Instructional Services and Faculty Guidelines

Instructional Services

George Fox University Libraries

Library resources are available to faculty, staff, and students at two branches and through online access. The university’s main library is the Murdock Learning Resource Center (MLRC) and is located on the Newberg campus. A branch library is located in the Portland Center.

The MLRC collection includes books, periodicals in paper format, microform collections, sound recordings, video cassettes, and other formats. Special collections include the Quaker, Hoover, and Peace Collections. The MLRC also houses the Northwest Yearly Meeting archives and the education curriculum collection. Study rooms are available to faculty and can be reserved for up to a semester.

The Portland Center Library (PCL) collection includes books, periodicals, and audiovisual materials. The PCL collection has particular strengths in the areas of religion and counseling. The PCL houses the archives of Portland Seminary.

Institutional Technology

Institutional Technology (IT) is located on the third floor of the Stevens Center. The following services are available from IT:

Contact the IT Service Desk for technology-related needs: 503-554-2569; e-mail; or log onto

University Catalogs

University catalogs can be found online at

Textbook Ordering

Information and deadlines regarding textbook orders may be found at the university store page.

Academic Resource Center

The Academic Resource Center is a resource for students at George Fox University. Services include The ARC Writing Center, tutoring services, and learning enhancement. The center is housed in the Special Resources Room in the Murdock Learning Resource Center (library). Additional information about the center can be accessed at 

The IDEA Center

The IDEA (Initiate, Discover, Engage, Achieve) Center’s purpose is “coaching students to recognize their God-given uniqueness, maximize their academic and experiential learning, develop life-long career skills and enhance their transition to the world of work resulting in exceptional life outcomes.” The Center is located on the Newberg Campus in the Stevens Center’s first floor. Additional information is available at

Faculty Guidelines

Meetings and Organizations

Hours and Days of Service

A university is a unique institution and cannot be operated in quite the same manner as other businesses. Professors are professional people and are not required to put in “clock” hours. However, there are obligations incumbent on instructors to be present in the workplace befitting their assignment in order to serve students, collaborate with colleagues, and meet deadlines in cooperation with their peers. Semester schedules of fewer than 5 workdays per week should only be set in consultation with the College Dean.

Office Hours

Faculty offices are assigned by the appropriate Academic Dean in consultation with the department chair or program director. Faculty are expected to be in their offices and available to students a minimum of six hours each week. Hours must be included in the syllabus. A copy of faculty schedules is distributed to the appropriate College Dean at the beginning of each semester.

Outside Activities and Employment

The university encourages its faculty to become involved in the life of the community. There are many opportunities to speak to church groups, school groups, and service clubs. Up to a point, such activities are helpful and desirable, particularly if they involve reporting research in one’s field and contribute to the university relations program. Nevertheless, before accepting responsibilities outside the university that would take a significant amount of time, attention, or energy, the faculty member should present the matter to the Provost for evaluation in the light of his or her primary commitment to the university. When contracting for outside employment during the university’s contract period, a faculty member must first gain permission for such activity from the appropriate College Dean and the Provost.

Absence from Campus

If a faculty member must be away from the campus during the week, he or she should notify the appropriate College Dean and the department chair or program director in advance. Summer addresses and telephone numbers should be made available to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Year-End Responsibilities

Teaching faculty on nine-month contracts, generally speaking, will have completed their responsibilities on the campus after all student work is returned, grades are submitted to the Registrar, and the contract period has expired. Faculty continue to be responsible for students who were given an incomplete or other grade extension, and should resolve these cases in a timely manner. Faculty are expected to serve for a full nine months. Faculty on extended contracts are expected to provide full-time service during the additional contract period.


Careful budget control is essential. All purchases must be approved by the department chair or program director and major purchases by the appropriate College Dean before actual purchase.

Privacy, Confidentiality, and FERPA

Please carefully read and follow the guidelines found in Appendix I Privacy, Confidentiality, and FERPA.

Faculty Load Determination

The appropriate College Dean, in consultation with the Provost, determines faculty load.

Guidelines for Determining Loads

Faculty Growth Plan and Portfolio Instructions

Please see Appendix C for Faculty Growth Plan instructions and Appendix D for instructions regarding Faculty Portfolio preparation.


Faculty and Faculty Administrators contracted at 1.0 FTE are eligible for a computer. The university maintains ownership of the computer. Email and computer activity may be monitored.

Course Schedule

Access the Course Schedule on the university’s website at The Registrar’s Office website includes the schedule for finals week at

Course Syllabus Guidelines

Please see Appendix E for instructions regarding the preparation of course syllabi. 


Grades may be kept electronically or in a grade book (available from the academic affairs office). All faculty are required to keep the supporting grades that result in the final grade they post in MyGeorgeFox for five years. Adjunct grade records, for each semester, are to be housed in their respective departments or schools. Faculty who leave George Fox University are required to provide their grade records to the academic affairs office. The grading scale, as stated in the syllabus, and additional information as to how a grade is determined, should accompany the grade records. 

Student Assistants

Departments may receive a budgetary allotment for student employee assistants. Please contact Human Resources for current guidelines regarding employment of students.

Academic Integrity Issues

Please see Appendix F regarding guidelines for faculty response to academic integrity issues.

Academic Appeals

Please see Appendix G for guidelines regarding academic appeals for disciplinary action and Appendix I for academic appeals regarding a course grade.

Extended Illness Excuse Procedures for Students

Regular class attendance is essential for academic success. Specific consequences of class absences should be included in the syllabus for each course. Students are never “excused” from their course work because of absences, but when students follow the procedures below, they are permitted to make up the work or credit they missed.

Academic Travel and Tours

Juniors Abroad Study Tours

Our principal overseas study option is the Juniors Abroad program, which offers international and U.S. cross-cultural study tours directed by full-time undergraduate university faculty during a three-week period in May each year (a graduate faculty member may serve as a secondary faculty member on trips). Eligible juniors receive underwriting of their transportation costs. Eligibility requirements and other general information about the Juniors Abroad program appear in the “International Programs” section of the university catalog and in the Juniors Abroad Faculty Handbook.

The Juniors Abroad program involves a planning cycle that begins a year-and-a-half before the conduct of the study tours. In the fall semester, the Director of Juniors Abroad will circulate to undergraduate faculty a “Call for Proposals” for trips for a year from the upcoming May. A committee, chaired by the Director of Study Abroad, reviews proposals before acceptance. The student who successfully participates in Juniors Abroad will:

Juniors Abroad tours are typically international in focus; however, one or two tours a year can be U.S.- based, so long as they meet the above objectives.

Proposals must include:

For faculty trip leaders, the university covers travel expenses and pays a stipend. As a general guideline, the minimum group size is 10 students. Maximum enrollment for each trip is 20 students. Current information on trips is posted on the Juniors Abroad website on the university website.

Faculty leaders will be responsible for class instruction; making all travel arrangements, including airfare, accommodations, and ground transportation; and keeping track of the trip expenses. Further information can be found in the Juniors Abroad Faculty Handbook (found at “Resources for Faculty” on the GFU website) and at the Juniors Abroad website at

Eligible Faculty

Juniors Abroad is a program aimed at serving the needs and objectives of the undergraduate college at George Fox University. Professors teaching in the program must be traditional full-time undergraduate teaching faculty (with at least a half-time teaching load) under nine-month contracts. For the benefit of the program and at the discretion of the Director of Juniors Abroad, graduate faculty, individuals with faculty status, and faculty members under 10- or 11-month contracts may be considered for a secondary teaching position in the Juniors Abroad program. (In keeping with university policy, individuals who are on 10-month, 11-month, or 12-month contracts are required to take vacation or leave for the time they are involved in the Juniors Abroad experience.)

Other Policies

Other Study Tours

Proposals for travel courses other than Juniors Abroad trips shall be submitted to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. The committee will examine the arrangements for travel and study with respect to their soundness, feasibility, and attractiveness. The committee will determine the amount of credit to be given.

Appearances of Speakers and Performers On Campus

George Fox University encourages investigation into many schools of thought. Occasionally, these views may be contrary to community thinking. To facilitate open discussion, it is often desirable to bring speakers or performers to campus. The following process governs the appearance of speakers and performers on campus:

Faculty Initiatives in Seeking Funds Off Campus

Members of the faculty and administration are encouraged to seek outside funds for instructional improvement, program development, and research. Plans to solicit funds from any outside source must be approved by and coordinated with the Office of Advancement before solicitation.

Financial Exigency: Programs and Personnel


The provisions of this section apply only when the Board of Trustees has declared that a state of financial exigency (i.e., an imminent financial crisis that threatens the survival of the institution) exists at the university. In the event that financial exigency is declared, the university may reduce or discontinue programs and terminate tenured and non-tenured personnel even within the contract year if such actions are deemed necessary. Reductions and discontinuations are guided by the procedures that follow. These procedures will supersede normal budgeting procedures during the period for which financial exigency is declared.

Note: It should be clearly understood that the university may reduce programs, and cut staff and non- tenured faculty members, during the normal budgeting process without giving specific reasons and without the necessity of declaring a financial exigency.


Financial exigency is an actual or projected operating deficit generated by substantial decline in student enrollment or a substantial loss of income from sources other than tuition, fees, and housing; or a precipitous increase in expenses, or both. Reduction and discontinuation include elimination of courses, majors and minors, support programs and services, student activities, and other programs. The termination of tenured or non-tenured faculty members within a contract year may be necessary if the need for the services of the appointees no longer exists or the Board of Trustees determines that the university does not possess the financial ability to continue the appointments.


When faced with financial exigency, it is the goal of George Fox University to:


When extenuating circumstances require, the President should, in consultation with the Vice Presidents Team and the Coordinating Councils, prepare for the Board of Trustees a clear statement of the actual and projected budget deficit requiring a declaration of financial exigency. The statement should indicate the potential impact of the deficit on program offerings and personnel.

A declaration of financial exigency is made by the Board of Trustees when the Board believes that such a declaration is in the best interests of the university due to extenuating circumstances. The Board should establish the period of time for which exigent procedures will apply. Any extension of the period of exigency requires further action by the Board of Trustees. In making a declaration of financial exigency, the Board should recognize that the primary purposes of the institution are to develop and maintain academic programs of high quality and to stimulate and encourage student academic achievement within a Christian atmosphere.

At the direction of the Board, the President should develop a modified budget that adjusts expenditures to reflect actual and projected income. The President may consult with the Vice Presidents Team, the various faculty committees, and other persons as appropriate in developing the proposed modified budget.

The faculty, department chairpersons, program administrators, faculty committees, student life personnel, development personnel, and business management personnel may participate in reviewing the President’s modified budget to the same extent that they participate in the development of regular annual budgets.

Identification of the Program(s) to Be Reduced

The President should submit the modified budget to affected administrators, together with a statement of potential impact of the modified budget on program offerings and personnel.

Each department chair should work with the College Dean and should confer with all members of the programs in question, and should prepare a written evaluation of the impact of the modified budget on the programs and personnel within the college.

After considering the impact evaluation statement, the President should present a proposal for program reductions, including all impact evaluation statements, to the Vice Presidents Team and the Faculty Senate.

Each vice president, after due deliberation of the proposal with the affected committees and appropriate personnel under his or her direction, should prepare written recommendations to the President, either concurring with the President’s proposal or recommending alternatives.

The President, in consultation with the Vice Presidents Team, should determine which programs will be retained, reduced, or discontinued using this process.

Identification of the Individuals to Be Affected

Members of the affected programs should be given an opportunity to consult with the vice president of their administrative unit regarding the proposed reduction or discontinuation in program offerings and the potential impact on their positions.

Each vice president should, after consultation with the affected department chair, program director or unit administrator, recommend to the President the particular individuals to be terminated from their present positions. 

The President, in consultation with the Vice Presidents Team, should determine which individuals will be retained in their present positions, reassigned to other positions, offered reduced assignments with reduced benefits, or terminated using this process.

Criteria for Retention of Personnel During Program Reduction or Discontinuation

Personnel who are to be retained following program reduction must be qualified for the assignments to be filled. Qualified means competent by virtue of completion of graduate preparation and other educational attainments germane to the assignment, as well as recent successful experience in the category or subject matter as measured by written official evaluations in the personnel files.

Age, sex, ethnic background, academic rank of faculty within the affected program(s) and within the university, and compatibility with Quaker distinctives may be given consideration when selecting individuals to be retained by the university in the event of financial exigency.

After qualifications have been determined in each program, seniority is applied in the following order:

Notification and Dispute Resolution

After considering all recommendations on the programs to be retained, reduced, or discontinued, the President should make a decision regarding the programs and activities to be affected. The President should notify the affected individuals in writing of the pending action.

Before official notice of termination, the Vice Presidents Team should conduct a procedural review of the reductions, discontinuations, and terminations. The affected individuals may be permitted to participate in the meeting when this review occurs.