SFR Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Does every faculty member have an SFR?

A1: No. For part-time faculty of any contract length and full-time faculty with a contract length of one year or less, their responsibilities may be documented in either a SFR or an offer letter from NC State. For librarians and field faculty, their responsibilities may be documented in either a SFR or other equivalent documentation. All other faculty are required to have a SFR.

Q2: Which faculty are required to have an SFR?

A2: This table shows which faculty are required to have an SFR and which are not.

AppointmentFTEContract LengthSFR Required?
Tenured / Tenure Track
1.0 FTE
NAYes
Professional Faculty
Full-time
(≥ 0.75 FTE)
>1 year*Yes
Professional Faculty
Full-time
(≥ 0.75 FTE)
≤1 year*No
Professional Faculty
Part-time
(< 0.75 FTE)
AnyNo
LibrariansAnyAnyNo
Field FacultyAnyAnyNo

*Typically interpreted as academic year, except for departments with a standard practice of 12-month (calendar year) contracts.

References: REG 05.20.27 Statements of Faculty Responsibilities and REG 05.20.34 Professional Faculty Ranks and Appointments

Q3: What should be included in an SFR?

A3: First, it should include approximate percentages of effort that you will spend across the various realms of faculty responsibility. Note that these percentages don’t always correspond with funding – you might be doing some mentoring during your research work, or doing scholarly work based on engagement activities, so these percentages are rough estimates by their nature.

Your SFR should include brief descriptions or examples of the types of work you will be doing in the different realms. Be careful about misplaced precision – it’s not required that you specify exact course names, journals, etc.., although some departments like to include some guidelines or examples along these lines.

Your SFR should also reference how the work described relates to the standards for reappointment, promotion, tenure, or post-tenure review within the department and college.

Finally, each time a change is made to your to your SFR, include the date and a one- or two-sentence summary of the change that was made.

SFR Online is a tool that facilitates the creation, review and approval, and updating of SFRs; while SFR Online is strongly preferred, a paper template is available here.

Q4: How does an SFR relate to the tenure or promotion process?

A4: SFRs provide the context for applying departmental and college standards, for example, how much emphasis should be given to the standards surrounding teaching or scholarship to someone with an 80 percent scholarship effort vs. an 80 percent teaching effort.

Therefore, it’s important that your SFR be an accurate picture of how you have balanced your effort across the realms of responsibility, and how that balance has changed over time, to provide context to departmental voting faculty and college RPT committee members, especially people who may be less familiar with your work.

However, fulfilling the responsibilities outlined in the SFR is not sufficient for award of tenure or promotion in rank. Those decisions are based not only on what you have done, but the quality and impact of the work, which is documented in your promotion or tenure dossier.

Q5: When should SFRs be reviewed and revised?

A5: Key times to review your SFR with your department head and consider any needed revisions include:

  • Your annual review,
  • When you receive a promotion in rank or earn tenure,
  • When you have a significant change in responsibility such as an administrative appointment, a major service role, or a substantial change in teaching load, or
  • When you have an incoming new or interim department head.

Learn more about statements of faculty responsibilities (formerly statements of mutual expectations) with this helpful video from Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Katharine Stewart.