Faculty Responsibilities

The teaching faculty as a whole has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, selection of new faculty members, faculty tenure status and related matters, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process. On these matters the power of review or final decision, lodged in the Board of Trustees and delegated by it to the President, is exercised adversely only in exceptional circumstances, and for reasons communicated to the teaching faculty in writing. Thereafter, the teaching faculty has the right of further consideration and transmittal of its views to the President or, through the President, to the Board of Trustees.


TEACHING - Faculty are expected to demonstrate in their teaching a command of the subject matter, an ability to communicate, and a capacity to stimulate students. Faculty are also expected to be well organized in their presentation, to be well prepared for classes, to be available to students, to be interested in the development of students, to be fair in evaluation of students, and to be professional in relations with students. Further, faculty are expected to develop as teachers; development is evidenced by such factors as the introduction of new interests, ideas, or techniques in existing courses; the development of new courses; or movement into new subject areas. Finally, effective instruction at Saint Mary’s requires that faculty members make themselves available to students outside the classroom. Five hours of regular office hours are typical; some office hours may be held virtually. Within reason, faculty members should expect to respond to student emails and to requests for appointments out of the office. The definition of “within reason” is left to the faculty member, but should be included in syllabi and otherwise clearly communicated to students.

In addition to work in the classroom, “teaching” includes two other components: academic advising, and assessment of student learning.

As needed, faculty members will be assigned as advisors to students majoring or minoring in their program/s. As advisors, they are responsible to meet with students, whether during regular “advising periods” within semesters, or at other times, when students need help addressing issues relating to their academic programs and progress. It is the faculty member’s responsibility to self-educate regarding their program requirements, Sophia requirements, and academic policies, and to seek answers to questions that lie outside their immediate knowledge.

Finally, faculty members are responsible for cooperating with colleagues to assess the degree to which students are achieving stated outcomes of their programs and of Sophia requirements within their purview.

SCHOLARLY ACTIVITIES - Beyond the responsibility of maintaining a superior level of instruction, the teaching faculty are expected to cultivate and to improve their scholarly competence. These expectations are discussed in more detail under Tenure and Promotion Criteria.

SERVICE - In addition to responsibilities as teachers and scholars, the teaching faculty participates with the Board of Trustees and the President in determination of long-range plans for the College; selection of the President and other chief academic officers; improvements in the academic curriculum; major changes in the size and composition of the student body; decisions regarding buildings and facilities to be used in the educational work of the College; allocation of finances among competing demands; formulation of policies and procedures relative to salary and ancillary benefits of the teaching faculty; and recommendation of structures and procedures for faculty participation in College governance through membership in the Faculty Assembly and on College councils and committees. As members of the community, teaching faculty are expected to contribute to the work of the college, using their skills and interests as a guide to where they can best serve.

Applies To: 
Last Updated: 
Maintained By: