The accomplishments and reputation of The University of Alabama depend on the quality of its faculty and the record of teaching, creative scholarship, and service/academic citizenship that the faculty generates. The success of the faculty in its scholarly activities ultimately determines the caliber of the University’s academic programs.
Given the faculty’s central importance to the University’s educational mission and given the University’s steadfast commitment to academic excellence, it is incumbent upon the University leadership to promote and support an academic climate in which the faculty can be successful. It is incumbent upon faculty members to be active, consistent, and energetic contributors to the University’s academic programs. In particular:
- All faculty members with teaching responsibilities are expected to be effective teachers, to demonstrate a level of teaching performance commensurate with their rank and experience, and to make substantive contributions to the overall instructional effectiveness of the academic programs in which they have assigned duties.
- All tenured and probationary faculty members and renewable contract faculty members with research responsibilities are expected to engage in an ongoing program of research, publication, creative activity, and scholarly effort that is appropriate to their appointment, discipline, and fields of specialization.
- All faculty members are expected to engage in responsible service/academic citizenship activities appropriate to their appointment, rank, length of service, and discipline. External service/academic citizenship activities are those that extend the influence and expertise of the faculty to areas and populations external to the University. These activities may include, but are not limited to, education beyond the classroom, research partnerships and collaboration, professional leadership, community engagement, clinical service and training, and public/community leadership and consultation. The intent is to extend the knowledge and skills of the University faculty to the public in a manner that is mutually beneficial and that contributes to the University’s tripartite mission, which includes service. Furthermore, internal service/academic citizenship are defined to include service to students and to the institution through effective governance. There is no presumption that service/academic citizenship are alternatives to 1. and 2. above. Flexibility in meeting the service/academic citizenship requirements of each department and division is critical, and consequently, individual responsibilities may vary from time to time.
- All faculty are expected to behave collegially. Lack of collegiality is defined as the inability and/or unwillingness to work cooperatively and civilly with colleagues and University administration. This includes, but is not limited to, engaging in extremely disrespectful and grossly offensive remarks aimed at colleagues and administrators. This standard is consistent with the AAUP Statement on Professional Ethics (Chapter 3, Section II) and should not violate the principles of academic freedom, as defined in Chapter 3, Section I.
From time to time, faculty members are assigned administrative and/or service-related duties beyond those required by responsible academic citizenship. In these cases, the quantity of instructional effort and creative scholarship expected from individual faculty members may be reduced, and the assigned administrative and/or service duties may play a larger role in promotion or tenure decisions. The change in assignment and expectations should be documented. Except in rare cases, an individual cannot earn tenure or promotion primarily by performing in an administrative or service capacity as a faculty member (even though such performance is always considered in the award of salary increases). It is the policy of The University of Alabama to require evidence of academic merit as demonstrated by the individual’s academic credentials, record of scholarly achievements, service, and instructional skills, before awarding tenure or promotion in academic rank.
In recognition of the extreme importance to the University of the academic credentials, academic achievements, and potential academic contributions of its faculty members, the University has established a set of criteria and standards to be observed in appointing new faculty, in promoting faculty members to higher academic rank, and in awarding tenure. These criteria and standards apply throughout the University except insofar as a department or academic division formally establishes higher or more detailed requirements and these receive appropriate administrative approval. All departments and academic divisions are encouraged to amplify the University criteria and standards for appointment, promotion, and tenure with more explicit and specific criteria that apply to their discipline or profession. These amplifications must in no way diminish or conflict with the University criteria and standards, and they must be approved by the academic dean and by the Provost in the case of divisional supplements. Copies of the current criteria, standards, and procedures for each unit and the University should be kept current and made available to faculty members at the time of initial appointment (start date for employment as a faculty member). Continuing faculty members should be notified of any changes.
In cases of tenure and promotion from assistant professor to associate professor, the departmental/college requirements at the time of the individual’s initial appointment shall govern unless the faculty member chooses to be reviewed according to the updated requirements. In cases of promotion from associate professor to professor, requirements in effect at the time the individual applies for promotion shall govern.
Some colleges or schools are divided into departments, while others have subdivisions called areas or programs. In what follows, the appropriate substitutions should be made for the words “chairperson” and “department,” when applicable.