The purpose of this policy is to establish the process by which policies are approved and implemented for Pfeiffer University (hereafter referred to as the “University”).
The University provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetics or other protected group under State or Federal Law. In addition to federal law requirements, Pfeiffer University complies with applicable state and local law governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placements, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.
Policy: A written document that determines decisions, actions, and other matters applicable to the university as a whole or to a significant area of its operations. Policies are approved by the President or the Board of Trustees and are published for access to university faculty, staff and administration.
Department Rules and Procedures: May be written documents or verbally communicated information approved by the appropriate university administrator of that department or division.
- The University establishes policies and – to a lesser extent – University-wide procedures that govern the conduct and activities of the University and its employees.
- University policies are not intended to be contractual in nature and will not under any circumstances be construed to create a contract for a specific term with any person, firm or entity nor to provide terms or conditions of employment which are binding on the University. Specific written contracts, where applicable, shall be designed by the University for faculty and certain other employees, independent contractors and certain vendors providing services to the University.
- In the event of any interpretive differences between University policies and department policies or procedures, University policies will take precedence. The University retains the right to resolve all issues, including interpretation and resolution of all issues, pertinent to or arising under these policies at its sole discretion. All interpretations and resolutions made by the University regarding University policies are binding upon University employees and any affected non-employee.
- University policies are effective on their publication date and remain in effect until modified, superseded, or cancelled in writing. University policies may be changed by the President or Board of Trustees with or without notice.
NEW POLICIES AND/OR POLICY REVISIONS
Any University faculty or staff member may propose a new policy or a change to an existing policy.
For those policies that already exist in the Faculty Handbook or the Policies section of the University website:
- The faculty or staff member proposing a new policy or change to an existing policy shall complete a Policy Proposal Form and forward to the Provost.
- The Provost shall review the proposal and determine the appropriate course of action, which may include acceptance, rejection, review by the Faculty Council, review by the Chair of the Faculty Council, and/or review by the Deans’ Council.
- The Provost shall coordinate consultation with appropriate stakeholders and legal counsel as needed.
- If the Provost routes a request to the Dean’s Council for review, the Dean’s Council shall review the proposed policy draft and submit recommendations to the Provost. The Dean’s Council may recommend acceptance or rejection of the proposed policy as proposed, offer a different revision or seek additional stakeholder feedback through coordination by the Provost.
- If the Provost routes a request to the Faculty Council for review, the Faculty Council shall review the proposed policy draft within thirty (30) days of receipt and submit recommendations to the Provost. The Faculty Council may recommend acceptance or rejection of the proposed policy as proposed, offer a different revision or seek additional stakeholder feedback through coordination by the Provost. The Faculty Council’s review process may include presentation of the proposed policy to the appropriate committee or to the full faculty assembly. The Faculty Council will then submit a recommendation to the Provost.
- If a policy is recommended for advancement by (1) the Faculty Council and the Provost, (2) the Deans’ Council and the Provost, or (3) the Provost, the proposed policy draft will be posted internally for general comment for a reasonable period (typically 30 days unless circumstances warrant an accelerated review process).
- The Provost will reconvene the appropriate group(s) as necessary to consider any comments received.
- The Provost shall then submit the final policy draft to the President for review.
- At least 10 days prior to each meeting of the Board, the President shall present the Chair with a written list of new policy recommendations. Any policy which the Chair deems as sufficiently significant to require Board approval will move to the agenda of the Board meeting. The President has the authority to approve and finalize all other policies.
For non-academic policies, faculty and staff may submit suggestions for new policies or revisions to existing policies to their supervising Vice President or to Human Resources. See Policy Proposal Form.
For both academic and non-academic policies, the President may request input from University administration and/or others. The President has the authority to approve all University policies, unless otherwise outlined in the University’s bylaws of the Board of Trustees.
Pfeiffer University recognizes the importance of the evaluation process in ensuring educational and instructional quality. Evaluation is a crucial part of our ongoing accreditation processes and contributes to continuous improvement.
Adjunct Faculty Evaluation Process
- New adjunct instructors will be evaluated during the first teaching assignment and once every academic year thereafter while meeting or exceeding expectations.
- The supervisor completes the evaluation in conjunction with a classroom visit and/or review of the online course.
- The supervisor includes student evaluations and summary comments in his/her evaluation of the adjunct faculty member.
- The supervisor reviews the evaluation with the adjunct faculty member either in person or through live, electronic communication.
- The signed evaluation is submitted to the respective Dean for review and signature (unless the Dean is serving as the evaluator).
- The signed evaluation form will be submitted electronically to the Office of Human Resources.
If an adjunct faculty member falls below expectations, the evaluator is expected to discuss the concerns and provide guidance for improvement strategies. This will be documented in the summary area on the evaluation form. Another evaluation will take place with the next teaching assignment. An adjunct faculty member who has two (2) evaluations that fall below expectations and who is not demonstrating improvement may be eliminated from the teaching pool.
Approved by Deans’ Council, October 28, 2021.
Pfeiffer University defines an adjunct professor as a professor who is hired on a temporary or contractual basis each semester. This person is not considered a full-time employee, and as such is not entitled to any benefits that the University may offer its full-time faculty. These employees may teach in the traditional seated classroom format, a hybrid format, or totally online through the University’s Learning Management System.
Adjunct professors are limited to no more than 9 semester hours of work per semester or 18 semester hours per academic year. These hours usually will translate to three semester-long courses, although in some situations, courses that also offer lab hours count as a 4-semester hour courses. In that case, since the adjunct is limited to no more than 9 semester hours, the adjunct would be eligible to teach one 4-hour course and one regular three-hour course, or two 4-hour courses per term, not to exceed 18 semester hours per academic year.
Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Provost.
Approved by Deans’ Council, December 9, 2021
Pfeiffer University recognizes the value of information provided by students, employees, and others in assessing the institution’s performance. This process is for the purpose of addressing significant violations of the institution’s standards, policies and procedures and is not a forum for addressing grievances. Pfeiffer has established grievance procedures for students and employees and expects individuals to attempt to resolve grievance issues through procedures established according to the situation.
The complaint process is noted and should be followed accordingly. In all cases, prior to initiating a formal complaint, there should be an attempt to resolve the situation with the appropriate individual or department. Process and procedures are noted below.
The procedure for filing a complaint includes:
- Review the Pfeiffer University Complaint Policy.
- Look at Pfeiffer University Complaint Procedures.
- Email the complaint form to the appropriate area:
From the date the formal complaint is received, each area will have ten (10) working days to work with all parties to achieve a solution.
If the resolution presented is not agreed to, each area will, within ten (10) working days after receipt of the formal complaint, conduct an investigation of the unresolved complaint.
Within twenty (20) working days after receipt of the formal complaint, the appropriate area will inform the individual and all other parties of his/her decision in writing. The following actions may be recommended:
- Offer a resolution to the complaint.
- Dismiss the complaint.
- Take appropriate action.
If a complaint cannot be resolved through the institution’s grievance procedures, students may file a complaint with The University of North Carolina System Office. Please review the Student Complaint Policy (PDF), print and complete the Student Complaint Form(PDF) and submit the complaint to:
The University of North Carolina System Office
c/o Student Complaints
910 Raleigh Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688
If an issue cannot be resolved internally, the student may file a complaint with his/her state.
In compliance with the new regulations, an institution offering distance education must provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student’s state. While Pfeiffer University strives to provide the highest quality educational opportunities available, conflicts may arise. We aim to resolve any grievances, complaints, and concerns in an expeditious, fair, and amicable manner. If an issue cannot be solved by Pfeiffer University’s internal processes, you may choose to file a complaint with your state of residence. Contact Information for the Individual States.
Distance Learning Students
Students who are residents of states outside of North Carolina enrolled in distance learning programs, should first follow Pfeiffer University’s Public Complaint policy for resolution of grievances. Complaints regarding student grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by institutional policy and the law of the state of North Carolina.
If a distance learning student is not satisfied with the outcomes of the Pfeiffer University Public Complaint procedures, the complaint (except for complaints about grades or student conduct violations) may be appealed within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made. Complaints are to be submitted to the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA), using the complaint form listed here: http://www.saranc.org/docs/SARA-NC-ComplaintForm.pdf
A detailed description of the complaint process toward NCSEAA can be found here: http://www.saranc.org/Complaint.html
Pfeiffer University ensures the quality and integrity of all courses transcripted as Pfeiffer University credit including those delivered through cooperative academic agreements and articulation agreements. This policy addresses the approval of such agreements and their periodic review.
Cooperative Academic Agreements Approval
Cooperative Academic Agreements that involve course-sharing must follow the following approval process for each course:
• The department chair or program coordinator in the academic department of the prefix identifies a course at the partner institution and reviews the course syllabus, course description, faculty credentials, and accreditation-related materials.
• The Dean submits a Cooperative Agreement Course Approval Form to the Registrar.
• The Registrar reviews the course approval form and maps the course to the Pfeiffer University equivalent course.
• The Provost will review and sign any new or revised Cooperative Academic Agreement on behalf of the institution. The agreement is not effective until the agreement document is signed by the Provost.
Each Pfeiffer University course that a student takes through a cooperative academic agreement will be routinely reviewed by the Registrar and faculty of record prior to each term in which the student intends to take the course to ensure that the learning outcomes, course description and syllabus have not changed since the course was initially approved.
Pfeiffer University partners with regionally accredited institutions to ensure that courses are taught by faculty members who are appropriately qualified. The Registrar will consult, as needed, with the Dean and the appropriate academic officer from the partner institution.
Any issues regarding student perception of teaching or integrity of the academic experience will be addressed by the Dean and the appropriate administrator at the partner institution.
Articulation Agreement Approval
Articulation Agreements are typically signed between Pfeiffer and community colleges or other institutions which send students to Pfeiffer to complete a degree. These agreements involve an understanding to transcript courses for transfer students. Usually, significant portions of a degree program are included, not a single course here or there. The approval process involves the following steps:
• Anyone on campus may suggest an articulation agreement to the Provost’s Office.
• The Dean and the Provost work with the Vice President of Enrollment to determine whether an articulation agreement would benefit both institutions.
• The Dean and the Provost will create either a list of courses covered by the agreement or degree plans specifying the courses for the programs covered by the agreement.
• Both institutions will agree to the courses/programs covered by the agreement and documented in a memorandum of understanding.
• The Provost and the President will sign any new Articulation Agreement. The agreement is not effective until the memorandum of understanding is signed by the Provost and the President. The Provost may revise the memorandum without the President’s signature.
Other Cooperative Academic Agreements or Articulation Agreements
Other types of cooperative academic agreements (e.g. third party vendors, providing or accepting significant portions of upper-level courses in a degree program) or articulation agreements may be added by the University, and this policy will be revised as needed by the Provost’s Office.
Review of Agreements
All agreements in this policy will be reviewed by the Registrar, appropriate Dean, and Provost at least every two years. The agreements will be reviewed to ensure that they are accomplishing their intended purpose.
A written record of such reviews – including appropriate signatures and dates for each review – will be kept in the Provost’s Office.
Pfeiffer University has been designated by the U.S. Department of State as a sponsor of exchange visitor programs.
Pfeiffer University is committed to hiring qualified faculty members to facilitate instruction in all of its educational programs in service to the Institution’s mission.
Minimum Qualifications for a Faculty Member
Qualified faculty members are identified primarily by their academic credentials, but other factors including, but not limited to, equivalent, tested experience and external certification/licensure are considered in determining whether a faculty member is qualified.
Using Academic Credentials to Qualify Faculty
- Faculty will have an academic degree in the discipline, or subfield of the discipline, in which they teach, and/or for which they develop curricula, with coursework at least one level above that of the courses being taught or developed.
- An academic subfield refers to a component of the discipline in which the instruction is delivered.
- They key consideration is whether a degree in the field or a focus in the specialization held by a faculty member appropriately matches the courses, including general education courses, the faculty member would teach in accordance with the conventions of the academic field.
- If a faculty member holds a master’s degree or higher in a discipline or subfield other than that in which s/he is teaching, the faculty member is expected to have completed a minimum of eighteen (18) graduate credit hours in the discipline or subfield in which s/he teaches.
- Faculty teaching and supervising scholarly activity in graduate programs have the terminal degree and have a record of research scholarship, or achievement appropriate for the graduate program.
- Faculty who are not the instructor of record have at least the same level of degree as the course being taught. In such cases, the instructor of record has the qualifications outlines in A or B and has regular interactions with the faculty members who are not the lead instructors in the course. The instructor of record is responsible for final assessment of the students in the course, including assigning grades.
Using Equivalent, Tested Experience and External Certification/Licensure to Qualify Faculty
- For faculty teaching baccalaureate level courses:
- The faculty member will have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in the discipline or subfield, AND a minimum of three (3) years of tested experience (breadth and depth of experience outside the classroom in real-world situations relevant to the discipline in which the faculty member would be teaching) in a related discipline to the courses; OR
- The faculty member will have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, AND a nationally recognized credential (certification, license, etc.) for the discipline or subfield OR are recognized by their peers for distinguished professional accomplishments, AND a minimum of three (3) years of tested experience in a related discipline to the courses.
- For faculty teaching master’s level courses:
- The faculty member will have a minimum of a master’s degree in any discipline, AND a nationally-recognized credential (certification, license, etc.) for the discipline or subfield, OR are recognized by their peers for distinguished professional accomplishments, AND a minimum of three (3) years of tested experience in a related discipline to the courses; OR
- In certain circumstances, a faculty member may teach a master’s level course with a bachelor’s degree if s/he is recognized by his/her peers for distinguished professional accomplishments, AND is considered an expert in the content covered in the course.
Individual program-specific accreditors may have credentialing requirements that exceed what is required in this policy.
Exceptions to any of the qualifications outlines in the sections above must be approved in writing by the Provost’s Office.
Ensuring Hiring of Qualified Faculty
- All faculty position postings or solicitations must include requirements consistent with the Minimum Qualifications for a Faculty Member.
- All candidate pools will be initially screened by the search committee chair or hiring manager for Minimum Qualifications for a Faculty Member.
- A current resume or curriculum vita, along with official academic transcripts or other documents verifying credentials, must be submitted prior to the hire for all faculty positions. Records of the resume/curriculum vita and academic credentials will be kept by the Human Resources Office for all faculty hires. It is the responsibility of the appropriate Dean’s Office to ensure that these documents are collected and submitted to the Human Resources Office.
- Current faculty members not holding proper credentialing to teach their assigned course(s) will be offered the opportunity to develop an Academic Development Plan (ADP). Specific assistance rendered to faculty members subject to an ADP will be determined on an individual basis. These plans will be developed by the faculty member and department chair/program director and approved by the respective Dean as well as the Provost. These plans will include a mutually agreed upon timeline for meeting the established faculty credential requirements for the academic courses they teach. ADPs are expected to be completed within three (3) years.
- A “Faculty Certification of Credentials” form must be completed by the appropriate Dean’s Office and approved by the Provost’s Office for each new hire. These forms, once approved, will be submitted to the Human Resources Office.
Ensuring Staffing of Courses with Qualified Faculty
- Documentation of faculty credentials is reviewed periodically. Minimally, faculty credentials will be reviewed whenever the faculty member is up for promotion.
- Each semester, the department chair/program director will review assignments prior to submission to the Dean’s Office to ensure that courses are staffed by faculty with appropriate qualifications.
- The Dean’s Office will perform a final review of assignments each semester to ensure that courses are appropriately staffed.
- The Office of the Provost will periodically audit course staffing to ensure compliance.
Approved by Deans’ Council: January 20, 2022
Pfeiffer University further complies with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended. This act, as it applies to higher learning, ensures that students have access to certain records that pertain to them and that unauthorized persons do not have access to such records. A copy of the act and the university’s policy regarding Student Educational Records and Information is available upon request at the Office of the Dean of Student Development.
1. POLICY STATEMENT
This policy addresses the pre- and post-award management of grants and establishes appropriate controls and guidelines for: (1) solicitation of grants; (2) development and approval of grant project ideas; (3) development and review of grant proposals prior to submission; (4) submission of grant proposals/applications; and (5) management of grant awards.
2. GRANT POLICY SUMMARY
Grants are an integral part of improving the strength and quality of Pfeiffer University by funding projects that allow the University to meet its mission through innovative programming in support of institutional, faculty and community needs. A grant is a legal contract for an approved project and, as such, the University is ultimately responsible for proper stewardship of grant funds, meeting grant project deliverables and timelines, and fulfilling all funding agency requirements, therefore requiring appropriate controls and guidelines. As well, the University’s accrediting body, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and external auditors require that grants processes and controls are in place to assure proper stewardship of grant funds.
Grants policy, supported by defined procedures, will help the University to maintain an accurate record of all submitted, pending, declined, and awarded applications/proposals. This will create a record of granting history and also allow the University to pursue grants from a variety of grant-making entities while avoiding mishaps such as multiple applications submitted to the same funding source or submitting a proposal that does not support the University’s mission and/or Enterprise Strategy. It is the University’s goal to ensure that a collaborative and supportive grants culture is developed and maintained, which encourages grantsmanship through a proactive, team-based approach.
As such, the objectives of this grants policy are to:
Align all grant seeking with Pfeiffer University’s mission, strategic plan, departmental operational plans, and other identified priorities of the institution;
• Establish processes that support a healthy and collaborative grants culture;
• Identify roles and responsibilities of faculty, administrators, staff, and the Office of Institutional Advancement in the grants process;
- Ensure that institutional and departmental needs are integrated into the overall grant-seeking efforts of faculty and staff;
- Safeguard that institutional capacity and infrastructure can support identified projects, including commitment of in-kind or cash match funds;
- Provide quality resources, services, support, and training to faculty and staff interested in engaging in granting activity;
- Comply with applicable state and federal laws as well as specific regulations, guidelines and requirements of grant-making entities.
3. APPLICABILITY OF THE POLICY
This policy applies to all full- and part-time employees of Pfeiffer University and its branch campuses.
4. DEFINITION OF A GRANT
A grant is a sum of money awarded by a grant-making entity (foundation, corporation, government) to the University for a specific purpose (research, program, capital, endowment) based on approved and documented deliverables to be completed and reported on within a specified period of time. A grant award typically involves an award letter and/or an executed contract or agreement.
Grants are non-repayable, typically short-term (1-5 years) sources of funds that support projects that are often, but not always, sustained by the institution after grant funds end. Grants typically do not fund shortfall or single need in personnel (I need an assistant), equipment (I need a microscope), or supplies (I need resources for my class) but more often support: (1) new or expanded projects that meet an identified and documented need in the community at-large (low graduation rates, lack of curriculum/training to address a workforce shortage issue, low literacy skills, lack of volunteers, etc.) or (2) specific research interests of faculty across the institution.
Grant funds awarded for a specific project or program are referred to as restricted funds whereas grant funds awarded for use at the University’s discretion are unrestricted funds.
5. GRANTS AT PFEIFFER UNIVERSITY
There are myriad reasons why grants are pursued in higher education. To simplify the process, Pfeiffer University delineates two general categories of grant projects: (1) research grants and (2) non-research grants. All grant projects, both research and non-research, must comply with applicable University policies and procedures (please refer to Page 8 of this policy for a schematic of the grants development and management pathway at Pfeiffer University).
Faculty often have research and scholarly interests that extend beyond the scope of the institution’s mission and strategic plan. As a teaching university, Pfeiffer supports faculty in the pursuit of scholarship that informs teaching excellence and is open to conversation on blending individual interests with institutional mission. Scholarly and/or creative activity is an indicator of the intellectual vitality and activity of faculty which contributes to a contemporary and dynamic academic program and, ultimately, should lead to an improved academic community. All faculty members at Pfeiffer are involved in some level of scholarly or creative activity; the university is re-examining what portion of faculty evaluation may be aligned with these activities. Some activities may directly involve students, enhancing their educational experience, as well as stimulating the intellectual lives of faculty members and students alike. The University encourages faculty to seek external funding in support of their specific and unique academic interests as it informs teaching excellence.
6. OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT
The Office of Institutional Advancement, in close collaboration with the Provost, seeks to facilitate and aid in management of the grants process at Pfeiffer University. Its overarching role is to provide assistance and support to faculty and staff in securing external funding from a variety of funding sources.
Using a team-based approach, the Office of Institutional Advancement and Project Directors/Principal Investigators are encouraged to work together from pre-award to post-award, assuring the University submits competitive proposals for both research and non-research grant projects that are, upon award, properly stewarded through project completion.
When developing a project idea, writing a proposal or implementing a grant-funded project, often questions arise about processes, procedures, best-practices, and/or how to locate institutional information needed to prepare a proposal, budget or report. All pre- and post-award questions can be directed to the Grant Writer in the Office of Institutional Advancement.
7. IDENTIFICATION OF GRANT PROJECTS
Planned grant-seeking often contributes to the development of more competitive grant proposals that may yield a higher rate of funding. Therefore, the University will engage in a planned grant-seeking process to guide its granting activity and aspire to produce the best possible results.
Identification of non-research grant projects is driven by the University’s mission and strategic planning process and is informed by goals outlined in the Enterprise Strategy, key initiatives of departmental operational plans, other formal assessments completed outside of the strategic planning process, as well as individual and group interests or expertise of faculty and staff. It is the responsibility of the Office of Institutional Advancement to seek funding opportunities for non-research grant projects with support of Project Directors. To assure alignment of granting activity with strategic priorities, the University will maintain a multi-disciplinary Prospect Management Team, which includes the Office of Institutional Advancement, Athletics, and other faculty and staff as deemed appropriate.
Identification of research grant projects is driven by individual faculty research interests. It is the responsibility of faculty to seek funding opportunities for research grant projects with support of the Office of Institutional Advancement, as needed. The Provost will inform the Prospect Management Team of faculty interests and pursuit of grant opportunities in support of research.
8. ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
A. Prospect Management Team
Foster a proactive, planned approach through collaborative grant seeking and proposal development.
- Collaborate across disciplines and departments to encourage, assess and prioritize granting needs.
- Facilitate reciprocal communication and coordination between the Grants Committee and departments on current, pending and future granting activity of the institution.
- Assure that cultivation of relationships with funders and proposals submissions are well-coordinated and not duplicative.
- Maintain and share an annual grants calendar for the institution, which identifies grants to be pursued.
- Advise on policies and matters related to faculty participation in grants development and administration as an activity or extended role of job responsibilities.
- Suggest composition of Project Development Teams from an institutional perspective.
B. Office of Institutional Advancement
- Pre-Award Phase: Provide assistance with grant seeking, interpreting Requests for Proposals (RFPs), cultivating relationships with external grant-making entities, developing project ideas, planning and designing projects, building community partnerships, proposal development and review, budget development and review, and proposal submissions; Prepare and/or facilitate securing the President’s signature on all Letters of Support, Letters of Intent, cover letters, and grant proposals.
- Post-Award Phase: Provide assistance with contract negotiations, securing reviewer comments, facilitating site visits, grant and project management, budget amendments, no-cost extensions and other contractual changes, compliance, and progress/financial reporting.
- Document all pre- and post-award granting activity (foundation & corporate only) in The Raiser’s Edge, the University’s customer relationship management (CRM) software; maintain a log of federal and state granting activity.
- Plan and/or conduct training and provide resources on pre- and post-award functions.
- Plan to maintain a grants webpage to provide resources, forms, templates, links to grant-making entities, training materials, and highlights of grant-funded projects.
C. Project Directors/Principal Investigators
- Pre-Award Phase: Develop and submit project ideas for review and approval; assist with grant seeking, project planning, proposal/budget development, building community partnerships, and communicating all granting activity to the Office of Institutional Advancement.
- Post-Award Phase: Submit grant notices and other documentation to the Office of Institutional Advancement; comply with funder requirements as stated in the contract, agreement or award letter; collect and track data in support of project evaluation and reporting; inform the Office of Institutional Advancement of changes in scope of work, staff, evaluation or budget; track grant expenditures in compliance with the institution’s procedures for receiving grants/gifts; help build and maintain positive relationships with grant-making entities; ensure proper, ethical protocols for human and animal subjects research, including assurances, mechanisms of consent, and other relevant documentation stated and approved by the University’s Internal Review Board (IRB).
D. Other Supporting Departments & Offices
Developing competitive proposals and proper stewardship of grant awards require the knowledge and expertise of a variety of personnel within the University. As such, during the pre-award and post-award phases of grants development and management, it is imperative that the team-based approach extends across campus. Developing or managing a grant project often involves the assistance of the Business Office, Institutional Research, Facilities, Human Resources, Information Technology, Communications, and more. The Office of Institutional Advancement, Project Directors/Principal Investigators and supporting offices are required to collaborate, as needed, to assure proper stewardship of all grant funds.
9. PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES
Please refer to Page 8 of this policy for a schematic of the grants development and management pathway at Pfeiffer University.
A. Proposal Approval Process
Non-research grant project ideas must go through an approval process. Project ideas must be approved by at least one Executive Level leader, depending on the nature of the project. The Provost must approve all
matters related to academic programs and/or curricula. To start the process, project ideas are submitted to the appropriate department head on the University’s Grant Interest e-Form located on the grants webpage. Upon approval, the project idea is shared with the Grants Committee and added to the University’s annual grants calendar. In coordination with the Office of Institutional Advancement, faculty and staff may then proceed with the development of a grant proposal. A Project Development Team may be recommended in an effort to share expertise and ideas across programs or disciplines to enhance the proposal development process.
NOTE: The approval process applies to any grant request of $750 or more; grant requests under $750 to funders other than foundations or corporations (for example, NC Campus Compact) can be submitted without approval but must be reported to the Office of Institutional Advancement upon submission.
If more than one project idea is presented and suitable for a given grant-making entity but the funder will only accept a single application or a limited number of applications per institution in a given funding cycle, the project idea(s) most closely aligned with the University’s priorities and time table will be approved for development and submission. Approval will take place in consultation with the University President, as needed. If appropriate, it may be recommended that two competing project ideas are merged into one proposal for submission to a funder.
It is recognized that other unplanned grant opportunities outside of the annual grants calendar can arise and should be considered as part of the planned grant-seeking process. Funding opportunities or project ideas that are in alignment with strategic priorities and are not identified on the University’s grants calendar for a given year can be submitted on the Grant Interest e-Form to the appropriate department head.
Research grant project ideas must go through a notification process. Faculty interested in engaging in grant-funded research are required to inform the Provost before the proposal development and submission process begin to assure that no aspect of the project idea requires approval of the Provost or President (for example, a project that is expected to be sustained by the University beyond the grant period, creation of a new center or institute, etc.). Upon agreement to pursue external funding, faculty must inform the Office of Institutional Advancement so that a current and accurate grant listing is maintained and information is entered into The Raiser’s Edge or other databases.
B. Proposal Development Process
While working in close collaboration with the appropriate department head and/or Provost, the Project Managers/Principal Investigators for non-research grant projects will collaborate with the Office of Institutional Advancement to develop approved grant proposals. The synergy of content expertise and grants expertise will help to assure the development of strong, successful proposals. If needed, the Grants Committee will recommend faculty/staff to serve on a Project Development Team.
Faculty developing research grant projects are encouraged to work with the Office of Institutional Advancement as deemed appropriate.
C. Proposal Submission Process
For non-research grant projects, once a formal proposal has been prepared, the completed written application or a copy of an online proposal, including the project budget and all required supporting
documentation, will be provided by the Project Manager/Principal Investigator to the
Office of Institutional Advancement for obtainment of authorizations and signatures of the University President or designated representative. The Grant Writer will coordinate the proposal submission with the Project Manager/Principal Investigator, Special Assistant to the President, Provost and/or appropriate department head, as deemed appropriate.
The Office of Institutional Advancement is the designated institutional representative for all electronic/Internet-based proposal submissions. The Grant Writer is the University’s designated Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) for grants.gov and NSF FastLane and, as such, is the official authorized to submit federal grants on behalf of the institution (in coordination with the PI).
Faculty submitting research grants will check with the Office of Institutional Advancement prior to the submission deadline to determine how the submission will take place. A final copy of the proposal and budget must be shared with the Office of Institutional Advancement upon submission.
D. Communications with Grant-Making Entities
While the application is under review for funding, the Office of Institutional Advancement will coordinate communications with the grant-making entity. Upon receipt of a grant award (or award declination) any notifications and/or documents sent directly to a Project Manager/Principal Investigator must be transmitted to the Office of Institutional Advancement for processing based on institutional procedures.
E. In-Kind/Cash Match Funds and Indirect Costs
The University President, designated representative and/or Proposal Development Team must approve all institutional commitments of in-kind and/or cash match funds dedicated to a grant-funded project (research or non-research). Approval for institutional match funds must occur prior to submission of a proposal and will be facilitated through the Office of Institutional Advancement and the Provost’s Office.
Pfeiffer University does not currently have a federally-negotiated indirect cost rate and is exploring the best approach to resourcing this need. Project Managers/Principal Investigators will coordinate with the Office of Institutional Advancement on any grant opportunity that allows indirect costs to determine the best approach for securing these funds.
F. Grant Contracts and Expenditures
Upon notification of a grant award, Project Managers/Principal Investigators for both research and non-research grant projects must work with the Office of Institutional Advancement and the Business Office to negotiate a grant award. Due to the inherent risks associated with any contract or agreement and its potential impact on the institution, only the University President or designated representative are authorized to sign a grant contract or agreement with an external funder.
Proper stewardship of grant funds, as per the agreement with the grant-funding entity, is critical to project success and the receipt of future awards from current or prospective funders. Upon receipt of a grant award, a check for the new restricted grant is received and will be processed in compliance with institutional procedures. The Business Office will establish all required budget codes and authorizations.
Budget amendments must be reported to the Office of Institutional Advancement for processing and approval by the funder prior to making unauthorized expenditures (doing so could result in a non-allowable expenditure that becomes the University’s fiscal responsibility).
To meet funder requirements, the Business Office can produce financial reports as requested by the Project Manager/Principal Investigator or the Office of Institutional Advancement.
G. Grant Project Reporting
Proper stewardship of funds also includes timely and complete submission of all interim and final progress and financial reports as required by the grant-funding entity and based on approved project deliverables. Reporting requirements are typically outlined in the contract or agreement between the funder and awardee. Completing and submitting reports in compliance with the funding agency guidelines and deadlines are the responsibility of the Project Managers/Principal Investigators unless expressly noted otherwise in the contract. To assure that required project data/information is collected from the onset of the project and is available by report deadlines, Project Managers/Principal Investigators must be cognizant of reporting requirements prior to commencement of the grant project. The Office of Institutional Advancement can assist with: (1) report preparation as needed and requested by the Project Managers/Principal Investigators and (2) inquiries concerning progress on project deliverables as requested by the funding agency or applicable advisory boards, including the University Board of Trustees.
Although strongly discouraged, any report that will be delayed to the funder or that will not meet funder requirements in some capacity must be reported to the Office of Institutional Advancement prior to the report deadline. The Office of Institutional Advancement will serve as the liaison to the grant-funding entity to communicate concerns with meeting report deadlines or project deliverables.
Students enrolled in Pfeiffer University are expected to abide by an academic code of conduct that includes honesty and integrity in all matters related to the pursuit of formal and informal education encouraged and promoted by Pfeiffer University.
Students will be informed in writing of the consequence of violations of the code of conduct. Consequences may include suspension or dismissal from the program.
Decisions to suspend or dismiss may be appealed in writing within 72 hours to the Academic Affairs Committee. The appeal is based upon a review of the written record. Students are notified in writing of the decision of the Academic Affairs Committee.
Violations of the Honor Code
All cases involving the following behaviors are considered violations of the Honor Code:
(Further detail is available under Academic Policies and Procedures in the student handbook.)
- Cheating in any form in academic matters, defined as willful participation in the unauthorized exchange or use of information while working on an examination or project designed to evaluate individual performance.
- Plagiarism, the appropriation and passing off as one’s writings or ideas of another.
- Attempting to cheat or plagiarize.
- Failure to report observed violations.
- Lying, stealing, or other conduct violations about academic issues and situations.
Note: The Honor Code is understood to apply to all academic requirements of the university, including assessment testing, internships, entrance examinations and classroom instruction.
The following student responsibilities apply to all Pfeiffer University students:
- You must demonstrate adherence to the Honor Code by signing the Honor Pledge. The statement “I have neither given nor received unauthorized help” may be required on all work submitted for academic credit. If a faculty member requires the statement in writing, he/she may refuse to extend credit for work on which it does not appear. On work where the written statement is not required, faculty members still assume the student’s compliance with the Honor Code.
- To report violations of the Honor Code. (Any student who witnesses a violation of the Academic Honor Code as defined and does not report the violation, will be subject to action under the Honor Code.)
- To appear at hearings when charged with a violation or asked to appear as a witness.
- To respond fully and truthfully to legitimate questions or requests for information concerning Honor Code matters.
Pfeiffer University is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.
The following is Pfeiffer University’s nondiscrimination policy:
Pfeiffer University is committed to upholding the principles outlined in Title IX, which states “No person in the United States shall, by sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Pfeiffer University employs individuals and admits students of any race, color, or national origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the student at the university. It does not discriminate by race, color or national origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other university-administered programs.
Furthermore, Pfeiffer University Trustees have determined that students not be denied admission, rights, privileges, programs or activities by religion, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation or ethnic origin; nor will the university discriminate by religion, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation or ethnic origin.
Pfeiffer University does not discriminate against employees, students or applicants who are handicapped. This policy is in keeping with Section 504, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended.
Age Discrimination Act
Pfeiffer University does not discriminate against students or applicants by age. This policy is in keeping with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and with the EEOC Age Discrimination Act.
Pfeiffer University has established a fair and equitable refund policy in accordance with the requirements of the university’s accrediting agency. This policy pertains to all students who cease attendance in all classes, either through withdrawal or without notification. It is always the student’s responsibility to withdraw from unwanted courses. Withdrawal forms are available at my.pfeiffer and the Office of the Registrar, Administration Building, Room 206.
Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Under federal regulations, substantive change includes:
- Any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution.
- Any change in legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution.
- The addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure, either in content or method of delivery, from those that were offered when the institution was last evaluated.
- The addition of courses or programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the institution’s current accreditation or reaffirmation.
- A change from clock hours to credit hours.
- A substantial increase in the number of clock or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program.
- The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50 percent of an educational program.
- The establishment of a branch campus.
- Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution.
- Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement such as a dual degree program or a joint degree program with another institution.
- Acquiring another institution or a program or location of another institution
- Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out program for a closed institution.
- Entering into a contract by which an entity not eligible for Title IV funding offers 25% or more of one or more of the accredited institution’s programs.
The Substantive Change Policy of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is updated frequently. Faculty and administrators should refer to the policy on the SACSCOC website for the most recent interpretation of what constitutes a substantive change.
Before initiating any modifications/additions/deletions in academic programming that would
constitute a substantive change, the faculty member or administrator initiating the change must notify the Provost’s office in writing as soon as such a change is considered. If the current SACSCOC Institutional Accreditation Liaison (IAL) is not the Provost, the IAL and Provost will work to reach consensus whether the proposal constitutes a substantive change. The Provost’s Office will communicate to all relevant stakeholders regarding the status of the proposal with instructions about the next appropriate action.
The Provost will represent the IAL on President’s Cabinet and will report any proposed substantive change in a timely way.
Most substantive changes that occur at Pfeiffer will be curriculum proposals. The Provost’s Office will ensure that the curriculum proposal form contains a required area for the faculty member making the proposal to indicate whether it constitutes a substantive change. During the approval process, at the stage of the dean’s review, the dean will consult with the IAL regarding any proposal where substantive change is an issue. Even if the faculty member has not indicated on the proposal form that it constitutes a substantive change, the dean should refer any proposal to the IAL for review where a substantive change may be concerned.
There are many categories of substantive change which are not necessarily related to the curriculum approval process: delivering a degree program (new or existing) in an unapproved mode of delivery, offering programs at a level higher or lower than currently approved, offering a program (new or existing) in a new location, entering into a collaborative academic agreement, closing a program, etc. Any modification that might result in a substantive change should be put on the President’s Cabinet meeting agenda by the administrator responsible for it. During the deliberation, the IAL will be consulted regarding whether the proposal is a substantive change.
In both situations, the IAL will make a recommendation to the Provost. The Provost will review each proposal to determine whether it should be considered a substantive change and therefore need to go through the notification and/or approval processes for SACSCOC and any program-specific accreditors. In the event of a dispute as to whether a proposed change is considered substantive in nature, final review of the proposed change will be the responsibility of the Provost.
This requirement is intended to ensure compliance with external accreditation requirements, including those of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) and any relevant program-specific accrediting agency.
Depending on the scope of the initiative, a lengthy lead time is necessary to meet accreditation standards of notification and approval before the change can be implemented. The person initiating the substantive change should submit the proposal at least six months prior to the intended implementation.