Terminal Degrees (E-73)
Original Implementation: July 21, 2009
Last Revision: April 17, 2012
Stephen F. Austin State University is committed to maintaining a high quality faculty. Toward that end, the university aspires to recruit and retain faculty members with terminal degrees in their disciplines. A terminal degree is defined as the generally accepted highest degree in a field of study.
As a general rule, possession of an earned doctorate or other recognized terminal degree from an accredited institution in an area appropriate to the individual’s discipline shall be required for appointment to a tenure-track or tenured faculty position.
Exceptions to the requirement of a terminal degree may be made by the provost and vice president for academic affairs, but only upon recommendation by the academic unit chair/director and dean of the college. The following circumstances may justify approval of an exception to the requirement of an earned doctorate or other recognized terminal degree in a discipline-related field: (a) well-documented preparation and experience appropriate to the discipline that meets accreditation standards; or (b) exceptional preparation and experience for instruction in a discipline when the faculty member has a doctorate or other recognized terminal degree in another area.
Terminal degree requirements for appointment to a tenure-track position shall be clearly stated in position announcements.
Where appropriate, an offer of employment shall provide the time period in which the terminal degree must be completed.
Verification of a completed terminal degree shall require an official transcript sent directly to the Office of Academic Affairs by the degree-granting institution.
Cross Reference: Academic and Professional Qualifications (A-49); Academic Appointments and Titles (E-1A); File Maintenance for Faculty Personnel Files (A-60)
Responsible for Implementation: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Contact for Revision: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Forms: Faculty Certification of Credentials; Recommendation for Appointment
Board Committee Assignment: Academic and Student Affairs