Faculty Handbook - Section 1

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The Jacksonville State University Faculty Handbook, as approved by the board of trustees, serves as a reference manual for faculty members and administration. It is the product of faculty and administration consultation, which reflects broad-based participation in the governance of the university.

The Faculty Handbook is a compilation of selected policies, regulations, procedures, and guidelines currently in operation. It may be revised from time to time to reflect official policy changes. When official policies are changed by the board of trustees or other duly constituted authority, such changes become effective on the date designated at the time of their adoption and supersede any contrary provisions of the Faculty Handbook.

Copies of and changes in the Faculty Handbook will be distributed through normal organizational channels and on the university website by the provost and vice president for academic affairs, whose office is the repository for the official master copy and signed acknowledgements of receipt by faculty of the Jacksonville State University Faculty Handbook. Individual faculty members are responsible for maintaining their own copy or referring to the Jacksonville State University website (www.jsu.edu).


This handbook is provided for faculty members to use as a ready reference and as a summary of Jacksonville State University academic faculty policies, work rules, and benefits. It is to a faculty member's advantage to read the entire handbook as soon as possible to have a complete understanding of the material. This handbook and the policies herein do not in any way constitute, and should not be construed as, a contract of employment between Jacksonville State University and the faculty member, or a promise of future or indefinite employment. The policies and procedures contained in the handbook can be changed, modified, or amended.


Jacksonville State University affirms its policy of equal employment opportunity. Jacksonville State University is committed to a program of affirmative action in maintaining and promoting non-discrimination in all aspects of recruitment and employment of individuals at all levels throughout the university. It is specifically the intent of the university to recruit, hire, and promote all faculty and staff without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status. The university prohibits retaliation of any form against an employee or student who has filed a discrimination complaint.

The university will consider through appropriate and designated procedures the complaint or grievance of any individual who has reason to feel he or she has been affected by discrimination because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.

As an institution of higher education, and in keeping with its policy of equal employment opportunity, the university hereby declares its policy of equal educational opportunity. All applicants for admission will be considered solely upon the basis of individual qualifications.  All available student job opportunities will be distributed without regard to an applicant's race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status. This policy will be noted in all student handbooks, and the complaint or grievance of any student or prospective student who has reason to feel he or she has been affected by discrimination will be considered through appropriate procedures. 

A representative has been appointed as Equal Opportunity Officer for the university. The Equal Opportunity office serves as an extension of the president's office and is directly responsible for the administration of the Affirmative Action Plan of the university.



From modest beginnings, Jacksonville State University has evolved into the educational center of Northeast Alabama. The Alabama Legislature, in the 1882-83 session, created a state normal school when Governor Edward O'Neal signed into law a bill creating the school on February 22, 1883. Jacksonville State Normal School acquired the facilities and equipment of Calhoun College, consisting of twelve (12) acres of land and a two (2)-story brick building. The Board of Directors elected James G. Ryals, Jr., as the first president. The school opened with three instructors: W. J. Borden, mathematics; Eliza A. Bowen, English; and Ida J. Woodward, primary department. As stipulated in the establishing act, the Normal School administered a preparatory school for children of the town and surrounding areas. At the end of the first year, on August 15, 1884, William Mark Hames, President of the Board of Directors, reported that funds totaling

$4,751.25 had been received, including $2,500 from the state; that twenty-five (25) students were enrolled in the normal school; and that two hundred twenty-two (222) were in the preparatory school.

The normal school remained in operation until 1930, when it became Jacksonville State Teachers College. Five (5) years later, the college earned regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The name again changed to Jacksonville State College in 1957 when the first graduate program—the master's degree in elementary education—was created. On August 2, 1966, the legislature authorized the State Board of Education to elevate the college to university status. On August 17, 1967, the legislature established an independent board of trustees for the university and divested jurisdiction from the State Board of Education.

Jacksonville State University has been served by twelve (12) presidents: James G. Ryals, Jr. (1883-85), J. Harris Chappell (1885-86), Carleton Bartlett Gibson (1886-92), J. B. Jarrett (1892-

93), Jacob Forney IV (1893-99), Clarence William Daugette (1899-1942), Houston Cole (1942-71), Ernest Stone (1971-81), Theron E. Montgomery (1981-86), Harold J. McGee (1986-99), William A. Meehan (1999-2015), and John M. Beehler (2015-present).

Jacksonville State University has developed into a modern regional university serving Northeast Alabama on a three hundred ninety-two (392)-acre campus with seventy-six (76) buildings. In addition, the university operates off-campus centers in Gadsden and Anniston. Through its programs of teaching, research, and service, Jacksonville State University has served the region and state for more than one hundred thirty (130) years.


Jacksonville State University provides distinctive educational, cultural and social experiences for a diverse student population. As a learning-centered university, Jacksonville State University strives to challenge students academically in a responsive environment, meeting students’ educational, career and personal goals. As an academic institution, Jacksonville State University seeks to produce broadly educated graduates prepared for global engagement. As a public, comprehensive university, Jacksonville State University promotes excellence in scholarly and service activities consistent with its academic and professional strengths.


Jacksonville State University strives for continuous improvement as a learning-centered community committed to developing the ability to think critically, solve problems creatively and collaboratively, and communicate effectively.


  1. Educate students to be productive, responsible citizens and effective leaders.
  2. Advance student learning through academic excellence.
  3. Increase student and faculty participation in research and service activities.
  4. Create a diverse learning community that facilitates academic and professional excellence.
  5. Effectively use technology to support learning, research, information management and evidence based decision-making.
  6. Continuously improve administrative processes and services.
  7. Enhance revenue growth and financial planning to ensure adequate fiscal resources for the university.


  1. Quality teaching to enhance student learning and leadership skills for employment, citizenship, and life-long development.
  2. Academic as well as overall excellence in all aspects of university life.
  3. The ethical, social, intellectual, cultural and physical development of students, faculty, and staff.
  4. The support of intellectual and academic freedom, dialogue and the free exchange of ideas.
  5. Building effective relationships and communication paths among departments, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
  6. Maintaining diversity in faculty, staff, and student body.
  7. Enhanced efforts to accommodate students’ understanding and needs regarding university policies and practices.
  8. Enhanced use of and access to current technology.
  9. Continuous improvement of a learning centered environment.


Jacksonville State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master's, educational specialist's, and doctoral degrees.



The board of trustees is the governing body for Jacksonville State University. The board has the statutory authority to organize the university; to appoint the faculty and other employees; to fix salaries and compensation and increase or reduce the same at its discretion; to regulate, alter, or modify the government of the university; to prescribe courses of instruction and rates of tuition and fees; to confer degrees; and to do whatever else it may deem best for promoting the interests of the university.

The board of trustees consists of two members from the congressional district in which the institution is located, one from each of the other congressional districts in the state, and one member from the state at large. The governor is president of the board and, together with the state superintendent of education, is an ex-officio voting member. The trustees are appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the state senate, and hold office for a term of twelve (12) years or until their successors are appointed and qualified. The board is divided into three groups, as nearly equal in number as possible, so that one third may be chosen quadrennially.

The board of trustees holds its annual meeting at the university on the third Monday in October. Quarterly meetings are scheduled at this session unless the board determines to hold its meetings at other times. Special meetings of the board may be called by the governor or upon the written application of any three members of the board.

The board appoints the president and other officers of the university. The president serves as the secretary to the board.


The board of trustees invests the president with full administrative responsibility for the institution. As the chief executive and administrative officer of the university, the president is responsible for the governance of the institution and for carrying out the policies of the board.

To assist the president in the administration of the university, the board has established these major administrative positions: provost and vice president for academic affairs, vice president for university advancement, vice president for administrative and business affairs, vice president for information technology, vice president for student affairs, vice president for enrollment management and athletic director.

In the implementation of the overall administrative responsibility for the university, the president seeks the advice and assistance of faculty, students, and administrative personnel. This assistance is accomplished primarily through elected and appointed faculty and student representatives and through administrative appointments and delegations of authority. VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH, PLANNING AND COLLABORATION

The Office of Planning and Research is responsible for institutional research and assessment. Institutional research provides university information in a timely and effective manner for internal decision-making, external reporting, and accountability purposes. Assessment involves assisting planning units in developing student-outcome goals and objectives, appropriate measures of intended outcomes, and administration of tests and surveys to measure success in achievement of intended outcomes. The office also provides support for the university’s Institutional Effectiveness Committee. The Office of Planning and Research also houses the JSU Institute for Research and Collaboration (IRC), which is responsible for supporting faculty in identifying funding opportunities, developing proposals, and following funding requirements.

The IRC supports faculty led service and research centers that promote interdisciplinary collaboration. The executive director reports to the president.


The provost and vice president for academic affairs (provost/VPAA) has administrative jurisdiction over academic affairs personnel and programs, including Jacksonville State University Gadsden, the university library, the Office of Teaching, Learning and Technology and the International House and International Programs. The provost and vice president for academic affairs recommends to the president long- range plans for academic affairs development and formulates policies to implement approved plans; coordinates and furnishes direction and guidance to the associate vice presidents and deans in the development and operation of their academic affairs programs; presides at meetings of the academic faculty; and serves as chair of the university council and the council of deans. All academic affairs personnel and departments report through their appropriate department heads and deans/directors to the provost/VPAA who, in turn, reports to the president. VICE PROVOST AND DEAN OF GRADUATE STUDIES

The vice provost and dean of graduate studies reports to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The vice provost and dean of graduate studies is responsible for divisional activities such as, but not limited to Academic Advisement Center, International House and Programs, JSU Gadsden, JSU McClellan, military science, student athletic academic support, tutoring services and the College of Graduate Studies. The vice provost and dean of graduate studies is a member of the university council, council of deans, and other standing committees as deemed appropriate by the provost/VPAA and president. VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS

The vice president for student affairs (VPSA) reports to the president. The VPSA is responsible for counseling services, disability support services, recreational sports, student life, student health center, University Housing and Residence Life, and the Center for Excellence for Veterans. The VPSA is a member of the president’s cabinet, university council, and other standing committees as deemed appropriate by the president. ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR TEACHING, LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGY

The associate vice president for teaching, learning and technology reports to the provost and vice president for academic affairs and is responsible for the coordination of university programs and personnel related to distance education. The AVTLT is a member of the university council, council of deans, and other standing committees as deemed appropriate by the provost and vice president for academic affairs or the president. COLLEGE DEANS

College deans are responsible for coordinating and managing the operations within their respective colleges. Deans report to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The individual dean is the administrator of the college and serves as a liaison between the provost and vice president for academic affairs and the college. College deans have certain responsibilities for personnel matters; the development and maintenance of programs, plans, and goals for the college; and other assigned duties. College deans are members of the council of deans and the university council. DEAN OF LIBRARY SERVICES

The dean of library services reports to the provost and vice president for academic affairs and is responsible for library operations, collections, and services. The dean of library services is responsible for personnel; the development of programs, plans, and goals for the library; and other assigned duties. The dean of library services is a member of the council of deans and the university council. DEPARTMENT HEADS

Department heads are responsible for the general direction and supervision of their departments. Department heads report to their respective deans. The department head is an administrator and the academic leader of the faculty in the development of the department's programs, plans, and goals. The department head maintains liaison between the department, the dean, and external agencies.



The university council represents all divisions of the university and serves as the main administrative unit that recommends policy to the president. The provost and vice president for academic  affairs serves as chair of the university council and establishes additional standing and ad hoc committees as deemed necessary.


The council of deans serves as an advisory unit to the provost/vice president for academic affairs. The membership of the council includes the college deans and the associate vice presidents. The provost/VPAA is the chair of the council of deans.


The athletic council is a committee that serves at the pleasure of the university president. It consists of representatives from faculty, staff, athletic department, and students. It is chaired by the faculty athletic representative, who represents the university's interest before any appropriate conference and before the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The council is charged with the responsibility of insuring that athletic policies are consistent with the overall educational objectives of the Institution.

The council also advises the president; serves as a link between academics and athletics; serves as the due process body for adjudicating athletic grievances; reviews the university's philosophy, policies, and objectives regarding athletics; and reviews aspects of the athletic program such as admission prices, sponsorships, and personnel needs or changes.


The faculty elects from among its members a representative body known as the faculty senate. The faculty senate is an advisory body and as such may consider and make recommendations through the provost and vice president for academic affairs. Those areas affecting the academic activities of the university and faculty welfare are appropriate for consideration by the faculty senate. The minutes of the faculty senate are published on its website www.jsu.edu/facultysenate/.


The graduate council is responsible for recommending policies and regulations relative to all aspects of graduate education. Membership consists of representatives of the graduate faculty, graduate students, the deans of the colleges, and the provost and vice president for academic and student affairs. The dean of the College of Graduate Studies serves as chair, ex-officio, of the graduate council.


The Student Government Association (SGA) is composed of four branches of government: executive, legislative, judicial, and student activities council. The student body elects the officers of the SGA and all registered students are automatically members of this organization. The SGA office is located on the fourth floor of the Theron Montgomery Building. The director of student life and orientation oversees the SGA.


Standing university committees exist for athletic council, budget committee, distance education advisory council, diversity and employment equity, enrollment management, institutional effectiveness, institutional review board, research and service, safety and environmental health, scholarship/financial aid, strategic planning, undergraduate admission appeals, university compliance committee for athletics, and university support services for athletes. Ad hoc committees and task forces are appointed at presidential discretion. The president's office maintains a current list of committee memberships.