The institution employs competent faculty members qualified to accomplish the mission and goals of the institution. When determining acceptable qualifications of its faculty, an institution gives primary consideration to the highest earned degree in the discipline. The institution also considers competence, effectiveness, and capacity, including, as appropriate, undergraduate and graduate degrees, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes. For all cases, the institution is responsible for justifying and documenting the qualifications of its faculty. 

In compliance




East Carolina University (hereafter, ECU or the institution) fulfills its mission and goals by providing academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels taught by faculty qualified for their respective programs. This narrative documents the qualifications of faculty members and graduate teaching assistants, and explains the institution’s procedures for assuring their qualifications that contribute to effective teaching and the achievement of desired student learning outcomes.


ECU identifies instructors of record in accordance with the SACS definitionthat is, the person qualified to teach the course and who has overall responsibility for the development/implementation of the syllabus, the achievement of student learning outcomes included as part of the syllabus, and for issuing grades” (SACS Resource Manual 2012). The institution defines faculty ranks and titles in the ECU Faculty Manual, Part VIII, Section I: Personnel, Polices and Procedures for the Faculty. Status as a member of the graduate faculty is further defined in the ECU Faculty Manual, Part II, Section IV.


Policies to Assure Employment of Qualified Faculty at ECU

ECU employs faculty to meet the institution’s mission and strategic directions. The East Carolina University Faculty Manual (Part VIII, Section I, “Personnel Policies and Procedures for the Faculty of East Carolina University”) defines minimum qualifications for faculty appointment, while reiterating the primary importance of teaching.  Consistent with SACS expectations, faculty appointees higher than the level of Instructor must have earned the appropriate terminal degree in the discipline or present evidence of substantial alternate professional qualifications.  Faculty appointees who are eligible for tenure must also present a record of scholarship resulting in publication or comparable productivity. As an academic health center, ECU also employs faculty who are, where appropriate, engaged in clinical practice in disciplines.  Further, ECU considers service to the university, the academic profession, and the community as important aspects of engaged academic performance.


ECU employs systematic and comprehensive processes to assure compliance with relevant policies governing faculty appointments, including review and approval by the Office of Equity and Diversity, university budget office, and finally by the appropriate vice chancellor, who issues the employment contract letter.  Checklists, standard forms, procedures, and templates are made available through internet resources to assist units with each step in the faculty appointment process.



Processes to Assure Compliance with Policies

To ensure a comprehensive process for assuring ongoing employment of qualified faculty members, the ECU Faculty Manual,  Part IX, Section I “Tenure and Promotion Policies and Procedures” defines unit committee structures as well as the relationship to each academic unit’s specific qualifications and criteria for faculty appointments, annual faculty evaluations, review for reappointment and conferral of tenure, and recommendations for promotion or advancement.


Qualifications of Faculty at ECU


Process and Criteria for Determining Qualifications to Teach


The Faculty Certification Application (FCA) is an electronic matching system using the taxonomic coding scheme of the National Center for Education Statistics’ Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes. Department chairs, deans, and division level administrative personnel review, certify, and approve the credentials of teaching faculty using the FCA.  The application collates academic transcript data for faculty along with course assignments for selected terms.

Each semester, in order to certify that faculty are teaching courses for which they are properly credentialed, the FCA matches the CIP code assigned to the course with the CIP code of the individual instructor’s educational credentials at the master’s or higher degree level as entered in the faculty database. The data are reviewed, updated, and approved as needed and then maintained in an electronic repository where queries are processed against it to produce various reports on faculty credentials and to document faculty qualifications.

ECU uses three different paths for faculty credentialing:  1) Appropriate degree (terminal or master’s plus eighteen graduate credit hours) in the teaching discipline or 2) Equivalent Alternate Credentials or 3) Standard Alternate Credentials.    If an instructor’s education credentials at the master's level or higher do not match either the course CIP code or a related CIP code, the school/college may select a justification based on the equivalent training, ability, and/or experience of the instructor. The two alternate options available in the system and the templates for each are as follows:


1.       Equivalent Alternate Credentialsexperience and credentials are considered equal to the terminal degree in the discipline.


2.       Standard Alternate Credentialsextensive experience and/or research expertise in the subject matter of the specific course; template includes the “Qualifying Course Objectives Matrix.”


Documentation of Related Disciplines


Every academic department at East Carolina University has a Department Information Sheet (DIS), which has been approved by the department, dean of the college, the university Faculty Credentials Advisory Council (FCAC), and signed by the provost or vice chancellor for health sciences.  As shown in the template, Department Information Sheets document the following information for each program:


General Description:

This section provides a brief general description of the department or school.  


Degrees Offered:

The degrees offered by each program area in the department/school are listed in this section.  (This should match those identified in the Academic Program Inventory)


Terminal Degree for each teaching discipline:

This section identifies the terminal degree for each teaching discipline.  


Related Disciplines for each teaching discipline:

Strongly related disciplines are identified in this section.   Someone with a degree in a strongly related discipline should be able to teach all or a majority of the courses in the actual teaching discipline.


Related Disciplines for Specific Courses:

When a related discipline is not considered a strongly related discipline, but is strongly related for specific courses within the teaching discipline, it is listed in this section. 


These Department Information Sheets provide documentation that East Carolina University is responsible for justifying and documenting the qualifications of its faculty. This documentation and process of review allows faculty to be credentialed to teach a course on the basis of the educational degrees earned in closely related teaching disciplines (upon a determination that the closely related discipline meets the requirements of the department).


When determining what disciplines to include as related disciplines, departments are asked to consider the following question: “When hiring a new faculty member in the department, would someone with a degree in this discipline qualify?”  If the discipline is broad and is strongly related to the main discipline, then it is listed on the Department Information Sheet (DIS) and is approved through several committees or councils.  For example, a construction management program may choose to list civil engineering as a related discipline on the DIS. The dean or associate dean of the college approves the related discipline for the program before sending it to the university’s Faculty Credentials Advisory Council. Once approved by the FCAC, the DIS is forwarded to the Provost for final approval by the Academic Council.


If certain portions of a curriculum are closely related to another discipline, then closely related discipline may be listed in the section of the DIS entitled “Related Disciplines for Specific Courses.”  Courses and related disciplines included in that list reflect the related discipline for the specific course in a given curriculum.  This designation enables programs that have some courses that are “out of discipline” but still “in the major” to be taught by individuals with the appropriate degree.  For example, an engineering program may offer a course in technical writing.  The individual most qualified to teach that course is one with a PhD in Technical Discourse or some similar degree, and not an individual with a PhD in Engineering.  On the DIS, the department lists the related discipline followed by a list of the courses to be taught by faculty with degrees in that related discipline. A justification is added for further documentation of qualificationsExamples of Department Information Sheet Justifications are provided from the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.


During fall and spring semesters, ECU also employs graduate students as graduate teaching assistants (GTA). GTAs serve as the instructor of record for undergraduate courses and are considered part-time faculty (primary responsibilities are not teaching). The Graduate Assistantship Contract contains the Terms and Conditions of Appointment that describe the requirements and procedures for employing these part-time instructors as well as required academic qualifications (an undergraduate degree and at least 18 hours of graduate-level course work appropriate for the class being taught), supervision and evaluation. All graduate teaching assistants are given instructional training and are supervised and evaluated by a permanent faculty.


Oversight of the faculty credentialing process at ECU is through a Faculty Credentials Advisory Council (FCAC), reporting directly to the institution’s Academic Council. This council is responsible for consideration and recommendation of standard operating procedures related to faculty credentialing. All recommendations of the FCAC are made to the Academic Council for final approval. This entire process is described in the Faculty Credentials Guidelines ; FCAC is responsible for review of the Faculty Credentials Guidelines and recommendation of revisions as needed.


Faculty Roster

The Faculty Roster for Fall 2011-Spring 2012 documents the credentials of all faculty who taught courses in the 2011-12 academic year, as reviewed and approved by the dean of the college and the office of the vice chancellor for personnel administration in each division.

Since faculty is credentialed to teach courses within specific colleges, ECU’s faculty roster is organized by departments within a college.  Instructions for navigating through the roster are provided in the Faculty Roster:  Guide for Reviewers.

III. Evaluation of Faculty and Faculty Development Activities 

As described in the report for SACS Comprehensive Standard 3.7.2, ECU’s systemic process for annually evaluating its faculty is outlined in the Faculty Manual, Parts IV, VIII, IX and XThis includes the submission of annual faculty activity reports, annual performance evaluations of all full-time faculty (tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure track) by the academic department chair. The annual evaluation of faculty includes several modes of instructional assessment via an online course evaluation system.  The Student Opinion of Instruction Survey is conducted on all courses with more than five students enrolled in every term.  As described in the Faculty Manual and in the report for Comprehensive Standard 3.7.2, other forms of evaluation include peer observation of instruction and instructor-provided documentation of other examples of teaching excellence.  A performance review of tenured faculty occurs every five years.

Unit codes contain evaluation criteria and policies for evaluating faculty members who are hired on one-year or multi-year contracts are also described in the report for SACS Comprehensive Standard 3.7.2.  Although these criteria may vary slightly from unit to unit, these faculty members are evaluated for performance of the duties stated in their specific contracts. Graduate teaching assistants are evaluated on the performance of the duties assigned as detailed in the graduate assistantship contract.

Additional evidence of continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes, may be found in Comprehensive Standard ComprehensiveStandard3.7.2: Faculty Evaluation, and in Comprehensive Standard ComprehensiveStandard3.7.3: Faculty Development.

Special Cases

Certain units are exceptions to the institution’s standard operating procedures for Faculty Credentialing. These special justifications for credentialing teaching faculty are discussed in detail, below.

COAD 1000

The Freshmen Seminar (COAD 1000) is a course designed to help students transition effectively to college, achieve academic success, and learn about student life.  The Office of First Year Experience and the Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education believe that the expertise and content knowledge required to teach COAD 1000 derive from several disciplines which may or may not necessarily be academically related. Among these are student development/student affairs, business, education, and counseling.  Expertise required for proficient practice in other disciplines, as well, is also valuable for instructors of this course in order to teach the core competencies of the course, including effective study skills, time management, career decision-making, identifying and capitalizing on varied learning styles, interpersonal skills, leadership, cultural awareness, and ethics. These important transitional competencies are not the exclusive purview of any single discipline.  Therefore, practitioners in a variety of disciplines, when trained in principles of effective teaching, facilitation, and classroom management, and provided uniform and well-developed instructional materials, can effectively teach COAD 1000 and help students achieve the stated objectives. Some units use specific pre-fixes to identify COAD 1000 for their students, e.g., the College of Human Ecology Freshman Seminar is entitled CHE 1000. 

Individuals are credentialed to teach COAD 1000 based on the following criteria:

1.    Such individuals must first have masters (or at least 18 graduate hours in one of the competency areas) or doctoral degrees in a related discipline.   Recommendation or self-nomination must state three (3) related areas of competence.

2.    Every new applicant must present a teaching philosophy and justification of both desire and expertise to teach the course.

3.    Every new applicant must participate in a comprehensive, 12-hour professional development training on effective teaching and mentoring. 


During their first term of teaching COAD 1000, new instructors are closely monitored and mentored to mediate any areas of needed development.  Mean scores on ECU’s Student Opinion of Instruction Survey (SOIS) and other demonstrated evidence of effective teaching assess the success of all instructors. COAD instructors’ SOIS scores must be at or above the unit and university mean in order for the instructor to be allowed to teach in subsequent semesters.  All instructors use a standard syllabus jointly created by expert practitioners in student development and faculty in the Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education.  Course materials related to all subject areas are also archived and available to supplement instruction. Annual professional development refresher sessions are mandated for all instructors.


Honors College

Courses taught in the Honors College do not have a related discipline table associated with them. Faculty teaching courses with an HNRS prefix are credentialed through a university-approved process that includes completion of an application form indicating how the instructor of record is qualified to teach the specific course (holds terminal degree in the discipline or is alternately credentialed). This application is vetted by a Faculty Advisory Council of the Honors College and is ultimately approved and signed by the Dean of the Honors College. 


College of Business

The College of Business has determined that 18 hours of coursework leading to a PhD in Business Administration and a dissertation in the teaching discipline constitutes a major focus of study. For faculty who have a terminal degree in Business Administration, the College of Business lists graduate semester hours in a specific teaching discipline (accounting, finance, marketing, management and management information systems) and documents those as validation of a terminal degree in the teaching discipline. Courses to be included must be clearly identifiable on transcripts as being in the faculty member’s teaching discipline.


School of Dental Medicine

The School of Dental Medicine (SoDM) is the newest school at ECU. The SoDM achieved initial discipline accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation in February 2011 and the inaugural class of 52 students began classes in August 2011. The new SODM faculty work collaboratively with over 40 Brody School of Medicine basic science faculty to develop and implement the SoDM curriculum. The educational model has at its heart a fully-integrated curriculum based on five themes known as Course Tracks. The SoDM does not have traditional academic departments or individual courses. Within each course track, there are multiple modules with individual module directors who report to one of the three instructors of record.



ECU has undergraduate ROTC programs for both the United States Air Force and Army. These programs qualify students for commissioned officer status in the military upon graduation. In addition, both offer minors but do not award bachelors or graduate degrees.  All instructors are selected and assigned by the military service area. ECU provides them with courtesy appointments and credentials their instruction of the courses based on the following:


Criteria for Air Force credentialing:

Criteria for Army credentialing:
Dissertation, Thesis, Research, and GRAD courses

Faculty supervising dissertation, thesis and research courses are credentialed based on academic qualification or research expertise. Graduate program directors and department chairs approve the supervision of theses and dissertations within their departments/programs by faculty from other departments on the basis of the faculty member’s research or content expertise.


GRAD 6999, a course that is open to graduate students in a non-thesis option master’s degree program who have completed all course work for the degree program but must meet the Graduate School requirement that they be registered the semester they graduate. GRAD 6999 is assigned to either the Dean of the Graduate School or the Director of the Graduate Program. A faculty member in the medical humanities teaches GRAD 7004: Research Ethics for a Complex World. This area was given a faculty position to support the instruction of this particular course.


Adequacy of Faculty to Fulfill Research and Service Mission


Full-time faculty are engaged in various activities including teaching, research and creative activity, and service to the community. As reported in ECU’s Economic Impact on the Region and the State, in response to increased enrollment and the corresponding need for more classes, in the past ten years ECU has managed to increase the number of faculty by about three percent per year. This increase was also partially fueled by the need for building a critical mass of research faculty in some areas identified as vital to meeting the strategic objectives of the institution. Contributions to the research and service missions of the institution are documented in the Annual Report prepared by the Division of Research and Graduate Studies and from an internal database maintained by the same division.


Contributing to teaching excellence, the faculty activities database shows that the faculty accomplished the following types of scholarship during the FY 2011-2012:

The scholarship of outreach and engagement is another important contributor to ECU’s mission of public service. The ECU Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy (located with the Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development) assists faculty and students in partnering with communities in order to conduct research on issues important to the community. Since the Academy began in spring 2009, it has graduated 29 faculty scholars and 25 graduate student scholars.


In summary, this report provides documentation that ECU employs competent faculty members who are qualified to accomplish the mission and goals of the institution. Through careful faculty employment and credentialing processes, regular evaluation of teaching performance, scholarship, and service, ECU ensures that its faculty are qualified and effective.




Reference Title


Annual Report

ECU RGS Annual Report 2010-11

Application Form: Honors College

Spring 2013 Honors Seminar Template

COAD 1000 Standard Syllabus

COAD Syllabus 2012

Comprehensive Standard 3.7.2


Comprehensive Standard 3.7.3


Creative Activities

Creative Activities 11_12

Department Information Sheets

Department Information with Explanations

Department Information Sheet Justifications

DIS Examples for 3.7.1

ECU’s Economic Impact on the Region and State

ECU's economic impact on the ragion and state

ECU Faculty Manual, Part II, Section IV

Faculty Manual part2

ECU Faculty Manual, Part IX, Section I

Faculty Manual Appendix D(B)

Equivalent Alternate Credentials

Equivalent Alternate Credentials Criteria

Facilities and Administration Production

Facilities and Administration Production_11_12

Faculty Credentialing Guidelines

FC Guidelines 08-02-2012


Faculty Manual

Faculty Manual

Faculty Manual, Part VIII, Section I: Personnel, Policies and Procedures for the Faculty

Faculty Manual Appendix C

Faculty Roster: Fall 2011-Spring 2012

 Faculty Roster

Graduate Assistantship Contract


Grants and Contracts Awarded

Grants and Contracts Awarded_11_12


ECU Mission Statement

Peer Reviewed Articles and Proceedings

Peer Reviewed Articles and Proceedings 11_12

Peer Reviewed Books, Monographs, Compilations, and Manuals

Peer Reviewed Books, Monographs, Compilations, and Manuals 11_12

Peer Reviewed Chapters, Cases, Readings, and Supplements

Peer Reviewed Chapters, Cases, Readings, and Supplements 11_12

Peer Reviewed Creative Activities

Peer Reviewed Creative Activities 11_12

SACS Resource Manual, 2012

SACS Resource Manual

Standard Alternate Credentials

Standard Alternate Credentials Criteria

Strategic Directions

ECU Tomorrow_ Our Strategic Directions