Matters of Department Governance and related procedures | Math Faculty Handbook | Kent State University

Matters of Department Governance and related procedures

  1. Definition of the faculty

    The terms "Faculty", "members of the Faculty", and "Faculty members" used in this handbook are defined as full-time faculty of academic rank who hold tenured or tenure-track appointments at the University and who, therefore, are members of the bargaining unit as defined in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Unless otherwise specified, voting rights on departmental matters are restricted to the Faculty.  The CBA provides that the tenured and tenure-track Faculty of the Department may decide whether and to what extent full-time non-tenure (NTT) track faculty shall be represented on the Faculty Advisory Committee. 

  2. Administrative and Service Positions

    1. Department Chair

      The Department Chair (hereinafter “Chair”) is the chief administrative officer of the Department and reports directly to and is accountable to the Dean of the College (hereinafter “Dean”).  The Chair is responsible for recording, maintaining, and implementing the policies and procedures stated in this Handbook through regular and thorough consultation with the Department faculty and the Department’s various committees as provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Chair is an ex-officio, non-voting member of all Department committees, and may make appointments as necessary and permitted to Department committees and to the various administrative and service positions in the Department. The selection, review, and reappointment of the Chair are the responsibility of the Dean, who consults with the Department faculty on such matters. Procedures for the selection, review and reappointment of the Chair are included in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    2. Assistant Chair

      The Assistant Chair is appointed by the Chair after consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee (hereinafter “FAC”). The Assistant Chair must be a tenured member of the Faculty holding the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. The term of service is established by the Chair in consultation with the FAC, but may be terminated by the Chair, in his/her sole discretion.  The Assistant Chair oversees undergraduate advising and faculty scheduling and is a non-voting ex-officio member of the FAC unless elected to full membership. The specific duties and responsibilities of the Assistant Chair are determined by the Chair in consultation with the FAC. The duties shall be specified in a letter of appointment and departmental Operating Procedures Document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Section IV F. Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents) contained in this handbook.

    3. Graduate Coordinator

      The Graduate Coordinator is appointed by the Chair after consultation with the Graduate Faculty and the FAC. The Graduate Coordinator must be a full member of the Graduate Faculty holding the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. The term of service is established by the Chair in consultation with the FAC, but may be terminated by the Chair, in his/her sole discretion. The Graduate Coordinator chairs the Graduate Studies Committee, oversees the operation and development of the Department's graduate programs, and is a non-voting ex-officio member of the FAC unless elected to full membership. The specific duties and responsibilities of the Graduate Coordinator are determined by the Chair in consultation with the Graduate Faculty and FAC. The duties shall be specified in a letter of appointment and departmental Operating Procedures Document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Section IV F. Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents) contained in this handbook.

    4. Undergraduate Coordinator

      The Undergraduate Coordinator is appointed by the Chair in consultation with the FAC. The Undergraduate Coordinator must be a tenured member of the Faculty holding the rank of Associate Professor or Professor.  The term of service is established by the Chair in consultation with the FAC, but may be terminated by the Chair, in his/her sole discretion. The Undergraduate Coordinator chairs the Undergraduate Studies Committee, oversees the operation and development of the Department's undergraduate programs, and is a non-voting ex-officio member of the FAC unless elected to full membership. The specific duties and responsibilities of the Undergraduate Coordinator are determined by the Chair in consultation with the FAC. The duties shall be specified in a letter of appointment and departmental Operating Procedures Document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents (see Section IV F. Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents) contained in this handbook.

    5. Additional Administrative Appointments

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

    6. Office and Systems Staff

      The Office and Systems staff serve the department as a whole, rather than individual faculty members. Duplication (except for block examinations) and typing of scholarly manuscripts, examinations, or course notes is not part of the normal duties of office staff. 

  3. Department Committees

    All departmental committees are advisory and recommendatory to the Chair. The membership, structure, and function of some of the Department's committees are governed by University, Administrative and Operational Policies and the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The Chair may establish ad hoc committees in consultation with the FAC.  The Chair will welcome requests from faculty members for positions on the Department’s various committees.  The Chair, when making appointments to departmental committees, will be mindful of the diversity of disciplines within the Department and will consider the expertise and interests necessary for the effective functioning of specific committees.

    1. The Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

      The FAC is structured and operates as described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The FAC is elected directly by the full-time Faculty of the Department, as defined in section III A. Definition of the Faculty above, except that NTT members are elected by the NTT faculty.

      FAC terms are for one year.  Elections (See, the departmental Operating Procedures Document for the procedures) are conducted in the Spring Semester, and the FAC members assume office at the beginning of the Fall Semester.  The FAC shall consist of 5 tenured or tenure-track faculty members from the Kent campus, 2 tenured or tenure-track faculty members from the Regional Campuses, and one NTT faculty member. The NTT faculty member shall have voting rights on matters pertaining to first year and developmental courses, and, at the discretion of the Chair, on other matters not expressly excluded by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Among the Kent campus members, there will be at least one representative from each of the ranks of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor, and at least one representative from the sub-discipline of Applied Mathematics. If not elected, the Assistant Chair, Graduate Coordinator, and Undergraduate Coordinator are non-voting ex-officio members.

      The FAC is convened and chaired at least once per semester by the Chair 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 Chair, as needed, or upon a request by at least one-half of the members of the FAC.  The FAC elects one member to act as the department representative to the College Advisory Committee (hereinafter “CAC”).

      In order to facilitate faculty involvement in and awareness of departmental activities, the faculty must be notified of scheduled FAC meetings and topics at least one week in advance when possible. During this week, it is the duty of FAC members to solicit opinions of the faculty members they represent so that their opinion may be properly voiced at the FAC meeting.

    2. The Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)

      The GSC is composed of at least one Faculty member from each graduate degree program in the Department and one graduate student. Members are appointed by the Graduate Coordinator, with the approval of FAC, for a period of one year. The size of the committee is not fixed. The membership from the departmental sub-disciplines should be adequately balanced.

      The GSC assists the Graduate Coordinator, who serves as the GSC chair, with the oversight and development of the Department’s graduate program.  The GSC reviews proposals for new graduate courses, changes in course content and related curricular matters, and conducts periodic reviews of the Department’s graduate program as a whole. The GSC is responsible for evaluating applications for admission, evaluating and recommending candidates for graduate appointments, and monitoring the progress and academic performance of graduate students in the Department.

       Recommendations of the Graduate Studies Committee for major changes in graduate curriculum, policies, or degree requirements must be approved by the Graduate Faculty prior to forwarding to the Chair, whose recommendations go to the College.

    3. The Undergraduate Studies Committee (USC)

      The USC is composed of at least one Faculty member from each degree program in the Department, two Faculty members from the Regional Campuses, one NTT faculty member, and one undergraduate student. Members are appointed by the Undergraduate Coordinator, with the approval of FAC, for a period of one year. The size of the committee is not fixed. The membership from the departmental sub-disciplines should be adequately balanced.

      The USC assists the Undergraduate Coordinator in supervising and coordinating the Department’s undergraduate curricular programs.  The USC makes recommendations on any and all matters that affect the undergraduate academic programs of the Department, including, but not limited to, faculty proposals for new courses, changes in course content, major requirements, and other curricular matters.  The USC reviews and decides student appeals regarding course substitution. 

       The Undergraduate Coordinator shall normally serve on the College Curriculum Committee.  However, if the Undergraduate Coordinator does not have full Graduate Faculty status, the Chair, in consultation with FAC, shall appoint a member of the USC with full Graduate Faculty status as the Department’s representative to the College Curriculum Committee. 

      Recommendations of the Undergraduate Studies Committee for major changes in undergraduate curriculum, poli­cies, or degree requirements must be approved by the department Faculty prior to forwarding to the Chair, whose recommendations go to the College Curriculum Committee.

    4. Student Academic Complaint Committee

      The Student Academic Complaint Committee is composed of 3 faculty members, at least two of whom must be tenured or tenure-track faculty members, and at least one student appointed by the FAC. The FAC, or any other standing committee of the department determined by the FAC, with the addition of at least one student, may also function as the SACC. The Chair of the SACC is elected by the SACC at the beginning of each academic year. The policies and procedures of this committee are governed by University Policy 3342-4-02.3. The policy provides for only one SACC in each department.

      In the event that a member of the Student Academic Complaint Committee is the subject of or may otherwise be involved with a student complaint, the FAC will select a replacement from the full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty.  If the Chair of the SACC is the subject of or may otherwise be involved with a student complaint, the Chair will appoint another member of the SACC to chair the committee, and the FAC will appoint an additional member to the committee from the full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty. 

    5. Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee

      The policies and procedures that govern the Department’s Ad Hoc RTPC are included in University Policy.  Procedural and operational guidelines for this committee are provided annually by the Office of the Provost.  The RTPC reviews materials relevant to the professional performance of faculty who are candidates for reappointment, tenure, or promotion in rank, and to make recommendations to the Chair on each of these personnel decisions.  The recommendations of this committee and the Chair, together with the materials assembled for the committees, are forwarded to the appropriate Dean, as specified in University Policy. 

    6. Other Departmental Committees

      The Chair may establish, charge, and appoint the membership of additional departmental standing or ad hoc committees as needed by the Department.  In establishing departmental committees, naming members and designating a committee chair, the Chair shall consult with the FAC.  The Chair will welcome requests and preferences from the faculty before establishing and making appointments to departmental committees. See the departmental Operating Procedures Document for specific information about the Systems Committee, the Library Committee, and the Colloquium Committee.

  4. Recruiting Faculty

    The Department supports the goals of equal opportunity and affirmative action in recruiting and in making appointments to the faculty.  Search Committees are appointed by the Chair after consultation with the FAC, and when an appointment is to be made in a specific area or sub-discipline the search committee will, when possible, be composed of Faculty from that specific area or sub-discipline. Search Committees may include a student member selected by the faculty members serving on the Search Committee. 

    Prior to the search, the Search Committee recommends to the FAC the text of an advertisement and a detailed plan of action to proactively identify qualified individuals and encourage them to apply for the position. After obtaining FAC approval, the Search Committee may begin the search.

    The Search Committee, with the approval of the Chair and the Dean, invites at least 2 candidates from its pool of applicants for a formal campus interview. Following the campus interviews, the Search Committee presents its ranking and recommendation to a meeting of the Kent campus Faculty.  After full and open discussion of the merits of the candidates presented by the Search Committee, the Kent campus Professors and tenured members of FAC and the Search Committee vote on their ranking and recommendation. These are advisory to the Search Committee.

    The Search Committee then formulates its final ranking and recommendation, which are advisory to the Chair. If the Search Committee’s ranking and recommendation are different from that of the Faculty, the Search Committee shall inform the Chair of all rankings and recommendations and the reasons for the disagreement.  The Chair then makes a recommendation to the Dean. If the Chair's recommendation differs from that of the Search Committee, the Chair shall inform the Dean of all rankings and recommendations and the reasons for the disagreement.  If the Dean concurs with the Chair, a recommendation is forwarded to the Office of the Provost. 

    The Department supports the goals of the promotion of diversity, equal opportunity, and affirmative action in recruiting and in making appointments to the faculty.  The Search Committee consists of a subset of faculty approved by the FAC, although all recommendations of the Search Committee are made after consultation with all faculty. Following the review of applicants, the search committee recommends to the Chair that a subset of the candidates undergo a preliminary interview via telephone or videoconference.  Following these interviews, the Search Committee recommends that two or three candidates be invited to campus for an interview. The search committee may recommend its choice of candidates to the Chair. Committee recommendations are advisory to the Chair, who then makes a recommendation to the Dean.  If the Dean concurs with the Chair, a recommendation is forwarded to the Office of the Provost. If the Chair's recommendation is different than that of the search committee, the Chair shall inform the Dean of all recommendations and the reasons for the disagreement.

  5. Grievance 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 Chair about any issue(s) of concern.  The Chair may seek the advice and recommendation of individual faculty members or faculty advisory groups in seeking informal resolution of a dispute or complaint.

    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.

    Faculty grievances that are not directly related to the terms or conditions of employment and are not academic appeals are appropriately addressed within the Department, whenever possible.  The Chair 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.

  6. 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. (See, CBA Article VIII). 

  7. Faculty Leaves

    All leaves, sponsored or unsupported, personal or professional, are subject to the approval of the Chair, the Dean and the Provost.

           University leaves include but are not limited to:

                    1.        Research leaves (See, UPR 3342-6-11.8 ).

                    2.        Leaves of absence without pay (See, UPR 3342-6-11.9).

                    3.        Faculty professional improvement leaves (See, UPR 3342-6-12).

                    4.        Research/Creative Activity appointments (See, UPR 3342-6-15.3).

  8. 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 Chair.  Where feasible, the request should be made at least one month prior to the planned absence and is subject to the approval of the Chair and the Dean.  Arrangements for any classes to be missed during the absence must be addressed to the satisfaction of the Chair before approval will be granted.

    Attendance at professional meetings is encouraged, and approved travel expenses incurred in attending such meetings will be reimbursed when approved prior to travel, according to the University's travel policies and subject to the availability of Department 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. 

  9. Faculty Sick Leave

    The Chair 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 Chair.  Sick leave forms should be completed and submitted to the Chair within forty-eight (48) hours after an absence. (See UPR 3342-6-11.1)