|I. Departmental Administrative Structure|
|A. Chair, Head, or DEO|
|Chair, Head or DEO1.|
Selection and Term
The Department Chair shall be appointed by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, after consultation with the members of the Department faculty and with other persons the Dean may regard as appropriate. The Dean shall specify the term of the Chair at the time of appointment. If the Chair is to be selected internally, one or more faculty meetings may be held, with the ultimate goal of informing the Dean of the faculty’s preference expressed through a secret ballot. A faculty recommendation regarding the term may be presented to the Dean at the time of balloting. The Chair is eligible for re-appointment.
The Departmental Chair has general executive responsibility for all aspects of the Departmental enterprise, and is an ex-officio member of all Departmental committees. While the Chair is accountable on all matters to the Collegiate Dean and to the Central Administration of the University, he/she is also responsible for implementing actions taken by the faculty.
1In this document, the terms Department Chair and DEO are meant to be interchangeable. If the DEO of the Department is appointed as Head, then the responsibilities of the Head will be those listed in this document for the Chair.
- Continuing critical review of Departmental objectives, programs, and priorities; analysis of the extent to which objectives are being achieved; initiation or review of proposals for changes in objectives, programs, and priorities.
- Allocation of existing financial resources; developing short-term and long-range budget proposals.
- Development of faculty personnel plans; preparing general and specific guidelines related to the recruitment of faculty members; monitoring the actual conduct of recruiting efforts; making recommendations to the Collegiate Dean regarding faculty appointments.
- Implementation of curricular needs through faculty teaching assignments.
- Implementation of established procedures for evaluating faculty; supervising the conduct of evaluations by appropriate faculty groups; providing feedback to individual faculty under evaluation; recommending to the Dean reappointment, termination, and promotion actions.
- Development and implementation of plans to maintain the vitality of the faculty, to stimulate their scholarly activity and development, and to maximize their contribution to the Department, to the College, to the University, to the profession, and to society generally.
- Allocation of space and facilities; developing proposals regarding modification, reassignment or expansion of space and facilities, and formulating space and facilities requests.
- Nomination or assignment of faculty members to particular committees and other Departmental duties.
- Implementation of policies regarding appointments of adjunct faculty, postdoctoral students, visiting scholars, research associates, visiting professors, etc.
- Maintenance of a continuing review of Departmental needs for staff personnel; supervising the selection, assignment, and evaluation of staff members.
- Responding to, or seeing to the appropriate disposition of, proposals or requests that arise from individuals or groups within the Department or from outside agencies.
- Establishment of agendas for faculty meetings; chairing Faculty and Executive Committee meetings. Distribution of reports, minutes, memoranda, etc. to provide adequate, but not inundative, information for discussion.
- Maintenance of Departmental records and files.
- Supervision of the security of personnel, facilities, and equipment.
|B. Associate Chairs|
Two Associate Chairs are appointed by the Chair. At the Chair’s discretion, he/she may consult with the elected members of the Executive Committee before making his/her final selection.
The Chair will designate one of the Associate Chairs to serve as acting Chair and assume limited administrative responsibility in the Chair’s absence.
Associate Chairs will participate in all decisions made by the Executive Committee [see Part C of this section] except the evaluation of faculty for purposes of annual salary determination.
An assistant to each of the Associate Chairs may be chosen by the Chair in consultation with the Associate Chair. The assistant becomes the Associate Chair Designate and may assume the duties of the Associate Chair in his/her absence, including participation in Executive Committee meetings.
One Associate Chair will be responsible for administration of the graduate program and will act as Graduate Program Director. He or she will coordinate activities related to graduate recruiting, admissions, and curriculum. The Associate Chair will supervise, monitor and co-ordinate the activities of the staff coordinator of the graduate program. Specific duties and responsibilities are listed below. The Chair may assign other duties as necessary to facilitate the program’s operation. The Graduate Program Director will:
- Lead the Graduate Affairs Committee in overseeing and revising the graduate curriculum, course offerings, and degree requirements.
- Serve as ex-Officio member of the Graduate Recruiting and Admissions Committee.
- Approve the Graduate Recruiting and Admissions Committee’s development of the forms and content of published materials relating to the graduate program (University Catalog copy, recruitment materials, graduate teaching assistants, etc.). The staff graduate program coordinator ensures that all graduate students are aware of the content of these materials.
- In cooperation with the staff coordinator of graduate studies, develop and implement policies and procedures for evaluating student performance, monitoring progress toward the degree, and renewing financial aid; coordinating departmental nominations of students for departmental and University awards.
- Coordinate the formation of plans of study for each student and receive petitions for exceptions to requirements.
- In cooperation with the staff coordinator of graduate studies, serve as primary advisor for new students who have not yet chosen an advisor.
- Handle graduate student problems and complaints.
The second Associate Chair will be responsible for administration of the Undergraduate Program and will act as Undergraduate Program Director. He or she will coordinate activities related to undergraduates. This Associate Chair will supervise, monitor and co-ordinate the activities of the staff coordinator of undergraduate advising. Specific duties are listed below. The Chair may assign other duties as necessary to facilitate the program’s operation. The Undergraduate Program Director will:
In consultation with the appropriate faculty, undertake a thorough review of curriculum every five to seven years to ensure that:
- The curriculum reflects the current status of the discipline, the composition of the faculty, students’ needs, and instructional technology;
- The departmental major comprises a reasonable proportion of course work taken in residence;
- Courses are sequenced clearly and that reasonable prerequisites are in place for advanced courses;
- Course experiences are reflected in the lower division and upper division course numbering.
In cooperation with the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator:
- conduct the outcomes assessment of the undergraduate major;
- in consultation with the Chair and Department Administrator, develop or revise printed and web-based materials (University Catalog copy, degree requirements, the department’s undergraduate student handbook, etc.) for undergraduate majors in the department;
- oversee the assignment of new majors to faculty advisors by the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator;
In cooperation with the Undergraduate Honors Program Advisor and the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator, make recommendations to the Chair for undergraduate recognition and/or awards. Advise the Chair on undergraduate student problems, complaints, and cases of student academic misconduct (plagiarism, cheating) brought by faculty;
Regularly review and develop the curriculum for the major, particular course sequences, and program requirements, and present recommendations to the Executive Committee;
Implement policies on requirements for the major, including decisions (and communications with the Registrar’s Office and students) on transfer courses, course substitutions, and waivers of requirements for good academic reason;
Maintain communication with other academic departments and with offices throughout the University that serve undergraduate students.
|C. Executive Committee|
Five tenured faculty members are elected to the Executive Committee for overlapping three-year terms that begin July 1 of the year in which they are elected. For purposes of the election, the faculty whom they represent is divided into five groups: Cell/Development, Evolution, Genetics, Neurobiology, and Plant Biology. Faculty members choose a primary group to affiliate with. When a vacancy arises, the appropriate group selects two nominees for the faculty at large to vote on. The nominee must be a tenured faculty member. The vote can be by email ballot. A simple majority of those voting determines the outcome of the election.
When a temporary vacancy arises, for example, because a faculty member is on leave, a temporary replacement is elected according to procedures outlined in the paragraph above. When a faculty member resigns from the Executive Committee, a replacement to fill out the unexpired term is chosen in the same way. Although there is no limit to the number of times a tenured faculty member may be elected to the Executive Committee, at least one three-year gap must exist after two consecutive terms have been served.
The Executive Committee has the following duties. The Chair may assign other duties as necessary:
- Advise the Chair on curricular needs associated with specific tracks in the undergraduate and graduate majors.
- Advise the Chair on research needs associated with the specific area of representation. Examples are the need for particular common equipment or the need to adjust teaching loads to enhance the research goals of individuals within the group or the group as a whole.
- Elected representatives are expected to communicate with their group, informing them of Executive Committee discussions, except those of a confidential nature, and provide feedback to the DEO prior to the faculty meeting.
- Elected representatives, along with the Chair, evaluate faculty performance for purposes of the annual salary adjustments. In addition, they will serve in an advisory role to the DEO for the annual review of tenured faculty.
- The Executive Committee members may advise the Chair on department policy, long-range planning, budgets, expenditures, personnel, interactions with other segments of the University community, and special situations requiring administrative action.
- Make recommendations for nominations for College and University awards for excellence in teaching, research, and/or service.2
The Executive Committee should meet a minimum of once per month to advise the Chair and may bring matters requiring departmental attention to the Chair. Such matters can be discussed by the Committee and, if appropriate, may be placed on the agenda for action by the full faculty.
Meetings will be scheduled by the Chair. Committee members should be notified by email at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
The Chair is responsible for conducting the Executive Committee meetings. His or her role is to facilitate orderly and open discussion of the agenda items. The usual order of business shall consist of call to order, announcements, administrative staff report, new business, old business, and adjournment.
Associate Chairs routinely attend Executive Committee meetings and have all the rights and privileges of the elected members, except for participation in the yearly faculty salary reviews. Associate Chairs cannot be elected to serve as group representatives.
The Departmental Administrator and the Assistant to the Chair will attend the meetings of the Executive Committee and can bring matters relating to the administration of the department to the attention of the Committee.
Meetings of the Executive Committee are generally closed meetings. However, faculty may request attendance in the event they wish to present an issue directly to the Committee. The Chair may also request that a faculty member attend and report to the Committee or provide additional information regarding an issue being addressed.
2The Assistant to the Chair shall keep a list of such award deadlines and the timelines for nominations.
|D. Other Committees|
Other committees may be created by the Chair, at the recommendation of the Executive Committee, or at the Chair’s discretion, as specific needs dictate. The department committees listed below are not all inclusive, but are representative of committees currently active or routinely appointed. Service will be limited to no more than two committees in any given year, except as ad hoc member or teaching evaluator. Faculty will serve on their assigned committees for a three year rotation period. Extenuating circumstances may dictate a longer rotation period.
Graduate Affairs Committee (GAC)
The GAC is responsible for:
- Membership in the GAC will consist of associate professors and assistant professors who have completed their third year.
- Monitoring graduate curricula and proposing changes when necessary.
- Monitoring progress of graduate students in meeting degree requirements.
- Monitoring faculty sponsors’ annual written reports on graduate student progress.
- Administering the research rotation program and assuring that faculty submit reports on students’ performance in rotations.
- Approving comprehensive exam questions.
- Administering the Qualifying Exam to first year graduate students and soliciting questions from faculty to maintain a question bank.
- Providing advice to first-year students.
- Hearing student appeals and advising the Chair on those appeals.
- Monitoring all aspects of student welfare.
- Coordinating and rationalizing graduate seminar course offerings
Graduate Recruiting and Admissions Committee (GRAC)
The GRAC is responsible for:
- Membership on the GRAC will consist of primarily assistant professors
- Considering applications for approval/disapproval
- Conducting a visitation program for prospective graduate students
- Conducting telephone interviews
- Participating in external programs designed to recruit graduate students
- In consultation with the Chair, determining Evelyn Hart Watson and Cone Graduate Scholars
- Developing and maintaining a current communication recruitment plan, and developing/updating/modifying the departmental web site to enhance its effectiveness as a graduate student recruiting tool.
- The Seminar Committee consists of three faculty appointed by the DEO, one serving as past chair, one serving as current chair, and one serving as future chair.
- The committee members will rotate in a coordinated fashion through the four tracks, with a new member coming from a track that had not been represented previously.
- The committee will organize the invitation of the seminar speakers.
- A list of seminar speakers will be distributed to the DEO at least one month before the fall and spring semesters.
- An effort will be made to select an H.W. Beams lecturer as part of the spring semester list of invited speakers.
- The chair of the seminar committee will interact with the graduate students to select a Raymond Fong Memorial Speaker. This speaker will also be included in the list of invited speakers.
Promotion and Tenure Review Committee
The Promotion and Tenure Review Committee is charged with performing the reviews for all candidates eligible for promotion.
- Consists of three full professors who serve as the standing committee for all candidates.
- An ad hoc “expert” is appointed by the DEO for each candidate to be an active member of the committee for purposes of preparing the summary of that faculty member’s research accomplishments.
- The DEO appoints the chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee.
The charge and procedures for this committee are outlined in the CLAS/UI Procedures for Promotion and Tenure Review.
Third-year Review Committee
- Membership consists of two or three associate or full professors plus ad hoc members
- Writes summaries of candidate's records of teaching, research and service prior to meeting of the Department Consulting Group
- Chair of the committee conducts the Department Consulting Group meeting
Lecturer Review Committee
- Membership consists of one or two associate or full professors
- Conducts evaluation of candidate's teaching effectiveness
- Writes summary assessment of candidate's record in teaching and professional development
|E. Faculty Meetings|
Most faculty meetings are open to all members of the Department of Biology, including staff, students and postdoctoral scholars/fellows, except where personnel decisions are to be made, in which case only those with voting rights may attend.
Faculty meetings will ordinarily be scheduled by the Chair on a monthly basis during the academic year. The Chair approves all items placed on the agenda. Faculty members should be notified by email at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
The Chair is responsible for conducting the faculty meetings. His or her role is to facilitate orderly and open discussion of agenda items. The usual order of business shall consist of call to order, announcements, administrative report, new business, old business, and adjournment.
The Department Administrator and Assistant to the Chair will attend all general faculty meetings.
Matters for Consideration in General Faculty Meetings
Voting on Issues
- Final determination of graduate and undergraduate curricula and/or degree requirements.
- Revision of established department procedures or administrative structure (e.g. structure of the Executive Committee).
- Responding to requests for advice from the Chair.
- Expressing opinions on matters requiring a departmental response to an action of the College or Central Administration.
Tenure-track and tenured faculty with budgeted appointments in the department are eligible to vote on all issues, but should abstain from voting in the event of a conflict-of-interest. Zero-time joint appointees, adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, and lecturers are not eligible to vote in faculty meetings. Faculty members may submit written proxies to the Chair prior to the meeting.
A quorum consists of one more than half of the faculty eligible to vote; action can also be taken by a smaller group attending a scheduled faculty meeting if the number of positive votes exceeds the majority that would have been required if a quorum were present.
Some issues may be decided by e-mail ballot. Approval of an action by e-mail ballot requires a majority vote providing the number of positive votes exceeds the number that would be required for a majority if one more than half the eligible faculty voted.