Matters of School Governance and Related Procedures

  1. Preamble

    This departmental handbook (hereinafter “Handbook”) contains the operational policies and procedures for the School of Peace and Conflict Studies (hereinafter “School”) within the College of Arts & Sciences (hereinafter “College”). The policies and procedures contained in this Handbook shall not conflict with any University Policy of Kent State University, any applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement, or any federal, state or local law. If a conflict arises between policies and procedures here stated and other policies and procedures including those of the University Policy Register or any Collective Bargaining Agreement in force, policies and procedures having wider authority shall take precedence over those stated here.

  2. Goals, Objectives and Mission of the School

    Since the killing and wounding of Kent State students by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970 on its Kent campus, Kent State University has been a leader in fashioning positive institutional responses to violent conflict. The School of Peace and Conflict Studies is one such endeavor. 

    The School’s predecessor, the Center for Peaceful Change (1971-1994), was established in 1971 as the university’s original living memorial to the students killed on May 4, 1970. It was established to research, teach and promote peaceful mechanisms of social and political change. The Center was renamed the Center for Applied Conflict Management in 1994, which it remained until it expanded and transitioned to become the School of Peace and Conflict Studies in August, 2017. In 1974, the Center’s degree program, called “Integrative Change,” was established. The name of the degree was subsequently changed to “Peace and Conflict Studies,” and still later it was changed to “Applied Conflict Management,” with corresponding curricular changes.

    The School of Peace and Conflict Studies promotes interdisciplinary research, teaching, practice and community outreach on conflict analysis and resolution, peacebuilding, and the prevention of violence. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School facilitates collaborative efforts, from the local to the global, so as to critically examine, formulate, recommend, and apply effective responses to destructive conflicts and violence. 

    The School endeavors to conduct research about and to teach a dynamic blend of conflict management theory and practice that is oriented toward increasing social justice and sustainable peace. 

    Understanding the sources, dynamics, stages and cycles of conflicts are an integral dimension of School research and teaching. Also valued is applied knowledge about tools, tactics, and processes to constructively manage conflicts. Pedagogies that are interactive, cooperative, and participatory are privileged in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies courses as well as in the training work School faculty conduct in the community so that participants may learn applied conflict management skills to be used in the community, the workplace, in a variety of life settings, and in relationships. Awareness of and redressing power inequalities between conflict parties and the structural sources of those inequalities is a central concern in the constructive approach to managing conflicts that marks the School’s philosophy

  3. Structure and Organization of the School

    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 members of academic rank who hold NTT or TT appointments at the University and who, therefore, are members of the bargaining units as defined in the current Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs). Unless otherwise specified, participation in consensus decision making and voting rights on departmental matters are restricted to the Faculty with full-time appointments in the School.

      In addition to the consensus decision making and voting Faculty, all other faculty members such as part-time, temporary, or adjunct appointments are eligible to attend School faculty meetings and participate in the deliberations; they do not have decision making or voting privileges. 

    2. Research, Teaching, Service and Practice Roles and Responsibilities of the Faculty

      Each faculty member is expected to contribute to the School, College and the University according to the terms and condition of his/her letter of appointment. Not all faculty members contribute to the School in the same manner. All tenure-track faculty members are expected to be involved in significant research activity, serve on graduate student committees, and direct graduate student research. TT faculty must present evidence of their endeavors as witnessed by peer-reviewed publications, proposals submitted for extramural funding, and dissemination of research in various peer-reviewed venues as appropriate to their areas of specialization, and to the field of Peace and Conflict Studies. Activity in Peace and Conflict Studies professional organizations is expected of TT faculty members. For all full-time faculty members, public service, community outreach and applied practice as it relates to the mission of the School is also expected. 

      Service to the University is a responsibility of each faculty member. School, College, and University committee or task force membership is expected as a normal part of a faculty member’s contributions, less so for non-tenured faculty than for tenured faculty.  Service expectations may vary according to one’s position and other work expectations, as specified in letters of appointment or workload statements. 

    3. Faculty Ranks

      The definitions of faculty ranks follow:

      Instructor: This rank is intended for persons initially hired with a master’s degree.  Normally, the School does not hire at the rank of Instructor for full time positions. 

      TT Assistant Professor: This rank is normally the entry level rank for tenure-track track faculty holding the doctorate in Peace and Conflict Studies or an appropriate cognate discipline.  

      TT Associate Professor: Hire to or promotion to this rank presumes prior service as a TT Assistant Professor, significant academic achievements, and possession of the doctorate in Peace and Conflict Studies or an appropriate cognate discipline. 

      TT Professor: Promotion to this rank requires credentials and significant academic achievements beyond those required for promotion to TT Associate Professor, and possession of the doctorate in Peace and Conflict Studies or an appropriate cognate discipline.  

      Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTT) Appointments: Full-time non-tenure track faculty (NTT) appointments are made on an annual basis. An NTT faculty member who has successfully completed three (3) consecutive years of employment and one (1) Full Performance Review becomes eligible for appointment to a three-year term of annually renewable appointments which are conditional from year to year only upon continued satisfaction with demonstrated performance, continued programmatic and staffing need within the academic unit, and continued budgetary resources supporting the position (See NTT CBA).  NTT appointments are not included under the umbrella of the University policy and procedures regarding faculty tenure (See the University Policy Register) and NTT faculty members are not entitled to any rights with regard to tenure. NTT faculty ranks and the promotional process for NTT faculty are detailed in the NTT CBA.

      NTT offers of appointment will include the specific academic rank. 

      There are six full-time NTT ranks delineated in the NTT CBA.  These include:

      • Lecturer, Associate Lecturer and Senior Lecturer - for NTT faculty members who have not earned a terminal degree in their discipline and whose professional experience and demonstrated performance warrant these ranks.
      • Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor - for NTT faculty members who have earned the terminal degree in their discipline and whose professional experience and demonstrated performance warrant these ranks. 
      • NTT appointments shall also specify the track in which the appointment is offered.  Tracks include:
      • Instructional. FTNTT Faculty members whose primary role is to deliver instruction.
      • Clinical. FTNTT Faculty members whose primary role is to deliver instruction and/or supervision in a clinical setting.
      • Practitioner. FTNTT Faculty members whose primary role is to deliver instruction or serve in professional programs and applied areas.
      • Research. FTNTT Faculty members whose primary role is to engage in research activity funded by external sources.

      Part-Time Faculty Appointments: When the School cannot meet its teaching needs from the ranks of its full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty, full-time non-tenure track (NTT) faculty and graduate students, part-time faculty appointments will be made from an established pool of qualified applicants not currently on regular appointment at the University.

    4. Graduate Faculty Status

      The School’s tenure-track faculty members staff many of the courses in the Conflict Analysis and Management track in the Political Science (POL) PhD program, serve on POL doctoral comprehensive exam committees, and on POL dissertation committees. Thus, the School normally requires that all faculty hired for tenure-track positions be eligible for appointment to the graduate faculty. The Administrative policy regarding graduate faculty is included in the University Policy Register (See the University Policy Register).  The status of Graduate faculty members shall be assigned by the F4 Committee of the Political Science Department (see Section III of the POL Department Handbook).

    5. Administrative and Service Positions

      1. School Director

        The School Director (hereinafter “Director”) is the chief administrative officer of the School (see Department Operational Manual) and reports directly to and is accountable to the Dean of the College (hereinafter “Dean”). The Director is responsible for recording, maintaining, and implementing the policies and procedures stated in this Handbook through regular and thorough consultation with the School faculty and its committees as provided for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

        The Director is an ex officio, non-voting member of all School committees, and may make appointments as necessary and permitted to School committees and to the various administrative and service positions in the School.

        The Director shall strive to create a collegial, cooperative, transparent atmosphere in which all faculty members can most effectively realize their capabilities for teaching, research, service, practice, and community outreach in fulfilling their professional duties and obligations. 

        The Director shall solicit items from the faculty for the faculty meeting, make regular reports on the health of the School, communicate information from the university administration in a timely manner, select and supervise non-academic staff members and maintain effective office organization. These responsibilities are exercised in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) and in accordance with the University Civil Service regulations.

        The Director of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies shall have no teaching responsibilities until the completion of the 2019-2020 academic year, which will including the 50th Commemoration of the May 4, 1970 shootings. Commencing with AY 2020-21 and for all subsequent years, the Director of the School shall teach one course per academic year. 

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

      2. Non-Academic Staff

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

    6. School Committees

      All School committees are advisory and recommendatory to the Director. The membership, structure, and function of some of the School’s committees are governed by the University Policy Register and the Collective Bargaining Agreements, where applicable. The Director may establish other School standing and ad hoc committees in consultation with the Faculty Meeting. 

      The Director will solicit requests from faculty members for positions on the various committees. The Director, when making appointments to committees, will be mindful of the diversity of specializations and areas of study among the School faculty and will consider the expertise and interests necessary for the effective functioning of specific committees. The Director’s recommendations shall be submitted to the Faculty for approval.

      The standing committees are: Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC); Curriculum Committee (CC); and Faculty Evaluation Committee (FEC). There is also an Ad Hoc Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee, and various other ad hoc committees as needs arise.

      Membership on FAC consists of all the TT faculty and the maximum number of NTT faculty as allowed in order to meet the TT CBA requirement that TT faculty members will be a majority on FAC. 

      The NTT faculty members will serve one year terms and will be appointed by the NTT faculty members in advance of the School faculty’s annual August retreat or its equivalent, i.e. the first faculty meeting of the academic year.   

      The Collective Bargaining Agreement requires that each Department/School must hold a meeting of the full Faculty at least once each semester.

      All School committees have the obligation to make the Faculty Meeting vital and the center of School policy making and should distribute minutes of their respective meetings to the School faculty in a timely fashion. 

      With respect to NTT faculty representatives on School committees, this should be determined with the concurrence of the NTT faculty.

      1. Decision-making in the Faculty Meeting and in School Committees

        In keeping with the principles of the field of Peace and Conflict Studies, the Faculty Meeting and all School committee meetings shall be conducted in an egalitarian manner to facilitate the participation of all faculty members.

        The Director shall solicit agenda items for the Faculty Meeting and shall distribute the agenda for the meeting at least one full day in advance.

        The principles and processes of consensus decision making shall govern the facilitation of School committee meetings. However, if after extensive discussions consensus can’t be achieved, a faculty member may call for a vote on the issue being discussed, and a vote must then be held. In such instances, a 60% or greater majority is needed for passage. There shall be no secret voting or proxy voting at the Faculty Meeting or committee meetings.

        In routine, non-controversial matters that must be decided before a Faculty Meeting is scheduled, the Director may poll the faculty with electronic ballots, submitted directly to the Director or the Secretary. Faculty members will have two 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.

      2. The Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

        Membership on the School of Peace and Conflict Studies FAC consists of all Faculty members with full-time appointments in the School, including NTT Faculty members. The FAC is structured and operates as described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

        The School’s FAC should be convened by the Director at least twice per semester and chaired by the School Director. A simple majority of the School’s full-time faculty members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of the Faculty/FAC Meeting. Faculty on leave or excused by the Director are excluded for purpose of quorum determination.

        The FAC provides recommendations and advice on all academic matters central to the mission of the School. The Chair, in consultation with the FAC, sets the agenda for the meetings and circulates agendas in advance of the meeting. FAC members may request that items be added to the agenda. Additional meetings of the FAC may be called by a request of at least one-third of the members of the FAC.

      3. The Curriculum Committee (CC)

        The CC is composed of at least one faculty member who is designated its chair whether or not there are additional members. In consultation with the Director and the Faculty Meeting, the CC chair makes recommendations to the Faculty Meeting on any and all matters which affect the undergraduate academic programs of the School including but not limited to faculty proposals for new courses, changes in course content, major and minor requirements, and other curricular matters. The CC or its chair are largely responsible for decisions on course substitutions and similar advising matters, but are encouraged to consult with the full faculty, particularly on decisions that deviate from past practices and/or may set precedent. The CC chair shall serve on the College Curriculum Committee.

      4. Ad Hoc Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP) Committee for TT Faculty

        The policies and procedures which govern the School’s Ad Hoc Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) Committee are included in University Policy. The Ad Hoc RTP Committee is a recurrent ad hoc committee whose functions are assigned by university policies, including the CBA, the University Policy Register, and guidelines from the Provost’s office. Within these limits, the Committee applies more explicit School-adopted criteria and standards for reappointment, tenure, and promotion as set forth in below in this Handbook. Membership is composed of all tenured faculty members in the School at or above the rank that the faculty member under consideration is applying for. Where there are not enough School faculty members to populate the committee, faculty members from other cognate departments will be appointed to the committee by the Director, following consultation with the FAC, the Dean and the candidate(s). 

        The RTP committee reviews materials relevant to the professional performance of faculty who are candidates for reappointment, tenure, or promotion in rank and makes recommendations to the Director on each of these personnel decisions.  The recommendations of this committee and that of the Director are forwarded to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

      5. Student Academic Complaint Committee (SACC)

        The purpose of the Student Academic Complaint Committee (SACC) is to hear and discuss any academic complaints lodged by students and to make recommendations to the School Director concerning the resolution of those complaints. As in the work of all of the School’s committees, the School’s SACC is expected to use the processes and principles of constructive conflict management in conducting its business. 

        The Student Academic Complaint Committee (SACC) shall consist of two full-time TT or NTT faculty members of the School and an undergraduate Applied Conflict Management major or minor in good standing in the School.  The faculty members of the SACC, including its Chair, shall be selected at the first Faculty Meeting of the academic year. The policies and procedures of this committee are governed by University Policy 3342-4-02.3

        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 Director will select a replacement from the full-time TT or NTT faculty. If the Chair of the SACC is the subject of or may otherwise be involved with a student complaint, the Director will appoint a member of the Student Academic Complaint Committee to chair the committee and the Director will appoint an additional member to the committee from the Faculty.

      6. The Faculty Evaluation Committee (FEC)

        The Faculty Evaluation Committee (FEC) consists of all full-time TT faculty members of the School.  During its first meeting of the academic year, FEC shall elect one of its members to serve as Chair. The School Director is an ex officio member of the committee. 

        FEC processes and criteria for assessing TT faculty performance shall be used annually solely for the purposes of recommending merit and determining workload. The Faculty Evaluation Committee will annually award points to each faculty member for items submitted on their respective FEC forms. Based on the items listed and submitted on the FEC form, FEC will make a preliminary determination of the points to be awarded to each faculty member. This shall be completed no later than two months after the FEC forms are due. All faculty members will be informed about these point allocations and will have the opportunity to appeal the FEC point allocations either in writing or in person to FEC. Also see the relevant section below regarding FEC’s role in recommending merit awards to TT faculty. 

        The FEC responsibilities include: annually recommending to the Director the ranking of TT faculty for merit increments based on university policy and the criteria approved at the Faculty Meeting; recommending to the Faculty Meeting the policies and guidelines which, upon approval, become the basis of awarding merit in the following merit cycle.

        The FEC “Faculty Submission Form” and associated criteria for scoring faculty productivity is at the end of this handbook. Changes to the FEC criteria and the Faculty Submission Form are considered changes to the Faculty Handbook and therefore must follow the procedures for changing the Faculty Handbook.

      7. Graduate Program Liaison

        A tenure-track faculty member of the School, appointed by the Director in consultation with the Faculty Meeting, shall serve as the School’s representative to the Political Science Department’s Graduate Studies Committee.

      8. Library Liaison

        A Faculty member will be appointed annually by the Director, in consultation with the Faculty Meeting, to serve as liaison between the School and University Libraries. This liaison will solicit recommendations from faculty member for book and film orders, journal subscriptions, and other matters relevant to the School’s relationship with University Libraries.

    7. Strategic Partnerships

      The School welcomes strategic partnerships to promote conflict resolution within the Kent State community. One such partnership includes Student Mediation Services (SMS) which collaborates with Student Affairs.  SMS provides conflict resolution services such as coaching, mediation, facilitation and training to students on campus, especially within Residence Services and Greek Life.

    8. Faculty Affiliates

      The School of Peace and Conflict Studies welcomes faculty members from other units who desire faculty affiliate status due to their research and teaching interests dovetailing with the School’s mission to promote interdisciplinary research, teaching, practice and community outreach on conflict analysis and resolution, peacebuilding, and the prevention of violence. Faculty affiliates contribute to the School’s collaborative efforts to uncover and critically examine effective responses to destructive conflicts and violence and to increasing social justice and sustainable peace. Kent State University colleagues desiring faculty affiliate status will submit to the Director a current CV and a short descriptive statement highlighting the arenas of collaborative work they hope to engage in with the School. The School Faculty Meeting decides on the granting of faculty affiliate status.

    9. Centers, Research Clusters, and Working Groups

      The School of Peace and Conflict Studies encourages the formation of interdisciplinary faculty clusters and working groups with faculty members from other units focused in thematic areas to stimulate and carry out collaborative projects including grant applications, publications, conferences, seminars, and outreach of various sorts. If School funds are dispersed to working groups or research clusters, reporting requirements for the use of said funds will be established. Formalized administrative units like Centers may also become part of the School’s structure; in that event, this handbook will be revised to detail responsibilities and appropriate administrative reporting requirements.

  4. Faculty Employment and Working Conditions

    1. Recruiting Faculty

      1. Recruiting Full-time Faculty

        The School supports the goals of equal opportunity and affirmative action in recruiting and in making appointments to the full-time faculty. The Director, in consultation with the full-time faculty, recommends members of an ad hoc search committee to the Faculty Meeting. Diversity will be taken into account in determining committee composition. The committees conducting searches should provide opportunities for graduate and undergraduate student involvement in the search process. The responsibility for organization of the search and for maintaining search records rests with the Director.

        The Search Committee, in consultation with the Director, recommends to the Faculty Meeting job descriptions and candidates to be interviewed.

        After the interviews have been concluded, the Faculty Meeting, shall recommend to the Director whether to offer a TT faculty appointment and to whom.

      2. Recruiting Temporary, Part-time Faculty

        The Director consults with the Faculty Meeting on temporary positions in accordance with University regulations. A file of pool candidates for temporary positions shall be maintained by the Director.

    2. Grievance Procedures

      1. Informal Procedure

        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 School highly values direct communication using the principles and processes of constructive conflict management. Any faculty member who has concerns or a grievance is strongly encouraged, before initiating a formal grievance or appeal, to talk with the principals involved and/or the Director about their concerns. The Director may seek the advice and recommendation of individual faculty members or a faculty advisory group in seeking informal resolution of a dispute or complaint. The Director and/or faculty members will initiate an informal dialogue with the parties involved in a dispute and strive to reach a resolution agreeable to all parties. If this dialogue does not produce a satisfactory resolution, parties may seek assistance from an impartial third party as needed to assist in resolving their issues.

      2. Formal Procedure

        The School of Peace and Conflict Studies acknowledges and endorses the ideal expressed in the TT CBA  that “all disputes should be resolved informally, whenever possible, before the filing of a formal grievance” and likewise encourages “open communications so that resort to the formal grievance procedure will not be necessary” (Article VII, Section 1. C. 1.). Similarly, the School endorses related commitments in the NTT CBA: “The University and the Association share a mutual commitment to open communication and efforts to resolve issues of concern or disputes in a timely way and through informal means wherever practicable” (Article VII, Section 1)

        Grievances related to employment with the university concerning the interpretations and application of provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement follow the procedures of the applicable CBA.  (TT CBA Article VII; NTT CBA Article VII)

        University Policies on Tenure, Promotion, and Reappointment as detailed in the TT Collective Bargaining Agreement, and Article VII, Section 2 of the TT CBA, specify the necessary procedures for appealing decisions involving a substantive academic judgment. These include decisions concerning reappointment, tenure, promotion, academic freedom, professional ethics, or sanctions for cause. Formal procedures for addressing such grievances are described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    3. Climate of Collegiality

      The School emphasizes conflict resolution as a means of addressing tension and disagreements. While there are no requirements for how colleagues interact with one another, there is an expectation that faculty members will operate collegially with one another and with staff, emphasizing mutual respect and collaboration.

    4. Faculty Leaves

      All leaves, sponsored or unsupported, personal or professional, are subject to the approval of the Director, the Dean and the Provost. University leaves include but are not limited to:

    5. Faculty Absence and Travel Policy

      Faculty members who will be absent from campus for professional or personal reasons must submit a “Request for Absence Form” with the Director. The request should be made at least one week prior to the planned absence and is subject to the approval of the Director and the Dean. Arrangements for any classes to be missed during the absence must be addressed to the satisfaction of the Director before approval will be granted.

      Attendance at professional meetings is encouraged for both TT and NTT faculty, and approved travel expenses incurred in attending such meetings will be reimbursed if approved prior to travel according to the University’s travel policies, and subject to the availability of School funds. In general, full-time faculty members of the School who do not have start-up funds are eligible to receive $750 per academic year from the School for travel to professional meetings and conferences.   

      For TT faculty to be eligible for School travel funds in the form of $750 per academic year, they must meet the following three conditions: 1) they must have exhausted any start-up funds granted as part of their initial hire; 2) they must be presenting a paper at a panel or a roundtable; 3) they must also have applied for travel funds from either the URC or the UTC, as appropriate. 

      For NTT faculty to be eligible for School travel funds in the form of $750 per academic year, they must also have applied for travel funds from the University Research Council or the University Teaching Council, as appropriate.

    6. Faculty Scik Leave and Personal Leave

      The Director is responsible for keeping complete records of faculty sick leave; however, faculty members are also required to submit the appropriate sick leave forms to the Director.  Sick leave forms should be completed and submitted to the Director within forty-eight (48) hours after an absence (See relevant sections in the University Policy Register).

      Conversion of sick leave to personal leave will be done in accordance with relevant provisions of the CBAs (TT CBA Article XIII, Section 7; NTT CBA Article XII).  Requests to convert accrued sick leave to personal leave are intended to cover absences due to mandatory court appearances, legal or business matters, family emergencies or any other personal matters.  (TT CBA Article XIII, Section 7.)

    7. Outside Employment and Other Outside Activities

      Faculty members may engage in professional activities outside the university provided the activities do not interfere with the faculty member’s teaching, research, or service responsibilities to the School, Campus, College or University (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-24).  Continuing outside employment for remuneration must be approved in advance by the Director and the Dean. Each academic year, each faculty member must disclose and seek approval for all continuing outside employment on the form provided by the University.  Any outside employment or other outside activities are subject to the Faculty Code of Ethics and the University’s conflict of interest policies (See University Policy Register 3342-6-17 and 3342-6-23

    8. Minimum Salaries and Salary Review

      Minimum faculty salaries in each academic rank are specified in the Collective Bargaining Agreements. Faculty members wishing to request a salary review to match a bona fide offer of employment, or to address a salary discrepancy, or in other unusual circumstances may do so in accordance with the relevant Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    9. Academic Misconduct

      The University policy regarding misconduct in research and scholarship and the Administrative policy and procedures regarding allegations and instances of misconduct in research and scholarship is included in the University Policy Register. (See University Policy Register 3342-3-05 and 3342-2-05.01)

    10. Policy on Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships Between Faculty Members and Students

      1. Terminology

        For the purposes of this policy, the term “faculty,” “faculty member,” or “teaching faculty” refers to all those who teach and/or do research at the University including (but not limited to) tenured and tenure-track faculty, non-tenure-track faculty, part-time instructors, lecturers, holders of research appointments, graduate students with teaching responsibilities, visiting faculty, and advisors.

        The term “student” refers to a person enrolled at Kent State University in any capacity, including (but not limited to) full-time or part-time; undergraduate or graduate; for-credit or not-for-credit; or degree or non-degree.

      2. Policy

        The School’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 School’s mission.

        The School strongly believes that a romantic and/or sexual relationship between a student and a faculty member—even if such a relationship appears consensual—undermines the School’s academic mission and should be avoided. 

        In addition, the School imposes the following formal restrictions: Romantic and/or sexual relationships, and the pursuit thereof, between faculty members and graduate or undergraduate students are prohibited whenever the faculty member has direct professional responsibility for or authority over the student.  Positions of professional responsibility or authority include the following: course instructor; formal advisor; independent study director; internship coordinator; dissertation, MA, or Honors Thesis committee member; MA or PhD Advisory Committee member; TA/RA supervisor; or similar formal hierarchical relationships.

        Furthermore, no faculty member may pressure, cajole, or otherwise coerce an undergraduate student to avoid a hierarchical professional relationship (e.g., taking a faculty member’s course) in order to pursue a romantic and/or sexual relationship.

        Finally, while the School does not expressly forbid them, romantic and/or sexual relationships between faculty and graduate or undergraduate students at Kent State are also discouraged when no clear professional, hierarchical relationship between the faculty and student exists (see above). Failure to comply with this policy may result in discipline or dismissal according to the rules appropriate to the individuals involved.

  5. Revision of the Handbook

    This Handbook was approved by the Faculty Meeting on XXXX 2017, and it is reviewed at least once every four years. The Director and a committee of faculty members shall conduct the review and present recommendations to the FAC for approval. In addition, during regular Faculty Meetings, a faculty member may propose changes to any provision of the Handbook, provided the proposal was provided to the faculty in writing no less than 48 hours prior to the start of said meeting. Following discussion, consensus shall be sought for any Handbook changes. Absent consensus, a faculty member may call for a vote on the proposal. A 60% or greater majority of those voting is necessary to amend or alter the Handbook.

    Before any addition or alteration to the Handbook is officially incorporated into the Handbook, the addition or alteration must be approved by the Dean of the College. In reviewing this Handbook the Dean may request revisions before lending final approval. If these revisions are not adopted by the School, 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. See Article VI, Section 7 of the TT CBA for details regarding the handbook review and modification process.