Matters of Academic Unit Governance and Related Procedures

This document is the approved Handbook of the Department of Finance at Kent State University. It, in combination with the University Policy Register (UPR), the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) for both tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty members, and the College of Business Administration Handbook (CBH), specifies the policies by which the Department is governed. For purposes of this document, the term “Faculty” (as written with a capital ‘F’) shall have the same meaning as defined in the tenure-track CBA.  Alterations, additions, and deletions may be made by the Department subject to the guidelines of the UPR and both CBAs and with the approval of the Dean of the College of Business Administration.  In all matters, the University Policy Register and the Collective Bargaining Agreements take precedence over this Handbook.

The goals of the Department of Finance are:
A.    to provide excellence in instruction in both undergraduate and graduate programs;

B.    to engage in research and scholarship that contributes to the understanding of theory and practice in all appropriate disciplines;

C.    to enhance the local, national, and international visibility of the Department, College, and University through participation in professional activities and service, internal and external to the University; and

D.    to interact and cooperate with businesses, governments, and nonprofit agencies for mutual benefit through the exchange of knowledge and expertise.

  1. Department Chair

    The Chair is the chief administrative officer of the Department. Substantive decisions of Department concern shall be made by the Chair in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC). The Chair reports to the Dean of the College of Business Administration and has the responsibility and carries the authority on such matters including, but not limited to, the following:
    1.    develops, coordinates, plans, and provides leadership for all academic programs and professional activities housed in the Department of Finance in a manner which is consistent with the mission of the University, the College, and the Department and is mindful of the quality and breadth of programs supported by the University, the College and the Department;

    2.    enforces University and College regulations, policies, and procedures in conformity with the UPR, the CBH, and terms and conditions of both CBAs;

    3.    with appropriate consultation, develops, maintains, and implements the administrative and educational policies of the Department in accordance with the provisions of the Department Handbook;

    4.    implements personnel policies on matters such as recommending to the Dean new faculty and staff appointments, reappointments and non-reappointments; tenure and promotion; renewals of appointment and nonrenewals of appointment; and leaves of absence and faculty improvement leaves;

    5.    bears the responsibility for management of the Department office, including supervision of nonacademic Department staff;

    6.    bears the fiscal responsibility for the Department;

    7.    bears the responsibility for allocating Department resources;

    8.    maintains custody of University property charged to the Department;

    9.    with appropriate consultation with the Department Curriculum Committee, recommends curricular changes;

    10.    with appropriate consultation, establishes teaching assignments;

    11.    coordinates academic advising;

    12.    serves as an ex officio non-voting member of the Department Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) and presides over FAC meetings;

    13.    when making written reports to a higher administrative officer, reports the substance of FAC recommendations on all matters which require consultation with the FAC;

    14.    informs the FAC of the status and final administrative determination of matters on which the FAC has been consulted;

    15.    performs tasks, such as preparation of the Annual Planning Report of the Department, and other tasks all of which cannot be enumerated herein;

    16.    represents the Department to constituents external to the Department.

  2. Department Meetings

    Department meetings are scheduled by the Chair.  There will be at least one scheduled Department meeting of the faculty per semester. The faculty includes regular, full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty and the full-time non-tenure-track faculty at the Kent Campus and within the Regional Campus system.  Department meetings may also be convened at the request of at least one-half of the Department faculty.  An agenda of items to be covered at the meeting is circulated to all faculty members prior to such scheduled meeting.  Additional suggested agenda items may be submitted to the Department Chair in writing. If a majority of the faculty requests, in writing to the Chair, that an agenda item be added, the Chair must include this item.  A simple majority of the Faculty, as defined in the Preamble, not on leave, including the Department Chair, constitutes a quorum for Department meetings. Minutes of each Department meeting are to be taken and distributed to the faculty in a timely manner.  Only Faculty are eligible to vote on all Department issues, unless otherwise stipulated by College/University or CBA policy.  A simple majority vote is required to approve all Department motions and to elect committee members.

  3. Department Committees

    The following are standing Department committees, and the term of all Department committees is one year.

    1.    Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

        The FAC is an elected body representative of the faculty and is advisory and recommendatory to the Chair, who is also the ex-officio, non-voting Chair of the Committee.  The FAC is concerned with such matters as are central to the Department’s mission.  In accordance with the CBA, such matters include, but are not limited to, the following:
    a.    the nominations of candidates for promotion;

    b.    appointments of new faculty;

    c.    nonrenewals of appointment;

    d.    dismissals;

    e.    allocations of academic staff;

    f.    program development and discontinuance;

    g.    evaluations relating to salaries and merit increases;

    h.    budget priorities and guidelines;

    i.    selection and structure of committees;

    j.    teaching assignments and class schedules;

    k.    research and other leaves;

    l.    the establishment and maintenance of the Department Handbook;

    m.    ensuring that students are properly advised;

    n.    ensuring that instructional standards are followed; and

    o.    ensuring that class and other duties of faculty are met.

        The FAC shall be representative of the Faculty of the Department and shall, at all times, be comprised of such persons as shall be determined from time to time by the Faculty of the Department. The FAC may comprise, upon the vote of the members of the Faculty, either the entire membership of the Faculty or such portion or representative persons from the Department Faculty and full-time non-tenure-track faculty members as may be determined by the Faculty.  The FAC will communicate with the Department faculty concerning matters on which it has been consulted through the timely distribution of minutes of its meetings and other appropriate means.

    2.    Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP) Committee

    This committee reviews all reappointment, tenure, and promotion files for tenure-track Faculty and renewal of appointment files for non-tenure-track faculty.  The policies and procedures which govern reappointment, tenure, promotion, and renewal of appointment are contained in the CBAs and the UPR, except those policies and procedures elaborated here concerning the Department.

    3.    Department Curriculum Committee

    The FAC shall also serve as the Department Curriculum Committee. Any faculty members in the Department may refer curricular matters, including course additions, changes and deletions as they pertain to the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Department, to the FAC/Curriculum Committee.

    4.    Student Academic Complaint Committee

    This committee reviews and makes recommendations to the Chair regarding formalized student academic complaints. The committee is comprised of the FAC or a committee designated by the FAC and one (1) student.  One (1) undergraduate student will sit on the Committee for complaints on undergraduate courses, and one (1) graduate student will sit on the Committee for complaints on graduate courses. The Chair will select the graduate and undergraduate students, in accordance with the provisions of the University Digest of Rules and Regulations. The term of Student Academic Complaint Committee members is one year.

    5.    Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination Committee

    The Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination Committee will be comprised of all graduate faculty members who are teaching or have taught a Ph.D. course within two years of the comprehensive exam date.  The questions will be from the Finance courses in the Ph.D. program.  Authors of the questions will generally be the most recent instructors of the course. The Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination Committee will review each question and construct the exam.  The Committee will be responsible for grading responses to each question. The Committee will be chaired by the Ph.D. Coordinator, who normally does not vote unless there is a tie vote by the committee. Questions will be graded by the author of the question.

    The Chair of the Committee (the Ph.D. Coordinator) will review the grade on each question of the exam of each student.  The Committee will then vote as to whether the student passes or fails the exam.  In the event the student fails the exam, the Committee will decide whether the student retakes only the failed questions or the entire exam.  Students are not told about any differences in judgment between Committee members, just the final outcome.
    The grading of the Ph.D. comprehensive examination will be finished within ten working days of the receipt of the completed examinations by the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination Committee members.  The Committee will then meet within a week to forward its recommendations.

    6.    Other Committees

    All other committees, variable in number and composition, are appointed by the Department Chair in consultation with the FAC.

  4. College Committees

    Currently, the Department of Finance has a representative on the following standing College Committees:  The College Curriculum Committee, the Graduate Council of GSM, and the College Advisory Committee (CAC).

    A Faculty member is elected by and from the FAC/Curriculum Committee to represent the Department on the College Curriculum Committee for a two-year term.

    All Faculty with full graduate faculty status shall elect by a simple majority one of the members with full graduate faculty status to serve on the Graduate Council, and also an alternate, for a two-year term.  The Department Chair shall also serve as a representative of the Department on the Graduate Council.

    A tenured, senior Faculty member (Associate or Full Professor) shall be elected from and by the FAC to serve as Department representative on the College Advisory Committee (CAC) for a one-year term.

    The Department may have representatives on other College committees as defined by the College.  The responsibilities of the College Committees are determined by the College of Business Administration Handbook, the CBA, and the UPR.

  5. Faculty Recruitment and Appointment

    1.    Kent Campus Tenure-track Faculty

    a.    Criteria for Appointment

    The regular full-time academic ranks include Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor.  The Faculty Advisory Committee of the Department should be consulted by the Chair prior to determining the appropriate rank for a potential new faculty member. The following represent minimum qualifications for employment pertaining to each academic rank:

    1.    Instructor

    To be appointed as an Instructor, a candidate must have at least a Master’s degree with recent relevant academic or professional experience in the appropriate discipline.  In exceptional cases, an individual not having the required degree or not having the required degree in a field relating to the Department assignment, but who has outstanding experience in a field, may be considered for a faculty appointment.

    2.    Assistant/Associate/Professor

    a.    For appointment to the rank of Assistant Professor, a candidate must minimally possess the terminal degree required in the field.

    b.    For appointment to the ranks of Associate Professor and Professor, the candidate must possess the terminal degree in the appropriate field and meet the criteria for each rank as specified in Section III on Promotion in this Handbook.
    In exceptional cases, an individual not having the required degree or not having the required degree in a field relating to the Department assignment, but who has outstanding experience in a field, may be considered for a faculty appointment.

    b.    Recruitment Process

    The Department of Finance supports equal opportunity and affirmative action in its recruiting efforts.  Full-time, tenure-track faculty positions are advertised nationally.  A Department Search Committee, consisting of all Faculty shall be constituted by the Chair.  The Search Committee shall be chaired by the Department Chair, or Chair designate, who serves as a non-voting, ex-officio member.  The Search Committee evaluates applicants for full-time faculty positions, and then recommends candidates to the Department Chair for interviews.  The Chair may conduct a series of screening interviews, usually at professional meetings.  Following preliminary review of candidate files and screening interviews, the Search Committee will recommend several candidates to the Chair to be invited to visit the campus for in-depth interviews.  When the interview process is complete, the Department Faculty votes on the acceptability of the candidates and on the rank-ordered preference of candidates found to be acceptable.  This vote is advisory to the Chair who must ultimately recommend any appointment to the Dean of the College.

    2.    Full-time, Non-Tenure-track Faculty

    a.    Criteria for Appointment

    Normally, the requirements for appointment to any rank in this category are the same as for tenure-track positions outlined above.  The Faculty Advisory Committee of the Department should be consulted by the Chair prior to determining the appropriate rank for a potential new faculty member.  In exceptional cases, an individual not having the required degree or not having the required degree in a field relating to the Department assignment, but who has outstanding experience in a field, may be considered for a faculty appointment.
    In cases where new candidates have been hired for tenure-track positions but have failed to meet the minimal requirements, these candidates may be appointed as non-tenure-track faculty.

    b.    Recruitment Process

    In recruiting for a full-time, non-tenure-track faculty position, the Department Chair, in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC), shall institute such procedures and processes for recruitment as may be deemed appropriate, on a case-by-case basis.

    3.    Part-time, Non-tenure-track Faculty

    a.    Criteria for Appointment

    It is the Department Chair’s responsibility to recruit and select part-time faculty.  In the event of a vacancy to be filled by a temporary part-time appointment, the Chair seeks to meet the need by offering the position to a qualified person chosen from an established pool of applicants maintained for this purpose.  

    b.    Recruitment Process

    Applications for part-time pool positions are solicited once each year through advertising as required by the University.  Minimum qualification requires that the applicant hold a Master’s degree or the equivalent, and demonstrate recent relevant academic or professional experience in the discipline in which he/she is required to teach.  Normally, for the initial employment of a part-time faculty member, the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) shall review candidates and make recommendations to the Chair prior to initial hiring and inclusion in the pool.

    4.    Regional Campus Faculty

    a.    Criteria for Appointment

    The criteria for appointment to a full-time tenure-track, full-time non-tenure-track, and part-time non-tenure-track position are identical to those outlined above for Kent faculty.
    b.    Recruitment Process

    1. Advertisement must be approved prior to placement by the Department Chair, in consultation with the FAC.

    2.    A Departmental representative will be selected by the Department Chair in consultation with the FAC to serve on the search committee at the regional campus.

    3.    After the search committee reviews applicant files and selects those they wish to consider further, those applicant files which are to receive further consideration are sent to the Department Chair for approval/disapproval screening by the FAC.  Applicants not approved receive no further consideration.

    4.    As part of the interview schedule, candidates will be interviewed at the Kent Campus by members of the FAC.

    5.    After the campus visits by all the candidates, the Department Chair, in consultation with the FAC, will report to the search committee which of the candidates are acceptable and which are unacceptable. The FAC may rank order acceptable candidates if they wish.  As stipulated as part of the Faculty Position Application and Interview Process in “Guidelines for Academic Search Committees,” Kent State University, Regional Campuses, the Regional Campus Dean will confer with the Department Chair.  The FAC will not approve rank in the Department of Finance for a candidate the FAC finds unacceptable.

  6. Terms of Employment

    Authorization of Absence
    College and University policies govern all absences by faculty members. It is understood that a faculty member will meet classes at the time scheduled unless some satisfactory alternative arrangement has been authorized.  Faculty members who will be absent from campus for professional or personal reasons must file, in the Department, the Faculty Absence Authorization Form.

       a.    Sick Leave
    The University provides paid sick leave for faculty members. All faculty members meeting the conditions for sick leave and unable to meet their classes shall notify the Chair so that arrangements for their classes can be made and records updated.  A formal request for utilization of sick leave will be prepared by the faculty member and submitted to the Chair as soon as possible.

       b.    Pregnancy Leave
    The Department follows the University policy regarding pregnancy leave.

       c.    Travel
    The Department encourages faculty participation in regional, national, and international conferences and other outside professional activities. Faculty members must file, in the Department, a Faculty Absence Authorization/Expenditure Estimate prior to the activity.  Arrangements for any classes to be missed must have the approval of the Chair.  Upon returning from an approved professional activity, the faculty member desiring reimbursement must file a Travel Expense Reimbursement Request.  Within the limits set by the availability of Department travel funds, the amount of reimbursement for incurred professional expenses is determined at the discretion of the Chair and by the travel regulations of the University and College.  Faculty members are strongly encouraged to seek travel funds from outside the Department.

    2.    Leaves of Absence/Sabbaticals

    Requests for leave are subject to approval by the Chair, the Dean of the College and the Provost.

       a.    Research Leave
    Special research leaves may be authorized by the University.

       b.    Leaves of Absence without Pay
    Faculty members may request a leave of absence for a legitimate professional or personal reason.  Such leaves may vary from one semester to one year in length. Leaves of absence involve no compensation from the University and such time on leave does not count toward meeting promotion and tenure time limits. Requests for leaves of absence should be initiated in accordance with provisions of University policy.
       c.    Faculty Professional Improvement Leave
    Faculty Professional Improvement Leaves are available to qualified faculty when authorized by the University. Faculty taking such a leave receive all or part of their salary (depending on the length of the leave) and full benefits.  Taking a Faculty Professional Improvement Leave creates an obligation to return to the University and teach for a period specified by University policy.  Since the purpose of a Faculty Professional Improvement Leave is to allow faculty to improve professional knowledge and skills, faculty requesting such a leave are expected to submit a detailed proposal indicating how this is to be accomplished and a report following conclusion of the leave.