HLC’s New Guidelines on Determining Qualified Faculty

Dear CAOs and Deans:

Many of you may have heard, but thought I’d share the news I got on returning from vacation.

At its June 25-26 meeting, the HLC board did approve most of its proposed changes in expectations for faculty qualifications. It also determined that no current faculty will be “grandfathered” in. They made a helpful clarification about faculty teaching in “non-occupational” rather than “transfer” courses. They also responded to our comments and those from other states and institutions by moving the compliance deadline from December 2015 to September 2017. I encourage you to read the materials at the links below and to watch for the final guidelines in August 2015.


HLC’s Board of Trustees adopted an Assumed Practice policy change to clarify expectations regarding faculty qualifications in June 2015. The Board is allowing institutions until September 1, 2017, to meet the faculty qualification expectations outlined in the revised Assumed Practice.

The implementation date gives institutions additional time to conduct a review of the qualifications of its faculty body as a whole and to take the necessary steps to meet the requirements.

Peer review teams review faculty qualifications at the time of an institution’s comprehensive evaluation or at other times if this issue becomes a matter of concern. Faculty qualifications are considered in relation to Criterion Three, Core Component 3.C (See subcomponents 3.C.1, 3.C.2 and 3.C.4), even if the revised Assumed Practice is not under review.

To ensure consistency with the final revised policy, HLC will revise its guidelines, Determining Qualified Faculty: Guidelines for Institutions and Peer Reviewers, no later than August 31, 2015. The revised guidelines will inform institutions and peer review teams regarding HLC’s expectations surrounding the implementation of this requirement after the September 1, 2017, effective date.


Lynda Milne | Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs | Minnesota State Colleges & Universities | ofc 651-201-1887 | cell 651-233-3652

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