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University policy on instructors in courses carrying academic credit

  1. The instructor of record for all coursework carrying academic credit at Kent state university will have a Kent state university appointment. The instructor of record has primary responsibility for course instruction, including the assignment of appropriate grades. In addition, all individuals providing ongoing instruction or a significant portion of instruction (twenty-five percent or more) in a course will have a university appointment as an instructor or graduate teaching assistant.
    All instructors on Kent State University appointment will be approved by the academic unit. This includes full-time instructors whose primary appointment is on the Kent campus as well as adjunct part-time instructors, who may teach at one or multiple campuses. With respect to full-time instructors whose appointment will be in the regional campus system, the relevant academic unit will assess basic qualifications in the academic discipline, but the regional campus to which the full-time instructor will be primarily assigned has final say in the appointment.  Specific teaching assignments on the Kent campus will be made by the academic unit.  Specific teaching assignments on regional campuses will be made by the regional campus offering the course.
  2. Instructor credentials.Qualified instructors are identified primarily by academic credentials, but other factors, including but not limited to equivalent, tested experience, are considered in determining whether an instructor is qualified. A current curriculum vita, along with academic transcripts or other documents verifying credentials, must be submitted prior to the hire for all instructor positions. Any exceptions to the minimum requirements provided for herein must be approved by the Provost.
    1. Academic credentials. Individuals who assume responsibility for teaching courses at the university should meet the minimum degree requirements in their field of instruction as specified below.  Terminal degrees shall be verified during the hiring process as part of the background check and prior to beginning instructional duties. The minimum degree requirements for individuals with instructional responsibilities are as follows:
      1. Instructors that are solely responsible for teaching graduate and post-baccalaureate course work: earned doctorate/terminal degree or foreign degree equivalent in the teaching discipline or a related discipline. 
      2. Instructors and graduate teaching assistants that are solely responsible for teaching upper-level undergraduate course work (30-40,000 level):
        1. Earned doctorate or terminal degree or foreign degree equivalent in the teaching discipline or a related discipline,
        2. Master’s degree or foreign degree equivalent in the teaching discipline or a related discipline, or
        3. At least 30 graduate credit hours in the teaching discipline.
      3. Instructors and graduate teaching assistants that are solely responsible for teaching lower-level undergraduate course work (10-20,000 level):
        1. Earned doctorate or terminal degree or foreign degree equivalent in the teaching discipline or a related discipline,
        2. Master’s degree or foreign degree equivalent in the teaching discipline or a related discipline, or
        3. At least 18 graduate credit hours in the teaching discipline.  Graduate teaching assistants in this category must also have direct supervision by a full-time faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, and must be given both in-service training and planned and periodic evaluations.
      4. Graduate teaching assistants with less than 18 graduate credit hours in the teaching discipline shall be able to:
        1. Teach lab sections or discussion/quiz sections connected to a parent class for which there is a full-time faculty member experienced in the teaching field serving as instructor of record and who will provide direct supervision, in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations of the graduate teaching assistant, and
        2. Serve as sole instructor in undergraduate courses at the 10,000 level that do not count toward the major in the teaching discipline provided that they are directly supervised by a full-time faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, and are given both in-service training and planned and periodic evaluations.
    2. Tested experience. For individuals who do not meet the minimum degree requirements, academic units must provide a written explanation of the person’s qualifications in the area of instruction and explicit evidence of those qualifications including, but not limited to:
      1. Academic degrees in related areas as documented on an official academic transcript;
      2. Documentation of relevant scholarly accomplishments, relevant creative accomplishments, and/or relevant professional experience or credentials; or
      3. Appropriate coursework as documented on an official academic transcript.
    3. Academic units are responsible for verifying and maintaining documentation of instructional qualifications for all faculty and staff and for forwarding copies of this documentation to the office of accreditation, assessment, and learning.
      1. The unit administrator and faculty advisory body of the academic unit will be solely responsible for defining the terminal degree(s) for the discipline.
      2. The unit administrator and faculty advisory body of the academic unit will be solely responsible for determining whether or not a discipline other than the teaching discipline is sufficiently related to meet the minimal degree requirement specified in paragraph (B)(1) of this rule.
      3. The unit administrator and faculty advisory body of the academic unit will be solely responsible for determining whether or not a given individual who lacks the minimal degree requirement meets the tested experience requirement specified in paragraph (B)(2) of this rule.
  3. Kent state university appointments. Instructional appointments will specify the rank and/or title of the individual appointment for the purposes of instruction and will note whether the appointment is full-time or part-time, term or continuing, and if applicable, whether the salary is from Kent state university operational funds or from another source. Examples of such appointments include full-time tenure-track faculty, full-time non-tenure-track faculty, adjunct part-time faculty, and graduate teaching appointees.
  4. Employment relationship. Except in instances where Kent state university has established a formal relationship with an accredited educational institution, a hospital or other health care organization, a governmental agency, or where the university employs artists, actors or musicians who are customarily represented by agents or artistic organizations, the employment relationship between the university and individuals involved in credit instruction will be direct.
    1. Independent contractors. Only under rare and extraordinary circumstances, and only after the prior approval of the educational policies council and the provost, will Kent state university enter into agreements that provide for third-party delivery of credit instruction in accordance with the rule 3342-5-04.1 of the Administrative Code. In these instances, the provisions in paragraphs (A), (B), and (C) of this rule with regard to the processing of appointments will be followed.
    2. Agreements that provide for the third-party delivery of credit instruction shall be reviewed by the appropriate academic unit prior to renewal or extension beyond the original term.
Policy Effective Date: 
Aug. 27, 2020
Policy Prior Effective Dates: 
9/10/2001. 9/19/2005, 6/1/2007, 3/1/2015