BROOKS COLLEGE FACULTY AND DEPARTMENT EXPECTATIONS
The GVSU Faculty Handbook (www.gvsu.edu/facultyhandbook/ ) provides university-level guidance on faculty expectations and matters of concern to faculty. All faculty are encouraged to read the Faculty Handbook and refer to it for university expectations. The present document is intended to augment that university document and to clarify expectations specific to the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies.
Faculty are expected to be available for university business for the duration of their academic contracts, except for designated university holidays. (The exact dates vary with the calendar, but are basically from the first week of August through the first week of May, as specified in the annual contract letter.) The final exam week of each semester is regarded as a regular work week, and faculty are expected to be on campus and hold office hours. It is important that department chairs be made aware when a faculty member will not be at work due to illness, travel for academic reasons, conferences, etc., especially when students would be impacted by the faculty member’s absence from the classroom and office hours. According to university policy, the chair must be notified of absences and must approve anticipated absences. Therefore, the faculty member needs to advise the chair in advance if they will be away from class for a conference and must have a plan for covering the absence. The Dean’s Office should be notified of any absences in excess of five (5) business days within a single semester.
Department/College Faculty Meetings
Attendance at departmental and college faculty meetings are baseline expectations. Reasons for missing a department or college faculty meeting are: teaching conflicts, identifiable emergency, attendance at a conference, or a death in the immediate family. The department chair and/or Dean’s Office need to be notified in advance of inability to attend a scheduled departmental or college faculty meeting. It is essential that all tenured and tenure-track faculty attend personnel meetings.
In addition, faculty are expected to attend all meetings for college or university committees to which they have been elected. If unable to attend a single meeting, faculty should notify the chair of the committee and ask whether a substitute may be sent, in order to ensure representation from the unit (for college committees) or from Brooks College (for university committees). If unable to attend for a semester or longer, faculty should notify the chair of the Brooks Faculty Council.
The university has three occasions that require faculty participation in their academic regalia: winter and fall graduation, and convocation. (Graduation ceremonies are scheduled twice a year; end of the fall semester in December and end of the winter semester in April/May. Convocation is an event that welcomes faculty, staff and students back to the university for the start of a new academic year; this occurs the Friday before the first week of classes in the fall semester.) Faculty will receive an email prior to the events from the Dean of Students Office with a link to register for these events. In addition, faculty participation is crucial to the success of other university, college and unit events such as Laker Days, Majors Fairs, advising events, student recognition events, etc. These events are run by various campus offices, and unit representation is required.
The expectation of Brooks College is that each of its academic departments will be represented at an appropriate level at these university events and that faculty will attend such events in accordance with unit guidelines for equitable sharing of the responsibility.
According to the Faculty Handbook (section 3.03.D), “members of the faculty are expected to post and maintain adequate office hours”. The Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies interprets adequate office hours as one hour per three credits of class with a minimum of three (3) hours per week. No more than two thirds of office hours may be virtual/online, even for online courses. Office hours must be posted on the syllabus and identified on the faculty schedule that is posted on the faculty member’s office door. It is a recommended best practice to keep the office door open during office hours. If for some reason, a faculty member is unable to maintain their office hours on any given day, all students as well as the department chair must be notified of the change in office hours. Departments are able to increase the number of office hours required for their faculty, but the minimum number of office hours cannot be less than those established for the college.
University expectations of faculty in classroom settings appear in Section 3.03 of the Faculty Handbook. Brooks faculty are expected to abide by the university guidelines, including distribution of a detailed syllabus that includes general course information (instructor name, office hours, etc.), student learning outcomes (SLOs), assignments and assessments, grading scheme, course specific policies, and a pointer to university policies. Faculty must ensure that their SLOs, grading schemes, and other details are aligned with the Syllabus of Record.
Faculty are expected to behave in accordance with the university’s collegiality policy. According to this policy non-collegial behavior includes incivility, intimidation, and infringement upon personal and academic freedoms but does not refer to social skills or enthusiasm. Documented patterns of noncollegial behavior may affect personnel decisions.
Grand Valley State University recognizes the value of mentoring for all faculty and especially for new faculty. The university provides new faculty with a first-year, university-wide Mentor Program that is designed to support them as they begin to engage as teachers, scholars, and citizens of the university and broader community, and to adjust to their responsibilities as faculty members. All new faculty are strongly encouraged to begin immediate participation in this university-wide Mentor Program regardless of appointment date.
In addition, junior and senior faculty are expected to participate fully in departmental mentoring programs. These programs exist to assist new faculty in successfully navigating the various aspects of faculty life; as such, they should include specific expectations and resources for teaching, scholarship and service, as well as expectations for personnel reviews. Department chairs are expected to provide a copy of the mentoring plans to each new faculty member and to each assigned mentor.
Curriculum Development and Revision
Curriculum development and revision must be aligned with the strategic plan and purpose of the unit and Brooks College. Consequently, the first step in curriculum development is a conversation with your unit head. Curricular work includes many facets (e.g., program prospectus, program proposals, new courses, course revisions, requesting general education status or supplemental writing skills designation for an existing course, etc.). Since the proposals will make their way through the curricular process to the University Curriculum Committee, it is imperative that any proposals leaving the unit or program are BROOKS COLLEGE FACULTY AND DEPARTMENT EXPECTATIONS well-written (context, grammar, punctuation, facts etc.). The unit head signature indicates that the unit head not only approves of the concept of the proposal, but has reviewed it for logistical issues as well. Prior to submitting any curricular work, it is recommended that the faculty member and unit head meet first with the associate dean for a discussion on the curriculum proposals. This allows the faculty member to ask questions, seek examples of similar curriculum proposals, understand supporting documents, catalog copy, etc. , allows the associate dean to estimate the CCC workload for that academic year, and keeps the dean’s office informed of curricular initiatives.
All community-based work is expected to follow the guidelines laid out in the college document. Questions should be directed to the associate dean and/or the Director of the Office for Community Partnerships and Student Professional Development.
Off-campus Travel with Students
Prior to taking students off-campus for any reason (community-based work, field trips, conferences, etc.) faculty members are expected to discuss with their unit heads their plans to ensure student safety and adequate supervision.
According to section 3.04.E of the Faculty Handbook, any outside employment which a faculty or staff member wishes to undertake must be approved in advance by the Dean; in Brooks College, it is expected that the conversation would first occur with the unit head. Outside employment includes paid consulting or temporary teaching at another institution but does not include honoraria or book royalties. Information about faculty obligations and rights in published materials can be found in the Board of Trustees’ Policies (an up-to-date link appears within FH 3.04.E). Faculty members should annually review the nature of any outside employment with their unit head.
IRB Proposal Development and Submission for Faculty Research
As stated on the GVSU HRRC website, “HRRC procedures require that all proposed research protocols must be authorized by a responsible GVSU administrative authority prior to HRRC review and approval. HRRC review of proposed research will not be initiated until signatures from all required authorizing officials (AO) have been recorded.” The HRRC website identifies a generic designation of the AO based on position at the university (dean, unit head, faculty, staff or student). For the purpose of expediting the review process, faculty are encouraged to meet face-to-face with their unit head and associate dean prior to the development of the IRB proposal to assure the appropriate processes for their submission follows the policies and procedures of the HRRC.
IRB Review for Student Research
The instructor of record or faculty advisor for student research is responsible for ensuring that the student researcher is aware of relevant obligations for IRB review and for ensuring that appropriate reviews occur. Undergraduate students cannot serve as Principal Investigators.
External Grant Submissions
All applications for external funding, whether federal, state, local or private (including foundation grants), should be reviewed by the dean or associate dean prior to submission. Faculty are to notify the Dean’s Office of their intent to submit a grant at the earliest time possible based on the grant notification. The Dean’s Office can provide feedback on proposals and assist in the connection with the BROOKS COLLEGE FACULTY AND DEPARTMENT EXPECTATIONS Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). The proposed budget must be reviewed by the dean prior to submission, and the final grant application materials should be submitted to the dean or associate dean for review at least five working days prior to submitting the grant materials for internal routing.
Brooks College Sabbatical Timeline
The Brooks College Personnel Committee also serves as the College Sabbatical Review Committee. The GVSU sabbatical policy has established the following timelines for submission of a sabbatical proposal:
• March 15th Human Resources Office provides the academic deans with names of eligible Individuals
• September 1st Applicants submit proposals to the sabbatical website
• September 30th Units forward recommended proposals to College Sabbatical Review Committee
• October 30th College Sabbatical Review Committee forwards recommended proposals by tiers to the University Sabbatical Review Committee (USRC)
• December 1st USRC forwards recommendations to Dean
• December 15th Dean forwards recommendations to Provost
• January 31st Provost forwards decisions to the President and informs Deans and University Sabbatical Review Committee
In addition to the timeline established above, Brooks College faculty must notify the dean of intent to submit a sabbatical proposal by May 1st, and generate a draft sabbatical proposal by August 1st for review by the (unit head or associate dean). All faculty are encouraged to attend a sabbatical proposal preparation workshop, particularly those faculty applying for their first sabbatical.
• Failure to consistently uphold departmental and college policies could affect the faculty member’s annual performance review by the department chair and/or the dean.
• Faculty with questions or concerns about these policies are encouraged to speak with their unit head. In addition, the dean’s office has an open door policy. Faculty are encouraged to consult with and seek support from the dean and associate dean at any time.