Structure and Organization of the Department | Department of Sociology Handbook | Kent State University

Structure and Organization of the Department

  1. 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 of the Department on the Kent Campus and at the Regional Campuses 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.  In addition to the voting Faculty, all other faculty members such as part-time, temporary, or adjunct appointments are eligible to attend Departmental faculty meetings and participate in the deliberations; they do not have voting privileges.  The Faculty, through its elected body, the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) and other Departmental committees, is advisory and recommendatory to the Chair.

  2. Administrative and Service Positions

    1. Department Chairperson

      The Department Chair (hereinafter “Chair”) is the chief administrative officer of the Department (See, Appendix I of this Handbook) 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 Department Faculty and the Department’s various committees as provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

      The Chair is an ex officio, non-voting member of all Department committees, and may make appointments as necessary and permitted to Department committees and to the various administrative and service positions in the Department.

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

      As with all administrative assignments, the Chair does not hold tenure in his/her administrative position.  A Chair may leave this administrative position and return to his/her Faculty position at any time.

    2. Associate Chair Position

      Overview

      The associate chair is an elected member of faculty who answers directly to the chair of the department but carries out a distinct scope of work (in other words, the associate chair’s responsibilities are separate from but complementary to the responsibilities of the department chair).  The associate chair will remain a member of the faculty during his/her tenure; this is not a formal administrative position.

      The associate chair will serve a three-year term.  A successor will be chosen in year three. 

      Eligibility

      Candidates for the position of associate chair must be tenured Associates or Full Professors.

      The person assuming the position of associate chair must be 1) an active member of the department who has demonstrated a commitment to department activities and service and 2) someone who is readily available to consult with faculty via email and on a one-on-one basis.

      The associate chair must be someone with whom the department chair has a productive and collegial working relationship.

      Responsibilities and Tasks

      The associate chair will have responsibility for the following tasks:

      •Oversee the Research and Development Committee: schedule and coordinate regular meetings; oversee the administration of departmental support for intra and extramural grants for faculty.

      •Oversee undergraduate curriculum:  Leadership and vision with respect to modifying/changing the curriculum; consulting with faculty about special topics courses and helping to secure approval for these courses.  The CUSC chair will report directly to the associate chair.

      •Assume responsibility for public image of the department: supervise website content and construction (Common spot); develop and maintain alumni contact lists; provide PR and press for the department; create and maintain a Facebook and Twitter presence for the department.

      •Oversee/advise Colloquium Committee: promote intellectual life of department by working with CC to regularly invite faculty, graduate students, and guest speakers.

      •Serve as acting chair of the department in the chair’s absence.

      Compensation

      The associate chair will receive three units of assigned time per semester during his/her time in the position as well as summer compensation.Additionally, he/she will receive three units of assigned time in the first semester following the end of his/term as associate chair.During this last semester of assigned time, the associate chair will be available for consultation as the new AC transitions into the position.

      Procedures for Appointment

      FAC will solicit nominations for the position of associate chair from the faculty.  Self-nominations are accepted.  FAC will generate a ballot listing all nominees and the faculty will cast their vote for associate chair via email ballot.  The associate chair will be elected by majority vote.

      Each candidate who has agreed to stand for the position of associate chair will provide a written statement discussing 1) why they are interested in the position and 2) how they are qualified to meet the responsibilities and tasks of the position.  This written statement will be distributed to the faculty prior to the vote by email.

      Procedures for Review and Reappointment

      During each spring of the associate chair’s tenure, the FAC will formally review the associate chair’s performance.  The FAC will solicit feedback (in the form of a single item questionnaire) from the broader faculty to assess whether the sitting associate chair is performing to expectations.[1]  FAC will then generate a report to the chair.  This report will be available to the faculty on request.

       

      [1] The review of the associate chair is part of a larger process that will include annual reviews of CUSC and GEC coordinators and the department chair.

       

    3. Coordinators of Undergraduate Studies

      There is a Coordinator for the sociology undergraduate degree and a Coordinator for the criminology and justices studies undergraduate degree.  The Coordinators for Undergraduate Studies are nominated to run for election from the tenured membership of the faculty.  The term of the elected position is three years.  The incumbent may be re-elected for a second term.  The Coordinators are charged with supervising the academic program for undergraduates.  The Coordinators of Undergraduate Studies are responsible, with the Chairperson and the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, for planning the schedule of classes and the assignment of Faculty to undergraduate courses.  The Coordinators assure that adequate academic advising occurs, and serve as liaisons with the Dean’s designee.  The Coordinators develop those organizations or programs appropriate to enhance the undergraduate program and the progress of its students.  As needed, the Coordinators may, after consultation with the Chairperson, create ad hoc committees to discuss and cooperate in plans for the undergraduate program.

    4. Coordinator of Graduate Studies

      The Graduate Coordinator elected from Graduate Faculty of the department. The Graduate Coordinator must be a full member of the Graduate Faculty holding the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. The Graduate Coordinator is nominated to run for election. The term, of the elected position is three years, and may be re-elected for a second term. The Graduate Coordinator chairs the Graduate Education Committee and oversees the operation and development of the Department's graduate programs. With the Graduate Education Committee, the Coordinator plans and assists in recruitment, admission, and funding of graduate appointees.  The Coordinator refers proposals for new graduate courses to the Curriculum Committee.  The specific duties and responsibilities of the Graduate Coordinator are determined by the Chairperson in consultation with the Graduate Faculty and FAC. The duties shall be specified in a letter of appointment and Departmental Operating Procedures Document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents) contained in this handbook.

      In relation to the joint Kent-Akron Ph.D. program in Sociology, s/he also serves as a member of the Joint Ph.D. Executive Committee, which consists of the two Departmental Chairpersons and their Coordinators of Graduate Studies.  The Coordinator of Graduate Studies is the Department’s representative to the Arts and Science’s Graduate Council. 

    5. Coordinator of Criminology and Criminal Justice Master's Degree

      Position Description:  Coordinator of Criminology and Criminal Justice Master’s Degree

      The coordinator of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Master’s Degree is charged with overseeing the operation of the program under the direction of the Chair and in consultation with the appropriate Sociology Department committees (FAC, GEC and CUSC) and with Graduate Faculty who teach in the program. The coordinator is appointed by the Chair after consultation with the FAC and the Graduate Faculty, and is nominated to run for election from the tenure-track members of the Graduate Faculty. The CCJ MA coordinator must be a tenured member of the Graduate Faculty and hold the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. The coordinator serves on the GEC.  The term of the elected position is two years, and the incumbent may be re-elected to a second term after review by the voting faculty and the Chair. The CCJ MA Coordinator plans and assists in the recruitment and admission of new graduate students and provides guidance to students admitted into the program; the Coordinator is also responsible for monitoring the academic performance of students in accordance with University policies and procedures. The CCJ MA Coordinator refers proposals for new graduate courses in the program to CUSC and serves as a Faculty liaison to the Office of Continuing and Distance Education and to any internal or external organizations or entities involved with online course delivery. Other specific duties and responsibilities of the Coordinator are determined by the Chairperson in consultation with the Graduate Faculty and FAC. The duties shall be specified in a letter of appointment and Departmental Operating Procedures Document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents contained in this handbook (see Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents).

    6. Additional Administrative Appointments

      Appointments to other Departmental administrative positions are made by the Chair after consultation with the FAC. 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 a Departmental Operating Procedures Document. If a workload equivalent is to be associated with the appointment, the position must also be referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents) contained in this handbook.

    7. Departmental Administrative 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 and secretarial staff.  Each position has specific duties as defined in the applicable position description.  In broadest terms, their responsibility, under the supervision of the Chairperson, is to support the educational and administrative functions of the Department, meeting the needs of Faculty/faculty and students to the degree that is consistent with the description of their position. 

  3. Department Committees

    1. Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

      The FAC is structured and operates as described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The FAC is elected directly by the Faculty of the Department as defined in subhead III A Definition of the Faculty above. 

      The FAC consists of five elected members, all of whom must be full time tenured or tenure-track.  Four of the members are from the Kent Campus and one member is from the Regional Campuses.  Elections are held annually at the end of Fall semester to facilitate the assignment of class schedules in the following year.  The term of the FAC member is two calendar years beginning with the Fall term following their election.  The terms of service are staggered so that approximately half the membership will be elected each year.  All full-time Faculty are eligible to vote.  No member may serve on the FAC for more than two consecutive years (one term).  After a period of one year's absence, the Faculty member is eligible for election to the FAC.        

      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”).  The FAC is advisory and recommend­atory to the Departmental Chairperson who is also the ex-officio, non-voting Chairperson of the Committee.  The FAC is concerned with such matters as are central to the Department's missions and also those defined in the current and effective CBA.

      Each year the Faculty vote as to whether or not to invite the graduate students to select a master and doctoral student to represent graduate students on the FAC.  According to the Handbook (see Section A above), graduate students do not have voting privileges because they are not full-time Faculty holding the rank of instructor or above in the Department.

    2. Curriculum and Undergraduate Studies Committee

      The CUSC assists the CUSC Chair in supervising and coordinating the Department’s curricular programs.  The CUSC makes recommendations on any and all matters which affect the academic programs of the Department including but not limited to Faculty proposals for new courses, regional faculty requests to teach upper division courses, changes in course content, major requirements, and other curricular matters.  The CUSC reviews and decides student appeals regarding course substitution.  Any recommendations of the CUSC are forwarded to the Departmental Chairperson, although changes in policies regarding these matters shall be forwarded to the FAC for action.  Minutes from each meeting are to be filed in the Main Office and available to Faculty for review.

      The CUSC shall elect one (1) member with full graduate Faculty status to serve on the College Curriculum Committee.  If no member of the CUSC has full graduate Faculty status, the candidate with full graduate Faculty status who had the next highest vote total in the election of the CUSC will serve as an additional CUSC member and as the Department’s representative to the College Curriculum Committee.  The CUSC consists of four elected full-time Faculty members.  Three of the members are elected from Faculty on the Kent Campus and one from the Regional Campuses.  Elections are held annually during Fall semester to facilitate the assignment of class schedules in the following year.  The term of CUSC members is two years beginning with the Fall term following their election.  No member of the CUSC may serve for more than two consecutive terms (four years).

      In addition to elected Faculty/faculty members, part-time instructors may be represented on the committee as non-voting member.  Part-time and student representation shall be invited annually from the part-time cohort and from both the graduate and undergraduate student cohorts.

    3. Graduate Education Committee

      The GEC assists the Graduate Coordinator, who serves as the GEC chair, with the oversight and development of the Department’s graduate program.  The GEC reviews proposals for new graduate courses, changes in course content and related curricular matters, and conducts periodic reviews of the Department’s graduate program as a whole. The GEC is responsible for evaluating applications for admission, evaluating and recommending candidates for graduate appointments, and monitoring the progress and academic performance of graduate students in the Department.

      The GEC is composed of four Faculty members with Graduate Faculty status, elected by the regular Faculty.  In addition, one student each from the masters and doctoral programs represent graduate students on this committee and have responsibility to vote on policy matters but not on personnel issues.  These student representatives are elected to office annually after a call by the Departmental Graduate Student Association.  Voting for representatives is open to all graduate students.  The GEC members are elected for two year terms on a rotating basis, and begin serving the Spring semester after the Fall election.

    4. Student Academic Complaint Committee

      The Student Academic Complaint Committee is composed of the FAC.  The policies and procedures of this committee are governed by University Policy 3342-4-02.3. The policy provides for only one SACC in each Department.

      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 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 Faculty. 

    5. 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 to make 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.   The ad hoc RTP Committee consists of all tenured Full Professors and the tenured members of the FAC, and is Chaired by the Department Chairperson.

    6. Other Departmental Committees

      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.