Secondary Academic Divisions - Bylaws
As herein used, “Secondary Academic Divisions” means academic departments, programs, centers, or other units, which normally report to a dean and are administered by a chair or director.
A. A “department” is an administrative division that oversees one or more programs within a Primary Academic Division. Programs within a department normally have interdependent curricula and/or related missions.
B. A “department chair” serves as the administrative head of an academic department and normally reports to a dean.
C. A "program" shall refer to a specified curriculum that meets undergraduate or graduate degree requirements such as major, certificate, minor, general education or other degree option (e.g. Honors, Accelerated Baccalaureate Program, concentration/option within a major or master's program, etc.); the Library shall also be considered a "program."
D. A “program director” serves as the administrative head of an academic program and normally reports to the Provost.
E. A “program coordinator” is a faculty member assigned to a program within a department to oversee curriculum, faculty evaluations, and other matters where the expertise of a faculty member within the program is critical to its success.
F. A "center" is an administrative division that facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration among academic faculty or among entities internal and external to the University. Funding sources external to the campus normally support some or all of a center’s operations. Centers should not replace departments, nor be an intermediary between a department and its Dean, but may work in close collaboration with one or more departments.
G. A “center director” serves as the administrative head of a center and normally reports to a Dean or the Provost. A center director may not replace department chair; however, this should not prohibit one individual from being appointed to both positions.
II. Administrative Responsibilities and Release for Secondary Academic Divisions
A. Administrative Responsibilities
1. The Chair or Director leads the secondary academic division in the development and implementation of its mission within the scope of the larger University mission and is responsible for the effective operation of the unit. These leaders are directly responsible for:
a. Administering matters relating to personnel, budget, curriculum, and scheduling,
b. Consulting with the division faculty and/or advisory council in establishing and maintaining effective division practices to accomplish its administrative responsibilities, and
c. Acting as a liaison between his/her division and other academic divisions and administrative offices.
A secondary academic division’s administrative responsibilities may be delegated to elected and appointed division leadership (department chair, program director, and/or program coordinator(s)) or other division faculty following established division policies and practices. Where the bylaws directly identify the Department Chair, it is not meant to prohibit such delegation.
2. The secondary academic division’s administrative responsibilities normally include, but are not limited to:
i. Convene and consult with the division faculty
iii. Initiate or respond to requests for recommendations from the supervising division on matters related to the program’s operation, planning, staffing, budget, curriculum, etc. These may include informal information requests, formal reports such as annual budget or activity reports, or significant periodic undertakings such as the five-year review and implementation planning process.
i. Advise incoming or existing students interested in division programs — prospective majors, minors, etc.
ii. Assign pre-majors, majors, minors, and other program participants to advisors.
iii. Provide advisors for division-related student activities, including student clubs.
i. Participate in the hiring and regular evaluation of division faculty and staff, both temporary and ongoing.
ii. Mentor temporary and new division faculty.
iii. Assist faculty and students regarding complaints and grievances.
iv. Initiate or respond to requests for recommendations from the supervising division on such matters as salary adjustments, appointments, promotion, tenure, terminations, etc.
i. Manage division budgets and resources
ii. Initiate or respond to requests for recommendations from the supervising division on such matters as budget status, budget planning, equipment, facilities, etc.
e. Curriculum and Scheduling:
i. Oversee curricular review and development, including catalog revisions.
ii. Recommend annual program offerings and instructor assignment.
iii. Initiate or respond to requests for division recommendations to their Dean (or other administrative officers designated by the President) on such matters as program curriculum, course scheduling, teaching assignments, etc.
B. Administrative Release
The Collective Bargaining Agreement specifies administrative release for Departments (see CBA Article 8). Departments shall be allocated adequate release time for the performance of all assigned administrative duties.
III. Appointment of Secondary Academic Division Leadership
A. Department Chairs
1. Term of Office For Department Chairs
a. The term of office for department chairs shall be three years.
b. In order to maintain continuity and experience among the group of department chairs, approximately one third of the department chairs should be elected each year.
2. Selection of Department Chairs
a. The Faculty Senate Elections Committee shall conduct all department chair elections.
b. The Provost provides a certified list of department members, faculty who hold ongoing academic appointments (full or part-time) within that department.
c. All department members are eligible to vote and, except deans, to be elected chair. Incumbent chairs shall be eligible for reelection. Those persons on leave may be nominated for, and elected to, department chair. While not required, it is recommended that department chairs hold tenure or are on a three-year, extendable contract.
d. During the month of January, the Elections Committee shall inform the faculty of a pending election, solicit nominations and mail a ballot to each faculty member who is eligible to vote.
e. The ballots shall contain only the names of those persons who have previously consented in writing to be candidates for the office of department chair.
f. Faculty members who are on leave may vote in the election for department chair provided that they have informed the Provost of their correct mailing address at the time of the election, and provided that the voted ballot is received by the Elections Committee within twenty (20) university days after the distribution date.
g. Department chairs shall be declared elected on the first ballot if they receive a majority of the votes cast. If no person receives a majority on the first ballot, a runoff election shall be conducted between the two contenders with the greatest number of votes.
h. The appointment of department chairs shall be subject to approval by the President. The department chairs shall commence their term of office on June 16 following their election.
3. Alternate Procedures for Selection of Department Chairs
a. The President shall retain the option of appointing department chairs from the membership of an administrative unit or chairs may be appointed who are not currently serving on the faculty of Southern Oregon University. Presidential appointments shall be made with the advice and consent of the department faculty members concerned.
b. Within five (5) university days of being informed by the Elections Committee of a pending election, the faculty of a department may request that their chair be chosen through an alternate procedure by filing a petition with the President and notifying the Elections Committee of the pending petition. The petition shall contain the rationale for an alternate procedure and it shall be signed by a majority of the department faculty members (see constitution, section 0.200) in the unit concerned. The alternate procedures may include the following:
i. Postponing the selection of a chair until a later date resulting in the appointment of an interim chair by the President with the advice and consent of the department faculty members.
ii. Instituting a search for a chair who is not currently serving on the faculty of Southern Oregon University.
iii. Choosing a chair through a procedure that is not outlined in these bylaws.
c. The President shall notify the department and Elections Committee of his/her decision within ten (10) university days of receiving the petition.
i. If the President approves the proposed alternate procedure, the Elections Committee shall be directed to carry out their role, if any, in that procedure.
ii. If the President does not approve the proposed alternate procedure, the Elections Committee shall be directed to conduct an election during the month of February in accordance with the regular election procedures.
d. Department chairs who have been appointed from off campus shall hold office for a minimum of three years before they stand for election.
4. Special Elections
a. The Faculty Senate Elections Committee shall conduct a special election if a department chair falls vacant or if a new department is formed. The election will be held within twenty (20) university days of the vacancy. The newly elected chair assumes office immediately upon election. Should a chair fall vacant at a time when an election cannot be conducted by official procedure, see 4.315.
b. Departments wishing to invoke the alternate procedure provision outlined in the preceding subsection must so notify the President and the Faculty Senate Elections Committee within twenty (20) university days of the vacancy or the notification of a resignation.
c. Department chairs elected in the interim (other than those appointed from off-campus) shall stand for election with other chairs at the next regularly scheduled election.
5. Temporary Chairs of Departments
The Dean may not act as a department chair for a period that exceeds twenty (20) university days, except in instances where it has been impossible to secure a replacement according to sections 4.314.
Should a Department Chair be unable to carry out his/her duties for a period of more than twenty (20) university days, but not more than one year, the Dean in consultation with the Department Chair and department faculty members may appoint a department faculty member to serve as the Interim Department Chair.
Should a Department Chair be unable to serve for a period in excess of one year, he/she must resign and be replaced.
B. Program and Center Directors
The Provost appoints directors. Appointments may be made for a fixed period of time or on an ongoing basis. Directors may be faculty members released to perform these duties or unclassified administrators assigned these duties. When a faculty member is released to serve as a director, he/she should be provided adequate release time for the performance of his/her assigned duties.
C. Program Coordinators
The Department Chair, in consultation with the program faculty and Dean, appoints Program Coordinators according to the established department procedure. Appointments may be made for a three-year term or on an ongoing basis. When a faculty member is released to serve as a program coordinator, he/she should be provided adequate release time for the performance of his/her assigned duties.
IV. Evaluation of Secondary Academic Division Leadership
A. Chairs, Directors and Program Coordinators shall be evaluated periodically and systematically so that they:
1. Can set goals and objectives in order to improve their effectiveness in carrying out assigned duties and to provide for professional growth.
2. Can be rewarded and recognized appropriately for excellence and/or exceptional performance (e.g., public recognition, merit pay).
3. Can receive feedback and direction regarding strengths and deficiencies, and University expectations.
4. Can work cooperatively to address deficiencies.
B. Evaluation of Department Chairs
1. Department chairs shall be evaluated annually.
2. The Faculty Personnel Committee, in cooperation with the Provost, shall prepare a form for the evaluation of department chairs. The evaluation form will include a scale ranking effectiveness from "Very Effective" to "Ineffective" and include responses "Insufficient Information to Evaluate” and “Not Applicable." Department chairs will be evaluated on the following or similar criteria:
a. Is receptive to suggestions and counsel.
b. Administers department efficiently and fairly.
c. Delegates responsibilities to members of department as appropriate.
d. Treats all personnel matters objectively and equitably.
e. Encourages democratic participation in decision-making.
f. Inspires trust and confidence among members of the unit.
g. Leads the department in setting and achieving planning goals.
h. Overall evaluation of the Department Chair as an administrator
3. The deans shall distribute evaluation forms for incumbent department chairs to the department faculty members (see constitution, section 0.200) each year in January.
4. Each dean is responsible for collecting and summarizing the evaluations and discussing them with the Department Chair. Each dean will also prepare a written evaluation and forward it, along with the summary of faculty responses, to the Department Chair and to the Provost.
5. Results of the evaluation shall be confidential; the Dean shall share the results with the Department Chair and the Provost. Faculty responses will be held in the office of the Dean.
6. A simple majority of the faculty of a department may submit an alternate form or procedure for the evaluation of their department chair by filing a petition with the Provost and the Faculty Personnel Committee on or before November 15.
C. Evaluation of Program and Center Directors
The supervising Dean or Provost should determine the form of this evaluation based on the structure of the division and conduct it or appoint an appropriate body to do so. Examples are advisory evaluations of administrators (3.400) and evaluations of Department Chairs (4.410).
D. Evaluation of Program Coordinators
The Department Chair, in consultation with the Dean, should determine the form of this evaluation based on the structure of the program and conduct it or appoint an appropriate body to do so. Examples are advisory evaluations of administrators (3.400) and evaluations of Department Chairs (4.410).
V. Department Personnel Committee
A. Selection of the Department Personnel Committee
1. The department personnel committee must have at least 3 members.
2. The established department selection process should assure the personnel committee is representative of the division. For example, a department could require that their personnel committee include one representative from each program in their division or that no two members of the personnel committee are from the same program within the division, etc.
3. Membership on the department personnel committee is restricted to faculty, preferably with at least five (5) years of service in the department.
4. Deans and department chairs are ineligible to serve on department personnel committees. (In unusual circumstances, the Faculty Senate Advisory Council may waive this exclusion.)
5. Departments will take appropriate steps to avoid impropriety and conflict of interest.
B. Duties of the Department Personnel Committee
1. To make recommendations regarding promotion, tenure, and sabbaticals
2. To consult with the Department Chair on all faculty evaluations
3. To advise the Department Chair on other personnel matters, as needed
C. Decisions Involving Direct Benefit to Immediate Family
Faculty members should neither initiate nor participate in institutional decisions involving a direct benefit (initial appointment, retention, promotion, salary, leave of absence, etc.) to members of their immediate families.
D. Input to the Department Personnel Committee
Written input to the Department Personnel Committee may originate from any academic source; e.g., a faculty member, a department chair or an appropriate faculty committee. The Department Personnel Committee shall consider all such input and may then take one of the following two actions: (1) return all materials without comment; or (2) forward with a recommendation, positive or negative. Should the materials be returned, the subject faculty member may request consideration at the next level of review. Once the case is beyond the department, consideration at every higher level is mandatory. The subject faculty member may withdraw consideration at any stage of the proceedings. (See section 5.210 of these bylaws.)