Role & Workload of Faculty

Role of the Teacher

Learners and teachers in dialogue are at the heart of the academic enterprise at Eastern Mennonite University. Teaching and learning are the focus around which all activities are centered. The context may be the classroom, academic advising, collaborative research or informal discussion between learner and teacher outside of class.

Teaching at EMU, while generally focused in the classroom, is considered as a total activity involving a range of responsibilities. The teacher is a role-model, a purveyor of information in various forms, an advisor, a prophet, a tester of conventional wisdom, a critic, a motivator, a comforter, a disciplinarian, a partner, a fount of wisdom. The teacher at EMU respects ideas, loves God, serves the Church, respects the created universe, is a citizen of the whole world, rejects war, is fundamentally committed to Biblical shalom as the centerpiece of the Gospel, and while respecting the relativity of all cultural creation, holds to the historically conditioned but purposeful Anabaptist-Mennonite Christian tradition.

EMU faculty members are teacher/scholars. Active engagement in scholarship and creative production, while advancing knowledge in the discipline, also enhances the effectiveness of classroom teaching and mentoring. Faculty members are role models for students in their commitment to lifelong curiosity, thoughtful inquiry, and creative activity.

The primary responsibility for the quality of the educational program at Eastern Mennonite University resides with the faculty. EMU teacher/scholars are professionals with a responsibility to engage actively in continuing professional development, innovative teaching, creative scholarship, and mutually beneficial relationships with colleagues and students.

Workload of Faculty

A full-time nine-month workload at EMU is 24 semester hours (normally four three-hour courses per semester or some variant for courses other than three-hour, e.g. laboratory sections in the sciences, nursing clinicals or coaching in athletics). For graduate and seminary faculty the workload includes time for scholarship/practice. See Scholarship/Practice Policy.

Faculty are expected to maximize the use of class time for teaching the subject matter of a course and exhibiting practical expressions of Christian discipleship. Outside of the classroom faculty are expected to be a part of academic planning and advising in their departments, and to serve, as elected or appointed, on committees that further the educational mission of the university.

Undergraduate department chairs and graduate program directors are assigned time for administrative duties as agreed upon with the dean. Other faculty also may be assigned hours for selected administrative duties.

Faculty members are primarily responsible to their respective department chair/program director but also may consult with their respective dean. Seminary faculty are responsible directly to the seminary dean.

General Expectations of Faculty

Faculty are expected to participate in selected new faculty orientation events (upon appointment) and the annual Fall and Spring Faculty/Staff Conferences. Fall Faculty/Staff Conference introduces the new faculty member to the academic community at EMU, and Spring Faculty/Staff Conference generally provides faculty development opportunities.

Faculty are expected to maintain regular office hours, attend faculty meetings and chapel and be available for student advising, committee assignments and other institutional activities. Attendance at faculty meetings will be recorded with the minutes.  Faculty shall plan eight to ten hours a week (part-time teachers proportionately less) when they are in their offices and students may call for conference. Faculty should plan to be available for students one-half hour immediately before and after class. The first week of each term teachers are to fill in schedule blanks (available at showing the schedule of their classes and other regular meetings and their office hours. This schedule is to be made available to their respective department chair/program director/dean and posted on the faculty office door.

Copies of course syllabi are to be forwarded electronically to the office of the respective dean and to the respective department chair/program director.

Faculty are encouraged to conduct mid-term reviews and required to conduct end-of-semester course evaluations. End-of-semester course evaluations are facilitated electronically by the Institutional Research Office. Chairs/program directors are expected to meet with faculty at the end of each semester to review course evaluations and pedagogy. For faculty who have demonstrated competency, the chair/director may choose to meet only annually. Chairs/program directors shall submit the “Faculty Evaluation Report Form” to the dean by May 15, January 30 and August 30 for spring, fall and summer courses respectively.

The primary contact for short-term and adjunct faculty is the department chair/program director. Practical questions related to department policies, office location, textbook selection and ordering, grading policies, class schedule, classroom locations, etc., can best be addressed at the departmental/program level. Faculty are always invited to bring any concerns or questions to the attention of the respective dean.