Policies

Departmental Policies

The department maintains this set of recommended guidelines to supplement the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The English Department follows standard forms of governance, which include a monthly department meeting of all faculty.  Departmental standing committees meet once a month and may schedule additional meetings as needed.

Departmental Meeting and Voting Policies

  1. All full-time faculty are expected to contribute to the life of the department through membership on at least one standing committee and attendance at all regularly scheduled and special meetings (CBA Article 4B), except when excused because of
      • personal illness;
      • death or critical illness in the family;
      • unforeseen circumstances;
      • participation in a university-sponsored or professional activity;
      • jury duty;
      • military duties; or
      • religious holidays.

      These include departmental meetings as well as meetings for standing committees, search committees, and evaluation committees.

  2. The Chair communicates the agenda to all regular English faculty in writing at least a week before the meeting.
  3. Any faculty member (including the chair) may present an issue for formal vote.
  4. The Department of English prohibits the use of proxy votes.
  5. Motions are formally made and seconded at meetings, followed by discussion. 
  6. If a quorum is present (a majority of the full-time members of the department), individuals cast secret ballots during meetings for all formally placed motions.  Absentee ballots may be cast by those with excused absences (see #1 above) and should be submitted to Room 103 Chryst or through email to the departmental secretary within three business days after the initial vote. If a quorum is not present, but a quorum is reached when counting absentee ballots, the vote may proceed.
  7. Absentee ballots may be unfeasible when critical, time sensitive topics or issues arise that require immediate attention and departmental vote.
  8. Persons delegated with the responsibility by the Department count the votes and announce the results to the department within 24 hours of the vote, or after three days if there are absentee votes.  Unless otherwise agreed, the two APSCUF representatives or their proxies will count the votes.  Abstentions should be reported in the vote count.
  9.  Regular part-time (RPT) faculty members may vote on all but personnel decisions, as noted in the CBA Article 45.
  10. Special meetings may be called by one-half of a department's members, the Chairperson, the College Dean, or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  (University Governance: Academic Units and Departments. Revised March 8, 2007).
  11. At the end of each academic year, Departmental 'standing committees' will propose, in consultation with the Department Chair, a set of priorities for the upcoming year to be approved by the full faculty.  Chairs for each committee will be elected by the membership at the first meeting of the academic year.  Changes in the scope of the committee’s tasks may occur as conditions warrant as indicated by the new chair of the Committee, the Department Chair, the Dean of the College, or by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

Evaluation Committees

Given the size of the English Department, evaluation is a sizable task.  All tenured members of the department are expected to participate in the evaluation activities as part of their department service.  All faculty members should keep record of these activities for use in their 5-year reviews and promotion materials.

Evaluation committees consist of at least three tenured faculty members (CBA Article 12).  Tenured faculty outside of the department may be selected with permission of the department and the Dean. As the CBA requires an evaluation committee in each department (Article 12 C.1.a), the committee in English consists of all tenured faculty members.   

For evaluations of newly hired faculty, the search committee chair or another mutually agreed upon search committee member should chair the evaluation committee.

To make our evaluation process work well,

Faculty members being evaluated should

  • review CBA Article 12;
  • create the committees during the spring semester before the academic year when the evaluation should begin;
  • call a meeting with their committee to establish the duties for the committee by mutual consent and at one time;
  • submit a copy of their renewal materials to each member of the committee by October 1 (at the least, a copy of the annual report and the student and peer evaluations from the previous term);
  • select at least one new committee member for evaluation per year to avoid repetition; and
  • check potential committee members' schedules for the fall term to see if a conflict between teaching and observing can be avoided.

Evaluators should

  • review CBA Article 12;
  • have the classroom evaluations completed as close to October 15 as possible;
  • submit annual evaluations to the faculty member being evaluated by October 25, so he/she will have an opportunity to read and respond;
  • review models of past evaluation documents, if evaluating colleagues for the first time, and meet with the chair, if desired, for assistance with evaluation process.

The Chair should

  • review CBA Article 12;
  • check that each faculty member to be evaluated has a committee by October 1; 
  • if a committee does not exist by that time, the Chair should appoint committee members to the evaluation committee;
  • create his/her own evaluation, without any input from the departmental committee, by the date required in the CBA.

Temporary Part-time Faculty (TPTF) Evaluations

TPTF members select their own faculty evaluation committee. Three people are required per committee.

As with full-time faculty members, TPTF members should strive to add different member to their evaluation committee each year.  If a TPTF member does not have an observer selected by October 1, TPTF observations will be conducted by members of the English faculty not serving on full-time members’ evaluation committees or search committees.  The Chair will distribute these evaluations fairly (as evenly as possible) amongst faculty members.  FT faculty then may select which TPTF member they choose to observe.

Promotion and 5-Year Review Committees

To avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of impropriety, faculty members going up for promotion or 5-year review should not serve on each other’s committees. The department encourages letters of support in these cases.

Search Committees

  1. Requests for hiring may be initiated by the Chair or any department member.  Once the department has established its needs through discussion and a formal vote, the faculty as a whole should be actively involved in determining staffing needs and in making recommendations to the Dean for commencing searches for specific positions.
  2. The faculty as a whole should be actively involved in determining the specialties the search committee will seek.  Again, the department should establish its needs through discussion and a formal vote.
  3. There should be separate committees for each search, unless the department is searching for specialists in the same area (linguistics, writing studies, etc.). 
  4. Each committee will be disbanded at the end of each academic year, regardless of the outcome of the search.  If a search fails, a completely new committee must be established if the same search is continued for the next academic year.
  5. Search committees slots will consist of volunteers in the specialist area in which they are trying to fill.  Faculty outside of the specialty may also volunteer, unless all available slots are taken by specialists.  If no volunteers or not enough volunteers are available to serve, the search committee will then use the lottery system. 
  6. The Lottery System: A pool of the names of all regular full-time faculty members will be established, and the names of each faculty member who served a full academic year on a search committee will then be excluded from the pool.  Membership for each new search committee will be based on a random selection of regular full-time faculty names left in the pool.  New regular full-time faculty members will be added to the pool as they are hired.  If a specialist in the academic specialty of the search is not selected by rotation, the department will elect a specialist to serve on the committee.  The specialist will replace the last person selected for the committee, who will be put back into the pool.  Once the pool has fewer than five names, those remaining will serve on the next search committee; then, a new pool composed of the names of all regular full-time faculty members will be established.
  7. Membership on the search committee necessitates full responsibilities of the committee.
  8. The search committee is responsible for electing its chair.  All members of the search committee are eligible to serve as chair, but anyone uncomfortable serving in this capacity has the right to decline nomination.
  9. The Chair and the search committee are responsible for drafting the job description and advertisement for any position approved by the department.   All department members should receive copies of these materials in a timely fashion.  The job description and the advertisement need then to be approved by a majority vote of all regular full-time faculty members at a regular scheduled or special department meeting.
  10. The search committee is responsible for meeting the letter and spirit of Social Equity policies and other university hiring procedures.  All written documents should be distributed to every search committee member and should be available upon request to everyone else in the department.
  11. Before the short list of candidates is formed, all dossiers should be placed in a convenient location for perusal by interested colleagues not serving on the search committee.  All department faculty not serving on the search committee, including the Department Chair, may communicate their views in writing of the candidates to the search committee chair, who will then disseminate this information to all other search committee members for consideration.
  12. The size of the short list of candidates is determined by the search committee in consultation with the Social Equity Office, the Chair, and the Dean.
  13. Independent of the Social Equity Office, the Chair and the Dean, the search committee then draws up a short list of candidates for potential interviews.  The list is then submitted to the Social Equity Office, Chair, and Dean.
  14. Actual or potential conflicts of interest require discussion and resolution by the search committee as a whole, or by the department if necessary.  Unresolved conflicts should be brought to the attention of the full department in a timely manner.
  15. The committee chair is responsible for informing the department in a timely and regular fashion regarding the status of the search throughout the process.
  16. The search committee chair, or an approved member of the committee, is responsible for contacting by phone all candidates for interviews.  This person will also make necessary travel and lodging arrangements for the candidates.
  17. Before candidates arrive on campus, the search committee will meet and develop schedules and appropriate questions for interviews.  Prepared questions do not preclude additional inquiries relevant to individual faculty members.  Schedules will be circulated to all department members.
  18. All candidates visits need to include the following:
      • A meeting with the Dean;
      • A meeting with the Chair;
      • A formal interview with the search committee and other interested faculty members;
      • A formal presentation based on the candidate’s academic interests;
      • A teaching demonstration;
      • A campus tour and informal meetings with department members;

      *Faculty members outside of the search committee are encouraged to volunteer to host candidates during campus visits.

  19. Once all candidates have been interviewed, the search committee will meet for a full discussion of the perceived strengths and weaknesses of all invited candidates.  The search committee chair will conduct a vote by means of a formal secret ballot.  The search committee may opt to recommend only one candidate for the position, create a ranking of available candidates, or determine that one or more candidates should be excluded from consideration for the position.  Results will be communicated to the full English faculty and the Chair in a timely fashion.
  20. The search committee will present its decision to the English faculty for a full department vote by means of a secret ballot.  Before the vote takes place, the search committee is responsible for discussing its rationale with the department, and the Chair will inform the faculty of the recommendation he or she will make to the Dean and provide a rationale for the decision.
  21. As stipulated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the department faculty and the Chair will forward their separate recommendations to the Dean.
  22. All subsequent developments should be reported to department members in a timely fashion.
  23. Problems in implementing these procedures should be brought to the attention of the department and discussed by the full faculty. 

Review of Guidelines

These recommended guidelines will be discussed, updated, and reaffirmed by the English faculty at minimum once every 5 years (2015, 2020, 2025, 2030), unless a full-time faculty member asks for discussion sooner.  If any changes occur, the bylaws will be sent for approval to APSCUF. 

Last reviewed: February 4, 2016.