FAC 401. Criteria Considered in Recruiting and Hiring Faculty

McPherson College seeks to employ faculty who are compatible with the mission and values of the college, maintaining its identity as a college related to the Church of the Brethren. We seek a diverse faculty, appropriately credentialed, that meets institutional criteria.

Criteria and priorities for a successful hire vary from position to position. Criteria to be considered in the employment of new faculty include in random order (1) the person’s compatibility with the college’s statement of mission; (2) the candidate’s academic credentials; (3) prior experience in education and/or related employment in other professional activities; (4) professional certifications; and (5) demonstrated excellence in teaching.  McPherson College complies with Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines on hiring.  Given a pool of equally qualified candidates, the hiring committee may consider whether a candidate’s diversity will add to the college’s published strategic plan goals.

McPherson College also seeks to identify potential candidates for faculty positions which may become vacant in the near future because of impending retirements, resignations, or other institutional needs. The President and the CAO seek to identify and encourage such persons. If faculty have suggestions for potential McPherson College faculty, they should share those names with the President or the CAO.




FAC 402. Institutional Need

No hire is made at McPherson College without a demonstrated institutional need or a strategic plan that establishes a set of indicators that must be achieved within a specified time frame to justify the position. In addition, college administrators examine the cost of instruction (COI) and monitor the institutional need for existing faculty positions annually. Furthermore, as explained in section 443.2.1, department chairs are required to address the matter of institutional need in the letters they submit as part of comprehensive evaluations.




FAC 402.1 Components of Institutional Need

The following are suggested criteria to be used in assessing the institutional need for new or ongoing faculty positions. These criteria are intended for use as guidelines.

I.  Core issues of mission

  • Is the position supportive of the college’s mission?
  • Is the position consistent with the heritage and/or values of the Church of the Brethren?
  • Does the position support development of the ideal McPherson College graduate?
  • Does the position support community and alumni relations?
  • Does the position support participation in on-campus curricular and co-curricular activities.

II. Cost and system efficiency

  • Is the position necessary for a quality program?
  • Is the program financially viable?
    – Number of majors
    – Number of graduates
    – Number of general education students served
    – Alumni donations
    – Co-curricular participation
  • Does the position make efficient use of campus facilities?
  • Are there other quantitative data demonstrating institutional need such as load hours taught and credit hours generated?



FAC 402.2 Implementation of Institutional Need Criteria

Institutional need criteria will be diligently addressed by the department when requesting the addition of a new position or a new hire for an existing position. This will ensure that every new hire is justifiably needed.

During a faculty member’s comprehensive tenure evaluation (see FAC 443.2.1), the department chair (or division chair, if the faculty member being evaluated is the department chair, or the most senior faculty member of the division if the person is both department and division chair) and the Chief Academic Officer will submit to the Faculty Review Committee evidence relating to institutional need for the position. This justification will be based on information addressing the two categories of criteria: Core Issues of Mission and Cost/System Efficiency.

Issues of institutional need for positions occupied by tenured faculty members not seeking promotion will be addressed through the program review process.




FAC 403. Selection and Employment of New Faculty

As chief administrative officer of the college, the President is authorized to make the final decision on all personnel issues, including the selection and employment of new faculty.

When a faculty vacancy occurs, the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) makes a recommendation to the President as to whether the vacant faculty position should be filled. No faculty position is automatically filled; rather, that position must be justified regarding its continued appropriateness within a liberal arts framework, the continued needs of the college, and the institution’s statement of mission.

To ensure the college’s success in attaining a deep pool of candidates and making the strongest hire possible, this process should be followed:

  1. After the department chair submits an assessment of the institutional need for a new position or a replacement for an existing position, and the administration approves, the President authorizes the CAO to proceed with the search process.
  2. The CAO and the chair of the involved department prepare a position description.
  3. The approved position description is publicized as widely as resources allow.
  4. The CAO calls a search committee called together. The committee selects its chair and establishes a timeline for its work. The search committee generally involves the following constituencies:
  • A representative from the department in which the vacancy occurs—the department chair whenever possible. Departments with three or more members may appoint an additional department member as part of the committee
  • The division chair of the pertinent department or his/her designee
  • An at-large faculty representative from outside the department with the vacancy
  • The CAO or his/her designee
  • Upper-division student representative from department in which the vacancy occurs
  1. The committee may conduct preliminary telephone or video interviews.
  2. In consultation with the CAO, the search committee recommends the candidate(s) to be invited to campus for formal interviews.
  3. An on-campus experience—including a teaching demonstration, an in-depth interview with the search committee, and meetings with the department members and students—is arranged.
  4. The search committee recommends a candidate to the CAO, who carries the recommendation to the President.



FAC 404. Required Faculty Credentials

McPherson College is committed to offering students effective teaching, measurable learning, and academic programs of demonstrated quality. Delivering excellent academic programs requires qualified faculty, that is, faculty with the “ability to understand and convey the essentials of a specific discipline in a collegiate environment…, to engage professionally with colleagues regarding the learning objectives for program graduates …, [and to] possess and demonstrate the full scope of knowledge, skills and dispositions appropriate to the credential awarded” (The Higher Learning Commission, “Determining Qualified Faculty through HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation and Assumed Practices” [March 2016], p. 2). Such qualifications are primarily met by academic credentials but, under certain circumstances, equivalent credentials, such as tested experience in the field of instruction or professional certifications or licenses, can also qualify faculty to fulfill the responsibilities identified by HLC.




FAC 404.1 Minimum Faculty Qualifications

As a rule, undergraduate instructors should possess an earned doctorate or master’s degree relevant to the subject they are teaching. An instructor who holds a master’s degree or higher in a discipline or sub-field other than that in which he or she is teaching may be qualified with a minimum of 18 graduate hours in the discipline or sub-field in which he or she teaches.  In some cases, instructors may be hired on the basis of qualifications other than academic credentials (as described in Section 404.2) or with a binding commitment that the instructor will complete the required degree or graduate hours within an agreed-upon time frame (see FAC 405). In the latter case, the instructor shall serve under the mentorship of a qualified instructor until appropriate credentials are earned. Instructors who have not earned the appropriate academic credentials and who fail to make satisfactory progress toward earning those credentials as described in FAC 405 place themselves at risk of termination.




FAC 404.2 Using Tested Experience and Equivalent Credentials for Determining Faculty Qualifications

In some cases, tested experience or other credentials may be determined equivalent to the degree that would otherwise be required for a teaching assignment. In other cases—especially for those concentrating on applied arts, technical skills, or career preparation—tested experience in the field may be needed as much as or more than formal education. Tested experience is considered to include a breadth and depth of experience outside of the classroom in real-world situations relevant to the discipline in which the faculty member will be teaching. This section establishes guidelines for determining that a faculty member is qualified based on tested experience and/or equivalent credentials.

404.2.1  Equivalent Credentials for Undergraduate Instructors

Most undergraduate instructors who do not hold an earned doctorate or master’s degree in the discipline or subfield in which they teach, or who hold a graduate degree in a different discipline but have not completed at least 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline or subfield in which they teach, must hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably in the discipline or subfield in which they teach, and at least one of the following:

  • Significant tested experience relevant to department-defined course outcomes. The acceptable minimum number of years of experience will vary based upon the level or quality of that experience and will be assessed as part of the procedure for evaluating tested experience described in 404.3.
  • More than 50 percent of the credit hours toward a master’s degree in the discipline or subfield and adequate tested experience relevant to department-defined course outcomes
  • Professional credentials—e.g., licensure or certification in a relevant area—and adequate tested experience relevant to department-defined course outcomes
  • A documented record of recognized achievement, research, or scholarship in the discipline or subfield in which they teach.

In the case of undergraduate instructors teaching skills-based or occupational courses (for example, automotive restoration, photography, or web development and design), significant tested experience alone, without an undergraduate degree, may be determined to be an equivalent credential.

404.2.2 Equivalent Credentials for Graduate Instructors

Graduate instructors who do not hold a terminal degree in the discipline or subfield in which they teach must hold a master’s degree in the discipline or subfield in which they teach, and at least one of the following:

  • Significant tested experience relevant to department-defined course outcomes, as determined as part of the procedure for evaluating tested experience described in 404.3
  • A documented record of recognized research, scholarship or professional achievement in the discipline or subfield in which they teach
  • Additional professional credentials—e.g., licensure or certification in a relevant area.



FAC 404.3 Procedure for Evaluating Faculty Qualifications

The potential instructor shall provide to the Chief Academic Officer a résumé or curriculum vitae and any other documentation relevant to the tested experience guidelines above.

In the case of undergraduate instructors, the CAO will submit the instructor’s materials to the relevant department chair or qualified member of the discipline in which the instructor will teach, who will complete the Faculty Hiring Qualifications form (Appendix 14 in this handbook) and return it to the CAO.

In the case of graduate instructors, the CAO will submit the materials to the director of the graduate program or a qualified member of the discipline in which the instructor will teach, who will complete and return the hiring qualifications form. The candidate’s qualifications will be independently evaluated and a recommendation will be made as to whether the instructor meets minimum qualifications, either by academic or by equivalent credentials.

If the CAO agrees with the reviewers’ evaluations of the materials, the hire can be finalized. A record of the decision to hire shall be kept on file in the Academic Affairs office.




FAC 404.4 Annual Compliance Review

Each September the CAO shall report to Faculty Review Committee all new faculty appointments based upon tested experience or any factor other than academic credentials. FRC may, upon request, review the materials submitted for tested experience appointments. The CAO is accountable for addressing any areas of concern raised by FRC.




FAC 405. Faculty Continued Education Program

McPherson College expects all faculty will possess the minimum academic credentials, the adequate tested experience, or a satisfactory combination of the two as determined in section 404.3 above. Occasionally, however, current faculty or applicants for faculty positions may lack the desired academic credentials or the significant tested experience deemed to qualify them fully for their teaching assignments. In such cases, to remain employed or to be considered for employment, these individuals must complete and sign a Faculty Continued Education Plan (see Appendix 15). An acceptable continued education plan will require the faculty member to complete a minimum of six graduate credit hours per year toward the required degree or the required 18 graduate hours in the field. The plan for continued study will be developed in consultation with the CAO and the department chair. Barring extenuating circumstances, the faculty member must make the planned progress on the continued education plan to remain employed. Deviations from the plan must be authorized by the CAO.




FAC 420. Appointments, Terms, and Conditions

There are five types of faculty appointments: (1) tenure-track appointments (Section 422), (2) appointments with tenure (Section 423), (3) visiting professor on special contract (Section 424), (4) guest professor (Section 425) and (5) adjunct faculty (Section 426).

The contractual instrument for the faculty member is the letter of employment. The terms of employment of a faculty member indicated in any correspondence of the President, Chief Academic Office (CAO), or other representative of the institution must be clearly and completely stated in the letter of employment. The CAO is responsible for ensuring that faculty members are informed of college procedures. Oral agreements must be put into writing to be binding. McPherson College recognizes that the letter of employment is binding for the faculty member and the institution.

The letter of employment will stipulate any exceptions to standard tenure and promotion procedures as described in this Faculty Handbook. The letter of employment will clearly delineate conditions for employment and faculty responsibilities. It will specify any unusual responsibilities and requirements for the particular faculty member. The faculty member will receive the appropriate rank as defined by Section 450 Academic Ranks. Any credit for previous experience must be established in the initial letter of employment or statement of compensation.

If both parties agree that the terms of the letter of employment need modification, then these terms can be renegotiated for subsequent letters of employment.




FAC 421. Appointments, Terms, and Conditions

The contractual instrument for the faculty member is the letter of employment. The terms of employment of a faculty member indicated in any correspondence of the President, Chief Academic Office (CAO), or other representative of the institution must be clearly and completely stated in the letter of employment. The CAO is responsible for ensuring that faculty members are informed of college procedures. Oral agreements must be put into writing to be binding. McPherson College recognizes that the letter of employment is binding with the faculty member and the institution.

The letter of employment will stipulate any exceptions to standard tenure and promotion procedures as described in this Faculty Handbook. The letter of employment will clearly delineate conditions for employment and faculty responsibilities. It specifies any unusual responsibilities and requirements for the particular faculty member. The faculty member will receive the appropriate rank as defined by Section 450 Academic Ranks. Any credit for previous experience must be stated explicitly in writing by the President.

If both parties agree that the terms of the letter of employment need modification, then these terms can be renegotiated for subsequent letters of employment.




FAC 422. Tenure-Track Appointments

A tenure-track appointment is an appointment for a limited duration during which review will be conducted for a tenured appointment. The normal duration of a tenure-track appointment is a maximum of seven years. If a “satisfactory progress toward tenure” letter of employment is issued during the fifth year, the faculty tenure review process will begin in the sixth year of employment (see FAC 460).




FAC 423. Appointments with Tenure

Once tenure is granted, appointments are on a continuing basis. Such an appointment is terminable by the institution only a) after not less than 12 months’ notice to the faculty member, if the termination is on account of financial exigency or discontinuation of the discipline area, or b) for adequate cause. See FAC 460 for an overview of tenure, and see FAC 482 for information on dismissal by institution.




FAC 424. Visiting Professor with Special Contract

This is a fixed-term, conditional appointment. This hire is intended to provide for the possibility of program development and/or later conversion to a tenure-track hire.

 




FAC 425. Guest Professor

A limited-term appointment such as a sabbatical replacement or a guest lecturer. The blend of responsibilities, such as teaching and/or administrative duties, will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the administration and department chair. This contract has a fixed end date, with the assumption that the contract will not be renewed.




FAC 426. Part-time and Adjunct Faculty




FAC 426.1 Part-time Faculty

A part-time faculty appointment is an appointment with academic rank of half-time or less. These appointments are limited-term (typically one year) and are available for indefinite renewal. Review of part-time faculty follows the procedures for summative reviews outlined in FAC 442.1.




FAC 426.2 Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct faculty appointments are part-time temporary faculty appointments for one or more courses. These appointments are on a course-by-course basis. Responsibilities are limited to classroom instruction and teaching. Adjunct faculty are expected to be available outside the classroom for student appointments. Review of adjunct faculty follows the procedures outlined in FAC 444.




FAC 427. Administrative Personnel with Academic Rank

The classification of administrative faculty shall be used for those individuals whose primary responsibilities are administrative. Individuals who earn faculty rank and then become administrative faculty retain faculty rank and/or tenure and may advance in academic rank. Administrative faculty may be assigned an academic rank in the letter of appointment.

Administrative personnel who hold academic rank are subject to this handbook in their capacity as faculty members. Discipline of administrative faculty who hold academic rank shall take place in accordance with the provisions of this handbook concerning faculty discipline. Administrative faculty shall have the same grievance rights as other faculty.




FAC 431. Obligations of Faculty Member to Institution

Faculty are responsible for preparing required reports in a timely manner; regularly attending department, division, and faculty meetings; and serving on committees as elected or assigned. Failure to attend to these responsibilities will be considered as a part of the faculty evaluation process.




FAC 440. Faculty Evaluation Purpose and Philosophy




FAC 440.1 Purpose

Regular faculty evaluation aims to advance the college’s mission by developing faculty who model scholarship, participation, and service and who continually strive for excellence in the teaching/learning process. Participation in evaluation offers faculty the opportunity to identify and assess their growth as teachers and their contributions to the advancement of the mission of the college. The intent is to offer a guide for professional goal setting and to provide constructive and balanced information to help faculty members fulfill their academic responsibilities. Evaluations also allow the college to determine whether faculty are effectively fulfilling their responsibilities. Evaluations are central to decisions regarding contract renewal, promotion, and tenure.




FAC 440.2 Philosophy

McPherson College’s evaluation procedures are grounded in the following philosophical positions:

  • The primary goal for McPherson College faculty is excellence in all matters of teaching and learning. The college’s evaluation procedures focus on helping and encouraging faculty members to develop their teaching effectiveness in order to continually improve student learning.
  • McPherson College’s mission is to develop whole persons. Faculty should strive to exemplify the wholeness the college hopes to produce in students; therefore, the evaluation process considers faculty members’ scholarship, participation, and service.
  • Faculty contribute to the college and their communities in various ways; therefore, individual faculty members may prioritize how the criteria of scholarship, participation and service are to be considered in the evaluation process. Faculty Review Committee recognizes that faculty evaluation must be sensitive to the range and impact of teaching contexts.
  • Faculty undergoing review should not be overburdened by the evaluation process. The evaluation procedures described in this handbook have been designed to allow faculty undergoing reviews to maintain their focus on their classroom performance. An effort has been made to ensure the quantity and extent of required evaluation materials is reasonable and to distribute the production of evaluation materials throughout the academic year and across the careers of faculty members.



FAC 441. Evaluation and the Elements of Professional Practice

To guide Faculty Review Committee in making fair and equitable judgments in the evaluation process and to assist faculty in completing self-evaluations, McPherson College faculty have adopted the Basic Elements of Professional Practice, organized into the domains Teaching, Scholarship, Participation, and Service. In summative reviews (see FAC 443, especially Section 443.1.2), the elements in Domain I: Teaching constitute the principal criteria for contract decisions. In addition, in comprehensive evaluations (see FAC 443, especially Section 443.2.2), faculty address Domains II-IV in their self-evaluations; however, faculty rank those domains according to the influence they wish each domain to carry in their evaluation.

Faculty Review Committee recognizes that the teaching/learning process is complex; not every basic element of professional practice is relevant to every teacher, and the list may well omit elements of practice that are critical in the performance of some teachers. Both the rubric and the checklist included in Appendix 12: The Basic Elements of Professional Practice are intended as guides. FRC does not systematically use either the rubric or the checklist in the faculty evaluation process; neither is there an expectation that a faculty member will systematically address the listed elements in their Professional Development Plans or comprehensive evaluation materials. Faculty are encouraged to be familiar with the Elements of Professional Practice and to use them as guides in assessing their strengths and weaknesses as a McPherson College faculty member.




FAC 442. Annual Evaluation Activities For All Faculty




FAC 442.1 Student Course Evaluations

Regardless of an instructor’s rank or type of appointment (see FAC 422-426), students evaluate instructors of every regularly scheduled course using a nationally normed, standardized survey instrument adopted by the college. The results of these surveys are available to the faculty member and department chairs for formative purposes and to the Faculty Review Committee for summative purposes.




FAC 442.2 The Professional Development Plan

All faculty members teaching half time or more (excluding guest professors; see FAC 425) must submit an annual Professional Development Plan (PDP) to their department chair and the chief academic officer. The PDP provides faculty members an opportunity to reflect on their performance in the past year as measured by the criteria of teaching, scholarship, participation, and service. In addition, the PDP provides faculty members a place to record their goals for the coming year. Candor and realism are important qualities of the Professional Development Plan.

442.2.1 Content of the Professional Development Plan

The Professional Development Plan (PDP) comprises two parts: (I) Projects and Goals and (II) Mission Objectives.

I. Projects and Goals

This section of the PDP lists the faculty member’s goals for the previous year and briefly reports on success in achieving those goals. It should explain the circumstances that prevented the completion of projects or attainment of goals.

This section should also enumerate the projects and goals for the coming year and explain how the completion of these projects or the accomplishment of these goals will contribute to the larger goals of the department and/or the college.

Finally, this section may specify ways the college can assist with the completion of the faculty member’s projects and goals.

II.  Mission Objectives

The college’s mission is “to develop whole persons through scholarship, participation, and service.” The faculty member’s most important function is to teach effectively in order to maximize student learning. This section of the PDP reflects briefly upon the faculty member’s involvement and growth in the areas of teaching and learning, scholarship, participation, and service. Faculty seeking guidance for this section of PDP should refer to 442.2.2 for suggested content and examples.

When complete, the PDP should be approximately 750 words. A template for the Professional Development Plan is available on the college Intranet site.

442.2.2 Annual Professional Development Plan Procedures

First-year faculty members submit their PDPs to their department chairs and the Academic Affairs office by January 15; returning faculty, by October 1. After receiving the PDP, department chairs meet with faculty members individually to discuss the PDPs. (Chairs may meet with the CAO for review of their own PDPs.) Following the meeting, the chair writes an evaluative response and shares it with the faculty member, who signs to acknowledge receipt of the response. Faculty members who take issue with the chair’s evaluations may append a statement of his or her disagreement to be filed with the chair’s response. In the case of returning faculty, the chair’s evaluation with the faculty member’s comments will be forwarded to the CAO by November 1. In the case of first-year faculty, the response and any comments shall be submitted by February 1.




FAC 443. Evaluation of Tenure-track and Tenured Faculty

There are two levels of review for tenured and tenure-track faculty at McPherson College: (1) Summative reviews occur in the first, second, and fifth years of employment. Faculty Review Committee may require a fourth-year summative review when there are ongoing conditions to be met. (2) Comprehensive evaluations occur in the third year of employment, in the years of application for tenure and/or promotion, and every fifth year following the granting of tenure.

Summative reviews require little additional work on the part of the faculty member beyond the annual evaluation activities required of all faculty, as explained in FAC 441. Comprehensive evaluations require the faculty member to submit updated vitas and an additional self-evaluation of 5-10 pages (see Section 443.2).

The final authority over matters of employment is the President, who is empowered to override Faculty Review Committee recommendations when, in his or her judgment, such an action seems in the best interest of the institution. In cases in which the President intends to transmit to the Board of Trustees a recommendation that reverses or substantively alters the recommendation of Faculty Review Committee, the President shall communicate to Faculty Review Committee in writing the basis for the change in the recommendation.

The faculty evaluation procedure is set forth in more detail below. A table summarizing the stages of the college’s evaluation procedures, including deadlines for submission of materials and/or notifications, can be found in Section 448.




FAC 443.1 Summative Reviews

The purposes of summative reviews are to ensure that the faculty member’s performance is satisfactory and to help the new faculty member develop professionally. Following review of all evaluation materials, Faculty Review Committee composes a Faculty Evaluation Report, which is delivered to the faculty member by the CAO. The report cites strengths and weaknesses and offers recommendations for professional growth.

Summative reviews occur in the first, second, and fifth years of employment. A fourth-year summative review may also be required if the third-year comprehensive evaluation specifies areas needing improvement prior to the fifth-year review. A summative review that raises serious concerns about the faculty member’s performance can trigger a comprehensive evaluation that could result in nonrenewal as described in the remainder of this handbook section.

443.1.1 Summative Review Materials

The only materials required from faculty undergoing a summative review are the annual Professional Development Plan and the course syllabi submitted prior to the beginning of each semester.

Faculty Review Committee is provided with the materials below for each summative review.

  1. A classroom observation report provided by the Chief Academic Officer or designee. The observation visit will be scheduled for a class and date mutually acceptable to the faculty member and the observer. The classroom observation is guided by a rubric based on Domain I of McPherson College’s “Elements of Professional Practice Checklist” (see Appendix 12).
  2. Student course evaluations for all courses, administered in the final weeks of each semester. Summary reports of student evaluations are available online to both FRC and the faculty member.
  3. Two course syllabi selected by the faculty member. Because faculty members submit their course syllabi to Academic Affairs prior to the first day of class, all that is required is that the faculty member notify the Academic Affairs office of the two syllabi to be provided to FRC.
  4. The faculty member’s Professional Development Plan (PDP), as described in Section 441. For first-year faculty, the PDP should be submitted to the department chair and the CAO by January 15. All returning faculty submit PDPs no later than October 1.
  5. The department chair’s summary evaluation and response to the faculty member’s PDP, as described in 441.2.2.

443.1.2 Summative Review Criteria

Unless there are other issues requiring attention, Faculty Review Committee keeps its focus in the summative review on the faculty member’s classroom performance, relying primarily on the criteria listed in Domain I of the Elements of Professional Practice for McPherson College Faculty. (See Appendix 12 for details.)

443.1.3 Summative Review Procedures

First-year review. The PDP is submitted to the CAO and department chair by January 15. The chair writes an evaluative response, meets with the faculty member to discuss the response, and submits it with any comments from the faculty member to the CAO by February 1. Faculty Review Committee completes summative reviews of first-year faculty and forwards its recommendations to the President by March 1. By March 15, the CAO will have delivered FRC’s Faculty Evaluation Report to first-year faculty members. The report shall indicate one of two possible decisions: (1) notice of a one-year letter of employment for the following academic year or (2) notice of nonrenewal.

Second-year review. The annual PDP and the chair’s response are submitted as explained in FAC 442. Faculty Review Committee will forward its recommendations on second-year (and fourth-year faculty, if necessary) to the President by January 15. By February 15, the CAO will deliver FRC’s evaluation report to the faculty member. The report shall indicate one of two possible decisions: (1) notice of a one-year letter of employment or (2) notice of nonrenewal.

If a faculty member is required to undergo a fourth-year summative review, FRC may also request an additional comprehensive evaluation prior to the application for tenure or promotion.

Fifth-year review. The annual PDP and the chair’s response are submitted as explained in FAC 442. By March 1 of the fifth year, the faculty member shall receive one of two possible decisions: (1) a notice of a one-year “satisfactory progress toward tenure” letter of employment (while not constituting a promise of tenure and not indicating that a tenure decision has been made, such a letter does indicate that the faculty member is progressing satisfactorily toward a likely eventual grant of tenure, assuming equally satisfactory future progress); or (2) notice of non-renewal and a one-year terminal letter of employment.




FAC 443.2 Comprehensive Evaluations

Comprehensive evaluations take place in the third year of employment and in the years in which a faculty member applies for tenure and/or promotion. Following the granting of tenure, a comprehensive evaluation takes place in the third year, in the year when the faculty member applies for promotion, and otherwise at five-year intervals. In addition, Faculty Review Committee can require additional comprehensive evaluations if a faculty member’s regular summative review or comprehensive evaluation has raised serious concerns about the faculty member’s performance.

The purpose of the comprehensive evaluation in the third year of employment and the years of application for tenure or promotion is to ensure that the faculty member meets McPherson College’s standards for teaching, scholarship, participation, and service at a level that merits advancement to the next stage of employment. The purpose of the post-tenure comprehensive evaluation is to encourage experienced faculty to reflect upon their current standing as a teacher and model of the college’s mission and to create a plan for continued growth in their teaching, scholarship, participation, and service.

443.2.1 Comprehensive Evaluation Materials

Academic Affairs provides Faculty Review Committee with the same materials provided for summative reviews. However, some additional material is required of faculty members undergoing comprehensive evaluation.

The following materials are provided by Academic Affairs and the CAO:

  1. A classroom observation report provided by the Chief Academic Officer or designee. The observation visit will be scheduled for a class and date mutually acceptable to the faculty member and the observer. The classroom observation is guided by a rubric based on McPherson College’s “Elements of Professional Practice Checklist” (see Appendix 12).
  2. Student course evaluations for all courses, administered in the final weeks of each semester. Summary reports of student evaluations are available online to both FRC and the faculty member.
  3. An evaluative letter from the department chair that addresses the faculty member’s knowledge of content and pedagogy, course design and preparation, and any other information related to the faculty member’s classroom performance, collegial relationships, and responsibilities to the department. This evaluation is solicited by the CAO. In the tenure year, this evaluation shall also address institutional need for the position (see FAC 402).

The following comprehensive evaluation materials (CEM) are due by October 15:

  1. Professional Development Plans (PDPs) from the past three years.
  2. A self-evaluation of 5-10 pages that discusses the faculty member’s growth in the areas of teaching, scholarship, participation and service. More information on suggested content for the self-evaluation and evaluation criteria is provided below in Section 443.2.2 Comprehensive Evaluation Criteria.
  3. Two to four representative course syllabi. When possible, the faculty member should select syllabi from a range of courses, for example, syllabi from general education or lower-level courses and syllabi from upper-division courses for majors.
  4. A detailed, current curriculum vitae. The CV should include (along with the usual information about professional life) courses taught, committee work, college and community service, and professional development activities.
  5. At the faculty member’s request, the comprehensive evaluation may also include an interview with Faculty Review Committee. The CAO facilitates the interview and provides for a written record of the interview.

443.2.2 Comprehensive Evaluation Criteria

Comprehensive evaluations prioritize the faculty member’s classroom performance, but the comprehensive evaluation also gives attention to the faculty member’s scholarship, participation, and service. These criteria are listed in Domains II–IV in the Elements of Professional Practice for McPherson College Faculty (Appendix 12). In the self-evaluation, the faculty may rank these final three criteria, so that Faculty Review Committee may give more or less weight to those criteria, depending upon their rank.

In addition to the Elements of Professional Practice, the following list of suggested content may guide faculty members in the development of their CEM self-evaluation. (And so may Part II of their PDPs. See Section 441.2.1 above.)

Teaching and Learning. Effective teaching is the faculty member’s most important function at McPherson College. In reflecting upon this primary criterion, the faculty member might discuss:

  • Trends observed in student evaluations
  • New methods or changes in teaching style that have improved (or failed to improve) student engagement or learning
  • Data or observations regarding student learning
  • Formal professional development, such as attendance at a conference or workshop aimed at developing teaching skills or reading or viewing work on the art and science of teaching
  • Informal professional development, such as peer observations or time spent with a mentor

Scholarship. McPherson College takes a broad view of scholarship consistent with Ernest Boyer’s four categories of scholarship: the scholarship of discovery, integration, application, and teaching.[1] In addition to scholarly publications and presentations, examples of scholarship might include:

  • Familiarity with recent developments in the field
  • Active participation in an online platform or listserv for peers in the field
  • Involvement in professional organizations
  • Completed coursework toward another degree
  • Completion of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or other online courses
  • Maintaining a blog on issues related to the field
  • Incorporation of new techniques or ideas into the faculty member’s work at the college
  • Development of new or substantially revised courses or curricula
  • Development of innovative teaching materials/strategies
  • Support or development of community activities connected to the academic discipline
  • Media contributions (newspaper, magazine, etc.)

Participation. Community and the individual’s responsibility to others are core values at McPherson College. Participation in the college community might include:

  • Constructive participation in faculty, division, and department meetings; committees, task forces, and work groups; program reviews; strategic planning; etc.
  • Representation of the college to off-campus groups
  • Contributions to responsible academic advising
  • Sponsoring clubs or co-curricular events
  • Cooperation with admissions events such as Visit Days, Presidential Scholars, and Enrollment Days and making oneself available to meet with prospective students
  • Participation in or attendance at college functions and events such as lectures, athletic contests, and music and theater productions
  • Collegiality and effective collaboration and cooperation with colleagues.

Service. As an institution affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, McPherson College values service as an ethical and theological imperative that makes visible the love of God. Therefore, McPherson College emphasizes service to others, encouraging all members of its community to give selflessly of themselves to others. Examples of service may include

  • Leading college service work-teams or volunteering for service trips or projects
  • Organizing or participating in efforts to help the hungry, homeless, and otherwise marginalized
  • Volunteering for service of any type, such as delivering Meals on Wheels or canvasing for United Way
  • Volunteering service to the college in leadership positions, such as department/division/faculty/committee chair
  • Volunteering to prepare reports not required by the faculty member’s duties
  • Filling leadership roles in or participating in church, civic organizations, or local or state government
  • Involvement in informal or formal efforts at community betterment

443.2.3 Comprehensive Evaluation Procedures

Third-year comprehensive evaluations. Comprehensive evaluation materials must be submitted by October 15. Faculty Review Committee will complete its evaluation of third-year faculty members and forward its recommendations to the President by January 15. By February 15, third-year faculty members shall receive FRC’s Faculty Evaluation Report, including one of three possible decisions:

  1. A notice of “satisfactory progress toward tenure” and a one-year letter of employment. While not constituting a promise of tenure and not indicating that a tenure decision has been made, such a letter does indicate that the faculty member is progressing satisfactorily toward a likely eventual grant of tenure, assuming equally satisfactory future progress and continuing institutional need for the position;
  2. A one-year letter of employment, with conditions stated for further growth to maintain employment; or
  3. A notice of nonrenewal and a one-year terminal letter of employment.

Comprehensive evaluations for tenure and promotion. Letters of application for tenure and/or promotion must be submitted to the CAO by October 1 of the review year. CEMs are due by October 15; department chair evaluations, by November 1. FRC will complete its evaluations of candidates for tenure and/or promotion and forward its recommendation to the President by December 15. By March 1, candidates shall receive notification of one of three possible recommendations by the President to the Board of Trustees:

  1. Recommendation for tenure;
  2. A one-year continuing letter of employment under special circumstances, with continuation after this letter of employment subject to review by Faculty Review Committee; or
  3. Notice of nonrenewal and a one-year terminal letter of employment.

Following the spring meeting of the Board of Trustees, candidates shall receive final notice about the tenure and/or promotion decision.

Post-tenure comprehensive evaluations. CEMs are due by October 15. FRC completes post-tenure evaluations by March 1. By March 15, the CAO will communicate one of two possible responses:

  1. A statement that the faculty member is continuing to provide excellent service to the college; or
  2. A statement of concerns needing attention or suggestions for further growth.

[1] Scholarship Reconsidered: The Priorities of the Professoriate. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990. 15-25.




FAC 444. Evaluation of Visiting Professors with Special Contract

Visiting Professors with Special Contract are fixed-term hires intended to provide for the possibility of program development and/or later conversion to tenure-track (see FAC 424). In general, these appointments follow the evaluation procedures for tenure-track positions as described in FAC 443. A visiting professor with special contract will have additional evaluation criteria spelled out in the initial letter of employment regarding expected program growth or the conditions to be met in order for the appointment to be converted to tenure track.




FAC 445. Review of Guest Professors

FAC 445. Review of Guest Professors

Guest professors are hired for limited terms with fixed end dates (see FAC 425). Guest professors undergo the summative review process described in Section 443.1.




FAC 446. Review of Adjuncts

The CAO and the department chairs are responsible for evaluating the performance of adjunct faculty. (See Section 426 for definition of adjunct faculty.) The supervising department chair will inform adjuncts of evaluation procedures, and the CAO’s office will collect evaluative materials from adjuncts and forward them to department chairs. Data to be collected from adjuncts include vita (which should be on file in the CAO’s Office), syllabi, and student evaluations from each course taught. After reviewing these materials at the end of the semester, the chair should complete the Limited-Term Appointment Evaluation Report form (see Appendix) and forward it to the adjunct faculty and the CAO.




FAC 448. Summary of Faculty Review Dates

 

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 5 Tenure Promotion Post-tenure
Oct 1 PDP PDP PDP App letter
PDP
App letter
PDP
PDP
Oct 15  CEM CEM CEM CEM
Nov 1 Chair
response
Chair
response
Chair
response
Chair
evaluation
Chair
evaluation
Chair
response
Dec 15 Rec to
President
Rec to
President
Jan 15 PDP due Rec to
President
Rec to
President
Feb 1 Chair response
Feb 15 Rec to
faculty
Rec to
faculty
Rec to
President
CAO
interview
Mar 1 Rec to
President
Rec to
faculty
Rec to
faculty
Rec to
faculty
Spring Bd Approval/
denial
Approval/
denial
Mar 15 Rec to
faculty
FRC
response

 




FAC 450. Academic Ranks

McPherson College recognizes five ranks:

  1. Instructor: Master’s degree required, or completion within five years, or acceptable equivalent credentials or tested experience as determined under FAC 404.
  2. Assistant Professor: Master’s degree or terminal degree, as determined under FAC 451, or acceptable equivalent credentials or tested experience as determined under FAC 404.
  3. Associate Professor: Terminal degree, as determined under FAC 451, or acceptable equivalent credentials or tested experience as determined under FAC 404; evidence of professional growth; plus a minimum of six years teaching experience at McPherson College at the rank of assistant professor.
  4. Professor: Terminal degree, as determined under FAC 451, or acceptable equivalent credentials or tested experience as determined under FAC 404; evidence of professional growth; outstanding contributions to fulfillment of the college’s mission; plus 12 years teaching experience in higher education, with at least six years at McPherson College at the rank of associate professor.
  5. Emeritus: Retired from McPherson College; taught a minimum of 15 years at McPherson College; contributed outstanding service to McPherson College; review by the Faculty Review Committee within three years following retirement.

In addition to the five rank categories listed above, McPherson College uses the classification of Adjunct to denote persons who are hired on a course-by-course, semester-by-semester basis (see FAC 426.2).

Exceptions to the above will be clearly established in the letter of employment.




FAC 451. Definition of Terminal Degree

The terminal degree at McPherson College is the earned academic doctorate.

Certain positions may have an approved exception to the requirement of an earned doctorate. The list of approved exceptions is on file in the office of the CAO.




FAC 452. Procedure for Approving Exceptions to the Terminal Degree

Faculty Policies Committee may recommend to the President that an exception be made to the requirement of the earned doctorate for certain positions. Such an exception would be based on input of the department and its division. This procedure may be initiated by the department, division, FPC, or the CAO, in consultation with the President.




FAC 460. Tenure

A faculty tenure system exists at McPherson College. Tenure provides academic freedom and security to make the academic profession attractive to able, dedicated, ethical and creative scholars and teachers. Tenure ensures that employment of a faculty member will not be terminated except in the case of discontinuation of the discipline area, financial exigency suffered by McPherson College, dissolution of the college as a legal entity, or dismissal for cause as defined by FAC 490 in this Faculty Handbook.

.




FAC 460.1 Obtaining Tenure

Unless otherwise specified in the initial letter of employment, faculty members must undergo the rigorous sequence of evaluations explained in FAC 443 to successfully attain tenure. Faculty members hired on a tenure track must submit a letter indicating their intent to undergo tenure review by October 1 of the tenure review year (usually the sixth year of employment). The faculty member must submit by October 15 of the tenure review year the Comprehensive Evaluation Materials described in FAC 443.2.  The procedure for applying for tenure is described in 442.2.3.




FAC 460.2 Discontinuation of a Tenured Position

Before terminating an appointment because of financial exigency or discontinuation of the discipline area, the institution, with faculty participation, will make every effort to place the faculty member concerned in another suitable position with the institution.

A “suitable position,” as used in the preceding sentence, shall be one for which the faculty member possesses demonstrated qualifications that clearly make him or her suitable to receive tenure in such new position immediately. If the faculty member accepts such a “suitable position,” the faculty member shall, in such new position, retain his or her existing tenure. Whether an available position is a “suitable position” (with tenure retention) shall be decided by the President, in consultation with the Faculty Review Committee, and shall be stated in writing when the position is offered to the faculty member.

A tenured faculty member whose employment is terminated by reason of the elimination of the discipline area or financial exigency and for whom a suitable position is not available, shall for a period of one year following the termination of the faculty member’s position (but not extending past the time the faculty member obtains new full-time employment at any institution of higher learning) be advised of all open faculty positions at McPherson College. During this time, if he or she chooses to apply for any such position, the terminated faculty member shall have preference over any other applicant for such position who, in the judgment of the President in consultation with the Faculty Review Committee, does not possess superior qualifications. If the faculty member is hired for such position, the CAO shall assign his or her academic rank in the new position. The provisions of this section shall also apply to administrative personnel with academic rank, as defined by FAC 424.




FAC 465. Promotion

Unless otherwise specified in the initial letter of employment, new full-time faculty members are brought in at the rank of assistant professor and are eligible to apply for promotion when the minimum time at the required rank has been served, as defined in FAC 450. The procedure for applying for promotion is described in FAC 443.2.3.

 




FAC 470. Academic Freedom

McPherson College works to select faculty members who are not only competent teachers but are also in harmony with the mission of the college. Members of the faculty, by choosing to contribute to the achievement of the college mission, enjoy full freedom to pursue the truth and to teach the truth as they see it. The college has chosen to follow the 1940 Statement of Principles of Academic Freedom as amended in 1990 and endorsed by the Association of American Colleges, the American Association of University Professors, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the American Association for Higher Education, the Council of Independent Colleges, and other organizations. The statement is as follows:

Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.

Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects, but should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to the subject. Limitations of academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment.

College or university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As men and women of learning and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not institutional spokespersons.

This section on academic freedom applies to all faculty members.




FAC 481. Termination of Appointment at Initiative of Faculty Member

A faculty member who desires to terminate an existing appointment at the end of the academic year shall give notice in writing at the earliest opportunity, or within 30 days after the letter of appointment is delivered.  The faculty member may request a waiver of this requirement in cases of hardship or in a situation where she would otherwise be denied substantial professional advancement.




FAC 482. Dismissal by Institution

Termination of a tenured faculty member, early dismissal of a Professor with Special Contract, or the non-renewal of a tenure-track appointment with less advance notice than that specified in Sections 440 and 460 shall be preceded by a statement of reasons and the opportunity to be heard by a hearing committee as specified in Section 491. If the faculty member’s professional competence is in question, the testimony will include that of qualified faculty members from this or other institutions of higher education.




FAC 483. Non-reappointment of Non-tenured Faculty

If a non-tenured faculty member alleges that a decision not to reappoint him/her is a violation of academic freedom (as found in FAC 470), the Faculty Review Committee will consider the allegation. If the committee finds against the faculty member, he/she may appeal through the established grievance procedure described in Section 491. If the committee finds in favor of the faculty member, the President shall take the finding and rationale into account. However, the President is not bound by the finding and retains the right and responsibility to make the final decision.




FAC 484. Conditions of Administrative Leave

A faculty member may be placed on administrative leave before a termination decision if immediate harm to the faculty member, students, or the institution may result from continuance. Salary will be paid during an appropriate period of notice.




FAC 485. Terms of Replacement

If a tenure appointment is terminated because of a financial exigency, the released faculty member’s position will not be filled within a period of two years, unless the released faculty member has been offered reappointment and has declined.




FAC 490 Faculty Disciplinary Proceedings

The procedures outlined below are adapted from current laws and the Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings (prepared by a joint committee representing the Association of American Colleges and the American Association of University Professors and approved by the governing bodies of these institutions in 1989 and 1990, respectively).

Effective disciplinary proceedings look beyond procedure into setting and cause, and the college is best served by the cultivation of conditions in which discipline is rarely if ever needed. Just as the Board of Trustees is the legal and fiscal corporation of the college, the faculty is the academic entity. Thus college faculties are part of a complex and extensive structure requiring legal incorporation, with stewards and managers specifically appointed to discharge certain functions. A necessary precondition of a strong faculty is that it has first-hand concern with its own membership. This is properly reflected in appointments to, discipline of, and separations from the faculty body.

While disciplinary proceedings may be a rare occurrence at the college, it is important that the college establish disciplinary procedures. The college should establish and execute disciplinary proceedings so that both institutional integrity and individual rights may be preserved. The faculty must be willing to recommend the discipline or dismissal of a colleague when necessary. By the same token, presidents and governing boards must be willing to give full weight to a faculty judgment favorable to a colleague.




FAC 490. Faculty Disciplinary Proceedings

FAC 490.1 Introductory Comments

FAC 490.2 Grounds for Faculty Discipline

FAC 490.3 Procedural Guidelines

FAC 490.4 Overview of Faculty Disciplinary Proceedings




FAC 490.1 Grounds for Faculty Discipline

Faculty discipline may include any discipline that President determines to be appropriate in the particular case. Discipline may include dismissal but, without limitation, may include lesser measures such as oral or written reprimand, suspension without pay, mandatory counseling, or supervision or mentoring by faculty or administrative personnel.

Grounds for discipline include any substandard performance or misconduct by the faculty member that justifies corrective action by the college. Grounds for discipline include but are not limited to:

  • conduct involving dishonesty or moral turpitude that directly impacts the performance of a job;
  • conduct seriously injurious to the interests of the college (but not including speech or conduct protected by academic freedom, see FAC 470);
  • acts carried out with the intent and purpose of causing injury to the college;
  • violation of college rules or policies, including, without limitation, prohibited harassment of any kind, such as sexual harassment;
  • intentional misrepresentation of professional education, qualifications, accomplishments, degrees, or honors;
  • violation of standards of scholarship, including, without limitation, plagiarism, theft, or fraud;
  • professional incompetence.

Grounds for dismissal are any grounds for discipline that justify the conclusion that the faculty member’s continued service at the college undermines the pursuit of the mission of the college.




FAC 490.2 Procedural Guidelines

The following procedure and timeline are designed to be timely and fair. While this process and timeline should generally be adhered to, deviations from the process and timeline that do not affect the fundamental fairness of the proceedings will not affect the validity of such proceedings. Since allegations that may call for faculty discipline create a cloud over both the institution and the affected faculty member, all parties should strive to complete such proceedings as expeditiously as possible, without sacrifice of the fundamental goal of fairness.

When problems in the performance or behavior of a faculty member arise, the chief academic officer, or CAO, is responsible for gathering information and for working with human resources, the president, or others as the CAO sees fit to determine one of two disciplinary paths: discipline not involving dismissal or discipline involving the possibility of dismissal.

490.2.1 Faculty Discipline Not Involving Dismissal: Seeking a Resolution

When the CAO chooses to pursue disciplinary actions not involving dismissal, the CAO is responsible for proposing the discipline. The CAO will discuss the matter with the faculty member in a personal conference in an attempt to reach a resolution. The faculty member may either accept the proposed discipline or reject the proposed discipline and appeal in writing to the Faculty Review Committee (FRC).

When the faculty member appeals the proposed discipline, FRC, working in consultation with the DHR, shall attempt to effect a mutually agreeable resolution. The faculty member, the CAO, or FRC can request that this process include a meeting with FRC.

FRC may choose to uphold the decision of the CAO, offer a different disciplinary action, or find that disciplinary action is unwarranted . If FRC elects to modify or reject the recommendation of the CAO, FRC’s proposed change must receive the approval of the president. If FRC upholds the CAO’s proposed discipline, the faculty member may appeal FRC’s decision in writing to the president of the college. The President may reject, uphold, or modify the decision of FRC, and the President’s decision is final.

490.2.2. Faculty Discipline Involving Possible Dismissal: Seeking a Resolution.

When the CAO elects to pursue disciplinary actions that include the possibility of dismissal, the CAO, acting in consultation with the DHR, will discuss the matter with the faculty member in a personal conference. The matter may be concluded by mutual consent, e.g., a severance agreement.

If the faculty member and the CAO do not agree upon a solution, the CAO will forward the question of faculty dismissal to the Faculty Review Committee. FRC, working in consultation with the DHR, shall inquire into the situation and try to reach a solution. Faculty Review Committee shall consider the case based on the available information. At the request of either FRC or the affected faculty member, this process may include a meeting of FRC with the individual faculty member.

FRC shall chose choose one of the three findings below, submitting its recommendation in writing to the president. The recommendation shall specifically state the grounds for, and the reasoning behind, its finding. The recommendation shall be delivered within twenty (20) working days from the date the faculty member declined the CAO’s proposed resolution.

The findings available to FRC include

1) that disciplinary action is not needed;

2) that the issue does not merit dismissal but that the faculty member should be disciplined by means designated by FRC; or

3) that there are grounds for formal dismissal proceedings.

The faculty member or the CAO may appeal FRC’s decision in writing to the president of the college. The president may reject, uphold, or modify the decision of FRC. In the case of Finding 3), the college and the affected faculty member may agree either to pursue mediation (490.2.3) or to commence formal dismissal proceedings (490.2.4).

490.2.3. Third-Party Mediation

If the college finds and FRC confirms that grounds for dismissal proceedings exist, the college (through the President or CAO) and the affected faculty member may jointly choose mediation. If mediation is to be used, it must be chosen within five (5) working days of the college’s decision. The college and the affected faculty member shall jointly choose a mediator at the college’s expense. At any point, either party may unilaterally end mediation.

If no mutually agreed-upon resolution has been reached following the above procedures, formal dismissal proceedings will commence.

490.2.4. Commencement of Formal Dismissal Proceedings

Within five (5) working days after it is determined that formal dismissal proceedings are to take place, the President and Faculty Review Committee shall formulate a joint statement (the “Statement”) of the grounds for dismissal; however, if the President and Faculty Review Committee disagree, the President (or the President’s designee) shall formulate such Statement.

Formal dismissal proceedings shall commence with a written communication from the President to the affected faculty member, containing a copy of the written Statement, described above. At the same time, the affected faculty member shall be informed in writing that he or she has five (5) days after receipt of the Statement to request a formal hearing concerning the proposed grounds for dismissal. The faculty member shall be provided with this handbook and reminded of the process outlined therein.

At least five (5) working days before the scheduled hearing, the affected faculty member shall inform the President and the Hearing Committee in writing of his or her position with respect to a formal hearing. If it is the faculty member’s desire to proceed with a hearing, a time and date that allows the faculty member sufficient time to prepare his or her defense shall be set. Reasonable requests for rescheduling should be granted, subject to the need for the proceedings to take place in a timely fashion.

490.2.5. Hearing Procedures

(a) Hearing Committee Composition

The formal hearing shall be conducted by a Hearing Committee of three (3) full-time faculty members. This Hearing Committee will be responsible for making a final recommendation to the President. One member of the Hearing Committee shall be chosen by the affected faculty member; another shall be chosen by the President. The third member of the Hearing Committee shall be jointly chosen by the other two Hearing Committee members. If the two members cannot agree upon a third member in a timely fashion, the CAO or the President can ask Faculty Review Committee to appoint the third person. The faculty recommends that the choice of members of the hearing committee be on the basis of their objectivity and competence, and the regard in which they are held in the academic community. If a member refuses to serve, resigns, or becomes unable to serve, he or she shall be replaced by the party or parties appointing him or her. The Hearing Committee will elect its own chair. The affected faculty member and the President shall make their selections for the Hearing Committee not later than ten (10) working days after the delivery of the Statement of Grounds for Discipline to the affected faculty member.

(b) Hearing Committee Proceedings

Faculty disciplinary hearings are not open to the public. However, the Hearing Committee may invite whoever is required to ensure that the hearing is fair and that all relevant facts are presented. If any material facts are in dispute, the testimony of witnesses and other evidence related to the Statement of Grounds for Discipline should be received. The legal rules of evidence will not be applicable, but the Hearing Committee should conduct its proceedings to ensure that evidence is reliable and received in an orderly way. The statements of witnesses may be received under oath or affirmation. Unsworn statements may be received if the Hearing Committee deems this appropriate.

The Hearing Committee shall determine the order of proof and shall, within reason, assist each party in obtaining the attendance of witnesses or securing evidence. The Hearing Committee may question witnesses, but shall also permit the parties and/or their counsel or other representatives to question witnesses.

The President will have the option of attending the formal hearing and may designate appropriate representatives or legal counsel to assist in the proceedings. The affected faculty member shall have the same rights. The faculty member will have the opportunity to hear and question all witnesses; however, the Hearing Committee will have the right to receive into evidence written statements made outside the hearing and to give them what weight it deems appropriate. The identities of all persons providing statements, and the contents of such statements, shall be disclosed to the affected faculty member, who will have a reasonable time to respond to them, such as by the presentation of responsive evidence. All of the evidence should be recorded by a court reporter.

(c) Consideration by Hearing Committee

After all the evidence has been presented, the parties shall have the opportunity to present oral arguments and, if the Hearing Committee chooses to receive them, written briefs. The Committee may choose to make its recommendation without waiting for a transcript of the hearing if it believes that a just decision may be reached without a transcript, or it may choose to await the preparation of a transcript. The Hearing Committee shall address each of the grounds of discipline presented in the Statement, and shall state the reasons for its recommendation. The Hearing Committee shall prepare its recommendation through private deliberations on the basis of the evidence and arguments presented or received in the hearing. The President and the faculty member shall be notified of the recommendation in writing. If a transcript of the hearing is prepared, a copy of such transcript shall be made available for examination and use by the President and the affected faculty member (or their designees).

(d) Consideration by the President of Hearing Committee’s Recommendation

The President shall consider the recommendation made by the Hearing Committee. In so doing, the President shall consider the evidence and arguments, whether oral or written, presented to the Hearing Committee. The President may also consider other evidence, but only after the affected faculty member has been apprised in detail of such evidence and given reasonable opportunity to respond to it.

The recommendation of the Hearing Committee shall be sustained, or the President shall, in writing, specify his or her objections to the recommendation. In the latter case, the Hearing Committee shall reconsider its recommendation, taking account of the President’s objections, and shall, if necessary, receive new evidence, convoking if necessary a supplemental formal hearing. The Hearing Committee should frame its decision and communicate it to the President in the same manner as before. Only after studying the Hearing Committee’s reconsidered recommendation shall the President make a final decision that overrules the Hearing Committee’s recommendation.




FAC 490.3 Administrative Leave of the Affected Faculty Member

At any point during the disciplinary proceedings, the President shall have the right to place the affected faculty member on administrative leave when the allegations are serious enough to warrant such leave. Administrative leave shall be with pay unless the faculty member causes, in the judgment of FRC, unreasonable and inordinate delay in the proceedings. If the suspension is to become unpaid, the faculty member shall be given at least thirty (30) days’ advance notice.




FAC 490.4. Confidentiality

Faculty disciplinary proceedings may involve allegations that, if publicly disclosed, could harm both the accused faculty member and the college. Further, persons making public or private statements about such matters could be sued for defamation, invasion of privacy, or other wrongdoing. Hence, all persons involved in faculty disciplinary proceedings shall refrain from discussing such matters with any person who does not have a legitimate and sufficient need to know about them.

As much as possible, the college intends to minimize publicity related to faculty disciplinary proceedings that might harm the reputation or the future employment prospects of the accused faculty member. However, the college reserves the right to respond truthfully to employment inquiries concerning the accused faculty member, and to respond to public statements by the accused faculty member or other persons.

The college is not required to make public statements or announcements concerning faculty disciplinary proceedings; however, any public announcements concerning the outcome of faculty disciplinary proceedings will be made through the office of the Chief Academic Officer or the President. No persons other than the CAO and the President are authorized to make public statements on behalf of McPherson College concerning any faculty disciplinary proceedings.




FAC 490.5 Conflicts

Section 490.3 will govern in the event of conflicts with any other portions of this handbook or with any rules or bylaws of any committee. Without limitation, the provisions of Section IX of the bylaws of the Faculty Review Committee do not apply in faculty disciplinary proceedings.




FAC 491. Faculty Grievance Procedures

491.1 Purpose. The objective of this policy is to provide an expeditious and fair method for resolving faculty grievances. The procedure intends to define clearly the matters that are at issue, to assure the faculty member that his/her complaint or problem has been presented to and considered by appropriate college officials, and to assure the college community that decisions involving faculty members are made professionally and ethically.

Without limitation, grievances covered by this policy include promotion, assignment of duties, academic freedom, or working conditions. Note that all allegations of unlawful discrimination or harassment are to be processed according to “ADM 180 Discrimination and Harassment” or “ADM 185 Sexual Harassment” (Appendices 17 and 18 in this Faculty Handbook) rather than through the faculty grievance procedure described here.

491.2 Procedures.   Faculty are encouraged to resolve disputes with the college or with colleagues through reasoned discussion with their department chair, the chief academic officer, the director of human resources, or other colleagues deemed relevant to or helpful in resolving the dispute.

Mediation. Before or at any time during an investigation, the CAO and other parties may jointly choose mediation. If all parties agree, mediation can be provided by the college’s human resources office. If any party objects to using an in-house mediator, human resources will provide an external mediator at the college’s expense. At any point, any party may unilaterally end mediation.

Investigations. A faculty member who is unable to resolve a grievance through reasoned discussion or mediation or who believes that reasoned discussion is not an alternative given the nature of the grievance may initiate the formal grievance procedure by petitioning the CAO for an investigation. If the grievance is against the CAO, the president or the president’s designee shall serve the function of the CAO for the duration of the investigation.

Whenever possible, the Faculty Review Committee shall serve as the Grievance Committee; however, if the grievance derives from a decision rendered by FRC, the Grievance Committee shall be comprised as follows: one faculty member chosen by the grievant, another chosen by the CAO, and a third member chosen jointly by the other two Grievance Committee members. If the two members cannot agree upon a third member in a timely fashion, the CAO or the director of human resources can negotiate with the grievant to appoint the third person.

Within 15 days of the Grievance Committee’s appointment, the grievant will submit a statement that details his or her case. Within 15 days of receiving the grievant’s statement, the Grievance Committee will determine whether an investigation is warranted or unwarranted and report that finding to the grievant.

If an investigation is warranted, the affected parties will present committee members with all relevant information. The Grievance Committee may solicit the testimony of witnesses and/or request additional documentary evidence to ensure that the investigation is fair and that all relevant facts are presented. The Grievance Committee will report its findings and recommendations to the grievant and the CAO within 60 days following its determination that an investigation is warranted. The Grievance Committee may (1) determine that a settlement is not possible or is inappropriate or (2) recommend actions to the CAO to redress the grievance.

Within 15 days of receiving the Hearing Committee’s report, the CAO shall (1) accept the Hearing Committee’s recommendations, (2) state in writing to the Hearing Committee and to the parties involved in the grievance the reasons for rejecting the recommendations, or (3) indicate in writing why a decision is delayed and when a resolution is expected.

Should the CAO reject the recommendation of the Grievance Committee, the Grievance Committee will reconsider its recommendation, taking into account the CAO’s objections. If necessary, it may receive new evidence or convoke a supplemental hearing. The Grievance Committee should report its final recommendation to the CAO within 15 days of receiving the CAO’s objections. Only after studying the Grievance Committee’s reconsidered recommendation may the CAO make a decision that overrules the Grievance Committee’s final recommendation. The CAO’s decision shall be released within 15 days of receipt of the Grievance Committee’s final recommendation.

491.3 Grievance Timeline

Grievant pursues reasoned discussion with CAO and other relevant parties.
Grievant and CAO discuss whether mediation is an option.
Grievant petitions CAO for an investigation.
15 days Appointment of Grievance Committee completed; grievant provides a statement detailing complaints.
15 days Grievance Committee rules on whether an investigation is warranted. If so…
60 days … the investigation is conducted; Grievance Committee reports its findings.
  If CAO objects to the Grievance Committee findings, the process continues:
15 days CAO responds in writing to Grievance Committee’s recommendation.
15 days Grievance Committee reports its final recommendation.
15 days CAO reports final decision to grievant and other relevant parties.