Matters of Department Governance and Related Procedures | Kent State University

Matters of Department Governance and Related Procedures

  1. Preamble

    This departmental handbook (hereinafter “Handbook”) contains the operational policies and procedures for the Department of Philosophy (hereinafter “Department”) 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.

    The purpose of this Handbook is to set forth departmental goals, the instrumentalities of departmental governance, appointment and employment procedures and regulations, criteria for tenure, for promotion to various ranks, and for reappointment, faculty grievance and appeal procedures, general policies pertaining to treatment of students, including a student grievance procedure, the role of Regional Campus faculty in the Department, and curricular policies.  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.

    A two-thirds vote of the Department Faculty eligible to vote is necessary to recommend an alteration in the Handbook.  For a recommended alteration in matters pertaining to the Graduate Program to be brought to the Department FAC for consideration, a recommendation must originate with the Graduate Faculty and be recommended by a two-thirds vote of the Graduate Faculty members eligible to vote.

    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.

  2. Goals, Objectives, and Mission of the Department

    The Philosophy Department understands its primary functions to be preserving, transmitting, and augmenting the literature, methods, ideas, and issues that constitute the traditions of philosophy. To this end, the Department of Philosophy seeks to sustain an academic environment which promotes the intellectual and professional development of its students and faculty.

    Teaching: The Department is committed to developing and maintaining rich and pluralistic programs of graduate and undergraduate education which advance the goals and mission of Kent State University. In addition to Kent CORE courses that serve the University at large, the Department offers a Major and Minor in Philosophy leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree. The Department also offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Arts degree. The philosophy curriculum provides opportunities to pursue intensive, in-depth study within the discipline of philosophy, with particular attention given to cultivating diverse philosophical methods, perspectives, and modes of analysis, and to exploring their relation to the concerns and interests of other disciplines.

    Research: A commitment to research demands creating and maintaining an intellectual culture in which faculty and students are free to explore traditional and innovative philosophical issues, to generate philosophical results of the highest caliber, and to disseminate the results of this research within and beyond the community of professional philosophers. The Department values original research in philosophy as well as research that promotes best practices in its classrooms. Through its curriculum and its public events the Department strives to bring the fruits of this research to the University community.

    Service: The Department recognizes that communities form around shared values and common projects, and that communities flourish only through the best efforts of their constituents. Departmental faculty and students strive to advance the goals of the College of Arts and Sciences, Kent State University, and the various scholarly organizations to which they bring their talents. Beyond academe, members of the department share their knowledge, skills, and interests in the ongoing enterprises of civil society and government.

  3. Structure and Organization of the Department

    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. All “Faculty,” “members of the Faculty”, and “Faculty members” in the Department of Philosophy, whether their home campus is the Kent Campus or a Regional Campus, are members of the Department of Philosophy Faculty Advisory Committee (hereinafter “FAC”), and therefore constitute a FAC of the whole.

    2. Administrative and Service Positions

      1. Chairperson

        The Department Chairperson (hereinafter “Chair”) is the chief administrative officer of the Department (see Department Operational Manual) 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 for 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 is 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. Graduate Coordinator

        The Graduate Coordinator is appointed from among the full members of the Graduate Faculty by the Chair in consultation with 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, at his/her sole discretion. The Graduate Coordinator chairs the Graduate Studies Committee and oversees the operation and development of the Department's graduate programs. The specific duties and responsibilities of the Graduate Coordinator are determined by the Chairperson in consultation with the Graduate Faculty and FAC and are included in the departmental operating procedures document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents in this handbook (see Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents in Section III, below).  Though the primary responsibility for the proper functioning of the graduate program rests with the Department Chairperson, the Graduate Coordinator is charged with the day-to-day administration of the graduate program. The Graduate Coordinator administers the graduate program in consultation with the Department Chairperson.

      3. Undergraduate Coordinator

        The Undergraduate Coordinator is appointed from the tenured members of FAC by the Chair in consultation with FAC. 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.  Though the primary responsibility for the proper functioning of the undergraduate program rests with the Department Chairperson, the Undergraduate Coordinator is charged with the day-to-day administration of the undergraduate program. The Undergraduate Coordinator administers the undergraduate program in consultation with the Department Chairperson.

        The duties and responsibilities of the Undergraduate Coordinator are determined by the Chair in consultation with the FAC. The duties shall be specified in the departmental operating procedures document and referenced in the description of workload equivalents contained in this handbook (see Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents in Section III, below).

      4. Departmental Representative to College Advisory Committee (CAC)

        A tenured member of departmental FAC will be elected no later than the first new Academic Year FAC Meeting by the members of departmental FAC to serve as the Department of Philosophy representative on the College Advisory Committee for the coming academic year.

      5. Additional Administrative Appointments

        Appointments to other departmental 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. Duties and terms of office shall be specified by the Chair and FAC in a departmental operating procedures document. If a workload equivalent is to be associated with the appointment, the position must also be referenced in the description of workload equivalents contained in this handbook (see Faculty Workload and Workload Equivalents in Section III, below).

      6. Non-Academic Staff

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

    3. Department Committees

      All Department 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 other departmental standing and 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 Department 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.

      The standing committees are: Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC); Curriculum Committee (CC); Student Academic Complaint Committee (SACC); and Graduate Studies Committee (GSC). There are also Ad Hoc Promotions and Tenure Committees, and various other ad hoc committees as needs arise. Though FAC is a Committee of the whole and thus every meeting of FAC constitutes a meeting of the full Faculty, let it be noted that the Collective Bargaining Agreement requires that each Department/School must hold a meeting of the full Faculty at least once each semester.

      1. Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

        a.  Membership

        All Departmental Faculty members, including Regional Campus Faculty members who hold a tenure-track appointment.

        The FAC is structured and operates as described in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article VI, Section 3.B. The Department of Philosophy FAC is a Committee of the whole full-time Faculty of the Department as defined above in Section A, Definition of the Faculty

        b.  Purpose

        The FAC is convened and chaired by the Department Chairperson to provide recommendations and advise on all academic matters central to the mission of the Department at least once per term or as needed. The Chair, in consultation with the FAC, sets the agenda for the meetings. FAC members may request that items be added to the agenda. Additional meetings of the FAC may be called by the Chair, or upon a request by at least one-half of the members of the FAC. The elected Department Representative to the CAC may also call, set agendas and Chair FAC meetings with the understanding that no Department business may be transacted or represented as having been transacted at such meetings. Matters of concern to the Faculty may be discussed at such meetings and added to the agenda of the next regular meeting of FAC.

      2. Curriculum Committee (CC)

        a.  Membership

        The FAC supplemented by two student members – a second year graduate student and an undergraduate philosophy major (a junior or a senior) – serves as the Curriculum Committee.

        b.  Election of Student Members

        I.The graduate student member will be elected by the graduate students in a meeting held by the Graduate Coordinator in the week prior to the beginning of Fall classes.

        II.The undergraduate student member will be appointed by the FAC. At the first FAC meeting of the Fall semester, the Chair will circulate a list of junior and senior students who have properly declared their major in philosophy. The FAC will nominate a short list of undergraduate students, and then vote on the undergraduate students. On the basis of the FAC’s rank ordering of the students, the Chair will proceed down the list contacting students by email and/or phone till the Undergraduate student member of the CC is filled.

        The Undergraduate Coordinator, who serves as departmental representative to the Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee, chairs the departmental curriculum committee. The chair shall identify those meetings, or parts thereof, for which attendance by student members is not expected.

      3. Student Academic Complaint Committee (SACC)

        The policies and procedures of the Department Student Academic Complaint Committee (SACC) are governed by University Policy 3342-4-02.3.

        a.  Membership

        Four faculty members plus one student member – a graduate student member if the student lodging a complaint is a graduate student, an under-graduate student member if the student lodging the complaint is an undergraduate.

        b.  Election of Members

        I.   The faculty members shall be elected by FAC from among its members at the first FAC meeting of each Fall semester.

        II.   The graduate student member will be elected from among the second year graduate students by the graduate students in a meeting held by the Graduate Coordinator in the week prior to the beginning of Fall classes.

        III.  The undergraduate student member will be appointed by the FAC. At the first FAC meeting of the Fall semester, the Chair will circulate a list of junior and senior students who have properly declared their major in philosophy. The FAC will nominate a short list of undergraduate students, and then vote on the undergraduate students. On the basis of the FAC’s rank ordering of the students, the Department Chair will proceed down the list contacting students by email and/or phone till the Undergraduate student member of the CC is filled.

         

         

        Once the membership of the committee is constituted, the committee shall meet to elect a chair from among its members to chair the meetings of the committee.

        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 a member of the Student Academic Complaint Committee to chair the committee and the FAC will appoint an additional member to the committee from the full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty.

        c.  Purpose

        The purpose of the committee is to hear any academic complaints lodged by students and to make recommendations to the Department Chair concerning the resolution of those complaints.

      4. Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)

        a. Membership

        The full and associate members of the Graduate Faculty plus one second year graduate student member. The graduate student member will be elected from among the second year graduate students by the graduate students in a meeting held by the Graduate Coordinator in the week prior to the beginning of Fall classes.

        The Graduate Coordinator is the chairperson of the committee, and will communicate with the graduate student member regarding the GSC meetings or parts thereof for which the attendance of the graduate student member is expected.  

        Every member of the committee, including the graduate student member, is a voting member of the committee.

        b.  Purpose      

        The GSC assists the Graduate Coordinator with the oversight and development of the Department’s graduate program, and to be a consulting body to the Department Chair on matters pertaining to the 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 may also assume the role of Curriculum Committee for graduate curriculum. The GSC is responsible for evaluating applications for admission, evaluating and recommending candidates for graduate appointments to the Chairperson, and monitoring the progress and academic performance of graduate students in the Department.

      5. Ad Hoc Reappointment, Tenure and Promotions Committees

        The policies and procedures which govern the Department’s Ad Hoc Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) Committees are included in University Policy. Procedural and operational guidelines for the committees are provided annually by the Office of the Provost. The 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 Chair on each of these personnel decisions. The recommendations of the committees and the Chair, together with the materials assembled for the committees, are forwarded to the Dean of the College.

        a.  Membership

        As stipulated in the relevant University Policy.

        b.  Purpose       

        To make recommendations to the Chairperson for reappointment, tenure, and promotion of Department faculty. The committee is chaired by the Department Chairperson.

      6. Other Departmental Committees

        The Chair may establish, charge, and appoint the membership of additional departmental standing or ad hoc committees as required 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.

  4. Role of Regional Campus Program and Faculty

    1. Regional Campus Faculty vis-à-vis Regional Campus Dean/Department Chair

      For the Department of Philosophy, in which there are fewer than five faculty on any Regional Campus, the duties of the Regional Campus Dean are:

      1.      Determine faculty needed in consultation with appropriate Regional Campus faculty.

      2.      Recommend faculty needed and salary ranges for positions to the Vice President for Kent State Systems Integration.

      3.      Participate in recruitment of faculty in cooperation with the Department Chairperson, appropriate Regional Campus faculty, and the Vice President for Kent State Systems Integration.

      4.      Recommend candidates to the Department Chairperson.

      5.      Recommend teaching loads consistent with policy.

      6.      Recommend class size consistent with policy.

      7.      Recommend schedule of classes to the Associate Vice President for the Extended University, after consultation with resident faculty.

      8.      Assign faculty to nonelective committees and other activities associated with operation of the Regional Campuses.

      9.      Evaluate annually the performance of faculty members and, according to policy, nominate for promotion and tenure and recommends other personnel action.

      10.    Recommend salary increases in cooperation with Department Chairperson to the Associate Vice President for the Extended University.

      The duties of the Department Chairperson are:

      1.      Participate in recruitment and act on recommendation for appointments of Regional Campus faculty candidates.

      2.      Stipulate particular courses which faculty will be approved to teach.

      3.      Recommend course content and grading standards.

      4.      Recommend materials, supplies and equipment.

      5.      Recommend examination and test procedures.

      6.      Recommend standards of class size.

      7.      Recommend teaching loads.

      8.      Evaluate annually the academic performance of faculty members and according to policy nominations for promotion, tenure and other personnel action.

    2. Regional Campus Faculty as Members of Departmental Committees

      Regional Campus personnel are included as members of the Departmental Faculty Advisory Committee, Departmental Curriculum Committee, Departmental Ad Hoc Promotions and Tenure Committee, and as members of Department meetings. (See Section C, above, for specifics.)

    3. Teaching Assignments and Load for Regional Campus Faculty

      For Regional Campus personnel, teaching assignments and loads are determined by the Dean of the Regional Campus in question, with consultation with the Department Chairperson. Salary determinations are in the hands of the Dean of the Regional Campus to which the faculty member is assigned.

    4. Criteria for Promotion, Tenure, Reappointment

      As stated in Subsection F under Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion in Section III of this document, the criteria for hiring, reappointing, promoting, and granting tenure hold for Regional Campus personnel.

  5. Faculty Grievance and Appeal Procedures

    University Policies 3342-6-14, 6-15, and 6-16 on Tenure, Promotion, and Reappointment, respectively (Addenda A-C of the Collective Bargaining Agreement) and Article VII, Section 2 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement 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.

    The Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article VII, Section 1) specifies the grievance and arbitration procedures for complaints that do not involve substantive academic judgment. The Department of Philosophy acknowledges and endorses the ideal expressed in the Agreement 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.).

  6. Handbook Modification, Amendment, and Revision

    The implementation, modification, amendment and revision of this Handbook is governed by the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    1. Periodic Review and Possible Revision

      Every five (5) years, the Chair, after consultation with the FAC, will convene an ad hoc Handbook Review Committee. The committee will review the entire handbook and make a recommendation to the FAC concerning any additions or revisions to any sections of the handbook that may be appropriate or desirable. If the committee recommends specific additions or changes, these will be reviewed and evaluated by the FAC. A 2/3 vote by members of the FAC is required for approval of the proposed handbook revision.

    2. Revision in Light of Change in University Policy or Applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements

      Within one semester of any change to any University Policy or applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that renders current handbook language incomplete or inconsistent with University Policy or the CBA, the Chair, after consultation with the FAC, will convene an ad hoc Handbook Review Committee. The committee will review the changes in University Policy or the applicable CBA and the specific sections of the handbook plausibly affected by the change and make a recommendation to the FAC concerning possible revisions to those sections of the handbook. If the committee determines that revisions to existing handbook language are required, the revisions recommended by the committee will be reviewed and evaluated by the FAC. A 2/3 vote by members of the FAC is required for approval of the proposed handbook revision.

    3. Review at Request of FAC or Chair

      In addition, the FAC or Chair may request a review of the entire handbook or sections thereof outside of the five year periodic review and independent of any change in University Policy or applicable CBAs. In such a case, the Chair, after consultation with the FAC, will convene an ad hoc Handbook Review Committee. The committee will review the entire handbook or sections thereof as requested and make a recommendation to the FAC concerning any additions or revisions to any sections of the handbook that may be appropriate or desirable. If the committee recommends specific additions or changes, these will be reviewed and evaluated by the FAC. A 2/3 vote by members of the FAC is required for approval of the proposed handbook revision.

    4. Submission of Handbook to the Dean

      If the Chair 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 Department, 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.