Structure and Organization of the Department | Political Science 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 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.

    Regional campus faculty in tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure track (NTT) positions are voting members of the faculty.  

    Full-time NTT faculty members are voting members of the faculty and may serve on departmental committees except for the Faculty Evaluation Committee (FEC).

    Faculty status may, at the discretion of the faculty, be extended to those with professional administrative appointments as Center directors and who hold graduate faculty rank in the Department.

     

  2. Administrative and Service Positions

    1.         Department Chair

     

    The Department Chair (hereinafter “Chair”) reports directly to and is accountable to the Dean of the College (hereinafter “Dean”) and to the Faculty of the Department.  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 (CBA). The Chair represents the Department in Collegiate and University matters, except as specified otherwise in the Handbook.

     

    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 Chair shall also use the resources of the office to create an atmosphere in which  all faculty members can most effectively realize their capabilities for teaching, research, and service, and fulfill their professional duties and obligations; make annual reports to the Faculty on the state of the Department; this shall include an annual financial report to the Department Faculty Meeting, an income, expenditures, and resources, and a budget for the new academic year; initiate periodic reviews of the departmental curricula; assemble and distribute annually to faculty all relevant information concerning faculty salaries; and select and supervise secretaries and maintain effective office organization. These responsibilities are exercised in consultation with the FAC and in accordance with the University Civil Service regulations.

     

    Procedures for the selection, review and reappointment of the Chair are included in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

     

    2.      Assistant to the Chair

     

    The Department may have an Assistant to the Chair. The Assistant to the Chair is appointed by the Chair after consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC). The term of service is established by the Chair in consultation with the FAC, but may be terminated by the Chair, in his/her sole discretion.  The duties and responsibilities of the Assistant to the Chair are determined by the Chair in consultation with the 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 ARTICLE VI.E Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents) contained in this Handbook.

     

    3.      Graduate Coordinator

                        

    The Graduate Coordinator is appointed by the Chair after consultation with the Graduate Faculty and the FAC and approved by the Faculty Meeting. The Graduate Coordinator should, whenever possible,  be an F-4 member of the Graduate Faculty holding the rank of TT Associate Professor or TT Professor. The term of service is established by the Chair in consultation with the FAC, but may be terminated by the Chair, in consultation with FAC and the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC). The Graduate Coordinator chairs the GSC and oversees the operation and development of the Department’s MA/PhD program.

     

    4.      Undergraduate Coordinator

     

    The Undergraduate Coordinator is appointed by the Chair after consultation with the faculty and the FAC and approved by the Faculty Meeting. The term of service is established by the Chair in consultation with the FAC, but may be terminated by the Chair, in consultation with FAC and the Undergraduate Studies Committee (USC). The Undergraduate Coordinator chairs the USC, oversees the operation and development of the Department’s POL undergraduate degree programs, and serves as the Department’s representative to the A&S College Curriculum Committee.

     

    5.      Master of Public Administration (MPA) Coordinator

     

    The MPA Coordinator is elected by the MPA committee and approved by the Chair and the Faculty Meeting. The term of service is established by the Chair in consultation with the FAC, but may be terminated by the Chair, in consultation with FAC and the MPA Committee. The MPA Coordinator chairs the MPA Committee and oversees the operation and development of the MPA program.

     

    The MPA Coordinator serves on a 12-month basis.  The MPA Coordinator’s responsibilities include the following: (a) serving as the official NASPAA (National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration) representative; (b) advertising and promoting the MPA program externally; (c) facilitating the research needs of junior, full-time MPA faculty; (d) bringing issues affecting the MPA program to the attention of the MPA Committee for resolution; (e) coordinating the MPA program decisions with the other formal departmental committees, when relevant; (f) coordinating MPA program decisions between the MPA Committee and the Chair of the Department; (g) convening the MPA Committee regularly; and (h) coordinating with the Center for Public Administration and Public Policy.

     

    6.      Center for Applied Conflict Management (CACM) Director

     

    The CACM Director is elected by the CACM Committee and approved by the Chair and the Faculty Meeting. The term of service is established by the Chair in consultation with the FAC, but may be terminated by the Chair, in consultation with FAC and the CACM Committee. The CACM Director chairs the CACM Committee and oversees the operation and development of the CACM program.

     

    7.      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 the individual’s qualifications for the position. Duties, terms of office, and workload equivalencies shall be specified by the Chair in consultation with FAC.

     

    8.      Non-Academic Staff

     

    The Department’s non-academic staff includes all classified and unclassified staff positions within the Department including but not limited to the secretarial staff.  Each position has specific duties as defined in the applicable position description.

  3. Department Committees

    All Department committees are advisory and recommendatory to the Chair.  The membership, structure, and function of the Department’s committees are governed by the University Policy Register and the Collective Bargaining Agreement, where applicable.  The Chair may establish other departmental standing and ad hoc committees in consultation with the FAC.  The Chair will solicit requests from faculty members for positions on the Department’s various committees.  The Chair, when making appointments to Department committees, will be mindful of the diversity of disciplines within the Department and will consider the expertise and interests necessary for the effective functioning of specific committees. The chair’s recommendations shall be submitted to the Faculty Meeting for approval.

    The committees have the obligation to make Faculty Meetings (ARTICLE III.D) vital and the center of Departmental policy making. The committee shall initiate and guide policy to maintain a broad consultation with the entire faculty through the timely provision of minutes and reports and through engagement of the faculty in discussion and decision on written reports within the Faculty Meeting.

    Committees shall hold regular meetings, scheduled and notified by the committee’s Chair or upon request of a majority of the committee’s members at the beginning of each semester and as the need arises throughout the academic year.

    A simple majority of the members of a committee constitutes a quorum. To the extent possible, committee recommendations should be reached by consensus.  In the absence of consensus, committee recommendations are reached by a simple majority vote of the members present and voting.  A committee may recommend to place a matter on the agenda of the Faculty Meeting or FAC.

    Committee meetings are open to Department faculty unless a closed meeting for an entire session or for a specific item of business is requested by consensus or a simple majority of the members present and voting.  The reason for the closed meeting must be stated in the resolution ordering closure.  

    Because of the size and complexity of the Department, the Department does not maintain a separate Curriculum Committee, but the functions of the Curriculum Committee are divided between the four degree-granting programmatic committees:  the GSC, the USC, the MPA Committee, and the CACM committee.

    1. The Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

      The FAC shall be concerned with all aspects of the operation of the Department consistent with the CBA and University policies and may make recommendations on any matter not assigned to another committee by this Handbook, but its primary responsibility shall be faculty governance and the strategic planning and development of departmental policy in cooperation with the Chair.  Like other committees, the FAC has the obligation to contribute to the vitality of Faculty Meetings by referring to it important matters for discussion, including curriculum development, the recruitment and hiring of faculty, and proposals for policy change or new directions of substantial impact on the Department as a whole.

       

      The meetings of the FAC are chaired by the Department Chair.  The FAC is structured and operates as described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The FAC is elected directly by the full-time Faculty of the Department as defined in subhead III.A Definition of the Faculty above.  FAC terms are for fifteen (15) months.  Elections are conducted in the Spring Semester, and the new FAC members assume office at the beginning of the Summer, when feasible.  Out-going members of FAC continue their terms through the Summer, when feasible.  No person shall serve more than two successive years.  The FAC shall consist of four Kent Campus TT faculty members.  It shall also include one Regional Campus TT faculty member, when feasible. When the department includes five (5) or more full-time non-tenure track (FTNTT) faculty on the Kent Campus, one (1) representative of the Kent Campus FTNTT faculty will be elected to the FAC by the Kent Campus FTNTT faculty of the department. An undergraduate and graduate student representative may participate in the meetings of the FAC without the right to vote.

       

      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.  Faculty 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 agenda and any resolutions for a meeting of the FAC shall be distributed beforehand to faculty members and, aside from personnel matters, student representatives.  No recommendation will be made on any matter which is not on the announced agenda or on any resolution not circulated beforehand unless the FAC, by consensus or by a simple majority of the members present and voting, recommends the suspension of this rule for the particular meeting.

    2. The Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)

      The GSC is composed of at least four members of the graduate faculty.  The Department Chair solicits self-nominations in the Spring semester for terms beginning the Fall.  The Chair may also nominate members, keeping in mind issues including, but not limited to, representativeness and equity.  Faculty membership is confirmed at the first Fall Faculty Meeting.  The committee also includes one graduate student representative plus an alternate recommended by the Political Science Graduate Student Association. The student representative may participate in the meetings of the GSC without the right to vote.

       

      The GSC assists the Graduate Coordinator, who serves as the GSC chair, with the oversight and development of the Department’s graduate program.  The GSC reviews proposals for new graduate courses, changes in course content and related curricular matters, and conducts periodic reviews of the Department’s MA/PhD program as a whole.  The GSC is responsible for recruiting, evaluating applications for admission, evaluating and recommending candidates for graduate appointments, monitoring the progress and academic performance of graduate students in the Department, separation of graduate students, placement, and such other duties as may be assigned to it by the Department Chair. 

       

      Recommendations on significant matters of curriculum and policy are to be forwarded from GSC to FAC or the Faculty Meeting.

       

      The GSC will oversee the Teaching Assistant and Fellowship programs and cooperate with the Teaching Fellow Coordinator to insure quality teaching and enhance the professional development of teaching fellows.

       

      The graduate student representative shall not participate in decisions relative to faculty and the admission of present Kent State University graduate students to a new degree program (i.e., M.A. to Ph.D.) and separation of graduate students, financial aid for graduate students, or other questions relating to the programs or progress of individual graduate students.

    3. Undergraduate Studies Committee (USC)

      The USC is composed of at least four members of the Faculty.  The Department Chair solicits self-nominations in the Spring semester for terms beginning the Fall.  The Chair may also nominate members, keeping in mind issues including, but not limited to, representativeness and equity.  Faculty membership is confirmed at the first Fall Faculty Meeting.  The committee also includes two undergraduate student representative recommended by the USC Chair.  The student representatives may participate in the meetings of the USC without the right to vote. One of the faculty members may be a member of the Regional Campus faculty.

       

      The USC performs the functions of an undergraduate curriculum committee.  Recommendations on significant matters of curriculum and policy are to be forwarded from USC to FAC or the Faculty Meeting.  Student representatives will not participate in personnel matters.

       

      The USC Chair serves on the College Curriculum Committee (CCC).

    4. The Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Committee

      The Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Committee shall consist of at least four members of the Faculty.  The Department Chair solicits self-nominations in the Spring semester for terms beginning the Fall.  The Chair may also nominate members, keeping in mind issues including, but not limited to, representativeness and equity.  Faculty membership is confirmed at the first Fall Faculty Meeting.  The Committee also includes one M.P.A. student representative who is recommended by the MPA Committee chair.  Graduate student representatives shall not participate in decisions relative to  faculty and the admission of present Kent State University graduate students to a new degree program (i.e., M.A. to M.P.A.), separation of graduate students, financial aid for graduate students, or other questions relating to the programs or progress of individual graduate students.

       

      The committee shall be concerned with administration of the M.P.A. program, including the recruitment, admission, and separation of graduate students; financial aid; graduate curriculum; graduate program procedures and policies; and such other duties as may be assigned to it by Department Chair. Accreditation and professional liaison will also be a primary responsibility of the committee, under the direction of the coordinator.

       

      Responsibilities of the MPA Coordinator are described in ARTICLE III.B.5 of the Faculty Handbook.

        

      Recommendations on significant matters of curriculum and policy are to be forwarded from the MPA Committee to FAC or the Faculty Meeting.

    5. The Center for Applied Conflict Management (CACM) Committee

      The Center for Applied Conflict Management (CACM) Committee shall consist of the full-time members of the faculty whose primary teaching responsibilities are associated with the Applied Conflict Management degree program. Faculty membership is confirmed at the first Fall Faculty Meeting.  The committee will be chaired by the Director of the Center for Applied Conflict Management.

       

      Student views shall be gathered by information sharing and discussion with members of the CACM community through external venues, such as classroom discussion, e-mail listservs, and discussion and survey instruments embedded in CACM’s social networking space.  Student participation is highly valued, but it is also considered to be advisory.

       

      The committee oversees the design and delivery of the Applied Conflict Management degree and courses as well as the Center’s public service work.

       

      Following the precepts of conflict resolution, all decisions by this committee shall be reached through consensus.

       

      Recommendations on significant matters of curriculum and policy are to be forwarded from the CACM Committee to FAC or the Faculty Meeting.

    6. Graduate Faculty Committee ("F4 Committee")

      Members of the Political Science and Justice Studies faculties who have attained the graduate faculty status (GFS) of “F4” comprise a committee whose mission is to designate the levels of GFS held by the entire faculty in each unit. This process, which involves a review of faculty members’ academic record based upon criteria approved by the Political Science Department (see ARTICLE IV), customarily occurs late in the academic year. When new faculty members have joined either department, the committee will designate an appropriate level of GFS during her/his first semester. The regular meetings in the spring semester will provide the committee an opportunity to raise the GFS of faculty members. Every five years, the F4 Committee will undertake a comprehensive review of each member’s academic record and may then raise or reduce the member’s GFS. Faculty members may appeal these decisions directly to the F4 Committee, and if unsuccessful at this level, to the chair of Political Science.  

    7. Student Academic Complaint Committee (SACC)

      The Student Academic Complaint Committee (SACC) shall consist of the Department’s Faculty Advisory Committee, an undergraduate POL major, and a POL graduate student, both in good standing in the Department.  The Chair of the SACC is elected by the SACC at the beginning of each academic year. 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 tenured and tenure-track 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 tenured and tenure-track faculty.

    8. 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. The RTP Committee is a recurrent ad hoc committee whose membership and functions are assigned by university policies, including the CBA, the University Register, and guidelines from the Provost’s office. Within these limits, the Committee applies more explicit Department-adopted criteria and standards for reappointment, tenure, and promotion as set forth in ARTICLE VII of this Handbook. The RTP 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 of Arts and Sciences.

    9. The Faculty Evaluation Committee (FEC)

      The Faculty Evaluation Committee (FEC) is elected directly by the full-time Faculty of the Department as defined in subhead III.A Definition of the Faculty above.  Elections are conducted in the Spring Semester, and the membership is confirmed at the first fall Faculty Meeting.  No person shall serve more than one term during any three-year period.  During its first meeting, FEC shall elect one of its members to serve as Chair.

       

      FEC rules and processes for assessing faculty performance shall be spelled out and promulgated among the faculty.

       

      The FEC responsibilities include (see ARTICLE X for procedural details):

       

                           a.      Recommending to the FAC and the Chair ranking of faculty for merit increments based on university policy and the criteria approved at the Faculty Meeting;

       

                           b.      Recommending to the Faculty Meeting the policies and guidelines which, upon approval, become the basis of awarding merit in the following year.

       

      Changes to the FEC criteria are considered changes to the Faculty Handbook and therefore must follow the procedures for changing the Faculty Handbook.

    10. 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 solicit requests and preferences from the faculty before establishing and making appointments to departmental committees.

  4. The Faculty Meeting

    The meeting of the full-time faculty of the Department, including the Regional Campus faculty, shall be an advisory and recommendatory body to the Chair on academic matters central to the Department’s mission, as set forth in the CBA and in this Handbook.

                                                                                 

    The Faculty Meeting consists of the full-time faculty as defined in ARTICLE III. A. above. The Faculty Meeting is chaired by the Department Chair.

     

    Student representatives, graduate and undergraduate, may participate, consistent with CBA and University policy.  The graduate student representative will be recommended by the Political Science Graduate Student Association.  The undergraduate student representative will be recommended by the Undergraduate Coordinator.  Other persons may attend meetings unless a closed meeting is approved in accordance with the decision-making procedures elaborated below.  Student representatives may also be excluded under the same procedure.  Student representatives may participate in the Faculty Meeting without a right to vote.  The closing of the Faculty Meetings must be in accordance with state law.

     

                The agenda and any draft resolutions for the Faculty Meeting shall be distributed in time to reach all the faculty members and – if appropriate – student representatives at least two working days before the meeting.  No recommendation may be made on any matter which is not on the announced agenda or on any draft resolution not circulated beforehand, unless the Faculty Meeting decides (in accordance with the decision-making procedures elaborated below) to suspend this rule for the particular meeting.

     

                There shall be regularly scheduled Faculty Meetings held in the academic year.  Special meetings may be called by the Chair and may be requested by the simple majority of the FAC or by one-fourth of the Faculty. In all cases consideration should be given to the teaching schedules of regional campus faculty.

     

                A simple majority of the Kent Campus full-time faculty members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of the Faculty Meeting.  Faculty on leave or excused by the Chair are excluded for purpose of determination of a quorum.

     

    There are six ways that the Faculty Meeting may make decisions. Three are “open” in nature, and three are “secret” in nature. Open voting is a norm in the department.  With regard to open decision making:

     

    1. The Faculty Meeting shall strive to make decisions by open discussion, by consensus, and by open voting.

     

    1. If consensus is not possible, decisions shall be made by a simple majority of those present.  There shall be no proxy voting at Faculty Meetings.

     

    1. In routine, non-controversial matters that must be decided before a Faculty Meeting is scheduled, the Chair may poll the faculty with electronic “ballots,” submitted directly to the Chair.  Faculty members will have 2 full business days to cast their votes.  If any Faculty member objects to the holding of an electronic vote during that period, a regular Faculty Meeting must be called instead.

     

    In exceptional circumstances, a secret ballot may be used. With regard to secret ballots, there are three processes by which the Faculty may decide to cast a secret ballot. There are also three kinds of secret ballots.

     

    The three processes that the Faculty may use to decide to cast a secret ballot are as follows:

     

    1. A simple majority of the faculty present and voting at a Faculty Meeting may decide that a secret ballot in the meeting, a secret postal mail ballot, or a secret email ballot will occur on a particular item. 

     

    1. A faculty member may privately request of the chair, in advance of the Faculty Meeting at which a decision is expected on a particular item, that a secret ballot in the meeting, a secret postal mail ballot, or a secret email ballot will occur on a particular item. The chair will then poll the faculty by secret email on the request for a secret ballot. These secret ballots will be sent by email to the administrative secretary, who will count them and report the results (in anonymous form) to the chair and to the faculty. A simple majority of the members of the Faculty must send in positive votes in order for a request for a secret ballot to be approved.

     

    1. The Department Chair may decide that a secret ballot in the meeting, a secret postal mail ballot, or a secret email ballot may be advantageous for a specific item. The chair will then poll the faculty by secret email on the request for a secret ballot. These secret ballots will be sent by email to the administrative secretary, who will count them and report the results (in anonymous form) to the chair and to the faculty. A simple majority of the members of the Faculty must send in positive votes in order for a request for a secret ballot to be approved.

     

    The three kinds of secret ballots are detailed below:

     

    1. Secret ballot at the Faculty Meeting. When the faculty vote by secret ballot in meetings, the ballots shall be counted by at least two faculty members.

     

    1. Secret postal mail ballot. When the faculty vote by postal mail ballot, the ballots shall be distributed a full calendar week before the deadline for submission so that all voting members of the faculty receive them in time to return them within the deadline, including those at the regional campuses. Postal mail ballots shall be delivered in sealed envelopes, signed by the faculty member on the outside of the envelope, and opened and counted by at least two faculty members.

     

    1. Secret electronic mail ballot.  These secret ballots will be sent by email to the administrative secretary, who will count them and report the results (in anonymous form) to the chair and to the faculty.