The number of full-time faculty members is adequate to support the mission of the institution and to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs. (Core Requirement 2.8)
The number of full-time faculty members is adequate to support the mission of the institution and to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs.
Longwood's mission states that the University provides an environment in which exceptional teaching fosters student learning, scholarship, and achievement. To achieve this goal, Longwood maintains a sufficient number of qualified faculty members to keep class sizes reasonably small and to foster student engagement.
Categories and characteristics of teaching faculty at Longwood University are as follows:
- Tenured and tenure-track faculty typically hold the terminal degree in the field, have a normal undergraduate teaching load of 24 semester hours per year, are eligible for tenure after a probationary period, and are eligible for promotion to associate professor and full professor.
- Lecturers typically hold a master's degree, teach 30 semester hours per year, participate in advising and service to the university, and are eligible for appointment as senior lecturer after six years, with a two-year renewable contract.
- Visiting faculty are faculty visiting from another institution or on temporary assignment at Longwood and are not eligible for tenure.
- Adjuncts teach up to 24 semester hours per year and are issued contracts for a semester or course with no expectation of continued employment.
The major regular responsibility of full-time faculty is instruction. Full-time faculty include tenured and tenure-track faculty, lecturers, and visiting faculty with rank. Part-time faculty include adjunct instructors and administrative personnel who teach one or more credit courses.
Size and Composition of Faculty
As reported in the 2008-09 Common Data Set, Longwood employs 211 full-time faculty members and 76 part-time faculty members. The ratio of full-time equivalent students to full-time equivalent faculty is 20:1. Longwood has been able to maintain this low student-to-faculty ratio since the 2003 SACS self-study. Forty full-time faculty members have been added since 2002, an increase of 23%.
The majority of instruction at Longwood University is related to undergraduate degree programs and occurs on the main campus in Farmville. In fall 2008 and spring 2009, 95.7% of student semester credit hours were undergraduate courses and instruction for 97.7% of credit hours took place at the main campus location (see table 1). There were variations among the colleges. Faculty in the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences (CCCAS) taught 70% of all on-campus credit hours, 72% of all undergraduate credit hours, and 91% of all general education credit hours. Faculty in the College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) taught 74% of all off-campus credit hours and 77% of all graduate credit hours. The College of Business and Economics (CBE) is the smallest college, accounting for 12% of undergraduate credit hours.
Table 1. Fall 2008/Spring 2009 Credit Hours by Location and Level of Instruction
||Total Credit Hours
||Percentage of Total Credit Hours by College
Source: Office of Assessment and Institutional Research (OAIR) provided the raw data.
At the undergraduate level, 84.6% of classes were taught by full-time faculty while the remaining 15.4 % were taught by part-time faculty. At the graduate level, 77.6% of classes were taught by full-time faculty while 22.4% of classes were taught by part-time faculty.
Variations by college, level of instruction, and location of instruction in the percentage of credit hours taught by full-time faculty are noted in table 2.
Table 2. Fall 2008/Spring 2009 Full-Time Faculty Credit Hours by College
|CCCAS Main Campus
|CBE Main Campus
|CEHS Main Campus
|Total Main Campus
Source: OAIR provided the raw data.
The Full-Time Faculty, Fall 2008/Spring 2009, by Discipline and Location table shows full-time and part-time instruction for credit hours by course-code discipline for the fall and spring semesters of the 2008-09 academic year. Full-time faculty include tenured and tenure-track faculty, lecturers, and visiting faculty. Adjunct faculty, librarians, tenured administrators, and other administrative personnel teaching courses are counted as part-time. Courses that did not have an instructor and four courses that did not meet general education goals or serve an academic program were removed from the calculations.
The table also indicates full-time and part-time faculty by location. The 16 off-campus locations where courses were taught in 2008-09 are grouped into one category because off-campus instruction accounts for only 2% of all credit hours. Online courses and study abroad courses are included in the main campus totals.
Situations where part-time faculty members taught more than 20% of classes are explained below:
- Undergraduate disciplines associated with initial licensure requirements, such as education and social work, use part-time faculty to supervise field placements and student teaching.
- Longwood Seminar is a one-credit course required of all new students. Longwood involves administrative personnel from student affairs and academic support areas such as the library to provide a broad representation of the campus to students making the transition to college life and demands.
- It is traditional in the music discipline to use part-time practitioners for much of the largely one-on-one instruction.
- Physical education includes general fitness courses that are often taught by members of the athletic staff.
- Communication sciences and disorders uses adjunct practitioners in the undergraduate program for clinical placement supervision and relevant courses. The percentage of part-time faculty also includes adjunct faculty who teach the non-degree online speech and language pathology courses offered in the SLP Online prerequisite program. If the SLP Online courses are excluded from the calculations, the percentage of part-time faculty for undergraduate courses drops to 41%.
- In German, there are not currently enough majors to support a second full-time instructor.
- Part-time practitioners have been used for some introductory theatre classes because of the number of course releases allotted to full-time faculty members to support directorship of University productions. Recent discussions between the dean and chair of the department have led to a plan to minimize this practice in future years by having a rotation of full-time faculty members in the introductory classes.
- In political science, adjunct faculty had to pick up courses for a full-time professor who was terminated in the middle of the spring term.
- Off-campus undergraduate courses at the New College Institute, a state-supported collaborative partnership in which Longwood participates, are taught by contract faculty. This includes accounting, earth science, education, English, kinesiology, mathematics, and special education.
- The miscellaneous group includes undergraduate courses that do not correspond to a major program area and therefore often rely on adjunct faculty.
- Some graduate programs such as school library media, psychology, sociology, math education, science education, and special education use adjunct faculty practitioners for relevant courses, especially those taught at off-campus locations.
Academic Qualifications of Faculty
All faculty members who teach at the undergraduate level are required to hold the appropriate graduate degree and/or have completed 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline. Faculty teaching graduate courses are required to hold the terminal degree in their teaching discipline. In fall 2009, 84.5% of full-time faculty members held the terminal degree in their teaching discipline. Transcripts for all faculty members are kept in the Office of Academic Affairs. Searches for tenure-track positions are conducted nationally and include a visit to campus and typically teaching and research presentations.
All faculty members are evaluated annually in the areas of teaching, service, and scholarship by the department chair. Corrective suggestions are offered for any areas needing attention. In addition, the University has a post-tenure review process for tenured faculty members who receive two consecutive less-than-satisfactory evaluations or three less-than-satisfactory evaluations in a five-year period.
The standard full-time teaching load is 24 credit hours per academic year for undergraduate teaching. Faculty members teaching a combination of undergraduate and graduate courses have a standard teaching load of 21 credit hours per year. Faculty members teaching only graduate courses have a standard teaching load of 18 credit hours per year. These teaching loads apply to both on-campus and distance learning courses. Department chairs and some program directors receive reassigned time to ensure the quality and integrity of the academic programs they supervise. In addition to their primary teaching role, full-time tenure-track faculty members are expected to engage in advising, service, and scholarship. Lecturers, who are full-time but not tenure-track faculty members, do not have a scholarship expectation and thus have a typical teaching load of 15 credit hours per semester.