Texas Tech University

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Academic Year

The academic year for faculty begins on the date designated for faculty to report for duty for the fall semester (usually the third week of August) and concludes the Monday after spring commencement, after the deadline for final grade submission has passed. This is the duty period that all faculty members appointed on a nine-month basis are expected to observe. The first pay period begins on September 1 and the last pay period ends on May 31. Faculty on nine-month appointments may choose 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, when salary resources are available and enrollment demand is sufficient.

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.

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.

According to OP 34.12, academic integrity is described for students as follows: Academic integrity is taking responsibility for one's own class and/or course work, being individually accountable, and demonstrating intellectual honesty and ethical behavior. Academic integrity is a personal choice to abide by the standards of intellectual honesty and responsibility. Because education is a shared effort to achieve learning through the exchange of ideas, students, faculty, and staff have the collective responsibility to build mutual trust and respect. Ethical behavior and independent thought are essential for the highest level of academic achievement, which then must be measured. Academic achievement includes scholarship, teaching, and learning, all of which are shared endeavors. Grades are a device used to quantify the successful accumulation of knowledge through learning. Adhering to the standards of academic integrity ensures grades are earned honestly. Academic integrity is the foundation upon which students, faculty, and staff build their educational and professional careers. [Texas Tech University ("University") Quality Enhancement Plan, Academic Integrity Task Force, 2010] 

Any person becoming aware of alleged violations of academic integrity should report the allegation to the instructor of record in the course. The instructor in a course is responsible for initiating action in each case of dishonesty or plagiarism that occurs in that class. The instructor should contact the Office of Student Conduct to discuss the nature of the violation and the student's record of academic integrity violations. Instructions for reporting allegations of academic dishonesty are available in Part I, section C of the Code of Student Conduct. The instructor should attempt to discuss the matter with the student and receive a response from the student about the allegations. Then, the instructor may notify the student of possible academic sanctions including, but not limited to, assigning a paper or research project related to academic integrity, make-up assignment that is different than the original assignment, issue no credit for the original assignment, reduce the grade for the assignment and/or course, issue a failing grade on the assignment, and/or issue a failing grade for the course. The academic penalty will not be implemented or assigned until all disciplinary procedures are complete. All academic integrity violations should be referred to the Office of Student Conduct as a central clearinghouse of violations and for adjudication as a Code of Student Conduct violation where disciplinary sanctions will be assigned. See OP 34.12 and the section on "Academic Misconduct" 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:

  • Copying from another student's test paper.
  • Using materials during a test that have not been authorized by the person giving the test.
  • Failing to comply with instructions given by the person administering the test.
  • 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.
  • Using, buying, stealing, transporting, or soliciting in whole or part the contents of an unadministered test, test key, homework solution, or computer program.
  • Collaborating with or seeking aid or receiving assistance from another student or individual during a test or in conjunction with an assignment without authority.
  • Discussing the contents of an examination with another student who will take the examination.
  • 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.
  • Substituting for another person, or permitting another person to substitute for oneself to take a course, a test, or any course-related assignment.
  • Paying or offering money or other valuable thing 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.
  • Falsifying research data, laboratory reports, and/or other academic work offered for credit.
  • 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.

Academic Integrity Violation Processes and Outcomes. Questions or concerns about academic misconduct should be referred to the Office of Student Conduct, a department within Student Life. The staff members in the Office of Student Conduct are trained to assist faculty members with all parts of the academic misconduct process, including assigning an academic penalty following a responsible finding for an academic misconduct allegation.

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 coursework until a final decision is made.

Repeated Academic Misconduct. In cases of repeated violations, either the instructor (through the department chair and/or academic dean) or the academic dean may refer the case to the Office of Student Conduct for further disciplinary proceedings.

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

School of Veterinary Medicine. Veterinary students are subject to disciplinary procedures described in the Student Code of Honor and Professionalism.

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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.

Adoption and Sale of Textbooks
and Other Required Course Materials

By statute, all textbooks and other required course materials shall have been ordered and made available for student purchase at least 30 days prior to the first class day of the semester. It is university policy that orders of required course materials be placed with the campus bookstore, which, by contractual agreement, will then inform the other local bookstores so that students will have options where to physically purchase their 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 faculty 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 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 (ADA) requires 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 who may need academic accommodations be sure and send you their official documentation from Student Disability Services for any academic accommodations you will need to make for them during the semester (for example, extended time examinations). While students with disabilities are always encouraged to notify their professors, some may be reluctant to do so. An example for a statement in class would be: "I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has a documented need for academic accommodations. We will be able to work out whatever accommodations are necessary. Please see me during my office hours."

Letters of Accommodation (LOAs) will be sent electronically to your TTU email account at the beginning of each semester, as well as throughout the semester as students register for services. The email will contain the student's name, your course number, and section number in the email subject line. The LOA will contain a list of all approved accommodations for the student, as well as options for implementing each. OP 34.22 allows faculty one week from the initial LOA discussion to get the accommodations implemented. Questions or concerns about academic accommodations can be directed to the Student Disability Services office at 806.742.2405. Faculty are not allowed to provide accommodation for a student's disability unless the student provides official documentation of a disability, which is the electronic LOA. While such documentation 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 reviewed by both the instructor and the student and are NOT retroactive. After discussing the LOA with the student, instructors can reply to the email that the LOA has been reviewed as documentation. No further substantiation of disability should be required of the student. Students presenting verification other than the electronic LOA should be referred to Student Disability Services for the appropriate documentation. 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.

Faculty can train in disability awareness and accommodation procedures. Student Disability Services also provides a comprehensive faculty guide to working with students with disabilities (www.depts.ttu.edu/sds/facultyresources/index.php).

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.

To assist the university with maintaining ADA compliance, faculty are required, per OP 34.22, 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 130 Weeks Hall or 806.742.2405.

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Appointments to Faculty Positions

Searches for and appointments to faculty positions at Texas Tech University follow OP 32.16 and OP 32.17. Original appointment to the faculty of Texas Tech University is confirmed by an official letter from the department chair, school director, area coordinator, or dean, 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 Provost will then send a letter constituting the formal and official offer of appointment. Notification will be given of subsequent changes in rank or salary (OP 32.17).

Awards and Honors

Awards and honors are made to faculty through selection by the Honors and Awards Council, the Texas Tech Association of Parents, Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa, Faculty Development Leave Committee, Research Council, Alumni Association, the Teaching Academy, and deans. Among these awards are the 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, Institutional Effectiveness Award, President's Excellence in Teaching Award, President's Academic Achievement Award, President's Book Award, President's Commercialization Award, President's Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Award, Alumni Association New Faculty Award, Excellence in Equity Award, and the Teaching Academy's Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award. The Texas Tech University System Chancellor's Council offers the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Distinguished Research Award.

The Offices of the Provost and the Vice President for Research & Innovation encourage faculty to apply for various prestigious national awards through the Targeted External Awards for Faculty initiative. These particular awards, when received, garner high recognition nationally and internationally for the individual faculty recipient, his or her colleagues, and Texas Tech University.

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Official Publications