Texas Tech University

Role of the Faculty

The Board of Regents assigns a major role in the governance of this institution to the faculty of Texas Tech University in the areas of general academic policies and welfare, student life and activities, requirements for admission and graduation, honors and scholastic performance generally, approval of candidates for degrees, and the faculty rules of procedure. All actions taken by the faculty are subject to the authority of the Board of Regents.

The general faculty delegates the detailed exercise of its powers to the Faculty Senate, a group consisting of faculty members who do not hold administrative positions higher than department chair. This provides a deliberative body that makes recommendations to the Provost and the President concerning a wide range of policies affecting the university.

Matters relevant to graduate studies are referred to the Graduate Council, a body of elected representatives of the colleges chaired by the Dean of the Graduate School and including associate deans of the Graduate School. This is the legislative body of the university's graduate degree programs. It determines minimum criteria for admission to and continuation in graduate degree programs, approves new graduate degree programs, and can recommend the abolition or modification of existing degree programs. It provides advice to the Graduate Dean on graduate program matters in general.

College, school, and department faculties establish the rules of membership and procedures for themselves according to university guidelines. Voting members consist of professors, associate professors, assistant professors, full-time faculty in the ranks of professors of practice, research professors, lecturers, instructors, and visiting professors as applicable, and – in some instances as set by previously determined procedures – part-time instructors and adjunct professors. Each full-time faculty member at the university provides an annual report to the department chair who evaluates the faculty member's performance; this is made a part of the permanent file. The department chair communicates the results of the annual evaluation to each faculty member and to the dean.

The responsibilities of the university dictate, to a major extent, the responsibilities of the individual faculty member. The faculty member is properly concerned with the whole process of education and is aware of the responsibilities of the university in a free society. Responsibility is assumed for performing several essential functions: teaching, research or creative activity, university service, professional service, and community engagement (OP 32.06). 

Texas Tech University subscribes fully to the general principles endorsed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities in January 1941, by the American Association of University Professors in December 1941, and to the statement of principles included in the standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. That statement of principles confirms that institutions of higher education are conducted by the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free speech for truth in its free exposition.

Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the instructional staff and of the students to learn in an environment in which academic freedom exists.

Official Publications