Other Department Guidelines | Chemistry Faculty Handbook | Kent State University

Other Department Guidelines

  1. Goals, Objectives and Mission of the Department

    The Department pursues the following primary objectives:

     1.   Create an academic environment which promotes the intellectual and professional development of students and faculty;

     2.   Develop and maintain a commitment to scholarly activity in research, graduate education, and undergraduate education which is commensurate with the goals and mission of Kent State University, including

    a. The training of B.S. and B.A. chemists in the theoretical and practical skills required for employment or admission to graduate or professional school; the oversight of the non-chemical parts of their training; and the provision of career advice upon request, and

     b. The training of M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. chemists in the theory of chemistry, the ability to conduct independent research, the clear expression of scientific ideas, and the teaching of chemistry;

     3.   Provide programs for all students which meet the educational and technical demands of the sub-disciplines represented in the Department;

     4.   Offer courses in cognate academic disciplines and professional fields which provide the necessary base for the career goals of students and faculty; and,

     5.   Provide the public with service commensurate with a University.

    Implicit in these objectives is our responsibility as teachers, which includes but is not limited to, educating undergraduate and graduate students and providing continuing education while promoting and clarifying the role and philosophy of education.

    A strong commitment to research means creating and maintaining a rigorous intellectual environment and achieving our broader commitments to the advancement of knowledge and service to the public. 

    Service to the University and to the general public amplifies the role of the University in the local community, in the State of Ohio, in the nation, and is valued within the Department, the College and the University.

    The Department recognizes the inherent value of diversity in the members of the University Community, and thus subscribes to the letter and spirit of the University Diversity Vision Plan.  The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry shall strive toward excellence, which is only possible with a strong and ongoing commitment to building an environment that is welcoming, affirming, and empowering to all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, physical disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and geographic origin.  We hold that openness and acceptance is a core value, such that all members of the Department shall foster a free and open exchange of ideas and civil communication on all issues. This commitment will provide a rich educational experience that promotes full contribution to and participation in an increasingly diverse and democratic global society.  The Department strives to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of talented students, faculty, and staff from historically excluded populations who are currently underrepresented.  The Department, therefore, makes commitments to (i) establishing a diverse community, (ii) equitable retention at all levels, (iii) establishing and maintaining a welcoming environment for all members of the community, (iv) providing opportunities for diversity leadership, (v) ensuring equitable progress for all, and (vi) assisting every member of the department to develop diversity awareness and cross-cultural understanding and skills.

  2. Role and Responsibility of the Faculty

    1. Research, Teaching, Service

      Each Faculty member is expected to contribute to the Department, Campus, College and the University according to the terms and condition of his/her letter of appointment.  Some Faculty members make their primary contribution in teaching while others emphasize research.

      Scholarly activity is expected of all Faculty members, although the extent and/or type of activity may vary with the terms of each Faculty member’s assignment and campus location.  All graduate faculty members are expected to be involved in significant research activity, serve on graduate student committees, and direct graduate student research. Supervision and direction of undergraduate research projects and theses is part of the teaching function.

      Service to the University is a responsibility of each Faculty member.  Department, Campus, College, and University committee or task force membership is expected as a normal part of a Faculty member’s contributions; most faculty members will be assigned to three or four departmental service positions (committees or individual service assignments) in addition to Division Committee membership.  Faculty members are expected to attend faculty meetings and assigned committee meetings.  Some service assignments carry workload equivalencies, see II.A of this Handbook.  Special or outstanding service above and beyond that which is typical may also be considered during the tenure and/or promotion reviews of a Faculty member, but service alone will not reduce the expectations of quality teaching and scholarly activity.  Public service is encouraged and recognized as a part of the professional responsibilities of each Faculty member, although contributions in this area can be expected to vary widely due to the nature of the various disciplines within the Department.

    2. Basic Standards for Faculty Pedagogy

      It is the responsibility of faculty members to remain current in the material covered in their own courses and to be knowledgeable about important developments in the broad area of chemistry.  Faculty should also be aware of changes in cognate courses within the department or in other units as they relate to the courses being taught.  The administration shares this responsibility, first in providing encouragement and opportunities for professional development, and second, in responsibly managing class assignments appropriate to the knowledge and background of the individual faculty member.

      Classroom Management:  While the intellectual and judgmental skills essential for acceptable teaching are more open to interpretation than class management techniques, the following classroom management techniques are expected from all Faculty:

      Content, assignments, and lectures are reasonable considering the level, aims, and nature of the course.

      Effective use of class time, and punctuality in starting/ending classes.

      Adequate class and course preparation.

      Adequate notification of assignments, examinations, changes in syllabus.

      Testing and grading practices that relate directly to course content and assignments.

      Provision of reasonable make-up procedures for legitimately missed exams or other graded work.

      Evaluation of work with adequate and constructive comments written on the students’ papers or orally to the whole class as is appropriate to the character of the test or assignment.

      Evaluation of work within a reasonable time frame that allows the student to benefit from the instructor’s comments prior to the next assignment.

      Reasonable notification of, and provision for, faculty absence.

    3. Student-Faculty Relations

      Interpersonal relations inevitably are difficult to prescribe and evaluate, and yet they set the tone and environment for the learning experience.  In this regard, the following are essential:

      An attitude/manner that projects courtesy, civility and respect.

      An awareness and climate in the classroom wherein questions, relevant comments, and intellectual interaction are encouraged.

      Nondiscriminatory treatment of students based on their personal or social backgrounds, preferences, or other irrelevant characteristics.

    4. Safety and Chemical Hygiene

      Laboratory safety and chemical hygiene policies are mandated by state and federal statutes.  The Faculty Safety Advisor and the Chemical Hygiene Officer (positions described in the Departmental Operating Procedures document) shall assist Faculty members in the Department in order to maintain safe and hygienic laboratories.  The Faculty Safety Advisor shall conduct an annual inspection of all research laboratories for safety and hygiene.  Inspections should seek to identify unsafe working conditions such as those resulting from improper sample and waste storage, electrical problems, housekeeping, and the like.  Faculty members are obligated to cooperate with these inspections and to cooperate with the correction of any deficiencies.  The Department shall conduct annual safety and hygiene training sessions.  All members of the Department, including faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, and students, share responsibility for properly storing labeled samples and properly discarding all chemical, biological, radiological, and other hazardous waste.  All laboratory personnel (postdoctoral associates, graduate assistants, undergraduate researchers, visitors) must safely discard all chemical waste and properly store labeled samples and other chemicals prior to separation from the Department.  Faculty members must certify that all chemical waste, samples, and other chemicals and hazardous materials have been discarded, restocked, or stored as an asset for future use prior to the conclusion of an appointment in the Department.

    5. Faculty Workload Summary Reports

      All Faculty members are required to provide an updated curriculum vitae (CV) and updated productivity data to be kept on file in the Department office.  Faculty will also ensure that all course syllabi are on file in the Department office.

    6. Faculty Leaves

      All leaves, sponsored or unsupported, personal or professional, are subject to the approval of the Chair, the Dean, and the Provost.

      University leaves include but are not limited to:

                        a.      Research leaves (See UPR 3342-6-11.8 ).

                        b.      Leaves of absence without pay (See UPR 3342-6-11.9).

                c.      Faculty professional improvement leaves (See UPR 3342-6-12).

                        d.      Research/Creative Activity appointments (See UPR 3342-6-15.3).

    7. Faculty Absence and Travel Policy

      Faculty members who will be absent from campus for professional or personal reasons must submit a Request for Absence Form with the Chair.  The request should be made at least two (2) weeks prior to the planned absence and is subject to the approval of the Chair and the Dean.  Arrangements for any classes to be missed during the absence must be addressed to the satisfaction of the Chair before approval will be granted.

    8. Faculty Sick Leave

      The Chair is responsible for keeping complete records of Faculty sick leave; however, Faculty members are also required to submit the appropriate sick leave forms to the Chair.  Sick leave forms should be completed and submitted to the Chair within forty-eight (48) hours after an absence. (See UPR 3342-6-11.1)

    9. Outside Employment and Other Outside Activities

      Faculty members may engage in professional activities outside the university provided that the activities do not compete with University activity or the Faculty member’s employment with the University (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-24).  All such activities must be approved in advance by the Chair and the Dean.  Each academic year, each Faculty member must disclose and seek approval for all continuing outside employment or other outside activities on the form provided by the University.  Any outside employment or other outside activities are subject to the Faculty Code of Ethics and the University’s conflict of interest policies.  (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-17 and 3342-6-23)

    10. Copyright Restrictions

      All Faculty members should be aware of current copyright laws which restrict the copying of published materials.  For further information, contact the University’s Office of Legal Affairs.

    11. Faculty Code of Ethics

      All members of the Department faculty are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards as teachers, scholars, university citizens and colleagues.  The University policy regarding faculty code of professional ethics can be found in the University Policy Register.  See, University Policy Register 3342-6-17.

    12. Academic Misconduct

      The University policy regarding misconduct in research and scholarship and the Administrative policy and procedures regarding allegations and instances of misconduct in research and scholarship is included in the University Policy Register. (See, University Policy Register 3342-3-05 and 3342-2-05.01)

    13. Sanctions

      A sanction is a documented corrective action in response to a Faculty member's unsatisfactory performance of his/her duties and responsibilities as a member of the Faculty. (See, CBA Article VIII).

    14. Faculty Grievance and Appeal Procedures

      Disputes should be resolved informally, within the Department, whenever possible, and they should be taken up with the Chair at the earliest opportunity.  This handbook incorporates the Grievance and Arbitration procedures of the University, given in the CBA.

                        a.  Informal Procedure

      Any faculty member who believes that he/she may have a grievance is strongly encouraged, before initiating a formal grievance or appeal, to talk with the Chair about any issue(s) of concern.  The Chair may seek the advice and recommendation of individual faculty members or the Faculty Advisory Committee in seeking informal resolution of a dispute or complaint.

                        b.  Formal Procedure 

      Formal procedures for addressing grievances affecting the terms and conditions of employment of faculty are described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Disputes involving substantive academic judgments are subject to a separate academic appeals process governed by the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

      Faculty grievances that are not directly related to the terms or conditions of employment and are not academic appeals are appropriately addressed within the Department, whenever possible.  The Chair and/or other faculty members will initiate an informal dialogue with all parties involved in a dispute and strive to reach a resolution agreeable to all parties.