Administrative Guidelines for Academic Department Chairs

Section Four – Miscellaneous Policies


Travel Policies – 4:1

College Travel Policy

Travel at College expense is allowed for persons who travel on College business as approved by the Department Chair, supervisor, or budget officer. Anticipated expenses should be discussed with the chair, supervisor, or budget officer prior to making arrangements. Expenses incurred outside the parameters of the College Travel Policy may not be reimbursed. For more information, the complete policy online is at: www.gustavus.edu/finance/travel.php

Faculty Travel Fund

The faculty travel fund supports faculty in their scholarly and creative work by providing funds to defray the cost of travel to professional conferences. For more information on the Gustavus Adolphus Faculty Professional Travel Fund, including policies and request forms, visit the Kendall Center website: www.gustavus.edu/kendallcenter/travel

Motorpool and Van Policies

Guidelines for the use of College cars and vans, including 10-passenger van training, is available online at: www.gustavus.edu/safety/policies/vehicle.php. Motorpool reservations can be made through the Telecommunications Office (motorpool@gustavus.edu or x8000).

Faculty Replacements and Compensation – 4:2

Emergency & Temporary Replacement Policy

Faculty members filling in for colleagues in emergency or family and medical leave situations may be compensated. The compensation rate is based on the current one-course stipend paid to adjunct and visiting faculty on a prorated basis. Requests for such compensation must be made by the Department Chair on behalf of the faculty member to be compensated. Requests should be made as far ahead of time as possible and include a rationale explaining why compensation is appropriate.

Compensation will only be considered in situations where either the faculty member being replaced will be out of the classroom for an extended period of time (more than one week) or is not expected to return for the remainder of the semester. Compensation will be for in-class teaching hours only (other responsibilities such as lecture and syllabi preparation, grading, and student contact hours are built into the compensation rate).

Emergency and temporary leave compensation will be authorized on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate Dean in consultation with the Department Chair. In all cases, a written contract or memorandum of understanding will contain the specifics of the agreement.

Compensation Rates

Full Course Adjunct Compensation Rate
$4,000 non-full-time faculty
$4,000 full-time overload

Weekly Compensation Rate
$285.00 (4 hours per week)

Per Class Compensation Rate
$71 per class hour

Sabbatical Leave Policy and Application – 4:3

Complete information about Sabbatical Leave Policy and Application can be found online.

Faculty Handbook Policy (section 2.1.4.1.1): www.gustavus.edu/facultybook

Application: www.gustavus.edu/kendallcenter/grant-opportunities

Part-time Faculty Commuting Stipend – 4:4

Mileage will not be paid as a regular part of a teaching contract. However, part-time visiting or adjunct faculty who live more than 50 miles from Saint Peter, and who teach 4 or fewer courses for the year (or 3 courses at the per-course rate if teaching a single semester), may be offered a stipend to help compensate for the distance they need to travel to take a part-time position at the College.

This stipend is paid at the end of the semester and is subject to withholdings.

The travel stipend is dependent on the number of days the part-time faculty member is scheduled to teach each week.

  • Four or five days per week = $800 per semester
  • Three days per week = $600 per semester
  • Two days per week = $400 per semester
  • One day per week = $200 per semester

January IEX is pro-rated at 4/15 ($215), since it is only four weeks long and thus involves fewer commutes.

The travel stipend is to be approved in advance by the Dean; the Department Chair must request the travel stipend at the time of hire.

Restricted Gift Acceptance and Spending – 4:5

Clarification of College Acceptance and Spending Policy for Restricted Gifts
(Endorsed by the Administrative Council, 09/28/1999)

Gifts directed to a specific department of the College by a donor must be received by an appropriate officer of the Institutional Advancement Office. [If a donation comes directly to the department, take it to Advancement for receipting.]

Generally, gifts of less than $1000 directed by a donor to a specific department will be deposited into that department’s general restricted fund account.

Gifts of $1000 or larger may be directed by the donor (with the approval of the department and the College) to a specific departmental fund or towards the purchase of a specific item. A restricted account will be created by the Finance Office to ensure that the intent of the donor is preserved.

Spending from all restricted accounts will follow the appropriate procedures established by the College. [Consult with Controller, Kelly Waldron (kwaldron@gustavus.edu or x7506), for procedures related to restricted funds spending.]

All purchases of $500 or more from restricted accounts must have the approval of the appropriate Vice President.

Summer Student Research Housing Policy – 4:6

  • Students will live in campus housing while doing summer research whenever possible. Housing assignments are made by residential life.
  • Only students who are doing research funded by on-campus (RSC or Presidential) or off-campus granting agencies are provided housing by the Provost’s Office. Students working on departmental or individual-funded research are not eligible.
  • Students living off-campus will NOT be compensated for housing.
  • Students will not normally be provided board plan as part of their compensation.
  • All students must sign an agreement before work begins. Summer housing forms are available in the Residential Life Office. See Dean Darrin Good (dgood@gustavus.edu or x7541) for details.

January Interim Experience Fee Policy – 4:7

In most instances Interim Experience courses will be supported by departmental funds. However, because of the unusual content or non-repetitive nature of some courses which require out of the ordinary expenses, a limited amount of funding is available from the Interim Experience budget by application to Dean Darrin Good (dgood@gustavus.edu or x7541). Classes that appear regularly in the Interim Experience offerings or use materials that may be used by departments in other classes during the year should be budgeted for during the annual departmental budget process. Appropriate expenditures from the Interim Experience budget include:

  • Van rental (no more than two round-trips to the Twin Cities per class)
  • Specialized equipment (that would remain useful property of the department)
  • Film or video rental/purchase
  • Honoraria for guest speakers

Due to the timing of the budget process and the limited funds available in the Interim Experience budget, it is sometimes necessary to charge fees to students for Interim Experience course expenses. Such fees must be included in the course proposal, be approved by the Director of Interim Experience and relate specifically to the course. It is appropriate to require fees for:

  • Van rental (in addition to that mentioned above)
  • Airfare
  • Room and board if away from campus
  • Tickets to performances, events, museums, etc.
  • Specialized equipment (that would not be kept by the department)
  • Expendable materials
  • Specialized off-campus program costs
  • Food/meals

While care should be taken by the instructor to hold costs to the student to a minimum, the costs associated with the instructor’s participation should be built into the fee charged to the student.

Please Note: In order for the College to operate within IRS guidelines, materials and supplies should be ordered through the Book Mark. It is against College policy for students to purchase materials and supplies directly from the department or instructor. (Please see the manager of the Book Mark for more information.) Students may reimburse a department for group ticket purchases, admission fees and expendable supplies that cannot be apportioned per student.

Student Application for Graduation – 4:8

This form is processed through the Office of the Registrar. Each prospective graduate must have approval of the Department Chair before processing is completed. The Department Chair signature on this form signals College approval that the courses listed satisfy the requirements for the particular major indicated. Any changes or exemptions must be supported by written documentation filed with the Registrar. The Registrar subsequently checks for completion of residency, general education, January IEX, and total credits requirements.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) – 4:9

For more information on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, you can view the complete policy online at: www.gustavus.edu/facultybook/allcollegepolicies/#Anchor-Th-32489

Office Assignment Policy – 4:10

Regular Appointment Faculty

Faculty in tenured or tenure-track positions will, whenever possible, have single offices. Faculty offices will normally be grouped by department. Individual office assignments will be made by consensus within the department. If consensus cannot be reached, the Department Chair or a designee of the Provost will make the assignment.

Special Appointment and Part-Time Faculty

The College will provide faculty in special appointment or part-time positions with appropriate office space. Contract length, years of service to the institution, course load, and other factors related to the teaching assignment will be taken into consideration when assigning offices. When possible, faculty teaching full-time (four or more courses) will not share an office. Faculty teaching less than four courses will likely share an office with at least one other faculty member. When at all possible, office space will be provided in or near the appropriate departmental cluster. Departments are expected to make arrangements for visiting and adjunct faculty within their area. If space is not available within the departmental area, the Dean should be contacted regarding other possible locations on campus. Faculty members on leave are expected to vacate their offices so that they may be used by their replacements.

Due to the scarcity of office space on campus, it may sometimes be necessary to house faculty from one department in the office cluster of another. Unassigned or vacant faculty office space should be reported to the Dean by the Department Chair and may not be converted to other use (e.g., workroom, student office) without approval.

Faculty Emeriti

The Provost’s Office will work to establish a group office space for faculty emeriti. Until such time as space is available, faculty emeriti will be provided office space if they have a teaching contract using the criteria for part-time faculty.

Facilities Use Policy – 4:11

The facilities and resources of Gustavus Adolphus College are dedicated to the education of students and the scholarly pursuits of faculty and, thus, these concerns have first priority (e.g., classes, rehearsals and performances, practice, athletic contests, exams, faculty research and scholarly pursuits). Facilities, classrooms, etc., are not owned by particular departments/programs, but belong to the greater College community.

Second priority is assigned to College-sponsored events which enhance the quality of life of Gustavus as an academic community (e.g. Nobel Conference, Christmas in Christ Chapel, MAYDAY!, films, lectures, fine arts events, faculty- or staff-generated academic offerings for students or teachers).

Third in priority are those events for outside groups sponsored by the College which support the total mission of the College (e.g., Lutheran Youth Day, retreats, synodical assemblies, professional meetings sponsored by faculty, administrators or students, for-profit faculty- or staff-generated athletic camps, faculty- or staff-hosted professional or academic gatherings not originating from campus, synodical assemblies, other church-related retreats).

Fourth are events sponsored by outside groups desiring to use the College facilities for their own purposes, but which are encompassed in categories directly relating to our stated mission but not included in any higher priority group (e.g., Fellowship of Christian Athletes, yearbook camps, high school speech tournaments, other denominational church meetings, Saint Peter High School lock-ins, political party dinners, town committee meetings). Such events may not interfere with events of higher priority, nor may they be permitted to be a hidden cost to the College or to stretch College resources. Prices charged/rental costs should reflect reasonable and adequate compensation to cover all costs for use of space, special facilities, utilities, maintenance, and staff time. The College wishes to be sensitive to the needs of the community, but will find it difficult to place on the College calendar events initiated by outside groups.

Wedding reception facilities are not included on this list, even though numerous requests are received yearly. Dining Services is equipped for such a request, and may do so at the discretion of the Director. Places such as the Dive or Alumni Hall are not available to host such events.

Key Policy – 4:12

The College's current key policy can be found on Campus Safety's website: www.gustavus.edu/safety/policies/keys.php.

Parental Leave Policy - 4:13

The College Parental Leave Policy is available in the All College Policies, online at: www.gustavus.edu/facultybook/allcollegepolicies/

When a chair is notified of an upcoming parental leave, the dean should be notified immediately so that the appropriate leave request paperwork can be filed in the Provost's Office and with Human Resources.

Note: Department members who cover their colleagues’ classes as part of parental leave are eligible for compensation as outlined above (Faculty Replacements and Compensation – 4:2).

Guidelines for Low Enrollment Courses – 4:14

Introduction

Predictability in course offerings is important for both students and Departmental planning. Having one set of guiding principles for low enrolling courses is better for cross-campus community as well. The following principles will serve as the basis for decisions regarding low course enrollments. These principles will serve as the beginning of the conversation regarding whether or not to cancel a course with low enrollment. The Deans will act with thoughtfulness and common sense when negotiating resolutions with the members of a department.

Premises

Faculty have control over curricular choices as a whole.

The Academic Deans are charged with running an efficient and strong academic program that will allow the college to continue to pursue excellence and maintain access for students.

Department faculty members are the best decision-makers for what is required in their degree programs.

Faculty are therefore central to the conversation as to when a course must be completed for a student to get a degree in the field.

Principles

All Fall and Spring Term classes should have 5 students enrolled in them regardless of their level.

For January IEX, the minimum number of students enrolled should be 8.

The only exceptions to this would be the following:

  • When the college is trying to grow a program or department.
  • If the Academic Dean for that department determines a course is so closely tied to the college’s distinctive mission that to lose the offering would have ramifications beyond the curriculum.
  • If the integrity of the program or major is severely at risk should the course be cancelled and no alternative solution is possible.
  • If 3 students who are enrolled in the course are graduating that year, and need it for graduation as a major requirement and the Academic Dean is convinced there are no other options for them. If the course is only offered every other year, juniors and seniors might be counted among the three students.
Guidelines if a course does not meet the minimum enrollment and does not fit in any of the exceptions:

When a course does not have 5 students enrolled in it by 3 weeks past when the initial registration period ends, the Academic Dean will contact the department chair and the instructor of the course and ask them to encourage more students to enroll. If two weeks after that date a course does not have sufficient students, we will cancel the course. This may occur in the summer for Fall Semester courses in which first-year students could potentially enroll.

If a course must be cancelled or taught as a Course By Arrangement, we most likely will ask that instructor to teach an additional course as soon as possible. This would ideally be within one calendar year of the cancelled course, preferably in the same academic year.

FAQs:

What if a course is required for graduation with a particular major, does not have enough enrollment to run and does not have enough students needing it for graduation that year as a major requirement?
Faculty would then need to do a Course By Arrangement with those students, find an appropriate substitute or waive that course as a requirement for those students' degrees. Remember that faculty set and control most major requirements except those mandated by external accrediting agencies.

What if a course is always poorly enrolled and/or we just never have enough majors in any given year to reach the required enrollment level?
We encourage departments to think strategically as they schedule courses. For example, you might perhaps try to teach courses on alternate year schedules or only once a year if possible. Other things to think about to enhance enrollments include adjusting the title, the time offered, etc.

What if a course normally makes the minimum but for some reason one year it does not?
In such cases, we will follow the guidelines noted above.

My department had an arrangement with the Provost in the past to protect our lower enrollments. Why can’t we keep going with it?
Having a standard arrangement is fairer and fosters community. We are trying to be as transparent and consistent as possible across campus.

Start-up Fund Use Policy – 4:15

Start-up Funds are intended to provide the support needed to allow a new tenure-track faculty member to initiate a strong scholarly program at Gustavus. The expectation is that these funds would support her/his transition to Gustavus for the first few years. The faculty member would then need to be largely self-sufficient, possibly by acquiring internal or external funding. All funds should be expended by the end of the faculty member’s first fiscal year unless explicit permission is granted in advance by the dean. By May 1 of the year before beginning at the College, a new faculty member who does not plan to spend all start-up funds by May 31 of the following year (at end of first year of employment) should discuss with the dean the distribution of those funds over two or (rarely) three academic years. The expenses must be directly research-related and reasonable. All items purchased are property of the College.

Acceptable uses for Start-up Funds could include:

  • Travel expenses (transportation, hotels, food), to conduct research (e.g., research library or collection, field sites)
  • Laboratory/Studio equipment, materials, supplies and organisms
  • Special computer hardware and software
  • Books
  • Fees for laboratory analysis or instrument user fees for equipment not owned by Gustavus
  • Professional certification or licensing
  • Journal publication costs (i.e. page & image charges, copyright permission, publication subvention costs)
  • Gustavus student research assistant stipends, plus related benefits (e.g., FICA, worker’s compensation) ONLY in the summer after the first full year of tenure track employment at Gustavus.

Start-up Funds cannot be used for the following (unless prior approval is granted from the dean):

  • Compensation for faculty or staff
  • Student research assistants other than noted above
  • Professional society memberships or attending academic conferences
  • Commissioning of works by other artists
  • Teaching supplies

Voluntary Early Retirement Program for Tenured Faculty (VERP) – 4:16

Adopted 6/26/1995; Amended 11/14/1995; Amended 4/15/1996; Amended 1/31/1997; Amended 9/9/1998; Amended 10/18/2004; Amended 8/9/2005; Amended 9/30/2011

Program Purpose

The voluntary early retirement program for tenured faculty is to provide financial support to eligible tenured faculty who wish to retire prior to reaching their full social security retirement age (FRA) at either no cost or at a cost savings to the College.

General Policies

All tenured faculty participating in the College Tax Shelter (Retirement) program who are age 60 to 63 (on the last day of the academic year in which they plan to retire) may apply to participate in the program by the January 1 (or first day of January Term) preceding the academic year in which they plan to terminate employment. Early retirement will not preclude reemployment, part-time employment or other compensable service to the College.

Benefits

Participants in the Voluntary Early Retirement Program for Tenured Faculty and their eligible dependents will be permitted to remain in the College health insurance program to the extent that such health insurance program is made available to other retired faculty members. Participants will pay 100% of the cost of coverage. Upon attaining age 65, participants may retain Medicare supplemental benefits through the College provided they enroll in Medicare part B and pay 100% of the cost of coverage. Upon attaining age 65, spouses may also participate in Medicare supplemental insurance through the College provided they enroll in Medicare part B and pay 100% of the cost of dependent coverage. The College reserves the right to amend or terminate its retiree medical coverage for any retired employee, including participants in the Voluntary Early Retirement Program for Tenured Faculty. Such amendments or termination may affect faculty members and others who have already retired.

Participants will receive an early retirement bridging payment upon termination of tenured employment. The bridging payment shall be 100% of the participant's salary during the last year of employment and may be paid out in twelve to twenty-four monthly installments.

Early retirees shall be eligible to receive all other College benefits and privileges as are received by retirees.

Participants will have access to their accumulated retirement account(s) and may make full or partial settlement under any of the income and annuity options available.

Process

Eligible faculty shall provide written notification to their Chairperson and to the Dean of the Faculty by January 1 (or first day of January Term) of the year preceding their last year of employment. Final approval rests with the President. Exceptions to the January 1 (or first day of January Term) deadline will be considered on the basis of extraordinary circumstances. A maximum of six applications may be approved in any year. The President may deny an application and provide a written rationale for the denial if any of the following apply:

  • The President determines that granting the application will lead to difficulties in meeting contractual, financial, legal or other obligations by which the College is bound.
  • The President determines that granting the application will negatively affect an audit, accreditation or any other review to which the College or any of its programs may be subject.
  • The President determines that granting the application would seriously disrupt the conduct of a College operation or program.
  • More than six applications have been received for early retirement in the same year. If this occurs, applications will be approved on the basis of most years of service. 

A denied applicant will be eligible to resubmit an application in the subsequent year.

Form of Agreement

Each approved application for faculty early retirement will be reduced to a written contract. The contract will be signed and will be binding upon the participant and the College.

Program Changes

The College reserves the right to amend or terminate the Voluntary Early Retirement Program for Faculty, in full or in part, at any time.

Phased Retirement Option for Tenured Faculty (PRO) – 4:17

The Phased Retirement Option (PRO) is designed to assist individual faculty members and the programs in which they participate in planning for the full retirement of a long-serving member of the college community. Such planning may provide an opportunity for the college to prepare for the transfer of the knowledge, skills, and institutional memory as well as allow faculty members to consider and pursue their long and short-term goals as they transition from full-time employment to retirement.

Eligibility

Full-time tenured faculty members are eligible to participate voluntarily in the Phased Retirement Option after completing 20 years of full-time faculty service at Gustavus Adolphus College, at least ten of which must be as a tenured faculty member. This option is not available to Endowed Chairs or Distinguished Endowed Chairs.

Faculty members electing phased retirement must notify the college and their departments or programs by December 1 prior to the academic year in which they plan to begin phased retirement. When formally entering into the Phased Retirement Option, the tenured faculty member will indicate a firm date for his or her full retirement and will sign a letter of agreement to relinquish tenure, effective on that date. Upon reaching full retirement, a faculty member electing this option will be eligible for consideration for promotion to emeritus status.

Provisions

PRO carries a 4/6th employment expectation, with compensation based on the number of years the faculty member elects to remain in the program, up to a maximum of three. During the phased-retirement period, a faculty member will be compensated for an annual one-course release to prepare for retirement and their salary shall continue to be adjusted through the normal process of setting faculty salaries. Faculty who choose to participate for one year in PRO will receive 60% of the full-time salary at their step for their year in the program; faculty participating for two years will receive 55% of the full-time salary at their steps for their two years in the program; faculty who commit to three years in PRO will receive 50% of the full-time salary at their steps for their three years in the program. With one semester’s notice, an individual participating in this plan may shift to full retirement prior to their planned phased retirement term, and the relinquishing of tenure occurring at the conclusion of the new phased retirement term.

The specific nature of the employment responsibilities for faculty in the PRO program will be determined by the Provost in consultation with the individual faculty member, the faculty member’s department, and any interdisciplinary program indicated by the faculty member. These responsibilities will normally require at least one course to be taught each semester and may include (but will not be limited to) regular teaching, supervision of special projects, advising, and/or administrative assignments. The person entering phased retirement will not normally participate in the position definition, search, or hiring of his/her replacement and may not participate in any reviews of his/her replacement.

Faculty may take any earned sabbatical leave immediately prior to entering the PRO; teaching during the PRO will not count toward future sabbatical leaves.

Phased retirees will be eligible for institutional support for research and travel including faculty travel funds, professional development accounts, and college grants.

Benefits

Benefits continue throughout the phased retirement period: the College contribution will continue for health and dental; tuition benefit will continue; retirement contributions, disability coverage, and life insurance continue based on phased retirement salary.1

Availability

The Phased Retirement Option is a program for faculty members who meet the eligibility requirements. Gustavus Adolphus College elects to offer this program to allow faculty members who have served the institution to plan their next steps and to facilitate planning on the part of departments and programs in which vacancies will occur. While applications from eligible faculty members will normally be approved, the College reserves the right to require an employee to defer entry to the phased retirement program if:  1) the Provost determines that participation by the faculty member would seriously disrupt an academic department, or college operations and/or programs; or 2) the Provost has received more applications for participation in the program than can reasonably be approved in light of the college’s financial and operational requirements.

The college will, at least in five-year intervals, review the program to determine if the needs of the institution are being fulfilled, and the college reserves the right to discontinue the program if those needs are not being met. If the college elects to discontinue the program, the faculty will be notified at least two years in advance in order to provide sufficient time for planning and any existing written agreements will be honored.

1 Coverage and benefits will be subject to the terms and conditions of these separate plans, which may also be amended or terminated at any time.


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Last modified: 24 April 2015, by Shanon Nowell