University of North Florida
Department of Communication
April 12, 2013
(revised Nov. 15, 2013)
Article I: Name
1. The name of this organization shall be the Department of Communication (hereinafter called the "department").
Article II: Purpose
A. The purposes of the department faculty shall be:
1. To deal with such matters as instruction, scholarship, and service;
2. To oversee the department's curriculum; to promote faculty development, growth, and well-being; and to plan for the department's future;
3. To establish and maintain academic and professional ethics and standards within the department;
4. To assist and participate in the governance of the department and in the development and fulfillment of its mission as set forth in the University Constitution;
5. To advise and recommend to the department chair, in the spirit of collegiality and mutual respect, on all appropriate matters;
6. To supplement academic advising programs by offering counsel to department majors and non-majors.
Article III: Compliance with Collective Bargaining Law
These operational procedures are not intended to address wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment, which are governed by the Florida collective bargaining law. Any provisions that speak to such matters are intended to function pursuant to and in compliance with appropriate collective bargaining agreements and Chapter 447, Part II, Florida Statutes.
Article IV: Voting Membership
1. The voting membership of the department faculty shall be all tenured and tenure-track faculty and full-time instructors assigned to the department. Departmental faculty may vote on specific issues as specified in the contract.
Article V: Chair
A. Powers and Functions of the Chair
1. The Chair shall be the department's principal executive officer: responsible for day-to-day functioning, he/she also acts as its official spokesperson and representative. The chair shall, consistent with the principles set forth by the department faculty:
a. Provide leadership in the development and evaluation of instruction, scholarship, research and service programs;
b. Supervise the activities of the department office staff;
c. Conduct periodic evaluations of department faculty in accordance with department, college, and university guidelines;
d. Prepare and administer the departmental budget;
e. Insure compliance with University policies and guidelines regarding faculty participation in matters of appointment, retention, promotion, and tenure.
f. Make recommendation to the college dean regarding appointments, promotions, and the award of tenure;
g. Determine the department teaching schedule and individual teaching loads and schedules;
h. Administer conditions of employment and make merit pay recommendations in accordance with established university procedures and the contract;
i. Act as hiring officer for filling department positions;
j. Perform such other duties as are usual for the office.
2. The Chair shall preside over all meetings of the department faculty and is an ex- officio member of all committees except the Promotion and Tenure Committee or committees of which he/she is hiring officer. He/she shall bring to their attention any matter deemed necessary.
3. He/she shall make available to the department faculty a copy of the annual report to the Dean on the affairs of the department and a report on the previous academic year's budget and available information on the current year's budget.
4. The chair's office shall provide secretarial support for the faculty and chair of the department and administrative support for all activities of the department.
B. Nomination, Appointment, and Retention of the Chair
1. Nomination, appointment, and retention of the chair shall be governed by the provisions of the University Constitution and rules of the College.
2. While recognizing that the chair is appointed by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the department should have a significant voice in the selection process. The following process shall be used. A list of candidates shall be formed by faculty self-nomination. Each listed candidate shall be individually voted upon by secret ballot of the faculty on their acceptability for consideration by the Dean. The list of acceptable candidates will then be forwarded to the Dean and a representative of the faculty will meet with the Dean to discuss the department’s evaluations of the candidates. If the new Chair is going to be selected by an external search – then all relevant search rules apply.
3. The term of office shall be four years, renewable. During the Spring semester of the third year of the term, the chair must declare his/her intent to stand for another term. Should the chair wish to seek a second term, a vote on retention will be held. The tenured and tenure-track faculty shall vote by secret ballot on the question of retaining the chair. The dean shall receive the vote and report the result to the tenured and tenure-track faculty. If the vote is negative, the dean will meet with the tenured and tenure-track faculty and justify any action other than replacement of the chair. Nothing in this paragraph shall limit the authority of the dean or the tenured and tenure-track faculty, acting as a committee of the whole, to conduct a secret retention vote prior to the end of the chair's term.
4. When a vacancy occurs in the office of chair, it is anticipated that the Dean will select an interim successor for a term of not more than one year from a list candidates approved by majority vote of the department.
C. Acting Chair
In the event of the Chair’s absence, an acting chair will be selected. The selection will be made by the Chair or the Dean in the event of serious illness of the Chair. The Acting Chair will perform all the powers and functions of the Chair.
2. The Dean is encouraged to solicit input from department faculty when appointing an Acting Chair.
Article VI: Track Coordinators
The Chair with the advice and consent of the program track faculty will appoint program track coordinators. The coordinators assist the Chair in scheduling classes and doing assessment activities. The coordinators also are responsible for convening track meetings to discuss and act upon issues that affect only the track and not the department as a whole, e.g., curriculum, part-time faculty, and so on. He or she shall make effective use of the time blocks in the departmental schedule designed for track meetings. Coordinators will be reviewed annually by the Chair and the appointment will rotate biannually, or more frequently as the faculty determines.
Article VII: The Department Faculty
A. Powers and Functions
1. The department faculty may discuss any matter within the scope of academic affairs: may adopt general policy guidelines or specific policy decisions, and may instruct the chair to implement such decisions. Particularly, the department faculty shall consider:
a. Areas of disciplinary specialization and concentration within the department;
b. Undergraduate and graduate curricula;
c. Degree programs;
d. Academic standards;
e. Future academic and personnel development plans;
f. Establishment and composition of both standing and ad hoc committees;
g. Annual and special reports from the chair and from the standing committees.
h. Resource allocations
1. The faculty shall meet in regular session at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters and as needed thereafter.
2. The faculty shall meet whenever the chair, the chair of a standing committee, or at least 50% of the members of the faculty, request a meeting in writing.
3. Written notification of each regular and special meeting shall be sent to all members three working days prior to the meeting date. Members may submit agenda items for that meeting to the chair who shall then prepare a provisional agenda and distribute it to the faculty in advance of the meeting. Notice of meeting time and place will be conspicuously posted in the department prior to each meeting.
C. Procedural Provisions
1. One-half of all tenured and tenure-earning faculty members in residence and full-time instructors in residence shall constitute a quorum.
2. Minutes of department faculty sessions shall be compiled, written, and retained in the department office.
3. Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, shall be used, if necessary, to resolve procedural questions.
4. Whenever possible, debate will proceed until consensus is obtained. When it becomes necessary to vote, decisions shall be made by a majority of those present and voting unless otherwise provided by these procedures. “Present” can mean physically present in the room or present via phone or other electronic device. For the purposes of these procedures, the phrase "members present and voting" means members casting an affirmative or negative vote. Members abstaining from voting are considered as "present, not voting." Upon request of any member of faculty, any vote will be conducted via secret ballot.
Article VIII: Committee Structure and Policy Guidelines
A. Standing Committees and Their Enumerated Functions
1. The Curriculum Committee: The departmental curriculum committee is a committee of the whole.
a. Curriculum is defined as:
1. New courses, majors
2. Course offerings and scheduling
3. Fields and sub-fields of specialization
5. Other matters as assigned by the department
2. Track committees: Each faculty member serves in their respective track’s committee. All track assignments can rotate annually. Members can self-assign with Chair approval. The track committees may review, revise and propose changes in their tracks. The program track coordinators serve as the respective Curriculum Committee Chairs for each track. The Curriculum Committees act on all curriculum requests within their discipline. A quorum of all full-time faculty in the respective disciplines is required for action. Only full-time faculty may vote on curriculum issues. Curriculum actions must receive a positive vote from the majority of the respective committee and the approval of the department Chair. The respective Track Committees shall report on their actions to the full department faculty at the next general meeting. The departmental faculty (acting as the departmental curriculum committee) shall approve or not approve these actions through a simple “yes” or “no” vote.
3. The Assessment Committee, consisting of the track coordinators (and any faculty volunteers), is tasked with working with the Chair to implement and review the assessment activities of UNF and the department’s external accrediting body.
B. Procedural Provisions
1. The chair shall solicit members to each standing committee at the beginning of each academic year or as required to fill vacancies which may occur from among the department members with the concurrence of the department faculty. No more than one member of either standing committee maybe a visiting faculty member.
2. The committee chairs will be elected by the committee members at the beginning of each academic year.
3. The powers and duties of the standing committee chairs include:
a. Calling meetings, preparing and circulating agendas;
b. Collecting and retaining committee minutes in a specified file in the chair's office;
c. Representing the committee at department faculty meetings;
d. Maintaining liaison with the standing and ad hoc committees in the department.
5. Two members are required to constitute a quorum for a standing committee.
6. Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, shall be used, if necessary, to resolve procedural questions.
7. Whenever possible, debate will proceed until consensus is obtained. When it becomes necessary to vote, decisions shall be made by a majority of those present and voting unless otherwise provided by these procedures. For the purposes of these procedures, the phrase "members present and voting" means members casting an affirmative or negative vote. Members abstaining from voting are considered as "present, not voting."
Article IX: Procedures for Tenure and Promotion
1. Those tenure-track faculty members who seek tenure and/or promotion will be evaluated by the following process in conjunction with the university tenure and promotion process:
The chair will appoint a T/P committee of 3 tenured members of the department.
The T/P committee will evaluate the candidate’s dossier in all 3 areas (instruction, research and service) and then have a formal vote on whether to recommend tenure and/or promotion for the candidate. The committee will produce a report detailing their findings along with the formal vote.
After the report is published to the department faculty, the chair will call a departmental meeting of tenured faculty (the chair does not attend the meeting). The committee will discuss their findings, and then the entire tenured faculty will vote on promotion and tenure. This vote will be included in the committee’s final report.
If the candidate is requesting a promotion to Full Professor, a committee of 3 tenured Full Professors is required. If the Department does not have 3 Full Professors at the time of promotion, the chair must consult with the Dean and ask the Dean to appoint a Full Professor from another department within the college. If the department has a Full Professor at the time of promotion, the Chair of the Promotion Committee will be from the Department.
Article X: Colleague’s Appraisal
The Department of Communication conducts a mandatory review of untenured tenure-line faculty during the spring of the third year at UNF. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the candidate’s progress toward meeting university standards for tenure and promotion, which are excellence in teaching, excellence in scholarship, and continuous and meaningful service. A committee of tenured faculty, appointed by but excluding the Chair, examines the candidate’s record and submits a written evaluation to the candidate. A positive review does not guarantee that tenure and promotion will be granted nor does a negative review guarantee that tenure and promotion will be denied. The Chair will establish a timeline for the review process, which must take place in February or March.
1. The department Chair notifies the tenure-program faculty member at the beginning of the fall semester of the candidate's third year that the review will take place during the spring term.
2. The department Chair appoints a committee of three tenured faculty from the department and charges them with the responsibility of conducting the review and evaluating the candidate's progress toward tenure and promotion. Should three tenured departmental faculty not be available, the Chair will appoint tenured faculty from another department. The committee elects a Chair, who will be a voting member.
3. By the designated deadline the candidate will provide the department committee with a portfolio/dossier which must include the items listed in the UNF Collective Bargaining Agreement.
4. The committee reviews and discusses the portfolio/dossier and votes on whether the candidate is making sufficient progress toward meeting university standards for tenure and promotion. The committee's evaluation is based on a vote by all members of the committee.
5. The review committee submits a written evaluation to the candidate by the designated deadline. The report describes the committee's procedures, announces the vote, includes the names and academic ranks of committee members, assesses the candidate's performance, and provides recommendations to prepare the candidate for the future tenure review.
Article XI: New Courses
Proposals for new permanent courses must go through the APC process on campus and at the state level. At the Department Level, new courses must be proposed in the appropriate committee (Track Committee). Once the committee approves the course, the course goes before the entire faculty for discussion and a vote. The course must receive a majority vote among the faculty to go to the College APC committee. New courses introduced as part of a significant degree program restructuring may be exempted from this process.
Major program changes must go through the appropriate committee and then be reported to the full faculty for a vote. The offering of Special Topic Courses will be approved by the individual instructors and chair.
Article XII: Faculty Hiring
When authorized to hire new or replacement tenure-track faculty, the department chair shall appoint a search committee for each vacant position consisting of at least five members of the department faculty. Each search committee shall elect a chairperson and conduct the search in accordance with university procedures and guidelines. Following candidate on-campus interviews, each search committee shall prepare its recommendations and present them to the chair. After hearing the search committee recommendations, the chair shall recommend to the dean a candidate to be hired.
Article XIII: Part-time Faculty Hiring Policy
1. The chair shall hire and schedule part-time faculty as needed and in consultation with appropriate departmental faculty. However, any member of the department may recommend potential part-time faculty and make recommendations about hiring to the chair.
2. It is department policy that part-time faculty meet SACSCOC criteria for the subject matter being taught.
3. Any member of the department who objects to an adjunct's professional qualifications and/or conduct of his or her teaching duties shall bring the matter to the attention of the department faculty at a regularly scheduled meeting. If a majority of the members agree, the adjunct may not be rehired.
Article XIV: Evaluation of faculty, visiting instructors, and adjuncts.
1. Tenured faculty, tenure-track faculty, and full-time instructors shall receive annual evaluations using the standards put forth in the “Model Performance Evaluation By-Law” (Appendix H) in the university’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. In addition, the chair will evaluate the teaching performance of each adjunct and visiting instructor using several sources. These sources can include, but are not limited to, ISQ data, student feedback, course syllabi and instructional material, and in-class visitation. In terms of visitors, the department will follow the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which requires consultation with the department faculty regarding the extension of a visiting faculty member’s appointment.
Article XV: Department Representatives on College Committees
1. When a department representative to a College committee is needed, the department chair shall solicit volunteers from among the members of the department. If more than one volunteer is identified, the chair shall select the representative from among the volunteers.
Article XVI: UNF “Friends of Communication” Foundation Account
1. The UNF “Friends of Communication” Foundation Account shall be managed by a designated, non-contributing individual, with the understanding that any expenditures for items over $1,000 must be reviewed and approved by the Department. Expenditures of less than $1,000 will be at the discretion of the chair. The chair shall report the status of this account annually to the department faculty.
2. Any faculty member may request foundation support for any special project from the chair at any time. However, Foundation funds will not ordinarily be used for routine expenses incurred in research and teaching.
Article XVII: Professional Development Funds
1. Faculty professional development funds, when available, will be allocated in accordance with procedures approved by the university.
Article XVIII: Summer Rotation
The Chair will, to the extent made possible by budgetary and other restraints, insure that faculty assigned to the “A” and “B” summer sessions are evenly matched and that such assignments are evenly allocated. Those faculty who teach in the “A” term in a given year, will be expected to teach in the “B” term in the following year.
Article XIX: Amendment
Amendments to these procedures may be proposed by any member of the department. To become effective amendments must be approved by a 2/3 majority of the departmental faculty.
Article XX: Precedence
In the event of conflict, the University or College constitutions or procedures, the Faculty Handbook, or the collective bargaining agreement supersede these procedures.