A.8 Definitions of University Terms‌


A brief description of many of the terms common in higher education and/or used at the University is included. The terms included may or may not be referenced elsewhere in this handbook.


Academia Place of formal instruction or, more generally, the academic environment.
Academic Relating to education or an institution of scholarly learning, as a college or university which offers formal or theoretical instruction beyond technical training.
Academic Year Two 16-week semesters (Fall and Spring).
Academic Year Appointment Appointment for Fall and Spring Semester (9 or 10 months).
Adjunct Faculty Members Person who assists University academic programs by teaching one or more courses on a part time basis. Compensation for these positions will reflect teaching loads, expertise and experience.
Alumni Individuals who have attended or graduated from a particular college or university.
APB Activities Programming Board, the organizing board for student activities.
Associate Degree The designation granted upon completion of an educational program of at least two but less than four years of college work.
Bachelor's Degree The degree customarily granted upon completion of a course of study normally requiring four academic years of college work [generally A.B., or B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) or B.S. (Bachelor of Science)].
Board of Trustees The governing body of the University appointed by the governor of Indiana with powers to select the University president, decide major policy lines, approve the financial program and budget, approve the president's nominations for major appointments, and approve all construction and major contracts.
Budget A financial plan which provides a framework within which the University funds its various activities.
Calendar Year The full year running from January 1 to December 31.
Credit Hours The value assigned to a particular course, typically varying from one to five credit hours. Credit hours per course normally represent the number of hours spent in class per week.
Curriculum A program of study covering the entire undergraduate or graduate career and designed to satisfy the requirements for an associate, baccalaureate or advanced degree.
Dean The highest administrative member of a particular school or discipline; may be assisted by associate and assistant deans.
Degrees Either associate, bachelor's, master's or doctoral. Degrees are awarded upon completion of a given program of study.
Department Head The highest administrative member of a particular department, assisted by associate and assistant department heads.
Distinguished Professor An individual recognized for unique contributions through scholarship, research or leadership or a combination of these.
Director The highest administrative member of a particular organizational unit, assisted by associate and assistant directors.
Doctor An individual who has been awarded an advanced degree-PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), MD (Doctor of Medicine) or EdD. (Doctor of Education), etc.
Emeritus The title granted to a retired staff member who made significant contributions to the University of Southern Indiana through teaching, research or other services.
Equal Employment A legal requirement specifying that the University provide employment opportunities in all phases and aspects of employment and employment conditions without discrimination or bias on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran's status.
Faculty Member Professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, and postdoctoral associates engaged in instruction, research or public service.
Federal Funds or Funding Money budgeted by the federal government, normally for a specific purpose within the University.
Fiscal Year A full year beginning July 1 and ending June 30 for budgetary/accounting purposes.
Gifts Normally money or property donated to the University for which no service is asked in return. Some gifts have restrictions; others can be used in any manner the University wishes.
Graduate Assistant A graduate student who performs professional duties commensurate with his educational background and experience and is paid a stipend for these services.
Grant An award of funds with which to perform prescribed services such as research.
Instructor Academic rank within the teaching classifications below assistant professor. Remaining classifications are professor, associate professor and assistant professor.
IFC Interfraternity Council, the governing body for men's social fraternities.
Lecturer A person appointed to instruct a specific course who is not a voting member of the faculty.
Major The primary subject area a student pursues.
Master's Degree The first degree beyond the undergraduate bachelor's degree, awarded upon completion of an advanced study program. Also referred to as an M.S. or M.A. degree.
Minor The secondary subject area a student pursues.
Nondiscrimination The University is the recipient of federal funds for a variety of programs and activities and, as such, is required to provide for access and participation in all programs and activities under certain conditions for specific groups protected by law. Other terms or phrases by which these nondiscrimination requirements are respectively referred to are Title VI (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 1991); Title IX (of the Educational Amendments of 1972); Section 504 (of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973); Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1989; and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
PC Panhellenic Council, the governing body for women's social fraternities.
Professor The highest professorial rank.
Proposal A document submitted to business, industry or the government requesting a grant or contract award.
Semester Hours Total number of credit hours taken by a student in a given semester.
SGA Student Government Association, the student governing body.
SHA Student Housing Association, the student governing body of students living in Student Housing.
The Shield The University's weekly student newspaper.
State Funds or Funding Money appropriated by the state legislature for personal services, capital improvements, new facilities and other operating expenses incurred by the University.
Vita Summary of an individual's employment record and professional accomplishments.
Visiting Instructor A temporary teaching appointment of a faculty member normally on leave from another institution and hired for a temporary term.
More Information More information on University terms and style can be found in the Editor's Manual