Other Department Guidelines
Goals and Mission of the Department
The primary objectives of the Department are to:
1. Create an academic environment that promotes the intellectual and professional development of students and Faculty;
2. Develop and maintain a commitment to scholarly activity in research, graduate education, and undergraduate education, which is commensurate with the goals and mission of Kent State University;
3. Provide programs for all students that meet the educational and technological demands of the disciplines represented in the Department, namely Physics and related interdisciplinary areas;
4. Offer courses in physics and related interdisciplinary fields that 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 objectives is our responsibility as teachers, 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. An essential mission of the Physics Department is to expose students to the methodology and processes of science.
A strong commitment to research 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 Department, the College and the University.
Appointment and Employment Procedures and Regulations for Tenure-Track Faculty
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.
The basic definitions of Faculty ranks are the following:
1. Assistant Professor
This rank is normally the entry level rank for tenure-track Faculty holding the doctorate in an appropriate discipline.
2. Associate Professor
Hire to or promotion to this rank is for tenure-track Faculty with prior service as an Assistant Professor, or significant academic achievements. Possession of the doctorate in an appropriate discipline is expected.
Promotion to this rank requires credentials and achievements beyond those required for promotion to Associate Professor and is reserved for senior tenure-track Faculty members who have achieved significant recognition in their discipline.
1. Research Associate and Research Assistant
These titles 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. Academics who hold these titles do not vote on Department committees and do not participate in Department governance.
2. Adjunct Faculty
These appointments are held primarily by Faculty from other institutions. Adjunct Faculty appointments are made by the Chair after receiving advice from the Faculty. Adjunct Faculty members do not vote on Department Committees and do not participate in Department governance.
3. Visiting Faculty
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.
4. 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 NTT faculty and graduate students, then part-time Faculty appointments will be made from a pool of qualified applicants.
5. Graduate Faculty Status
As a doctoral 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, UPR 3342-6-15.1)
The Department supports the goals of equal opportunity and affirmative action in recruiting and in making appointments to the Faculty. Search Committees are appointed by the Chair after consultation with the FAC and Faculty members in the specific area or discipline and conduct the search for candidates. Search committees may include a student member selected by the Faculty members serving on the search committee. The search committee advises the Chair on which candidates, normally three, should be interviewed. After the interviews, the Chair consults with the Faculty and then makes a recommendation for hire to the Dean. If the Chair's recommendation is different than that of the search committee or the Faculty, the Chair shall inform the Dean as to the Faculty and search committee’s recommendations and the reasons for the disagreement. If the Dean concurs with the Chair, a recommendation for hire is forwarded to the Office of the Provost.
Role and Responsibility of the Faculty
Research, Teaching, Service: Each Faculty member is expected to contribute to the Department, Campus, College and the University according to the terms and condition of his/her letter of appointment. Some Faculty members make their primary contribution in teaching while others emphasize research.
Scholarly activity is expected of all Faculty members, although the extent and/or type of activity may vary with the terms of each Faculty member’s assignment and campus location. Faculty involved in research and the graduate program are expected to present evidence of their endeavors as witnessed by publication, proposals submitted for extramural funding, and dissemination of research in various venues as appropriate to the discipline. Activity in professional organizations and the training of graduate students is also expected.
Not all Faculty members contribute to the Department in the same manner. A Faculty member whose primary responsibilities are undergraduate teaching and undergraduate programs may teach and serve in a greater diversity of courses than a Faculty member who is also a member of the graduate Faculty. Most of the Department Faculty members will be either a full or associate member of the graduate Faculty. All Faculty members are expected to be involved in significant research activity, serve on graduate student committees, and direct graduate student research. Supervision and direction of undergraduate research projects and theses is part of the teaching function.
Service to the University is a responsibility of each Faculty member. Department, Campus, College, and University committee or task force membership is expected as a normal part of a Faculty member’s contributions. Special or outstanding service above and beyond that which is typical may be considered during the review of a Faculty member, but service alone will not reduce the expectations of quality teaching and scholarly activity. Public service is encouraged and recognized as a part of the professional responsibilities of each Faculty member, although contributions in this area can be expected to vary widely due to the nature of the various disciplines within the Department.
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, UPR 3342-6-17).
Appointment and Review of Full-Time Non-Tenure Track (NTT) Faculty
Appointment and Renewal of Appointment
Appointments for full-time non-tenure track (NTT) faculty are governed by the applicable CBA and are made annually. NTT appointments are at the rank of Lecturer, Associate Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, without a terminal degree, and at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor, with a terminal degree. In addition, NTT faculty members are appointed in one of the following tracks: Instructional, Clinical, Practitioner and Research.
Renewal of appointment is contingent upon programmatic need, satisfactory performance of previously assigned responsibilities, and budgeted resources to support the position. NTT appointments are not included under the umbrella of the University policy and procedures regarding faculty tenure (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-14) and NTT faculty members are not entitled to any rights with regard to tenure.
Third-Year Reviews for NTT Faculty
Full Performance Reviews
The Full Performance Reviews of NTT faculty members who are in their third or sixth year of consecutive employment are governed by the applicable CBA. Each academic year, guidelines for the Full Performance Reviews for NTT faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost. The Full Performance Review concludes with the College’s level of review and determination. The period of performance to be reviewed is the three (3) full academic years of consecutive appointments including that portion of the third appointment which is subject to evaluation and assessment at the time of the review. Each NTT faculty member who must complete a Full Performance Review will submit a dossier as described in the CBA. The file should contain at least an updated curriculum vita, self evaluation of performance, and supporting documents. Additional information about the dossier for a Full Performance Review is included in the CBA.
“Simplified” Performance Reviews
NTT faculty members who are in their ninth year of consecutive employment and any subsequent third year of consecutive employment thereafter (e.g., 12th, 15th, 18th, et. seq.) must successfully complete a “simplified” performance review as described in the applicable CBA. Each academic year, guidelines for the “simplified” performance reviews for NTT faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost. The “simplified” performance review concludes with the College’s level of review and determination. The period of performance to be reviewed is the three (3) full academic years of consecutive appointments including that portion of the third appointment which is subject to evaluation and assessment at the time of the review. NTT faculty who must complete a “simplified” performance review will submit documentation as described in the CBA.
NTT Performance Review Criteria
NTT faculty members are reviewed by the Department’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee on the specific criteria outlined in their letter of appointment and as described below, including consideration of the track (Instructional, Clinical, Practitioner or Research) to which the NTT faculty member is assigned. An inherent part of the review process is to provide feedback to the NTT faculty member based on clear and consistent performance criteria. Renewals of appointment and salaries for NTT faculty should be tied to performance within the parameters established in the applicable CBA. Rubrics for the assessment of teaching performance, recruitment and/or retention, research, etc. will be developed and shared with the candidate, and used to evaluate performance. Student assessment of teaching and mentoring may also be used to assess performance, as necessary.
The RTP Committee will consider the performance reviews of NTT faculty members based primarily on satisfactory evaluations of classroom performance. Criteria for meritorious service may include:
- Positive evaluations of classroom performance from students and/or peer evaluations
- Improvement of instructional material
- Improvement of delivery methods
- Appropriate participation in curriculum revision and development
- Positive contributions to University citizenship
Each NTT faculty member is discussed by the RTP Committee which votes on a recommendation for renewal of the faculty member’s appointment. The Chair independently assesses the accomplishments of each NTT faculty member and forwards to the Dean her/his recommendation and the committee's recommendation. The Chair informs the NTT faculty member of the RTP Committee's deliberations and provides the faculty member a copy of the recommendation that the Chair sends to the Dean. NTT faculty members whose appointments will not be renewed must be notified by the timelines established in the applicable CBA whether lack of adequate satisfaction with performance or the absence of anticipated continuing programmatic need or budgeted resources to support the position is the reason.
Beginning in academic year 2011-12, NTT faculty members who have completed at least six (6) consecutive years of service and at least two (2) successful Full Performance Reviews may apply for promotion at the time of their second Full Performance Review or with any scheduled performance review thereafter. The criteria, guidelines and procedures for NTT promotions are included in the CBA. As required by the CBA, evidence of significant accomplishments in performance and professional development is required. Accomplishments and/or contributions in the area of University citizenship, when they exist, will contribute to the NTT faculty member’s overall record of accomplishment. The College’s Non-Tenure Track Promotion Advisory Board (NPAB) will review the applications for promotion and make a recommendation to the Dean.
Faculty Grievance and Appeal Procedures
- 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 Chair about any issue(s) of concern. The Chair may seek the advice and recommendation of individual Faculty members or Faculty advisory groups in seeking informal resolution of a dispute or complaint.
- Formal Procedure
Formal procedures for addressing grievances affecting the terms and conditions of employment of Faculty are described in the applicable CBA. Disputes involving substantive academic judgments are subject to a separate academic appeals process governed by the applicable CBA.
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.
Policy on Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships between Faculty and Students
For the purposes of this policy, the term “faculty member,” refers to all those who teach and/or do research at the University including (but not limited to) Faculty, NTT Faculty, part-time faculty, adjunct faculty, research associates, and teaching assistants.
The term “student” refers to a person enrolled at Kent State University in any capacity.
The Department’s educational mission is promoted by professionalism in faculty/student relationships, and professionalism is fostered by an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Actions of faculty members and students that harm this atmosphere—which occurs when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority—undermine professionalism and hinder fulfillment of the Department’s mission.
The Department believes that romantic and/or sexual relationships between students and faculty members are unadvisable and should be avoided. Nonetheless such relationships between a student and a faculty member are not prohibited, but the following policies shall apply:
Romantic and/or sexual relationships, and the pursuit thereof, between faculty members and students are prohibited whenever the faculty member has direct professional responsibility for or authority over the student. Positions of professional responsibility or authority include, but are not limited to: course instructor; academic, thesis or dissertation advisor; individual investigation supervisor; examining committee member.
Relationships of this nature must be disclosed, in writing, to the Department Chairperson at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Department Chairperson, in consultation with the FAC, shall determine which professional responsibilities are prohibited when a romantic and/or sexual relationship exists between a faculty member and a student.
Handbook Modification, Amendment and Revision
The implementation, modification, amendment and revision of this Handbook is governed by the applicable CBA. 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. The modification or amendment is then presented to the entire Faculty for approval. 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.