Matters of School Governance and Related Procedures | Kent State University

Matters of School Governance and Related Procedures

  1. Mission and Goals

    In 2009, the College and Graduate School of Education, Health, and Human Services (EHHS) merged six longstanding departments/schools into four schools: the School of Health Sciences, the School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration, the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies, and the School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences. This handbook details the policies and procedures of the School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences (LDES).

    The School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences (LDES) supports the University and College mission statement. The School sees its strengths in its quality teaching, engagement with the education and human service community, and scholarly activity leading to knowledge and skills for the attainment of a professional career in the fields of counseling and counselor education, educational and school psychology, instructional technology, human development and family studies, gerontology, rehabilitative counseling, and special education. The School is committed to enhancing the quality of social and personal life for the citizens of Ohio, the nation, and the world through the professional preparation and development of competent scholars and practitioners within a range of specializations. In addition, the School is committed to the nurturance of creativity, inquiry, and breadth of perspective in students.

    In learning how to serve others as well as realizing their own potential, students are offered the opportunity to explore and determine their responsibilities for enriching the individual and collective lives of a diverse constituency. The education of our students, therefore, must enable them to represent fairly the needs and rights of those they serve by fostering growth, opportunity, cooperation, and independence.

    Areas of School emphasis include enhancing the quality of life in educational and community settings. Bachelor’s, Master’s, Educational Specialist, and Doctoral degrees are available to prepare persons for administrative, education, instructional, and/or human service roles. Graduates may be employed in a variety of settings including elementary or secondary schools, higher education, government or private community‐based or human service organizations.

    School Faculty is dedicated to enhancing students’ professional growth and success along with contributing to the body of research and scholarship in their respective fields. Faculty members seek community partnerships to foster student inquiry and serve the contemporary needs of society. Service to students and their subsequent service to the contemporary needs of society are among the School’s highest ideals.

    The goals of the School are to:

    1. Attract and retain academically talented, professionally committed, and under‐represented students for the purpose of helping to prepare and develop scholars and practitioners.
    2. Provide a supportive work environment which is conducive to professional growth and development; to recruit and retain culturally diverse Faculty of high quality; and to nurture a community of scholars pledged to academic and professional excellence.
    3. Model, promote and support quality teaching, engagement with the education and human services community, and scholarly activity.
    4. Encourage the generation and dissemination of scholarship that contributes to the knowledge base and exemplary practices utilized by scholars and practitioners.
    5. Provide effective, collaborative service and assistance to practitioners in educational, human services, and research settings.
    6. Sustain nationally accredited, exemplary programs of professional preparation and development of scholars, practitioners, and researchers in education and human services.
  2. Structure and Organization

    1. Administrative and Service Positions

      1. School Director

        The School Director (hereinafter the "Director") serves as the chief executive officer of the School and coordinates administrative, instructional, research and service activities of the School. The Director represents the interests of the College to the School and interests of the School to the College to improve communication and the quality of relationships within the collegial community. The Director reports to the Dean on administrative matters and advises the Dean on all personnel matters, including regional campus Faculty. Persons filling the role of Director are recruited, selected, and evaluated through procedures consistent with the guidelines defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

        The School Director assumes both management and leadership responsibilities in support of the interests of the College and School faculties. The Director is expected to be well informed on matters related to all programs contained in the unit, including national trends and accreditation standards. The Director is expected to provide leadership in maintaining the highest standards of quality within all programs and to support efforts to seek both external recognition and funding for the development and maintenance of excellent programs. The Director is expected to maintain conditions that foster excellence within the Faculty through appropriate allocation of resources and monitoring of their use. The Director is expected to meet regularly with the Faculty Advisory Committee, representing the School Faculty, for advice on all matters affecting Faculty in the school. In addition, the Director is expected to meet with the Program Area Coordinators regularly to receive input and share information pertinent to specific program faculties. Regular meetings with the clerical staff are expected for communication and shared decision making purposes. The Director is expected to effectively provide administrative leadership to the School as well as to the College through participation on the leadership team of Deans and Directors.

        The selection, review, and reappointment of the Director are the responsibility of the Dean, who consults with the School Faculty on such matters. Procedures for the selection, review, and reappointment of the Director are included in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

      2. Program Area Coordinators

        It is the responsibility of the Program Area Coordinator to provide academic leadership by convening the Faculty regularly to discuss important curricular issues, to evaluate programs, to plan academic and student affairs, and to meet with advisory groups of students and practicing professionals. The Program Area Coordinator also will convene the Faculty at the request of the School Director, College Advisory Council (CAC), or Dean for specific purposes. The possible agendas of program Faculty meetings include the scheduling of classes, which can be facilitated to avoid conflicts for students; the examination of the proposed structural and curriculum changes; the assembly of content for program brochures; the development of recruitment and student development plans; and the formulation of suggestions to the School or College faculties for considerations.

        A number of programs are closely related and benefit from close articulation of course offerings, use of instructors, and shared resources. Thus, Program Area Coordinators represent program faculties regularly to the Director and to the Deans on appropriate occasions. The role of the coordinator will be to represent Faculty members with primary appointment in the program area to the School Faculty, to the College administration and/or Faculty, and to professional agencies as needed. Coordinators are expected to seek out Faculty views and consult with Faculty on all essential decisions affecting the faculties and programs of the area. They articulate such information as scheduling and utilization of resources across programs.

        Program Area Coordinators serve both the Director and the program area Faculty. Program area Faculty members recommend acceptable candidates from within the program area for the position of coordinator. After consultation with the program Faculty, the Director selects and appoints the Program Coordinator for a term of two years. Faculty may be reappointed to an additional term(s) per recommendation from the program Faculty and approval of the Director. At any time that significant dissatisfaction is expressed on the part of either the Faculty or the Director, a decision may be made to seek a new coordinator for that program area.

        Program Area Coordinators must maintain good communication with Faculty members and consult with them formally on curricular matters before making recommendations to the Director, other administrators, or councils/committees of the College. The responsibilities for instructional assignments and workloads of individual Faculty members are the responsibility of the Director (with approval of the Dean) who will seek the advice of the program coordinator.  Responsibility for the review and development of program curricula, guidelines for student advisement, monitoring of program quality, preparation of annual reports and accreditation review documents, recruitment of students, and follow-up of graduates are to be shared responsibilities within the Faculty. Program Coordinators will also be responsible for selection of and evaluation of part-time instructors in their academic unit. It is the role of the program coordinator to provide academic leadership to the Faculty and to oversee the completion of tasks so that high standards of quality are maintained.

        Because programs and program areas vary significantly in terms of size, scope, and complexity, the demands of the Program Area Coordinator’s role will vary. Specific expectations and responsibilities of the individual are agreed upon by the Director and program Faculty. Load assignment for the responsibilities agreed upon in the specific job description of a coordinator is negotiated with and established by the Director with the approval of the Dean. As a general rule, program coordinators will receive compensation for continuing their duties over the summer.

      3. Additional Administratie Appointments

        Appointments to other administrative positions are made by the Director after consultation with the FAC, and approval of the Dean. Appointments will be dependent upon the 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 unclassified and classified staff positions within the School including, but not limited, to the Special Assistant and secretarial staff.  Each position has specific duties as defined in the applicable position description.

    2. 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 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 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. Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

        This elected School advisory committee represents full‐time School members in School governance. The Faculty Advisory Committee (hereinafter "FAC") is structured and operates as described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

        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. The Director is an ex‐officio nonvoting member of the FAC. If at any time at least one‐half of the members of the FAC request a meeting, such a meeting will be held.

        Tenure and Non-Tenure Track Faculty (hereinafter "Faculty") members of each program elect members to the FAC. The FAC shall consist of two (2) Faculty members from each program area. FAC terms are for two (2) years. Elections are conducted in the Spring Semester and the FAC members assume office at the beginning of the Fall Semester. To the greatest extent possible, these elections will be staggered so that only one FAC member (per program area) is elected each year.  Each School FAC elects three, preferably tenured FAC members, to serve two-year terms on the College Advisory Council. These elections will be staggered so that at least one CAC member is elected each academic year.

      2. Curriculum Committee

        One (1) Faculty member from each program unit in the School will be elected by and from the School Faculty to serve on the Curriculum Committee. One of these members will be elected by the other members to serve as the Chair of the Curriculum Committee.

        The Curriculum Committee assists the Director in supervising and coordinating the School’s academic programs. The Curriculum Committee makes recommendations on any and all matters which affect the academic programs of the School including but not limited to Faculty proposals for new courses, changes in course content, major requirements, and other curricular matters. The Curriculum Committee reviews and decides student appeals regarding course substitution. The Curriculum Committee shall elect three (3) members to serve on the College Curriculum Committee.

      3. Student Academic Complaint Committee

        The Student Academic Complaint Committee is composed of at least four (4) Faculty appointed by the FAC. One member of the committee is elected by other members to serve as the Chair of the Student Academic Complaint Committee. 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 Faculty. If the Chair of the Committee is the subject of or may otherwise be involved with a student complaint, the Director will appoint another member of the Student Academic Complaint Committee to chair the committee and the FAC will appoint an additional member to the committee from the Faculty.

      4. Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee

        The policies and procedures which govern the School’s Ad Hoc Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP) Committee are included in University Policy. Procedural and operational guidelines for this committee are provided annually by the Office of the Provost. This 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 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.

      5. 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 chair, 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.

      6. Regional Campus Faculty Representation

        Regional campus Faculty members shall be represented on key School committees such as FAC, search committees, promotion and tenure committees, curricular and school policy and program development committees. If they have attained graduate Faculty status, they may serve on graduate committees.

  3. Appointment of Faculty

    1. Faculty Appointments

      Normally, an earned doctoral degree in a related discipline is required for all Faculty appointments to a tenure‐track position in the School.

    2. Faculty Ranks

      The basic definitions of Faculty ranks are the following:

      1. Assistant Professor

        • This rank is normally the entry-level rank for tenure‐track Faculty holding the doctorate in an appropriate discipline.
      2. Associate Professor

        • Hire to or promotion to this rank presumes prior service as an Assistant Professor, significant academic achievements, and possession of the doctorate in an appropriate discipline (Section V of this Handbook).
      3. Professor

        • Promotion to this rank requires credentials and achievements beyond those required for promotion to Associate Professor, and is reserved for senior Faculty members who have achieved significant recognition in their discipline (Section V of this Handbook).
      4. Emeriti Faculty

        • Emeritus status may be conferred according to University policy for faculty members who have demonstrated exemplary professional competence and university citizenship. Emeritus status may be granted following appropriate review and recommendation of a faculty member after a period of at least 10 years and at the time of retirement from full-time employment.
    3. Other Faculty Appointments

      1. Research Associate and Research Assistant

        • These ranks are reserved for individuals who are engaged in research and who are not normally assigned teaching responsibilities. Such positions are typically supported by extramural grant funds and are not tenure‐track appointments. Faculty members who hold these ranks do not vote on School committees and do not participate in School governance.
      2. Adjunct Faculty Appointments

        • These appointments are primarily made to Faculty from other institutions or persons on the staff of community-based agencies and organizations. Adjunct Faculty appointments are made at the discretion of the Director in consultation with the FAC and approved by the Dean. Adjunct Faculty members do not vote on School Committees and do not participate in School governance.
      3. Visiting Faculty Appointments

        • Visiting Faculty appointments at an appropriate Faculty rank may be made when leaves of absence occur or special needs arise and funds are available. A visiting Faculty member is typically a Faculty member from another institution who is employed by the School for a period not to exceed one (1) year. In the event that a Visiting Faculty member is employed in that capacity for a second consecutive year, the Faculty member will then become a full‐time non-tenure track (NTT) Faculty member.
      4. Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTT) Appointments

        • Full-time non‐tenure track Faculty (NTT) appointments are made on an annual basis (Section VI of this Handbook).  NTT Faculty members are entitled to those rights governed by the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.
      5. 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. The Director, with the approval of the Dean, appoints part-time Faculty.
      6. Graduate Faculty Status

        • As a doctoral degree granting School, the School normally requires that all Faculty hired for tenure‐track positions be eligible for appointment to the graduate Faculty as associate or full members. The Administrative policy regarding graduate Faculty is included in the University Policy Register (University Policy Register).
  4. Employment Procedures and Regulations

    1. Faculty Recruitment and Searches

      The School supports the goals of equal opportunity and affirmative action in recruiting and in making appointments to the Faculty. Search Committees are appointed by the Director after consultation with the FAC and Faculty members in the specific area or discipline that will be conducting the search for candidates. Search committees include a student member selected by the Faculty serving on the search committee. Following the review of applicants and/or telephone interviews, the search committee recommends to the Director that at least two (2) and generally not more than three (3) candidates be invited to campus for an interview. Each candidate who is invited to campus for an interview will give a seminar presenting their research program before the School. After receiving all input from the interview process, the committee will confirm or deny the acceptability of candidates and provide a critique of positive and challenging aspects of those individuals found acceptable. It then makes its recommendation(s) to the Director who formulates his/her own recommendation and forwards both search committee’s and Director’s recommendation to the Dean for final action.

    2. Responsibility of the Faculty

      Each Faculty member is expected to contribute to the Program, School, Campus, College, and the University according to the terms and condition of his/her letter of appointment. Some Faculty members make their primary contribution in teaching while others emphasize research. High quality teaching and scholarly activity are expected of all Faculty members.

      Faculty members are expected to provide students with a syllabus which includes the subject matter to be covered in a course, a listing of assignments and/or reports, approximate dates of examinations, grading standards, attendance requirements, and other pertinent details of the conduct of the class. A Student Survey of Instruction (hereinafter “SSI”) is required in each course in each semester and will be conducted under the auspices of the Director pursuant to applicable University policies and procedures (Section IX of this Handbook). Probationary Faculty is expected to work with the School Director to identify at least one Faculty member each year to visit their class and evaluate their teaching performance. Supervision and direction of student research projects, master’s theses/projects, and/or dissertations (as appropriate to program offerings) and advising are part of the teaching function.

      Scholarly activity is expected of all Faculty members, although the extent and/or type of activity may vary with the terms of each Faculty member’s assignment and campus location. Faculty involved in research and a graduate program are expected to present evidence of their endeavors, which may include publications, proposals submitted for extramural funding, and dissemination of research in various venues as appropriate to the discipline. Activity in professional organizations and the training of graduate students is also generally expected.

      Service to the University is a responsibility of each Faculty member. Program, School, Campus, College, and University committee or task force membership is expected as a normal part of a Faculty member’s contributions. Special or outstanding service above and beyond that which is typical may be considered during the review of a Faculty member, but service alone will not reduce the expectations of quality teaching and scholarly activity. Public service is encouraged and recognized as a part of the professional responsibilities of each Faculty member, although contributions in this area can be expected to vary widely due to the nature of the various disciplines within the School.

      The Faculty of each academic program in the College is responsible for maintaining standards of high quality commensurate with the goal of excellence in all graduate and undergraduate programs. Faculty members in each program are employed by the University for expertise on curricular matters and; therefore, are best equipped to design, implement, and evaluate academic programs.

      The program faculties are responsible for academic standards and student affairs for their programs. They are expected to be well informed on matters of state and national accreditation standards, trends in their field of specialization, information regarding supply and demand, and particular issues or problems related to academic and student matters in their area. Further, program faculties are expected to relate effectively to other faculties within their School and the College. It is expected that program faculties will generate information about their programs for dissemination to colleagues and prospective students, will seek visibility and recognition for the quality of their program, and will pursue needed external funding to support their innovative efforts. It is also important that each program Faculty be well informed on School and College issues and provides input to decision making processes where the program Faculty has identified needs or a particular position. This role is viewed as good citizenship in the College, as well as beneficial to the quality of the program.

    3. Faculty Code of Ethics

      All members of the School Faculty are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards as teachers, scholars, university citizens, and colleagues. The University policy regarding Faculty code of professional ethics can be found in the University Policy Register (University Policy Register).

    4. 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, and service responsibilities to the School, Campus, College or University (University Policy Register). These activities must not compete with University activity or the Faculty member’s employment with the University; and, must be approved in advance by the Director and the Dean. Each academic year, each Faculty member must disclose and seek approval for all outside employment or other outside activities 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 (University Policy Register).

    5. 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:

      • Research leaves
      • Leaves of absence without pay
      • Faculty professional improvement leaves
      • Research/Creative Activity appointments
    6. 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 (1) month 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 and approved travel expenses incurred attending such meetings will be reimbursed when approved prior to travel according to the University's travel policies and subject to the availability of School funds. In general, greater amounts of support will be granted to meeting participants (i.e. those presenting a paper or chairing a session) than to Faculty members who simply attend professional meetings.

    7. Faculty Sick Leave

      The Director is responsible for keeping complete records of Faculty sick leave; however, Faculty members are also required to record their sick leave accurately on the University’s online system. Sick leave should be reported online within forty‐eight hours after an absence whenever possible.

    8. Academic Misconduct of Faculty

      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 are included in the University Policy Register.

    9. Faculty Grievance and Appeal

      Informal Procedure. Any Faculty member who believes that he/she may have a grievance is strongly encouraged, before initiating a formal grievance or appeal, to talk with the Director about any issue(s) of concern. The Director may seek the advice and recommendation of individual Faculty members or Faculty advisory groups in seeking informal resolution of a dispute or complaint.

      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 Director and/or Faculty members will initiate an informal dialogue with all parties involved in a dispute and strive to reach a resolution agreeable to all parties.

      Formal Procedure. Formal procedures for addressing grievances affecting the terms and conditions of employment of Faculty are described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. Disputes involving substantive academic judgments are subject to a separate academic appeals process governed by the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    10. Sanctions

      A sanction is a documented corrective action in response to a Faculty member's unsatisfactory performance of his/her duties and responsibilities as a member of the Faculty (“Sanctions for Cause” in the Collective Bargaining Agreement).