Faculty and Teaching

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Adjunct faculty

Part-time/temporary faculty are hired to broaden the range of expertise and experience of the full-time faculty and to bring flexibility to the educational programs of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. They enrich the school by the insights they bring from other disciplines, by their ongoing practice experience, and by their dedication to and support of students engaged in the process of professional education. These faculty are selected very carefully, and include persons with degrees in relevant disciplines, experienced social work professionals with the desire, aptitude, and enthusiasm for classroom instruction, visiting professors from other universities and departments, and advanced students from our Ph.D. program. These positions are normally at the lecturer, senior lecturer, or visiting professor titles. To apply for an adjunct faculty position, go to UT Faculty Jobs.

Once the person agrees to teach, the information is given to the Dean’s Administrative Office for processing of employment forms, office space, and faculty support assignment; Marian Mahaffey for the course scheduling; and to Chief Business Officer for budgeting purposes.

Adjunct Field Faculty

Adjunct field faculty are professionals who work in community agencies and provide service to the Steve Hicks School of Social Work without monetary compensation. Adjunct field faculty are selected from among the more than 400 field instructors affiliated with the Field Program. In addition to performing field instruction, adjunct field faculty often serve as guest lecturers for social work classes, serve as part-time lecturers, advise the school on the Field Program, and act as liaisons between the school and the community.

Individuals appointed to adjunct faculty positions must have expertise in social work practice and/or other specialized areas of practice, and they must be recognized as outstanding professionals by their peers and colleagues. Their specialized knowledge must enrich the educational goals of the School at the undergraduate and graduate level. Persons appointed as adjunct faculty must meet the following criteria:

  • have been in practice a minimum of three years after obtaining the master of social work degree;
  • have been a field instructor for the school for a minimum of three years;
  • be licensed by the State Board of Social Work Examiners;
  • have two letters of recommendation, one from their agency director and one from the Steve Hicks School of Social Work’s Coordinator of Professional Practicum;
  • volunteer to participate in one or more of the following: Steve Hicks School of Social Work committees, lectures, colloquia, research and publication activities, or evaluation of a field practicum;
  • attend one regularly scheduled field workshop each year, even when not serving as a field instructor.

Each May, the Field Practicum Coordinator forwards to the Dean a list of persons who will be reappointed, removed (along with the reason), and new appointments (along with documentation supporting their meeting the above criteria). The Executive Committee reviews new appointment folders and recommends to the Dean their approval or disapproval of their appointment. The Dean then forwards the list to the Provost for submission to the Board of Regents for final approval.

Annual Merit Reviews, Third-year Reviews, and Comprehensive Periodic Reviews for Tenure-Track, Tenured, Clinical, and Research Professors

It’s time for faculty reviews again.  If you are undergoing a comprehensive periodic review (formerly post-tenure review) 3rd year review or preparing Budget Folders (Assistant Professors who have completed a full year), please submit your materials to Julie Cunniff in the Dean’s Office by December 5, 2014, or sooner if possible.  If you are submitting annual merit review materials only (see attached sheet), please give them to Julie by November 3, 2014. In addition, your Faculty Annual Report (FAR) is due by November 3rd. Your FAR is submitted online.  Your punctuality will allow the Executive Committee to complete its reviews and submit its report to the Dean in a timely manner.  Except in extenuating circumstances, materials not submitted by the deadline will not be reviewed.

See the guidelines below for preparing review materials.  They have been revised since last year to conform to new Board of Regents’ policies and UT Austin guidelines. According to the new UT guidelines, which were developed with input from Faculty Council representatives  and the deans, “the overriding purpose for faculty evaluation is to support tenure and promote faculty development.”  In addition, faculty evaluation is used “to form a basis for determining merit raises, honors, awards, and other types of recognition.”  You may also wish to review documents at http://www.utexas.edu/provost/faculty/ for additional information on faculty evaluation.

Each faculty member will receive a written report of the Executive Committee’s evaluation as required by UT Austin’s review guidelines.  The review categories are:  “exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” “does not meet expectations,” and “unsatisfactory.”

Faculty who wish to be considered for tenure and/or promotion in the next cycle (reviewed in 2015 for appointments effective Fall 2016) should review the university’s promotion and tenure guidelines, let the Dean and Executive Committee Chair know by December 5, 2014, and arrange a meeting to discuss the procedures.

Please let us know if you have questions about the requirements or guidelines for faculty reviews.  Thank you for your cooperation with the annual merit evaluation and comprehensive periodic review processes.


Annual Reviews for Full, Associate, Clinical and Research Professors

Include the following materials (assistant professors and faculty undergoing review for promotion and/or tenure or comprehensive periodic reviews, see the relevant section below):

  1. Copy of Faculty Annual Report:  With regard to service to the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, faculty will also be evaluated on leadership roles and the extent to which attendance expectations for assigned committees or other roles and major school activities are met.
  2. Summary statement of your work during the last year:  This statement (please do not exceed two pages) is an opportunity to put your work in context and provide information that may not be covered in other elements of the annual merit review materials.
  3. Journal quality:  Provide a list of published/in press and under review manuscripts and the journals in which they were published or are under review.  Also provide the following information if available:  (a) journal impact factor, (b) journal acceptance rate, (c) other information about the journal’s quality, and (d) citations or other information about the article.  Impact factors published by the ISI Web of Knowledge can be obtained using the following procedure:
    a.  Go to the UT libraries website.
    b. Click “Research Tools” and then click “Find Articles Using Databases.”
    c. Click “W,” then click “Web of Science,” then at top of page, click “Select a Database.”
    d. Click “Journal Citation Reports.”
    e. Under “Select a JCR edition and year,” click “JCR Social Sciences Edition” for social science journals or “JCR Science Edition” for science journals.
    f. You can then search for an individual journal or search for a group of journals such as “social work,” etc.
  4. Current curriculum vitae
  5. Course Instructor Surveys (for those teaching courses)
    a. Summary evaluation results available at MyCIS.
    b. Copies of all student comments (do not provide originals)
  6. Endowed Professorship and Chair Holders:  Include annual endowment letter.

Comprehensive Periodic Review of Tenured Faculty

The Executive Committee, in conjunction with the Dean and in consultation with the faculty member being reviewed, will appoint a subcommittee of tenured faculty (usually three members) to assist in conducting comprehensive periodic reviews of tenured faculty.  Peer observation of teaching is required as part of the review (the subcommittee will make arrangements to conduct these observations).

Submit the following materials:

  1. Copies of all Annual Faculty Activity Reports for all years under review
  2. Summary statement of your work (efforts and accomplishments) for the review period (not to exceed six pages)
  3. Current (updated) curriculum vita
  4. Journal quality for articles published or in press during the review period (see section 3. Above under Annual Reviews)
  5. Course Instructor Surveys for all years under review:
    a. Summary evaluation results available at MyCIS.
    b. Copies of all student comments (do not provide originals)
  6. Endowed Professorship and Chair Holders:  Include annual endowment letter.
  7. Additional materials the faculty wishes to submit

Assistant Professors:  Annual and Third-Year Reviews

Assistant professors should familiarize themselves with the university’s promotion and tenure guidelines and with the Steve Hicks School of Social Work’s Third-Year Review Policy (DOC).  Assistant professors should consult their mentor(s), Executive Committee Chair, or Dean to discuss the process and requirements for annual and third-year reviews and for guidance in compiling materials. Julie Cunniff, the Dean’s Executive Assistant, who assists with promotion and tenure dossier assembly, can also be of help.

Annual Reviews:  After each of the first two years, the assistant professor will submit a set of folders with supporting materials structured according to theuUniversity’s guidelines, as indicated below, and include a brief summary of sections 4 to 6:

  1. Current (updated) curriculum vitae
  2. Faculty Annual Report(s)
  3. Teaching (material should include syllabi, assignments, exams, etc.; Course Instructor Survey summary evaluation results [available on line at MyCIS and copies of all student comments [do not submit originals])
  4. Research/Scholarship/Creativity (publications, grants, etc.).  Include a list indicating journal quality as noted in section 3. above under Annual Reviews.
  5. Academic Advising, Counseling, and Other Student Services
  6. Administrative and Professional Service
  7. Honors and Other Evidence of Merit or Recognition in the School, University, Profession, or Community

Third Year Review:  During the spring of the third year, a subcommittee of the Executive Committee will be appointed in consultation with the assistant professor and the Dean to begin conducting the third-year review, including peer teaching observations. Assistant professors should combine their annual review materials for all three years and prepare a statement that summarizes all their work and accomplishments for this time period. These materials should be submitted by the last business day in August of the third academic year. The Executive Committee will complete its review during he Fall term of the fourth academic year.

Annual Reports

Annual Reports are due in the Dean’s Administrative Office no later than the third week of September. A hard copy with an original signature is required. The Dean’s Office retains a copy of each report in the faculty member’s personnel file and forwards the original to the Provost Office. The Executive Committee normally requests a copy of the report to be placed in the faculty’s Annual Budget folders. In addition to these, Research Professor ranks are asked to submit a copy of their FAR to the Office of the Vice President for Research (Mail Code G1400). For a sample format of these reports, please contact the Dean’s Office.

Class Schedules

Class schedules are prepared by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. This is done through discussion with the Dean, the Program Directors Committee, the Graduate Program Coordinator and the faculty.

Classroom Requests

If you wish to change your classroom after classes begin, or you need a special room for a specific day, see Julie Cunniff.

Correspondence and Extension Teaching

Full-time employees on twelve (12) month appointments may receive additional compensation for correspondence course and/or extension center teaching, but may not receive additional compensation for summer school teaching. Full-time employees on nine (9) month appointments may receive additional compensation for correspondence course and/or extension center teaching during the nine (9) month period and also may be paid for summer school teaching. Compensation rates for correspondence course and extension center teaching shall be paid at rates set from year to year by the chief administrative officer and approved via the operating budget approval process.

Course Evaluations

All Steve Hicks School of Social Work faculty are required to have their students in organized classes complete the “Social Work” course evaluation. Faculty will be notified of their availability sometime during the last 4 weeks of classes during the regular sessions and 2 weeks in the summer. Faculty, or their TA, may pick up the evaluations. However, they should be turned over to a student in the class for administration and returned to the Dean’s Administrative Office.

Course Syllabi

Every semester all teaching faculty should submit a copy of their syllabi to Nicole Magee for posting on the web.

Dean’s Fellow

Beginning in the fall semester of 2013, we will observe a new set of internal School policies and procedures for Dean’s Fellow Assignments. These assignments are intended to provide release time for tenured faculty only for a term of one semester.

All assistant professors (tenure track) will be provided an automatic Dean’s Fellow Assignment (one semester free from teaching after their 3rd year and prior to their 6th year) in order to attend to scholarship activities that will strengthen their tenure portfolio. An assistant professor who has been promoted to associate professor and awarded tenure will be eligible again for a Dean’s Fellowship after six years in the associate professor rank.

As stated in the Handbook of Operating Procedures (Section 3.10.II.B):

Dean’s Fellows are allocated to schools, departments, and programs with approved Performance Based Instruction System plans and are funded out of instructional salaries. Nominations are made by the faculty member’s department using the Request for Dean’s Fellow Assignment and Unbalanced Teaching Load form and must be approved by the dean and by the Executive Vice President and Provost. These assignments must be related to research or curriculum development, and each Dean’s Fellow nomination must be accompanied by a full description of the duties to which the faculty member will devote his or her time while on the assignment. (Emphasis added)

  1. The Dean’s Fellow will be released from teaching two courses and all other school-related activities and assignments (e.g., committee assignments, attendance at faculty meetings, graduation). Splitting of a fellowship so that it extends over two semesters in one year or more will be strongly discourage. Only in extraordinary circumstances will the Dean approve such a split.
  2. Faculty members who wish to request a Dean’s Fellowship must submit an application by the December 1st prior to the academic year in which the appointment will be held. That is, for the 2013-2014 academic year the applications are due by December 1, 2012. Applicants will be notified of the Dean’s decision by April 1st.
  3. The key criterion for a Dean’s Fellowship is the proposal of a serious program of scholarship that will benefit the individual faculty as well as the School. Specific measurable goals will be expected in a strong application. An application form or outline will be created for this purpose and will be posted on the School’s webpage for faculty to access. The determination of the award for a Fellowship will be made by the Dean and may include consultation from a committee of faculty members to help assess the proposed program that the individual will undertake during the period of the fellowship.
  4. Dean’s Fellows will be expected to provide a detailed report of the outcomes of their fellowship period. This report will be kept on file and included in the consideration of all future applications for a Dean’s Fellow Assignment by the faculty member.
  5. A faculty member who has been award a Dean’s Fellow Assignment will be eligible for another fellowship after a period of six years, except under extraordinary circumstances and as approved by the Dean.
Exam Times/Dates

Final exams for each semester are scheduled by the Registrar. Classes that meet at the same time during a semester also have a common examination time. Exams should begin promptly at the scheduled time and should not continue beyond the three hours allocated in the official exam schedule. For more information on final exams, please consult the Registrar’s Office page.

Faculty Member’s Classroom Obligations

For more information please refer to Policy Memorandum3.203 in the Handbook of Operating Procedures.

Faculty Sick Leave Policy

For more information, please see the Executive Vice President and Provost’s policy on faculty sick leave. Further information on leave management can also be found at the Office of Human Resource Services page for leave management, http://www.utexas.edu/hr/lm/.

Final Exams

UT’s policy on final exams is detailed in the Handbook of Operating Procedures, Section 3.22.

Modified and Phased Retirement

For instructions and policy on modified retirement, please see the Handbook of Operating Procedures Section 3.05. For the policy on phased retirement, please read the Handbook of Operating Procedures Section 3.06. Forms for modified or phased retirement can be obtained in the Dean’s Administrative Office.

No Class Days Policy

The university’s “No Class” days policy is available as Policy Memorandum 3.201 in the Handbook of Operating Procedures. “No class” days are not to be used as dates on which papers are to be turned in, examinations are to be given, quizzes are to be scheduled or for any other class-related activity, other than office hours.

Observance of Religious HoliDays by Students and Instructors

Religious holy days sometimes conflict with class and examination schedules. Sections 51.911 and 51.925 of the Texas Education Code relate to absences by students and instructors for observance of religious holy days.

Section 51.911 states that a student who misses an examination, work assignment, or other project due to the observance of a religious holy day must be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence, provided that he or she has properly notified each instructor. It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin that the student must notify each instructor at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates he or she will be absent to observe a religious holy day. For religious holidays that fall within the first two weeks of the semester, the notice should be given on the first day of the semester. The student may not be penalized for these excused absences but the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to complete satisfactorily the missed assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the excused absence.

Section 51.925 prohibits the university from discriminating against or penalizing an instructor who is absent from class for the observance of a religious holy day. Proper notice must be given to the department chairman prior to the beginning of class that will be missed due to observance of a religious holy day. The notice must be either personally delivered, acknowledged, and dated by the chairman or sent certified mail, return receipt requested. Consistent with regular university policy, the instructor is responsible for finding a qualified substitute or UT Austin instructor for any such class(es).

Office Hours Form

As per the Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Section III.12, “Members of the teaching staff are expected to post on their office doors, and publish in any other manner required by the chief administrative official, office hours and conference periods most advantageous to students.” In addition to that, it is helpful to inform your support staff about your office hours.

Ordering of Films/AV Equipment

A copy of the Media Request Order form for ordering films, videos, and equipment for class can be obtained at the LRC or downloaded (DOC). Remember that a large number of videos, as well as video equipment, are available from the LRC.

Outside Employment, Consulting and Other Professional Activities

For those faculty members employed 100% time who consult outside the school, please review the regulations from the Handbook of Operating Procedures Section 3.19. Forms for reporting outside consulting can be obtained at the Provost Office page, http://www.utexas.edu/provost/policies/outside_employment/index.html. Note that private practice should be included in these requests.

Faculty Payment for Research – Faculty may seek release time from their 9-month academic duties in order to pursue their research. Release time can include partial relief from teaching in order to conduct research. This may include partial or full salary payment from the research grant. In order to accomplish this, the faculty member must seek approval from the Dean.

Typically, a faculty member conducts research during the 9-month academic year as part of their faculty duties, and then receives a salary during the summer months for working on the project (assuming these funds were included in the original proposal). No special release forms need to be processed for this type of arrangement in the summer.

Posting of Grades

Grades can be posted. However, student identifying marks, i.e., full or partial Social Security numbers, must be deleted.

Requests for Leave

Please refer to the Handbook of Operating Procedures Section 3.10, for the complete policy. Forms for requesting leave, with or without pay, are available in the Dean’s Office Administrative Resources page. Leave without pay or release from the instructional budget (whether full-time or part-time) should be for not less than a full semester fiscal period, i.e., September 1-January 15 or January 16-May 31. Sick leave and other emergency needs are clearly separate matters.

Reserve Readings

Journal articles, documents and books provided by faculty for use of students in their classes are maintained in the LRC. These materials may be used by students in the reading room at the LRC, or checked out for one hour to allow the student time to make photocopies for their personal use. A current student I.D. must be left at the front desk when using the materials. A photocopy machine is located immediately outside the LRC entrance for student use. Copy cards are available for purchase from the LRC Manager. Faculty are also encouraged to use the Perry-Castañeda Library or the Undergraduate Library.

Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty Members

From the Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Series 31004, http://www.utsystem.edu/policy/

Sec. 1 Freedom in Research. Faculty members are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results.

Sec. 2 Freedom in the Classroom. Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his or her subject, but are expected not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter that has no relation to his or her subject.

Sec. 3 Clarification of Role. Faculty members are citizens, members of learned professions, and officers of an educational institution supported by the State of Texas. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, he or she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but should make it plain that the faculty member is not an institutional spokesperson.

Sec. 4 Primary Duties. The primary duties of a member of the faculty are to:

4.1 Teaching. Teach in the classroom, laboratory, seminar, or clinical setting.

4.2 Research. Study, investigate, discover, create, and develop professionally.

4.3 Administration. Perform curricular tasks auxiliary to teaching and research, e.g., serving on faculty committees, attending to administrative and disciplinary tasks, fostering intellectual curiosity and integrity in the student body.

4.4 Contribution to Society. Use their professional expertise to benefit society.

Please refer to the above link for the complete list of rights and responsibilities.

Signature Courses

We encourage the teaching of signature courses. These courses bring many advantages to the school and our faculty, not least of which is exposing students who might otherwise not major in social work to consider a social work career. Our school has historically offered very compelling and meaningful signature courses that in some instances have transformed the lives of students and enriched their learning. Our faculty has a great deal to offer the university and this is one avenue of influence. The school’s Policy on Signature Courses is detailed in the Dean’s memorandum of August 21, 2012, and can be found on UT Box (UT EID and password required).

Students with Disabilities

Services for Students with Disabilities determines eligibility and also help implement reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities at The University of Texas at Austin. For more information, please visit the site for Services for Students with Disabilities.

Audio/Video Recorders in the Classroom

Students or visitors are not allowed to use recorders in the classroom unless authorized by the instructor. For more information, please see the Handbook of Operating Procedures, Policy Memorandum 3.205.

student employment

Assistant Instructors appointments

1. Associate Dean, Ph.D. and BSW Program Directors discuss the curriculum needs of the BSW program and the interest areas and expertise of the doctoral students.

2. Associate Dean then sends out an email to all doctoral students informing them that if they want to apply for an AI position they are to fill out the application form and send it along with their CV to the BSW Program Director.

3. BSW Program Director then reviews the application forms and talk with Ph.D. Program Director about the doctoral students and their abilities to teach.

4. Ph.D. and BSW Program Directors then send our recommendations to Associate Dean, who then reviews recommendations in consultation with the Dean. Then Associate Dean informs the AIs of their appointments.

TA appointments

MSSW students. A limited number of TA (Teaching Assistant), GA (Graduate Assistant) and RA (Research Assistant) positions are available for MSSW students at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work in increments of 5 to 20 hours a week. To be considered, MSSW students must have a completed Financial Support Application on file with the Steve Hicks School of Social Work Office of Admissions. The application is kept on file for as long as the student is in the program. Complete the Financial Support Application here.

Research Assistant position decisions are made by individual faculty members with funded research. To be considered for a Research Assistant position, students should have a completed Research Assistant form on file. The completed form is kept on file for as long as the student is in the program. For more information and questions about RA positions, please contact Carol Lewis, director of the Office of the Associate Dean for Research, at carolmarie@austin.utexas.edu.

PHD students. Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA), Teaching Assistantship (TA)  and Assistant Instructor (AI) assignments are the primary source of financial support for  doctoral students. GRA assignments are decided by individual faculty. Students wanting a GRA position should make direct contact with the professor or research faculty member with whom they hope to work. For more information and questions about GRA positions, please contact Carol Lewis, director of the Office of the Associate Dean for Research, at carolmarie@austin.utexas.edu.

More information about student employment is found at Working at the School.

Textbook Orders

Orders for textbooks are placed before the beginning of every semester at local bookstores. Susie Marsh manages textbook orders for the School. Faculty should contact Susie as soon as they know which books they will require for their courses, and have an estimate of the enrollment. Late orders can sometimes take weeks to be filled. It is the responsibility of every faculty member to make sure the textbooks are ordered on time.

Travel Allowance Policy

In order to advance our leadership in the field of social work education and research, the school will sponsor faculty travel to the APM of the Council on Social Work Education and the annual meeting of the Society for Social Work and Research. However, there are some provisos, as outlined in the Dean’s memorandum of September 25, which can be found on UT Box (UT EID and password required).

Use of Own Book as Textbook

Textbooks written by Steve Hicks School of Social Work faculty may be used as required reading for a course as long as proper approval is granted. An “Authorization to Use Textbooks” form must be completed. This form requests information on the monetary return per volume involved. The faculty must vote to approve the use of the textbook (usually a vote is taken at a faculty meeting) and the form must be approved by the Dean. This request for approval must be submitted for each year that the book will be used. Forms can be picked up in the Dean’s Administrative Office.