Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff
Section 3

Faculty members are responsible for defining and executing the goals of the undergraduate program, supporting, and facilitating both student learning of content knowledge and the development of professional skills, which together constitute an undergraduate chemistry education. An energetic, accomplished, and diverse faculty (in gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and ability) is essential to an excellent undergraduate program. An ACS approved program therefore has mechanisms in place to recruit, retain, and welcome a qualified and diverse faculty, maintain the professional competence of its faculty, provide faculty development and mentoring opportunities, and provide regular feedback regarding faculty performance.

Critical Requirements

Number of faculty members

  • Five full-time   permanent faculty that are wholly dedicated   to the chemistry program.
  • A minimum of 75% of the full-time faculty must have a terminal degree in chemistry or an adjacent field.
    • Situational Variance: Faculty are active-duty military on assignment to a service academy.

Use of Teaching Assistants
Graduate and, or undergraduate teaching assistants must be trained and supervised.

Contact Hours
(60 minutes = 1 contact hour)

General rule:  All faculty regardless of rank or title must have 15 or fewer contact hours per semester/quarter.

Faculty with >15 contact hours in a single semester or quarter may be compliant if:

  • With no single semester/quarter exceeding 18 contact hours,
  • AND one or more of the following variances is met:

Situational Variances

  • The faculty member is covering for family or medical leave; or under unusual circumstances (resignation, death, etc.)
  • The faculty member is a lab manager/ coordinator/temporary faculty member with no service or research responsibilities.
  • The department must be compliant with a union contract (as long as the number of contact hours is < 18 in any given semester).

Instructional Variances

  • For instructors teaching non-major courses with
    • duplicate course offerings OR
    • no research or administration duties OR
    • no expectations for additional course development OR
    • no expectation for lab set up.
  • For instructors teaching majors courses with
    • duplicate course assignments OR
    • courses previously taught by instructor OR
    • modified service, research, or administration duties, OR
    • additional assistance from graders, TAs, or other support personnel.

Normal Expectations

Faculty involved in instruction

  • Courses needed for certification   are taught by permanent faculty without excessive reliance on temporary or part-time faculty.
  • Where faculty contracts are renewed on a regular basis, the positions hold the expectation for long-term and full-time employment.
  • Expertise of faculty reflects the breadth of the five distinct areas of chemistry (ABIOP  ).
  • Faculty are diverse in terms of gender, race, and ethnic background (for more details see Section 9 - DEIR).

Institutions should provide:

  • Opportunity and resources for scholarly activities of faculty.
  • Opportunities and resources for faculty professional development through sabbaticals, participation in meetings, and other professional activities.
  • Enough academic and non-academic support staff to allow the program and its faculty to conduct academic and scholarly activities.
  • A mechanism for counting supervision of undergraduate research in the normal faculty workload.

Markers of Excellence

  • Faculty contact hours are substantially less than the maximum permitted as outlined in the Critical Requirements.
  • Faculty have a professional development plan that is reviewed and updated regularly.
  • Faculty are engaged in external organizations, outreach, and in the promotion of a DEIR climate.
  • More than five full-time permanent faculty members are wholly committed to the chemistry department.
  • Formal mechanisms exist by which established faculty members mentor junior colleagues.