Other Department guidelines

  1. Department objectives

    The primary objectives of the Department are to:

    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;
    3. Provide programs for all students which meet the educational and technological demands of the 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 significant 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 unifies and clarifies 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.

  2. Faculty Appointments

    Normally, an earned doctoral degree in a related discipline is required for all faculty appointments to a tenure‐track position in the Department.

    1. Adjunct Faculty Appointments

      These appointments are held primarily by faculty from other institutions or persons on the staffs of community‐based agencies and organizations.  Adjunct faculty appointments are made at the discretion of the Chair in consultation with the FAC.  Adjunct faculty members do not vote on Department Committees and do not participate in Department governance.

    2. Visiting Faculty Appointments

      Visiting faculty appointments at an appropriate faculty rank may be made when leaves of absence occur or special needs arise and funds are available. A visiting faculty member is typically a faculty member from another institution who is employed by the Department for a period not to exceed one (1) year. In the event that a Visiting faculty member is employed in that capacity for a second consecutive year, the visiting faculty member will then become a full‐time non‐tenure track (NTT) faculty member.

    3. Full‐Time Non‐Tenure Track Faculty (NTT) Appointments

      Full‐time non‐tenure track faculty (NTT) appointments are made on an annual basis.  NTT appointments are not included under the umbrella of the University policy and procedures regarding faculty tenure (See, University Policy 6‐14) and NTT faculty members are not entitled to any rights with regard to tenure.

    4. Part‐Time Faculty Appointments

      When the Department cannot meet its teaching needs from the ranks of its full‐time tenured and tenure‐track faculty, full‐time non‐tenure track (NTT) faculty and graduate students, part time faculty appointments will be made from an established pool of qualified applicants not currently on regular appointment at the University. The FAC is responsible for appointing part time faculty.

    5. Graduate Faculty Status

      As a doctoral degree granting department, the Department normally requires that all faculty hired for tenure‐track positions be eligible for appointment to the graduate faculty as associate or full members.   The Administrative policy regarding graduate faculty is included in the University Policy Register. (See, University Policy 6‐15.1).

  3. Faculty Ranks

    The basic definitions of faculty ranks are the following:

    1. Assistant Professor

      This rank is normally the entry level rank for tenure‐track faculty holding the doctorate in Geography.

    2. Associate Professor

      Hire to or promotion to this rank presumes prior service as an Assistant Professor, significant academic achievements, and possession of the doctorate in Geography.

    3. Professor

      Promotion to this rank requires credentials and achievements beyond those required for promotion to Associate Professor and is reserved for senior faculty members who have achieved significant recognition in their discipline.

    4. Research Associate Professor and Research Assistant Professor

      These ranks are reserved for individuals who are engaged in research and who are not normally assigned teaching responsibilities.   Such positions are typically supported by extramural grant funds and are not tenure‐track appointments.   Faculty who hold these ranks do not vote on Department committees and do not participate in Department governance.

  4. Role and Responsibility of the Faculty

    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 research while others emphasize teaching.

    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.  Faculty involved in research and the graduate program are expected to present evidence of their endeavors as witnessed by publication, proposals submitted for extramural funding, and dissemination of research in various venues as appropriate to the discipline. Activity in professional organizations and the training of graduate students is also expected.

    Not all faculty members contribute to the Department in the same manner. A faculty member whose primary responsibilities are undergraduate teaching and undergraduate programs may teach and serve in a greater diversity of courses than a faculty member who is also a member of the graduate faculty. 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. Special or outstanding service above and beyond that which is typical may be considered during the review 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.

  5. 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 6‐17).


    Romantic and/or sexual relationships between individuals (inclusive of faculty, staff, and students) present a conflict of interest if one person has a supervisory, teaching, evaluation, advising, or similar responsibility over another. Relationships of this nature may not continue without making alternative academic/supervisory arrangements.

    The person in the position of higher institutional authority has the responsibility to eliminate the conflict of interest. This person must notify their direct supervisor (e.g., Dean or Departmental Chair) of any romantic and/or sexual relationships that pose a conflict of interest, and has a duty to cooperate in making acceptable alternative arrangements. The conflict of interest must be eliminated in a way which minimizes potential for harming the person with lower institutional authority. Individuals who engage in such relationships (i.e., who do not notify their supervisors and do not make acceptable alternative arrangements) are in violation of this policy, and may be subject to sanctions.

  6. Outside Employment and Other Outside Activities

    Faculty members may engage in professional activities outside the university provided the activities do not interfere with the faculty member's teaching, research, or service responsibilities to the Department, Campus, College or University (See, University Policy 6‐24). These 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 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 6‐17 and 6‐23)

  7. 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.

  8. 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 3‐05 and 2‐05.01).

  9. Handbook modification, amendment, and revision

    The implementation, modification, amendment and revision of this Handbook are governed by the applicable CBA.  The Department faculty will review and update this Handbook, as needed, but at least once every three (3) years. Suggestions for modifications or amendments to the Handbook may be initiated at any time by the Chair or by any faculty member.   Proposed modifications or amendments are subject to discussion, revision, and recommendation by the FAC.   When a proposed modification or amendment involves a major change in Department policy or practice the Chair may seek the recommendation of the entire faculty.   If the Chair concurs with a proposed modification, amendment or revision, he/she will recommend the change(s) to the Dean.   All modifications, amendments and revisions of the Handbook require the approval of the Dean. In reviewing this Handbook the Dean may request revisions before lending final approval.  If these revisions are not adopted by the Department, the Dean shall consult the CAC with regard to the provision(s) in dispute before making a final determination and certifying final approval of the Handbook. Further, the Dean may direct that the Handbook be modified, amended or revised to reflect changes in College or University policy.