Faculty Governing Procedures
(Approved April 19, 1996)
Section 1: Background.
We are not a large Department. A lot of procedural and structural apparatus is not really required for departmental governance. The other side of that coin is that it is relatively easy to sample informally the opinions of the faculty and the graduate and undergraduate student bodies. Much of the Department's business is handled through appointed committees, departmental officers, and sometimes through individually delegated tasks on an ad hoc basis. In general; decision making is diffused through a structure of relatively autonomous departmental committees and offices. Issues of Department policy, by contrast, are handled by majority vote in which all faculty may cast ballots.
Section 2: Faculty.
For the purposes of this document, "faculty" shall include all and only tenured or tenure track faculty in the Philosophy Department.
Section 3: Meetings.
(a) Mandated Meetings: Two departmental meetings with specific agenda items are mandated each year:
- the first meeting of the fall semester (to occur no later than three weeks after the start of classes) when the committee and other assignments proposed by the departmental Chair are to be discussed and voted on; and
- the meeting in the spring semester (to occur in late February or very early March) when graduate student applicants and the Department's continuing students not yet admitted to candidacy are to be discussed, and basic decisions about fellowships and Alships are to be made.
(b) Additional Meetings: Additional departmental meetings shall be called by the Chair, as needed, either at his/her own discretion or at the request of three or more members of the departmental faculty. In the latter case, the notice of the meeting shall be given and the meeting itself held without undue delay. Timely notice of each meeting and a proposed agenda are to be distributed by the Chair to all persons currently in residence who are entitled to attend such meetings.
(c) Minutes: Minutes shall be kept, by an appointed Secretary, of all departmental meetings. Minutes of executive sessions shall include only a record of motions and resolutions passed.
(d) Eligibility to Attend: Persons eligible to attend departmental meetings shall include:
- all regular faculty (as defined in Section 2);
- adjunct faculty;
- visiting teaching faculty;
- part-time faculty;
- departmental graduate students; and
- a duly elected representative of the undergraduate majors.
Others wishing to attend need the permission of the Agenda Committee.
(e) Agenda Committee & Parliamentarian: An appointed Agenda Committee shall work with the Chair to prepare, for distribution in advance, agendas of departmental meetings. An appointed Parliamentarian shall be charged with seeing that those meetings transpire in an efficient and orderly way.
(f) Executive Session: The Department shall meet in an executive session when dealing with any question of individual personnel, including questions concerning individual members of the faculty or staff or individual students. Departmental meetings can legitimately move into executive session either as antecedently scheduled by the Agenda Committee or at the discretion of the Chair. Those eligible to attend such executive sessions will be some or all of the Department's faculty (as explained below) together with explicitly invited guests approved by the Chair. Where there is a conflict of interest, a faculty member may absent him/herself from the executive session; or in such a case, a majority of the faculty present may require some one or more of the other members of the Department's faculty to absent themselves from the executive session. All persons present are expected to respect the confidential nature of discussions which take place in executive session.
(g) Attendance at Meetings: Among the normal service responsibilities of the faculty and of the Graduate Association for Students in Philosophy's and the undergraduates' representatives, if any, shall be attendance at all meetings of the Department and meetings of the committees of which they are members.
Section 4: Voting.
(a) Eligibility: Those eligible to vote in regular departmental meetings shall be all and only the faculty, the Director of Undergraduate Studies (provided he or she is a senior lecturer or a member of the faculty), and GASP's representative (in cases specified elsewhere in this document). Normally voting shall be in Departmental meetings. At the Chair's discretion, however, certain issues may be voted on by mail ballot.
(b) Proxies: Any person eligible to vote who has good reason to be absent may entrust his/her vote to another regular member of the Department. The person given a proxy needs to announce that fact at the opening of that part of the meeting during which the item on which the proxy has been given is discussed.
(c) Quorum: A quorum shall be constituted by the presence of two thirds of those eligible to vote on the occasion in question and expected to be present then (e.g., not on sabbatical leave or LWOP). Proxy votes shall not count in determining a quorum. In emergency situations, however, motions may be made and voted on in the absence of a quorum; such motions will be passed if a number greater than half of that required for the quorum approve them.
(d) Student Representation: The GASP shall be empowered to select a student representative to departmental meetings. This representative will have voting privileges on all matters which do not concern personnel and are decided during open meetings. GASP is also empowered to select a representative to be a voting member at open meetings of the Graduate Curriculum Committee, Appointments Committee, the Recruiting Committee, the Graduate Student Admissions Committee, and the Nelson Committee (there may be different representatives for the different committees).
e) Balloting: There will be secret ballot votes on promotion, tenure and appointment.
Section 5: Faculty Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure.
The following general principles and procedures for committees in these areas are to be followed:
- The deliberations of each committee are strictly confidential;
- At the discretion of the chair, in consultation with the committee, certain members of the Department who are not members of a committee will be given an opportunity to present orally or in writing whatever ormation, opinion, etc., they may have that relates to the issue under committee consideration; this information will normally be gathered by the Chair and presented to the committee, but any member of the Department who would rather speak to the whole committee of which s/he is not a member will be given a hearing;
- Whenever promotion or reappointment involves tenure, the matter will be discussed by the Tenure Committee; and
- Any person under consideration him/herself or with a special personal
relationship (e. g. spousal) to someone under consideration is excluded
from the relevant committee.
There shall be the following faculty committees:
(a) A Tenure Committee, consisting of all tenured faculty of the Department. The Chair, or Acting Chair, will be a member even if s/he does not have tenure.
(b) A Promotion and Reappointment Committee, consisting of all faculty of the Department with higher rank than that of the person under consideration. The Chair, or Acting Chair, will be a member even if s/he is not of higher rank.
(c) An Appointment Committee, consisting of all faculty of the Department and one representative from GASP.
In the spring before the academic year in which someone is to be considered for promotion or tenure by the University, the candidate's viability for promotion or tenure will be considered in the Department by the appropriate committee(s). Normally the Chair will inform a candidate several weeks prior to these latter committee meetings, so that the candidate will have adequate time to collect the materials s/he wants the committee(s) to review. Subsequent to a positive recommendation, the Chair shall notify the candidate and ask her/him to submit a list of extra-Departmental referees and to prepare a dossier. Such a dossier is to include a personal statement by the candidate concerning his or her research or research plans, teaching, and service; samples of the candidate's published works, or works accepted for publication, or works in progress; and students' evaluations of courses (together with summaries of these evaluations) and any other evidence pertaining to teaching.
At the discretion of the Chair, some of the Department's graduate students (present or past), and some undergraduates (present or past) may be invited to submit to the Chair evaluations of the candidates. Again, at the discretion of the Chair, outside referees additional to those contacted directly by the Dean's office may be notified by the Chair, after consultation with the candidates, and invited to submit evaluations. Such further information and evaluations as the Chair receives from these various sources are added to the candidates' dossiers. All information within a dossier shall be available to the candidate. The members of the relevant committees are notified that the dossiers have been prepared, and those members are given sufficient time to read the dossiers before the committees meet. It is expected that each member of each such committee will have thoroughly familiarized him/herself with the contents of these dossiers before the relevant committee meeting.
Certain specific issues in these areas shall be handled as follows:
(a) Reviews: Untenured faculty shall be reviewed prior to reappointment decisions by the Promotion and Reappointment Committee, with a more extensive review for reappointment during the fourth year toward tenure.
(b) Outside Offers: Where the faculty member is budgeted within the Department, a Departmental response to an outside offer, actual or presumptive, to that faculty member will include a recommendation of the Budget Committee. Responses to such offers from outside the Department are to be brought to the Budget Committee for its advice before being issued.
(c) Non-regular Faculty: The Appointment Committee shall ratify any visiting, temporary, and emeritus teaching appointments, and shall have brought before it for its approval the general nature of the offer made.
(d) Letters: Each candidate for promotion, tenure, or reappointment is informed of the relevant committee's recommendation by the Chair, orally or in writing, in a timely fashion after that recommendation has been made. A written explanation of negative recommendations will be made by the Chair on request.
(e) Recruitment: Normally, faculty openings, regular or visiting, shall be publicly advertised. A Recruitment Committee will be appointed to screen the resulting applications and the most promising candidates, in order finally to bring a short list to the Appointment Committee. Openings created by special circumstances, not calling for a search, need not be publicly advertised but can be filled only after a vote by the Appointment Committee. In filling any faculty position, the Appointment Committee shall approve both the person who is to fill it and the general nature of the offer made.
Section 6: Chair Appointment and Duties.
When the period of a chair's appointment draws to a close, the chair shall call a meeting at which one of the major items of business is a discussion, in executive session, among the faculty of whom they wish to be the next appointed chair. There will be secret ballot voting on the matter, with the results of the final vote communicated by the chair to the COAS dean, who makes the appointment.
The Chair shall be responsible for the general administration of the Department, in conjunction with the relevant committees and officers of the Department. S/he shall preside at meetings of the Department, and shall be responsible for issuing notices of meetings and proposed agendas. Except where an election is explicitly called for or membership qualifications are fully defined, s/he shall appoint all departmental committees, with, in most cases, approval of the Department.
Section 7: Budget Committee.
(a) Composition: There shall be a faculty Budget Committee consisting of three elected members plus the Chair. At least one elected member of the committee shall be a non-full professor. Each member shall be elected for a three-year term, with one member elected each year. Members will be elected by a ballot in which all faculty members have voting rights and are eligible for election.
(b) Jurisdiction: The committee has jurisdiction over budgetary matters. On some matters it has a consultative role, such as salaries for visiting, temporary, and emeritus teaching appointments, the funding of AIs, meeting outside offers, and the use of S&E funds. On the issue of continuing faculty salaries of those whose salaries are not determined outside the department, the committee functions as an executive (decision-making) committee. If a vote within the committee ends in a tie, the Chair may break the tie by voting twice.
(c) Standards: The weighting of research, teaching, and service for the purposes of salary evaluation shall be in a proportion set by the Department. The committee shall make salary decisions in terms of exactly three categories: across-the-board increases, merit, and equity.
(d) Late Distribution of Funds: The Chair shall insist to the Dean of COAS that any late allocations of monies from the College coming after the budget conference with COAS must be returned to the Department and its budget committee for decisions on how the monies are to be distributed.
(e) Publicity: A summary sheet on the annual departmental budget is to be available for any faculty member wishing to have it that includes:
- a statement of the system used in dividing monies received and its rationale;
- a list of faculty salaries for the coming year; and
- a history of each faculty member's dollar increases and average percentage increases.
Section 8: Nelson Fund Committee.
There shall be a committee, including the Chair and a GASP representative plus at least two appointed faculty members, whose task is to oversee the use of Nelson funds and to recommend changes in guidelines for their use. At the discretion of the chair, this committee's task may be carried out by the Budget Committee.
Section 9: Office Procedures.
There shall be an Office Oversight Committee, appointed by the Chair. This committee shall
(1) review office personnel yearly;
(2) take responsibility for hiring and retention of office personnel; and
(3) serve as a grievance committee.
Office work for faculty and others shall be done in accord with the current version of "Office Rules and Procedures." Objections to those rules are to be brought to the Oversight Committee.
Section 10: Academic Committees and Offices.
(a) Curriculum Committees: The Chair shall as needed appoint a curriculum committee for the undergraduate program, and one for the graduate program. The directors of undergraduate and graduate studies shall be members of the respective committees. These committees may be consulted by the Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies on general matters of program. The committees may make minor changes in curriculum on their own; major changes and revisions are brought to the full department for discussion and decision. GASP and the undergraduates are free to appoint a representative to their respective committee.
(b) Undergraduate Studies: There shall be a Director of Undergraduate Studies, appointed by the Chair. The DUS is primarily responsible for advising undergraduate philosophy majors, overseeing their programs of study, making recommendations about undergraduate curriculum and requirement changes, and keeping in touch with such programs as the Honors Division and University Division concerning matters of importance to our undergraduate program.
(c) Graduate Studies: There shall be a Director of Graduate Studies, appointed by the Chair. The DGS is primarily responsible for advising graduate students and overseeing their programs of study until they are admitted to candidacy. During a graduate student's first year of study the DGS shall appoint a mentor, who can also lend advice to the student, after a show of preference by the student. The DGS's duties also include
- organizing a committee to make recommendations to the Department concerning applicants to the program;
- consulting with the Chair about AI assignments; and
- annually informing graduate students about the departmental evaluation of their work and progress.
(d) Course Teaching Assignments: Course preferences are solicited and an appointed Scheduling Officer, in consultation with the Chair and after consultation with the Directors of the Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, makes assignments, trying to satisfy both seated preferences and department needs, in such a way that courses at introductory, intermediate, and graduate levels are equally distributed among all faculty members.
Section 11: Committee Assignments.
Appointments to non-elected departmental committees are made by the Chair with, in most cases, approval of the department. These assignments are made with an eye toward equitable distribution-of the burden as well as the abilities and willingness of the faculty.
Particularly burdensome administrative appointments will normally be made for a limited time period and sometimes with release from teaching. The DGS and the DUS will generally be appointed for three year periods. The DGS and the DUS will be released from teaching or remunerated in accordance with COAS guidelines. A placement officer will be appointed for a one year term. Other offices — such as the scheduling officer, the chairs of the computer committee and the curriculum committees — are deemed not to involve quite so heavy a load. However, those with continued service in these capacities over an extended period of time or with exceptionally burdensome duties that are limited and temporary may apply for Departmental funds for remuneration.
Section 12: Teaching Obligation.
Teaching staff have an obligation to meet all of their regularly scheduled classes during the semester at the times and places they are scheduled, to arrange final exams at the scheduled times, and to assign and submit final course grades for their students in a timely manner. Variations in schedule or substitution of instructor can be justified in the case of such things as personal or family illness, accidents, funeral attendance, court and jury duty, short military leave, delivery of invited lectures, and attendance at organized professional meetings. When variations of schedule occur, or in the event that regularly scheduled classes will not be met by the assigned instructor, the faculty member should whenever possible notify the departmental office before the class meeting. Failures to fulfill these obligations may be called to the attention of the Budget Committee for appropriate action. (For further responsibilities, see the College Statement on Faculty Responsibility and the Dean of Faculties Academic Guide.)
Section 13: Adjunct Faculty.
Faculty members with adjunct appointments in Philosophy shall be welcome to participate in the following activities:
- colloquia and other such philosophical functions;
- social functions associated with the above;
- other departmental social functions;
- departmental meetings, without voting status;
- departmental committees, on an as-needed basis;
- teaching courses in the department, on an ad hoc basis;
- Ph.D. theses as committee members or directors, as requested by a student.
Section 14: Amendment of These Bylaws
These bylaws may be amended thus:
At least fourteen days in advance, the Chair must announce a meeting to all eligible to vote cooncerning the amendment of the bylaws; that is, all eligible to vote at regular department meetings. This announcement will describe the general nature of the proposal. At the announced meeting, a proposed amendment must be affirmed by a 2/3 majority of those voting in order to advance to the next stage. The proposal will be made public to those eligible to vote (whether electronically or in hard copy via department mailboxes) within forty-eight hours after the conclusion of the meeting. The proposal must then be considered at the next department meeting, not sooner than fourteen days after the first meeting. To vote, one must be either present at the meeting or convey in advance of the meeting to the Chair a vote in favor of the amendment, against the amendment, or to abstain. If the proposal is again affirmed by 2/3 of those voting, it shall become incorporated into these bylaws.