Academic and Professional Qualifications Policy

Overview

AACSB accreditation standards require that faculty have and maintain intellectual qualifications and current expertise necessary to meet the mission of the college. It is important that faculty meet academic (AQ) or professional qualification (PQ) at time of hiring and that such status be maintained throughout their employment with the College of Business. To deliver quality business education, faculty must pursue continuous development in their specialty area and how it is applied in the business world. Departments work with the Dean and Associate Dean - Undergraduate to determine the balance of AQ and PQ faculty needed to best ensure that the College of Business can accomplish its mission and maintain the standards required by the AACSB.

Faculty are responsible for working with their Department Chair and the Associate Dean - Undergraduate (or designee) to ensure that they have a feasible plan for maintaining their status as AQ or PQ, as explained in these guidelines. Faculty are also responsible for regularly reporting their intellectual contributions and other activities to indicate how they are maintaining their AQ or PQ status.

AACSB Standards on Academically Qualified Faculty Members

Academic qualification requires a combination of original academic preparation (degree completion) augmented by subsequent activities that maintain or establish preparation for current teaching responsibilities.

AACSB Standards on Professionally Qualified Faculty Members

Both relevant academic preparation and relevant professional experience will be required to establish a faculty member as professionally qualified. Normally, academic preparation should consist of a master's degree in a field related to the area of teaching assignment. Normally, the professional experience should be relevant to the faculty members' teaching assignment, significant in duration and level of responsibility, and current at the time of hiring.

AACSB Standards on Development to Maintain Qualifications

Faculty members can maintain qualifications through a variety of efforts including production of intellectual contributions, professional development, and current professional experience. Required efforts vary for AQ and PQ status.

While entry qualifications (academic or professional) are important, the world of business changes very rapidly and faculty members must be involved in continuous development throughout their careers to stay current. Regardless of their specialty, work experience, or graduate preparation, the standard requires that faculty members maintain their competence through efforts to learn about their specialty and how it is applied in practice.

Likewise, faculty members must engage in constant learning activity to maintain currency with their fields' developing research and theory. Faculty development activities have value through contributions to the mission. When faculty members are current with the applicability and relevance of ideas and concepts in their field, instruction, practice, and inquiry benefit. The critical factor in determining whether faculty members bring current and relevant information is the impact of faculty member's development activities on the mission of the school.

The College of Business is fortunate to have a dynamic, vibrant faculty engaged in an astonishing array of activities that contribute to the scholarly mission of the college, defined as innovative business education and research that helps organizations solve their problems. As such, the college has long prided itself on valuing a variety of intellectual contributions made by its faculty. Indeed, this dynamism and multiplicity of pursuits contribute strongly to the intellectual vitality of the college and serve as a significant recruiting advantage. Along those lines, the college has a tradition of supporting faculty development activities that encompass a wide range of scholarly pursuits and intellectual contributions. Thus, the college recognizes that faculty will maintain their academic and professional qualifications in a diversity of ways and seeks to develop a policy that embraces that richness.

Designation as Academically Qualified

Academic qualification requires a combination of original academic preparation (degree completion) augmented by subsequent activities that maintain or establish preparation for current teaching responsibilities. Faculty who meet any of the following criteria are considered to be academically qualified at the time of hiring:

  1. A doctoral degree in the area in which the individual teaches. For purposes of these standards the term “doctoral degree” means completion of a degree program intended to produce scholars capable of creating original scholarly contributions through advances in research or theory. In some cases programs with the word “doctorate” (or equivalent) in the title do not have the aim to produce scholars who make original intellectual contributions. Those would not be deemed to be “doctoral degrees” in the sense required in the accreditation review process. Such non-research “doctorates” might be deemed academically qualified per category six below. Since the intent of academic qualifications is to assure that faculty members have research competence in their primary field of teaching, the existence of a current research record in the teaching field will be accepted as prima facie evidence of academic qualifications, regardless of credentials. Individuals with a graduate degree in law will be considered academically qualified to teach business law and legal environment of business.

  2. A doctoral degree in a business field, but primary teaching responsibility in a business field that is not the area of academic preparation. Normally, persons meeting this condition will be considered to be academically qualified, if they maintain active involvement in the areas of teaching responsibility through writing, participation in professional meetings, or related activities. Those with doctoral degrees in areas related to the field in which they teach are translating their expertise in ways relevant to business. Since many business theories and practices derive from related business fields, these business doctorates can be important faculty resources. The greater the disparity between the field of academic preparation and the area of teaching, the greater the need for supplemental preparation in the form of professional development.

  3. A doctoral degree outside of business, but primary teaching responsibilities that incorporate the area of academic preparation. Those with doctoral degrees in areas related to the field in which they teach are translating their expertise in ways relevant to business. Since many business theories and practices derive from basic disciplines outside of business, these individuals can be important faculty resources. Normally, faculty meeting this condition will be considered academically qualified, provided they maintain active involvement in areas of teaching responsibility as outlined above. The greater the disparity between the field of academic preparation and the area of teaching, the greater the need for supplemental preparation in the form of professional development.

  4. A doctoral degree outside of business and primary teaching responsibilities that do not incorporate the area of academic preparation. Those meeting this condition would not be considered academically qualified without additional preparation. To be considered academically qualified, an individual meeting this condition must have completed additional coursework or personal study sufficient to provide a base for participation in the mix of teaching, intellectual contribution, and service sought by the school. The burden of justification in these cases rests with the school under review.

  5. A specialized graduate degree in taxation. Individuals with a graduate degree in taxation or a combination of graduate degrees in law and accounting will be considered academically qualified to teach taxation.

  6. Substantial specialized coursework in the field of primary teaching responsibilities, but no research doctoral degree. Individuals meeting this condition may constitute specialized instructional resources for the school. Such a faculty member may have a specialized master's degree in a business-related field and have completed some coursework in a business doctoral program, or currently may be a student in a business doctoral program. As noted in category one above, non-research “doctorates” may fit into this category. These individuals are to be considered academically qualified. Except for graduate business students in a research doctoral program who have completed all but the dissertation in their program of study, their number should be limited in each discipline. For such graduate students, this status will apply for no more than three years beyond their most recently completed graduate comprehensive examination.

Maintaining Academic Qualifications

As evidence of maintaining academic qualifications, faculty are expected to develop a portfolio of appropriate activities that demonstrate currency in their field and that support the mission of the College. The contributions must indicate a sufficient quality, rigor and value to meet the AACSB and College of Business standards. Generally, intellectual contributions must also satisfy the following two tests:

  1. They exist in public written form.

  2. They have been scrutinized by academic peers and/or practitioners before publication.

Faculty members whose doctoral degrees were granted within the five-year time frame are considered academically qualified by virtue of the currency of their degree. Yet, such faculty must still engage in research activities that lead to intellectual contributions in order to maintain an active research agenda and be able to produce the required portfolio of contributions for future periods. Other academically qualified faculty are expected to be engaged in the production of intellectual contributions on a regular basis. As evidence of maintaining academic qualifications, such faculty must earn six “points” over each five year accreditation period. Points are earned based on the nature of the intellectual contribution as described in the lists below for Categories A, B and C. At least 4 points in each 5-year period must be earned from Category A.

Intellectual contributions may include (per AACSB guidelines, page 24):

  1. “Learning and pedagogical research contributions influence the teaching-learning activities of the school. Preparation of new materials for use in courses, creation of teaching aids, and research on pedagogy all qualify as Learning and pedagogical research contributions.

  2. Contributions to practice (often referred to as applied research) influence professional practice in the faculty member's field. Articles in practice-oriented journals, creation and delivery of executive education courses, development of discipline-based practice tools, and published reports on consulting all qualify as Contributions to practice.

  3. Discipline-based scholarship (often referred to as basic research) contributions add to the theory or knowledge base of the faculty member's field. Published research results and theoretical innovation qualify as Discipline-based scholarship contributions.”

Intellectual Contributions – Points

Category A (2 points each)

Peer-reviewed* journal article in the faculty member's discipline
In order to be included in Category A, these intellectual contributions must:

  • Contribute to understanding or advance knowledge in a particular field through original research and/or significant work consisting of the synthesis of existing knowledge;

  • Have required significant time and effort to produce;

  • Be published in a journal where there is a possibility of submitted work being rejected (the publisher does not accept all papers)

  • Be published in a journal that is listed in Cabell's Directory of Publishing Opportunities or approved as being equivalent to journals listed in the directory (see “special circumstances” below).

Category B (2 points)

  • Scholarly book that involves original scholarly research and that is published by a university press, academic or equivalent publisher.

  • Trade book on a topic relevant to the faculty member's discipline with field-based research that is of sufficiently high quality to be accepted by publishers with national distribution in bookstores and to attract reviews in publications with broad national reach.

  • Textbook that synthesizes elements of a faculty member's discipline and is updated regularly to remain current in the field that is published by a higher education commercial publisher.

Category C (1 point each)

  • Service** as an editor or associate editor for a professional or academic journal or conference.

  • Service** as an active reviewer for a professional or academic journal or service on an editorial board of such a journal.

  • Editing a book related to the faculty member's discipline.

  • Chapter in a scholarly book or a monograph that involves scholarly research and that is published by a university press, academic or equivalent publisher.

  • An article, paper, or case published in the proceedings of a conference in the faculty member's discipline.

  • A case (accompanied by an instructor's manual) that is editorially reviewed but not peer-reviewed (e.g., accepted for publication by the author of a textbook).

  • Technical report related to research projects in the faculty member's discipline that is published and distributed.

  • Article on business practice or other area relevant to the faculty member's discipline in newspapers with national or regional distribution or magazines/journals with a broad readership (or the online equivalent); includes an article that does not fall into Category A.

  • Article in the faculty member's areas of expertise published in a journal that is not peer reviewed.*

  • Invited or peer reviewed* address, presentation, lecture, or colloquium in a faculty member's area of expertise that includes written materials.

  • Publicly available consulting report or testimony to a branch or agency of the government in a faculty member's area of expertise.

  • Published review of a book in the faculty member's area of expertise.

  • Publicly available material describing the design and implementation of new curricula in the faculty member's area of expertise.

  • Publicly available web site or web log in a faculty member's area of expertise that is updated regularly and linked at other significant sites.

  • Instructional software or simulation in the faculty member's discipline that is widely used.

* AACSB defines peer review as “a process of independent review prior to publication of a faculty member's work by an editorial board/committee widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in the field. The peer review should be independent; provide for critical but constructive feedback; demonstrate a mastery and expertise of the subject matter; and be undertaken through a transparent process notwithstanding that the individuals involved may be anonymous. Such a review ensures the work is subjected to the expected “scrutiny by academic peers or practitioners prior to publication.” Peer review is one important way in which the individual and institution can demonstrate overall quality of intellectual contributions.” (AACSB, Eligibility Procedures and Accreditation Standards for Business Accreditation, 1/31/08; p 25)

** Service should be regular (rather than one time) and counts as 1 point for any 5-year period in which such work is performed for a particular journal, conference or book.

Reporting: Faculty members shall report, at least annually, on their intellectual contributions. Such reporting shall include:

  • Citation including date of publication

  • The nature of the work (learning and pedagogical (L), contributions to practice (P), or discipline-based (D))

  • Whether or not it was peer-reviewed*

  • The category (A, B or C)

  • A copy of the work.

Date: A contribution's publication date is the copyright date for books and for other items that are issued for a particular date, such as a journal article or testimony, the stated date on that contribution. For service related contributions, the dates of service, such as on an editorial board should be reported.

Special circumstances: Should a faculty member believe that the nature of a contribution does not fall within the items listed above for each category, or that a particular contribution warrants placement in a higher category, such contribution and the rationale for its category placement shall be submitted to the Associate Dean - Undergraduate. As needed, the Associate Dean – Undergraduate shall call a meeting of the review committee consisting of the department chairs and the designated Associate Dean. A majority vote of this committee shall be final as to the category for the particular contribution. A similar practice is required should a faculty member believe that a journal not listed in Cabell's should be treated as equivalent to those listed in Cabell's. For such considerations, the committee will base its judgment on a review of the quality of the editorial board, the review process, and the published articles.

Designation as Professionally Qualified

Professionally qualified faculty are a significant resource for the College. They provide real-time insights into the rapidly changing world of the Silicon Valley region. The college seeks to hire professionally qualified faculty who have appropriate academic preparation for teaching as well as relevant practical experience. Faculty who meet any of the following criteria are considered to be professionally qualified at the time of hiring.

  1. A master's degree in a field related to the area of teaching assignment.

  2. Professional experience relevant to the faculty member's teaching assignment, significant in duration and level of responsibility, and current at the time of hiring.

Maintaining Professional Qualifications

Professionally-qualified faculty are expected to maintain currency in the field. Such qualification may be demonstrated by virtue of engaging in a portfolio of any of the following over the five-year review period. The faculty member must have at least two contributions in their discipline in the following areas over the five-year period.

  • Serving in an active role of significance in a business, non-profit or community-based organization

  • Consulting activities of significant level, substance and duration

  • Serving on a company's board of directors in an active capacity

  • Active service on a professional committee

  • Creating and/or delivering high caliber executive education programs or their equivalent

  • Continuing education – only one of the two required contributions may be of this type:

    • Completion of continuing education courses (such as those required for CPA, CMA, JD, etc.)

    • Attending professional development workshops

    • Obtaining a new and appropriate professional certification

  • A contribution that falls within Category A or B for academically qualified faculty, or two items from Category C

Professionally-qualified faculty members should consult with their department chair if uncertain about whether an activity qualifies as a contribution for maintenance of professionally-qualified status.

Reporting: Faculty members shall report, at least annually, on their activities for maintenance of professional qualification. Such reporting shall include:

  • A description of the activity and the date(s).

  • For items that fall under Categories A, B or C, the documentation described earlier for AQ faculty reporting.

Special circumstances: Should a faculty member believe that an activity not listed above should be considered equivalent to the above activities, a description of the activity and the rationale for its consideration shall be submitted to the Associate Dean-Undergraduate. As needed, the Associate Dean-Undergraduate shall call a meeting of the review committee consisting of the department chairs and the Associate Dean-Undergraduate. A majority vote of this committee shall be final as to whether the activity is appropriate to show maintenance of professional qualification status.

Failure To Maintain Qualifications

Faculty who do not meet the above criteria will be deemed to be not qualified. Faculty members who are not qualified are expected to develop implementation plans that will allow them to regain qualified status. The plan should be developed in consultation with the department chair, who, along with the Associate Dean-Undergraduate will review progress on a semi-annual basis.

Relationship of AQ/PQ to Formal University Review Processes

All faculty members are subject to university review procedures. For example, tenure-track faculty are subject to the university's retention, tenure and promotion (RTP) policy. These review procedures include regular peer evaluations and student evaluations (SOTEs). This AQ/PQ policy of the SJSU College of Business is intended to complement university procedures, not to replace them. Faculty are required to follow both the university review procedures and the AQ/PQ policy of the College of Business.