3.7.1 Faculty Competence

Comprehensive Standard 3.7.1: Faculty Competence

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 certification, 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. (See Commission guidelines “Faculty Credentials”)

USF Sarasota-Manatee Focused Report Response

The Off-Site Committee cited two faculty who need additional information. The links below provide additional justification that the two faculty members have sufficient credentials to teach the courses that they teach.

Silvia M. Blanco Faculty Credentials
Stephen Rushton Faculty Credentials

Off-Site Committee Report – Non-Compliance

In general, the institution demonstrates that it employs appropriately qualified faculty members. However, with 2 cases, the Off Site Committee did not find sufficient evidence that faculty members have the necessary credentials to teach the courses they are assigned. See attached chart (Request for Justifying and Documenting Qualifications of Faculty).

1 2 3 4 5
Name of Faculty Member Course(s) in Question Inadequate Academic Qualifications Insufficient Justification of Other Qualifications Comments (if needed)
M-Blanco, Silvia SOW 6348; SOW 6235, SOW 6534 X X No terminal degree.
Rushton, Stephen SCE 4310 Teaching Elem School Science X X No indication of Science credentialsPh.D. Elementary Education, University of Tennessee, KnoxvilleM.S. Education Administration and Supervision, University of Tennessee, KnoxvilleExperience teaching elementary and middle school; Expert in writing process; Brain based research into early childhood education.

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s original submission narrative is shown below. 


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USF Sarasota-Manatee) employs competent faculty qualified to accomplish its Mission Statement to “provide high quality bachelor’s and graduate-level education and scholarly activity.”

The Constitution of the State of Florida, Article IX, Section 7(d) charges the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) to “operate, regulate, control, and be fully responsible for the management of the whole university system,” and BOG Regulation 5.001(5)(a) requires each university board of trustees to establish a personnel program for all employees including compensation and other conditions of employment, recruitment and selection, and non-reappointment.  In response, the USF Board of Trustees (BOT) approved USF Regulation 10.102 which defines provisions for faculty recruitment, selection, and appointment. The USF President delegated her authority for hiring personnel with coordination and monitoring at the USF System level to the Regional Chancellor of USF Sarasota-Manatee through a Memorandum of Delegation.

USF System Policy 10-115, Faculty Credentials for Teaching Undergraduate and Graduate Courses, provides “the foundation for the execution of faculty credentialing aligned with the best practices in higher education.”  All instructors teaching credit-bearing courses throughout the USF System must meet the following minimum faculty qualifications according to the USF System policy:

1. Instructors of record teaching general education courses at the undergraduate level and/or baccalaureate courses will hold an earned doctorate or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or a master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).

2. Instructors of record teaching graduate and post-baccalaureate course work will hold an earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline.

3. Graduate teaching assistants who are instructors of record must hold a master’s degree in the teaching discipline or 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline, and will be directly supervised by a faculty member holding appropriate qualifications in the teaching discipline, will receive regular in-service training, and will receive planned and periodic evaluations. Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) may provide support to a qualified instructor teaching a graduate course, but the GTA may not be the instructor of record and may not assist with teaching a graduate level course that the GTA may subsequently take at some time in their degree program.

Exceptions may be made for individuals who do not meet the above qualifications but who are considered by the department to possess other demonstrated competencies and achievements that provide evidence to support effective teaching and student achievement. All such exceptions must be approved in writing by faculty in the discipline and dean and placed in the faculty member’s personnel file.

Faculty Credentialing Procedure

The USF Sarasota-Manatee Credential Review Procedure lists the steps required to fully credential a faculty member to teach USF Sarasota-Manatee courses:

1. College administrative staff completes the Credential Review Request Form, attaching the applicant’s vitae, transcripts, and appropriate credentialing guidelines to the appointed faculty reviewer.

2. The faculty reviewer makes a recommendation with reasoning to approve/conditionally approve/deny approval. The faculty reviewer signs the form and forwards documentation to the dean of the college.

3.  The dean of the college makes a recommendation with reasoning to approve/conditionally approve/deny approval. The dean signs the form and forwards the documentation to the Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.

4. Academic and Student Affairs places the form and supporting documentation in the faculty’s personnel file in the Office of Human Resources.

Faculty Roster

USF Sarasota-Manatee created the following searchable roster of faculty who taught during Fall Semester 2014 and Spring Semester 2015. In cases where additional supporting documentation is provided an internal link to the documentation can be found in the “Other Qualifications & Comments” column.

Note for reviewers of the Faculty Roster: The files were too large to load onto WordPress as one Faculty Roster. Therefore, it is split out by college with two files for Arts & Sciences. For faculty with “Supporting Documentation” in the last column of the roster, the links will take you to a cover sheet of supporting documentation on that faculty member. As you review the documents, you will notice links to return you back to the faculty’s cover sheet or back to the full Faculty Roster for the college.

*The College of Hospitality & Technology Leadership changed its name to Hospitality & Tourism Leadership as of Fall 2015 when the Information Technology program moved to the College of Business.

All instructors have recent curriculum vitae and syllabi on file in their respective colleges. Transcripts and documentation of foreign degrees are on file in USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Human Resources office. All documentation is available upon request.

Additional information on the adequacy of faculty to support the mission and goals is available in Core Requirement 2.8 (Faculty).