Matters of department governance and related procedures

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  1. Preamble

    This program handbook (hereinafter “Handbook”) contains the operational policies and procedures for the Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program (hereinafter “Program”) within the College of Arts and Sciences (hereinafter “College”).  The policies and procedures contained in this Handbook shall not conflict with any University, Administrative and Operational Policy of Kent State University, any applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement, or any federal, state and local law.

  2. Goals and Mission of the Program

    The basic aim of the Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program is to develop human resources through instruction, scientific research and other scholarship and service based on chemical physics and related interdisciplinary fields. The Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program builds on the research excellence in the area of liquid crystals at Kent State University, and its goal is to continue to excel as a leading academic program in this area in the nation in association with the Liquid Crystal Institute (LCI).

    Liquid crystal research at Kent State University centers on chemical physics, but involves the disciplines of physics, chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, computer science, materials science and engineering.  The research is an interdisciplinary effort which has achieved national and international prominence.  The objective of the Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program is to make this expertise available by providing training at the graduate level in this area.  This effort is aimed at attracting top scholars--students, faculty, and others--to our campus.

    An essential mission of the Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program is to expose students to the methodology and thought processes of science, as exemplified by the fundamental point of view of physicists; to expose students to excellent and innovative faculty who themselves are practitioners at the forefront of the discipline, and  to provide a curriculum of professional courses to students concentrating in chemical physics and other sciences.

    Instructional objectives are to develop and provide appropriate curricula for professional graduate training in chemical physics and related interdisciplinary areas (e.g., materials science, display engineering, polymer science and biophysics).

    The objectives in research and scholarship are:

    (1)        to enrich the knowledge and experience of both students and faculty through research and other scholarship;

    (2)        to engage in basic and applied scientific research in chemical physics and related interdisciplinary fields; and

    (3)        to contribute new knowledge which may be useful to the scientific community and to the general public.

    In the area of service, the objectives are:

    (1)       to work closely with the LCI  to ensure that common goals of the CPIP and LCI are effectively met

    (2)        to provide understanding and interpretation of the role of chemical physics and related interdisciplinary fields to the community;

    3)         to serve the University and professional communities; and

    (4)        to apply knowledge of chemical physics and related interdisciplinary fields to the service of the community, the state, the nation, and the world.

    Two inseparable goals of the Ph.D. program are (1) to train personnel for creative research and teaching careers at the University level and for productive research and development careers at the most advanced levels in industry and government, and (2) to contribute new knowledge at the frontiers of chemical physics.

    The goal of the Master's degree program is primarily to extend the student's professional knowledge beyond that expected for the baccalaureate degree.  The Master's degree program offers students an opportunity for research experience.

  3. Structure and Organization of the Program

    1. Definition of the Faculty

      The terms "Faculty", "members of the Faculty", and "Faculty members" used in this handbook are defined as full-time faculty of academic rank who hold tenured or tenure-track appointments at the University and who, therefore, are members of the bargaining unit as defined in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Unless otherwise specified voting rights on program matters are restricted to the Faculty.  The CBA provides that the tenured and tenure-track Faculty of the Program may decide whether and to what extent full-time non-tenure (NTT) track faculty shall be represented on the Faculty Advisory Committee.

    2. Administrative and Service Positions

      1. Program Chair

        The Program Chair (hereinafter “Chair”) is the chief administrative officer of the Program (See, Appendix I of this Handbook) and reports directly to and is accountable to the Dean of the College (hereinafter “Dean”).  The Chair is responsible for recording, maintaining, and implementing the policies and procedures stated in this Handbook through regular and thorough consultation with the Program faculty and the Program’s various committees as provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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

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

      2. Assistant to the Chair

        The Assistant to the Chair is appointed by the Chair after consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee (hereinafter “FAC”). The term of service is established by the Chair in consultation with the FAC, but may be terminated by the Chair, in his/her sole discretion.  The duties and responsibilities of the Assistant to the Chair are determined by the Chairperson in consultation with the FAC The duties shall be specified in a letter of appointment and program operating procedures document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Section IV F Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents) contained in this handbook.

      3. Graduate Coordinator

        The Graduate Coordinator is appointed by the Chair after consultation with the Graduate Faculty and the FAC. The Graduate Coordinator must be a full member of the Graduate Faculty holding the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. The term of service is established by the Chair in consultation with the FAC, but may be terminated by the Chair, in his/her sole discretion. The Graduate Coordinator chairs the Graduate Studies Committee and oversees the operation and development of the Program's graduate programs. The specific duties and responsibilities of the Graduate Coordinator are determined by the Chairperson in consultation with the Graduate Faculty and FAC. The duties shall be specified in a letter of appointment and program operating procedures document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Section IV F.Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents) contained in this handbook.

      4. Additional Administrative Appointments

        Appointments to other program administrative positions are made by the Chair after consultation with the FAC. Appointments will be dependent upon the specific requirements of the position and an individual’s qualifications for the position. Duties and terms of office shall be specified by the Chair and FAC in a program operating procedures document. If a workload equivalent is to be associated with the appointment, the position must also be referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Section IV F.Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents) contained in this handbook.

      5. Non-Academic Staff

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

    3. Program Committees

      All Program committees are advisory and recommendatory to the Chair.  The membership, structure, and function of some of the Program's committees are governed by University, Administrative and Operational Policies and the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The Chair may establish other program standing and ad hoc committees in consultation with the FAC.  The Chair will welcome requests from faculty members for positions on the Program’s various committees.  The Chair, when making appointments to Program committees, will be mindful of the diversity of disciplines within the Program and will consider the expertise and interests necessary for the effective functioning of specific committees.

      1. The Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

        The FAC is structured and operates as described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The FAC is elected directly by the full-time Faculty of the Program as defined in subhead III A Definition of the Faculty above.

        FAC terms are for one (1) year.  Elections are conducted in the Spring Semester and the FAC members assume office at the beginning of the Fall Semester.  The FAC shall consist of at least three (3) tenured and tenure-track faculty members.

        The FAC is convened and chaired at least once per term by the Chair 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 Chair, as needed, or upon a request by at least one-half of the members of the FAC.  The FAC elects one (1) member to act as the Program representative to the College Advisory Committee (hereinafter “CAC”).

      2. The Curriculum Committee (CC)

        The CC assists the Curriculum Chair in supervising and coordinating the Program’s curriculum.  The CC makes recommendations on any and all matters which affect the curriculum of the Program including but not limited to faculty proposals for new courses, changes in course content, major requirements, and other curricular matters.  The CC reviews and decides student appeals regarding course substitution.  The CC shall elect one (1) member with full graduate faculty status to serve on the College Curriculum Committee.

      3. The Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)

        The GSC assists the Graduate Coordinator, who serves as the GSC chair, with the oversight and development of the Program’s graduate students, and conducts periodic reviews of the Program’s graduate activities as a whole. The GSC is responsible for evaluating applications for admission, evaluating and recommending candidates for graduate appointments, and monitoring the progress and academic performance of graduate students in the Program.

      4. Student Academic Complaint Committee

        The FAC, with the addition of at least one student appointed by the FAC, functions as the Student Academic Complaint Committee. The Chair of the SACC is elected by the SACC at the beginning of each academic year. The policies and procedures of this committee are governed by University Policy 3342-4-02.3. The policy provides for only one SACC in each program.

        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 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty.  If the Chair of the SACC is the subject of or may otherwise be involved with a student complaint, the Chair will appoint a member of the Student Academic Complaint Committee to chair the committee and the FAC will appoint an additional member to the committee from the full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty.

      5. Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee

        The policies and procedures which govern the Program’s Ad Hoc Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) Committee are included in University Policy.  Procedural and operational guidelines for this committee are provided annually by the Office of the Provost.  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 Chair on each of these personnel decisions.  The recommendations of this committee and the Chair, together with the materials assembled for the committees, are forwarded to the Dean of the College.

      6. Other Program Committees

        The Chair may establish, charge, and appoint the membership of additional program standing or ad hoc committees as required by the Program.  In establishing program committees, naming members and designating a committee chair, the Chair shall consult with the FAC.  The Chair will welcome requests and preferences from the faculty before establishing and making appointments to program committees.