In accordance with State Board Policy 609, VCSU has established the following process for verifying communication skills, including the verbal and written English language proficiency of all faculty (both full time and adjunct).
- Prior to employment, language proficiency of the finalists in the applicant pool is determined using the following methods:
- Written proficiency in the English language is examined by the Search Committee using the documents submitted in the application. In addition, writing samples may be requested during the on-campus interview process. Members of the search committee will use categories of excellent, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory in evaluating written communication proficiency. An overall rating of satisfactory is the required minimum.
- Verbal communication ability is assessed during the formal interview, when the candidate provides a verbal teaching presentation. All audience members in attendance, including students, and the search committee members are asked to comment on the effectiveness of the presentation, and members of the search committee later use these comments to evaluate the communication and teaching proficiency of the candidate.
- Applicants may be asked to provide a TOEFL Internet based test (TOEFL iBT) score of 100 or above as further evidence of proficiency.
- Irrespective of initial employment considerations, any faculty member (both full time and adjunct) may be recommended for a language development program if sufficient evidence indicates a language proficiency problem.
- Completion of such an on-going language proficiency program may be a condition of continued employment and indicated contractually.
- The Vice President for Academic Affairs will be notified of all faculty communication (language) development programs and will be responsible (along with deans and division chairs) for implementation. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will report such communication development programs to the President's Office for contractual considerations and progress reports.
- Special consideration and/or methods involving specialized testing and/or equipment may be necessary to evaluate potential and existing faculty to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, as well as federal and state constitutions and laws. The mechanisms used to determine communications (language) proficiency will take into consideration inability of otherwise qualified candidates and/or faculty to demonstrate proficiency because of disability, race, religion, or other protected characteristics.
- Students (and personnel) who have difficulty communication with an instructor due to that person's language proficiency may contact the Vice President for Academic Affairs to discuss the student's concern or file a complaint using the Language Proficiency Complaint form, which is available in the Academic Affairs Office. Administrators who receive formal complaints must respond and take action within 15 days; any retaliation against a student who files a complaint under this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- Faculty who feel that they may have been discriminated against by the application of this policy may utilize the VCSU faculty grievance process (V605.2).
- Information about this policy is published in the Student Handbook, and the policy is reviewed regularly under the campus policy review cycle.
Sponsor: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Approved: December 2010