Other Department/School Guidelines

  1. Missions and Goals of The Fashion School

    1. Philosophy

      The Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, founded in 1983, is dedicated to providing excellence in fashion education.   At the Baccalaureate level, the School offers the B.A., Fashion Design and the B.S., Fashion Merchandising.  The School also participates in the Combined B.S., Fashion Merchandising/M.B.A. Program where students can earn up to 12 credits in graduate level coursework toward a M.B.A while earning the B.S., Fashion Merchandising.  At the Graduate level, the School offers Master of Fashion (MFash), a 30-credit, initial masters-level degree for the academic advancement of students who want to a) engage in advanced-practitioner research in fashion, b) expand their own knowledge base and expertise in a specific topic area, c) advance their professional career, d) expand their entrepreneurial opportunities, and/or e) begin developing credentials for an entry-level appointment in academia. 

      The School’s unique characteristics include selective admission, an industry-based curriculum, and a symbiotic relationship with the Kent State University Museum which serves as a learning laboratory for the students of the School as well as students from disciplines across the campus.

      The School’s founders, the late Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman, built one of America’s most successful and respected fashion firms.  They gave to Kent State University their premier collection of costumes and other works of decorative arts which form the nucleus of the Kent State University Museum.

      Selective admission to the School is limited to those students who have demonstrated at the secondary level their ability to meet the rigorous requirements of the four-year curriculum.  The faculty of the School, drawn from leading fashion schools, major universities, and the fashion industry, strongly support the basic premise of a liberal arts education; that is, to develop in students intellectual flexibility, curiosity, creativity and a life-long love of learning.  A strong and viable liberal arts program forms the foundation for the professional industry-based components in design and merchandising.  Of critical importance is the School’s commitment to maintaining currency in fashion technology.

      Throughout the programs, the merchandising and design curricula emphasize professional standards of achievement.  Lectures and seminars by visiting fashion professionals supplement the course offerings, while study tours throughout the United States and abroad, and internships in the fashion industry offer students a broad perspective and experience in international education.  Underlying the philosophy of the School is a commitment to honor its founders by becoming a world-class center of fashion education.

    2. Goals

      The primary goals of the School are to:

      1.   create an academic environment which promotes the intellectual and professional development of students and faculty;

      2.   develop and maintain a commitment to scholarly activity in research and creative activity, graduate education, and undergraduate education which is commensurate with the goals and mission of Kent State University;

      3.   provide programs for all students which meet the educational and technological demands of the disciplines represented in the School;

      4.   offer courses in cognate academic disciplines and professional fields which provide the necessary base for the career goals of students and faculty; and,

      5.   provide the public with service commensurate with a University.

      Implicit in these goals is our responsibility as instructors, which includes but is not limited to, educating undergraduate and graduate students and providing continuing education while promoting and clarifying the role and philosophy of education.

      A strong commitment to research and creative activity means creating and maintaining a significant intellectual environment and achieving our broader commitments to the advancement of knowledge and service to the public. 

      Service to the University and to the general public unifies and clarifies the role of the University in the local community, in the State of Ohio, in the nation, and is valued within the School, the College and the University.

    3. Mission

      The mission of the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising is “Inspiring Creative and Resourcesful Fashion Leaders.”

  2. Students

    Students, both undergraduate and graduate, are of primary concern to all faculty members, and students' academic needs are of primary importance to the School.  Students may be invited to participate in various School committees and those ad hoc committees where students' viewpoints are useful and appropriate.  Student appointments to committees are made by the Director in consultation with the FAC and the faculty members involved in and affected by a specific committee's work.

    1. Advising

      Faculty are required to advise and counsel undergraduate and graduate students on academic matters.  Individual faculty members are responsible for providing academic counseling to undergraduate students assigned to them and to other undergraduate students who seek such advice, as needed.  Student advising at the graduate level is conducted by the student's "major professor" and the student’s thesis or dissertation committee members.

    2. Student Academic Misconduct

      The University’s Administrative policy regarding student cheating and plagiarism is included in the University Policy Register.

    3. Transfer Credit Procedure

      The Undergraduate Program Coordinator is responsible for the evaluation of undergraduate transfer credit and may consult with a faculty member who teaches the specific course or courses at issue.  Questions of transfer credit for other subject areas should be referred to the College office.

      Graduate transfer credit is evaluated according to the process described in the current Graduate School Catalog.  Both masters and doctoral transfer credit may be accepted if the criteria are met and the student's adviser, the Graduate Studies Committee, and the Dean approve the transfer credit.

    4. Privacy of Student Records

      The Director is responsible for ensuring that all members of the School comply with all laws and University Policies which govern the privacy of student education records, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  These regulations require, among other things, that faculty members keep thorough academic records and forbid the posting of grades by name, social security number or any other system which might identify a student with her/his education record.  For further information, contact the University’s Office of Legal Affairs.

    5. Student Evaluations

      All courses are evaluated each semester, including summer sessions, using the approved Student Survey of Instruction (SSI).  Faculty members are informed of the day and time for the evaluation and graduate students administer the SSIs under the direction of a School staff person.  The SSI should be conducted during the last week of class, prior to the start of finals week.  At no time should the faculty member being reviewed be present in the room during the survey.  SSIs are returned in a sealed envelope to the School office.  The School Administrative Assistant arranges for the appropriate scoring of SSIs according to the approved group norms for the School.  SSIs are not available to individual faculty members until after grades are submitted to the Registrar.  SSIs and the results are maintained by the School office and are available for faculty review.  SSIs for Regional Campus faculty are administered and maintained by the campus at which the course is taught.


  3. Curricular Policies and Procedures

    1. Curricular Consistency and Course Development

      In addition to the Kent campus, the School also offers courses at off-site locations, such as Florence, Paris, New York, and regional campuses.

      Courses offered on any campus need to be reviewed and approved by the School Curriculum Committee and Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) with recommendations going forth to the Director.  As such, it is essential that the same learning material and content is provided across campuses whenever the same course is offered in multiple locations.  The course syllabus, textbook, and grading criteria need to be consistent.  Faculty teaching such courses is expected to communicate regularly throughout the semester to facilitate consistency.

      Course offerings and subsequent scheduling is complex and involves serving students with courses they both need and want as well as meeting faculty desires to teach both required and elective classes.  In all of this, the School recognizes the tenure track faculty as charged with the responsibility of planning the overall curriculum and maintaining the relationship amongst required and elective courses to the curriculum.  The tenure track faculty are responsible through the Kent campus School Curriculum Committee and FAC to advise the Director on class schedules as well as on which faculty is qualified for teaching courses, workshops, study tours, and other special topics courses.

      Curricular changes may be proposed by any faculty member for consideration by the School Curriculum Committee.  The proposal must be submitted to the committee at least five (5) working days prior to a vote by the FAC.  If the recommendation from either committee is not unanimous, a minority report may be submitted with the recommendation.  If recommended by a majority, the proposal is forwarded to the Director whose recommendation is sent to the College Curriculum Committee for consideration.

      For any course proposal that is submitted for a special topic, study tour, or any other subject without an existing basic data sheet, the proposal must be accompanied by a complete course syllabus, fees to students (if any), and a CV/resume of the faculty member who is proposing the course.

      For planning purposes, the FAC requires that issues concerning any course offerings be communicated in a timely manner, preferably one year in advance.  Whenever possible, the next academic year’s course offerings need to be scheduled at one time so that faculty and students alike are able to plan ahead.

    2. Final Examinations

      Final examinations in all courses must be offered at the time and date specified in the University’s schedule of final examinations.  Changes of the time and/or date of a final examination require prior approval of the Director and the Dean, but in any case, the exam must also be offered at the time scheduled and publicized by the University for those students who desire to take the exam at that time.

    3. Grades

      Faculty members must inform students of their progress throughout the semester.  Grades are a faculty member's responsibility and should be assigned fairly and objectively.  Submission of final grades must comply with University Policy, including but not limited to the deadline for the timely submission of grades.  Failure of faculty members to provide grades in compliance with University Policy will be taken into consideration in reappointment, promotion, tenure and merit decisions. 

      Materials used in computing grades (i.e., exams, papers, reports, etc.) should be retained by the faculty member for five (5) years after final grades are submitted.  Students have a right to inspect the written work performed during a course and discuss the grade with the faculty member.

    4. Audits

      Students may audit without credit any course subject to space availability and departmental  approval. An audited course is not counted as part of the course load, but students must go through registration procedures and pay the normal registration fees. An instructor may impose whatever attendance requirements deemed necessary. The students must be informed of these requirements at the beginning of the semester. Failure to meet such attendance requirements subjects the students to being withdrawn from the course by the instructor. This will be accomplished by the instructor’s insertion of the mark W at the time of final grades.  Faculty members have the discretion to determine conditions and requirements for the audit.

  4. Faculty Grienvance and Appeal Procedures

    A.   Informal Procedure

    Any faculty member who believes that he/she may have a grievance is strongly encouraged, before initiating a formal grievance or appeal, to talk with the Director about any issue(s) of concern.  The Director may seek the advice and recommendation of individual faculty members or faculty advisory groups, as well as the Dean, in seeking informal resolution of a dispute or complaint.

    B.   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 School, whenever possible.  The Director 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.