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National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF)



3. KEY CONCEPTS

Some key concepts related to NSOPF are described below.

Faculty/Instructional Staff (NSOPF:04). Eligible individuals for NSOPF:04 included any faculty and instructional staff who

  • were permanent, temporary, adjunct, visiting, acting, or postdoctoral appointees;
  • were employed full- or part-time by the institution;
  • taught credit or noncredit classes;
  • were tenured, nontenured but on a tenure track, or nontenured and not on a tenure track;
  • provided individual instruction, served on thesis or dissertation committees, or advised or otherwise interacted with first-professional, graduate, or undergraduate students;
  • were in professional schools (e.g., medical, law, or dentistry); or
  • were on paid sabbatical leave.

NSOPF:04 excluded staff who

  • were graduate or undergraduate teaching or research assistants;
  • had instructional duties outside of the United States, unless on sabbatical leave;
  • were on leave without pay;
  • were not paid by the institution (e.g., those in the military or part of a religious order);
  • were supplied by independent contractors; or
  • otherwise volunteered their services.

Faculty/Instructional Staff (NSOPF:99).
Faculty—All employees classified by the institution as faculty who were on the institution’s payroll as of November 1, 1998. Included as faculty were

  • any individuals who would be reported as “Faculty (Instruction/Research/Public Service)” in the U.S. Department of Education’s 1997–98 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Fall Staff Survey1 (see IPEDS chapter);
  • any individuals with faculty status who would be reported as “Executive, Administrative, and Managerial” in the 1997–98 IPEDS Fall Staff Survey, whether or not they engaged in any instructional activities; and
  • any individuals with faculty status who would be reported as “Other Professionals (Support/Service)” in the 1997–98 IPEDS Fall Staff Survey, whether or not they engaged in any instructional activities.

Individuals who would be reported as “Instruction/Research Assistants” in the 1997–98 IPEDS Fall Staff Survey were excluded.

Instructional Staff—All employees with instructional responsibilities—those teaching one or more courses, or advising or supervising students’ academic activities (e.g., by serving on undergraduate or graduate thesis or dissertation committees or supervising an independent study or one-on-one instructions)—who may or may not have had faculty status. Included as instructional staff were

  • any individuals with instructional responsibilities during the 1998 fall term who would be reported as “Executive, Administrative, and Managerial” in the 1997–98 IPEDS Fall Staff Survey (e.g., a finance officer teaching a class in the business school); and
  • any individuals with instructional responsibilities during the 1998 fall term who would be reported as “Other Professionals (Support/Service)” in the 1997–98 IPEDS Fall Staff Survey.

Individuals who would be reported as “Instruction/Research Assistants” in the 1997–98 IPEDS Fall Staff Survey were excluded.

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Faculty/Instructional Staff (NSOPF:93). All institutional staff (faculty and nonfaculty) whose major regular assignment at the institution (more than 50 percent) was instruction. This corresponds to the definition used in IPEDS glossary (Broyles 1995), which defines faculty (instruction/research/public service) as “persons whose specific assignments customarily are made for the purpose of conducting instruction, research, or public service as a principal activity (or activities), and who hold academic-rank titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer, or the equivalent of any of these academic ranks. If their principal activity is instructional, this category includes deans, directors, or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans, and executive officers of academic departments…”

A dedicated instructional assignment was not required for an individual to be designated as faculty/instructional staff in NSOPF:93. Included in the definition were: administrators whose major responsibility was instruction; individuals with major instructional assignments who had temporary, adjunct, acting, or visiting status; individuals whose major regular assignment was instruction but who had been granted release time for other institutional activities; and individuals whose major regular assignment was instruction but who were on sabbatical leave from the institution. Excluded from this definition were graduate or undergraduate teaching assistants, postdoctoral appointees, temporary replacements for personnel on sabbatical leave, instructional personnel on leave without pay or teaching outside the United States, military personnel who taught only Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) courses, and instructional personnel supplied by independent contractors.

Noninstructional Faculty (NSOPF:93). All institutional staff who had faculty status but were not counted as instructional faculty since their specific assignment was not instruction but rather conducting research, performing public service, or carrying out administrative functions.

Instructional Faculty (NSOPF:88). Those members of the institution’s instruction/research staff who were employed full- or part-time (as defined by the institution) and whose assignment included instruction. Included were administrators, such as department chairs or deans, who held full- or part-time faculty rank and whose assignment included instruction; regular full- and part-time instructional faculty; individuals who contributed their instructional services, such as members of religious orders; and instructional faculty on sabbatical leave. Excluded from this definition were teaching assistants; replacements for faculty on sabbatical leave; faculty on leave without pay; and others with adjunct, acting, or visiting appointments.


1When constructing the NSOPF:99 institution frame, faculty data from 1995–96 IPEDS were used if 1997–98 data were missing.

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