REG 05.20.27 – Statements of Faculty Responsibilities

Authority: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

History: First Issued: Fall 1994.  Last Revised: October 30, 2018.

Related Policies:
NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure
NCSU REG 05.20.34 Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments
NCSU REG 05.20.03 Annual Reviews of Faculty Members
NCSU REG 05.20.20 Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Dossier Format Requirements
NCSU REG 05.20.04 Post Tenure Review of Faculty

Additional References:
Template for SFRs
Example Realms Annotated
Online Tool for Submission of SFRs

Contact Info: Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (919-513-7741)

1. Development of the Statement of Faculty Responsibility

The Statement of Faculty Responsibilities (SFR) is a statement of the approximate percent effort expected of the individual faculty member in each realm of responsibility and general description of the activities to be undertaken in each realm.  The SFR serves three purposes.  First, the SFR should reflect the plans for faculty members’ work efforts.  Second, the SFR can be used by the relevant department head(s) (or other appropriate supervisor in special cases) to ensure that the effort of each faculty member contributes appropriately to the mission and goals of NC State as well as the mission and goals of the faculty member’s academic unit(s) (e.g. department, interdisciplinary cluster, college). Third, the SFR should be used in reviews of faculty provide context for their accomplishments in different realms of responsibility.  To serve all of these purposes, the SFR must clearly identify the approximate percent effort to be devoted to each realm of responsibility that applies to the individual faculty member and provide a general description of the faculty member’s anticipated activities in each realm.

SFRs are required for all faculty except part-time faculty (less than 0.75 FTE) of any contract length and full-time faculty with a contract length of one year or less; these excepted faculty may have their responsibilities documented in either a SFR or in their letter of offer from NC State.  All other faculty must have an SFR, which is to be prepared in consultation with their department head(s) (see Section 2) and reviewed each year as part of the Annual Review (see Section 4).

The six realms of responsibility outlined by the university are Teaching and Mentoring of Undergraduate and Graduate Students, Discovery of Knowledge through Discipline-Guided Inquiry, Extension and Engagement with Constituencies Outside the University, Creative Artistry and Literature, Technological and Managerial Innovation, and Service in Professional Societies and within the University; these realms are defined in Section 2, below.  Any realm to which 0% effort is expected should not be included in a faculty member’s SFR; any realm to which more than 0% effort is expected must be included in the SFR.

In addition to approximate percent effort in the realms of responsibility, some explanation of the types of activities appropriate within each realm should be included.  However, because the SFR is not an annual plan of work, it is inappropriate to include too much detail (e.g. specific committee assignments, specific courses taught, specific meetings to be attended).  Any information provided should be kept general enough to allow the faculty member the flexibility and intellectual freedom to pursue promising leads and special opportunities for creative scholarship within each realm included. Providing a general explanation for each realm also allows the department head the flexibility to meet department needs by adjusting specific assignments within each realm listed for that faculty member without having to modify the SFR.  More detailed expectations can be included in a plan for professional development, which may include the professional goals of the individual faculty member and may be reviewed during each faculty Annual Review (REG 05.20.03 Annual Reviews of Faculty Members).

The SFR does not describe minimum qualifications for promotion to higher ranks, nor does the SFR describe performance or quality standards for contract renewal, reappointment, promotion, tenure, or post-tenure review. The SFR should refer to relevant policies, regulations, and rules, but the SFR should not repeat or expand upon them.  Qualifications for rank have been defined by the university (POL 05.20.01 Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure; REG 05.20.34 Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments). Standards of scholarship within each relevant realm of responsibility should be defined in departmental or college rules in a manner inclusive of all faculty members in all tracks that are eligible for promotion and in a manner that is consistent with university general standards (Section 5 of POL 05.20.01 Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure).

The SFR is used in conjunction with the annual faculty Activity Report in the Annual Review of the faculty member and in post-tenure reviews of tenured faculty members (REG 05.20.03 Annual Reviews of Faculty Members; REG 05.20.04 Post Tenure Review of Faculty). For reviews related to reappointment, promotion, and tenure, the SFR provides a framework for understanding the relevant realms of responsibility and percent effort in each realm for the individual faculty member.

The SFR does not include a listing of faculty achievements. Faculty achievements in each realm of responsibility included in the SFR should be documented in the RPT Dossier or in annual activity reports required for annual review (REG 05.20.20 Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Dossier Format Requirements; REG 05.20.03 Annual Review of Faculty Members). These achievements are to be reviewed in light of the relevant qualifications for rank and standards found in NC State policies, regulations, and rules.

The SFR does not describe the standards by which a faculty member is to be reviewed, but should include a statement that the faculty member will be expected to meet or exceed the relevant standards described in departmental and/or college rules, with reference to the specific rules that apply to that faculty member. Departmental and college rules should distinguish the standards for tenure track and tenured faculty from the standards for other faculty eligible for promotion, including Clinical, Extension, Research, and Teaching Faculty and Faculty Of the Practice (REG 05.20.34 Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments) as appropriate to the department.

Fulfilling responsibilities defined in the SFR is necessary but not sufficient for reappointment, promotion, or conferral of tenure, given that the quality and impact of faculty members’ contributions is also a critical aspect of faculty evaluation, including peer evaluation.

2. Realms of Faculty Responsibility

Creative scholarship in all of the following six (6) realms of faculty responsibility is valued and rewarded by NC State.  Substantive contributions in an appropriate mix of these six (6) realms must be — both in fact and in faculty perceptions — the principal criteria for decisions about faculty reappointment, contract renewal, promotion, and/or tenure as well as post-tenure review.  The nature of the “appropriate” mix is defined by each academic unit’s Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure rule and in each faculty member’s Statement of Faculty Responsibilities. Each realm is defined below.

2.1  Teaching and Mentoring of Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Transmission of knowledge to students and the development of wisdom are two primary reasons universities exist.  The goal is to develop students who can play effective and socially constructive roles in a wide variety of institutions and endeavors, who can understand their service in a global and societal context, and who understand the importance of life-long learning.  Knowledge, insights, and understanding are transmitted through disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary learning.

2.2  Discovery of Knowledge through Discipline-Guided Inquiry

Such inquiry involves inductive and deductive reasoning; qualitative and quantitative methodologies; hypotheses and propositions; measurements; accumulation of evidence; analysis and argument; interpretation and evaluation; and communication/publication of findings, concepts, and conclusions.  Basic research is inquiry aimed at understanding the world around us.  Applied research is inquiry aimed at enhancing the arts of teaching and learning, management of nature and human institutions, and developing practices and technologies useful to society.  Discovery of knowledge can be achieved by working either as an individual or as part of a collaborative team.

2.3  Creative Artistry and Literature

Creative artistry involves the creation, production, interpretation, and evaluation of cultural artifacts that generate new insights and interpretations with the potential to inspire and advance the quality of life in society.  Creative artistry can be expressed through literary, performing, fine, and applied arts.

2.4  Technological and Managerial Innovation

Technological innovation provides the means by which knowledge and imagination in the sciences, humanities, and creative arts can be harnessed to drive the economic and social systems of the state, nation, and world, and ultimately, provide new products, processes, and services.

2.5  Extension and Engagement with Constituencies outside the University

Engagement with people and organizational constituencies outside the university are the principal means by which NC State and other land-grant universities fulfill their unique mission.  Accomplishments in extension and engagement represent an ongoing two-way interchange of knowledge, information, understanding, and services between the university and the state, nation, and world.

2.6  Service to Professional Societies and the Discipline, and Service and Engagement within the University itself.

Complex research-extensive universities and discipline-focused scientific and professional societies simply do not work effectively, efficiently, or for long, without the dedicated and continuing investment of university faculty time and creative energy in the programs and governance of these organizations. Thus, service to and engagement within all parts of the university and its affiliated organizations, including professional scientific and literary organizations (e.g., professional societies that serve a specific discipline, scholarly journals or presses, juried competitions) is valued, appreciated, and rewarded by NC State.

3.  Development of the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities

Development of the SFR will involve close communication between the faculty member and their department head(s).  The individual faculty member and their department head(s) should prepare the SFR during the initial six (6) months of appointment, following guidelines provided below.  The completed SFR is to be submitted by the faculty member or department head via NC State’s Online Tool for Submission of SFRs, which will route the SFR for approval by the appropriate individuals.  A copy signed by the faculty member and department head(s) should also be kept in the individual faculty member’s personnel file.

Failure to develop or agree to changes in the SFR must be brought to the attention of the dean by the department head.  Consultation should then occur between the faculty member, the department head, and the dean to resolve the matters at issue. If resolution is not achieved, ultimate authority for the content of the SFR remains with the department head.

4.  Guidelines for the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities

4.1 The SFR will:

4.1.1 follow closely the NC State Template for SFRs. Consistency in format across departments and colleges is essential for a document that will, at times, be reviewed by a university-wide committee.

4.1.2 identify realms of responsibility appropriate to the individual faculty member.

4.1.3 indicate the approximate percentage of effort that the faculty member is expected to devote to each realm of responsibility.

4.1.4 broadly outline, for each relevant realm of responsibility, the nature of the work expected (see Template for SFRs and Example Realms.

4.1.5 outline interdisciplinary responsibilities as appropriate for faculty with joint appointments or other affiliations that require interdisciplinary contributions in one or more realms of responsibility.

4.1.6 refer to appropriate departmental, college, and (when appropriate) university rules for explanations regarding the standards to which faculty will be held for promotion.

4.1.7 be generally consistent with the letter of offer, especially for initial SFRs.

4.1.8 include a table summarizing approximate percent effort by realm and by year of any changes (to be generated by the online submission tool).

4.1.9 include brief notes of any changes made, if a modified SFR is being submitted.

4.1.10 be limited in length by the online submission tool.

4.1.11 be included in the materials submitted for annual review, post-tenure review, and reappointment, promotion, or tenure review. When external evaluations are requested (such as in many promotion or tenure reviews), the SFR must be shared with external reviewers.

4.2 The SFR will not:

4.2.1 use a format or template other than that provided by the university.

4.2.2 describe qualifications for rank.

4.2.3 include contractual commitments to the faculty member; these should be documented separately and in writing to the faculty member.

4.2.4 describe standards or accomplishments required for reappointment, promotion, or award of permanent tenure or for successful post-tenure review; instead, these standards should be connected to the SFR via a reference to relevant departmental and college RPT and/or PTR rules.

4.2.5 describe responsibilities in such detail that they unduly limit the faculty member’s flexibility and intellectual freedom to pursue promising leads and special opportunities for scholarship in all of his or her realms of responsibility.

4.2.6 confuse approximate percent effort with percent salary by funding source.

4.2.7 report accomplishments or activities completed.

4.2.8 omit any realms of responsibility to which the faculty member is expected to contribute.

5.  Review and Modification of the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities

The SFR will be at least briefly reviewed during the Annual Review (REG 05.20.03 Annual Reviews of Faculty Members), and each year the faculty member and their department head(s) must certify that the SFR remains an accurate representation of the percent effort by realm for that faculty member. This certification will be initiated by the department head using NC State’s Online Tool for Submission of SFRs.

The SFR is to be modified only when significant changes occur in responsibilities associated with the individual faculty member’s appointment; a modified SFR must be submitted when the approximate percent effort for any realm of responsibility is changed.  Recommended times for reconsideration of the SFR are after promotion with tenure, promotion in rank, and during post-tenure review.  A review of the SFR may also be appropriate when there are changes in departmental leadership or when a faculty member assumes or relinquishes a substantial administrative position.

When modification of the SFR is warranted, the modified SFR is to be submitted via NC State’s Online Tool for Submission of SFRs, indicating changes in percent effort by realm and providing a brief explanation of the reasons for those changes.  It is suggested that a copy of the SFR signed by the faculty member and department head(s) also be kept in the individual faculty member’s personnel file.