University of North Florida
School of Communication
April 12, 2013
(revised Nov. 15, 2013)
(revised Sept. 6, 2019)
Approved by Academic Affairs 9/18/2020
Article I: Name
- The name of this organization shall be the School of Communication (hereinafter called the "School"), which is houses in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Article II: Purpose
A. The purposes of the School faculty shall be:
- To deal with such matters as instruction, scholarship, and service;
- To oversee the School's curriculum; to promote faculty development, growth, and well-being; and to plan for the School's future;
- To establish and maintain academic and professional ethics and standards within the School;
- To assist and participate in the governance of the School and in the development and fulfillment of its mission as set forth in the University Constitution;
- To advise and recommend to the School director, in the spirit of collegiality and mutual respect, on all appropriate matters;
- To supplement academic advising programs by offering counsel to School 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 School faculty shall be all tenured and tenure-track faculty and full-time instructors assigned to the School. School faculty may vote on specific issues as specified in the contract.
Article V: Director
A. Powers and Functions of the Director
- The Director shall be the School's principal executive officer: responsible for day-to-day functioning, he/she also acts as its official spokesperson and representative. The Director shall, consistent with the principles set forth by the School faculty:
- Provide leadership in the development and evaluation of instruction, scholarship, research and service programs;
- Supervise the activities of the office staff;
- Conduct periodic evaluations of School faculty in accordance with School, college, and university guidelines;
- Prepare and administer the School budget;
- Insure compliance with University policies and guidelines regarding faculty participation in matters of appointment, retention, promotion, and tenure.
- Make recommendation to the college dean regarding appointments, promotions, and the award of tenure;
- In consultation with the Dean's Office, determine the School teaching schedule and individual teaching loads and schedules;
- Administer conditions of employment and make merit pay recommendations in accordance with established university procedures and the contract;
- Act as hiring officer for filling School positions;
- Perform such other duties as are usual for the office.
- The Director shall preside over all meetings of the School 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.
- He/she shall make available to the School faculty a copy of the annual report to the Dean on the affairs of the School and a report on the previous academic year's budget and available information on the current year's budget.
- The Director's office shall provide secretarial support for the faculty and chair of the School and administrative support for all activities of the School.
B. Nomination, Appointment, and Retention of the Director
- Nomination, appointment, and retention of the Director shall be governed by the provisions of the University Constitution and rules of the College.
- While recognizing that the Director is appointed by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School 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 School's evaluations of the candidates. If the new Director is going to be selected by an external search- then all relevant search rules apply.
- The term of office shall be four years, renewable. During the Spring semester of the third year of the term, the Director must declare his/her intent to stand for another term. Should the Director 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 Director. 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 Director. 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 Director's term.
- When a vacancy occurs in the office of Director, 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 School.
C. Acting Director
- In the event of the Director's short-term absence, an acting Director will be selected. The selection will be made by the Director or the Dean in the event of serious illness of the Director. The Acting Director will perform all the powers and functions of the Director.
- The Dean is encouraged to solicit input from School faculty when appointing an Acting Director.
Article VI: Coordinators for Undergraduate Majors and Graduate Director for Master's Program
The Director with the advice and consent
of the faculty will recommend to the Dean the graduate director for the
Master’s program. The Director will appoint the coordinators for the major
concentrations in the B.S. in Communication and the B.A. in Communication
Studies. The coordinators assist the Director
in scheduling classes and doing assessment activities. The coordinators also
are responsible for convening meetings to discuss and act upon issues that
affect only the concentration or major and not the School 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 School schedule designed for track meetings.
Coordinators will be reviewed annually by the Director and the appointment will rotate biannually, or more
frequently as the faculty determines. The graduate director is responsible for
recruiting and admitting students, advising students, selecting and managing
graduate teaching assistants, coordinating master’s theses, graduate program
assessment, and attending meetings of UNF graduate program directors.
Article VII: The School Faculty
A. Powers and Functions
- The School faculty may discuss any matter within the scope of academic affairs: may adopt general policy guidelines or specific policy decisions, and may instruct the Director to implement such decisions. Particularly, the School faculty shall consider:
- Areas of disciplinary specialization and concentration within the School;
- Undergraduate and graduate curricula;
- Degree programs;
- Academic standards;
- Future academic and personnel development plans;
- Establishment and composition of both standing and ad hoc committees;
- Annual and special reports from the chair and from the standing committees.
- Resource allocations
- The faculty shall meet in regular session at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters and as needed thereafter. Typically, there are three meetings in the fall and three meetings in the spring.
- The faculty shall meet whenever the Director, the chair of a standing committee, or at least 50% of the members of the faculty, request a meeting in writing.
- 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 Director 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
- One-half of all tenured and tenure-earning faculty members in residence and full-time instructors in residence, including visiting instructors, shall constitute a quorum.
- Minutes of School faculty sessions shall be compiled, written, and retained in the School office.
- Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, shall be used, if necessary, to resolve procedural questions.
- 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
- The Curriculum Committee: The School curriculum committee is a committee of the whole.
- Curriculum is defined as:
- New courses, majors
- Course offerings and scheduling
- Fields and sub-fields of specialization
- Other matters as assigned by the School
- Committees of the a major concentrations in the B.S. in Communication, the B.A. in Communication Studies, and the graduate program: Each faculty member serves in their respective committee based on their teaching area. All assignments can rotate annually. Members can self-assign with Director approval. The committees may review, revise and propose changes in their programs. The coordinators for each concentration/major and the graduate director serve as the respective Curriculum Committee Chairs for their program. The Curriculum Committees act on all curriculum requests within their discipline. One-half of all tenured and tenure-earning faculty members in residence and full-time instructors in residence, including visiting instructors, shall constitute a quorum. 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 Director. The respective Committees shall report on their actions to the full School faculty at the next general meeting. The School faculty (acting as the School curriculum committee) shall approve or not approve these actions through a simple "yes" or "no" vote.
- The Assessment Committee, consisting of the coordinators for each concentration/major and the graduate director (and any faculty volunteers), is tasked with working with the Director to implement and review the assessment activities of UNF and the School's external accrediting body.
B. Procedural Provisions
- The Director 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 School members with the concurrence of the School faculty. No more than one member of either standing committee maybe a visiting faculty member.
- The committee chairs will be elected by the committee members at the beginning of each academic year.
- The powers and duties of the standing committee chairs include:
- Calling meetings, preparing and circulating agendas;
- Collecting and retaining committee minutes in a specified file in the chair's office;
- Representing the committee at School faculty meetings;
- Maintaining liaison with the standing and ad hoc committees in the School.
- Three members are required to constitute a quorum for a standing committee.
- Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, shall be used, if necessary, to resolve procedural questions.
- 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
Those tenure-track faculty members who seek tenure and/or promotion, as well as instructors who seek promotion, will be evaluated by the process discussed in the UNF collective bargaining agreement.
Article X: Colleague's Appraisal
Tenure-track faculty members will receive a colleague's appraisal as discussed in the UNF collective bargaining agreement.
Article XI: New Courses
Proposals for new permanent courses must go through the APC process on campus and at the state level. At the School Level, new courses must be proposed in the appropriate committee (Committee of the major concentrations in the B.S. in Communication, B.A. in Communication Studies, or the graduate program). 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 Director shall appoint a search committee for each vacant position consisting of at least five members of the School 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 Director. After hearing the search committee recommendations, the Director shall recommend to the dean a candidate to be hired.
Article XIII: Part-time Faculty Hiring Policy
- The Director shall hire and schedule part-time faculty as needed and in consultation with appropriate School faculty. However, any member of the School may recommend potential part-time faculty and make recommendations about hiring to the Director.
- It is department policy that part-time faculty meet SACSCOC criteria for the subject matter being taught.
- Any member of the School 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 School 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.
- Tenured faculty, tenure-track faculty, and full-time instructors shall receive annual evaluations using the standards put forth in the university's Collective Bargaining Agreement. In addition, the Director 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 School will follow the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which requires consultation with the School faculty regarding the extension of a visiting faculty member's appointment.
Article XV: School Representatives on College Committees
- When a School representative to a College committee is needed, the Director shall solicit volunteers from among the members of the School. If more than one volunteer is identified, the Director shall select the representative from among the volunteers.
Article XVI: UNF "Friends of Communication" Foundation Account
- 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 School. Expenditures of less than $1,000 will be at the discretion of the Director. The Director shall report the status of this account annually to the School faculty.
- Any faculty member may request foundation support for any special project from the Director at any time. However, Foundation funds will not ordinarily be used for routine expenses incurred in research and teaching.
- Other accounts, such as the communication events account, will be used according to university guidelines.
Article XVII: Professional Development Funds
- Faculty professional development funds, when available, will be allocated in accordance with procedures approved by the university.
Article XVIII: Summer Rotation
The Director 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. This policy is discussed in the UNF collective bargaining agreement.
Article XIX: Amendment
Amendments to these procedures may be proposed by any member of the School. To become effective amendments must be approved by a 2/3 majority of the School faculty. The faculty will review the School's Operational Procedures every 10 years for possible amendment or renewal.
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.