Other Department Guidelines | Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies Faculty Handbook | Kent State University

Other Department Guidelines

  1. Preamble

    This department handbook (hereinafter “Handbook”) contains the official operational policies and procedures for the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies (hereinafter “Department”) within the College of Arts and Sciences (hereinafter “College”). The policies and procedures contained in this Handbook shall not conflict with any University, Administrative and Operational Policy of Kent State University, any applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement, or any federal, state and local law.

  2. Mission of the Department

    The diverse goals of the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies are unified by the common thread of language. The languages and cultures which we embrace are ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, traditional and non-traditional.

    MCLS faculty pursue research, teaching and outreach organized around three main functional areas in world languages: Literature/Culture, Pedagogy, and Translation. Programs are offered at the Baccalaureate and graduate levels. The department also serves University-wide curricular needs through lower-division instruction in numerous languages and through other courses that serve as the foundation of a liberal education. Through its curriculum, disseminated research, study abroad programs and volunteer international activities, the Department helps the University meet its goals for outreach in the diverse communities of Ohio, engagement with the global community, cultural diversity on the campus, and preparation of a workforce equipped to serve beyond national boundaries.

  3. Employment Policies and Regulations

    1. 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. Postdoctoral experience is preferred.

    2. Faculty Ranks

      The basic faculty ranks are the following:

      a. Instructor

      This rank is intended for persons initially hired with a master's degree. Normally, the Department does not hire at the rank of Instructor except for full-time non-tenure track (NTT) faculty positions.

      b. Assistant Professor

      This rank is normally the entry level rank for tenure-track faculty holding the doctorate in an appropriate discipline.

      c. 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 an appropriate discipline (See, Section V of this Handbook).

      d. 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 (See, Section V of this Handbook).

      e. Research Associate and Research Assistant

      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.

      f. 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.

      g. 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.

      h. 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.

      All instructors teaching on a part-time basis are appointed on contract semester by semester from a pool of qualified individuals. Candidates for the pool write a letter of interest, either in response to an advertisement placed by the Department in the University Job Opp listings and the local/regional media, or as an inquiry about a position. In addition, candidates submit an official copy of a university transcript attesting at least the equivalent of a master’s degree, together with a curriculum vitae/resume and three letters of recommendation regarding their teaching ability. Under certain circumstances a significant and distinguished teaching record in public or private schools can mitigate the requirement for a Master’s degree. The Chair will consult with the functional unit or sub-unit involved to determine a candidate’s eligibility for the part-time pool. Candidates must also demonstrate proficiency in the target language and potential for excellence in teaching. Since part-time instructors normally teach elementary and/or intermediate language courses, the file submitted will be reviewed by members of the language unit, and the candidate will be interviewed by one or more members of the Department to verify language skills and suitability for the position. As need arises, a contract will be issued to teach one or more courses in a given semester. Salary will be computed according to the department salary scale for part-time instructors when possible, but may be adjusted in cases of special expertise, superior qualifications or other situations as determined by the Chair.

      Part-time instructors will be reappointed and contracts issued for any subsequent semester based on Department need and the instructor’s satisfactory performance as determined by a combination of student evaluations, peer reviews and review by the appropriate area coordinator(s). Part-time instructors are expected to maintain teaching excellence and to adhere to all University, College, and Departmental policies and regulations regarding instruction and evaluation of student work.

      Whereas the governance roles of tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty are regulated by their respective collective bargaining agreements, no such University-wide basis exists for part-time instructors.

      i. Graduate Faculty Status

      As a graduate 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 Register 3342-6-15.1)

  4. 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 Register 3342-6-17)

  5. Teaching Outside the Department, Outside Employment and Other Outside Activities

    The Department has first claim on 12 hours of each faculty member’s time per semester. Honors Courses are recognized as part of the regular offerings of the Department; Arts and Sciences Courses, Experimental Courses, Interdisciplinary Courses, and Workshops offered through the College of Continuing Studies may be counted as part of a faculty member’s teaching load with the permission of the Chairperson and the Dean of the College. Units considering the offering of distance learning courses, honors courses, Arts and Sciences courses, interdisciplinary courses, Continuing Studies workshops and the like are expected to consult first with the Department Chairperson rather than undertaking any negotiations or consultations on their own with individuals outside the Department.

    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 Register 3342-6-24). These activities must not compete with University activity or the faculty member’s employment with the University and 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 3342-6-17 and 3342-6-23)

  6. 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.

  7. 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 Register 3342-3-05 and 3342-2-05.01)

  8. Handbook Modification, Amendment and Revision

    The implementation, modification, amendment and revision of this Handbook is governed by the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Department faculty will review and update this Handbook, as needed, but at least 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. Should the FAC determine that any section, or indeed the entire Handbook, requires revision, it may charge an ad hoc subcommittee from the Department with the task of developing the needed revisions within a reasonable time. Upon approval by the FAC, these revisions will be submitted to the Department faculty for approval. If the Chair concurs with a proposed modification, amendment or revision, he/she will recommend the change(s) to the Dean. The revised section(s) or Handbook can take effect only upon 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.

  9. Curricular Policies

    1. Individual Investigation. Individual Investigation is offered to give the undergraduate student experience in planning and outlining a course of study on his/her own initiative under Departmental supervision; Research serves the same function at the graduate level. Individual Investigation and Research should deal with either a special interest not covered in a regular course or the exploration in much greater depth of a subject presented in a regular course. To be eligible for Individual Investigation, a student should have an overall GPA of 2.80, a GPA of 3.0 or better in the major, and have completed six (6) upper-division hours of coursework in the area involved in the project; Research requires a GPA of 3.2. This requirement may be waived in exceptional cases, when approved by the Department Chairperson. An eligible student desiring to register for an Individual Investigation or Research course must first obtain an instructor’s consent to guide the project and submit the appropriate form to the Department Chairperson. Having secured these prior approvals, the student will be given permission to register for this course in the same manner as with any other course. At the conclusion of the course, the instructor will deposit with the Department a copy of the student’s project. Work is evaluated with a letter grade; a grade of IP is possible.

    2. Testing. It is expected that material tested will have been covered in class or otherwise clearly assigned for student study. In the event that an instructor finds it appropriate to test individual students or an entire class for a second time on any portion of the course work, a new test will be constructed for the purpose.

    3. Credit by Examination. It is University policy that a student who can demonstrate knowledge in a particular subject area may establish credit in certain courses by taking a special examination through the Department. Course offerings have been divided into three categories pertaining to Credit by Examination, namely generally available, available only with Departmental permission, and not available. The first four courses at the introductory and intermediate levels of foreign languages are available for Credit by Examination without Departmental approval; University restrictions regarding student eligibility apply. Students should seek the advice of instructors to establish whether their background is adequate to attempt Credit by Examination at a particular level. The Department follows the procedures and eligibility criteria outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog, which students should read carefully before pursuing credit by this means. Application forms to undertake Credit by Examination may be obtained at the Office of Academic Testing Services.

    4. Transfer Credit. Credit will be accepted from accredited institutions, both foreign and domestic. Students should secure approval prior to attendance at another institution, obtaining Transient Data forms at the College Office. It is the student’s responsibility to provide official transcripts of such work as well as evidence of the competence and knowledge achieved in the program. The Assistant to the Chair is responsible for overseeing evaluation of such work.

    5. Language placement (adopted October 2009)

    For all languages at the lower-division instruction level, students may achieve placement into a desired course by scoring appropriately on a department-approved placement test. If no placement test has been adopted for these purposes, the final examination of the course immediately previous in the sequence will serve as the placement test.

    Such placement “counts” toward fulfillment of the College foreign language requirement but does not earn credits. Credit by Exam (CBE) options are available in many languages. The department strongly recommends that students with previous language experience take advantage of CBE opportunities when available.

    6. Curriculum Review. It is the responsibility of the Curriculum Committee to conduct a periodic review of the Departmental Curriculum, course offerings, programs, and curricular policies to determine their effectiveness in meeting the mission of the Department.

    7. Textbook Selection (applies to Core courses and courses with more than 200 enrolled annually) [adopted Feb 2012]

    Textbooks for large enrollment sections are selected by the full time faculty responsible for the program and course through a consultative process that includes all instructors currently teaching the course. The required textbook/materials for each applicable course should be reviewed at least once every five years. Factors to be considered when selecting a textbook and/or reviewing the value of current textbooks include the following:

    • How well do the textbook/materials support the stated learning outcomes for the course?

    • How often do students and instructors use the textbook/materials currently required?

    • How do students and faculty rate the textbook/materials currently required?

    • How do the textbook/materials affect preparation and grading time for instructors?

    • What is the price of the textbook package relative to other options?

    • Can the textbook/materials be used for more than one course in a sequence?

    • What level of quality and how many useful resources does the textbook/package offer?

  10. Departmental Statement on Mentoring (Adopted October 2007)

    This message is intended to communicate to new faculty and mentors the expectations for mentoring in Modern and Classical Language Studies. Mentoring is an important part of the process leading to tenure and promotion. Mentoring can also help new faculty members become adjusted to departmental, college and university procedures more quickly, and can play an important role in helping faculty fully develop their teaching and research potential.

    Initial Assignment and Meetings: The department assigns one or occasionally two mentors to each new faculty member immediately after he or she is hired, and provides the mentor’s contact information to the new faculty member. The mentor(s), however, are expected to initiate a first meeting early in the first semester and may wish to contact the faculty member before he/she arrives to welcome him/her to the department and answer any questions. New faculty are encouraged to bring to the mentor’s attention the specific issues with which they need assistance. Much mentoring also takes place on a less formal basis without the need for a special meeting.

    All initial mentoring assignments expire after the first semester. At that time, a permanent mentor or mentors will be assigned. The new faculty member is encouraged to provide input into the selection of the mentor(s).

    Mentoring after the first semester: There is no set requirement for the number of meetings, but a minimum of once per semester is recommended for the first two years. Also strongly recommended is one meeting immediately before the first full reappointment file is submitted, and before the submission of the tenure file.

    Mentoring Topics: Each new faculty member has different needs and would prioritize the following list differently. During their first meeting, mentors and “mentees” may want to discuss which of the topics on this list need coverage. If the mentor or mentee realizes at any point during the process that additional assistance is needed in a particular area, either should feel free to request that a second mentor be assigned.

    • file preparation and reappointment/tenure/promotion in MCLS
    • research: commenting on written work, where to submit articles, how to prepare and submit grant applications, etc.
    • teaching: advice on handling issues with students, teaching techniques, etc.; issues related to advising
    • other specific policies and procedures, such as computers, travel money, research leaves, and merit pay procedures
    • how the University works (faculty governance structure, College and University level opportunities for citizenship)
    • orientation to Kent and NE Ohio; assistance before arriving at KSU