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Florida Gulf Coast University

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FGCU Faculty Handbook



Introduction of resource guide

The harmonious, effective functioning of an institution depends largely on all its personnel knowing and understanding the mission of the institution and the policies, procedures, and guidelines governing its operation.  Such knowledge can reduce misunderstanding and confusion.  Florida Gulf Coast University’s Faculty Resource Guide sets forth University policies, procedures, and guidelines.  It also articulates the privileges and obligations affecting professional faculty members. 

The Faculty Resource Guide is intended to give general guidance/information.  It is, of course, impossible to provide in succinct form a resource guide covering every possible exigency.  Consequently, when specific examples/listings are given, they are intended to be illustrative only and are not to be considered all inclusive.

Important note

The information in this resource guide should be supplemented by relevant information in the current issues of the University Policy Database, the University Catalog, the Graduate Catalog, special college and school documents, the FGCU Code of Student Conduct, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document (FPED).





FGCU opened for classes in August 1997, but the history of FGCU dates back to late 1980's. Go to to read about FGCU's history from planning to the current administration.


Florida Gulf Coast University will achieve national prominence in undergraduate education with expanding recognition for graduate programs.

Approved by the FGCU Board of Trustees January 19, 2010.


Established on the verge of the 21st century, Florida Gulf Coast University infuses the strengths of the traditional public university with innovation and learning-centered spirit, its chief aim being to fulfill the academic, cultural, social, and career expectations of its constituents.

For a full description of FGCU's mission, go to: 

Strategic Plan

Florida Gulf Coast University has an active and continuous planning process that includes a strategic plan as required by Section 1001.74(14), Florida Statutes. The plan is anchored in the commitments established by the Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees. Additionally, the plan also addresses the goals of higher education as established by the Florida Board of Governors.
The Strategic Plan can be accessed from the Provost’s homepage or at:

*The Strategic Plan is updated annually through the work of the Planning and Budget Council (PBC) and its constituent committees. For more information on the PBC go to:  

Master Plan

The Campus Master Planning process is part of the larger Strategic Planning that takes place at the direction of Florida’s Board of Governors. Florida Gulf Coast University’s Master Plan addresses Urban Design, Land Use, Recreation and Open Space, and Academic and Support Facilities, among many other elements of long range planning. To see more visit:


The Office of the Provost is responsible for ensuring both the equality of the university's academic programs and enhancing student learning through continuous improvement.
Florida Gulf Coast University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Florida Gulf Coast University. In addition, the university strives to achieve specialized accreditation for all its eligible programs. Currently, the following programs/units have earned specialized accreditation from professional accrediting agencies (non-state government agencies):
For a complete listing see:   

Guiding Principles

The founding of Florida Gulf Coast University at the advent of a new century was a signal event. It came at a moment in history when the conditions that formed and sustained American higher education were fundamentally changing, and at a time when rapid shifts wrought by technology and social complexities were altering the very nature of work, knowledge, and human relationships. As a public institution, Florida Gulf Coast University eagerly accepted the leadership opportunity and obligation to adapt to these changes and to meet the educational needs of Southwest Florida. To do so, FGCU collaborates with its various constituencies, listens to the calls for change, builds on the intellectual heritage of the past, plans its evolution systematically for the twenty-first century, and is guided by the following principles:

To view the guiding principles go to:  

Student Learning Goals and Outcomes

Florida Gulf Coast University is committed to fostering student learning goals and educational outcomes, believing they provide a foundation for lifelong learning and effective citizenship. Beginning fall 2012, all learning goals and outcomes are associated with the individual programs. The individual undergraduate and graduate programs can have a number goals and outcomes in different areas but they must include at least one outcome in the areas of communication, critical thinking, and discipline content/knowledge.

FGCU Centers and Institutes

There are several Centers and Institutes at FGCU that serve to enhance the academic experience as well as provide opportunities to work with the broader community. More information about the Centers and Institutes can be found at:

Honors Program

FGCU Honors is a dynamic and transformative program. By providing students with an array of unique opportunities, it helps students to maximize the university experience. For more information on the Honors program, visit:



University Governance & Structure


Board of Trustees

Article IX, Section 7, of the Florida Constitution provides for a local board of trustees to administer each constituent state university in the system. Each local constituent university shall be administered by a board of trustees consisting of thirteen members dedicated to the purposes of the state university system. The board of governors shall establish the powers and duties of the boards of trustees. Each board of trustees shall consist of six citizen members appointed by the governor and five citizen members appointed by the board of governors. The appointed members shall be confirmed by the senate and serve staggered terms of five years as provided by law. The chair of the faculty senate, or the equivalent, and the president of the student body of the university shall also be members. For more information go to:  


The President is the chief executive officer of the University responsible to the Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees for the operation of the University in accordance with general policies established by the Board.  The President oversees the academic and administrative areas of the entire University organization. For more information regarding the President’s office, go to:

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 

The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs reports directly to and works closely with the President. As the chief academic officer of the university, the Vice President is expected to promote academic excellence in the faculty and academic programs, and to promote efficiency in instructional operations. For more information regarding the Office of the Provost, go to:

Academic Divisions 

The University is organized into five colleges, Graduate Studies, and Undergraduate Studies. The academic colleges are Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, and Health Professions and Social Work. For more information go to:

Office of the General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel represents and provides legal advice to Florida Gulf Coast University, its Board of Trustees, the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, Inc., and the Florida Gulf Coast University Financing Corporation. For more information about the Office of General Counsel, go to:

Faculty Governance/ Faculty Senate

The main faculty governance body at the University level is the Faculty Senate, which consists of proportionate representation from all academic units on campus.  The Faculty Senate participates in shared governance with the University President and Provost.  For more information concerning the faculty Senate, go to:

University Police Department (UPD)

To serve and safeguard all students, faculty, staff and visitors on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University through the effective and efficient delivery of law enforcement services.

For more information on the UPD, go to:

Organizational Chart

To view the University’s organizational chart, go to:

General Faculty Resources & Privileges


University Identification Card

Faculty and staff are eligible for an Eagle ID card upon employment. All employee information must be processed by Human Resources for an employee to receive an Eagle ID card. A VALID government issued photo ID is required to receive an Eagle ID Card. For more information about ID cards, go to:

Library Services

The purpose of the library is to support the teaching, research, and service programs of the University. The University library shall also provide the optimum learning environment for its diverse users. Enumeration of services, holdings, hours, facilities, fees and resources can be accessed at:

Fitness Center

The University offers a full scale fitness center that features state of the art equipment. Acess to the facility requires a valid eagle identification card. For more information on hours of operation and services, go to:  

Mail Services

The University operates a campus mail service with pickups and deliveries made daily at authorized offices. Faculty members are provided with mail boxes located in departmental offices and mailrooms. Special envelopes are made available for campus correspondence. For more information on mail services, go to:  

Electronic Mail Services (E-Mail)

All faculty members are provided with campus email for professional correspondence. Policies and usage rules can be found at:

Business Technology Services 

BTS provides on-campus technical support for computing technology campus wide. BTS is responsible for class management software, email accounts, networking, and system maintenance. For more information on hours and services, visit:

Vehicle Registration and Parking

 Vehicles for faculty members must be registered with University Parking Services. Special parking spaces have been designated for the faculty. It is important that campus regulations be studied and observed. For more information on vehicle registration and parking, go to:  

Media Relations

Community Relations and Marketing interacts and coordinates with the media and the public to create awareness of the research, scholarship, programs and activities taking place at FGCU and their relevance to the lives of people in the community. This includes serving as the University liaison between the media (local, state and national) and FGCU faculty, staff and students; offering news and human interest stories via print and broadcast; arranging news conferences; and helping to ensure that the University’s story is told accurately and in a timely manner. For more information about media relations go to:  

Room Reservation

General room and space reservation is coordinated through the office of campus reservations. To gain access to policies, procedures, and requirements, go to:  

Technology Support

Technology plays a vital role both in and out of the classrooms at FGCU. Support is available to faculty, staff, and students for a wide variety of technology related issues. For more information, go to:  

Learning Management System

The University will soon transition from utilizing Angel as its e-learning platform to Canvas. The total transition is expected to take place by fall of 2013. For more information on the Learning Management System. Go to:     

Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Initiative(TLAI) 

The FGCU Teaching, Learning & Assessment Initiative promotes excellence in higher education pedagogy to enhance teaching, learning and assessment across the institution. The activities supported by the initiative highlight and promote national and disciplinary best practices in teaching, learning and assessment while sharing the best practices that are in place at FGCU.
For more information on TLAI, go to:

First Year Academy

Beginning in fall 2013, all new faculty members who have less than two (2) years of full-time (FT) teaching experience, within higher education, will form a cohort to develop their skills as university teachers. This special ‘Academy’ will comprise weekly meetings that will focus on some aspect of pedagogy.  For more information on the First year Academy, go to:

Professional Development Services/ Opportunities

The University recognizes that professional development is key to attracting and retaining a knowledgeable and skilled workforce.  Florida Gulf Coast University offers an array of professional development opportunities including grants and workshops.  For more information, visit:

United Faculty of Florida (UFF)

The Board of Trustees recognizes the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) as the bargaining agent for in-unit faculty. UFF is an affiliate of the National Education Association, and is empowered to bargain wages, hours and terms of conditions of employment for all in-unit faculty, whether members of UFF or not. For more information on UFF, go to:


General Faculty Matters


Professional Development Plan

The Professional Development Plan (PDP) should be completed each academic year as it serves as the cornerstone of all faculty assignment processes at Florida Gulf Coast University. 

Academic Appointments

Florida Gulf Coast University follows the procedures included in the Search, Screen and Selection Guidelines policy in recruitment and appointment of all faculty. For more information on appointments, see: Article 8 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement found at:  

Promotion and Evaluation Policies/Processes

Awarding promotion is the University's major means for recognizing and promoting professional excellence in the academic disciplines. Criteria, guidelines and other relevant information for promotion are found in Article 14 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement can be found at:
More specific information on annual evaluations is located in Article 10.  

Academic Workload Policy

Scheduled hours for all employees shall not normally exceed forty (40) hours per
week. Time shall be allowed within the normal working day for research, teaching, or other activities required of the employee, when a part of the assigned duties. For more information on the work week see article 9 of the current CBA found at:  


Employees are apprised in writing at the beginning of employment and the beginning of each year thereafter of their duties and responsibilities. A faculty activity report is mandated. This is done for each semester. The activity report spells out the percent of time to be allocated to teaching; research, university service, and/or other expected activities. More information can be found in Article 9 of the current CBA located at:  

Summer Employment

Available supplemental summer appointments shall be offered equitably and as appropriate to qualified employees, not later than five weeks prior to the beginning of the appointment, if practicable, in accordance with written criteria. The criteria shall be made available in each department/unit. For more information on Summer Appointments, go to Article 8 of the current CBA located at:  

Outside Employment/ Conflict of Interest

Any faculty member who proposes to engage in any outside activity which the faculty member should reasonably conclude may create a conflict of interest, or in any outside compensated professional activity, shall report to the faculty member’s supervisor, in writing, the details or such proposed activity prior to engaging therein. (Forms are available on the Human Resources’ homepage). Click on forms and stroll down to General Human Resources Forms.

More information can be found in: Article 19 of the current CBA located at:  

Faculty Absences/Leave

Florida Gulf Coast University recognizes the varied reasons that faculty will need to take leave. Pertinent information regarding leave can be found in Article 17 of the current CBA located at:

Additional information can be found at:

Intellectual Property

Florida Gulf Coast University encourages its faculty, staff, and students to undertake and/or assist with creative research endeavors and the development of new scholarship, works and inventions that stimulate learning and lead to the discovery of new knowledge.

For more information on intellectual property and related policy, go to:



Academic Responsibilities of Faculty


Textbook Adoption and Affordability

Textbooks are generally a valuable and integral part of the course materials. Selection of appropriate textbooks is the responsibility of the instructor of the course or the lead instructor in team-taught courses. For more information on textbook adoptions, see the related regulation and policy at:  

Grade Posting

The grading system at FGCU is described in the FGCU Catalog and is overseen by the Office of the Registrar. For more information on assigning grades etc., go to :  

Final Examinations

Final exams should be given during the time that has been set by the Registrar that is listed on the academic calendar. For more information go to:  

Office Hours

The long standing process within the University is that each course has office hours attached to it (number of office hours is determined by each college/unit). For more information on office hours, go to:

In the case of Distance Learning Courses, the faculty member still has an obligation to hold office hours that would be equivalent to those held for on campus courses.

Office hours must be posted on your office door. Office hours must also be included in each class syllabus and every semester in the Faculty Activity Report (FAR).

Classroom Management

The Office of Student Conduct can be a resource for faculty or staff when it comes to consulting with students on issues relating to the Student Code of Conduct, as well as other procedures outlined by the Office of Student Conduct. Please don't hesitate to contact us. For more information, go to:  

Course Syllabus

Each faculty member is expected to produce a syllabus for each course with clearly defined requirements. The syllabus should be filed in the dean’s office and distributed to each student at the beginning of class. For more information, go to:


Student Related Policies & Support Services


Student Appeals Related to Grading and Other Academic Matters

For information on the proper handling of grade appeals and other student matters, go to :  

Academic Cheating/Dishonesty

For information and the procedural process for addressing students who are suspected of academic dishonesty, refer to:  

Student Travel

For information on student travel within Study Abroad, go to:

For Registered Student Organizations, go to:  

Classroom Discipline

Disruptive, alarming, and/or discipline problems are normally handled by personnel in the Division of Student Affairs and include provision for due process. For more information go to: 


FERPA is the United States federal law that protects student records privacy and provides for review and disclosure rights. Please review the information linked below, to help you understand FERPA and what it means to you. These pages outline student rights under FERPA to review educational records and to allow or restrict access to third parties.  

Grade Forgiveness

Students may repeat a course and exclude a previous course grade from their FGCU grade point average calculations. For more information go to:  

Incomplete Grades

A student who is passing a course but who has not completed all of the required coursework by the end of the term may, with the permission of the instructor, be assigned a grade of I. A grade of I is not computed in a student’s GPA. For more information on assigning a grade of Incomplete, go to:  

Withdrawal from the University

Withdrawal is the formal process of leaving the university during a term. Dropping all classes does not constitute formal withdrawal from the university. A formal withdrawal can be initiated by submitting a Withdrawal Application in person, by mail or by fax to the Office of the Registrar. For more information on withdrawals, go to:  

Service Learning

Through mission and function, Florida Gulf Coast University takes pride in partnerships forged with the communities it serves. Students are central to these partnerships and are provided opportunities for community involvement through service-learning. Every student at FGCU must participate in 80 hours of service-based learning prior to graduation. Transfer students are required to complete 40 hours. For more information on Service Learning, go to:

Center for Academic Achievement

The mission of the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA) is to promote student academic success and retention by providing programs and services that facilitate the development of skills necessary for FGCU students to achieve their academic goals and develop into successful, independent, life-long learners. For more information, go to:  

Writing Center

The FGCU Writing Center assists students through free, accessible, learning-based writing consultations. The primary goals are to help students improve their abilities to think independently, to write critically, and to learn and implement strategies that will assist them in addressing effective writing assignments. For more information, go to:  

Counseling and Psychological Services (Students)

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides counseling for students in times of stress, and encourages them to ask for help with their most immediate concerns. For more information regarding types of services, etc., go to:

Behavioral Consultation and Assessment Team (BCAT)

The purpose of the BCAT is to provide consultation, recommendations and when appropriate, resources to the University community regarding the behavior of a student that is disruptive or threatening to the University community or is potentially threatening to self or others. For more information, go to:  

Adaptive Services/Disabilities

The primary goal of the Office of Adaptive Services is to provide services and accommodations that enhance access for Florida Gulf Coast University students, faculty, staff and guests with disabilities. Adaptive Services facilitates effective reasonable accommodations by educating the campus community and promoting equal access and opportunity. For more information, go to:


Human Resources: Fiscal Information & Benefits



The Payroll Department is responsible for paying authorized salary and wages for University faculty, staff and hourly employees on a biweekly basis. For more information on pay, go to:  


The University works continuously to maintain the benefits you receive as a University employee. The University contributes approximately 32 percent of your gross salary to the payment of your retirement, social security, state health and state life insurance costs. For more information on insurance benefits, go to:  


University employees are offered several retirement plan options. Options may include participation in the FRS Pension Plan, FRS Investment Plan, or Optional Retirement Program (ORP) which is available to Faculty and A & P employee’s only. For more information go to:  

Another significant benefit that you receive as a University employee is membership in the Florida Retirement System (FRS). The FRS provides two retirement options: the Pension Plan and the Investment Plan. For more information on insurance go to:  

Employee Tuition Voucher Program

Full time FGCU employees in a faculty, A&P or Support Personnel position and/or on approved leave with or without pay, are eligible to use the Tuition Voucher for up to six hours of credit coursework per semester at FGCU. For more details, go to:  


There are different leave options available to eligible employees at the University.  For a detailed list of types of leaves and related criteria, go to:

Worker’s Compensation

 As a FGCU employee, you are covered by Workers' Compensation as required by Florida law. Workers' Compensation covers all "on-the-job" injuries, regardless of how minor. For more information on worker’s compensation, go to:

Employee Assistance Program

 The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides confidential professional assistance to employees and their immediate family members to resolve problems that adversely affect their personal lives and/or job performance. The EAP is also available for supervisory referrals through the Department of Human Resources when an employee’s job performance may be affected by a personal problem. For more information, go to:


General Policies & Regulations


For information on policies including but not limited to:

  • Academic Freedom
  • Drug Free Workplace
  • Grievances
  • Use of Alcohol on FGCU Premises
  • Outside Employment/Activities
  • Nepotism
  • Travel
  • Political Activity
  • Non- Discrimination and Anti- Harassment
  • Possession of Firearms
  • And others

Go to:  or