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Faculty Handbook

Policy Statements

A. Academic Freedom

The University realizes that academic freedom and economic security are essential for acquiring and maintaining a strong faculty. The faculty member must enjoy academic freedom characteristic of the best in higher education as it has developed in Western culture.

The faculty member, while recognizing a special responsibility to the University as a contributing scholar, requires freedom of discussion in the classroom and freedom of professional research and publication of results. Dedicated to the free pursuit of truth, the faculty member regards it a basic duty to encourage freedom of inquiry in peers and in students. Furthermore, while abiding by and supporting the policies, ideals, and procedures of the University, the faculty member has the right of peacefully seeking revision of policies. Moreover, free inquiry and the pursuit of truth are indispensable conditions for the attainment of the goals of any university.

The faculty member, while enjoying academic freedom, shares responsibility with the administration for the preservation of this freedom. Therefore, the faculty member is free in the quest for truth within a broad but intricate framework of responsibility to colleagues and students as sharers in this quest, to the University with its ideals and purposes, and to society with its basic mores and morals.

B. Governance of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology

It is GSEP's policy to encourage and expect its faculty to participate in the initiation and formulation of policy for GSEP. The faculty constituency for this function is defined as all those persons who are full-time employees of the University with an assignment to academic professional responsibilities in GSEP.

It is also GSEP's policy to maintain a structure of governance that assures faculty participation in the development and implementation of basic curricula of the School. It is the belief of the School that such participation contributes substantially to the fulfillment of its roles as a professional school in the University organization.

Changes to this Handbook shall be made with the review, counsel and discussion of the faculty. Rules and regulations concerning research, health, workplace environment (e.g. harassment), safety of the workplace, etc. – changes which occur often – will have a period of review by the UFC if the rules are government mandated and apply to all five Schools. The GSEP representative(s) will report on concerns to the appropriate body, i.e. – UFC, etc.

The Dean and Associate Deans of Education and Psychology hold academic rank and have the privilege to vote as a faculty member at GSEP meetings.

Regular faculty meetings are scheduled during the fall and spring semesters (September, October, November, January, February, March, and April). Normally these meetings will be scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month. In addition, called faculty meetings may be scheduled by the Dean or by request of the faculty to the Dean.

The Dean shall prepare an agenda for each regular faculty meeting and distribute a copy of such agenda to all faculty members not less than five days prior to any faculty meeting. Faculty members may submit agenda items to the Dean prior to distribution of the agenda. A faculty action, affirmative or negative, shall be by majority vote of those present.

The minutes of each faculty meeting shall constitute the official record of the faculty's actions and its deliberations. The Dean will be responsible for the preparation and publication of the minutes.

The governance design shall include standing and ad hoc committees, whose membership may be any combination of faculty, students, alumni, and other employees, as recommended by the faculty and determined by the Dean.

The School-wide standing committees include, but are not limited to, the following:

1.      Academic Council

2.      Appeals Committee

3.      Faculty Handbook Committee

4.      Rank, Tenure, and Promotion Committee

5.      Research Committee

6.      Teaching Committee

The members of the above standing committees are full-time faculty members elected by the faculty. The chairpersons of the committees are elected annually by the committee members. The chairs of all standing and ad-hoc committees are responsible for establishing meeting times, maintaining committee records, and communicating the deliberations and recommendations of the committees in writing to the appropriate constituencies.

The scope of each School-wide committee's work shall be determined jointly by the Dean and the committee membership at the first meeting of the committee. All committees shall report directly to the Dean in administrative matters, and subsequently to the entire faculty. Such reports are scheduled on the agenda for faculty meetings. See Appendix A for a description of the charge, duties, and membership of each committee.

Division faculty meetings are scheduled monthly. Divisional program committee and subcommittees are established within the Divisions of Education and Psychology. Membership is comprised of division faculty, staff, and students, as recommended by the division faculty and determined by the Associate Dean.

University-wide standing committees established by the Office of the Provost include the University Academic Council and University Tenure Committee, The chair of the equivalent GSEP committee and the Dean, or the Dean's appointee, serve as GSEP representatives to the University's committees. GSEP has representation to the University Faculty Council through elections of the Faculty Association.  

All full-time Graduate School of Education and Psychology faculty members are eligible for membership in the School's Faculty Association. This organization seeks to advance the interests of the faculty in a proactive manner. Meetings of the association provide an environment for the discussion and deliberation of a variety of issues of interest to the faculty. See Appendix B for the constitution and additional information on the Faculty Association.

C. Professional Ethics

All faculty members are expected to adhere to the professional ethics of their respective disciplines. For information, visit our Human Resources page.

D. University Nondiscrimination Policy

Pepperdine University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate unlawfully on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. Faculty may secure a copy of the Pepperdine University Policy on Equal Employment Opportunity and Nondiscrimination from the University's Equal Opportunity Office. The University Policy Manual can be viewed here.

E. Admission of Disabled Students

Pepperdine University is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and affirms that GSEP:

1.      Shall not inquire of a student's disability status;

2.      Shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of disability;

3.      Need not lower its admission standards in order to accommodate a student with a disability; and

4.      Shall direct the student to contact the Office of Student Accessibility in Tyler Campus Center, Malibu when requested to accommodate a student in the admission process.

The Policy Statement for Assisting Disabled Students is available here.

F. Sexual Harassment Policy

Pepperdine University reaffirms the principle that its students, faculty, and staff have a right to be free from sex discrimination in the form of sexual harassment by any member of the academic community. Refer here for the policy.

G. Faculty Categories and Ranks

It is GSEP's policy to maintain excellence in its faculty, which is defined herein as established expertise in a specialized area within the fields relevant to education and/or psychology and acknowledged competence as a teacher and advisor of students. It is further GSEP's policy to maintain faculty who contribute the most to program requirements and who, at the same time, maintain academic excellence.

Accordingly, it is GSEP's policy to maintain the following category of faculty personnel and the following structure of academic ranks and titles.

The first category is that of tenure-track and tenured faculty, which is defined to include three academic ranks: professor, associate professor, and assistant professor.

A second category is that of visiting faculty, which is defined to include full-time or part-time non-tenure track faculty who may be appointed to the faculty of the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology for a specified semester of service not to exceed three years. Visiting faculty is not assigned academic rank.

A third category is that of lecturer, which is defined to include full-time non-tenure track faculty in teaching positions. Lecturer appointments are reviewed on an annual basis.

A fourth category is that of Senior Lecturer, which is defined as having an earned doctorate from an appropriately accredited American university or renowned international university and 15 or more years of relevant, post-doctoral professional experience.  A Senior Lecturer will have demonstrated an advanced level of expertise, professional development or teaching effectiveness.SeniorLecturer appointments are reviewed on an annual basis.

A fifth category is that of clinical faculty, which is defined as full-time non-tenure track faculty in positions whose primary responsibilities involve applied methods of teaching such as clinical supervision. Clinical faculty is not assigned academic rank. Clinical faculty appointments are reviewed on an annual basis.

A sixth category is that of distinguished professor,which is defined to include a title granted at the discretion of the Dean and the University administration to a full- or part-time faculty member who may or may not be tenure-track or tenured.

A seventh category is that of adjunct faculty and adjunct clinical faculty, which is defined to include all other part-time faculty who are assigned to teach courses or supervise practicum students in GSEP for a specified time.

In making appointments of adjunct faculty and adjunct clinical faculty, it is GSEP's policy to select and appoint faculty members whose professional qualifications are commensurate with those of tenure-track and tenured faculty. The School is thereby committed to the maintenance of an excellent faculty.

Adjunct faculty and adjunct clinical faculty are not considered full-time employees and therefore are not granted the benefits provided full-time faculty members. Adjunct faculty and adjunct clinical faculty are, however, eligible for participation in School functions and may serve on School committees at the discretion of the Dean, upon recommendation of the respective committee.

An eighth category is that of emeriti faculty. The information is available here.

A ninth category of facultymay be defined to include full-time administrators who, at the discretion of the Dean, are assigned appropriate academic rank after having been reviewed and recommended for academic rank by the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP) Committee. These individuals serve at the discretion of the Dean.

All tenure-track and tenured faculty appointments are governed by the procedures specified in the latest Faculty Handbook and Rank, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP) Manual, available here.

H. Criteria for Initial Appointment and Promotion to Professional Ranks

It shall be GSEP's policy to allocate professorial ranks to its tenure-track and tenured faculty in accordance with the following criteria. Individuals must meet the degree and years of service requirements outlined in the Initial Placement Table and the Eligibility for Advancement and Promotion Table (see Appendix D), as well as the scholarly requirements delineated in the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP) Manual. They will be reviewed by the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion Committee. This committee will recommend to the Dean the initial rank, step, and year placement. The earned doctorate must be from an appropriately accredited American university or renowned foreign university.

"Appropriately accredited" is defined to mean accreditation for the doctoral program in the field of award at the time of such award by the recognized regional and national agencies such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), California Council on Teacher Education (CCTC), and the American Psychological Association (APA).

The areas and criteria for evaluating and determining rank assignment and promotion are delineated in the RTP Manual. Please see that manual for specifics.

I. Faculty Responsibility

It is GSEP's policy to hold all its faculty members responsible for the expert and faithful performance of the following basic functions:

1.      Teaching Effectiveness;

2.      Scholarly Achievement;

3.      Service; and

4.      Support for Christian Values

The teaching function is the first and foremost duty of all faculties, unless otherwise assigned. This requires that faculty members personally and promptly meet their classes at the time they are scheduled and conduct them for the full amount of scheduled time. In doing so, they must give freely of their professional skills so that the indicated course objectives are realized by all students.

GSEP, in keeping with its status as a professional school, recognizes the uniqueness of the individual, and the varied talents and abilities of its faculty members as well as their responsibility to employ varied practices and procedures to provide the most appropriate learning environments for the students.

In the performance of the teaching function, all faculty members are expected to require high standards of student accomplishment in accordance with the School's standards of academic and professional excellence.

The counseling and advisement functions require faculty members to maintain a reasonable schedule of office hours and make themselves readily available to students, sharing with them the best knowledge and wisdom they may bring to bear upon students' problems and alternative choices.

The scholarly and professional achievement function, expected primarily of tenured and tenure-track faculty, broadly construed, requires faculty members to conduct research, foster scholarly or professional inquiry, participate in scholarly/creative activity, or collaborate in these or other professional activities of potential significance to the fields of education and psychology. Additionally, faculty members should renew and upgrade applied professional skills in field settings.

The service functions require faculty members to serve on School and University committees, and to participate constructively and creatively in University affairs. In dealing with the problems and issues of the professional field and community, faculty members are expected to contribute their expertise both as highly competent specialists and as concerned citizens.

J. Means of Appointments

While observing legal requirements, GSEP, as a professional school, holds to the primary criterion of professional competency as a basic condition of appointment in all faculty categories.

It is customary to involve current faculty, alumni, students, and/or field professionals in the personnel process as a means of securing an expanded base of expert judgments prior to the final selection.

An ad hoc faculty applicant review committee comprised of four division faculty members and the Associate Dean reviews applications for the following categories of faculty positions:

  1. Tenure-track and tenured faculty;
  2. Lecturer; and Senior Lecturer
  3. Full- or part-time faculty appointed for specified professional service; and
  4. Full-time administrators who are assigned faculty rank.

An ad hoc faculty applicant review committee is comprised of four faculty members, two elected by the division faculty and two appointed by the Dean. The Associate Dean serves as chair of the committee. The committee, after submitting candidates to the RTP Committee for review and determination of rank eligibility, communicates its preferences concerning acceptable candidates to the Dean. The Dean, with the Provost and the President, reviews the candidates and extends an invitation to join the faculty to the selected candidate. See the Initial Placement Table in Appendix D.

An invitation to join the faculty is made by means of a letter signed by the Dean indicating rank, step, and years of service, or other designation of status as appropriate to the category of the assignment. This letter should not be construed as a formal contract but rather a letter of intent subject to the signing of the formal contract by the President. A formal contract document is subsequently forwarded to all faculty personnel appointed to regular full-time service.

The Associate Deans seek and review applications for visiting, adjunct, and adjunct clinical faculty, in consultation with program and clinical training directors, and where appropriate a faculty review committee. All faculty members are encouraged to help identify potential outstanding adjunct and visiting faculty members.

K. Endowed Professor


Endowed professorships are partially or fully endowed faculty appointments reserved for members of the faculty who are deemed distinguished by virtue of their scholarly achievement and instructional excellence. An endowed professorship is reserved for a distinguished teacher/scholar who holds the rank of tenured or tenure-track professor or associate professor. Normally, the holder of such a professorship will have a professional reputation that extends beyond the Pepperdine community (e.g., national recognition).


The holder of an endowed professorship is responsible for:

  • Fulfilling the conditions stipulated by the donor and those specific duties identified at the time of his/her appointment;
  • Continuing to show evidence of excellence in scholarship and instruction in her/his discipline;
  • Submitting an annual report of activities to his/her Dean;
  • Participating actively in the individual's home department or program (if applicable) and in GSEP
  • Contributing to the intellectual life of the university community by making periodic public presentations


  • To recognize distinguished achievements by faculty.
  • To provide a structure and resources for enabling faculty to further distinguish themselves in their respective fields by making scholarly contributions above and beyond those that result from their typical contractual obligations.
  • To augment the compensation of faculty members in order to free them to pursue research interests aligned with the focus of the particular endowment.
  • To provide funds to underwrite research, travel, and other professional costs.
  • To enable GSEP to attract and retain high-caliber faculty with scholarly interests that reflect the focus of the available endowed professorship(s).

Eligibility Requirements and Selection Criteria

Endowed professorships within GSEP are awarded to faculty members who combine excellence in teaching with distinguished scholarly and/or professional achievement. Normally, the holder of an endowed professorship will have a reputation that extends beyond the Pepperdine community. Endowed professorships are typically used to recognize and support outstanding current GSEP faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained level of excellence with respect to teaching, research/scholarship, and service. Holders of endowed professorships support the Christian mission of Pepperdine University. Candidates for an endowed professorship must: (1) Be current, full-time, tenured or tenure-track GSEP faculty members holding the rank of Professor or Associate Professor, with at least five years of service to Pepperdine University; (2) have a proven record of instructional excellence and scholarly productivity that has served to uphold or raise the standards and reputation of the university; (3) have an actual record of, or potential for academic leadership that will contribute to curricular innovation and/or increased GSEP research/scholarly productivity; and (4) satisfy any specifications or restrictions set forth by the Donor who has generously established the endowment. Faculty members who hold endowed chairs are not eligible to serve as endowed professors.

Although endowed professorships are typically awarded to current GSEP faculty members, they may on occasion be used for recruiting distinguished scholars from outside of Pepperdine University. In such instances, the aforementioned selection criteria may be modified by the Dean based upon the needs of GSEP and consultation with the appropriate Associate Dean and any ad-hoc faculty search committee.

Selection Process

When an endowed professorship becomes available, the GSEP Dean will disseminate an announcement to faculty of the relevant division(s) and request nominations. Candidates for endowed professorships may be self-nominated, nominated by their faculty colleagues, or nominated by a member of the administration. The GSEP Dean will also assemble an ad-hoc Endowed Professorship Selection Committee (see below) that will be responsible for reviewing applications and making a final recommendation to the Dean. The Selection Committee is charged with determining which applicants are qualified for consideration and for ranking the qualified applicants. The GSEP Dean will consider the Selection Committee's rankings and make a final selection, which must be approved by the donor, as well as by Pepperdine University's Provost and President. The GSEP Dean will subsequently notify the recipient of his or her appointment as an endowed professor and disseminate a congratulatory announcement to the faculty identifying the recipient.

Additional details pertaining to the selection process are provided below.


An applicant for an endowed professorship should send the following materials to the GSEP Dean:

  • A cover letter briefly summarizing the applicant's qualification for the award.
  • A curriculum vita which includes personal data; educational background; employment history; publications, in complete bibliographic form (noting those in refereed journals); honors; professional activities; funded research and other grants; university and community service; and support for the mission of Pepperdine University. Works in progress should be included if they have been accepted in final edited form and documentation to that effect is included with the application materials.
  • Copies of publications from the last five years.
  • Other documentation of scholarly, teaching, or professional activities that the applicant wishes to provide.
  • Three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from an individual who is not associated with Pepperdine University (an incumbent endowed professor applying for renewal of the professorship need not submit new outside letters of recommendation).

Selection Committee

The Endowed Professorship Selection Committee shall consist of:

  • The Associate Dean of the relevant division;
  • A tenured faculty member and a tenure-track faculty member appointed by the Dean from a list submitted by the Associate Dean containing the names of at least four faculty members from the relevant division; and
  • The donor or the donor's representative, if that person chooses to participate.


The Endowed Professorship Selection Committee shall use the following procedures:

  • The Associate Dean shall review the applications to ensure that applicants have submitted all required documents.
  • The Associate Dean shall contact the donor or the donor's representative to determine the donor's desired level of participation, if any. This step is not necessary when the donor has previously declined future participation.
  • The Associate Dean shall then call a meeting of the Selection Committee to review the applications, determine which candidates are qualified, and rank the qualified candidates.
  • The Selection Committee shall rank all qualified applicants, with decisions determined by majority.
  • The Associate Dean shall communicate the recommendations (i.e., rankings) of the Committee in writing to the GSEP Dean. That communication shall include:
    • A list of all applicants with an indication of those the Selection Committee has deemed qualified for the endowed professorship;
    • The Selection Committee's ranking of the candidates deemed qualified;
    • Application materials from all candidates; and
    • A copy of the minutes of the Selection Committee's meeting(s), signed by all members.
    • The Selection Committee shall keep confidential all information regarding its proceedings and decisions.

When only one candidate has applied for an endowed professorship and the Selection Committee has unanimously found that candidate to be qualified, the Selection Committee may recommend that person to the Dean in writing. If one or more committee members do not support the lone candidate, that fact shall be reported to the Dean in writing.

L. Faculty Assignments

Faculty members shall be notified of their assignments, whenever possible, not less than 15 days prior to the first meeting of a scheduled course unless otherwise mutually agreed upon. Faculty members shall have the privilege of requesting from the Office of the Associate Dean of their division a change in assignment not later than 15 days prior to the first meeting of a scheduled course.

Faculty members assigned to teach at the graduate campuses other than the main center of their home base (defined as location of office) may be compensated for additional travel expenses in accordance with the prevailing policy. The policy is available here.

Faculty personnel in any category may be assigned by the Dean to duties or functions other than teaching at any location where GSEP maintains a program of activity, providing that travel to said location does not create an undue hardship for the faculty member. Such assignment is subject to the same rights and conditions as are stated herein for personnel in the teaching service.

M. Faculty Orientation, Counseling, and Evaluation

The Associate Deans are responsible for the orientation and counseling of new faculty members. New faculty members are advised of University and School standards and expectations.

It is GSEP's policy to maintain a continuous process of evaluation of the services rendered by its personnel in all faculty categories.

The evaluation process for teaching shall include the completion of an evaluation form by the students in each course taught. These forms shall be reviewed by the Associate Dean and forwarded to the individual faculty members, who review and return them to the Associate Dean. Such review may be followed by one or more conferences with the faculty members to advise them of the data and to consider all matters appropriate to the maintenance of the highest standards of the teaching service. See appendix E for Instructor Feedback Form.

On an annual basis, the Associate Deans conduct evaluation and feedback meetings with faculty members. Each faculty member and the Associate Dean review the faculty member's performance, including areas of needed improvement, and provide written recognition of the faculty member's achievements and any clarification of future goals and objectives. A written report of the meeting is signed by the faculty member, the Associate Dean, and the Dean.

N. Salary

It is GSEP's policy to compensate its faculty in all categories at the highest possible level consistent with the prevailing pattern of salaries in similar private institutions of higher education and the fiscal ability of the University.

The rate of compensation is designed in accordance with the structure of rank and recognition of professional competence. There shall be an annual review by the Dean of the salaries paid within GSEP.

O. Professional Load

It is GSEP's policy to assign to faculty members, on an equitable basis, a total load of professional duties which will assure optimum service to the School and its students.

The normal contract load for tenure-track and tenured faculty members is 24 units for the academic year (which includes the summer term), including a minimum of 15 units of classroom teaching. Classroom teaching may be completed within the fall and spring semesters, with the approval of the Associate Dean. Other activities, such as chairing dissertations, engaging in scholarly activity, and serving as program or clinical training director may contribute to the remaining nine units. Unit credit for courses enrolling fewer than nine students is prorated. See our Faculty Resources page for the faculty load form.

In determining teaching load, it is the policy of the School to consider the class size, the number of different course preparations, and the number of course sections, and the nature of each course and its specific requirements. It is the policy of the School that faculty members shall have the right to request an individual review of load in any semester by the Dean.

Faculty members in any category are expected to serve on one or more School or University-wide ad hoc or standing committees as may be designated by the appropriate appointing authority or by faculty election.

It is further expected that faculty members in any category be available upon request from the Dean to attend and/or participate in all University exercises or other official ceremonial affairs which also are open to the public. Faculty members are expected to participate in the following annual events: the University Faculty Conference, Graduation, and Founder's Day Convocation.

P. Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistants are provided in special cases where the demand for administrative duties of a particular course warrants instructional support to assist the faculty in carrying out expected teaching responsibilities.  

Application forms to request a teaching assistantmay be obtained through the Offices of the Associate Deans in the two divisions. Completed forms are returned to that office prior to the semester for which a TA is requested. Each request will then be evaluated by both the Associate Dean for the instructor's Division and the Dean. Decisions for approval will be made on a case-by-case basis, and no student may begin work until the approval process is complete.

Guidelines for Teaching Assistant duties:

  • Teaching Assistants are generally utilized to assist in grading exams, papers and exercises, to hold study sessions for the students, to be available for individual tutoring, and to perform clerical duties related to the course.
  • The faculty member is responsible for being present during the administration of exams. Teaching Assistants are not to proctor the regular exams that are given in the classroom. T.A.'s may, however, be available to proctor a make-up exam for a student when necessary.
  • Teaching Assistants are not to lecture or teach in a regular class session. They may lead study sessions outside of regular class time, or be available for individual or group tutoring.
  • Practicum classes, group therapy classes, or directed study classes are not eligible for Teaching Assistantships.


To be eligible for a teaching assistantship, a student must be registered as a full-time student in programs offered by Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. An individual registered for at least 6 units per semester is considered a full-time student.

Guidelines for Research Assistants

Research assistants perform such activities as collecting and reviewing articles; collecting, scoring, and analyzing data; and assisting in the preparation of presentations and/or articles. Normally, a research assistant is assigned to a maximum of 19.75 hours per week. A faculty member may request a research assistant by completing the Faculty Request for Support of Scholarly Activity form at our Faculty Resources page. Decisions for approval will be made on a case-by-case basis, and no student may begin work until the approval process is complete.


To be eligible for a research assistantship, a student must be registered as a full-time student in programs offered by Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. An individual registered for at least 6 units per semester is considered a full-time student.

Q. Overload

It is GSEP's general policy to discourage an overload teaching assignment; however, overload may be permitted at the discretion of the Dean.

Unless otherwise specified by a provision in the annual contract, an overload teaching assignment shall be accompanied by additional compensation for the service rendered.

By mutual agreement of the Dean and the faculty member, a full-time faculty member may have an overload teaching assignment in one semester, and in compensation for the overload, receive a reduction in course load during another semester. However, banked units may not be carried over into the next academic year.

R. Full-Time Service

It is expected that full-time employment in GSEP will require most of the faculty member's working time. Priority should be given to teaching, advising, committee work, scholarly activity and other activities as assigned by the Dean.

Faculty members are encouraged to engage in professional activities that help maintain their skills, serve the community, advance the profession, demonstrate scholarship, and reflect positively on the School and its programs. As such, faculty members may engage in occasional part-time professional or nonprofessional activities on a voluntary basis or for remuneration outside of the School. The performance of such activities may in no way interfere with the performance of School assignments or expectations.

Faculty members must be ever vigilant to the dangers of conflict of commitment. Thus, if there is the possibility of real or apparent conflict of commitmentin the performance of activities on a voluntary or for remuneration basis outside of the School, the faculty member must consult with the Dean prior to making any commitment to render services. In addition, it is the responsibility of faculty members to keep the Dean apprised of all outside activities.

S. Leaves of Absence

It is GSEP's policy to recognize a wide range of situations which may involve either a short- or long-term absence from duty on the part of a faculty member in any category.

A short-term absence of one week or less for reasons of personal or family illness, personal business including family emergencies, or professional meeting attendance, requires only that the Dean be notified of such absence and advised as to what arrangements have been made to meet scheduled classes, student appointments, or other fixed University commitments.

A short-term absence for any of the reasons stated above, except for personal leaves or some family illnesses which will be unpaid may be extended as may be necessary without loss of pay for up to 180 days at the discretion of the Dean. A request must be consistent with the provisions of any insurance policies carried by the University for the benefit of faculty.

A long-term absence, herein defined as more than 180 days, for reasons of personal opportunity, convenience, or extended illness shall be recognized as a special leave of absence which may be granted by the Dean upon written application by the faculty member. It is subject to renewal at the discretion of the Dean for additional periods, but is not to exceed a total of 24 months. A special leave of absence is granted without pay, but status as a member of the faculty is continued during the term of such leave.

Employees, provided they meet the requirements of the State of California and/or Federal Family Leave Acts, will be returned to their positions upon conclusion of such a leave. Failure to return to work following the expiration of an approved personal, medical, or family leave will result in immediate termination of employment and will be treated by the University as a resignation.

The University provides income protection for faculty during periods of illness or disability. In order to comply with policies of the State of California and the University's insurance carrier so that faculty who are eligible may qualify for State Disability Insurance (SDI) or the disability terms of the University's long-term disability insurance contract, faculty who have missed work for more than seven calendar days because of illness or disability should notify the Office of the Dean and the University's Personnel Services Center for Human Resources Office.

As a general rule, full salary will be continued up to a maximum of 180 days (less any state disability payments for which the faculty member is eligible). After 180 days, the long-term disability insurance plan pays two-thirds (2/3) of the faculty member's base monthly salary up to a maximum of $10,000 per month. Such benefits may continue until age 65 as long as the faculty member is disabled, or as specified in the University's insurance contract.

T. Sabbatical Leaves

Members of the tenure-track and tenured faculty are eligible for a sabbatical leave of absence during their seventh year after six academic years of continuous full-time service to the School, and each seven academic years thereafter. Faculty members eligible for sabbatical leave must apply one academic year in advance of the anticipated sabbatical leave year.

The sabbatical leave is considered to be an accrued benefit and privilege which may be granted upon application to the GSEP Research Committee. The Committee then makes recommendations for approval to the Dean, Provost, and President of the University. Although the sabbatical leave is of benefit to both the faculty member and the University, it is not an automatic right. Applications for sabbatical leave should stress the professional advantages anticipated as a result of the activities to be undertaken during the duration of a sabbatical leave.

A sabbatical leave may be approved for one or two consecutive semesters, with full salary given for a one-semester leave or half salary given for a two-semester leave.

The individual granted the sabbatical leave will return to the University and serve for at least one academic year. Any monies, including salary, that are received from the University during the sabbatical must be repaid to the University in the event the individual does not return to the University and complete service for the equivalent of one academic year. See Appendix H for sabbatical leave application procedures.

U. Tenure

Tenure-track and tenured faculty members should obtain and be familiar with the University Tenure Policy. If tenure within the School is obtained, it shall be in accordance with the University Tenure Policy. Guidelines for rank, tenure, and promotion appear in the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion Manual, which is available at the Faculty Resource page. The University Policy for RTP is available here.

V. Travel and Professional Growth Activities

It is GSEP's policy to encourage its faculty members to hold membership in professional organizations and learned societies and to participate in the meetings and activities of the organizations in which they have an interest.

When participation involves an absence from assigned teaching or other responsibility, the faculty member shall notify the Associate Dean of such absence and the arrangements proposed to handle the assigned responsibilities. Approval by the Associate Dean is discretionary, but it shall not be unreasonably withheld. See Appendix I for the GSEP guidelines and forms related to professional growth activities.

When participation involves travel expense, the faculty member may, upon approval by the Dean, be reimbursed for all or part of actual and necessary expenditures. Faculty must document expenditures. See for employee reimbursement guidelines. Approval by the Dean of faculty travel expense is discretionary and conditioned by the availability of funds for such purposes in the School's budget.

W. Research and Scholarly Activity

GSEP values open-minded inquiry, scholarly activity, research, publication, and conference presentations by its faculty members. To that end, GSEP encourages basic and applied research, and empirical and non-empirical study that respects the dignity and worth of all people; strives for the preservation and protection of human rights; and advances the disciplines of education and/or psychology.

Faculty members are advised that scholarship is one of the criteria used by the RTP Committee in making recommendations for promotion and tenure. As such, faculty members should review the appropriate sections of the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion Manual.

As part of the teaching and learning process, faculty members are expected to encourage their graduate students to perform scholarly activities and research. Faculty members are expected to maintain high standards of scholarship, and they are expected to stay abreast of current scholarship and research in their specific disciplines. It is recommended that faculty members cooperate with and support research conducted by appropriate professional organizations.

Faculty members shall perform all research or research related activities in accordance with federal and state law, University and School policies, and ethics codes that apply to the researcher or to the person's research. The University has adopted policies that specifically govern faculty research, including, for example, research involving human or animal subjects and research funded by certain governmental agencies. Pepperdine faculty members and researchers are subject to the research policies, are responsible for knowing the provisions of the policies, and are responsible for ensuring that they comply with the policies and that others working with or for them, including students, comply with the policies. The complete text of the policies is available on the Pepperdine University web site. Also refer to the IRB Human Subject Research page and Graduate and Professional Schools page. The HIPAA policy is available here.

Tenure-track and tenured faculty members may be granted up to three units of their load for scholarly activity per academic year.

Scholarly activity units are granted to support faculty in conducting research and in pursuing scholarship. The form to request support of scholarly activity and a student research assistant may be obtained through the Office of the Dean, and must be signed by the Dean and Associate Dean. The Faculty Request for Support of Scholarly Activity form [Form-SA] is available at the Faculty Resources page.

X. Affiliated Organizations

The School maintains an active chapter of Psi Chi, a national honor society in Psychology, Phi Delta Kappa, a national honor society in Education, and Omega Chi, a fraternal society dedicated to the field of Organization Change. Membership in organizations is open to students, alumni, faculty, and friends in accordance with the provisions of their respective bylaws or constitutions. Faculty members are encouraged to affiliate themselves with these organizations.

Y. Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, better known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA, and the California Education Code, Section 67-100ff provide, generally, that (a) students shall have the right of access to their educational records, and (b) educational institutions shall not release educational records without the consent of the student.

Faculty members' responsibilities under the law and the University Student Records Policy are two-fold. First, the faculty must respect the privacy rights of students by not disclosing personally identifiable information about a student without the student's written consent. For example, if grades are posted, they must be disclosed in a manner making the grades known only to the individual student receiving the grade. Students' social security numbers, for instance, should not be used to disclose student grades. Another application of the policy prohibits use of data from student records in letters of reference without the student's written request for the letter of reference.

Second, faculty must honor a student's right of access to University files regarding that student. It is not necessary to grant immediate access upon demand by a student, but such access must be granted no later than 15 working days after a written request has been received. Several specific exceptions to these rights are provided in the law; including those specific records for which the student has legally waived right of access and private files of the faculty member not available for use by other University personnel.

The law and policy are complex, and this notice is a very limited explanation of the rights detailed within the policy. These policies are discussed in the Legal Notices section of the School's Catalog. The official Pepperdine University Student Records Policy, which contains detailed information and procedures, may also be obtained in the University Registrar's Office. If explanation or assistance is needed after consulting the policy, faculty members should contact the Office of the General Counsel in Malibu.

AA. Grading

Faculty members are expected to adhere to all academic policies. A full description of the grading policy may be found in the School's Catalog.

A grade of "A" should indicate outstanding performance in a course. A grade of "B" should indicate average class work. A grade of "C," although passing, should indicate below average work. Grades of "D" and "F" indicate serious deficiency, and such grades would raise questions about the presence of the student in the program. No unit credit toward graduation is given with an "F" grade, and students must retake courses in which they have earned "D" and "F" grades. Plus and minus grades indicate intermediate grade achievement. Students must maintain a "B" average or better to graduate and to remain free from academic probation.

Given the above, faculty is to exercise diligently their professional judgment in evaluating students. Giving all students an "A" in order to avoid controversy is not in keeping with the spirit of academic excellence which the University is seeking to maintain. Rarely will a class be of such a caliber that everyone deserves an "A."

A grade of "I" (Incomplete) may be given only when extenuating circumstances occurring during the final weeks of the semester prohibit a student from completing the final project or exam. The grade of "I" grants the student an opportunity to complete the final project or exam on an independent basis during the subsequent semester. Students receiving grades of "I" are not eligible to repeat the course for a change of grade. Students experiencing extenuating circumstances prior to the final two weeks of class are not eligible to receive a grade of "I," but may withdraw "W" if earning a grade of "B" or better.

BB. Substance Abuse Policy

A copy of the University's policy prohibiting substance abuse in the work place is located here. All University employees should familiarize themselves with this policy.

CC. Smoking Policy

Smoking has long been discouraged by the University. It is expected that employees of Pepperdine University who smoke will not smoke except in approved areas. It has been determined that smoking constitutes a health hazard not only to the smoker, but also to others in the smoker's presence.

DD. Faculty Handbook Review and Revision

The Faculty Handbook will be reviewed annually by a committee elected each year by the faculty. This committee will propose to the faculty any changes to be made to the Handbook. Any changes or revisions in the Handbook shall be reviewed by the faculty who recommend approval or disapproval to the Dean. A new handbook, once approved, supersedes all previous versions of the handbook.