Matters of Department Governance & Related Procedures
The Handbook of the Department of English describes the procedures and policies governing the life of the Department. Where appropriate, the Handbook will quote specific passages from the University Policy Register and, for additional information, refer both to the Register and to the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) for full-time tenure track (TT) and non-tenure track (NTT) faculty. Copies of the University Policy register may be consulted in the office of the Department Chair or in the DuBois Reading Room. Each full-time faculty member is provided with a copy of the appropriate CBA. Any conflict between the policies stated in the Handbook and those of the College, the Policy Register, Research and Graduate Studies, the CBAs, and other official policies of the University shall be resolved in favor of those documents.
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.
Administrative and Service Positions
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 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. Specific duties and responsibilities of the Chair are:
Primary Duties and Responsibilities of the Department Chair
The Chair is expected to seek the advice and counsel of colleagues and work in close cooperation with them before making decisions and/or recommending decisions to a higher academic officer. The CBA (TT) states that “with respect to any matter on which the FAC has been consulted, the Chairperson will notify the FAC of his/her decisions and/or recommendations.” In making written recommendations or reports to a higher academic officer on such a matter, the Chairperson will indicate the substance of pertinent FAC advice. The Chairperson routinely will inform the FAC of the status and final administrative determination on matters on which it has been consulted. To this end, and in the spirit of collegiality, the Chairperson shall convene at least three Department meetings, with a previously distributed agenda, during each semester of the regular academic year, and ensure regular meetings of standing committees and other consultative bodies within the Department. In addition, the Chairperson shall convene a Department meeting upon the request of at least one-half of the members of FAC. The agenda will be circulated prior to the meeting whenever possible. Minutes of each FAC meeting will be kept, distributed, and approved at the successive meeting. Copies of approved minutes will be distributed to Department members within one week of the meeting in which they were approved. Copies shall also be distributed to Department Coordinators on the Regional Campuses, to the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and to the Deans of the Regional Campuses.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities
- To oversee personnel administration and appropriate professional development for the Department, including hiring of all faculty and staff and all personnel actions related to the reappointment, tenure, and promotion of faculty in the Department.
- To provide leadership for and commitment to affirmative action.
- To administer the Department budget by allocating funds to the academic programs in the Department and to monitor and review the expenditures of these funds.
- To identify the resource needs of the Department and to recommend to the Dean of the College priorities for addressing such needs.
- To oversee the development of schedules and an enrollment plan for the Department and to advise the Dean on all issues related to the recruitment, academic advising, attrition, and retention of all qualified and able students in the Department.
- To represent the Department at all appropriate bodies, committees, and councils of the University, or designate appropriate departmental representatives to such bodies.
- To represent the Department and, when requested and deemed appropriate by the Dean and/or the Provost, serve as official spokesperson for the Department with other universities, academic and professional agencies, state agencies, and honorary and accrediting bodies.
- To represent the Department to its external public constituencies and to develop and maintain contacts and relationships with professional organizations and leaders in the profession.
- To engage, where and when appropriate, in external fundraising activities in support of the University, the College, and the Department.
- To accept ad hoc assignments related to Department, College, and/or University matters as deemed appropriate by the Dean, the Provost, or the President of the University.
- To uphold and enforce all University regulations, policies, and procedures.
Other Specific Administrative Duties
- Enforce University regulations.
- Develop and carry out, with appropriate consultation, all administrative and educational policies of the Department.
- Recommend new staff appointments to the Dean and recommend the promotion or tenuring of members of the Department who are eligible and qualified.
- Appoint and direct the non-academic staff of the Development.
- Recommend leaves of absence.
- Supply prompt notification to the offices of the Dean of the absence or resignation of a faculty member.
- Expedite registration in class sections of the Department by properly advised and qualified students.
- Recommend course changes through the appropriate Dean or Deans, if more than one college is significantly involved.
- Distribute teaching assignments, schedule class hours and rooms within allocation, and prepare and supervise reports to appropriate University officials.
- Maintain custody of University property charged to the Department.
- Supervise the academic counseling of student majors in the Department.
- Notify the appropriate executive officers, through channels, of departmental needs for which gifts or bequests should be sought or are being sough. Engage in appropriate development activities related to gifts and bequests. Promote cordial and productive alumni relations.
- Perform other necessary tasks, all of which cannot be specified, such as noting the progress of graduates, maintaining relations with the Regional Campuses, inducting new faculty, developing brochures of course syllabi, etc.
Appointment and Terms. Program Coordinators – that is, the Graduate Studies, Undergraduate Studies, and Writing Program Coordinators – normally are appointed in the spring by the Department Chair. Usually the term will be three years. Before making such appointments, the Chair shall ask for recommendations and nominations from the faculty as a whole, consult with the appropriate Program Committees, absent the incumbent Chairs, and with FAC.
Graduate Studies Coordinator
The Graduate Studies Coordinator must be a full member of the Graduate Faculty holding the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. The Graduate Coordinator Chairs the Graduate Studies Committee and oversees the operation and development of the Department's graduate programs. The specific duties and responsibilities of the Graduate Coordinator are referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Section 2 “Teaching Assignments and Work Load”) contained in this handbook.
Duties of the Graduate Studies Coordinator
The Responsibilities of the graduate studies coordinator pertaining to the department’s graduate program include:
- Organizing and Chairing Graduate Studies Committee meetings;
- Presenting policy changes to the FAC;
- Reporting to the FAC on graduate affairs;
- Long-term planning and scheduling of courses and faculty assignments, in consultation with Program Chairs for Rhetoric and Composition, TESL, and Literature;
- Coordinating and administering language exams for all graduate programs;
- Coordinating the admissions process and program committee decisions concerning GA and TF appointments;
- Maintaining admissions standards across all programs;
- General advising and mentoring of incoming students and of students who wish to switch programs;
- Presenting curricular proposals to the Department Curriculum Committee;
- Facilitating programs and activities than enhance the general social and intellectual life of graduate students;
- Keeping annual records and assessing data across programs concerning placement, attrition, time-to-degree, stipends, etc.;
- Collecting information from Program Chairs for AQIP reporting;
- Entering AQIP reports for all graduate programs;
- Preparing for and coordinating the internal and external review of graduate programs;
- Coordinating with RAGS, Arts and Sciences Graduate Affairs, and the department Chairperson to promote the growth, success, and institutional efficiency of the current graduate programs;
- Representing the Graduate Studies Committee at Arts and Sciences Graduate Council Meetings.
Undergraduate Studies Coordinator
The Undergraduate Studies Coordinator chairs the Undergraduate Studies Committee and oversees the operation and development of the Department's undergraduate programs. The specific duties and responsibilities of the Undergraduate Studies Coordinator are referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Section 2 “Teaching Assignments and Work Load”) contained in this handbook.
Duties of Undergraduate Studies Coordinator
The responsibilities of the Undergraduate Studies Coordinator pertaining to the Department’s Undergraduate courses include:
- Representation of the Department on the College Curriculum Committee
- Recruitment and Retention (e.g., Academic Discovery Days; Career Preparation Program)
- Scheduling of all LER’s and Core courses in consultation with Writing Program, Graduate Programs, Creative Writing Programs, and TESL/Linguistics
- Department Awards, Scholarships, and Writing Contests
- Consultation with the Department Chairperson on program staffing (including evaluations of Department faculty, program coordination among campuses, and supervision of faculty and staff)
- Research on and for the English Undergraduate Studies Center and Program (including dissemination of new developments in the field, conference participation).
- Supervision and upkeep of assessment procedures (including unusual reports and liaison with Writing Program)
- Curriculum development and upkeep (including updates of Major requirements, Advanced Business and principles of Tech Writing, controlled sections)
- Representation of the Undergraduate Studies Program on Department and University Committees
Writing Program Coordinator
The Writing Program Coordinator chairs the Writing Program Committee and oversees the operation and development of the Department's undergraduate writing programs. The specific duties and responsibilities of the Writing Program Coordinator are referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Section 2 “Teaching Assignments and Work Load”) contained in this handbook.
Duties of Writing Program Coordinator
The responsibilities of the Writing Program Coordinator pertaining to the Department’s Writing Program include:
- Works in consultation with the Department Chairperson to develop the writing faculty (including dissemination of the program’s teaching philosophy, , and planning of workshops) and on program staffing (including scheduling for NTT and TT writing faculty, evaluations of writing faculty, program coordination among campuses, and recommendations to hire and supervision of faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants).
- Conducts research on and for the Writing program (including the dissemination of new developments in the field, conference participation).
- Supervises and maintains assessment procedures (including annual AQIP reports and liaison with Undergraduate Studies Office).
- Assists with University Writing Placement Procedures as they affect all writing courses in the English Department. Maintains and develops curriculum (including overseeing updates of Instructors’ Manual/Students’ and Guide to College English Administers the Zurava Award (selection of judges and initial reading of entrees).
- Advises all writing minors.
- Represents the Writing Program on Department and University committees. Heads the Writing Program Committee.
Assistant to the Chair
The Assistant to the Chair is appointed by the Chair in consultation with FAC and the faculty as a whole. The term of appointment is normally for three years and normally carries with it a workload equivalency of three hours per semester. The Assistant to the Chair is a regular full-time faculty member with tenure and performs tasks determined by the Chair. Typical duties of the Assistant to the Chair are:
Duties of the Assistant to the Chair
The responsibilities of the Assistant to the Chair include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Facilitating communication and collaboration between English faculty at Kent and regional campuses.
- In consultation with the Chair, coordinating peer evaluations of teaching for TT and full-time NTT English faculty at regional campuses.
- Consulting with the Writing Program Coordinator and Undergraduate Studies Coordinator to process requests for part-time pool approval for regional campuses.
- Serving as the Kent campus representative when the Chair convenes the Regional Campuses Committee comprised of the English Coordinators from all campuses.
- Coordinating Kent Campus course schedule with Program Coordinators and Department Administrative Assistant.
- Serving as ex officio non-voting member of FAC (but eligible to stand for election as a voting member of FAC).
Additional Administrative Appointments
Appointments to other departmental administrative positions are made by the Chair after consultation with the FAC. Workload equivalents for these appointments are referenced in Section 2 “Teaching Assignments and Work Load” contained in this handbook.
ESL Center Director
Serves as Director of the ESL Center. Coordinates the ESL offerings of the Department, including the placement of students in appropriate classes; supervises instructors teaching ESL classes; and acts as liaison with other University offices and programs concerned with ESL issues and international students, such as Admissions and the office for International Affairs. Develops and coordinates additional ESL programs.
Regional Campuses Coordinator
The Regional Campuses Coordinator is appointed by the Department Chairperson after consultation with the Regional Campuses Committee, FAC, the relevant Campus Dean, and the Executive Dean for Regional Campuses. The Coordinator is charged with facilitating communication and collaboration among English faculty on the several campuses, and with serving as ex officio non-voting member of FAC. The term normally is three years and carries with it a one-course per semester teaching load reduction.
Assistant Writing Program Coordinator
In light of the University-wide impact of and the large enrollments in the Freshman Writing Program, the duties of the Writing Program Coordinator may be assisted by an Assistant Writing Program Coordinator, who is normally a full-time non-tenure track faculty member assigned appropriate administrative workload equivalencies. The Assistant Writing Program Coordinator, who works in consultation with the Writing Program Coordinator,
- Assists with the College Writing Stretch (ENG 11001/2) program (including faculty training sessions, portfolio assessments, and textbook selection in consultation with the Writing Program Coordinator);
- Assists with selection of materials for pre-semester orientation for new faculty. Administers class observation procedures;
- Represents the Writing Program in handling complaints, working with textbook representatives, and keeping the Writing Program Office responsive to writing faculty, students, and the public;
- Schedules class sections for grad students and PT faculty, in consultation with the Coordinator;
- Assists Coordinator in new student placement procedures such as selecting reading samples and devising writing prompts;
- Assists as needed with AQIP tasks designed by Coordinator
- Performs other appropriate tasks to assist the Writing Program Coordinator;
Assistant Undergraduate Studies Coordinator
The Undergraduate Studies Coordinator may be assisted by an Assistant Undergraduate Studies Coordinator, who is normally a full-time non-tenure track faculty member assigned appropriate workload equivalencies (See SECTION 2, Table 1). The Assistant Undergraduate Studies Coordinator, who works in consultation with the Undergraduate Studies Coordinator, serves as principal advisor for English majors and minors and performs other tasks to assist the Undergraduate Studies Coordinator.
Writing Commons Director
Coordinates activities of the Writing Commons, including hiring, training, and supervision of tutors; scheduling; and record-keeping. Acts as liaison with English Department and with other Kent Campus units and offices concerned with academic support services.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
Undergraduate Studies Committee
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Department may have as many special committees as it deems desirable in order to conduct its affairs. Current standing committees are listed below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
The electorate and electoral process are described in Section 5.
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.
Search and Appointment Procedures, Kent Campus
Recruitment of new faculty is a matter of interest to the whole Department and should be carried out with as wide consultation as is practicable.
The Department Chair, after consulting with FAC, initiates the search by securing administrative approval from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Provost.
The Chair, in consultation with FAC, shall appoint a Search Committee and its Chair, the Committee to be comprised of full-time TT faculty. Under rare circumstances, it may be considered appropriate by a majority of the FAC to appoint one full-time NTT or part-time faculty member. Search committees can decide whether or not to invite a graduate student to be involved with the process, but a graduate student may not have a vote.
The Chair shall advertise the position in jobs.kent.edu and appropriate professional publications. Other avenues of advertisement, such as posting on the Internet or letters to other universities, may also be used but only after the position has been approved by the appropriate University Officers, and no earlier than when the job advertisement is scheduled to be published in jobs.kent.edu and other professional publications.
The Chair of the Search Committee will convene Committee members to review the search timetable and to establish criteria, including due regard for the University’s commitment to affirmative action, and procedures for screening the applicants.
After the deadline has passed, the Search Committee will review the applicants’ files, rank the top candidates, and subsequently prepare a list of candidates for initial interviews, usually at the MLA or CCCC conventions.
After initial interviews, the Search Committee normally will develop a list of three finalists for campus interviews and present the list to the Chair for review.
The Search Committee shall schedule campus interviews with the candidates, including opportunities, if possible, for the candidate to demonstrate teaching proficiency and to make a scholarly presentation. It shall inform the Department of the itineraries; provide opportunities for the faculty to meet the candidates informally; and arrange interviews with the Chair, the College Dean, and, in some cases, the Provost.
Following the interview process, the Search Committee shall solicit opinions from the Department, including members of FAC. They will then convene to discuss the written comments and to discuss each of the finalists. Before submitting a ranked list to the Chair, the Chair of the Search Committee will summarize the Committee’s final meeting in writing for the Chair and will submit the summary with a ranked list of finalists to the Chair. The summary will be made available to all English faculty.
The Chair is responsible for making the final decision and for generating and securing approval of the letter of offer. When an offer has been accepted, the Chair shall announce the results of the search to the Department and publish them in the weekly newsletter.
Search and Appointment Procedures, Regional Campuses
The Campus Dean and the Vice Provost for Regional Campuses are responsible for identifying the faculty position to be filled. The Dean, in consultation with the Department Chair and the local Department faculty, determines the specific qualifications and requirements for the position and incorporates them in a Position Request Authorization (PRA), for the approval of the Vice Provost for Regional Campuses.
The Vice Provost for Regional Campuses shall authorize appropriate notices, to appear in Job Opp and appropriate professional journals, stating minimum qualifications, position requirements and responsibilities, application deadlines and materials to be submitted.
The Campus Dean shall appoint a Search Committee and its Chair, typically composed of four faculty from that campus and one representative of the Kent Campus selected by the Department Chair.
The Campus Dean shall convene the Search Committee and present its charge. At this meeting the Committee will discuss the specific qualifications required of candidates and determine procedures for reviewing applications, including the University’s commitment to affirmative action. The Committee may also agree on a checklist of characteristics (weighted according to importance) being sought in the candidates.
Once the application deadline has passed, the Chair of the Search Committee will screen the applications to determine whether or not each meets the minimum qualifications for the position. If necessary, the Committee Chair will consult with the Chair on individual cases.
The Search Committee then will review the eligible applications and draw up a short list of approximately three finalists it recommends to be invited for on-campus interviews. The Chair will be invited to review the list before it is finalized. This list then is submitted to the Campus Dean. (In the case of multiple searches, if a candidate’s name should appear on the short list of more than one Regional Campus search committee, the office of the Vice Provost for the Regional Campuses will coordinate visits to allow for interviews on the interested campuses.)
Prior to the visits, the Search Committee will organize and publicize the itineraries, compose a uniform checklist of generic questions to be asked of each candidate and of key strengths and weaknesses to be noted during interviews. It will also prepare evaluation sheets for faculty and students to record impressions during teaching demonstrations.
Each candidate’s visit should include the following: a teaching demonstration; separate interviews with the Search Committee, the Campus Dean, the Department Chair, and, if requested, a representative of the Vice Provost for the Regional Campuses; opportunities for informal meetings with faculty of the local campus and campus tours. When possible, the candidate should make a scholarly presentation at the Kent Campus. Because these activities involve two campuses, at least two days are generally needed for each visit.
Following the on-campus interviews, the Search Committee shall convene to formulate its report to the Campus Dean. The Chair shall be invited to this meeting. The Committee shall submit to the Campus Dean a list of the qualified candidates, ranked in order of preference, with accompanying summaries of each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
After consulting with the Department Chair, the Campus Dean shall choose the successful candidate and negotiate with the candidate. The formal offer of employment shall be made by the Vice provost for Regional Campuses.
Throughout the process, the activities of the Search Committee and of all administrative officers shall be conducted with scrupulous respect for the privacy of all applicants; and, to the extent permitted by Ohio law, rules of strict confidentiality apply to all deliberations and actions involved in the hiring process.
When a candidate has accepted an offer, the Campus Dean shall announce the results of the search to the campus and to the Department Chair, who will publish it in the weekly newsletter.
Faculty Grievance and Appeal Procedures
1. Informal Procedure
In the case of a complaint or dispute between two or more colleagues, the Department Chair will attempt to bring parties to an informal resolution. If this is not possible, the matter should be presented to FAC for resolution. If the complaint or dispute concerns the Chair, that is, if he or she is a party to the complaint or dispute, the matter should be brought before FAC and adjudicated by them. At this meeting, the electing CAC Representative will Chair. Affected faculty retain their right to file formal grievances involving contract violations.
2. Formal Procedure
Formal procedures for addressing grievances affecting the terms and conditions of employment of faculty are described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. Disputes involving substantive academic judgments are subject to a separate academic appeals process governed by the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Faculty grievances that are not directly related to the terms or conditions of employment and are not academic appeals are appropriately addressed within the Department, whenever possible. The Chair and/or faculty members will initiate an informal dialogue with all parties involved in a dispute and strive to reach a resolution agreeable to all parties.
Professional Improvement (Sabbatical) Leave
Full-time TT faculty are eligible for Professional Improvement Leave after completing seven years of full-time service. Application normally will be made in the seventh year in accord with instructions issued by the office of the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs. Applications for sabbatical usually consist of a letter of application and a proposal. Applications are reviewed by FAC, which makes recommendations to the Chair. The Chair shall report to FAC in a timely manner the rankings he or she sends on to the Dean.
Sabbatical leave takes the form of one semester at full salary or one year at one-half salary. While candidates eligible for sabbatical leave may wish to request a specific term of leave, the Chair shall determine which semester is awarded for Professional Improvement Leave according to how budgetary/staffing implications will be met. Additional information is available in the University Policy Register.
Upon consultation with the Research Council, the Vice President for Research annually awards on a competitive basis a limited number of academic year and summer research and creative activity appointments to full-time faculty. Application guidelines are disseminated each year by the Vice President, usually at the beginning of the fall semester. Each application for an academic year appointment must be submitted to the Chair, who is required to certify that the Department has the staffing resources to support the appointment. Since it is often difficult to forecast all staffing needs and resources when the applications are submitted, at the time that the Vice Provost receives recommendations from the Research Council, he or she consults with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Dean with the Chair, to determine the number of awards that the Department can support. When the number of faculty who can be supported on leave is less than the number recommended for appointments by the Research Council, the leaves will be awarded on the basis of the rankings by the Research Council Subcommittees that have reviewed the applications. Notification normally is by the end of the fall semester. Additional information about research and creative activity appointments may be found on the website of the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs.
Teaching Development Appointments
The University Teaching Council awards on a competitive basis a limited number of summer teaching development awards to full-time TT and NTT faculty, as does the College of Arts and Sciences. Additional information is available in the University Policy Register.
Handbook Modification, Amendment and Revision
The implementation, modification, amendment and revision of this Handbook is governed by the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Department FAC 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.The FAC shall solicit suggestions from Department members as well as from the Coordinators, Chairs, and Directors or Programs. The revised Handbook shall be submitted to a vote of the full-time TT faculty before the Chair forwards it to the Dean. When the revised Handbook also changes any policies or procedures affecting full-time NTT faculty, those changes shall also be submitted to a separate vote of the faculty in that bargaining unit before the Chair forwards it to the Dean.
If the Chair concurs with a proposed modification, amendment or revision, he/she will recommend the change(s) to the Dean. All modifications, amendments and revisions of the Handbook require the 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.
Whenever FAC makes minor changes in major policies, the Handbook may be changed accordingly without involving a full revision of the Handbook. All changes and revisions must conform to the CBAs for full-time TT and NTT faculty and the University Policy Register.All changes and revisions must also be approved by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, in accord with the provisions of said CBAs.