Troy University
SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation
2.8 The number of full-time faculty members is adequate to support the mission of the institution and to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs. (Faculty)
 
X Compliance   Partial Compliance   Non-Compliance

Narrative:  

Troy University is in compliance with this Core Requirement. Troy University has an adequate number of full-time faculty members to support the mission of the institution and to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs.

Mission of the University

The University’s mission statement leads the institution to provide academic programs for traditional college-age students (18 – 22 year olds) on the residential campus in Troy, Ala., and for adult learners at its campuses in Dothan, Phenix City, and Montgomery, Ala. along with the Global Campus locations, including courses and programs offered online through the University’s eCampus.

The Institutional Effectiveness Review of Troy University Winter 2007 – 2008 notes that 80 percent of Troy University’s students are adult students who attend part-time while either working full-time or providing full-time care to their families. Sixty-two percent of Troy’s undergraduate students and 93 percent of its graduate students are 25 years of age or older and balance their academic work with their full-time professional and family commitments.

The 20 percent of Troy University’s students who are traditional college-age students attend mostly as full-time students and are mostly located on the residential campus in Troy, Ala.

While Troy University functions as a regional university that can be compared with other regional universities in Alabama in terms of how it meets the needs of full-time students from its region, the majority of Troy University’s students are adult learners in a wide range of locations, which is reflected in faculty credit hour production.

Troy’s Faculty

As of Fall Semester 2007, Troy University has 483 full-time faculty members, as shown in the Troy University Fact Book June 2008, p. 41. Full time faculty members are full-time employees of the University who have been appointed to one of the four regular academic ranks, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor or professor. (Faculty Handbook 2008, p. 32)

These full-time faculty members maintain control over all aspects of the institution’s academic programs.

The full-time faculty members control and direct the statement of purpose for all academic programs, the establishment of the student learning outcomes for all academic programs, the assessment of student performance in all academic programs, and all decisions regarding course curricula that support all academic programs. Committees made up of full-time faculty control all decisions relative to course syllabi and textbooks in the academic programs and also make up the committees that make recommendations regarding faculty tenure. The control is vested in the Undergraduate Academic Council, the Graduate Council, discipline coordinating committees, college-wide curriculum committees, Institutional Effectiveness Committee, and college and university tenure and promotion review committees.

These full-time faculty are located across Troy University’s various campuses, sites and eCampus. Although most are located at one of the four Alabama campuses, full-time faculty reside in the Atlantic, Southeast, Western and International regions.

Troy University clearly has adequate full-time faculty to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs. In fact, Troy University has the second largest number of full-time faculty among all of the regional universities in Alabama, drawing upon the most current data posted on these institutions’ web sites, as shown in table one.

Table 1: Number of Full-Time Faculty at Alabama’s Regional Universities

Regional Universities in Alabama Number of Full-Time Faculty
Alabama A&M     325
Alabama State University     234
Athens State University     118
Auburn University - Montgomery     311*
Jacksonville State University     294
Troy University     483
University of North Alabama     222
University of South Alabama     740**
University of West Alabama      92
*Auburn University - Montgomery does not provide statistics on the number of full-time and part-time faculty separately. AUM has 311 total full-time and part-time faculty members
**University of South Alabama is classified as a research university.

Troy University employed 1,119 part-time faculty members in the fall of 2007. These faculty members almost entirely teach adult learners and are very appropriate for this group of students because they combine strong academic credentials with substantial, professional work experience. Control of the academic programs, however, clearly remains with the full-time faculty. Unlike many larger institutions, Troy University makes almost no use of graduate teaching assistants. The part-time faculty members teaching for Troy University are seasoned professionals with strong academic credentials. All faculty members are certified the same, regardless of full-time or part-time status; all faculty are evaluated with end-of-course evaluations, regardless of full or part time status. In addition, part-time faculty is evaluated specifically to ensure they meet the expectations of the University in their teaching. AOP 8-1-7-04.

Troy University determines the number of full-time faculty that are necessary based on its need to ensure that full-time faculty have control and oversight of the curriculum. Full-time faculty governance of the curriculum and related academic issues is demonstrated by the varied number of representatives on the University’s standing committees.

Troy University’s number of full-time faculty compares well with other major institutions that provide a large number and percentage of courses to adult learners. The best comparative data available are those reported in U.S. News and World Report, which uses its own formula for determining full-time faculty numbers. Table two provides comparative data based on the U.S. News and World Report methodology for estimating the percentage of faculty who are full-time.

Table 2: Percentage of Full-Time Faculty at Public Universities

Serving Large Numbers of Adult Learners

Source: U.S. News and World Report in 2007

(Uses data from 2006)

Institutions Percentage of Faculty that are Full-Time
National - Louis University 46%
Regis University 39%
Troy University 47%
University of Maryland - Univ College 36%

Of course, full-time faculty members teach more courses than part-time faculty members, so students will take a large portion of their courses from full-time faculty. Table three provides data from the fall of 2007 that show the credit hour productivity of full-time and part-time faculty, the course enrollments and the number of course sections taught by full-time and part-time faculty.

Table 3: Fall 2007 Faculty Productivity

  Full-Time Faculty Part-Time Faculty Total
Credit Hour Production 120,678 (47%) 137,500 (53%) 258,178
Course Enrollments 43,968 (45%) 53,245 (55%) 97,213
Number of Course Sections 2,442 (45%) 3,003 (55%) 5,445

SACS has traditionally expressed concern if the percentage of credit hours produced at an institution falls below 25 percent of those hours being provided by full-time faculty. Troy University’s credit hour production by full-time faculty is well above that threshold level of concern.

Conclusions

Troy University has the largest number of full-time faculty of any regional university in Alabama (excluding research universities). These full-time faculty members are clearly in control of all decisions related to academic programs from planning through assessment. The part-time faculty members bring strength to the academic programs in terms of relating well to adult learners, and Troy University compares very favorably to other institutions that have a major emphasis on adult learners and distance education in terms of the percentage of full-time faculty. Full-time faculty members provided 47 percent of the credit hours in the fall of 2007, which is well above the 25 percent threshold for concern about adequacy of faculty numbers.

In conclusion, Troy University is in compliance with this requirement.

 

Supporting Documentation Location
Academic Operating Procedures http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/aop/
Fact Book 2008 http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Fact-Book-2008.pdf
Faculty Handbook, 2008 Edition http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Faculty-Handbook-2008-Edition.pdf
Graduate Academic Council http://stars.troy.edu/troy_website/gac.html
Institutional Effectiveness Review of Troy University
Winter 2007-2008
http://sacs.troy.edu/references/Institutional-Effectiveness-Review-Of-Troy-University-Winter-2007-2008.pdf
Mission Statement http://www.troy.edu/mission.htm
Standing Committees of Troy University http://stars.troy.edu/troy_website/home.html
Undergraduate Academic Council http://stars.troy.edu/troy_website/uac.html

 

Last Updated: 08/26/2008