Matters of Department Governance and Related Procedures | Computer Science Handbook | Kent State University

Matters of Department Governance and Related Procedures

  1. Goals and Mission of the Department

    The Department of Computer Science strives to offer quality undergraduate and graduate courses and programs in computer science. Consistent with these objectives are the high priorities the Department places on quality research and effective teaching. The Department seeks to attract highly qualified students as majors to both its undergraduate and graduate programs.

    Faculty quality is of utmost importance for strong academic programs. The Department believes that combining scientific research with teaching raises the quality of teaching. In order to best serve its students and the University, the Department strives to attract and nurture faculty of high caliber in research and teaching. In order to attract such faculty the Department strives to maintain a productive research climate in which innovative and effective teaching flourishes.

  2. 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 Departmental matters are restricted to the Faculty. The CBA provides that the tenured and tenure-track Faculty of the Department may decide whether and to what extent full-time non-tenure (NTT) track faculty shall be represented on the Faculty Advisory Committee.

  3. 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 Departmental faculty and the Department’s various committees as provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

      The Chair is an ex officio, non-voting member of all Department committees, except where this is specifically prohibited by University Policy or the CBA. The Chair may make appointments to Department committees and to the various administrative and service positions in the Department in accordance with this Handbook and the Department Operating Procedures.

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

    2. Assistant Chair

      The Assistant Chair is appointed for a two-year term by the Chair with the approval of the FAC. The Assistant Chair serves at the pleasure of the Chair. The Assistant Chair may be granted an administrative appointment each summer.

      The responsibilities of the Assistant Chair are specified in the Department Operating Procedures. The Assistant Chair may be assisted in the performance of his or her duties by members of the Departmental faculty and staff.

    3. Graduate Coordinator

      The Graduate Coordinator is appointed for a two-year term by the Chair with the approval of the FAC, and serves at the pleasure of the Chair. Since the administrative responsibilities and duties of this position continue throughout the entire summer, the Graduate Coordinator may be granted an administrative appointment each summer.

      The Graduate Coordinator chairs the Graduate Studies Committee, and works closely with the Chair, the Curriculum Coordinator, and the Graduate Studies Committee in the performance of its duties. The responsibilities of the Graduate Coordinator are specified in the Department Operating Procedures. The Graduate Coordinator may be assisted in the performance of his or her duties by members of the Departmental faculty and staff.

    4. Curriculum Coordinator

      The Curriculum Coordinator is appointed for a two-year term by the Chair with the approval of the FAC, and serves at the pleasure of the Chair.

      The Curriculum Coordinator chairs the Curriculum Committee, and works closely with the Chair, the Graduate Coordinator, and the Curriculum Committee in the performance of its duties. The responsibilities of the Curriculum Coordinator are specified in the Department Operating Procedures. The Curriculum Coordinator may be assisted in the performance of his or her duties by members of the Departmental faculty and staff.

    5. Computer Systems Coordinator

      The Computer Systems Coordinator is a faculty member appointed for a two-year term by the Chair with the approval of the FAC, and serves at the pleasure of the Chair. Since the administrative responsibilities and duties of this position continue throughout the entire summer, the Computer Systems Coordinator may be granted an administrative appointment each summer.

      The Computer Systems Coordinator chairs the Systems Committee, and works closely with the Systems Committee in the performance of its duties. The responsibilities of the Computer Systems Coordinator are specified in the Department Operating Procedures.

    6. Additional Administrative Appointments

      Appointments to other Departmental administrative positions with a duration of at least one semester are made by the Chair with the approval of the FAC. These 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 the Department Operating Procedures. If a workload equivalent is to be associated with the appointment, the position must also be referenced in the description of workload equivalents in Section IV.E Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents of this Handbook.

    7. 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 / Secretary and secretarial staff. Each position has specific duties as defined in the applicable position description.

  4. 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 Policies and the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. 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. Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

      The FAC consists of all tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the Department at the Kent Campus and a maximum of two representative(s) of the tenured and tenure-track faculty from the regional campuses. Representatives of the regional campus faculty will be elected by and from the regional campus faculty using the procedure in the Department Operating Procedures.

      The Departmental Chair will chair the FAC as a non-voting member. The time, date, venue, and agenda for each FAC meeting shall be announced at least one week in advance whenever possible.

      The full responsibilities of the FAC are described in detail in the CBA.

      In accordance with the CBA, the FAC shall be the primary advisory and recommendatory body to the Departmental Chair on those academic matters that are central to the Department’s mission. The FAC may delegate duties to other committees either as indicated in this Department Handbook or Department Operating Procedures, or by a specific recorded action of the FAC. A majority of the voting membership of such committees must be tenure-track or tenured faculty.

    2. Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)

      The Graduate Studies Committee is chaired by the Graduate Studies Coordinator. The voting members of the committee shall consist of at least three tenure-track or tenured faculty with Graduate Faculty status nominated by the Graduate Coordinator, and are subject to approval by the Department Chair in consultation with the FAC. Under normal circumstances no faculty, other than the Department Chair, should serve on both the Curriculum and Graduate Studies committees. All members are appointed for a one-year term; the size of the committee is not fixed.

      Non-voting members include one graduate student appointee, and may also include the Graduate secretary or other staff member with responsibilities for graduate affairs. The Curriculum Coordinator is not an ex-officio member of the Graduate Studies committee but is invited to attend while curriculum issues are being discussed.

      Student members will absent themselves during discussions that pertain to specific students. Student and staff members may also be excluded for particular issues by a vote of the committee.

      Only the voting members of the committee and the Graduate Coordinator will participate in the ranking of students for admission or support or the annual review of graduate students.

      The mission of the Graduate Studies Committee, in consultation with the Graduate Faculty, is to oversee the graduate programs of the Department. The responsibilities of the Graduate Studies Committee are specified in the Department Operating Procedures.

      Recommendations of the Graduate Studies Committee for major changes in graduate curriculum, degree requirements, or other policies must be approved by the Graduate Faculty prior to being forwarded to the Department Chair, whose recommendations go to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

    3. Curriculum Committee (CC)

      The Curriculum Committee is chaired by the Curriculum Coordinator. The members of the Curriculum Committee are nominated by the Curriculum Coordinator, and are subject to approval by the Department Chair in consultation with the FAC. The voting members of the Curriculum Committee should be tenured or tenure-track faculty. There should be at least two voting members of the committee from the tenured or tenure-track faculty, and a majority of the total membership of the committee, whether voting or non-voting, should be tenured or tenure-track faculty. Under normal circumstances no faculty, other than the Department Chair should serve on both the Graduate and Curriculum Committees. All members are appointed for a one-year term; the size of the committee is not fixed.

      The Graduate Coordinator is not an ex-officio member of the Curriculum Committee, but is invited when graduate curriculum or program issues are being discussed. The Assistant Chair shall attend when scheduling and staffing issues are being discussed.

      Non tenure-track faculty may serve as non-voting members. The committee should also have as non-voting members one undergraduate student designated by a body representing undergraduate computer science majors, such as the Kent State University Student Chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery; and one graduate student elected by the graduate students in Computer Science.

      An appropriate staff member (one with responsibilities in this area) may be included as a non-voting member.

      Student members will absent themselves during discussions that pertain to specific students, whether those discussions concern the student's finances, aid, grades, academic problems, etc. Student and staff members may be excluded for particular issues, by a vote [of the tenured and tenure-track members] of the committee.

      The mission of the Curriculum Committee, in consultation with the Departmental faculty, is to review Departmental curricula, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and to make recommendations for improving their quality and effectiveness. The responsibilities of the Curriculum Committee are specified in the Department Operating Procedures.

      Recommendations of the Curriculum Committee for major changes in curriculum or degree requirements must be approved by the Departmental faculty prior to forwarding to the Department Chair, whose recommendations go to the College Curriculum Committee.

    4. System Committee

      The Systems Committee is chaired by the Computer Systems Coordinator. The faculty members on the Systems Committee are nominated by the Computer Systems Coordinator, and are subject to approval by the Chair of the Computer Science Department in consultation with the FAC. All members are appointed for a one-year term; the size of the committee is not fixed.

      The full-time members of the Systems Staff serve as non-voting members of the committee.

      The mission of the Systems Committee, in consultation with the faculty and the System Staff, is to evolve short, medium and, in particular, long-term, plans for computing services within the Department, and to make recommendations for improving the quality of the Departmental computing environment. The responsibilities of the Systems Committee are specified in the Department Operating Procedures.

      Recommendations of the Systems Committee for major changes in Departmental systems or related policies must be approved by the FAC prior to being forwarded to the Departmental Chair.

    5. Student Academic Complaint Committee (SACC)

      The process for handling student academic complaints informally is described in the Department Operating Procedures. Formal complaints are handled by the Student Academic Complaints Committee.

      The establishment and procedures for the Student Academic Complaint Committee are governed by University Policy 3342-4-02.3. The SACC will consist of 4 Faculty selected by the Departmental faculty, together with one student selected as described below. The Department Chair is not a member of the committee, and does not participate in its deliberations. The Chair of the SACC is elected by the SACC at the beginning of each academic year.

      The student member(s) of the committee will be selected by the Department Chair from at least two nominees chosen by the Departmental student organization that the Department Chair and the Faculty Advisory Committee identify as being most reflective of the academic mission of the Department. This organization will be identified in the Department Operating Procedures. Two undergraduate nominees and two graduate nominees who are majors in good standing in the unit shall be forwarded to the Department Chair on or before September fifteenth of each year. In the event the nominations are not received, the Department Chair shall select an undergraduate and a graduate student, who is a major in good standing, to serve. The undergraduate student will sit on complaints from undergraduate courses, and the graduate student will sit on complaints from graduate courses.

      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.

    6. 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 makes 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.

    7. Additional Departmental Committees

      The Chair may establish, charge, and appoint the membership of additional Departmental standing or ad hoc committees as required by the Department. For standing committees with a duration of one academic year or more, the duties of the committees must be approved by FAC and included in the Department Operating Procedures; the discontinuation of such standing committees requires FAC approval. 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.

  5. Voting Rights and Procedures

    On all issues to be decided by the Department, the voting right is restricted to tenured and tenure-track full-time faculty members. On issues pertaining solely to the graduate program, the voting is restricted to the Graduate Faculty. Where votes are held outside meetings, electronic, voice, FAX or other verifiable means of voting are equally acceptable as written votes. Where votes of the faculty, FAC or another Departmental committee are conducted electronically, a majority of the entire electorate is required for approval.