HomeFaculty & StaffAdministrationVP Academic AffairsFaculty HandbookChapter 3: Faculty

Chapter 3: Faculty

The academic core of Marine Corps University is its faculty, made up of carefully selected military personnel and civilians who are directly involved in the development, instruction, assessment, revision, and adaptation of the curricula to ensure its standards, quality, and relevance. Additionally, as representatives of academic disciplines and the profession of arms, faculty members are involved in the research, service, and professional development in their areas of competency in support of Marine Corps University’s educational programs. Specific focus and emphasis for faculty members will depend on the educational setting to which they are assigned; however, faculty members are encouraged to actively share their expertise throughout the University’s educational programs. Unless otherwise noted, items contained within this chapter apply to both military and civilian faculty members employed full time. Policies and procedures of individual schools and support establishments mentioned in this handbook (e.g., CDET) should be referenced for more specific information regarding military and civilian adjunct faculty members and civilian contract employees.

Civilian Faculty

Strategies for recruiting and retaining civilian faculty are based largely on the particular needs of each educational program. To meet these needs, Marine Corps University employs civilian faculty members commensurate with 10 USC § 7478 and DOD Instruction (DoDI) 1402.06. The term “civilian faculty,” as used throughout this handbook, is defined in DoDI 1402.06 and covers all positions herein. Marine Corps University also employs civilian contract employees to serve as full-time faculty for CDET’s blended seminar program.

Military Faculty

The military faculty includes commissioned and noncommissioned officers of various ranks who normally teach at the Marine Corps University or its satellite campuses for three years. Military personnel are assigned as faculty to the various colleges, schools, and academies by Headquarters, Marine Corps (HQMC). Marine Corps University works closely with HQMC to ensure that highly qualified faculty members are assigned to meet the mission requirements of its colleges, schools, and academies. The Marine Corps classifies and assigns military personnel worldwide as equitably as possible to ensure a high state of readiness and the availability of highly qualified personnel to meet the requirements of each of the Marine Corps University schools. HQMC should be consulted for a complete list of assignment criteria and requirements for military instructors.

Adjunct Faculty

faculty are any faculty teaching less than full-time and are not assigned to a specific educational program, but rather are in general support of all of the organizations within MCU. Adjunct faculty members at Marine Corps University may consist of active duty or retired officers or staff noncommissioned officers who possess sound leadership practices and the operational experience and acumen to enhance resident and distance learning seminars. Likewise, adjunct faculty may include civilian government employees and academic scholars who possess appropriate degrees, qualifications, and competencies in the teaching disciplines related to the PME curricula.

The educational program directors may occasionally request adjunct faculty members to augment the teaching faculty of resident PME curriculum instruction.

Adjunct faculty members at the CDET are contract employees who conduct the Officer PME distance education seminar programs. These programs are evening, weekend, online, and blended seminars that support the Command and Staff College Distance Education Program (CSCDEP), the Expeditionary Warfare School Distance Education Program (EWSDEP), and the Enlisted PME Distance Education Program (EPMEDEP). Additional information about qualifications and faculty development for CDET adjunct faculty separate from the contents of this faculty handbook can be found in the respective DEP faculty handbooks located on any course faculty development site or Faculty Orientation 101 course site within MCU’s learning support system.

Organization and Roles

Marine Corps University actively and systematically seeks the advice of faculty members concerning administrative leadership and academic programs. To address matters related to academics, the chain of command for faculty members is set forth as follows: course director, dean of academics or chief academic officer, deputy director, director, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Distance Learning (CDET), the Chief of Staff, and the President of Marine Corps University.

As a military institution, Marine Corps University operates under the ultimate supervision of the Commandant of the Marine Corps through its parent organization, Training and Education Command. Although the development of academic policy is vetted through the Vice President for Academic Affairs and approved by the President of Marine Corps University, faculty members shape the learning outcomes and specific curriculum content within educational objectives, instructional strategies, and teaching methods appropriate to achieving the program and student learning outcomes. In doing so, faculty members and administrators participate in various committees, curriculum review board meetings, and working groups that deal with academic matters and academic policy issues, thereby creating an atmosphere of shared governance. Additionally, directors, academic deans, and the faculty council chair represent faculty views and interests in other staff meetings, both on-site and off-site.

In addition to controlling the development of course content, the faculty is expected to provide input into the decision-making and policy-making aspects of the continuum of education. Faculty members may make their inputs known to the Vice President for Academic Affairs through the chain-of-command and other appropriate channels, such as the Faculty Council. Key responsibilities of Marine Corps University Title 10 faculty are listed below:

Teaching, Curriculum Development, and Scholarship. The teaching faculty at Marine Corps University primarily focuses on developing and delivering curricula, lecturing, instructing, facilitating discussions in seminars, and conducting scholarly research and publishing. Additionally, faculty members are encouraged to engage in reviewing works of others and other academic activities, schedule permitting. Instructor, assistant, associate, and full professor ranks (AD01 – AD07) and military faculty are designated as teaching faculty.

Mentoring. Faculty members meet regularly with their students to guide them in both professional and academic endeavors. Faculty members are responsible for advising students in various capacities on their academic progress, projects, graduate theses, and professional development. Civilian and military faculty members are encouraged to collaborate and share professional and academic experiences to enhance student learning and their overall function at the University.

Faculty Duties. faculty duties primarily involve designing and developing curricula and learning support systems; providing academic advice or consultation, management, and governance of the academic enterprise or an educational program; and/or conducting scholarly research and writing.

Accountability for Student Learning. Marine Corps University‘s curricula focus on developing ethical leaders, skilled warfighters, critical and creative thinkers, and resourceful operators and planners. Upon graduation, its students must be skilled in the arts and sciences of war and capable of critical and creative thinking, sound judgment, and reasoned decision-making. All faculty members are obligated to develop and deliver curricula that will enhance students’ ability to achieve these particular abilities and other relevant outcomes. Therefore, faculty members charged with developing curricula are required to write measurable student learning outcomes, assess students’ achievement of those learning outcomes, and seek continual improvement of their curricula based on the assessment of student learning. Marine Corps University’s method of accountability for and assessment of student learning is centered on using the Four Column Matrix for assessment, identified in the Curriculum Review Process and Institutional Assessment Plan, which are described in the MCU Academic Regulations. All faculty members shall comply with the policies and procedures related to these processes and the policies of applicable accrediting bodies, such as the SACSCOC and the PAJE. In particular, the accreditation liaison should be informed of a substantive change in accordance with the SACSCOC policy “Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions” (refer to the MCU Academic Regulations) so the appropriate action may be taken to seek approval from the Commission in a timely fashion before changes are implemented.

Service Duties and Responsibilities. Faculty members are expected to attend periodic faculty meetings and to participate in academic processions, graduation, and University-sponsored professional development opportunities and events, such as selected Marine Corps University Lecture Series, Erskine Lectures, on-site academic symposia and colloquia, and faculty development sessions. Additionally, teaching faculty may be required to work extended hours combined with relatively flexible work schedules that include both day and evening activities. Although Marine Corps University or one of its satellite campuses is the appropriate place of duty, faculty members may be required to work from other locations away from their campus. Faculty members should manage their schedules accordingly to cover all duties and responsibilities, keep their chain of command informed on their whereabouts, and submit leave requests in a timely manner.

Recording of Time and Attendance. Title 10 faculty members will use the Standard Labor Data Collection and Distribution Application (SLDCADA) automated timekeeping system for recording their biweekly time and attendance and for requesting leave. A standard bi-weekly pay period consists of 80 hours; the Dean or Director is responsible for establishing the employee work schedule. Title 10 faculty members are, therefore, responsible for meeting their assigned, teaching, work, or administrative obligations and for ensuring they complete 80 hours of work for which they are credited in each biweekly period. For timekeeping purposes, Title 10 faculty members may be documented as performing work hours if they are preparing for class, preparing evaluations and assessments, conducting scholarly research and writing, or performing other duties as assigned and pertinent. Telework must be requested through Total Workforce Management Service (TWMS) or via a supervisor-signed telework agreement. MCU currently operates under the TECOM Telework Policy codified in MCBO.12620.1B Civilian Employee Telework Program. Title 10 faculty members wishing to spend less than 80 hours on duty responsibilities in each biweekly period should request annual or sick leave, as appropriate, through their chain of command. Similarly, Title 10 faculty members having to work more than 80 hours should request comp time or overtime. Authorization for leave, comp time, or overtime must be obtained from an immediate supervisor prior to execution via the procedures established in the University’s administrative and business policies. Supervisors or division timekeepers will assist employees with gaining access to and receiving training for the SLDCADA system. Contract employees will comply with their company’s timekeeping policies.

Faculty Qualifications and Credentials

Civilian teaching faculty in full-time support of a degree-granting program must meet the particular credential requirements set forth by the SACSCOC and the applicable Position Description (PD). The guidelines contained within SACSCOC Comprehensive Standard 3.7.1 serve as an appropriate framework in determination of acceptable qualifications for faculty members (Table 1). Consideration is given to the highest earned degree in the discipline and to one’s competence, effectiveness, and capacity related to the field of study and teaching; qualifications are to be directly and specifically linked to the courses assigned to the faculty member. Refer to Chapter 4 for specific qualification criteria for teaching and administrative faculty.

Required Credentials

  • Terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution or equivalent
  • Evidence of scholarly research and publication
  • Educational/teaching experience
  • Familiarity with current national security issues

Desired Credentials

  • Understanding of Professional Military Education (PME)
  • Familiarity with military policies and procedures

Table 1: Civilian Faculty Credentials

In lieu of an earned doctoral/terminal degree in subject disciplines taught at MCU, the guidelines for determining acceptable qualifications for military faculty members will focus on their work-related experience as military leaders in the profession of arms (Table 2). Additionally, transcripts and letters of recommendation for all faculty members are required to justify faculty qualifications and experience.


Faculty Rank


Marine Corps War College


  • TLS Complete
  • Master’s Degree
  • Joint Specialty Officer
  • Command/Operational Experience

School of Advanced Warfighting

Colonel/Lieutenant Colonel

  • TLS Complete
  • Master’s Degree
  • Command/Operational Experience

Command and Staff College

Lieutenant Colonel

  • Master’s Degree
  • Post-O5 Command Desired
  • TLS Complete Desired
  • Operational Experience

Expeditionary Warfare School

Major/Lieutenant Colonel

  • ILS Complete Desired
  • Post-O3 Command Desired
  • Operational Experience

Table 2: Military Faculty Credentials by Program

Faculty members in support of non-degree granting programs must meet the qualifications identified in the applicable Position Description (PD) or contract performance work statement. Faculty members serving in positions of academic governance directly related to graduate programs of instruction (i.e., Academic Deans and the VPAA) must possess an earned doctorate/terminal degree.

Faculty Development

The MCU Academic Regulations contain the University’s policy regarding the orientation and continued professional development of faculty. Faculty members should become familiar with that handbook and all other documentation related to faculty development.

The University’s Faculty Development and Outreach Coordinator is responsible for developing an annual program designed to promote the professional growth of faculty as teachers and scholars of the University’s faculty and creating opportunities for professional growth in the form of conferences, workshops, public forums, and online faculty learning communities. The University will sponsor faculty development sessions on educational topics applicable to all colleges and schools each calendar year. In addition to these sessions, the Marine Corps University Lecture Series, the Erskine Lecture Series, and Constitution Day are recurring developmental opportunities available to all faculty members.

Newly appointed faculty members are required to participate in all formal, University-level faculty orientation sessions and school-specific new faculty orientation sessions, training courses, and teaching practicums before assuming their teaching duties. Since all Marine Corps University schools utilize different approaches and unique schedules, each school has a separate program in addition to what is provided by the University to ensure newly appointed faculty members are fully prepared. Orientation activities address each school’s organizational structure, academic curriculum, instruction, and supervision.

All faculty members are required to attend select faculty development sessions and are encouraged to participate in other faculty development programs as they are offered.

More information on faculty development can also be found on the University website.

Speakers Bureau

the interest of improving faculty outreach and brand messaging, faculty members are provided the opportunity to participate in speaking engagements outside of the University. The Speakers Bureau is a group of faculty members, with relevant expertise, who volunteer as potential speakers to educate and inform the public and sponsoring organizations about the Marine Corps, Marine Corps University and its PME continuum and educational programs, specific aspects of the PME curricula, and other military-related academic subjects (e.g., military history and leadership). The Faculty Development Coordinator is responsible for the overall development and management of the Speakers Bureau.

Curriculum and Accreditation Reviews

Faculty members involved with the CSC, CSCDEP, SAW, and MCWAR may be required to participate in periodic accreditation reviews. These on-site and off-site evaluations deal with applicable standards set forth by the CJCS J-7 Process for the Accreditation of Joint Education (PAJE) for officer professional military education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for resident, degree-granting schools. Faculty should consult the VPAA Director of Academic Support or appropriate school or program dean for further information.

Awards and Recognition

Rose Awards. Each year the President, Marine Corps University, in coordination with the Marine Corps University Foundation, presents the Rose Award to Marine Corps University’s most outstanding educators to recognize excellence in teaching. The Rose Award is named in honor of Dr. Elihu Rose, one of the founding members of the Marine Corps University Foundation. Recognition is based on three distinct categories: civilian, officer, and enlisted teaching faculty. Teaching excellence is the primary selection criterion. A selection committee headed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and consisting of the designated members of the Faculty Council reviews all nominations and determines the Rose Award recipient for each category. The President, Marine Corps University will announce the award recipients and present the awards at an appropriate ceremony.

Major General Thomas S. Jones Distance Learning Instructor of the Year Award. This award formally recognizes adjunct faculty members from each CDET region who have demonstrated superior performance as instructors and mentors for seminar students in the CSC, EWS, and EPME distance education programs. Refer to appropriate CDET policy and procedures for more information.

Outside Employment and Professional Activities

All federal government employees have a responsibility to the United States government and its citizens to place loyalty to the Constitution, laws, and ethical principles above private gain. This duty imposes a higher standard than is required in the private sector. Federal government employees must not engage in outside employment or activities that conflict with official government duties and responsibilities. Military members are additionally constrained by laws and regulations related to their military service.

Neither military faculty nor civilian faculty members should pursue activities that interfere with the performance of Marine Corps University duties and obligations. Outside employment may only be performed during authorized periods, off-duty hours, or while in an official leave status.

Civilian faculty members are prohibited from establishing contracts with the federal government. If a civilian faculty member has a pre-existing contract with the federal government prior to working at Marine Corps University, the individual must make the situation known to the Human Resources and Organizational Management Branch Quantico, as federal law prohibits dual compensation. Additional guidance on outside employment and professional activities may be found in the MCU Academic Regulations and 5 CFR § 2635.

Civilian contract employees serving as CDET faculty members should reference their company’s policies regarding outside employment and professional activities.


Faculty members may not receive outside compensation for teaching, writing, or speaking activities that relate to their official duties; see 5 CFR § 2635.807. Faculty may receive honoraria for an appearance, speech, or article dealing with subject matter within their area of academic or military specialty if it does not relate primarily to the responsibilities, policies, or programs of Marine Corps University and if preparation and presentation of the particular appearance, speech, or article clearly remain outside faculty duties. For more clarification, consult the Office of Counsel, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, and Marine Corps Base Quantico through the chain of command.

Grievance Procedures

The Marine Corps University policy letter on grievance procedures emphasizes the consideration and disposal of matters of concern and dissatisfaction to faculty and staff at the lowest possible organizational level. The formal complaint policy and procedures described in the administrative and business operations policies do not preclude the informal process of communication that routinely takes place between seniors and subordinates or supervisors and employees. Not all grievances require senior level involvement. In many instances, direct line supervisors have the ability to resolve issues at their own level. Every effort should be made to resolve leadership issues, to include performance and conduct matters, at the lowest level. Communication with the Commanding General, Education Command or higher headquarters should be exercised only after the normal chain of command has exhausted its means to address the problem. Military faculty and staff members have access to the Commanding General, Education Command through the request mast process defined in MCO 1700.23F. All civilian federal employees should contact the Civilian Management Office for assistance with formal grievances and complaints. Formal complaints will be addressed by the Human Resources and Organizational Management Office Quantico, Employee Management Advisory Services Specialist. All DOD employees, military or civilian, have the right to use the DOD’s Hotline to report any abuse of authority, mismanagement, fraud and waste at 1-800-424-9098 or email: hotline@dodig.mil. Civilian contract employees must file any grievances through the company in which they are employed. A separate complaint policy exists for students, which is contained in the MCU Academic Regulations.

Travel Procedures

economically feasible, Marine Corps University provides funding for promoting faculty professional growth and development through attendance at professional meetings and related scholarly activities. Funded travel for faculty members requires chain-of-command approval and written authorization in accordance with Department of Defense travel regulations. All travel requests are submitted through the Defense Travel System (DTS) at least ten working days prior to the scheduled departure date. Due to security and financial concerns, international travel requires a more robust approval process, and therefore should be started at the traveler’s earliest convenience. Faculty members are required to prepare a memorandum that describes the destination(s), anticipated length of time, estimated costs, and justification of travel. This memorandum must be submitted through the chain of command to the President, MCU for approval. Specific requirements must be followed when making any travel arrangements, and procedures may vary for schools maintaining their own travel budget. Faculty members may be reimbursed for travel, lodging, rental car, and meals. Reimbursement is based on a travel voucher submitted via the DTS within five working days of completing travel. Travel by privately-owned automobile is possible and reimbursable when advantageous to the government. Faculty members may be directed to stay in government facilities when available. Brief personal leaves of absence, approved by a supervisor, may be taken in conjunction with official travel and temporary duty assignments. Administrative and business operations policies and the office of administrative services should be consulted for specific guidance on travel procedures and DTS usage. Civilian contract employees will coordinate travel through their respective employers.

Support Functions

Faculty members are encouraged to become familiar with other support divisions and how they function to help sustain Marine Corps University, such as personnel administration, student services, resource management, and facilities and logistics. Refer to the specific policies and procedures of these entities for more information.