CCA Policy Guidelines

Guidelines for Peer Review of Teaching

Promotion and tenure guidelines at university, divisional, and departmental levels require multiple indicators of teaching effectiveness. Peer review of classroom teaching is recommended as a common indicator for tenure and promotion candidates as well as LCPL faculty. In order to insure that peer reviews provide valid and reliable information, the CCA provides the following guidelines:

  1. Peer reviewers should be selected in collaboration with the Chair and/or Program Director and should demonstrate a strong track record of teaching effectiveness qualifying them to serve in this capacity. Peer reviewers should be at or above the faculty rank sought in promotion.
  2. Peer review typically targets a specific course, although multiple courses can be reviewed as recommended by the candidate, Chair, or reviewer.
  3. Peer review of teaching should include:
    1. a careful review of all course materials, including syllabus, handouts, exams, etc. These materials are provided by the candidate.
    2. a discussion with the candidate regarding her/his approach to the course.
    3. one or more classroom visits to observe the candidate's teaching. The candidate may recommend specific dates in order to observe various teaching modes (lecture, discussion, one-on-one instruction, etc.)
  4. Upon completion of the above, the peer reviewer should provide a written assessment of teaching that responds to the classroom materials, candidate discussions, and classroom observations. Topics to be addressed include instructor organization, instructional strategies, course content, presentation skills, and interactions with students. Classroom assessment forms or rubrics can be used but are not required. Refer to this optional peer review rubric.
  5. It is important that the written assessment include a summary paragraph or abstract that can be included in the candidate's dossier. The full written assessment is typically too long for inclusion in the dossier, and the candidate should not "cherry-pick" sentences from the full review. Thus it's important to provide a short summary in conjunction with the full assessment.

Similarly, a summary of written comments on course evaluations is recommended as a valid indicator of teaching effectiveness. In order to insure that summary comments provide valid and reliable information, the CCA provides the following guidelines:

  1. Peer reviewers should be selected in collaboration with the Chair and/or Program Director and should demonstrate a strong track record of teaching effectiveness qualifying them to serve in this capacity. Peer reviewers should be at or above the faculty rank sought in promotion.
  2. Student comments are provided by the candidate to the peer reviewer in digital or print format. Courses provided should be comprehensive and reflect the span of teaching required for tenure or promotion.
  3. Upon completion of the above, the peer reviewer should provide a written summary of student comments from the course evaluations. The reviewer may elect to summarize comments by categorizing them as positive, neutral, negative, etc., thus providing numerical data.
  4. As with peer review of teaching, it is important that the written assessment include a summary paragraph or abstract that can be included in the candidate's dossier. The full written assessment is typically too long for inclusion in the dossier, and the candidate should not "cherry-pick" sentences from the full review. Thus it's important to provide a short summary in conjunction with the full assessment.

Guidelines for Faculty Travel

The CCA Travel and Development fund is designed to enhance scholarship and teaching among faculty and staff. The following guidelines will be used by departments in prioritizing proposals for funding:

Funding Priorities

    • Research
      The CCA assumes that much research-related travel would be funded through external grants or other university research funding opportunities. However, research-related travel not funded by external sources that represents unique opportunities for professional development will be considered.
    • Presentation
      Travel for presentation of refereed/juried/invited papers, exhibitions or performances at professional societies or universities in national and international venues will be considered. In prioritizing requests, departments will consider the nature and quality of the presentation. Presentations of higher stature will receive priority.
    • National Leadership in Professional Organizations
      Travel funding may be requested for faculty/staff who serve as officers of professional societies or who are a part of a conference program.
    • Attendance at Conferences
      Travel funding for attendance at conferences and workshops will be considered lower in priority than the above requests.

Funding Guidelines

Travel monies are allocated annually to each CCA department and are available to faculty and staff, typically at a maximum of $1000 per event for international travel and $750 per event for domestic travel, pending available funds. Similarly, faculty and staff with reporting lines up through the Dean's office should submit requests directly to the CCA. Faculty are asked to submit travel requests at the beginning of each academic year, which allows the Chair (or Dean) to assess total requests against total available funds and allocate funds accordingly. Adjustments can be made as travel is formalized throughout the year and travel destinations are either deleted or added. As helpful, the divisional travel request form should be used to submit requests. Other guidelines are as follows:

    1. Faculty are responsible for following all Miami University requirements related to off-campus travel as enumerated in the Policy Library.
    2. Once travel is completed, submit all requests for reimbursement using the online travel module.
    3. Multiple requests can be made and funded, with second/third priority requests typically funded at reduced levels.
    4. Funds cannot be commingled, meaning that 1st, 2nd, and/or 3rd request allocations are grouped to support a single activity. Single activities can only be supported to the maximum funding limit per activity.
    5. Allocations may be used to support a lower prioritized (or different) activity, as approved by the Chair. For example, if a 1st priority conference is not attended, 1st priority funding may be used to support a 2nd or 3rd priority conference, or an activity not originally requested.
    6. At the Chair’s discretion, specific requests may be funded at higher levels (for example, requests from pre-tenure faculty). Similarly, additional travel funding can be allocated to support recruiting, development, and other department-level or divisional-level activities, or to insure departmental representation at annual conferences or meetings.
    7. The Chair can choose to augment funding levels with designated faculty development funds or with private endowment funds earmarked for this type of activity. The intent is that funds are allocated to all divisional faculty and staff as equitably as possible.
    8. At the Chair's discretion, uncompensated expenses can be covered at the end of the academic year if adequate funds remain in the faculty travel budget. Alternatively, these funds can be rolled over into the following year and equitably dispersed among all requests.
    9. Any unused funds are not recoverable in the following year; in other words travel funds do not accumulate.
    10. Faculty are responsible for canceling registrations/reservations when a conference or other activity is not attended. Expenses incurred for events that are not attended are the responsibility of the faculty member.
    11. Front office staff can assist with registrations/reservations (where payments or deposits are involved), but should not act in a “travel agent” capacity to search hotels, flights, etc. This is the responsibility of the faculty member.
    12. Requests for travel made prior to the academic year (typically over the summer) can be pre-awarded and deducted from the individual's anticipated allocation.
    13. Travel funding, as defined in these guidelines, is intended to support full-time faculty and staff, including T/TT, LCPL, and Visiting faculty. Funding for part-time faculty and graduate student travel can be supported at reduced amounts, at the discretion of the Chair or Dean and as funds are available.

Guidelines for Student Travel

The process for funding class field trips or other types of student travel in support of the educational mission is specified in departmental policy. Travel funding should be secured in advance of the event. Based on the number and amount of requests and available budget, funds are allocated accordingly. The following are suggested guidelines:

  1. Since student travel budgets typically cannot fully fund all requests, faculty are asked to submit requests with this in mind. Late requests may not be able to be funded or fully funded. Funding will be prioritized as follows:
    1. Faculty reimbursement is highest priority, since these costs are viewed as a work-related expense. At the Chair's discretion, per diem and out-of-pocket expenses can be excluded from reimbursement since these are submitted unevenly and since faculty can be expected to make some contribution to overall cost.
    2. Shared student expense (e.g. university vans, entrance fees) is a second priority.
    3. Individual student cost (e.g. lodging, student cars, meals) is a third priority. The expectation is that students should cover some significant portion of field trip cost given that this is part of the educational experience.
  2. Funding should be proportionate/consistent from one field trip to the next, depending on overall cost and on contributions from alumni and other outside sources. The intent is that out-of-pocket student contributions should remain as equitable as possible across all field trips being offered while acknowledging that more expensive trips will likely require a higher out-of-pocket contribution from the student.
  3. Faculty are encouraged to seek out grant and/or alumni funding to augment available departmental funding. Cash or in-kind contributions should equitably defray departmental, faculty, and student contributions.
  4. University contracted vans or buses should be used where possible. Vehicle rentals and student travel should be in accordance with university policy.
  5. Faculty should provide students “permission request” letters for all field trips occurring outside of class time. Given that other class, work, or personal conflicts may preclude attendance, students cannot be required to attend a field trip. Similarly, students may opt out of a field trip if they cannot support the cost. As funds are available, the department may be able to provide some additional need-based student funding.
  6. Release Forms, including emergency contact information and liability waivers, should be completed for all field trips. Forms should be carried by the instructor and copies left with the departmental office. Download the Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability form »
  7. Extended stay field trips outside the state of Ohio may need to be run as "non-credit workshops" through Global Initiatives. Reference Guidelines for Non-Credit Programs for specific requirements.

Membership in Professional Organizations

Annual dues associated with membership in professional organizations can be supported through departmental budgets if the organization contributes to faculty teaching, research, or professional service. Typically, no more than one professional membership per faculty member per year can be supported with available budgets. In limited cases and at the discretion of the Chair, additional memberships can be supported where these help to promote the reputation of the Department and Miami University, or where the memberships are uniquely important to the faculty member's professional advancement.

Faculty Computers, Software, and Equipment

Funding for computers, software, and miscellaneous equipment is allocated through the Dean's office or through the department on an as-needed basis. The following guidelines apply:

  1. Equipment allocations are defined by the specific teaching, research, and service needs of faculty and staff. Where equipment or software needs exceed what is typically allocated, faculty are encouraged to secure additional grant funding. Peripheral equipment (cameras, scanners, printers, etc.) should be shared as workable.
  2. Typically, only one computer per full-time employee (desktop, laptop, tablet) is supported by the division. Faculty are encouraged to use portable computing in combination with fixed monitors, as needed. Computer purchases are tracked by the division so that replacement machines can be purchased on a rotational basis (typically every 4-5 years). Software will be added to new machines as needed and annual subscription renewals can also be supported.
  3. As a rule, hardware and software purchases should not be made for part-time faculty. Instead, departments should provide access to computer labs or to laptops with appropriate software in a central pool for checkout as needed. Full-time faculty and staff computers that are replaced can be added to the central pool to the extent they remain usable.

Student Computers, Software, and Equipment

  1. Student personal laptops, software, and other equipment is the responsibility of the student. Computers can be purchased through the Miami Notebook Program.
  2. Computer labs, and other equipment designated for student use, are the responsibility of individual departments and programs. Equipment costs are typically funded through program specific student tech fees.
  3. Faculty and students are encouraged to apply for Student Technology Fee grants to support larger equipment purchases that directly benefit students.
  4. Requests for additional funding to support student technology needs can be made directly to the Dean.

Faculty Scholarship and Teaching Grants

CCA Scholarship and Teaching Grants are established to support faculty and staff research, creativity, and teaching. This fund encompasses all departments and programs within the CCA and is intended to serve as a source for one-time needs or as seed money for projects that will be supported by external funding sources. Projects should also develop matching grants when possible. Funds are awarded twice a year through a formal review process.

Study-Abroad/Study-Away Approval

Winter and Summer workshop proposals are now being formally reviewed by Miami's Office of Global Initiatives. All proposals are to be submitted for review in December and approved in the spring for delivery during the following academic year. In order to better coordinate workshop offerings, CCA faculty are encouraged to communicate ideas with their Chair and with the Dean's office prior to formally submitting a proposal. Faculty are also encouraged to establish application and deposit deadlines well in advance of travel so that low-enrolled workshops are able to be canceled.

Assistance with workshop marketing and graphic design is available through the Dean's office. Printing and advertising expenses are the responsibility of the workshop director and should be built into the workshop budget.

Study-Abroad/Study-Away Scholarships

Need-based scholarships in support of study-abroad/study-away programs are available through the CCA departments, typically up to $500. In order to qualify for scholarship support, programs must be sponsored by the CCA and the student's major or minor must be within the CCA. Scholarships are need-based and applicants must be able to demonstrate financial need, typically by having a current FAFSA form on file with the University. Minimum GPA required for funding is 2.5. Apply by email directly to the academic department sponsoring the workshop at least three months prior to workshop departure. Submit:

  • Name and all contact information
  • Workshop title, including dates of travel
  • Reasons why this workshop is valuable to your course of study and future career goals, and how scholarship aid can help you to participate.

Lectures/Critics/Exhibits/Hosting

Regularly scheduled lecture series and exhibit series are funded by departmental budgets. Requests may be made to the Dean to support unique opportunities to bring lecturers, critics, or exhibits to campus where costs exceed available funds. Local area artists, architects, performers, etc. who come to campus to assist in one-time classroom critiques or related activities are expected to contribute their time and travel expense. Likewise, Miami alumni are expected to "give back" by contributing time and expense to these activities. Generally, classroom specific hosting expenses are the responsibility of the faculty member organizing the event, but these activities can be funded at the departmental or divisional level where warranted and pre-approved.

Accreditation

Expenses related to academic program accreditation site visits will typically be matched 50/50 by the Dean's Office. The department or accredited program should budget accordingly to plan for these expenses, submit estimated costs in advance to the Dean, and carefully track all expenses prior to submitting for divisional reimbursement. Annual accreditation fees are the responsibility of the department and are part of the annual operating budget.

Faculty/Staff Searches

Typically, $2500 will be allocated from the Dean's office for each tenure-track faculty search and $1500 for each full-time temporary faculty search. Expenses above this amount are the responsibility of the department/program.

Textbooks

Faculty should secure textbook review copies directly from the publisher. Alternatively, Miami Libraries can purchase books not already in the collection for faculty use. Use of university funds to purchase textbooks for individual faculty use is discouraged. In such cases, the textbook(s) should remain with the department for use in future classes. Faculty are also encouraged to use digital textbook resources, rental programs, standardized texts, and other strategies to help reduce cost for students.

Assigned Research Appointments and Faculty Improvement Leaves

  1. Award of Assigned Research Appointments and Faculty Improvement Leaves shall be in accordance with all guidelines as defined in MUPIM, and shall be based primarily on the merits of the proposal as well as the number of available awards.
  2. As defined by MUPIM, ARA’s exist to promote faculty research efforts, typically in support of tenure and promotion. Per Miami’s 2008 Faculty Workload Norms document, “It is the University’s intent to award all probationary faculty a research leave or the equivalent in course reduction spread out over multiple semesters during their probationary period.” Thus the award of an ARA to a probationary faculty member is high priority.
  3. Similarly, proposals from faculty at the Associate Professor rank who are actively seeking promotion to Full Professor should be prioritized.
  4. Per #1 above, proposals that hold exceptionally strong promise to contribute to the body of research or otherwise advance the reputation of the College of Creative Arts and the University, should be given strong consideration. As such, ARA’s do not exist solely in support of promotion and tenure, and proposals from faculty at Full Professor rank should be given equitable consideration.
  5. Faculty Improvement Leaves, as defined by MUPIM, provide “extended periods for professional growth and development.” As such, these leaves may prioritize improvement of teaching or curriculum, support the return of administrators to full-time teaching, or otherwise “help to maintain the vitality of individual faculty members and programs.” All full-time, tenured members of the instructional staff with teaching loads who have served at least seven years in any rank in full-time service are eligible for a Faculty Improvement Leave. Per MUPIM, a faculty member may be awarded an FIL no more frequently than every seven years.
  6. in an effort to achieve equitable distribution of awards across the full SFA faculty, the year in which an ARA or FIL was last awarded will be a criteria in determination of current awards. Although not regulated by MUPIM, the expectation is that a leave of any type will not be granted more frequently than every seven years. This is a guideline only, and exceptions may be granted where warranted by a specific proposal. The College will maintain records of all leaves so that this information is readily available for committee review.
  7. All else being equal, an effort will be made to grant awards equitably across all constituent departments and programs.

Application for Faculty Improvement Leave or Assigned Research Appointment»

Course Scheduling Guidelines

Overview

Courses in the College of Creative Arts offered during all academic terms support student learning and contribute to CCA majors and minors, as well as the Miami Plan. Required courses need to be offered with appropriate frequency to insure timely completion of degree requirements and student graduation. Elective courses and workshops enhance student learning and provide opportunities for faculty to explore teaching and research interests. Under the RCM budget model, courses and workshops also contribute to the division's revenue and expense and thus impact overall financial performance. The following Course Scheduling Guidelines, including recommended course cancellation guidelines and faculty compensation for summer/winter terms, support the need to provide adequate course offerings while also respecting the need for efficiency and financial stewardship in the course scheduling process. Enhanced financial performance in turn allows the CCA to fund other valued endeavors that might otherwise be unaffordable.

General Guidelines

As a rule, courses that are required to complete a major or minor should be available for students during the fall and spring semesters. The frequency of offering should be carefully evaluated to insure adequate enrollment and to facilitate time-to-degree. Summer and winter term courses should be designed as opportunities for students to expand their education with elective courses, experiential opportunities, study abroad/away opportunities, and alternative delivery methods such as online/hybrid courses. Courses that are required in the curriculum are discouraged during the summer and winter terms given the inability to cancel these courses if enrollment is low. General education (Miami Plan) courses and CCA foundation courses should be carefully considered as summer/winter term offerings where the perceived demand is high and where this would support students' time-to-graduation.

"Go/No-Go" Decision

Courses and workshops that enroll 12 or more students will be approved. Courses with enrollments of 10 or 11 students will be reviewed together by the Department Chair and the Dean to decide whether to proceed or cancel. Courses enrolling 9 or fewer students will be canceled unless the Dean approves a special exception, which will only occur if critical circumstances affecting student graduation or accreditation standards are at play, or if full-time faculty cannot be reassigned (fall/spring). Enrollments in stacked courses taught by a single instructor will be combined for the purpose of making the go/no-go decision.

Graduate courses with enrollments comprised primarily of students on fee waivers are a special consideration. These courses cannot realistically be expected to be financially successful, regardless of the enrollment level. The Provost has established a "Go/NoGo" guideline for such courses at 7 or more students. The faculty compensation policy applies to these courses when taught on overload during the summer or winter terms (see below).

In fall/spring, the decision to run or cancel a course needs to be made as early as possible to allow students to enroll in other courses and in order for full-time faculty to be reassigned. Immediately following course scheduling in the spring and fall for the subsequent semester, enrollments will be monitored and low enrollment courses flagged. These courses can be canceled immediately or reviewed later on the promise of increased enrollment. Key to the cancellation decision is the need to reassign full-time faculty to other teaching assignments with enough advance warning to prepare for these courses. (If the instructor is part-time, the course can simply be canceled.) But implicit in the cancellation is that instructors should not obtain a "course release" because of low enrollment.

The cancellation decision for elective summer/winter term courses and workshops is more challenging given the potential impact on student housing, travel, and other pre-paid expenses. Off-campus workshops, specifically, are approved based on an anticipated enrollment that will generate a profit. But enrollment often falls short of the target and this is realized at a point when it becomes difficult to cancel the workshop. Given this, workshop directors are strongly urged to establish advance deadlines for non-refundable student deposits such that the workshop is cancelable without penalty if enrollment is low (see Global Initiatives Credit Workshop Proposal Policy).

Summer/Winter Faculty Compensation

Miami’s policy on faculty compensation during the summer and winter terms was adopted in July 2013, and all divisions are expected to be in compliance with this policy. (See 2016-2017 Winter and Summer Term Pay Guidelines for the Oxford Campus.) The compensation policy applies equally to courses and workshops, and it applies equally to graduate and undergraduate offerings.

To summarize, the University policy maintains full compensation for full-time faculty at the rate of 3% of base salary per credit hour for courses with enrollment of 12 or more students. When course enrollments fall below 12 students, compensation is pro-rated. (For example, a course with 11 students pays 11/12, or 91.7%, of the 3% rate.) The minimum salary for a summer/winter course is $1025 per credit hour, and the maximum salary is $20,000 per course.

Opportunities for Teaching During Summer and Winter

The Winter and Summer Term Pay Guidelines reiterate that summer and winter term teaching appointments "should be equally available to all tenured, tenure-track, clinical/professionally licensed faculty, and lecturers (full-time faculty)." No faculty member is required to teach during these terms, but teaching during summer and winter is an opportunity to earn supplemental compensation, to explore new teaching horizons, to enrich students’ experiences, and to benefit the division as a whole.

Faculty Not Teaching During Winter

Faculty who are not teaching during the winter term are still on contract and are expected to continue to participate in the academic enterprise of the University. The Winter and Summer Term Pay Guidelines suggest that this time be used to "facilitate independent studies, work on a research project or grant, participate in professional development opportunities, design or prepare for an upcoming course, or participate in committee, service, or other work-related activities."

Student Internship Guidelines

Students can receive academic credit for internships or other types of employment outside the university that contribute to the student's learning experience, have identifiable learning objectives and deliverables, and that are monitored by faculty. The following guidelines apply to such internships:

  1. Credit Hours Earned. Internships can be taken "for credit," typically for 0-3 credit hours. For-credit internships generally require one week of full-time work (or the equivalent) for each credit hour earned, per Ohio Department of Higher Education guidelines. Given that an internship may lack the focused instruction of a classroom or may be repetitive in nature, it is recommended that no more than 3 total credit hours be earned for an internship experience, although exceptions can be granted where warranted and approved by the divisional dean. Zero-credit hour internships can also be approved where the internship is unpaid and the employer requires that the student earn academic credit for the experience (see 2. Compensation).
  2. Compensation. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (April 2010), student interns generally must be compensated for the work they perform. Unpaid internships are allowable under the FLSA, but the requirements for such should be carefully reviewed.
  3. Grade Mode
    1. Letter Grade. Typically internships are taken for a letter grade. The method for determining the course grade needs to be determined in advance via a course syllabus or similar agreement made between student and instructor. This agreement should address the nature and term of the experience, learning goals, deliverables, and the method for determining a final course grade. Deliverables may include student assessment of the experience, employer assessment of the student, presentation of work completed, written assignments, etc. as required to accurately assess the work under the letter grade mode.
    2. Credit/No. An internship can also be taken "credit/no," which provides the student earned credit hours if credit is granted but no letter grade. In such instances, deliverables can be reduced but should minimally include proof that the internship is fully completed and that the employer is satisfied with the level of work. The instructor is obligated to verify from the employer that the student has successfully completed the internship in the absence of other deliverables that would more directly tie to the award of a letter grade.
  4. Faculty Supervision. Academic internships must be formally supervised by a faculty member as per an independent study. These are typically not compensated or included in workload but can be if the number or extent of involvement is extensive (see Miami University Faculty Workload Norms).

Workload Policy

The College of Creative Arts adheres to the Miami University Workload Norms, as defined on the Provost's website. This document benchmarks either a 3-3 or 3-2 annual teaching load (15-18 credit hours). Teaching load can deviate from the benchmark upon approval of the Chair and Dean, based on several factors including:

  1. Differential teaching load. Faculty can teach either above load (research inactive) or below load (highly research active). Differential workloads need to be defined in writing and tied to annual reviews and salary gains.
  2. Administrative Duties. Chairs and program directors should receive a reduction in teaching load proportional to their responsibilities and their department’s or program’s size. In the CCA, this is typically a 1-1 teaching load for Chairs, and a one-course release for Program Directors. Other course reductions can be granted (e.g. for large course sections or unusually heavy service assignments), only as defined in departmental governance or as determined by the Chair and approved by the Dean.
  3. Probationary status. Per the Workload Norms document, Departments will provide a reduction in teaching load of one course per year in each of the first and second years of the probationary period. Probationary faculty will typically be awarded a research leave or the equivalent in course reduction spread out over multiple semesters during their probationary period.
  4. Faculty status. Lecturers and Professionally Licensed/Clinical Faculty (LCPL) and Visiting Faculty are expected to teach above the benchmark (typically 9-12 credit hours per term) given no expectation for research.
  5. Teaching Load Equity. The goal of the Workload Norms document is to achieve equitable workloads across all instructional faculty to the extent possible. Where specific circumstances in any academic unit suggest deviations from university policy, these need to be articulated in governance and approved by the Dean.