Old Dominion University
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Faculty Handbook

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Academic and Professional Preparation Requirements for Faculty

  1. Old Dominion University's academic and professional preparation requirements for full-time and part-time faculty conform to the criteria established by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
    1. It is expected that the University will employ faculty members whose highest earned degree presented as the credential qualifying the faculty member to teach at the University is from a regionally accredited university.
      1. If the University employs a faculty member whose highest earned degree is from a non-regionally accredited university within the United States or an institution outside the United States, the University must show evidence that the faculty member has the appropriate academic preparation.
      2. The University must ensure that each faculty member employed is proficient in oral and written communication in the language in which assigned courses will be taught.
  2. Guidelines
    1. Undergraduate: Each full-time and part-time faculty member teaching courses leading to a baccalaureate degree, other than physical education activities courses, must have completed at least 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline and hold at least a master's degree, or hold a master's degree with a major in the teaching discipline. Graduate teaching assistants teaching such courses must have completed a master's degree in the teaching discipline or have completed 18 graduate hours in the discipline, receive regular in-service training and periodic evaluations, and have direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching area. In exceptional cases, outstanding professional experience and demonstrated contributions to the teaching discipline may be presented in lieu of formal academic preparation. Such cases must be justified on an individual basis. Interdisciplinary courses may be taught by faculty members qualified in a related discipline.
    2. Graduate: Each full-time and part-time faculty member teaching courses at the master's or specialist degree level must hold the terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate, in the teaching discipline or a related discipline and hold graduate certification from a college. In some instances, the master's degree may be the terminal degree; in others, a master's degree in the discipline coupled with a doctoral degree in a related discipline is considered appropriate.
      1. It is the responsibility of the department appointing the part-time faculty member to justify the master's degree, or master's in the teaching discipline coupled with a related doctorate, as the terminal degree for faculty members teaching in those disciplines.

      2. All faculty members teaching courses at the doctoral degree level must hold the earned doctorate in the teaching discipline or a related discipline. Public health program faculty who hold a terminal practice degree, i.e. J.D., M.D., Pharm.D., D.D.S., etc., and possess the knowledge and current practice experience could be certified to teach in the public health graduate programs.

      3. In unusual cases, faculty members who have demonstrated exceptional scholarly or creative activity, or professional experience, but who may not possess the required academic credentials may be approved as graduate faculty. Evidence of competence or academic credentials other than the doctorate in the discipline for graduate faculty must be presented as justification for employment.

    3. Credentials Required: It is the responsibility of the University to keep on file, for all full-time and part-time faculty members, documentation of academic preparation, such as official transcripts, and, if appropriate for demonstrating competence, official documentation of professional or work experience, technical and performance competency, records of publications, certifications and other qualifications. All degrees must have been conferred by regionally accredited colleges or universities. Degrees from international universities must be fully justified. For faculty teaching graduate courses, a completed current Certification for Graduate Instruction form must also be on file.
      1. Copies of the documentation and a memorandum from the department chair justifying any exception to the criteria for academic and professional preparation must accompany the Adjunct Faculty Approval/Employment Authorization form when submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs.

 - Approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
September 5, 2003
Revised and approved by the President
February 4, 2013
May 21, 2014

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