Matters of School Governance and Related Procedures | Kent State University

Matters of School Governance and Related Procedures

  1. Preamble

    The Kent State University School of Communication Studies Handbook (hereinafter referred to as the Handbook) is designed to define the roles of faculty, students, and the Director in the affairs of the School of Communication Studies and to specify policies and procedures for decision-making and operations within the School.

    Other University policies, regulations, and procedures take precedence if a conflict occurs between policies and procedures and the provisions within the Handbook. Also, Regional Campus Faculty, although sharing common concerns with the Kent campus for the quality of teaching, have differing and unique interests and programs and also are governed by appropriate Regional Campus documents.

  2. Amending the Handbook

    Upon petition signed by thirty percent (30%) of the regular Faculty, the Director shall call a meeting of the Faculty Advisory Committee within 2 weeks to consider specifically proposed changes in the Handbook.

    Any section of the Handbook may be revised by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the tenured Faculty.

  3. Communication Studies Faculty and Committees

    1. School

      The School of Communication Studies offers B.A. and M.A. degrees, and participates in a Ph.D. through CCI. The B.A. and M.A. programs function collectively as a school. The Ph.D. is administered and granted by the College of Communication and Information (hereinafter referred to as the College or CCI). 

      University rules and other documents referring to "departments" apply to the School of Communication Studies as a whole. Communication Studies faculty on the Regional Campuses also are members of the School of Communication Studies and the College of Communication and Information on the Kent Campus, and, as appropriate, may serve on and participate in School, College, and University committees. The School may adopt, with the approval of the School Director and College Dean, any policies and procedures not in conflict with the provisions of the Handbook, the College of Communication and Information Handbook, the University Policy Register, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    2. Faculty Appointment and Employment

      1. Definition of "Faculty"

        The term "faculty" shall mean all regular full-time, tenure-track teaching personnel with rank of instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. In certain circumstances, when specified in the Handbook, "faculty" may be augmented by the entire instructional staff, including graduate appointees and temporary and part-time teaching staff.

      2. Faculty and Staff Additions and Replacements

        a. Before making recommendations for faculty and staff replacements and additions, the Director will consult with the faculty and with the Dean to address the needs of the School.

        b. The need for new and replacement positions shall be determined by the School Director, in consultation with the FAC, and reported by the Director to the faculty of the School.

        c. The School's FAC will vote to recommend search committee members and a search committee chair to the Director.

        d. After all applicants for positions have been screened by the search committee, final candidates shall be made available for interview by any interested regular faculty member of the School, who may make recommendations to the search committee.

        e. The search committee recommends candidates for employment to the FAC, and the FAC forwards its recommendation to the Director.

        f. Regular School faculty shall have the opportunity to provide input to the search committee, FAC, and Director on the recommendation of any candidate for appointment.

        g. The School Director or his/her designee, in consultation with the FAC, participates in the recruitment of and makes recommendations for the appointment of Regional Campus faculty.

    3. Committees

      1. Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

        In keeping with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and to ensure the participation of the faculty in School affairs, there shall be a Faculty Advisory Committee. The FAC shall be a committee representative of the full-time Faculty as a whole. The FAC will be composed of at least the following minimal representation elected by the tenure-track faculty as a whole:

        1. At least one full professor, one associate professor, and one assistant professor from the  tenure-track Kent campus School of Communication Studies faculty;
        2. One representative elected by and from the Communication Studies full-time, tenure-track, Regional Campus faculty;
        3. One additional tenured faculty Kent campus School of Communication Studies faculty;
        4. One representative from the Communication Studies Non-tenure track Kent campus School of Communication Studies faculty, if available; and
        5. The School Director, who shall be an ex-officio non-voting member. The Director shall serve as Chairperson. If there is no faculty member in one of the above ranks available to serve, the FAC may, at its discretion, recommend to the School Director, a faculty member from the tenure-track Kent campus School of Communication Studies faculty of any rank to serve on the Committee. At its discretion, the FAC may meet as a Committee of the whole faculty. 

        The FAC shall be an advisory and recommendatory body to the School Director on academic matters of policy and procedure in the School of Communication Studies. The FAC shall participate in such matters as are specified in the Handbook and in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, including, but not limited to, decisions about research leaves, appointment and non-appointment of faculty, tenure and promotion, budgetary priorities, and selection and structure of committees. Only tenured faculty may participate in tenure and promotion recommendations.

        The Faculty Advisory Committee should meet on a regular basis. Upon the recommendation of the FAC, the School Director shall convene a general meeting of the entire instructional staff, including graduate appointees and temporary and part- time teaching staff. Upon petition of thirty percent (30%) of the FAC, the Director shall convene a special meeting of the FAC or of the general faculty.

        Quorum of the FAC shall be four members. In the event the FAC, at its discretion, meets as a Committee of the whole faculty, then one-half plus one of the regular full-time, tenure-track Kent Campus faculty shall constitute a quorum at all faculty meetings in which the FAC meets as a Committee of the whole faculty.

        Only full-time faculty may vote at FAC or general faculty meetings.

        A representative to the College Advisory Committee and a representative to the College Curriculum Committee (who is the Undergraduate Coordinator) shall be elected from and by the School FAC. The elections normally take place by the end of the spring semester for a term to begin with the ensuing fall semester.

      2. Undergraduate Studies Committee (USC)

        The Undergraduate Studies Committee assists the Undergraduate Coordinator with administration of the undergraduate programs. In consultation with School faculty and the Director, as appropriate, the USC makes recommendations on admissions policies, course scheduling, undergraduate curriculum development, undergraduate student progress and performance, undergraduate student honors and awards, and school and university policies that impact the undergraduate program. The USC assumes responsibility for writing intensive, diversity, and LER courses. The USC would conduct undergraduate program reviews in accordance with university policy.

        The USC shall be composed of the Undergraduate Coordinator, who will serve as chairperson, at least two School faculty members (at least one of whom must be a full-time, tenure-track faculty member), and one undergraduate student. The FAC elects and recommends to the School Director all USC members. All elections normally take place by the end of the spring semester for a term to begin with the ensuing fall semester. Faculty members serve staggered 2-year terms. The undergraduate student member serves a 1-year term. The undergraduate student member shall participate in and vote on policy recommendations, but shall be excluded from all personnel matters. At its discretion, the USC may meet as an Undergraduate Studies Committee of the whole faculty for any undergraduate matters.

      3. Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)

        The Graduate Studies Committee assists the Graduate Coordinator with administration of the graduate programs. In consultation with School Graduate faculty and the Director, as appropriate, the GSC makes recommendations on graduate admissions, graduate appointments, course scheduling, graduate curriculum development, graduate student program reviews, graduate student progress and performance, graduate student honors and awards, and school and university policies that impact the graduate programs. The GSC also conducts periodic graduate program reviews in accordance with university policy.

        The GSC shall be composed of the Graduate Coordinator, who will serve as chairperson, at least two School graduate faculty members, and one graduate student in the School. The School's graduate faculty elects and recommends to the School Director a minimum of two graduate faculty members, who serve staggered 2-year terms. The Communication Graduate Student Association elects and recommends to the School Director the graduate student member, who serves a 1-year term. All elections normally take place by the end of the spring semester for a term to begin with the ensuing fall semester. As specified in the Policy on Role and Status of Graduate Student Appointees document, the graduate student member shall participate in and vote on policy recommendations, but shall be excluded from all personnel matters. At its discretion, the GSC may meet as a Graduate Studies Committee of the whole graduate faculty for any graduate matters.

        Graduate faculty members of the GSC also serve as the Graduate Faculty Committee (GFC) to review and recommend criteria for graduate faculty membership in the School and to review and recommend graduate faculty membership and status. The Graduate Coordinator chairs the GFC.

      4. Student Grievance Committee (SGC)

        The policy and procedures governing student academic complaints are detailed in the University Policy Register under section 3342-4-02.3. In accordance with this policy, the School shall maintain a Student Grievance Committee for the purpose of resolving student grievances. Committee membership shall be composed of two faculty and two students (one undergraduate and one graduate). The FAC elects and recommends to the Director two faculty members to serve on the SGC. The Communication Graduate Student Association elects and recommends to the Director one graduate student to serve on the SGC. The Communication Undergraduate Student Association elects and recommends to the Director one undergraduate student to serve on the SGC. All elections are for 1-year terms and normally should take place at the beginning of the academic year. The Director shall appoint one of the faculty committee members to chair the SGC. Should a conflict of interest exist for any committee member, the School Director, in consultation with the FAC, shall name a temporary replacement to the SGC (any faculty member involved in the grievance shall not participate in such consultation). If the conflict of interest involves the committee chair, the other faculty member shall serve as temporary chair of the SGC.

        When grievances arise out of student-faculty related problems, the student and the faculty member should attempt to resolve the problem. If no acceptable solution is reached, the following steps should be taken:

        1. The student should consult with his/her academic advisor. If no satisfactory solution is reached with the advisor, the problem should be referred to the Undergraduate Coordinator or the Graduate Coordinator, as appropriate.
        2. If, after consultation with the faculty member, the advisor, and the Undergraduate or Graduate Coordinator, the student is not satisfied with the resolution of the grievance, he/she shall notify  in writing the chair of the SGC, requesting a hearing by the Committee.
        3. All parties involved in grievances referred to the Committee will submit written statements describing the situation. Students and faculty involved in grievances may present their cases in person to the Committee, if they so desire.
        4. Recommendations of the Student Grievance Committee shall be forwarded to the School Director for disposition. The Director's decision will be binding on all parties, unless and until appealed to the College Dean.
      5. Ad Hoc Committees

        In consultation with appropriate faculty members or committees, the Director shall appoint, or request the appropriate coordinator to appoint, ad hoc committees to coordinate special events or to accomplish other School needs.

      6. Regional Campus Representation on Committees

        According to Article VI, section 6 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Regional Campus Faculty "have rights and responsibilities to the academic unit and college as well as to the campus of which they are resident Faculty. Consequently, Regional Campus Faculty will be represented on key departmental and college committees, which shall, where practicable, include, but not be limited to, the following: departmental FAC; college CAC; Search Committees; Review Committees; Promotion and Tenure Committees; and committees considering curriculum, departmental or college policy, instructional standards, and program development" (pp. 15-16).

        The role of the Regional Campus faculty in School governance is set forth in Sections I and II of the Handbook.