Texas Tech University


[Minor revision–posted 10/4/22 (replaces 11/16/18 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 32.06: Faculty Responsibility

DATE: October 4, 2022

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to ensure understanding and a standardized approach in the handling of faculty responsibilities.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in April of even-numbered years by the Vice Provost for Faculty Success with substantive revisions presented to the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP).


Texas Tech University is a publicly supported institution that is obligated to provide instruction in higher education, to advance knowledge through scholarship and research, and to provide related services to the community, the state, and the nation. As a center for learning, the university has the obligation to maintain conditions that are conducive to freedom of inquiry and expression in the maximum degree compatible with the orderly conduct of its functions.

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.

1.  Teaching

As a teacher, the faculty member has responsibilities to students, to a discipline, to a profession, and to the university. These responsibilities entail facilitating the intellectual and emotional growth of students, encouraging free inquiry in the classroom, and striving to create and maintain a climate of mutual respect that will enhance the free interplay of ideas. A faculty member has a responsibility to recognize the varying needs and capabilities of students and to make every effort to assure that evaluation of a student's work reflects the student's level of achievement. The faculty member as a teacher also has the responsibility to uphold the highest scholarly standards and encourage respect for such standards in the classroom.

Teaching responsibility also includes regular conduct of classes at scheduled periods. Faculty who occasionally cannot meet classes at scheduled periods because of professional responsibilities or illness should arrange for substitute instructors or alternative academic experiences. There is also the responsibility to engage in a continual and critical study of the subject matter of one's discipline to ensure that class presentations contain the most current and useful knowledge and that the course being taught is consistent with the course of study outlined by a department or college.

The faculty member also should recognize the responsibilities of a teacher as a counselor and devote a reasonable portion of time to aiding, guiding, and counseling students outside the classroom. Under no circumstances should a faculty member charge a fee for tutoring students enrolled in the faculty member's classes. Finally, the faculty member has a responsibility to strive to maintain those skills and values that ensure the continuation of free and open inquiry.

Specifically, within the first week of the semester, faculty members must provide a course syllabus that includes:

a.    The course outline;

b.    The expected learning outcomes from the course;

c.    The methods of assessing those outcomes; and

d.    The criteria for grade determination.

Additionally, the faculty member should:

a.    Either through links on Blackboard, links to the required statements on the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development website, or inclusion of university policy statements on the course syllabi, include required policies concerning academic honesty (OP 34.12, Grading Procedures, Including Academic Integrity), special accommodation for students with disabilities (OP 34.22, Establishing Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities), and student absence for observance of a religious holy day (OP 34.19, Student Absence for Observance of Religious Holy Day);

b.    Provide feedback to students on their progress before the last day to withdraw from class;

c.    Check roll for the first two weeks of class and recommend that students not listed on the roll verify their registration; and

d.    Submit grades to the Registrar on or before the due date.

2.  Research/Creative Activity

Through research and creative activity, which may include the scholarship of engagement and the acquisition of external funding, a faculty member grows intellectually, stimulates student learning, and adds to the accumulated knowledge of a discipline. A faculty member should strive constantly to contribute to the growth and understanding of knowledge in one's particular field through research, scholarship, and creative activity. The faculty member has an additional responsibility to share the results of study by disseminating it to students, colleagues, professionals in one's discipline, and to the public.

3.  University Service

A faculty member has a responsibility to participate in the various activities, programs, and functions related to the enhancement of the university such as participating in the formulation of academic policies, serving on university committees, and taking part in other assignments.

4.  Professional Service

Within one's field of competence, and as time and resources permit, the faculty member has a responsibility to respond to requests for advice and aid and to participate in the activities of one's profession. The faculty member should exercise care to avoid infringement upon obligations and responsibilities to the university.

5.  Community Service and Engagement

As a member of a community, the faculty member has the same obligations and responsibilities as those incumbent upon other members of the community. Such services should be consistent with regulations of the university and the state.

6.  In the case of both professional and community service, the faculty member should exercise discretion in distinguishing between acts carried out or statements made as an individual or a professional and those carried out or made as a representative of the university.

Operating Policies & Procedures