II:01:13 English Proficiency - Faculty


The Senate Joint Resolution 211 adopted by the 1984 General Assembly requires assurance that all faculty employed by Tennessee Board of Regents Institutions are proficient in use of the English language. Pursuant to this resolution, the accreditation standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (4.4.1) and TBR Policy 5:02:01:03 Faculty Proficiency in Oral and Written English, all TBR institutions must establish written guidelines for documentation of compliance with this requirement.

The purpose of this policy, pursuant to TBR Policy 5:02:01:03 Faculty Proficiency in Oral and Written English, is to assure that all new faculty, full-time and part-time, as well as Graduate Assistants who will be in a position to instruct students are proficient in the English language.

All recommendations for hiring a new faculty, as defined above, will be accompanied by confirmation of the faculty member's ability to communicate effectively both in written and oral format in an academic environment.

The department chair/school director and the appropriate college dean are responsible for verifying proficiency by such means as required confirming that the candidate meets the minimum standards described above. No individual shall be appointed to a position to instruct students without express written confirmation to the President of such abilities by the chief academic officer, being advised by the appropriate dean/chair/director of the college/department/school for which the faculty is seeking appointment. English proficiency for faculty is verified using the Personnel Appointment Form and the Academic Preparation Certification Form. The University reserves the right to further assess English language proficiency after a faculty member has been appointed in order to ensure the quality of direct instruction of its students.

"The foregoing criteria are to be used strictly as a measure of a candidate's ability to communicate effectively as an instructor and shall not be utilized to arbitrarily disqualify applicants of certain nationalities". TBR Policy No. 5:02:01:03.


If it is discovered that assessments were made in error and that a faculty member is not able to communicate effectively in the academic environment, and if the recommendation is made for a faculty member to pursue activities such as enrollment in a course in English as a second language to improve skills in English to meet the above criteria, it will be the responsibility of the department chair/school director to monitor and verify remediation efforts and the outcome of same.

Revisions: March 21, 2011 (new); June 10, 2011.

Cross-references: TBR Policy 5:02:01:03 Faculty Proficiency in Oral and Written English.