Matters of Departmental 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. 

  2. Administrative and Service Positions

    1. Department Chair

      The Department Chair (hereafter the “Chair”) is the chief administrative officer of the Department and reports directly to and is accountable to the Dean of the College (hereafter the “Dean”).  The Chair shall provide professional and academic leadership in the department.  The Chair is also responsible for implementing the policies and procedures stated in this Handbook through regular and thorough consultation with the Department Faculty and the Department’s various committees.

      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 CBA.

    2. Assistant to the Chair

      The Assistant to the Chair is appointed by the Chair after consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee (hereafter “FAC”). 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 Assistant to the Chair schedules teaching activities of the Department, including Graduate Assistant (GA) assignments, in consultation with the Chair, serves as liaison officer with other instructional units, processes student requests for transfer or transient credit, and assumes a portion of the duties of the Chair when qualified and requested.  

    3. Graduate Coordinator

      The Graduate Coordinator is appointed by the Chair for a two-year term after consultation with the Graduate Faculty.  The Graduate Coordinator must be a full member of the Graduate Faculty holding the rank of Associate Professor or Professor.  The term of service may be terminated by the Chair, at his/her discretion. The Graduate Coordinator chairs the Graduate Program and Admissions Committee (GPAC), oversees the account of expenditures of funds allocated to graduate student support, and oversees the correspondence with prospective graduate students and the selection process for admission offers to new students.  

    4. Undergraduate Coordinator

      The Undergraduate Coordinator is appointed by the Chair for a two-year term after consultation with the Faculty.    The term of service may be terminated by the Chair, at his/her discretion.  The Undergraduate Coordinator chairs the Undergraduate Program Committee (UPC), oversees and coordinates the undergraduate program with the assistance of the UPC, oversees and coordinates the undergraduate advising of the Department, and sees to the advancement and currency of the Undergraduate Program through curriculum development, degree program structure, selection of textbooks, etc.  The Undergraduate Coordinator acts as the Department representative to the College Curriculum Committee.

    5. Planetarium Director

      The Planetarium Director is appointed by the Chair and oversees the operation, development and maintenance of the Department of Physics Planetarium. The Director provides planetarium shows to support the instructional programs of the Department and the University and promotes University and community relations by providing shows.  The Director oversees Graduate Assistants assigned to the Planetarium.

    6. Director of Introductory Laboratories

      The Director of Introductory Laboratories is appointed by the Chair.  The Director schedules laboratory experiments, supervises set-up of experiments for the introductory laboratories, supervises GAs assigned to the introductory laboratories and monitors grade assignments and records.  The Director supervises maintenance and updating of equipment for the laboratories. 

    7. Director of the Center for Nuclear Research

      The Director of the Center for Nuclear Research is elected by the members of the Center for Nuclear Research (CNR) Executive Committee according to the CNR Charter.  The Director oversees the CNR budget, staff, visiting scholars program and equipment.  The Director prepares CNR reports and/or proposals.  The Chair may also appoint an Assistant Director of the Center for Nuclear Research to help the Director perform the necessary duties. 

    8. Library Representative

      The Departmental Library Representative is appointed by the Chair.  The Library Representative acts as liaison with the Library staff for the Department and recommends purchase of books, journals and monographs from the Departmental Library allocation. 

    9. Undergraduate Major Advisors

      The Undergraduate Coordinator appoints and trains selected Faculty members to do advising of undergraduate physics majors.  These advisors are selected as Faculty members with a strong interest in the undergraduate majors program.  The advising performed by these persons is monitored by the Undergraduate Coordinator.

    10. Departmental Web Manager(s)

      The Departmental Web Manager(s) is/are appointed by the Chair and has/have the responsibility for maintaining the Department’s website.

    11. 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 are specified by the Chair and FAC in the Department Operational Manual.

    12. 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 CBA.  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.

    1. The Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

      The FAC is structured and operates as described in the CBA.  The FAC is elected directly by the full-time Faculty of the Department as defined in subhead III A. Definition of the Faculty above.    

      FAC terms are for one (1) year.  Elections are conducted in the Spring Semester and the FAC members assume office at the beginning of the Fall Semester.  The FAC shall consist of five tenured and tenure-track Faculty members: four from the Kent Campus and one from the Regional Campuses.  A majority of the members from the Kent Campus shall be tenured.  The Regional Campus member shall be tenured, provided there are a minimum of three tenured Regional Campus Faculty.  At least one representative shall be elected from each rank if there are at least three members on the Kent Campus in that rank.  If the membership in one of the ranks is less than three, a representative-at-large shall be elected.  If there are fewer than three Regional Campus Faculty, a representative-at-large shall be elected.  If a vacancy should occur on the FAC, a special election will be held to fill the vacancy.

      The FAC is convened and chaired at least once per term 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 (1) member to act as the Department representative to the College Advisory Committee (hereafter “CAC”). 

    2. The Undergraduate Program Committee (UPC)

      The UPC assists the Undergraduate Coordinator in supervising and coordinating the Department’s curricular programs.  The UPC makes recommendations on any and all matters that affect the UG 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 makeup and the responsibilities of the committee are specified in the Department Operations Manual.

    3. The Graduate Program and Admissions Committee (GPAC)

      The GPAC assists the Graduate Coordinator with the oversight and development of the Department’s graduate program.  The GPAC 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 GPAC assumes the role of Curriculum Committee for graduate curriculum. The GPAC 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.  The makeup and the responsibilities of the committee are specified in the Department Operations Manual.

    4. Student Academic Complaint Committee (SACC)

      The SACC is composed of four 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 SACC 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. 

    5. Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee (RTP)

      Members of the RTP are all full professors and tenured members of the FAC.  The policies and procedures that govern the RTP 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 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 Dean. 

    6. Candidacy Examination Committee (CEC)

      The CEC will prepare, administer and evaluate the results of the Departmental examination for acceptance into the Ph.D. program.  The CEC consists of four persons from the graduate Faculty:  two elected by those Faculty having full graduate Faculty status for staggered two-year terms, one appointed by the Chair, and the Chair ex officio (non-voting).  The CEC is chaired by the elected member in the second year of his/her term.

    7. 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. Handbook Modification, Amendment and Revision

    The implementation, modification, amendment and revision of this Handbook is governed by the applicable CBA.  The Department Faculty will review and update this Handbook, as needed, but at least every three (3) years.  Suggestions for modifications or amendments to the Handbook may be initiated at any time by the Chair or by any Faculty member.  Proposed modifications or amendments are subject to discussion, revision, and recommendation by the FAC.  The modification or amendment is then presented to the entire Faculty for approval.  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.