Quality assurance of full-time faculty adequacy: institutional narratives

Date01 April 2019
Published date01 April 2019
AuthorNhung Thi Tuyet Pham,Valerie Paton
Subject MatterEducation,Educational evaluation/assessment
Quality assurance of
full-time faculty adequacy:
institutional narratives
Nhung Thi Tuyet Pham
College of Foreign Languages, Hue University, Hue City, Vietnam, and
Valerie Paton
College of Education, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA
Purpose Adequacy of full-time faculty is a fundamental indicator used by US accreditors to ensure
quality learning environments. This paper aims to explore institutional responses to one US regional
accreditor to identify themes relatedto adequacy of faculty in support of institutional missions over a two-
year period.
Design/methodology/approach A qualitative design was used to examine eighteen institutional
narratives. The research questionwas What themes are identied by institutions to document adequacy of
full-time faculty for compliance with accreditation?The highest level of degree awarded was used to
organize emergent themes from institutional narratives (e.g. associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral
level institutions).
Findings The study identied ve themes: denition of full-time faculty; variation in assessment
measures usedto demonstrate adequacy of full-time faculty; institutionalcharacteristics and full-time faculty;
responsibilitiesof full-time faculty; and relationship between full-time facultyand student learning outcomes.
The ndings showed that the institutions used multiple assessment measurements to demonstrate
Research limitations/implications The research design was limitedto one US regional accreditation
agency; therefore, the acceptable evidence related to adequacy of full-time faculty may differ among
accrediting bodies, which would impact the institutional narrative and methods for demonstrating
compliance.Second, some of the institutional groupingsincluded only one or two narratives.
Practical implications The nding of this study could have important implications for the research
and practiceof evaluating faculty in accreditationreviews.
Originality/value There have been limitedstudies on accreditation narratives focused on the adequacy
of full-time faculty. This study offers ndings that may be of benet to non-US and US higher education
institutionsin planning for faculty stafng patterns to support fulllmentof the institutional mission.
Keywords Adequacy, Full-time faculty, Institutional measures, International accreditation,
Regional accreditation
Paper type Research paper
Full-time faculty adequacy and student learning
The adequacy of full-timefaculty is a fundamental indicator used by US regional accreditors
to ensure fulllment of institutional missions. Patterson (2016) found that faculty stafng
This research received no specic grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-
for-prot sectors.
Received13 October 2018
Revised17 January 2019
7 February2019
1March 2019
17March 2019
20March 2019
Accepted20 March 2019
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.27 No. 2, 2019
pp. 223-236
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-10-2018-0114
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