Matters of Department Governance and related procedures | Kent State University

Matters of Department Governance and related procedures

  1. Definition of the faculty

    The terms "faculty", "members of the faculty", and "faculty members" used in this handbook are defined as faculty who hold full‐time tenured or tenure‐track (TT) or non-tenure-track (NTT) appointments at the University and who, therefore, are members of either the TT or NTT bargaining unit as defined in their respective current CBA. Unless otherwise specified, voting rights on departmental matters are restricted to the faculty.  

  2. Administrative and Service Positions

    1. Department Chair

      The Department Chair (hereinafter “Chair”) is the chief administrative officer of the Department (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 Department faculty and the Department’s various committees as provided in the CBA.  The Chair is an ex officio, non‐voting member of all Department committees, and may make appointments as necessary and permitted to Department committees and to the various administrative and service positions in the Department. The selection, review, and reappointment of the Chair is the responsibility of the Dean, who consults with the Department faculty on such matters. Procedures for the selection, review and reappointment of the Chair are included in the applicable CBA.

    2. 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 Department'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 departmental operating procedures document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents contained in this handbook.

    3. Undergraduate Coordinator

      The Undergraduate Coordinator is appointed by the Chair after consultation with the faculty and the FAC. The Undergraduate Coordinator must be a full-time faculty member. 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 Undergraduate Coordinator chairs the Undergraduate Studies Committee and oversees the operation and development of the Department's undergraduate programs. The specific duties and responsibilities of the Undergraduate Coordinator are determined by the Chairperson in consultation with the faculty and FAC. The duties shall be specified in a letter of appointment and departmental operating procedures document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents contained in this handbook.

    4. Non‐Academic Staff

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

  3. Department Committees

    All Department committees are advisory and recommendatory to the Chair.   The membership, structure, and function of some of the Department's committees are governed by University, Administrative and Operational Policies and the applicable CBA.   The Chair may establish other departmental standing and ad hoc committees in consultation with the FAC.  The Chair will welcome requests from faculty members for positions on the Department’s various committees.   The Chair, when making appointments to Department committees, will be mindful of the diversity of disciplines within the Department 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 CBA. Tenure-track members of the FAC are elected directly by all tenure-track faculty of the Department.  The Non-Teure track member of the FAC is elected directly by all non-tenure-track faculty of the Department.  FAC terms are for three (3) years.  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 four tenured and tenure‐track faculty members, one of which must be from a regional campus, along with one full-time non-tenure track faculty member.

      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 Department representative to the College Advisory Committee (hereinafter “CAC”). The FAC shall advise the Chair on the hire of all part‐time instructors in Geography on the Kent Campus.

    2. The Curriculum Committee (CC)

      The CC is composed of the graduate coordinator, undergraduate coordinator, and at least three (3) other faculty members elected by the full-time faculty for terms of three years.  Elections shall be held in the Spring for terms to begin in the Fall. The CC supervises and coordinates the Department’s undergraduate and graduate curricular programs.   The CC makes recommendations on any and all matters which affect the academic programs of the Department including but not limited to course scheduling, 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.   For any curricular changes to be implemented, they must first be approved by the CC.  These changes may include, but are not limited to, changes in scheduling of courses, course content, tracks, and requirements.

      The CC shall elect one (1) member with full graduate faculty status to serve on the College Curriculum Committee.  If no member of the CC has full graduate faculty status, the candidate with full graduate faculty status who had the next highest vote total in the election of the CC will serve as an additional CC member and as the Department’s representative to the College Curriculum Committee.

    3. The Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)

      The GSC is composed of at least three (3) full-time faculty members with full (F3/F4) graduate faculty status, elected by all full-time faculty of the Department, for terms of three years.   These members should collectively represent the department’s expertise in physical geography, human geography, and GIS.  The GSC assists the Graduate Coordinator, who serves as the GSC chair, with the oversight and development of the Department’s graduate program.   The GSC reviews proposals for new graduate courses, changes in course content and related curricular matters, and conducts periodic reviews of the Department’s graduate program as a whole. The GSC is responsible for monitoring the progress and academic performance of graduate students in the Department.   The GSC along with all Graduate Faculty of F-3, A-3, or F-4 status evaluate applications for admission and graduate appointments.

    4. Student Academic Complaint Committee

      The Student Academic Complaint Committee is composed of three faculty members and at least one student, all of whom are appointed by the FAC. The FAC, or any other standing committee of the department determined by the FAC, with the addition of at least one student, may also function as the SACC. 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 4‐02.3. The policy provides for only one SACC in each department.

      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 Department’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 Departmental Committees

      The Chair may establish, charge, and appoint the membership of additional departmental standing or ad hoc committees as required by the Department, such as a Search Committee, Chairperson Search Committee, and Chairperson Review Committee.   In establishing departmental 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 departmental committees.

  4. Recruiting Faculty

    The Department supports the goals of the promotion of diversity, equal opportunity, and affirmative action in recruiting and in making appointments to the faculty.  The Search Committee consists of a subset of faculty approved by the FAC, although all recommendations of the Search Committee are made after consultation with all faculty. Following the review of applicants, the search committee recommends to the Chair that a subset of the candidates undergo a preliminary interview via telephone or videoconference.  Following these interviews, the Search Committee recommends that two or three candidates be invited to campus for an interview. The search committee may recommend its choice of candidates to the Chair. Committee recommendations are advisory to the Chair, who then makes a recommendation to the Dean.  If the Dean concurs with the Chair, a recommendation is forwarded to the Office of the Provost. If the Chair's recommendation is different than that of the search committee, the Chair shall inform the Dean of all recommendations and the reasons for the disagreement.

  5. Grievance 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 faculty advisory groups in seeking informal resolution of a dispute or complaint.

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

    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 faculty members will initiate an informal dialogue with all parties involved in a dispute and strive to reach a resolution agreeable to all parties.

  6. 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).

  7. 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 Research leaves (See University Policy 6‐11.8), Leaves of absence without pay (See, University Policy 6‐11.9), Faculty professional improvement leaves (See, University Policy 6‐12), Research/Creative Activity appointments (See, University Policy 6‐15.3).

  8. 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 one (1) month prior to the planned absence, when possible, 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.

    Attendance at professional meetings is encouraged and approved travel expenses incurred in attending such meetings will be reimbursed when approved prior to travel according to the University's travel policies and are subject to the availability of Department funds. In general, greater amounts of support will be granted to meeting participants (i.e. those presenting a paper or chairing a session) than to faculty members who simply attend professional meetings.

  9. Faculty Sick Leave

    The Chair is responsible for keeping complete records of faculty sick leave; however, faculty members are also required to record their sick leave accurately on the University’s online system.   Sick leave should be reported online within forty‐eight (48) hours after an absence, whenever possible.   (See, University Policy  6‐11.1).