments.
        • Ensure the periodic review and updating of all university-wide operating policies.

Texas Tech OPs are subordinate to higher authorities, including federal law, rules and regulations; state law, rules and regulations; and policies, procedures, rules and regulations of the TTU Board of Regents.

Should a conflict occur between policy and/or procedure of an OP and any other written or oral policy or procedure developed by any university department, the policy and/or procedure of the OP will prevail. The TTU OP Manual can be accessed online at www.depts.ttu.edu/opmanual.

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Political Activity

As a citizen, an employee of Texas Tech University has the same rights and responsibilities of free speech, thought, and action as any other American citizen.

As an educated person and an employee of the State of Texas, a faculty member should remember that the public may judge the profession and the university by his or her utterances. Hence, a faculty member should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, should emphasize that he or she is not an institution spokesperson, and should be mindful of the best interests of the institution.

An instructional staff member has a binding obligation to discharge instructional and other duties. Performance of these duties may be impaired by private activity requiring a large portion of time and energy. As a person of judgment and mature perspective, the teacher will not allow an interest and participation in public political affairs to be so consuming that work and influence will suffer as a teacher in the university. The classroom and the student have the first call on the instructor's time and interest. These are considered primary responsibilities. The teacher is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject but should be careful not to introduce into the teaching controversial matters that have no relation to the subject.

The Board of Regents may compel a faculty member or staff employee to take a leave of absence without pay while campaigning for any other public office and may terminate employment upon acceptance of such an office.

The above regulations shall not restrict the acceptance of appointments or offices of a temporary or part-time nature for which the teacher is prepared to render exceptional service, which will not involve him or her in direct relationships with the university or make him or her a partisan in matters that have university implication and that will not interfere with normal university duties.

Nothing in these regulations shall be construed as abridging the rights of citizenship guaranteed citizens of Texas and of the United States under the state and federal constitutions. When university employees appear at the polls in any capacity, they will do so as private citizens acting under their constitutional rights, and not as representatives of the university.

Instructional staff and other employees of the university should take an interest in public affairs. They should exercise their right to vote and to work for good government.

This policy is intended to safeguard the freedom of speech, thought, and action of university teachers and employees and to avoid impairment of the significant contributions they are capable of making toward improved local, state, and federal government. (OP 32.07)

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Post-Tenure Review

In compliance with SB 149, each faculty member who is tenured or who receives an academic promotion at Texas Tech University will receive a comprehensive performance evaluation no more often than once every year, but no less often than once every six years after the date the faculty member was granted tenure or received an academic promotion. Standardized procedures developed by a committee of the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost and approved by the Board of Regents may be found in OP 32.31.

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Posting of Student Grades

Posting of student grades poses several legal problems for the university. Texas Tech policy is that no grades should be posted at any time. However, classes with several hundred students enrolled must have test grades returned during the semester, which is impossible on an individual basis. In these cases, if the department chairperson grants permission, grades may be posted by randomly generated identification numbers without student names, social security numbers, or Banner R numbers. Furthermore, students may receive grades before they are mailed by the Registrar if they have provided the professor a signed statement with a self-addressed envelope. Grades may also be reported to email addresses verified as belonging to the student.

Failure to follow this policy could provide a basis for successful litigation in the future. Legal Counsel has advised us that posting no grades is the safest course of action for protection of student privacy. (OP 34.12)

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Private Use of University Property

By state law university property may not be used for the private benefit of members of the faculty and staff. Particular care must be taken that state-owned vehicles are used only for university business and that proper records are kept of such use. (OP 10.11, OP 61.01, and  OP 63.08)

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Promotion and Salary Increases

All salary increases for faculty shall be on a merit basis unless otherwise mandated by the legislature and shall be based on quality teaching, scholarly activity, and other contributory activities, including university community service. The procedure for merit salary increases is set forth in the prevailing instructions from the Office of the Provost for budget preparation.

It is the responsibility of the department chairperson or school director to recommend salary rates and merit increases. Each faculty member is required to provide an annual report on his work to the department chairperson or school director for use in consideration of a merit increase. (OP 32.08)

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