Matters of School Governance and Related Procedures | The School of Visual Communication Design Handbook | Kent State University

Matters of School Governance and Related Procedures

This school handbook (hereinafter "Handbook") contains the operational policies and procedures for the School of Visual Communication Design (hereinafter "School") within the College of Communication and Information (hereinafter "College"). The policies and procedures contained in this Handbook shall not conflict with any University, Administrative and Operational Policy of Kent State University, any applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement, or any federal, state and local law.

  1. Handbook Modificiation, Amendment and Revision

    The implementation, modification, amendment and revision of this Handbook is governed by the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Department faculty will review and update this Handbook, as needed, but at least every three (3) years. Suggestions for modifications or amendment to the Handbook may be initiated at any time by the Director or by any faculty member. Proposed modifications or amendments are subject to discussion, revision, and recommendation by the FAC. When a proposed modification or amendment involves a major change in School policy or practice the Director may seek the recommendation of the entire faculty. If the Director 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 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.

  2. Structure of the School

    The School of Visual Communication Design (hereafter VCD) is structured according mandates of Kent State University. There is a school Director, whose duties are defined by the university and are described in a subsequent section of the Handbook, “Other Department/School Guidelines.” The remaining structural entities are described below.

    1. Associate Director

      The Associate Director is a tenured Associate Professor or Professor who is appointed by the School Director, and will receive workload assignment for the duties carried out in this capacity. The term of service is indefinite and may be terminated by the Director in his/her sole discretion. The appointment is typically for the fall and spring semesters, with the option of a summer appointment when agreed upon and deemed necessary. The duties and responsibilities of the Associate Director shall include but are not limited to the following:

      • Serving as chief administrative officer of the School in the absence of the Director.
      • Advising the Director in all school matters and implementation of established procedures and policies of undergraduate programs.
      • Advising the Director regarding the scheduling of classes and its impact on the curriculum.
      • Assisting in development of the School's undergraduate curriculum with appropriate consultation of the Faculty Advisory Committee (hereinafter "FAC") and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (hereinafter “UCC”).
      • Approving course substitutions, individual investigations and transfer or transient credit.
      • Performing other duties and tasks as assigned or delegated by the Director.
      • Associate Director also serves as Coordinator for Undergraduate Studies and shall serve as school representative on the College Undergraduate Coordinators’ Council. He/she will be responsible for implementation of established procedures and policies of the undergraduate programs, and for their effective and efficient operation.
    2. Coordinator of Graduate Studies

      The Coordinator of Graduate Studies is appointed by the Director after consultation with the Graduate Faculty. The appointment is for a three (3) year term and is renewable. The Coordinator of Graduate Studies must be a full member of the Graduate Faculty holding the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. The Coordinator of Graduate Studies chairs the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) and oversees the operation and development of the Department's graduate programs. The Coordinator of Graduate Studies serves as the School liaison to the Division of Research and Graduate Studies. The duties of the Coordinator of Graduate Studies shall include but are not limited to:

      • Overseeing and coordinating admissions into the School's graduate programs.
      • Recommending to the Director, with the advice of the GSC, the awarding of graduate assistantships and teaching fellowships.
      • Serving as School liaison to the College of Communication and Information, the Graduate College Council and the Division of Research and Graduate Studies.
      • Reviewing performance evaluations of graduate student teaching.
      • Implementing the current policies of the School's graduate programs and the current policies of the College.
      • Maintaining and processing graduate student records and informing students of their standing and progress toward degrees.
      • In consultation with the GSC and the School Director, facilitating the regular reviews and recommendations of Graduate Faculty Status.
      • In consultation with the GSC and the School Director, initiating and coordinating changes and improvements in graduate curricula, requirements, and programs.
      • Directing meetings of the GSC.
      • Approving individual investigations and special topics courses at the graduate level.
    3. Additional Administrative Appointments

      Appointments to other administrative positions are made by the Director after consultation with the FAC. Appointments will be dependent upon the needs of the School, specific requirements of the position and an individual's qualifications for the position.

    4. 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 Business Manager, Administrative Assistant and secretarial staff. Each position has specific duties as defined in the applicable position description.

  3. School Committees

    All School committees are advisory and recommendatory to the Director, The membership, structure and function of some of the School's committees is governed by University, Administrative and Operational Policies and the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    The Director may establish ad hoc committees in consultation with the FAC. The Director will welcome requests from faculty members for positions on the School's various committees. The Director, when making appointments to School committees, will be mindful of the diversity of disciplines within the School and will consider the expertise and interests necessary for the effective functioning of specific committees,

    1. The Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

      The FAC is structured and operates as described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. The FAC is a committee composed of all full-time faculty of the School who hold tenured or tenure-track appointments.

      The FAC is convened and chaired at least once per term by the Director, who in consultation with the FAC, sets the agenda for its meetings. FAC members may request that items be added to the agenda. Additional meetings of the FAC may be called by the Director, 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 School representative to the College Advisory Committee (hereinafter "CAC").

    2. The Graduate Faculty Committee (GFC)

      The Graduate Faculty Committee consists of all faculty members holding full graduate status in the School of Visual Communication Design. The function of the Graduate Faculty Committee is to recommend graduate status for eligible faculty to the Director of the School and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for the College.

      The Graduate Faculty Committee shall accept and review credentials of candidates for membership and upon review shall recommend graduate faculty status to the Director of the School of Visual Communication Design by a simple majority vote. Abstentions shall not be permitted. The Director shall recommend candidates for graduate faculty status to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies for the College. A negative recommendation by the Graduate Faculty Committee or the Director of the School shall include justifications, which shall be made available to the candidate. The candidate may appeal the Committee's recommendations to the Director, and/or the Director's recommendation to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

    3. The Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)

      The Graduate Studies Committee shall include at least one (1) Graduate Faculty member elected from each graduate degree program in the School. The Graduate Coordinator shall serve as the Committee Chairperson.

      The function of the Graduate Studies Committee is to periodically review the graduate programs and recommend curricular changes to the FAC and the Director of the School of Visual Communication Design. The duties of the GSC are as follows:

      • Provide oversight and development of the School's graduate program;
      • Monitor the progress and academic performance of graduate students in the School;
      • Propose new graduate courses, changes in course content and related curricular matters, and conducts periodic reviews of the School's graduate program as a whole;
      • Review all graduate student applications and recommend to the Director acceptance or non-acceptance, and
      • Recommend the assignment of graduate assistantships. At the first meeting of the Graduate Faculty Committee, a Chairperson shall be elected by a majority of voting members.
    4. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC)

      The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee shall include faculty members elected by and from the School faculty. The Associate Director shall serve as the Committee Chairperson.

      The UCC assists the Associate Director in supervising and coordinating the School's undergraduate program. The UCC makes recommendations on any and all matters which affect the undergraduate program of the School including but not limited to faculty proposals for new courses, changes in course content, major requirements, and other curricular matters including the development of new programs. The UCC reviews and decides student appeals regarding course substitution.

      The UCC shall elect one (l) member with to serve on the College Curriculum Committee.

    5. Student Academic Complaint Committee

      The Student Academic Complaint Committee is an ad hoc committee composed of faculty members appointed by the FAC. Members of the Student Academic Complaint Committee will elect a chairperson from its group. The policies and procedures of this committee are governed by University Policy 3342-4-02.3, including but not limited to the addition of at least one (1) student representative to the committee. An undergraduate student will be added to the committee for complaints from undergraduate courses and a graduate student will be added to the committee for complaints from graduate courses.

      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.

    6. Ad Hoc Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committees (RTP)

      The Ad Hoc RTP Committees are composed of all tenured faculty members at or above the rank of the faculty member under consideration. The policies and procedures that govern the School's Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion (hereinafter “RTP”) Committees are included in University Policy. The Office of the Provost provides procedural and operational guidelines for these committees annually. These committees review materials relevant to the professional performance of faculty who are candidates for reappointment, tenure, or promotion in rank, and to make recommendations to the Director on each of these personnel decisions. The recommendations of this committee and the Director, together with the materials assembled for the committees, are forwarded to the Dean of the College.

    7. Other Ad Hoc Committees

      The Director may establish, charge, and appoint the membership of ad hoc committees as required by the School. In establishing ad hoc committees, naming members and designating a committee director, the Director shall consult with the FAC. The Director will welcome requests and preferences from the faculty before establishing and making appointments to ad hoc committees.