Faculty Rights and Responsibilities


Proper functioning of the academic program involves many details. Systematic compliance with the regulations governing the various aspects of the entire process lends itself to a smoothly operating and efficient academic program. A faculty member should be familiar with the University catalogs and become familiar with all regulations concerning the academic program.




ations of Faculty:

  1. Organizing and teaching courses, as assigned by the Department/Division Chair, appropriate to the level of instruction, the nature of the subject matter, and consistent with the approved curriculum.
  2. Stimulating intellectual inquiry so that students develop the skills to examine and evaluate ideas and arguments.
  3. Encouraging discussion and debate within the course to enable students to articulate the ideas they are exploring.
  4. Bringing to the classroom the latest research findings and professional debates within the discipline.
  5. Being available to students beyond the classroom environment.
  6. Advising and counseling students concerning their progress in their academic programs.
  7. Facilitating student use of appropriate service units on the campus for orientation, personal and career counseling, tutoring, health care, financial assistance, and job placement.
  8. Encouraging students to engage in independent study, advanced studies, and service activities as appropriate, and to participate in student professional organizations, cultural activities, and other extracurricular activities that increase student involvement in learning and personal development.
  9. Engaging in advanced studies, research, scholarly activities, or other forms of professional development that improve their teaching.
  10. Participating in the evaluation of the effectiveness of programs and instruction.
  11. Providing service to their department, university, and discipline.
  12. Serving students by assisting with independent studies, special topics, or other individual learning/research endeavors as their schedule permits.
  13. Supporting student recruitment and retention activities.
  14. Taking attendance each class meeting and regularly entering attendance records and grades in Canvas or Banner to facilitate important student success checks on Day 6, Day 8, Day 11, and once during Week 8. In addition to daily attendance, submitting all midterm grades for all classes on-time are job requirements.
  15. All faculty teaching an online course must “publish” the course no later than 12:01 a.m. of the first day of class of each term the course is offered.
  16. Serving their department and university in planning and implementing strategic goals.
  17. Maintaining a collegial environment in which collaboration on scholarly, instructional, and University issues is respectful, critical, and supportive.
  18. Fulfilling administrative requirements: making book orders, turning in grades, assisting with registration, etc.
  19. Contributing in other ways to the general welfare of the University.

Academic Freedom

  1. Delta State University supports the rights and responsibilities of Academic Freedom as set forth in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, formulated by the Association of American Colleges and the American Association of University Professors.

Faculty Load

Faculty are salaried employees and as such are expected to fulfill a full-time faculty workload. All faculty responsibilities-including teaching loads, University Committee assignments, advisement, release time for service and/or research, and other professional duties­ are expected to be completed in a timely manner. Adherence to this policy is the responsibility of the department chairs in consultation with the school deans.

The teaching load for faculty members will comply with national accrediting standards for individual programs. In the absence of such standards, the normal teaching load for all faculty is 24 – 26 load hours for the regular academic year.

It is the desire of the University to employ as many as possible of its faculty during the summer session. Employment is determined by the demand for classes in a particular subject area. The determination of a faculty member’s summer employment is decided by the division/department chair, the dean of the college or school, and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs in accordance with the estimated income for the summer. Classes with insufficient enrollment may be canceled.

Non-Faculty Load

University employees serving in staff positions are sometimes asked to serve as adjunct faculty. Staff are limited to teaching no more than one course per semester. Any exception must be approved in writing by the respective dean of the college or school in which the staff member will teach.

Faculty Participation


General faculty meetings are held as needed for the purpose of contributing to professional development, to permit faculty participation in the formulation of University policies to hear reports and recommendations, and to conduct University business.

When a faculty meeting is called, with appropriate notice, all members of the faculty are expected to attend unless specifically excused by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. Nonacademic staff members are not expected to attend faculty meetings unless specifically notified.

A series of faculty orientation meetings is held prior to the beginning of the fall or spring semester. All members of the faculty are expected to attend unless specifically excused by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. Attention is called to the fact that faculty contracts and salaries are for the academic year and duties may be assigned at any time during this period.


Regular registration is held at the beginning of each semester and of each summer term. Early registration, at an announced date, is available prior to the fall and spring semesters.

Registration procedures are issued for each registration period and are furnished to faculty members by the Office of the Registrar. All faculty members are to be available for assistance during the entire period of registration, serving as advisers, or in other capacities when needed by division/department chair or deans. Faculty members are expected to be present at all times during registration unless relieved of duties by their respective division/department chair or given permission to provide a balance of virtual and face-to-face advising appointments.

Student Advisement

The advisement program is administered by the deans of the schools and/or department chairs who assign students to specially selected faculty advisers in the department of the student’s interest. Unless students change their major, they may retain their same adviser throughout their university career.

Although students have the responsibility of enrolling in classes required for their degrees, the academic advisers have an obligation to see that each of their advisees is enrolled properly in classes necessary for their degree programs. The adviser will be called upon to share with the division/department chair and the school dean in certifying that a student has completed requirements for a specific degree. Additionally, students may need intermittent counseling or advice regarding various aspects of their careers at Delta State University. All faculty members, but especially those serving as advisers, will find occasions to engage in personal counseling. Quite often these conferences provide excellent opportunities for instructors to render real service to their students. It is hoped that concern of the University for each of its students will be reflected by an attitude of personal consideration on the part of each faculty member. For more assistance the faculty member feels unable to provide, students may be referred to the Student Success Center for students facing academic difficulty.


Most student organizations, including fraternities and sororities, honorary societies, academic clubs, and service groups, are dependent upon faculty and staff sponsor-advisers. Some organizations direct requests for service to faculty and staff members individually. In other cases, advisers are administratively appointed. Since these organizations contribute substantially to the purposes of the University, faculty members are encouraged to accept such service when requested , provided the service does not interfere with regular assignments.


All faculty members are expected to participate in the academic procession(s) at one or both commencement days each year and to furnish their own regalia, which may be rented through the University bookstore. The goal is to have approximately half the faculty attend Fall Commencement and half attend Spring Commencement. Faculty should select which Commencement they wish to attend during planning days prior to the start of classes in the Fall Semester. Department/Division Chairs will submit a list of faculty attendance for both Commencements to the Dean at the beginning of the Fall Semester. Deans will forward a combined list from their academic unit to the Provost Office. Absence from this duty must be specifically authorized by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Grants and Contracts

External support to the University may be described as sponsored programs or projects awarded as a result of an application submitted to a funding agency by the University on behalf of a full-time faculty or staff member. These programs/projects usually involve research, instruction, or other sponsored activities and are usually submitted based on defined guidelines established by the funding agency. The following categories are excluded from this definition: direct payments to individuals, such as fellowships, unless the funding agency requires the University to administer the funds, gifts and bequests to the University, and student financial aid. Contact the Office of Institutional Grants for specific information.

Professional Growth

Individual faculty members are to take the initiative in promoting their own growth as teachers, scholars, and practitioners. A limited amount of funds is available to support these efforts.


While the primary mission of Delta State University is teaching, the faculty is also expected to participate in research and other forms of scholarship, particularly those which support improvement of instruction. A limited amount of funds is available through the Research Committee to support these efforts.

All research conducted at Delta State University must be in compliance with federal mandates (45 CFR 46) pertaining to the protection of human subjects. See the Human Subjects section of the Grants and Contracts Policy for details.


The faculty are expected to participate in service to the university and their profession. Faculty are also encouraged to be active in service to their community.

Faculty Absence

Faculty earn and accrue Sick Leave each month on a schedule published by Human Resources. These hours are to be used when the faculty member is sick or to care for an ill family member. In the event of illness or other emergency circumstance requiring absence from duty, the division/department chair should be notified as soon as possible so that classes can be covered. Hours counted as absent must include the broad duty or formal expectations of faculty. This includes class meetings, office hours, committee meetings, department meetings, and advising meetings. If an instructor must miss class or other assigned duties, the Faculty Absence Form submitted to the division/department chair should include the details and the arrangements for classes missed.

Faculty Office Hours

Each full-time faculty member is expected to be available during the normal work week of the regular session. Otherwise, hardships may be imposed upon students, fellow teachers, division/department chair, administrative officers, and others who may need to contact the teacher.

The minimum number of office hours per week is ten for full-time faculty. The final schedule requires approval by the department/division chair. Faculty should also be available by appointment at other times during the regular work week. These hours should appear on the teacher’s schedule on file with the deans and with the division/department chair and should be announced to students and posted conspicuously in applicable course information in the learning management system.

In order to insure that students have access to part-time faculty for the purpose of academic assistance, those who teach day classes should be available to students at some time during the day, and those who teach night classes should be available to students for a reasonable time both before and after the scheduled class time. Other arrangements may be made by appointment. Students should be made aware of times at which they have access to part-time faculty.

Office hours, which may include other academic support activities such as announced study sessions, are to be held during finals week. These hours should be posted on the faculty member’s office door, announced to all classes at least one week before finals, posted on their Canvas site (if applicable), and a copy given to the department office and placed on file.

Final Exams

Every credit-bearing course should have a final exam or summative educational experience at the date and time officially listed. The location should be the regular class meeting location.  There are some routine exceptions such as online classes, performance classes internships, etc. Other exceptions to this must be approved in writing by the chair and college dean.

Responsible Office and/or Policy Owner: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs



  • Academic freedom – All members of the faculty, whether tenured or no, are entitled to academic freedom as set forth in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, formulated by the Association of American Colleges and the American Association of University Professors
  • IHL Policies and Bylaws
  • Grants and Contracts Policy
  • Faculty Absence Form



Change/Review/Approval Date:

  • Policy Effective Date: 07/01/2014
  • Revised by Academic Council: 08/27/2002; 06/12/2014; 08/18/2016; 01/27/2017; 01/24/2019; 04/23/2020; 03/25/2021
  • Approved by Cabinet: 08/29/2016; 02/06/2017; 02/04/2019; 05/04/2020; 04/05/2021