Faculty Handbook - version 8/13
Handbook for contracts dated prior to 7/1/03 (PDF)
Index | Faculty Senate | UNCA


4.1 Faculty Professional Development

Faculty development opportunities are intended to support efforts by members of the faculty to enhance and improve their teaching and scholarly activities through the provision of either time or resources.

4.1.1 Faculty Exchanges

Faculty may participate in national or international exchanges with the approval of their department chairs and the Provost and VCAA.  Information about faculty exchange opportunities is available from the Study Abroad Office.

4.1.2 Institutional Grants (see Section 6.5)

The University Research Council, University Teaching Council, and University Service Council have funds intended to support development activities in these areas which are allocated through competitive allocation. See Section 6.5. Other university bodies may occasionally have funds available; availability is ordinarily announced to the faculty over email.

4.1.3 Professional Development Leave (formerly Off-Campus Scholarly Assignment SD1488S) amended by SD5404S and SD4506S
(Revised by Academic Affairs April 2015)

Professional Development Leaves (PDLs) are a means by which UNC Asheville supports continued professional growth for its faculty. Such assignments provide institutional encouragement and support to the faculty in developing, maintaining, and broadening academic and instructional competencies that are valued by the individual faculty member, the academic program, and by the university.

Given the importance of professional development projects to faculty renewal and professional growth, departments and programs are encouraged to develop long-term plans for distributing this resource to all eligible faculty members while maintaining the ability to deliver the unit’s curriculum and contribute in the delivery of the university’s Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC). The success of this planning requires that faculty members involve their chair or program director in all aspects of the PDL proposal development process, which includes but is not limited to developing the project, identifying discrete and measurable deliverables for the project, creating a means of assessing the PDL’s success, identifying possible sources of financial support, and determining the most appropriate year and semester for the leave.

All full-time faculty members who have served at UNC Asheville for a minimum of four years (tenure-track faculty members beyond reappointment and lecturers) are eligible; however, typically, PDLs will be granted only to faculty members with tenure. No faculty member will normally be eligible to receive a professional development assignment more than once every six years; exceptions may be negotiated for extraordinary opportunities that may arise.

A professional development assignment may be granted for up to one full year. The university will support the recipient with either one semester at full salary or two semesters at half salary. Health insurance and full benefits are maintained in either case.
The number of PDLs available each year will depend upon the amount of funds available to staff critical courses, the University’s ability to meet UNC system productivity metrics, and the number of faculty members capable of securing external funding for their PDLs. While external funding for a PDL is not necessary and will not compensate for significant deficiencies in the PDL application, it does provide the University with increased flexibility and thus strengthens the PDL application. While external funding for PDLs is encouraged, this external funding cannot include teaching at another college or university for pay.

Completed PDL applications are first submitted for approval to the faculty member’s chair or program director, who may solicit commentary about the submitted applications from tenured members of the department or program. Applications endorsed by the chair or program director should be submitted to the appropriate Dean along with a letter articulating the merits of the PDL and describing how the department or program will continue to meet its curricular obligations (including the LAC). Applications requiring fewer adjuncts to accomplish this will be advantaged. If multiple PDL applications are forwarded by the chair or program director to the Dean, a ranking of the proposals should be included. Chairs and program directors should only submit to the Dean the number of endorsed applications that the department or program can support without significant adjunct support.

All endorsed PDL applications from a given program area will be evaluated and ranked by the appropriate Dean. Applications will then be considered by all of the Deans together. The following unprioritized criteria will be used to determine which PDL applications will be recommended to the Provost for approval:

Because advanced planning is essential for the effective delivery of the University curriculum, PDL applications for semesters beyond the spring of 2017 should be submitted to the respective department chair or program director by September 15 of the academic year prior to the proposed leave. Chairs and program directors should submit endorsed proposals to their Dean no later than October 1 of the academic year prior to the proposed leave. The Provost will announce approved PDLs by December 1 of the academic year prior to the proposed leave.

The Provost will communicate decision about successful PDLs in writing to all members of the faculty. When the Provost approves a professional development leave, a contract will be prepared designating the specific conditions and dates for the professional development assignment. Where the off-campus assignment requires institutional nomination or approval of the applicant, the Office of the Provost will be responsible for expediting the process to meet external agency requirements and deadlines. The contract will also require the faculty member to guarantee as one of the conditions for the assignment that he or she will return to full-time teaching at UNC Asheville for a minimum of one full academic year following the professional development assignment. If requested by the faculty member, the Provost has the discretion to defer a successfully reviewed Professional Development Leave for up to one year, following consultation with the chair or program director and Dean, without requiring the faculty member to resubmit a proposal. The Board of Trustees of UNC Asheville grants final approval for all professional development assignments.

Upon completion of a professional development assignment, the recipient must prepare a brief written report describing all professional activities during the period of the assignment, and provide an evaluation of accomplishments. The report is submitted to the department chair or program director, who will add evaluative comments and send these to the program area Dean and the Provost.

Chairs and program directors who wish to apply for professional development assignments should initiate the process with the senior most faculty member in the department/program, who will otherwise follow the procedures outlined above. In addition, chairs and program directors are also asked to submit the name(s) of available interim replacements.

NOTE:  Members of the Faculty Senate who are selected for Professional Development Leave shall resign from the Faculty Senate.  (SD8208S)

4.1.4 Professional Travel Policy

The University provides support for faculty to travel on university related business, mostly through faculty development allocations to department/program operating budgets. In all cases in which the faculty member is traveling on University business, he/she must have received prior authorization from their Department Chair, Dean, and the VCAA. This requirement applies whether or not the faculty member is requesting reimbursement from University funds. See Academic Affairs Travel Guidelines, available from the Academic Affairs website.

4.1.5 Tuition free courses for Faculty and Staff (see Section 7.17)  

4.1.6 Center for Teaching and Learning (see Section 11.5) (SD6215S)

4.1.7 Mentoring Program for New Faculty (SD8108S)

The New Faculty Mentoring Program is a volunteer program that welcomes new colleagues to UNC Asheville and provides support as they adapt to the culture, expectations, and pace of our institution.  New faculty members are matched with experienced faculty members who act as personal mentors during the coming years.  Mentors volunteer for the program and new faculty have the opportunity to meet and select their personal mentors. Faculty members are encouraged to pair with mentors from a different academic department so that they can benefit from an objective and confidential partnership and begin to form connections with colleagues outside of their home departments.  For tenure-track faculty members, mentors can serve as confidential advisors during the progression towards contract renewal, tenure and promotion.  In addition to opportunities for private mentoring meetings, participating faculty and mentors are invited to a series of social gatherings each semester.

4.2 Faculty Leaves of Absence

Approval for either a special assignment or a leave of absence requires approval of the faculty member's Department Chair/Program Director, the Provost and VCAA, the Chancellor, and the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees. See Section III of UNCA Tenure Policies and Regulations, located in Section 14.2.

4.2.1 With Pay

UNC does not have a formal system of state funded sabbaticals. UNC does allow faculty to serve with pay on certain special assignments. Family/medical leave and leaves of absence paid by non-state funds also are permissible. Special Assignments

UNC Asheville permits leaves paid by state funds for two types of special assignments described in Section 4.1:
* Faculty Exchange
* Professional Development Leave Family and Medical Leave (SD2495S) amended by SD0511F SD4900S

Members of the UNC Asheville faculty entitled to benefits may apply under this policy for up to a semester off with full pay. While brief absences from faculty duties, including teaching, can usually be accommodated informally for up to four weeks, those that involve prolonged illness and/or disability can result in significant burdens to colleagues, especially in small departments.  Furthermore, the faculty person who must call upon that assistance may face uncertainties and discomforts concerning the employment situation at a time of great personal stress. Finally, state employees who work at less than three-quarter time without leave are not eligible to receive benefits such as health insurance and contributions toward retirement. This policy is designed to overcome these difficulties in a manner consistent with The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, The Code of The University of North Carolina and The Regulations on Academic Freedom, Tenure and Due Process of The University of North Carolina at Asheville. This leave is not allowable as terminal leave payment when the faculty member leaves the employment of the University. It may not be used to extend years of creditable state service for retirement benefits. However, it may be exhausted prior to participation in the Disability Income Plan, provided to state employees. 

I. Coverage
This policy applies to persons holding at least three-quarter time regular faculty appointments (professor, associate/assistant professor, lecturer, instructor) who are also eligible for participation in either the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Program. It does not apply to faculty members with twelve-month appointments annually; these persons are covered under a separate leave policy of the Board of Governors.

A full-time faculty appointment is for twelve contact hours per semester of combined instruction and formal reassigned time, whether administrative or discretionary.  Faculty members may not work at less than three-quarter time, after accounting for reassigned time, for longer than four weeks without leave, because this makes faculty members ineligible for all benefits, including Family and Medical Leave.  The Program Area Dean should be notified of any informal accommodation of faculty members working at less than full-time for longer than one week.

II. Benefit and Use of Leave

A) A faculty member who has been at least three-quarter time for at least one year may request leave with full pay and benefits for up to one semester, or twelve weeks over two consecutive semesters, exclusive of academic breaks, for any of the following conditions:
* medically verifiable extended illness or serious disability;
* birth and care of a newborn;
* placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and care of that child within one year of placement;

* care-giving responsibilities for a seriously ill child, spouse/domestic partner, parent or other dependent;

* any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call to active duty);


In none of the above cases can family and medical leave be granted for longer than one full semester, nor can a second leave of twelve weeks be granted until the faculty member has returned to full-time status for one year. More than one family and medical leave may be granted in an academic year, but total leave in that year for any of the above reasons may not exceed twelve weeks except in the case where a full semester’s leave is granted.

B) A faculty member who is the spouse, son, daughter, or next of kin of a covered service member may request leave with full pay and benefits for up to 26 weeks within any 12-month period to care for that person if he or she has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty, including medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or otherwise in outpatient status or on the temporary disability retired list.

III. Administration of Benefit
It is the responsibility of the faculty member to request the use of leave provided by this policy as soon as possible upon learning of the need for the leave. This request will normally be made in a letter to the department chair/program director.

The department chair/program director will make a recommendation to the Program Area Dean, who will make a recommendation to the Provost and VCAA concerning whether or not to grant the request for leave. When the request is the result of the faculty member's illness or disability, the department chair/program director will recommend leave if it is supported by medical information. When the request is to care for the faculty member's family member, domestic partner or dependent, the department chair/program director may base the recommendation on other factors, including the needs of the unit, timing within the academic year, effect on students, ability of the unit to compensate for the absence, etc.

The Provost and VCAA will request medical verification of the faculty member's illness or disability, including a physician's statement about the probable length of absence from normal duties. If the request is for the purpose of caring for a faculty member's family member, domestic partner or dependent, the Provost and VCAA will request medical verification of the illness or disability of that person. This information will be confidential and will be stored in the Office of Academic Affairs. To facilitate the gathering of necessary verification, the Provost and VCAA may request the assistance of the Office of Human Resources.

The Provost and VCAA is responsible for making a decision on whether or not to approve leave after reviewing the department chair/program director's recommendation. The Provost and VCAA will provide written notification of the decision to the faculty member with copies to the department chair/program director and the Program Area Dean. The Provost and VCAA will provide a copy of the notice to the Office of the Chancellor and the Human Resources Department. Whenever the Provost and VCAA approves leave under this policy, he/she is responsible for working out an arrangement with the department chair/program director for covering the duties of the person on leave.

In all cases, approved, but not used, leave shall not accumulate nor be carried forward from academic year to academic year. This policy does not preclude requesting leaves for non-medical or serious disability reasons.

If illness or disability requires an absence from faculty duties beyond the approved salary continuation period, the faculty member may petition for a leave of absence without pay under procedures described in Section of the Faculty Handbook.  Faculty members are entitled to up to 52 weeks of unpaid leave within any five year period under the North Carolina Family Illness Leave Act. For information regarding the Disability Income Plan and other disability plans offered to University employees on an optional basis, faculty members should contact the Human Resources Department.

IV. Appeals

The Provost and VCAA’s decision not to grant a request for leave under this policy may be appealed to the Chancellor.

V. Confidentiality
Communications concerning leave requested or granted under this policy are subject to the same confidentiality requirements as other personnel records.

VI. Record-Keeping

Because this policy provides an important financial benefit, accurate records on its invocation must be maintained. The Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will maintain the official records and, every three years from the date of approval or sooner if necessary, will make general reports on its use to other University administrators and to the Faculty Senate.

VII. Coordination with Other Policies
As stated in Section 3.5.3, a leave of absence due to maternity or primary-care duties automatically extends the probationary period of tenure-track faculty by one year unless otherwise requested by the faculty member and authorized by the Provost and VCAA.

The terms of this policy pertain only to a leave with full pay for a specified period because of illness or disability. This policy has no effect on provisions for leave without pay as described in the Handbook for Faculty.

The leave with full pay provided for under this policy shall have no effect on the faculty member's other employment benefits. Leaves Paid By Non-State Funds

Leaves of absence paid from non-state funds may be allowed with the approval of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees and the President of the University.

4.2.2 Without Pay Elected Office and Civil Leaves (see Section 13.2.5) Requested Unpaid Leave

A leave of absence without pay is possible with the approval of the Chancellor and the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees. Leave requests are initiated at the department or program level and proceed through the chair or director to the program area Dean and the Provost and VCAA. The Provost and VCAA makes a recommendation to the Chancellor.

4.3 Working Conditions

4.3.1 Academic Regalia

Faculty are expected to wear academic regalia at commencement and special ceremonies such as installation of the Chancellor and at the Fall Convocation. Academic regalia may be rented through the UNC Asheville Bookstore.

4.3.2 Alcoholic Beverage Policy (see Section 7.1)

4.3.3 Attendance at Faculty Meetings and Formal Exercises

Faculty are expected to attend all formal exercises such as commencement, convocation, departmental faculty meetings, assigned committee meetings, and scheduled duty during registration days. If a faculty member for some reason cannot meet his/her scheduled responsibilities he/she is to notify the Department Chair/Program Director or Committee Chair. 

All full-time faculty members are expected to attend all called faculty meetings. The Department Chair is to be notified if a faculty member cannot attend a meeting of the faculty. Faculty meetings are called at the beginning and end of each academic semester plus at the end of the summer session.

Special faculty meetings may be called by the President of the University, the Chancellor, or the Provost and VCAA. Faculty also may request a Faculty Meeting through the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. (See Constitution of the Faculty Senate, Section 14.1). Such requests should include a proposed agenda, rationale for the special meeting and suggested date and time. Should the Executive Committee approve the request, the Provost and VCAA will call the meeting.

4.3.4 Drug Abuse and Controlled Substance Policy (see Section 7.5)

4.3.5 Office Support Office Space and Clerical Assistance

Full-time faculty can expect in his/her office a desk, book shelving, filing cabinet and chairs, a telephone, access to a departmental secretary for provision of course related clerical services and typing and as time permits typing of manuscripts, and mail service to the departments. Budget permitting, a work study student who may assist faculty may be assigned to an academic department. Within budget constraints faculty may utilize the services of Printing Services and Publications. A limited number of private carrels are available in the library (see Section 5.6).

Guidelines for Work to be Assigned to Department/Program Assistants

(From the final report of the Academic Office Support Study Team; accepted by the Chancellor 08/16/07)


1.   Core duties:  There is a core set of duties that are common to the majority of academic office support positions. These duties include:

     A. Office Support

1.    Handle mail (postal, campus, fax, and email), to include deliveries

2.    Keep office organized, to include filing

3.    Prepare and post faculty schedules

4.    Answer phones, greet visitor, respond to questions, and provide information.

5.    Scan and copy documents as requested

6.    Assist faculty and students with use of office equipment

7.    Coordinate maintenance of office equipment

8.    Coordinate set up office for new hires, including technology, furniture, supplies,
 and other materials

9.    Prepare work order and key requests

10.  Schedule faculty appointments as requested

11.  Pick up and/or drop off departmental materials on campus as requested
(going  off campus would be rare)

12.  Provide students with information, forms, and supplies as needed; post information on the bulletin boards

13.  Order textbooks and/or other educational materials, which may include communication with textbook publishers regarding new editions, ancillary packages, and best pricing options

B. Financial Support

1.    Access and print departmental budget information as requested, provide budget-related information to faculty and students as needed, monitor related budgets, and maintain spreadsheets

2.    Check monthly telephone and fax records

3.    Process requisitions/purchase orders, manage inventory, and maintain related electronic and paper records

4.    Prepare check and payroll requests and maintain related electronic and paper records

Scope: number of faculty, student employees, and work study students

5.    Prepare and track faculty travel for the chair, faculty, and department visitors

C. Print and Electronic Documents/Resources

        1.    Prepare department-related reports and other documents for faculty

        2.    Create, update, maintain, and transmit departmental forms

        3.    Prepare certificates and awards for presentation each semester

        4.    Assist with departmental advertising (i.e. brochures, bulletin boards, display boards,
                CDs, videos, etc) 

        5.    Maintain faculty, applicant, student worker, work study student, and other departmental
                 files, both print and electronic

        6.    Prepare and distribute instructor evaluations, including student comments

        7.    Maintain databases (i.e. faculty, students, prospective students, alumni, publishers,
                donors, and fundraising)     

D.  Meeting, Event, and Outreach Support

1.   Serve as a point of contact for other university departments, students, visitors, and the community; respond to questions; and provide information – this may include working with the Public Information Department to provide information in response to media questions

2.   Handle logistics for routine meetings for faculty and students, this could include reservation of rooms, equipment, and simple refreshments

3.   Assist with student and departmental activities and special events

E.  Student Workers (temporary and work study)

         1.     Train and supervise student workers

 2.  Discouraged/Prohibited Activities:  There also is a set of duties that are outside the boundaries
      of core duties for academic office support positions.  Some are to be discouraged; others are

     A.  Activities to be Discouraged

  1. Participating in activities that routinely take office assistants out of their offices for a prolonged period of time during the normal workday.
  2. Running off-campus errands.
  3. Driving for field trips.

B.  Activities Prohibited

  1. Violating copyright laws at the request of anyone.
  2. Typing personal correspondence for anyone.
  3. Serving as the contact persons for personal communications and business of the faculty, such as for things offered for sale through electronic fora.
  4. Receiving email for a faculty member.
  5. Proctoring examinations.
  6. Supervising a class for a faculty member.
  7. Grading of any course-related work: examinations, quizzes, papers, reports, homework, etc.
  8. Substituting for faculty in advising students in the requirements of the major or minor or in the requirements of the ILS, including the distribution of RAN numbers.
  9. Completing any work unrelated to the faculty’s professional expertise for off-campus organizations in which a faculty member is involved. When in doubt, the office assistant should consult the chair/director or the appropriate dean.
  10. Driving faculty and visitors, including candidates, on and off campus.
  11. Performing any non-work related activities. When in doubt, the office assistant should consult the chair/director or the appropriate dean. Computer Services (see Section 5.3) Mail Services (see Section 7.11) Ordering Equipment and Supplies

Equipment and supplies are purchased with departmental funds. Purchase orders must be completed, usually by the department secretary, and approved by the department chair/program director. See UNCA PPM #22 and PPM #140 for more information.

4.3.6 Research Policies Animal Subjects Policy (SD6515S)

The UNC Asheville Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) (see 10.4.18) must approve projects which utilize live animals. Any project by a UNC Asheville investigator or any teaching procedure which requires the use of animals, as defined by federal law, must submit an Application for Animal Use to the ACUC. All projects require the Primary Investigator to be a member of the faculty, including those initiated by students. For teaching activities, as well as research not funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), federal law defines “live animals” to include dogs, cats, nonhuman primates, guinea pigs, hamsters, and other mammals, but not birds. Researchers carrying out projects funded by NIH must submit an Application for Animal Use for any research involving live vertebrate animals. Other funding agencies may also mandate the type of review required. The ACUC will comply with the review requirements of the sponsoring agency. Application forms and information concerning applicable guidelines may be obtained from the chair of the ACUC. If a previously approved project is revised or requires significant changes from the approved techniques, a supplemental form listing the changes must be submitted. Any proposal that requests external funding must be coordinated with the Office of Sponsored Scholarship and Programs.

All applications require one copy of the application form and one copy of the complete research proposal or, in the case of teaching activities, the instructor's syllabus. After review and approval (2-3 weeks normally), the Chair of the ACUC will send notification of approval to the Principal Investigator or to the student's research advisor. Institutional Review Board (formerly Human Subjects) Policy (SD8913S) (SD3110S) (SD0393F)  Purpose

The UNC Asheville Institutional Review Board (IRB) is charged by the University with reviewing all University activities involving human research subjects, according to the Department of Health and Human Service’s Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for the Protection of Human Subjects (45 CFR 46), in order to safeguard the welfare and rights of research participants, including research related to class assignments.  The UNC Asheville policy on human subjects applies to all faculty, student, and staff research involving human subjects, regardless of funding source.  The UNC Asheville IRB reviews behavioral research protocols; investigators wishing to conduct invasive biomedical research activities should seek approval from an external IRB certified for such review.  Policies and Procedures

IRB procedures and policy will be updated as necessary in order to remain compliant with 45 CFR 46, and any applicable state or local laws. UNC Asheville IRB policies as well as links to 45 CFR 46 are available at http://irb.unca.edu. Faculty members are encouraged to consult this site for updated procedures and documents.

These regulations apply to all University faculty, staff, and students.

Policies on Research Activities

  • Except as provided under Exempt Activities (45 CFR 46.101b), all research activities involving human subjects conducted by UNC Asheville faculty, students, and staff must receive IRB Review before such activities begin. Student projects involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the IRB before research activities begin. This includes course-related work. 
  • The “IRB shall review and have authority to approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or disapprove all research activities covered by this policy” (CFR 46.109). Officials of the institution may disapprove research approved by the IRB, but those officials may not approve any research that has not been approved by an IRB.  (CFR 46.112). 
  • The IRB may suspend or terminate approval of research that is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB's requirements or that has been associated with unexpected serious harm to subjects (CFR 46.113). 
  • IRB approval is limited to one calendar year (CFR 46.109e), after which continuing review should be sought. 
  • No investigator may involve a human being as a subject in research covered by this policy unless the investigator has obtained the legally effective informed consent of the subject or the subject's legally authorized representative (46.116) 
  • When some or all of the subjects are likely to be vulnerable to coercion or undue influence, such as children, prisoners, pregnant women, mentally disabled persons, or economically or educationally disadvantaged persons, additional safeguards may be required to protect the rights and welfare of these subjects (46.111b). Additional regulations may be required for pregnant women and fetuses (46.204), neonates (46.205), children (46.401), and prisoners (46.301).  Membership

Membership of the IRB conforms to federal guidelines (45 CFR 46.107).

  • 6 voting members and 3 alternates, approved by the Provost, in consultation with existing IRB members and FWDC.  Faculty members serve staggered three-year terms which may be renewed, while the community representative serves a one-year term which may be renewed.
    • Two faculty members who have expertise in research involving human subjects from a behavioral or biomedical research discipline (e.g., Psychology, Management);
    • At least one faculty member who has expertise in research using the scientific method but not primarily involving human subjects (e.g., Environmental Science, Chemistry) and  one or two faculty members from any discipline to bring total voting faculty membership up to five;
    • One member unaffiliated with the university who has expertise in scientific study which may or may not involve human subjects (Community Representative);
    • One alternate from each of the above categories
  • Representative from the Office of Sponsored Scholarship and Programs, ex officio and non-voting.
  • Liaison from Academic Affairs, ex officio and non-voting, as needed, to facilitate the work of the IRB.  The Academic Affairs liaison should not participate in IRB deliberations


In appointing the members of the IRB, attention should be paid to gender, racial, and professional diversity.

Committee members are requested to serve a minimum of one full term as specified above, and must maintain IRB Member CITI Training Certification.

The Chair of the IRB must be a tenured member of the faculty.  It is best for the Chair to have served two years as a Committee member prior to assuming the role of Chair, and to serve as Chair for more than one year.  At the completion of his or her term, outgoing Chairs are requested to attend IRB meetings for one year after their term, either as a formal member of the committee or as an ex officio non-voting member, to serve as a mentor for the new Chair and to promote consistency and continuity.


The IRB may, at its discretion, invite individuals with competence in special areas to assist in the review of issues which require expertise beyond or in addition to that available on the IRB. These individuals do not have a vote.


No IRB member may participate in an initial or continuing review of any project in which the member has a conflict of interest, except to provide information requested by the IRB.  The Chair determines whether a conflict of interest exists.          

A quorum shall be at least four of the six members of the IRB, one of whom must have primary concerns in research not involving human subjects.

Recommendations and reports to:  Provost Research Misconduct Policy (SD8008S)

Policy Statement
In the belief that honesty and integrity are essential to the search for knowledge, it is the policy of The University of North Carolina Asheville that all persons involved in research and scholarship must guard the truth, uphold the highest standards in their research and scholarship, and protect the public trust that the academic environment has long held. Whenever any UNC Asheville faculty member or other research employee is accused of serious misconduct in scientific or scholarly research, the University will conduct an inquiry, make a determination concerning the truth or falsity of the allegations, and take appropriate disciplinary action. The process of inquiry will be expeditious and protect the rights of all those concerned, including the complainant and the accused.

Definition of Research Misconduct
Since the search for knowledge is impeded and subverted by the misrepresentation of facts, openness and honesty are commonly accepted norms within the scientific and scholarly community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. "Research misconduct" means plagiarism, falsification, fabrication of data, or other forms of deliberate misrepresentation. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

Initiation of Inquiry
Allegations of research misconduct involving faculty members or staff should be directed to the Dean of the respondent’s academic division (referred to hereafter as the Dean). The Dean will confidentially counsel any individual who comes forward with an allegation of research misconduct since some concerns or allegations may not fall within the scope of policies and procedures developed to address research misconduct. If the Dean determines that the concern is properly addressed through policies and procedures designed to deal with misconduct in research, these procedures should be discussed with the individual questioning the integrity of a research project. If the individual chooses not to make a formal allegation, but the Dean believes there is sufficient cause to warrant the inquiry, the matter should be pursued without a complainant and the Dean should so inform the Provost.

The Dean, in consultation with the Provost, will determine whether an inquiry is warranted when the subject of the inquiry is faculty or other staff members.

If the inquiry involves a faculty or other staff member, the Dean will appoint an ad hoc Inquiry Committee consisting of three tenured faculty members, two from the Department of the respondent and one from another Department of the University.  In case the respondent is a department chair, three faculty members shall be from outside the Department.  In the case of a two-faculty department, two faculty members shall be from outside the Department and one from within. In selecting the members of the Committee, potential conflicts of interest must be examined scrupulously and any relationship with parties to the matter must be fully disclosed. Those inquiring into the allegations should be selected in full awareness of the closeness of their professional or personal affiliation with the complainant or the respondent. It is also important that the Committee have appropriate scientific or scholarly expertise to assure a sound knowledge base from which to work. The respondent and complainant will be notified of the charges and process at this time. Committee members should be appointed and convened as soon as possible, provided with the information immediately available, and charged either to complete the inquiry phase within 30 days or to present a report, at that time, to the Dean, the respondent, and the complainant, citing the reasons for delay and progress to date.

During the inquiry, confidentiality will be maintained to protect the rights of all parties involved. It may be desirable to keep the identity of the complainant confidential during the inquiry phase. The Dean will assume responsibility for disseminating information relevant to the inquiry to the appropriate individuals. Normally, this will be in writing with copies filed in the Office of the Provost.

Completion of the inquiry is marked by the determination of whether or not an investigation is warranted. There will be written documentation to summarize the process and state the conclusion of the inquiry. The respondent will be informed whether or not there will be further investigation and, if there is a complainant, he or she will also be informed.

Allegations found to require investigation will be forwarded promptly to the investigative body; if federal funding is involved, federal regulations require that the agency sponsoring the research be notified at this point.

If an allegation is found to be unsupported but has been submitted in good faith, no further formal action, other than informing all involved parties, will be taken. The proceedings of an inquiry, including the identity of the respondent, will be held in strict confidence to protect the parties involved. If confidentiality is breached, the institution will take steps to minimize the damage to reputations that may result from inaccurate reports. Allegations that have not been brought in good faith will lead to disciplinary action.

The institution will seek to protect the complainant against retaliation; individuals engaging in acts of retaliation will be disciplined.


An investigation will be initiated when an inquiry concludes that such is warranted. The purpose is to further explore the allegations and determine whether misconduct has been committed and, if so, the degree of its seriousness. In the course of an investigation, additional information may emerge that justifies broadening the scope of the investigation beyond the initial allegations. The respondent will be informed when significant new directions of investigation are undertaken. The investigation will focus on accusations of research misconduct as defined previously and examined the factual materials of each case.

To carry out the investigation, the Dean will form an Investigative Committee by expanding the Inquiry Committee to include two additional tenured faculty and at least one representative from outside the University. In selecting the members of the committee, conflicts of interest must again be examined scrupulously and any relationship with parties to the matter must be fully disclosed. Those inquiring into the allegations will be selected in full awareness of the closeness of their professional or personal affiliation with the complainant or the respondent. It is also important that the committee have appropriate expertise to assure a sound knowledge base from which to work.

Upon receipt of inquiry findings that an investigation is warranted, the Dean will initiate an investigation promptly, and the complainant and respondent will be notified of the investigation. In accordance with federal regulations, all agencies sponsoring a research project in which misconduct is suspected will be notified immediately upon the decision to undertake an investigation. All involved parties will be interviewed and are obligated to cooperate with the proceedings in providing information relating to the case. All necessary information will be provided to the respondent in a timely manner to facilitate the preparation of a response. The respondent will have the opportunity to address the charges and evidence in detail. The respondent is not required to have legal counsel in the investigation, but may seek counsel if he or she so desires.

If the nature of the allegations is such that there may be need to protect the health and safety of research subjects or the interests of students and colleagues, the Dean may take interim administrative action to restrict or suspend the activities of the respondent, but care should be taken to safeguard the rights of the respondent.

Investigations normally will be completed within 60 days of initiation. If factors such as the volume and nature of the research to be reviewed and the degree of cooperation being offered by the subject of the investigation prevent completion within 60 days, an interim report will be filed with the Dean at the end of 60 days describing the investigation up to that point and its expected outcome, and requesting an extension.

The findings of the investigative committee will be submitted in writing to the Dean. The respondent will receive the full report of the investigation, as will the Chair of the respondent's department. When there is more than one respondent, each shall receive all those parts of the findings that are pertinent to his or her role. Respondents may comment in writing on the report and their comments will be made part of the record. All federal agencies, sponsors, or other entities initially informed of the investigation also must be notified promptly. UNC Asheville will retain the findings of the investigation in a confidential and secure file.

Investigations into allegations of research misconduct may result in various outcomes including 1) a finding of clear, serious, and substantial research misconduct; 2) a finding of research misconduct of a minor or questionable nature; 3) a finding that no culpable conduct was committed, but serious scientific errors were made; 4) a finding that no research misconduct or serious scientific error was committed. If a finding of serious scientific misconduct is made, all agencies funding that research will be informed. The judgment as to the degree of severity on the research misconduct will be solely that of the Investigative Committee. Examples of severe research misconduct include fabrication of data, plagiarism including the publication of research or scholarship produced by another person, and falsification of vita items in order to advance one's research.

If an investigation has been launched on the basis of a complaint, and no research misconduct is found, no disciplinary measures will be taken against the complainant and every effort will be made to prevent retaliatory action against the complainant if the allegations, however incorrect, are found to have been made in good faith. If the allegations are found to have been maliciously motivated, disciplinary actions will be taken against those responsible.

The nature and severity of the disciplinary action by the University will vary with the findings of the Investigative Committee. At this point, the Dean will inform the Chancellor, Provost, and Chair of the respondent’s department of the Investigative Committee’s findings. Should the respondent(s) be found guilty of research misconduct of a clear, serious, and substantial nature, he/she/they may be considered unfit to continue as members of the UNC Asheville faculty. Respondents will be notified by registered mail (receipt requested) by the Chancellor or his or her delegate.  Relevant federal agencies, sponsors, collaborators, and editors of journals will be promptly notified of the University's findings. Due process for tenured faculty is provided by Section 603 of the "Code" of the University of North Carolina.

Respondents found guilty of research misconduct of a less clear, serious, or substantial nature may receive sanctions ranging from letters of reprimand from the Provost to probation or permanent removal from the research project involved. Findings of scientific misconduct may also warrant the removal of the faculty respondent from other research supervisory roles.

Respondents may appeal the findings of the University. Respondents have a maximum of ten days after receiving notice of the findings to file a written appeal to the Dean. An appeal of the findings may be based on the evidence presented during the investigative hearings or on a failure of the committee to follow established procedures, in keeping with University policy. New evidence discovered may warrant a new investigation. Sanctions resulting from the findings may also be appealed if the respondent(s) has(ve) reason to believe that the disciplinary penalties are excessive or inappropriate. Respondents who are tenured faculty, and who have been notified by the Chancellor or his/her delegate of the University's intent to discharge them, are provided due process under Section 603 of the "Code" of the University of North Carolina.

4.3.7 Smoking Policy (see Section 7.14)

4.3.8 Policy on Children in the Workplace (SD1697S)

UNC Asheville recognizes that faculty members may occasionally need to bring their children with them to work. However, faculty members are expected to observe the following guidelines when doing so.

1. Parents will assume responsibility for direct supervision of their children. Young children are not to be left unsupervised in public areas (lounges, student center, library, etc.), nor are they to be left in the care of university staff.
2. Parents should prevent children from creating excessive noise or disturbing others in the work environment.
3. Parents will assume liability for their children.
4. Parents should not bring sick children to campus.

Rationale: For many parents child care is a major issue in the conflict between work and family involvement. Since there are occasions when faculty must bring their children to campus, the guidelines above establish some common behavioral expectations. Faculty members have private offices which will allow them to keep their children out of the general departmental workspaces. Because faculty schedules are flexible, they may bring children to the campus for shorter periods of time during the day.

4.3.9 Employment/Supervision of Related Persons (see Section 13.2.2)

4.3.10 Non-Discrimination: Ethnic/Gender/Sexual Orientation

UNC Asheville subscribes to The Code of The University of North Carolina, Section 103, which states:

Admission to, employment by, and promotion in the University of North Carolina and all its constituent institutions shall be on the basis of merit and there shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, or national origin.

Furthermore, the University follows N.C.G.S. 126-16 which states:

All state...agencies...of North Carolina shall give equal opportunity for employment without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, age, or physical disability to all persons qualified, except where specific age, sex, or physical requirements constitute bona fide occupational qualifications necessary to proper and efficient administration. The section with respect to equal opportunity as to age shall be limited to individuals who are at least 40 years of age.

Sexual Orientation (SD4091S)

It is the policy of The University of North Carolina at Asheville that an individual's sexual orientation is irrelevant to educational and employment decisions. Any non-faculty employee of The University of North Carolina at Asheville having a complaint of discrimination because of sexual orientation should notify the immediate supervisor or the Director of Human Resources. A faculty member should notify the program area Dean and the Provost and VCAA; a student should notify the VCSA. At any time, a student or employee may call the Affirmative Action Officer or the Counseling Center. The Senate requests that the Provost and VCAA arrange with other Vice Chancellors a consistent procedure for pursuing complaints of discrimination.

4.3.11 Sexual Harassment Policy (SD0413S), (SD4709S)

Sexual harassment and discrimination are illegal and endanger the environment of civility and mutual respect that must prevail if the University is to fulfill its mission. The University of North Carolina at Asheville is committed to providing and promoting an atmosphere in which employees can realize their maximum potential in the workplace and students can engage fully in the learning process. Toward this end, all members of the University community must understand that sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and sexual exploitation of professional relationships violate the University’s policy and will not be tolerated. The University will take every step to resolve grievances promptly. Any act of reprisal, interference, or any other form of retaliation, whether direct or indirect, against an individual for raising concerns covered by this policy are also violations of this policy and are prohibited.

Further information, including definitions of types of sexual harassment, procedures for reporting and investigation, and penalties, is detailed in Policy 49 at the University Policies website. Related policies include Policy 54 (Improper Relationships between Students and Employees Policy) and Policy 96 (Unlawful Workplace Harassment Policy).

4.3.12 Workplace Violence (SD0413S), (SD3497S)

It is the intent of the University of North Carolina at Asheville to provide a workplace for all employees which is free of violence. In doing so, the University is complying with and supporting the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which requires employers provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment; and the North Carolina Office of State Personnel Policy No. 9 on Workplace Violence. To this end, it is the policy of UNC Asheville to prohibit any form of workplace violence. Definitions, procedures, and other information may be found in Policy 52.

4.3.13 Conflict of Interest (SD6215S) (SD3596S)

At UNC Asheville, faculty responsibilities extend beyond time-specific assignments such as in-class teaching, designated office hours, etc. to include a broad range of professional activities necessary to accomplish our public liberal arts university mission.  For example, faculty members have opportunities to use their specialized competencies in secondary professional employment, as paid consultants to public and private agencies, and thereby contribute to the transfer and application of knowledge through external activities for pay.

As relationships between employees and private industry, federal and state governments, and nonprofit agencies have grown in number and scope, there has been a corresponding increase in concern about conflicts of interest and commitment. While members of the UNC Asheville faculty are encouraged to engage in appropriate relationships with public and private agencies outside of the University, there is a need for commonly understood principles and corresponding procedures that will identify, address and manage potential conflicts that would detract from or interfere with their dedication of unbiased primary professional loyalty, time, and energy to teaching, research, and service.

All members of the UNC Asheville community are expected to avoid conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment that have the potential to directly and significantly affect the University’s interests or compromise their objectivity in carrying out their professional responsibilities, including research, service and teaching activities and administrative duties, or otherwise compromise performance of these responsibilities, unless such conflicts are disclosed, reviewed and appropriately managed in accordance with the provisions of Policy 1105, the UNC Asheville Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy.

4.3.14 Computing and Networking Usage Policy

UNC Asheville Policy 72 states the obligations and rules that faculty, staff, volunteers, and others associated with the University must follow in their use of computing, Email, and networks at The University of North Carolina Asheville.

4.3.15 Academic Affairs E-mail Lists

Academic Affairs has created two email lists for communication purposes, faculty_official for announcements of events and official communication, and academic_forum for discussion of issues relevant to the faculty. Specific policies governing the membership and usage of these lists are:

I. faculty_official@unca.edu

    a) Membership consists of all current university faculty members, full- and part-time, all administrative staff in Academic Affairs, and appropriate administrative staff in Human Resources, ITS, or other areas of the university as determined by the Provost. Membership is automatic; members may not unsubscribe. Only members of the list may post or receive messages.

    b) Appropriate usage: faculty_official is intended for official university business relevant for members of the faculty. It is meant for dissemination of information to members of the faculty, and not for general discussion, which should be on academic_forum (see below). Appropriate postings include:

        --announcement of meetings, speakers, and other events;
        --administrative requests and reminders from Academic Affairs;
        --communication from the Chancellor’s Office, Public Safety, or others.

    Consistent with University Policy 131, all members of this list are expected to use this list respectfully. Harassment, threats, defamation, abusive posts, and transmission of personal or sensitive information are not appropriate uses of the faculty_official list.

    c) Moderation: faculty_official is an un-moderated list. All who are members of the list have the right to post to the list. Members who violate usage policies may have posting privileges removed at the discretion of the Provost.

II. academic_forum@unca.edu

    a) Membership initially consists of all current university faculty members, full- and part-time, all administrative staff in Academic Affairs, and appropriate administrative staff in Human Resources, ITS, or other areas of the university as determined by the Provost. Initial membership is automatic, but members may unsubscribe. This list is an opt-out list rather than opt-in.

    b) Appropriate usage: academic_forum is intended to provide members of the faculty with a venue for discussion and conversation on any issue relevant for the faculty. Examples include:

        --discussion of proposed changes in policy or practice;
        --articles of interest from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, academic journals, or other publications;
         --current developments in higher education;
         --ideas for curricular or programming initiatives.

    academic_forum is not intended for discussion or distribution of issues that are not relevant for the work of the faculty (i.e., community events, items for sale, etc.). Consistent with University Policy 131, all members of this list are expected to communicate respectfully. Harassment, threats, defamation, abusive posts, and transmission of personal or sensitive information are not appropriate uses of academic_forum.

    c) Moderation: academic_forum is an un-moderated list. All who are members of the list have the right to post to the list. Members who violate usage policies may have posting or membership privileges removed at the discretion of the Provost.

4.4 FORMS for Section 4.0

No forms for this section.

Faculty Handbook - version 8/13
Handbook for contracts dated prior to 7/1/03 (PDF)
Index | Faculty Senate | UNCA