69 Faculty Guidelines and Expectations


  1. Absences from Duty:  Any faculty member that will be away from his/her duties should file (five days before departure) a Request for Leave of Absence form (available on the MSC Commons/MSC Forms).  Any faculty member who deliberately misses a class, makes a habit of dismissing early, does not maintain proper office hours, or who is absent from the campus without clearance will be subject to dismissal.
  2. Adjunct/Overload Pay – Installments: Adjunct instructors requesting to be paid in installments for the fall semester are paid the last working day of the month (as designated by the state of Oklahoma)  in September, October, November, and December.  Installments for the spring semester are paid the last working day of the month (as designated by the state of Oklahoma) in February, March, April, and May.  This schedule is contingent upon receiving the employment paperwork on or before the 16th of September for the fall semester and the 16th of February for the spring semester.
  3. Adjunct/Overload Pay – Lump Sum: Instructors for the fall and spring regular semester who are paid one lump sum will receive payment on the date that semester grades are due provided employment paperwork is submitted to the Human Resources Office on or before the 16th of the previous month.
  4. Adjunct/Overload Summer Pay: Summer instructors are paid in one installment the last working day in July (as designated by the state of Oklahoma) after grades have been submitted to the Registrar provided the employment paperwork is received on or before the 16th of the month.
  5. Advanced Study and Professional Growth: It is recommended that each faculty member improve his/her professional status by accumulating as many hours in his/her major field of concentration as possible.  Faculty members are encouraged to pursue continuing education in their major field of study.
  6. Assessment of Courses by Students: Each semester, students complete course assessment surveys.
  7. Cancellation of Classes Due to Insufficient Enrollment: The recommendation for canceling a class must be made in concert with the appropriate supervisor.  (If a class is cancelled, a student is not penalized.)   Prior to cancellation, the following items will be considered:
    1. Will the instructor remain fully occupied if the class is cancelled?
    2. Is the instructor’s load beyond 15 hours?
    3. How will the instructor become fully occupied if the load is less than 15 hours?
    4. Is the class necessary for graduation?
    5. Can the load be balanced within the department?
  8. Class Schedules: The chief academic officer, with the assistance of the Academic Council, will arrange and publish the schedule of classes each semester.  The schedule will reflect an attempt to equalize the teaching loads and class size, balance the work of instructors and students daily throughout the week, eliminate course conflicts, make maximum utilization of space and physical properties, and addresses student needs.  The class schedule, as printed, must be followed as to meeting time, days, and length of the class meetings.  Any deviation from the printed schedule should be an unusual occurrence and must be approved by the appropriate supervisor.
  9. Class Rosters: Class rosters may be accessed online through Aggies Online.
  10. Classroom Assignment: Classroom assignments are made on the basis of space available, type of course, and anticipated enrollment for a particular class.  Request for change of classroom because of crowded conditions or other reasons should be made to the Office of Academic Affairs.  Classroom assignments and/or changes must not be made until cleared with the appropriate office.  Instructors should consider it their duty to protect the furniture and equipment in the room in which they are teaching.  Needed repairs should be reported to the appropriate supervisor.  No tobacco, food, or drinks are allowed in classrooms or laboratories.
  11. Commencement Exercises: All members of the faculty (and designated professional staff) must participate in commencement exercises. Faculty/professional staff furnish their own caps, gowns, and hoods.  For those who don’t own hoods, contact the Registrar’s Office for ordering and purchasing.
  12. Course Syllabi: A course syllabus for each course must be filed with the chief academic officer (see “Guide for Preparation of Course Syllabus” available on the MSC Commons/MSC Forms).  Each course syllabus should be reviewed and revised according to need and filed at the beginning of each academic year.  All instructors in a given course section will use the same course syllabus.
  13. Criteria for Additional One-time Payment: Recommendations with respect to payments in addition to contractual salaries are then the responsibility of the appropriate area supervisor.  These recommendations will follow the normal and proper channels of communications established by the organizational structure of MSC.  The recommendation with justification will be made in writing and will include but not be limited to the following:
    1. That the payment is for a specific service rendered that contributes significantly to MSC and is a one-time payment.
    2. That, whenever possible, the compensation be approved prior to the activity.
    3. That the contribution represents significant overtime.
  14. Education: In keeping with generally accepted standards throughout the country, the minimum educational training expected of all members of the faculty is a master’s degree with the equivalent of a major in their teaching field at both the undergraduate and graduate levels of teaching, or a master’s degree with 18 graduate hours in the subfield that the instructor will be teaching. Occasionally, it is necessary to make an exception to this standard in technical occupational fields.  Faculty members employed in technical programs are also expected to have had experience in industry in the area in which they teach.
  15. Emergency Dismissal of Classes: In the event that classes must be dismissed when students are on campus, instructors should follow this procedure: 1) explain the nature of the dismissal to students; and 2) ask them to take their personal belongings with them.  In an event an emergency condition dictates taking immediate shelter, directions should be given to the closest shelter.
  16. Evaluations by Area Supervisors: Annually all employees are evaluated by their area supervisor regarding performance of duties.
  17. Examinations and Grading: Final examinations for all classes must be administered according to the final examination schedule printed in the class schedule.  Other examinations should be given during the regular class meeting hours at the instructor’s determination.  It is strongly recommended and is a good practice to provide students with a schedule of regular examinations or evaluation sessions and an explanation of the method of determining final grades.The matter of determining grades is left to each individual instructor, and each is expected to employ his/her best judgment and the fairest technique known to him/her in assigning student grades that represent student achievement as accurately as possible and are based on defendable criteria.Methods of grading should be in conformance with course syllabi.  Final grades are reported for each student for every course undertaken under the following grading system:


    A……………… Excellent…………….. 4 grade points per credit hour

    B………………. Good…………………. 3 grade points per credit hour

    C………………. Average……………… 2 grade points per credit hour

    D……………… Poor…………………… 1 grade point per credit hour

    F………………. Failure……………….. 0 grade point, no credit hours.  An “F” is calculated into the GPA.

    P………………. Passing………………. Indicates hours earned, no grade points.  It does not contribute to GPA.

    I……………….. Incomplete………….. No grade points.  Used at the instructor’s discretion, an “I” indicates the student is passing and has completed a substantial portion of the course work but has been unavoidably detained from completion of the course.  The student has one year to make written arrangements with the instructor to satisfy all course requirements.  After requirements are satisfied, the instructor submits a change of grade to the Registrar.  “I” grades that are not changed remain as a permanent “I” and will not contribute to GPA.

    S/U…………… Satisfactory/

    Unsatisfactory……… Reserved for courses that do not count toward graduation or retention GPAs (i.e. PE activity courses).

    AU……………. Audit…………………. Students enrolled to audit a course will receive the grade of “AU.” It does not contribute to GPA.

    W……………… Withdrawal…………. No credits or grade points; indicates official withdrawal.[1]

    AW…………… Administrative

    Withdrawal…………. No credits or grade points, GPA neutral.  Grades of “AW” must be approved by the chief academic officer to indicate that a student has been “involuntarily” withdrawn (see Page 31 for procedure) for disciplinary or financial reasons or inadequate attendance.[2]

  18. Faculty Load: Faculty load is reviewed and analyzed at various times during the academic year, including analysis of computer data and when the Academic Council approves the class schedules.
  19. Faculty Overload: The faculty member is to teach classes and/or provide professional services at such times and locations as may be required to achieve the educational objectives of the College.  Compensation for instruction and other services is outlined in the letter of appointment; however, compensation for overload may be approved upon the recommendation of the area supervisor when:
    1. A course is essential to meeting the needs of the students as determined by the Dean; and
    2. A course has sufficient student enrollment to be cost effective as determined by the appropriate officials; and
    3. The course is added to the faculty member’s full-time teaching load. Generally, a full-time teaching load is considered to be fifteen credit hours.  There may be exceptions to that due to program enrollment, options, etc. NOTE:  Faculty will generally only be permitted to teach a maximum of one overload course each semester unless extraordinary circumstances dictate otherwise.
  20. Adjunct Faculty Load: Adjunct faculty should not teach a load equivalent to a full-time faculty member, and load consideration should be given to primary responsibilities of employment.
  21. Field Trips: Field trips in academic courses can be an important educational experience.  These experiences should be carefully planned so that students will not have too much difficulty in making up work in classes missed.  The following procedures are used in organizing field trips:
    1. Approval from the chief academic officer must be obtained one week in advance of the trip if it is at a time other than regularly scheduled hours of the particular class involved.
    2. A list of names of faculty and students participating in the field trip are to be submitted one week in advance in order that the list may be distributed to instructors.
    3. Arrangements to use a College vehicle must be made through the Business Office.
    4. It is the responsibility of the instructor planning a field trip to inform participants that it is their responsibility to contact instructors regarding makeup work necessitated by their absence, before leaving on the trip.
    5. Each student participating in a field trip must sign a “Murray State College Liability Release Form” (available on the MSC Commons/MSC Forms) and the travel roster.
  22. Grade Books: Grade books must be kept electronically online.  They should be maintained and kept current.  Grade books must be submitted to the chief academic officer after the semester is complete.  Attendance records and grading information should be in order and accessible.
  23. Grade Reports: Four Week grades are submitted after week four and mid‑term grades are submitted at the end of the eighth week.  These grades are not mailed but are available online through Campus Connect.  Students with a grade of “D” or lower are sent notification by the Retention Coordinator with a request to confer with their instructor(s) and academic advisor.  Final grade reports are issued at the close of the session.  Each student listed on the final grade report must receive a grade.  Students who have officially withdrawn from class should be assigned a grade.  Grades are confidential and should be posted in code.
  24. Instructional Duties
    1. Demonstrate scholarly standards of academic excellence and rigor, and exhibit the traits befitting that of a distinguished faculty member.
    2. Demonstrate experience and/or willingness to learn and use state-of-the-art technology in the delivery of instruction and other office duties.
    3. Demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity to cultural diversity as it impacts curricula and instructional practices and show a willingness to work effectively in a culturally diverse workplace and not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran.
    4. Support the mission of the college.
    5. Promote and maintain a positive attitude of service toward students, coworkers and others.
    6. Participate in community service activities and programs.
    7. Promote and support service learning activities.
    8. Develop and use assessment of student learning methods at least every two weeks and contribute to campus-wide assessment projects.
    9. Use appropriate evaluation instruments to measure student progress at specified intervals.
    10. Maintain in coordination with other department faculty (adjunct and fulltime) an up-to-date, complete, and well-organized syllabus for each course taught as set forth by the VPAA).
    11. Develop and maintain curricula that appropriately reflect current knowledge in the discipline.
    12. Cooperate with departmental faculty in the selection of textbooks and teaching materials.
    13. Maintain a minimum of six scheduled office hours. Provide flexible office hours by appointment to accommodate students’ schedules when necessary.
    14. Include a writing component in each course and encourage students to utilize the “Help Center”.
    15. Incorporate the use of the MSC library in all courses and make recommendations for library purchases.
    16. Assist in recommending purchases and maintaining an accurate inventory of all equipment and supplies.
    17. Actively support clubs and extra-curricular activities.
    18. Serve on and contribute to campus-wide committees.
    19. Support the President’s Scholars Program.
    20. Implement strategies to enhance college recruitment, retention, and graduation rates.
    21. Participate in applicable professional development activities, including the All Employee Meetings.
    22. Carry out assigned duties and responsibilities and duties associated with the annual interscholastic contest.
    23. Following institutional policy, efficiently use a work study position(s) (when available) to help in the accomplishment of other general responsibilities.
    24. Serve as a mentor to adjunct faculty.
    25. Attain ability to commute to distance learning sites.
    26. Participate in strategic planning initiatives (including TaskStream) and align instructional, program, and departmental goals with the MSC Strategic Plan.
    27. Contribute to the overall institutional focus to perpetuate student success.
    28. Support the institutional General Education program.
    29. Perform other duties as may be assigned by supervisors.
  25. Intersession Pay: Intersession instructors are paid the last working day of the month (as designated by the state of Oklahoma) in which their session ends provided the employment paperwork is received on or before the 16th of the month.
  26. Library/Learning Resource Center (L/LRC): Faculty are urged to make use of the L/LRC as a means of cultural and professional development and to require their students to use it.  Staff members are expected to follow the standard procedure in withdrawing books.  They may withdraw any volume except books of general reference, periodicals, or books on reserve.  In addition to library services, the L/LRC provides audio‑visual aids for classroom instruction.  Every faculty member should become familiar with the resources available for the particular discipline to which he/she is assigned.  Direct arrangements should be made with the L/LRC staff for the utilization of equipment and other instructional aids.
  27. Limiting Class Size: Chairs should notify the Office of Academic Affairs of any classes that have a limit in enrollment size.
  28. Mid-Term Grades: (Also see information under Grade Reports.)  Mid-term grades (determined during the seventh week and submitted at the end of the eighth week) should:  (1) be based on at least three measures of student performance; (2) represent student achievement as accurately as possible; and (3) be based on defendable criteria.  Both mid-term and final grades may impact the status of students attending College under a special talent program.  (See Scholarship Required of Representatives in Part VIII of the College Catalog for more information.)
  29. Office Hours: Faculty are expected to arrange a schedule and post office hours in order that they may be available for conference with students.  Office hours should be arranged as nearly as possible on a daily basis.  The schedule should be observed as conscientiously as that of a class.
  30. Student Absences: Attending class and being on time are essential to being a successful student.  There is no “safe” number of absences.  A student who misses only one class, but misses a major examination could find his/her final grade lowered drastically as a result.  Thus, it is the expectation of MSC that students be on time for and attend all meetings of all classes in which they are enrolled.  More than one-hour absence per course hour enrolled is excessive.  When a student’s absences become excessive and the instructor determines that the student cannot achieve a passing grade even if attendance is resumed, the instructor may recommend that the student be administratively withdrawn.

If an administrative withdrawal takes place prior to disbursement of aid, which is normally during the first four weeks of a regular semester and the first two weeks of a summer term, the disbursement will be held until a recalculation of eligibility is completed.  After aid disbursement, students who are administratively withdrawn may still be subject to termination or repayment of financial aid received.

Any student who is not administratively withdrawn or who does not withdraw him/herself will be maintained on the rolls and assigned the appropriate letter grade at the end of the semester.  Students should consult with individual instructors regarding their specific application of the absence policy and review academic and financial aid policy regarding how course withdrawals or course failures affect satisfactory progress.

Absences are either excused or unexcused.  With the exception of College-sponsored activities, individual instructors will determine whether an absence is to be excused.  An excused absence allows a student to make up, within a reasonable length of time, any course requirement missed because of the absence.  An unexcused absence means that a student will not be permitted to make up course work missed as a result of the absence.  However, when absences (either excused or unexcused) become so excessive that in the judgment of the instructor the student cannot perform the requirements of the course, the instructor may recommend that the student be administratively withdrawn from the course.


  1. Student Appeal of Grades: The policy for addressing student appeal of grades is in the “MSC Procedures” manual and the Student Handbook.
  2. Suggestions for Improving the Educational Program: All faculty members are urged to be on the alert for ideas to improve the educational program, and are invited to make suggestions to supervisory staff.  All faculty are requested to report any circumstances, which are adversely affecting their instructional area.
  3. Summer School: For appointments other than 12-month, faculty are employed for summer school under separate personnel action.  Salaries are established prior to the ensuing fiscal year.
  4. Teaching Experience: The preferred qualifications for a first time faculty member upon initial employment at MSC will include at least two years of verified successful teaching experience.
  5. Transcripts: Faculty are required to keep updated official transcripts of college work on file in the Office of Human Resources.  The office of the Chief Academic Officer receives scanned copies of official transcripts. These transcripts must show all college credits earned, both graduate and undergraduate.  When faculty members earn additional credits, records should be provided to supplement other information on file.
  6. Tutoring Services Available to Students: Academic and peer tutoring and counseling are offered through the Academic Advisement Centers in Tishomingo and Ardmore and the Help Center in Tishomingo.


             [1]No record of a course is indicated on a transcript if the student withdraws during the add/drop period (first 10 days of a regular semester and a proportional time for shorter terms).  Permission of the academic adviser is required for this withdrawal.

Students will receive a grade of “W” who withdraw after the 10th class day and until the end of the 11th week of a regular semester and a proportional time for shorter terms.  Permission of the instructor and the academic adviser is required for this withdrawal.

Students withdrawing after the 11th week of a regular semester and a proportional time for shorter terms will receive a grade of “W” or “F,” depending on the student’s standing.  Permission of the instructor, academic adviser, and Academic Vice President is required for this withdrawal.  A grade of “W” is GPA neutral; a grade of “F” is calculated into the GPA.

            [2]Administrative withdrawals due to inadequate attendance may be assigned (with the appropriate approval) at any time the determination is made that a student cannot achieve a passing grade even if attendance is resumed.  Students should note that any withdrawal can result in termination or repayment of financial aid received.


Murray State College Institutional Policies and Procedures Copyright © by Murray State College. All Rights Reserved.

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