Department Committees | Kent State University

Department Committees

All departmental committees are advisory and recommendatory to the Department Chair.  The Chair is an ex officio non-voting member of all program and standing committees of the Department except the Student Grievance Committee.  Members of all departmental standing committees, such as the Library Committee and the Grievance Committee, as well as ad hoc committees, such as the Handbook Committee (but not FAC and the three major program committees), are appointed by the Chair in consultation with FAC.  The terms of members of all committees begin on the initial contract date of the academic year and continue for one calendar year thereafter.  Elections are conducted in the Spring Semester and the committee members assume office at the beginning of the following Fall Semester.  Minutes of every Department committee are copied to the Chair to create an ongoing public record.

  1. The Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

    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 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”).

    Role of FAC—Specific Areas

    • Issues concerning reappointment, tenure, promotions, and dismissal, as well as appointment of new faculty, including issues of rank and salary parameters.
    • Review of full-time NTT faculty.
    • Allocation or reallocation of faculty positions and academic staff positions, including new and vacant positions.
    • Program development, restructuring, and/or discontinuance.
    • Evaluations relating to faculty salary increases and other salary adjustments, when and if applicable.
    • Departmental planning and budget priorities, including review of requests for new funding and allocation of discretionary resources.
    • Selection and structure of committees, including search committees.
    • Issues relating to teaching assignments and class schedules, including appropriate application of workload equivalencies.
    • Faculty professional improvement, research, and other leaves.
    • Procedures for the establishment, review, and appropriate revision of the academic unit Handbook.
    • Issues related to the advising and retention of students, insuring that instructional standards are followed. 
    • Procedures insuring that class and other duties of all faculty are met.

    Membership of FAC.

    Members are elected annually to serve one-year terms, from the start of the fall semester through late August.  In order to recognize the various aspects of the Department’s mission, the different responsibilities in the kinds and amounts of teaching, as well as the necessarily different mixes of teaching and research, all constituencies – i.e., all ranks on all campuses – should be represented on FAC.  An FAC quorum (the minimum number of members who must be present at a meeting for business to be legally transacted) is at all times during the year one-half of the voting members plus one.

    Ex officio, non-voting members.  

    The Chair of the Department, who Chairs FAC, the Chairs of the Committees on Graduate Studies, Undergraduate Studies, and the Writing Program, The Assistant to the Chair, the Regional Campus Coordinator.  Chairs of these committees, the Assistant to the Chair, and the Regional Campus Coordinator, however, may stand – if they wish – for election in their appropriate ranks and constituencies; if elected, they will have voting rights.  There shall also be one non-voting representative of the graduate students, selected by the Association of Graduate English Students (AGES).

    Elected Members.

    Two (2) full professors to be elected by the full professors of the Department on all campuses; one (1) associate professor from the Kent Campus to be elected by the associate professors on the Kent Campus; one (1) associate professor from the Regional Campuses to be elected by the associate professors on the Regional Campuses; one (1) assistant professor from the Kent Campus to be elected by the assistant professors on the Kent Campus;  one (1) assistant professor from the Regional Campuses to be elected by the assistant professors on the Regional Campuses; one (1) full-time (NTT faculty member to be elected by all faculty in this unit on all campuses; one (1) at-large full-time TT faculty member at any rank from the Regional Campuses to be elected by all TT faculty on all campuses; one (1) full-time TT faculty member from the Kent Campus to be elected by all TT faculty on all campuses; one (1) at-large faculty member at any rank from any campus to be elected by all TT faculty on all campuses; and one (1) non-voting part-time faculty member to be elected by all part-time faculty on all campuses.  (Note: Full-time instructors in TT positions will vote with the assistant professors and may stand for election with those at that rank or for at-large positions.)  All elected members of FAC will serve one-year terms.

    Role of FAC.

    FAC may study any matter relevant to the Department’s mission, interests, and operations, particularly those defined in the Governance Article of the CBAs for full-time TT and NTT faculty.In its advisory and recommendatory role, FAC will endeavor to assist the Chair to identify problems, invite suggestions and seek solutions, reconcile opinions, and inform the Department as a whole of matters germane to its interests.  The Chair of FAC normally shall determine those agenda items or, in certain instances, meetings which may be inappropriate for attendance by committee members who are not full-time TT faculty.  However, the committee will go into executive (i.e. closed) session only on passage of a formal motion to that effect.

    In its advisory and recommendatory role, FAC will endeavor to assist the Chair to identify problems, invite suggestions and seek solutions, reconcile opinions, and inform the Department as a whole of matters germane to its interests.  The Chair of FAC normally shall determine those agenda items or, in certain instances, meetings which may be inappropriate for attendance by committee members who are not full-time TT faculty.  However, the committee will go into executive (i.e. closed) session only on passage of a formal motion to that effect.

    FAC normally will be consulted as to the agenda for Department Meetings and will have the opportunity to make recommendations for the agenda.  Three voting members of FAC may also call a meeting of the whole committee; in such cases, the members calling the meeting shall have responsibility for setting and distributing the agenda in a timely manner and for notifying the Chair, who may attend the meeting if he or she wishes.  The CAC representative elected by and from the FAC may also call the members of FAC together in accord with procedures outlined in the CBA for full-time TT faculty, though no action may be taken at such a meeting.

    In order for FAC to discharge effectively its role (as defined in the Governance Article of the TT CBA), it is to be kept informed regularly of the activities of other departmental committees.

    FAC, as an advisory and recommendatory body, shall act for the faculty in advising and consulting with the Chair, particularly regarding any major policy matter.  However, members of the FAC should consult with the faculty as a whole on major policy matters and may at its discretion take non-binding straw polls of the faculty before making its recommendations to the Chair.

     

  2. Curriculum Committee

    The Writing Program, Undergraduate Studies, and Graduate Studies Committees together constitute the Curriculum Committee of the Department.  Normally, however, the conduct of each of these curricular programs and the development of curricular proposals are the responsibility of the appropriate Program Committee.  Because significant curricular changes are properly the concern of the entire Department, Program Committees submit their recommendations to FAC for review and approval.  A representative to the College Curriculum Committee will be elected by the FAC at the beginning of every academic year; normally, this will be the Undergraduate Studies Coordinator.

  3. The Graduate Studies Committee (GSC). Membership: Ex officio, the Graduate Studies Coordinator

    The Graduate Studies Committee is comprised of one program faculty member from each of the program faculties – M.A. TESL, Ph.D. Rhetoric and Composition, Ph.D. English, and NEOMFA – selected, normally, to two-year terms by respective program faculty; and one elected graduate student. (All members – except the ex officio Department Chair and Assistant to the Chair – have voting privileges, although graduate student members are excused from sessions in which graduate admissions, graduate appointments, and other personnel matters are discussed and acted upon.)

    The responsibilities of the Graduate Studies Committee shall be:

    • Representing and acting for the graduate faculty in the department, college, university, and community
    • Coordinating and reviewing curricular proposals from program committees
    • Reporting to the FAC on curricular matters
    • Recommending faculty for graduate faculty membership
    • Coordinating the quinquennial review of graduate faculty
    • Distributing departmental awards for graduate students

     

  4. Graduate Program Committees

    In addition there shall be Graduate Program Committees in the following areas, namely the graduate programs in Rhetoric and Composition, Literature, and TESL, as well as for such others as shall be authorized by the Chair upon recommendation by the FAC and the GSC.  In Rhetoric and Composition and TESL, the program committee is a program committee of the whole (i.e., all faculty active in the field).  The program committee in Literature is also a program committee of the whole, but a graduate literature program subcommittee (GLPS) shall be elected through normal departmental election procedures to make decisions about admission and other programmatic decisions listed below.  The Literature program subcommittee is comprised of an elected Chair (who serves two years) and four other members, elected in staggered terms (two elected per year) by the literature faculty. The Graduate Studies Coordinator is an ex officio non-voting member of these several committees.

    Program Committees shall have responsibility for all matters concerning their programs and students.  The Program Committees shall report their recommendations to the GSC in a regular and timely fashion and shall seek the advice of the GSC as needed.  The Graduate Studies Coordinator shall coordinate information and decisions from the program committees and shall report to the Chair and the FAC as needed.

    Graduate Program Committees shall have primary responsibility for:

    • Recommendations concerning criteria for admission of master’s and doctoral students;
    • Initial recommendations concerning graduate appointments and teaching fellowships;
    • Recommendations concerning criteria for fulfilling the language requirement;
    • Maintaining program curriculum, proposing course and programmatic changes, and recommending course offerings and scheduling, in consultation with the Graduate Studies Coordinator and the Graduate Studies Committee;
    • Recommendations concerning stipends, program-specific fellowships, and research appointments;
    • Recruitment plans and programs;
    • Initial academic advising for incoming students;
    • Maintaining minutes of meeting and submitting them to the department Chair and the Graduate Studies Coordinator;
    • Updating and maintaining the content of Graduate Program websites.

     

  5. Undergraduate Studies Committee

    Membership:

    Two (2) representatives elected from the Kent Campus full-time TT faculty and two (2) from the Regional Campuses full-time TT faculty; two (2) full-time NTT faculty members, all campuses at-large; one (1) graduate student representative elected by AGES; and (as a non-voting observer who may participate in discussion) the President of Sigma Tau Delta, the undergraduate honor society.  Faculty members will serve two-year staggered terms; student members will serve one-year terms.  (All members – except the ex officio Department Chair, Assistant to the Chair, and the President of Sigma Tau Delta – have voting privileges.)

    The Committee on Undergraduate Studies will concern itself primarily with the program for English majors and minors, the program for Integrated Language Arts majors, the Honors Colloquia, and the CORE program.

  6. Writing Program Committee

    Membership: One (1) representative elected from the Kent Campus full-time TT faculty and one (1) from the Regional Campuses full-time TT faculty; one (1) full-time NTT faculty member, all campuses at-large; one (1) part-time faculty, all campuses at-large; one (1) graduate student representative elected by AGES.   Faculty members will serve two-year staggered terms; student members will serve one-year terms.  All members have voting privileges – except the ex officio Department Chair, Assistant to the Chair, Assistant Writing Program Coordinator(s), the Writing Center Director; and representative of the joint English/Pan-African Studies freshman writing program, appointed by the Department Chair in consultation with the Department Chair of PAS .

    The Writing Program Committee is responsible for curricular matters involving all undergraduate writing courses (Tier I-Tier IV) as well as for administering the Writing Minor.

  7. Student Academic Complaints Committee

    The Kent Campus Academic Complaint Committee will be comprised of three elected Kent Campus full-time TT faculty members of FAC, appointed to this Committee by the Department Chair, plus either one undergraduate (if the complainant is an undergraduate) or one graduate student (if the complainant is a graduate student), also appointed by the Chair.  If the instructor against whom the complaint is lodged is either a GA or TF, an NTT faculty member, or a part-time faculty member, then the Department Chair shall appoint to the committee an instructor from the same category of staff.  The Committee shall elect a Chair at its first meeting each year.  Terms shall be for one year.  In the event that a complaint is filed against a member of the Department who is currently serving on the Academic Complaints Committee, another faculty member will be appointed by the Department Chair in consultation with the Chair of the Complaints Committee to serve as a temporary replacement.  Student complaints on the Regional Campuses shall be handled according to local procedures.

  8. Ad hoc 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.  The RTP Committee is comprised of all full professors in the Department and the elected, tenured members of the FAC.  No members of the Committee may participate in decisions that involve promotion to a rank higher than they hold.  The members of the Committee review materials relevant to the professional performance of faculty who are candidates for reappointment, tenure, or promotion in rank, and submit written and signed evaluations to the Chair for each candidate on each of these personnel decisions.  The signed evaluation forms of the committee members and the recommendation of the Chair, together with the materials assembled for the Committee, are forwarded to the Dean of the College.

  9. Ad hoc Non-Tenure Track Reappointment Committee

    The Ad Hoc Non-Tenure Track Reappointment Committee is constituted in the same manner as the Ad hoc Reappointment Committee for full-time TT faculty, that is, comprised of all tenured members of FAC plus all tenured full professors not already on FAC, with the addition of one full-time NTT faculty member appointed by the Chair.

  10. Standing Committees

    The Department may have as many special committees as it deems desirable in order to conduct its affairs.  Current standing committees are listed below.

    1. Election Committee

      Department elections are administered by a two-person Election Committee consisting of its Chair (who shall be a full-time TT faculty member appointed by the Department Chair in consultation with FAC) and the Department’s Administrative Assistant.  The duties of the Committee are to prepare, distribute, validate, and count all nominating and election ballots for all elected representatives of the full-time faculty and the part-time faculty.

    2. Library Committee

      The members and the Chair of the Library Committee are appointed by the Department Chair.  While there is no fixed number of members, they are selected to insure adequate representation of the various scholarly interests of the faculty.  The committee is responsible for routine supervision of the expenditure of the departmental allocations for monographs and serials, and it also advises the Chair on relevant policy matters.

    3. Colloquium Committee

      The members and the Chair of the Colloquium Committee are appointed by the Department Chair.  The Committee advises the Chair on visiting writers and speakers.  Periodically it arranges for informal faculty colloquia at Kent and on the Regional Campuses.

    4. Placement Committee

      The members and Chair of the Placement Committee are appointed by the Department Chair.  While there is no fixed number of members, they are selected to insure adequate representation of the various graduate programs. The Committee is responsible for developing and implementing placement activities for graduates of the M.A., M.A. TESL, M.F.A., and Ph.D. programs.

    5. Regional Campus Committee

      The Chair of the Regional Campus Committee is the Regional Campus Coordinator.  One representative from each regional campus is selected by the faculty of each campus.  The committee advises the Coordinator and the Department Chair on all matters pertaining to the Regional Campuses and their faculties.

  11. Other Departmental Committees

    The Chair in consultation with FAC or the relevant Program Committees, usually appoints ad hoc committees to conduct departmental business that does not fall within the provinces of the standing committees.  On rare occasions, FAC may appoint, in consultation with the Chair,   ad hoc committees.  Ad hoc committees should be constituted so as to represent as fairly as possible the best interests of the Department.  All ad hoc committees report to FAC and to the Chair.

    The Chair may establish, charge, and appoint the membership of additional departmental standing or ad hoc committees as required by the Department.  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.

  12. Committee Meetings

    •  Agendas and Procedures.  Meetings and agendas of all programs and major ad hoc committees should be announced to faculty on all campuses as far in advance         as possible.  Meetings are open to any member of the Department who wishes to   attend, observe, and comment on issues under consideration.  (N.B. This does not Apply to meetings of the Ad hoc Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committees.)  Questions about procedure will be settled according to Robert’s Rules of Order unless the committee has adopted other explicit procedural rules.
    • Minutes.  The minutes of all standing committees (except the Student Academic Complaints Committee) normally will be made available to all members of the Department within two weeks of the meeting in which they were approved.
    • Policy Proposals.  Except in emergencies, no substantive policy recommendation will be voted on at the meeting at which it is introduced.

     

  13. Department Meetings

    The Chair shall be responsible for scheduling Department meetings at least once each semester during the regular academic year for the purpose of keeping faculty informed on matters of Department business, as stipulated in the TT faculty CBA.  (Department elections will, however, be held normally by mail or electronic ballot, not at such meetings.)  The Chair will consult with FAC on the agenda whenever times permits.  FAC may also request that the Chair schedule a Department meeting and may set the agenda for the meeting.

    Department meetings normally will be open to all faculty (including full-time NTT and part-time), staff, and undergraduate and graduate students.