WBS Faculty Sufficiency and Qualifications Policy
In accordance with AACSB 2020 Standards 3 and 8, the Business School (WBS) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) maintains and deploys participating and supporting faculty who demonstrate academic and professional engagement sustaining intellectual capital to achieve outcomes consistent with the mission and strategies of the School and Institute (Update approved by the faculty on 7 Oct 2021.)
Sufficiency: Participating and Supporting Faculty
AACSB 2020 Standard 3 requires schools to maintain and deploy a faculty sufficient to ensure high-quality outcomes consistent with the school’s mission across the range of degree programs it offers. A participating faculty member actively and deeply engages in the activities of the school beyond direct teaching responsibilities, while supporting faculty does not, as a rule, participate in the life of the school beyond teaching.
WBS has defined eight general areas of responsibilities for participating faculty beyond their teaching. Participating faculty members have generally been active in three or more of these areas in the five years prior to review:
- Serving on ad-hoc committees and task forces (including search committees),
- Participating in school (i.e., WBS) and university (i.e., WPI) governance,
- Serving as academic advisors (including project advising and advising UG, MS, or PhD research activities),
- Completing administrative work related to the operations of the school (including performing administrative roles such as program director, course coordinator, WBS committee chair, and grant PI),
- Advising student organizations or working with business community boards as representatives of WPI,
- Participating in curriculum development and/or learning assessment,
- Engaging in other significant student or operational activities of the school (including participating in and providing input to faculty or student orientation, school department meetings and retreats, faculty mentoring, and school strategic planning), and
- Creating scholarly or practice-oriented intellectual contributions.
Participating faculty will normally deliver at least 75% of WBS courses and at least 60% of WBS courses in each discipline. The seven disciplines at WBS are ACC/FIN, ETR, LAW, MIS, MKT, OBC, and OIE.
At the beginning of each spring semester (as part of their annual report), faculty members will notify the Department Head which category (for sufficiency: participating or supporting; for qualifications: SP, PA, SP, IP, or Additional) they wish to be assigned along with supporting evidence. Final determination will be made by the Department Head in consultation with the Dean of the Business School. Newly hired faculty members will be classified at the time of their employment.
Qualification: Academic and Professional Engagement
AACSB 2020 Standard 3 requires schools to maintain and strategically deploy participating and supporting faculty who collectively demonstrate significant academic and professional engagement that, in turn, supports the high-quality outcomes consistent with the school’s mission.
Minimum faculty academic and professional deployment is as follows:
- Minimum discipline and school SA guideline: (SA)/(SA+PA+SP+IP+A) >=40%
- Minimum discipline and school guideline: (SA+PA+SP+IP)/(SA+PA+SP+IP+A) >=90%
WBS relies on the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) Business Journal Quality List for categories of journal quality (A*, A, B, and C). ABDC was selected for its breadth across business disciplines. Consistent with the WBS role within WPI, our mission highlights scholarly activities of WBS with the scientific and engineering disciplines at WPI. Thus, we augment the ABDC list with high-quality journals of relevance to fulfilling our broader mission across WPI. Faculty publishing in journals not listed in the ABDC list may petition the Department Head for ABDC equivalence.
Initial preparation / sustained engagement
Terminal academic degree (e.g., PhD)
Scholarly Academic (SA)
Practice Academic (PA)
Professional degree (e.g., MBA)
Scholarly Practitioner (SP)
Instructional Practitioner (IP)
Classify status as “Additional” if the member does not meet above criteria
Table 1: Faculty qualifications categories
1. Scholarly Academics (SA):
Scholarly Academics sustain currency and relevance through scholarship and related activities.
a. Initial Academic Preparation: SA status is granted to newly hired faculty members who earned their research doctorates or graduate degrees in law, if teaching business law and legal environment of business and taxation, or graduate degrees in accounting if teaching taxation within the five years preceding the review dates. Newly hired faculty members holding doctoral degrees less related to their fields of teaching must demonstrate higher levels of sustained, substantive academic engagement for SA status.
b. Sustained Engagement: In order to maintain SA status, faculty members are expected to undertake a variety of academic engagement activities consistent with the WBS mission. A non-exhaustive list of academic engagement activities may include the following:
i. Faculty members with doctoral degrees in their primary teaching areas are classified as SA for five years from the date the degree is received.
ii. Faculty members whose degrees were received more than five years preceding review are expected to have peer-reviewed published articles or manuscripts accepted for publication that meet the following criteria in the five years prior to review:
(1) One A or A* journal article and one journal article at B or above.
(a) Journal categories are in accordance with the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) rankings.
(b) For qualified PhD advisors, at least one of the two journal articles must be A* or both must be A, using a more restrictive list than ABDC.
(c) Faculty may petition the department head for equivalent rankings for journals not listed by ABDC or for adjustments in the rankings. Appropriate evidence includes other well-respected journal ranking lists and impact factors.
(d) Faculty may propose substitutes for journal publications based on alternative but equivalent research accomplishments.
(2) And at least three additional scholarly intellectual contributions, such as:
(a) Publication in peer-reviewed scholarly journals
(b) Peer-reviewed conference presentations and proceedings papers
(c) Non-peer-reviewed journal publications (e.g., Harvard Business Review)
(d) Publication of authored or edited scholarly research books
(e) Publication or revision of textbooks
(f) Publication of chapters in scholarly research books
(g) Publication of business case studies
(h) Service as editor or associate editor of an academic journal in the A*, A, or B categories of the ABDC list
(i) Publication of book reviews in academic journals
(j) Receipt of a peer-reviewed, funded grant supporting research at WPI
NOTE: Scholarly intellectual contributions should advance the WPI and WBS mission, and, given the high degree of interdisciplinary cooperation at WPI, contributions outside of traditional business school venues merit consideration.
Practice Academics (PA):
Practice Academics sustain currency and relevance through professional engagement, interaction, and relevant activities. Normally, PA status applies to faculty members who augment their initial preparation as academic scholars with development and engagement activities that involve substantive linkages to practice, consulting, or other forms of professional engagement, based on the faculty member’s earlier work as an SA faculty member.
a. Initial Academic Preparation: Degree requirements for PA status are identical to those for SA status.
b. Sustained Engagement: In order to maintain PA status, faculty members are expected to undertake a variety of professional engagement activities consistent with WPI and WBS missions. There should be evidence of professional engagement activities in at least three of the following categories of professional engagement activities within the five-year period preceding review:
i. Consulting activities that are material in terms of time and substance.
ii. Fulfilling professionally relevant roles in companies, government agencies, or other appropriate organizations.
iii. Development and presentation of executive education programs.
iv. Maintained professional licensure in their field of study.
v. Significant participation in business professional associations, events, and activities that focus on the practice of business, management, or related issues and put faculty in direct contact with business or other organizational leaders.
vi. Practice-oriented intellectual contributions.
vii. Relevant, active service on boards of directors.
viii. Documented continuing professional education experiences.
ix. Receipt of a funded grant supporting teaching and/or service at WPI.
2. Scholarly Practitioners (SP):
Scholarly Practitioners sustain currency and relevance through continued professional experience, engagement, or interaction and scholarship related to their professional background and experience. Normally, SP status applies to practitioner faculty members who augment their experience with development and engagement activities involving substantive scholarly activities in their fields of teaching.
a. Initial Professional Experience: Newly hired SP faculty members in WBS have current and substantial professional experience in terms of duration and level of responsibility, linked to the field in which the faculty member will teach. SP faculty members have, at a minimum, master’s degrees in disciplines related to their fields of teaching. There may be rare exceptions when SP status is found to be appropriate for individuals without master’s degrees if the depth, duration, sophistication, and complexity of their professional experience at the time of hiring outweighs their lack of master’s degree qualifications.
b. Sustained Engagement: In order to maintain their SP status, faculty members must document that in the five years preceding review they have engaged, consistent with the WBS mission, in a minimum of two of the following categories of practice-oriented scholarship:
i. Relevant scholarship outcomes, such as the publication of articles or conference presentations and papers, book chapters, textbooks, or similar contributions.
ii. Relevant, active editorships with academic, professional, or other business/management publications.
iii. Service on editorial boards or committees.
iv. Validation of SP status through leadership positions in recognized academic societies, research awards, academic fellow status, invited presentations, etc.
v. Development and presentation of continuing professional education activities or executive education programs.
vi. Substantive roles and participation in academic associations.
4. Instructional Practitioners (IP):
Instructional Practitioners sustain currency and relevance through continued professional experience and engagement related to their professional backgrounds and experience.
a. Initial Professional Experience: Newly hired IP faculty members in WBS have current and substantial professional experience in terms of duration and level of responsibility, linked to the field in which the faculty member will teach. IP faculty members typically have master’s degrees in disciplines related to their fields of teaching. There may be rare exceptions when IP status is found to be appropriate for individuals without master’s degrees if the depth, duration, sophistication, and complexity of their professional experience at the time of hiring outweighs their lack of master’s degree qualifications.
b. Sustained Engagement: In order to maintain their IP status, faculty members must document that in the five years preceding review they have engaged, consistent with WPI mission, in a minimum of two of the following categories of practice oriented professional activity:
i. Consulting activities relevant to the area of teaching and material in terms of time & substance
ii. Fulfilling professionally relevant roles in companies, government agencies, or other appropriate organizations.
iii. Development and presentation of executive education programs
iv. Sustained professional excellence directly related to teaching
v. Significant participation in business professional associations, societies, and events that place faculty in direct contact with business and other organizational leaders
vi. Relevant, active service on boards of directors
vii. Documented continuing professional education experiences
viii. Documented professional certifications in the area of teaching
ix. Leadership in WPI project centers or other project-related initiatives that involve substantial business, management, or professional issues and/or involve direct interaction with business and organizational leaders
Individuals holding faculty titles but whose qualifications do not meet the criteria established for SA, PA, SP, or IP status in WBS are categorized as “Additional”. The number of such faculty members may not exceed 10% of faculty resources. WBS must document efforts made to enable such faculty members to qualify for reclassification to SA, PA, SP, or IP.