Matters of School Governance and Related Procedures | Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies Handbook | Kent State University

Matters of School Governance and Related Procedures

  1. Preamble

    The School Handbook contains the operational policies and procedures of the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies (hereinafter the “School”).  These policies and procedures may not conflict with any University, Administrative and Operational Policy of Kent State University (hereinafter the “University”), any applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement, or any federal, state and local law.

  2. Goals and Mission of the School

    1. Mission Statement

      The School’s full-time, tenured and tenure-track faculty (hereinafter the “Faculty”) devote their work lives to the initial and continuing professional development of teachers, curriculum and instructional specialists, other personnel, and scholars. School Faculty respect the traditions of our profession and at the same time are aware of the need to address and adopt alternative approaches. The foundation of all School programs is a collaborative approach to teacher education. School programs are oriented toward the study of past and current practice, the consideration of alternative theories and strategies to confront current problems, and the development of best practice options for a variety of educational and related settings. School Faculty members encourage critical reflection and risk-taking, both of themselves and their students. School Faculty members are well prepared to help educators and their students meet the challenges of the 21st century.

      Because of its large size (faculty, staff and students), variety of programs (refer to Appendix B), and subject-matter diversity, the School represents a complex administrative unit. Amidst this complexity, there is room for the pursuit of varied interests and approaches. At the same time, the School effectively demonstrates a unity of purpose and a commitment to excellence, equity, and community. School Faculty members are able to do this through the dedicated efforts of the many individuals, with differing roles and responsibilities, who compose the School. They strive to create, develop, and maintain relationships and working conditions that enable the Faculty to do its best work, both individually and collectively.  School Faculty enthusiastically support shared governance, as advocated by both University Policy and the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

      The hallmarks of the School are commitments to Teaching, Scholarship and Service.  Five other key values guide our work. These include supporting social justice, honoring diversity, initiating and supporting global connections, integrating technology—as appropriate, and taking leadership roles with the profession, community, schools, and agencies through collaborative relationships.

      1. Teaching

        Faculty members, both full-time and part-time, are dedicated to providing high quality and robust initial and continuing preparation programs (undergraduate and graduate) for educators in various professional roles and settings (e.g., teachers, curriculum specialists, supervisors, other professional staff, and researchers). Such programs are designed to prepare reflective practitioners capable of providing effective leadership and service in classrooms, schools, colleges, universities, and non-school settings.  Particularly in the 21st century, consistent efforts are made to integrate technology in meaningful ways to support the learning of students across programs and interests.

        The professional preparation and development of students is central to the School’s mission and is of highest priority. If collaborative efforts by faculty to provide quality field-based programs are successful, students in the School will exit their respective programs not only with new knowledge and skills, but also with the ability and desire to be life-long learners who value social justice. Students will have developed the ability to think critically and to provide varying degrees of reflective, transformative leadership. Graduates will have matured professionally and personally to the point where they can differentiate effective practices. Research will be the basis from which they solve problems related to theory and practice.

        A primary goal that School Faculty set for both students and themselves is to increase individual and collective understandings of cultural diversity in its many forms and to commit to the improvement of educational and related opportunities for those from diverse and mainstream populations. The School values the diverse identities of the School’s students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders. Graduates of the School’s programs need to be well prepared to teach, coordinate, and work within national and global settings so the School consciously works to initiate and support global connections within and beyond its programs.  This preparation requires a deep knowledge of culturally diverse and equitable practices and an affirmation of individual and cultural differences.

        School Faculty members recognize the value of diversity in the School’s undergraduate and graduate programs, among both Faculty and students. Such diversity stimulates learning and enhances the Faculty and students’ ability to work with others who are from backgrounds unlike their own. School Faculty must be vigilant in creating and maintaining the best possible environment for their own continued growth and development and for all students in the School. Thus, School Faculty members are dedicated to the identification, recruitment, and retention of students and faculty from under-represented populations, through all legal and appropriate practices. School Faculty members are committed to the creation of a learning community that is inclusive and respectful of diverse ideas and practices. Consistent with this stance is the Faculty’s commitment to provide students with high quality advising and mentoring. Accurate and comprehensive advising reduces the number of problems undergraduate and graduate students might face as they near graduation (and after graduation as well). Positive interactions between advisor and student also can help shape the student’s attitude toward the faculty in general, the program, the School, the College, and even the University. School Faculty members recognize that mentorship roles are particularly critical to advanced graduate students. The one-to-one sharing of experiences that takes place with them can be as important as the courses they take. Indeed, Faculty members consider effective, personalized advising and mentoring as essential elements to meeting this commitment to all undergraduate and graduate students.

      2. Scholarship

        School Faculty members are committed to the generation and dissemination of knowledge about education, professional development, and related areas of inquiry that contribute to the development of effective educational and scholarly theory, policy, and practice. In their efforts to produce such advanced knowledge, the Faculty pursues internal and external sources of support and collaborates often to facilitate research and development activities.

        School Faculty is dedicated to engaging in multiple forms of scholarly activity and research that informs practice. These activities include but are not limited to: the publication of articles, chapters, books, and monographs, as well as the production of digital media; presentations at meetings of professional organizations, learned societies, and government committees; and editorial work for journals and publishing companies. Many of these activities are appropriately accomplished by a Faculty member working independently, but other activities might require collaboration with Faculty colleagues in the School and across campus, with peers at other academic institutions, and with School and College practitioners. Indeed, shared interests, work activities, and responsibilities often result in enhanced professional development for all parties involved, including joint publications and presentations, a greater sense of School/ College/ University community, and facilitate sustained partnerships with local schools and colleges.

      3. Service

        In a variety of ways, School Faculty members are responsible for and committed to providing leadership and service to the University and to their profession. This is accomplished through sustained effort on the part of the Faculty, guided by the principles and practices of cooperation, collaboration, and consultation. The wide range of experiences and expertise found among our faculty (and staff and students) enables the Faculty to address the challenges faced by leaders in School, College, and non-school settings. With this commitment comes an understanding that School Faculty can learn a great deal from colleagues on this and other campuses, as well as in school and non-school settings, and that working together profits all.

        In seeking to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession and to improve educational practice, the School’s mission centers on working collaboratively with schools and colleges; businesses, community agencies and professional organizations; and families and local community groups. School Faculty view themselves as both learners and leaders in the process; School Faculty teach and also learn. School Faculty share their experiences and they also find out about the experiences of others; they disseminate and also receive. In the goal to foster a community of learners as problem-solvers, School Faculty strive to both lead and learn.

        School Faculty recognize that if their efforts to provide high quality programs, exemplary instruction, and cutting edge research are to come to fruition, they must develop and maintain such collaborative relationships. Such relationships are an integral part of each of the programs in the School. These relationships make it possible to provide meaningful field experiences for students, which is crucial in the preparation of reflective educators. These relationships also enhance opportunities for research and for the dissemination of professional knowledge.

  3. Structure and Organization of the School

    1. Administrative and Service Positions

      1. School Director

        The School Director (hereinafter “Director”) is the chief administrative officer of the School and reports directly to and is accountable to the Dean of the College (hereinafter “Dean”). The Director is responsible for recording, maintaining, and implementing the policies and procedures stated in this Handbook through regular and thorough consultation with the School faculty and the School’s various committees. The Director's duties and responsibilities shall include, but are not limited to, the following roles outlined as academic/scholarly leadership and procedural/managerial:

        Academic/Scholarly Leadership 

        •  Promotes good communication and morale within the School
        • Advocates for and represents faculty in School, College and University affairs, forums, and decisions
        • Contributes to the scholarly culture and climate of the School
        • Mentors faculty in pursuing and developing research agendas and scholarship
        • Understands and supports the diversity of faculty interests and pursuits, valuing different perspectives
        • Listens to and considers the positions, opinions, and diverse views of all faculty
        • Provides strong leadership and supports faculty in accomplishing a unified vision for the school and units within the school
        • Maintains appropriate balance and emphasis among the various disciplines of the School
        • Encourages and facilitates a collaborative approach to teacher education across programs
        • Demonstrates strong commitment to social justice
        • Maintains shared problem-solving and ongoing intellectual dialogue about teaching, scholarship, programming, and issues related to the changing environment
        • Articulates various program goals into a cohesive unit
        • Facilitates the integration of global perspectives in education, as well as international outreach
        • Demonstrates the necessary disciplinary understanding to practice a resourceful and democratic curriculum-based pedagogy
        • Makes ethically sound and research-informed decisions, carrying out the vision developed with the faculty
        • Keeps the School informed of the views and policies of the College and University administrations

        Procedural/Managerial

        •  Ensures School compliance with University, Administrative, and Operational Policies, rules, regulations and any applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement
        • Develops and carries out administrative and educational policies in the School, with appropriate consultation
        • Develops the School’s budget, with appropriate consultation
        • Recommends new staff and faculty appointments to the Dean, with appropriate consultation
        • Recommends the reappointment, non-reappointment, tenure, promotion, sanction, and/or dismissal of faculty members in the School
        • Appoints and directs the nonacademic staff of the School
        • Recommends leaves for faculty members in the School
        • Notifies the Dean of the absence or resignation of a faculty member
        • Recommends course changes to the Dean
        • Assigns workload to faculty members, with appropriate consultation
        • Schedules classes and rooms through the appropriate University offices
        • Oversees the preparation of reports to University officials, as required and appropriate
        • Maintains custody of University property allocated to the School
        • Monitors the academic advising of student majors in the School
        • Performs other tasks and duties as assigned, all of which cannot be cataloged and may include but not be limited to following the progress of graduates, maintaining relationships with the Regional Campuses, providing orientation to new faculty, developing brochures of course syllabi, etc.

        The Director is an ex officio, non-voting member of all School committees. The Director may make appointments as necessary to School committees and to the various administrative and service positions in the School.

        The selection, review, and reappointment of the Director are the responsibility of the Dean, who consults with the School faculty on such matters. Procedures for the selection, review, and reappointment of the Director are included in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

        If the Director is ill or out of town for a day or more, the Director will name an “acting Director(s) for the duration of the absence.

      2. Program Coordinators

        The Director appoints Program Coordinators after consultation with the program faculty. While the appointment is for the academic year, it is also expected that the Program Coordinator is available for eight weeks of the summer, for additional compensation. The initial term of service is for two years, at which time consideration shall be given to continuous service or rotation to a newly appointed Program Coordinator. Newly appointed coordinators should seek and expect to receive mentorship during their initial semester of service by the previous coordinator, as well as the Director. Service by Program Coordinators may be terminated if deemed necessary by the Director. The duties and responsibilities of Program Coordinators, who generally may be assigned the workload equivalent of one (1) three (3) credit hour course by the Director, with the approval of the Dean, shall include but are not limited to the following:

        • Convene program faculty regularly to discuss important curricular issues, to evaluate the program, and to make program plans relative to academic and student affairs
        • Prepare accreditation reports and program quality assessments
        • Coordinate the schedule of classes to be submitted to the school director for approval, with appropriate faculty consultation
        • Inform faculty of opportunities for summer teaching
        • Advise and counsel students
        • Serve as liaison to program advisors in the various Colleges and Schools
        • Determine the appropriateness for approval of course substitutions, and transfer or transient credit
        • Consult faculty regarding individual investigations
        • Oversee and coordinate reviews for admission into graduate programs
        • Initiate and coordinate program-related curricular revisions
        • Recruit and develop part-time faculty
        • Serve a leadership role within partnership schools and agencies
        • Oversee program efforts related to the recruitment and retention of students
        • In partnership with Director, manage enrollment within courses
        • Assist with scheduling decisions, both short and long term
        • Implement the current policies of the School and the College
      3. Additional Administrative Appointments

        The Director makes appointments to other administrative positions after consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee (hereinafter the “FAC”). Appointments will be dependent upon the specific requirements of the position and an individual’s qualifications for the position.

      4. Non-Academic Staff

        The School's non-academic staff includes all classified and unclassified staff positions within the School, including, but not limited to, the Administrative Assistant and secretarial staff. Each position has specific duties as defined in the applicable position description.

    2. School Committees

      All School committees are advisory and recommendatory to the Director. The membership, structure, and function of some of the School's committees are governed by University, Administrative and Operational Policies and the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) The Director may establish ad hoc committees in consultation with the FAC.

      The Director welcomes requests from faculty members for positions on the School’s various committees.  The Director, when making appointments to School committees, will be mindful of the diversity of disciplines within the School and will consider the expertise and interests necessary for the functioning of the specific committees.

      The School has a range of committees including but not limited to the FAC, Curriculum Committee, Student Academic Complaint Committee, the Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee, as well as other ad hoc Committees, such as search committees, to name just one possibility. Participation of all faculty members is encouraged, and representation from all programs areas will be solicited. Collective Bargaining Agreement and University Policy Register ultimately govern committee membership.  For all committees in the School, seventy-five percent (75%) of the committee membership shall constitute a quorum.

      1. Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

        a. Purpose:
        This elected FAC represents School Faculty members in School governance.  The FAC is structured and operates as described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

        The FAC is convened and chaired at least once per term by the Director who, in consultation with the FAC, sets the agenda for its meetings.  FAC members may request that items be added to the agenda.  Additional meetings of the FAC may be called by the Director, as needed. The Director is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the FAC.

        b. Membership:
        The Committee shall be composed of nine (9) full-time School faculty members whose terms shall be for one (1) year. Three FAC members serve as representatives to the College Advisory Committee (hereinafter the “CAC”). Each year FAC names at least one (1) new CAC representative; thus, while a usual term for an FAC member is only one (1) year, if elected to CAC, that FAC member automatically becomes a member of FAC for a second year because CAC members serve a two-year term.

        All full-time faculty members are eligible for membership on the FAC. This includes full-time non-tenure track (NTT) faculty and regional campus faculty. The FAC should consist of one  (1) Faculty member from each of these seven (7) program areas* (ADED, CTTE, ECED, Literacy, MCED, C&I/At Large, and PEP)—and NTT and regional campus faculty, for a total of nine (9) FAC members elected in a school-wide election each spring semester.  * Math is not a program/degree area for this purpose.

        Thus, each program area (ADED, CTTE, ECED, Literacy, MCED, C&I/At Large and PEP) should choose representatives from program faculty for the FAC ballot. The Director should encourage regional campus faculty, NTT faculty, and other faculty not nominated by their program areas to make known their interest in running for the FAC. 

        Where there is insufficient interest from NTT or regional campus faculty to run for FAC, the at-large members should increase proportionally to keep the number of FAC representatives at nine (9).

        c. Attendance:
        Meetings are open to all School faculty members, except when personnel matters are under discussion. Only elected FAC members may vote on motions before the Committee.

      2. The Curriculum Committee

        a: Purpose: The Curriculum Committee assists the Director in supervising and coordinating the School’s academic programs. The Curriculum Committee makes recommendations on all matters that affect the academic programs of the School, including but not limited to:

        • Review and recommendation of proposals to establish, inactivate and revise courses, degrees, programs, concentrations, majors and sub majors, emphases and options
        • Review and recommendation of proposed course changes to course titles, course descriptions, prerequisites, grading specifications, credits, and content
        • Review and recommendation of workshop proposals

        b: Membership: The Curriculum Committee shall be composed of one (1) full-time faculty member from each program area (ADED, CTTE, ECED, Literacy, MCED, and PEP). Nominations and elections will be held in the same manner as the FAC. Terms, however, are for two (2) years with half of the membership being elected each year. All committee members have voting privileges. The Curriculum Committee shall elect three (3) members to serve on the College Curriculum Committee. Those elected to CCC will serve the corresponding terms.

        The committee Chair—based on need, as established by the committee or by the receipt of proposals for consideration—schedules Curriculum Committee meetings, sharing those dates with the Director and the faculty. Proposals are to conform to the format and include all requested data specified in the latest edition of the “Guidelines for the Preparation of Curricular Proposals” issued by the Office of the Provost.

      3. Student Academic Complaint Committee

        The Student Academic Complaint Committee is composed of three (3) Faculty members elected on an annual basis to serve as needed. When the committee convenes, one (1) member of the committee is elected by other members to serve as the Chair of the Student Academic Complaint Committee. The policies and procedures of this committee are governed by University Policy 4-02.3, including but not limited to the addition of at least one (1) student representative to the committee. An undergraduate student will be added to the committee for complaints from undergraduate courses, and a graduate student will be added to the committee for complaints from graduate courses. 

        In the event that a member of the Student Academic Complaint Committee is the subject of or may otherwise be involved with a student complaint, the FAC will select a replacement from the Faculty. If the Chair of the Committee is the subject of or may otherwise be involved with a student complaint, the Director will appoint another member of the Student Academic Complaint Committee to direct the committee and the FAC will appoint an additional member to the committee from the Faculty.

      4. Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee

        The policies and procedures that govern the School’s Ad Hoc Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP) Committee are included in University Policy. The Office of the Provost provides procedural and operational guidelines for this committee annually. This committee reviews materials relevant to the professional performance of Faculty who are candidates for reappointment, tenure, or promotion in rank, and to make recommendations to the Director on each of these personnel actions. The recommendations of this committee and the Director’s, together with the materials assembled for the committees, are forwarded to the Dean of the College.

        This committee is composed of tenured full professors and FAC members who are tenured and at or above the rank of the applicant. Members are excluded from deliberations when they, their spouses, or a relative is under consideration, or when a candidate for promotion to a rank higher than their own is considered.

      5. Other Ad Hoc Committees

        The Director may establish, charge, and appoint the membership of ad hoc committees as required by the School. In establishing ad hoc committees, naming members, and designating a committee director, the Director shall consult with the FAC. The Director will welcome requests and preferences from the faculty before establishing and making appointments to ad hoc committees.