2019 Self Study - Part II, Standard 4: Full-Time and Part-Time Faculty
The department’s faculty is composed of 13 full-time and 7 part-time members who serve 451 majors and 108 minors. In Fall 2019, 84% of core classes were taught by full-time faculty members.
Tenure and tenure-track (T/TT) faculty are required to teach a 4/4 load, to advise 20-40 majors, to conduct research or generate creative works, and to serve the department, university, and discipline. The department’s T/TT faculty, in particular, carry heavy teaching loads. Within the College of Arts and Sciences, the COMM’s T/TT faculty have the 3rd highest average student credit hour (SCH) production. T/TT faculty in COMM also consistently teach SCH loads significantly higher than other T/TT faculties in our discipline.
Non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty are also required to teach a 4/4 load and do minimal service for the department, but have no advising or research/creative work requirements.
Faculty CVs & Resumes are available at: https://www.utc.edu/communication/2019-cv.php
Describe faculty balance in terms of degrees, professional experience, gender, race and rank.
In Fall 2019, the faculty was comprised of 13 full-time and 7 part-time members. Among the full-time faculty, three are tenured professors, three are tenured associate professors, three are tenure-track assistant professors, and four are non-tenure track lecturers.
The majority of full-time faculty have terminal degrees; nine members have doctoral degrees, one has a master’s of fine art degree, one has a master’s degree, and two have bachelor’s degrees. The majority of part-time faculty have bachelor degrees, although two adjuncts also have master’s degrees.
The professional experience of the faculty is grounded in journalism. The majority of the faculty have worked as print, digital, broadcast, or photo journalists. Faculty members also have backgrounds in public relations, broadcast radio, and video production.
The faculty is nearly evenly split by gender. During the 2018-19 academic year, 53.57% of the full-time and part-time faculty were female, while 46.43% were male.
The majority of faculty are white. During the 2018-19 academic year, 82.15% of the full-time and part-time faculty were white, while 10.71% were black, 3.57% were Asian, 3.57% identified as two or more races, and 3.57% were international.
Describe how the unit selects full-time and part-time faculty and instructional staff. Provide in digital format examples of published advertisements for faculty openings in the past six years (before the self-study year) that show required and preferred qualifications of candidates.
Full-time faculty with renewable appointments are hired through a formal process overseen by the university’s human resources department and the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI). Within the department, the process for hiring full-time faculty is defined in our bylaws.
To oversee the hiring process within our department, a search committee is formed by the department head. Position announcements are written by the department head in consultation with the search committee and, at times, the full faculty. The announcement must be approved by the college dean and HR/OEI before the position is advertised. HR/OEI is responsible for advertising the position on both a local and national level. An archive of position announcements is available at:
Once a pool of candidates is formed, the search committee reviews all candidates using a rubric approved by OEI. Using scores from the rubric, the committee selects candidates for video interviews. The list of candidates must be approved by OEI before the interviews can commence. Questions asked during the interviews must also be approved by OEI.
Following the video interviews, the search committee selects two to four candidates for on-campus interviews. The list of on-campus candidates must be approved by OEI before candidates are invited.
During on-campus interviews candidates do a teaching presentation, a research presentation (tenure/tenure-track candidates only), meet with the dean of the college, and meet with the faculty on an individual basis, as well as in group settings.
Following the on-campus interviews the search committee makes a hiring recommendation to the department head. The full faculty provides the search committee and the department head with feedback during a faculty meeting. The department head then makes a recommendation to the dean. The final hiring decision is made by the dean of the college.
The department head has the authority to hire part-time faculty and full-time faculty limited to a one-year appointment without a full search process.
Describe the unit’s expectations of faculty members in teaching, research, creative and professional activity, and service and its process for the award of tenure, promotion, reappointment and salary. (Provide digital access to relevant faculty handbook sections and any supplementary promotion and tenure criteria and procedures adopted by the unit. Please provide specific page numbers.)
Full-time faculty, both tenure/tenure-track and instructors, are expected to teach the equivalent of a 4/4 teaching load.
Tenure/tenure-track faculty are expected to produce research and/or creative works on a regular basis. Non-tenure track lecturers have no research or creative work expectations.
Tenure/tenure-track faculty are expected to serve the department, the university, and the profession.Non-tenure track lecturers are expected to serve the department but are not required to serve the larger university or the profession.
All faculty are evaluated on an annual basis by the department head. Faculty evaluations are reviewed by the college dean. During the annual evaluation process, faculty may be nominated by the department head for exceptional merit. Exceptional merit is determined by the college dean. Faculty awarded exceptional merit are eligible for a bonus or a merit raise, depending on funding.
Tenure-track faculty are also evaluated by the department’s RTP committee during their third year. In their sixth year, tenure-track faculty seeking tenure are evaluated by the department’s RTP committee and the college’s RTP committee.
Faculty seeking promotion are evaluated by the department’s RTP committee and the college’s RTP committee. When a faculty member is promoted they automatically receive a 10% raise.
Beginning in 2019-2020 all tenured faculty will undergo a post-tenure review every six years. During the post tenure-review process faculty are evaluated by the college’s post-tenure review committee.
Tenure and promotion expectations are defined in three documents:
Faculty Handbook (see Chapter 3, beginning at page 21): https://www.utc.edu/faculty-senate/pdfs/facultyhandbook_11_02_2018.pdf
College of Arts & Sciences Bylaws (see Chapter 4, beginning at page 11): https://www.utc.edu/college-arts-sciences/pdfs/cas-bylaws-approved-20181115.pdf
Departmental Bylaws: https://www.utc.edu/communication/bylaws.php
Describe professional development programs, workshops in teaching, or other methods used to stimulate and encourage effective teaching.
Faculty are encouraged to participate in faculty development programs offered by the university’s Walker Center for Teaching and Learning (WCTL). WCTL regularly offers teaching workshops on a variety of teaching related issues and hosts book clubs on a semester basis. Each May WTCL hosts a two-day Instructional Excellence Conference that explores a different topic each year. Finally, WTCL offers a semester long Teaching and Learning Institute for new and existing faculty needing more in-depth trainings on instructional design and delivery practices.
Faculty who teach online receive training from Quality Matters (QM), “an internationally recognized, standards-based program [that] offers faculty quality assurance in online and hybrid course design with a focus on continuous improvement.”
Describe the normal workload for a full-time faculty member. Explain how workloads are determined. If some workloads are lighter or heavier than normal, explain how these variations are determined.
Tenure and tenure-track (T/TT) faculty are required to teach, advise majors, conduct research or generate creative works, and serve the department, university, and discipline. Non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty are required to teach and do minimal service for the department, but have no advising or research/creative work requirements.
Full-time faculty, both T/TT and NTT, teach a 4/4 course load. Depending on the size of a course, a single section of a non-skills course may count as more than one course in a faculty member’s teaching work load, per the department’s class size policy (see Departmental Bylaws for course size policy).
For the last few years the department has provided new T/TT faculty a course release (or a 3/3 teaching load) for their first year. The course release allows the new faculty member time to focus on research and creative works and to adjust to teaching new courses.
The department’s T/TT faculty, in particular, carry heavy teaching loads. Within the College of Arts and Sciences, the department’s T/TT faculty have the 3rd highest average student credit hour (SCH) production, with department T/TT averaging 653.22 credits during the 2017-18 academic year.
Department T/TT faculty also consistently teach SCH loads significantly higher than other T/TT faculties in our discipline. In Fall 2016, UTC T/TT faculty averaged 331.29 SCH for the semester, while the Delaware Norm was 192.5 SCH, a 172.1% difference. This was down from a high in Fall 2015, when department T/TT faculty taught nearly twice the national average (369 SCH vs. 193 SCH, a 190.95% difference).
In Fall 2019, the department revised its class size policy, decreasing the size of lecture courses. The new policy will take effect in Spring 2020. This should help reduce the average SCH of full-time faculty members who teach one or more lecture courses.
T/TT faculty advise between 20 and 40 students each. Advising loads are determined by the department head, in consultation with each faculty member. During their first year at UTC, T/TT faculty do not advise students.
T/TT faculty regularly serve on department committees, on university-wide committees, and participate in professional organizations.
Demonstrate that full-time tenured, tenure-track and fixed-term faculty have taught the majority of core and required courses for the three years before the site visit. If full-time faculty have not taught and are not teaching the majority of core and required courses, the unit should explain how its staffing plan accomplishes the goal of reserving the primary responsibility for teaching to the full-time faculty.
Percentage of core and required courses taught by full-time faculty:
2018-19 school year: 72.5%
2017-18 school year: 66.67%
2016-17 school year: 69.23%
The department requires all majors to take 7 core classes. Four of the courses, COMM 1010, 3200, 4200, and 4510, are exclusively taught by full-time faculty members. Adjunct faculty are used to supplement the full-time faculty in teaching our two media writing courses (COMM 2300 and 2310) and our internship course (COMM 4850).
Over the last three years a significant portion of the sections of COMM 2300, Media Writing I, have been taught by adjunct professors. In Fall 2018, the department head requested the department be allocated several new faculty lines, with one dedicated to hiring an individual qualified to teach COMM 2300. In Spring 2019, the University authorized the hiring of a lecturer in journalism. The new lecturer started in August 2019. In Fall 2019, 84.21% of required courses where taught by full-time faculty.
Describe the unit’s processes and criteria for evaluating the performance of full-time and part-time faculty and instructional staff. Use a digital format to provide any course evaluation forms, peer review forms or other documents used in evaluations.
Each semester students are asked to complete an anonymous course learning evaluation for each of their classes. The evaluation form was created by the Faculty Senate’s Course Learning Evaluations committee. The evaluation form is administered by the university’s Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research (OPEIR). A full explanation of course learning evaluations is available at: https://www.utc.edu/planning-evaluation-institutional-research/course-learning-evaluation/index.php
At the end of the semester, after grades have been submitted, the full results are shared with the faculty member who taught the class, as well as with the department head. The department head discusses the results of the teaching evaluations with individual faculty, as needed.
In Spring 2019, the department also adopted a rubric to be used for peer evaluation of teaching. Peer evaluation of teaching will begin during the 2019-2020 academic year. A copy of the peer evaluation of teaching rubric is available at: https://www.utc.edu/communication/docs/peer-teaching-observation-19.docx
List selected achievements in teaching in the past six years: awards or citations for high-quality teaching; grants or other support for development of curriculum or courses; publications and papers on teaching; etc. (Five citations each year are sufficient, but the unit has the option of providing a full list in a separate digital file.)
Weeks, William, SGA Professor of the Year Award, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (April 2019).
Harriss, Chandler W., The University of Tennessee Symposium, "Building Online Learning Communities: Active Environments & Large Online Classes.," The University of Tennessee System, Memphis. (September 14, 2018).
Gailey, Elizabeth, Outstanding Teacher Award, UTC Dept. of Communication (April 2018)
Harriss, Chandler, Finalist in AEJMC's Great Ideas For Teachers (GIFT) Competition, AEJMC (2017)
Harriss, Chandler W., UTC Instructional Excellence Conference, "Team-Based Learning Strategies," Walker Center for Teaching & Learning, Chattanooga. (May 9, 2018).
Harriss, Chandler W., AEJMC, "Managing the Masses: Employing Team-Based Learning in a Large Communication Class," Chicago, IL. (2017).
Simmons, Charlene (May 11, 2016), Design an Active Learning Activity, Instructional Excellence Conference 2016: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Simmons, Charlene (January 29, 2016), Team-based Learning as a Tool to Improve Student Learning, Spring Showcase of Teaching and Learning: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Bahr, E., Harriss, C. W. (2015). One-to-one instruction: Two perspectives. College & Research Libraries News, 76(1), 14–17.
Gailey, Elizabeth, 2015 UT Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher, UT Alumni Association (April 2015)
Simmons, Charlene, Great Ideas For Teachers (GIFT) Finalist: Oh No, Quinn’s in Trouble Again: Using Team-Based Learning and a Fictional Character to Teach Media Law, The Annual AEJMC Conference. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication: Washington, DC. (2013).
Simmons, Charlene, Outstanding Full-time Teaching, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. (2013)
Simmons, Charlene, ThinkAchieve Faculty Award, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (2013)
Simmons, Charlene, Instructional Excellence Retreat, "Panelist on Team-Based Learning at UTC," University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee. (May 2, 2014).
- Self Study Home
- Part I: General Information
- Part II: Supplementary Information
- Part II, Standard 1: Mission, Governance and Adminstration
- Part II, Standard 2: Curriculum and Instruction
- Part II, Standard 3: Diversity and Inclusiveness
- Part II, Standard 5: Scholarship: Research, Creative and Professional Activity
- Part II, Standard 6: Student Services
- Part II, Standard 7: Resources, Facilities and Equipment
- Part II, Standard 8: Professional and Public Service
- Part II, Standard 9: Assessment of Learning Outcomes
- Supporting Documents