Fairmount College Governance
(amended by the Faculty Assembly, September 3, 2015)
- Divisional Structure
- The Role of the Dean
- The Role of the Faculty
- Eligibility for Participation in College Governance
- College Election Procedures
- Agencies of College Governance
- Degree-granting departments/schools/disciplines
Faculty participation in University governance is vital to the proper functioning of the University. The faculty are professional representatives of their respective disciplines and form a community of scholars. Their interest in the direction and development of the University not only reflects their formal right to contribute to University decision making, but also indicates their responsibility to do so as professional scholars and researchers. Accordingly, every faculty member shares a continuing responsibility for planning and overseeing academic programs and University functions associated with them, and may be expected to serve on University committees, councils, and other agencies that accomplish those tasks.
Fairmount College offers substantial opportunities for faculty participation in College governance. At the College level, the major contexts for faculty participation in the determination of College-wide policy are meetings of the College faculty (the Faculty Assembly); the College Council and such committees as it may form; the Admissions and Exceptions Committee; the College Curriculum Committee; the Faculty Support and Fellowship Awards Committee; the Tenure, Promotion, and Appeals Committee; and additional ad hoc committees as may be created. At the degree-granting department/school/discipline level, a variety of committees are created to address various issues and to make recommendations to College and University committees.
For purposes of representation, the degree-granting departments, schools and disciplines of the College are organized into three divisions:
- Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
- Women's Studies and Religion
Natural Sciences and Mathematics
- Biological Sciences
- Mathematics and Statistics
- Elliott School of Communication
- School of Community Affairs
- Political Science
- Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
- School of Social Work
The Dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the College and reports to the provost and senior vice president. The Dean plans, directs, and coordinates the operational, personnel, budgetary, and student activities of the College; represents the College to other units within the University; and provides leadership and direction in the development and implementation of curricula, academic programs, and related activities. The Dean is aided by Associate and Assistant Deans who work under her/his supervision.
The faculty of the College have primary responsibility for structuring the courses of study that students in the College will pursue and for related policies. The faculty also have a significant role in the formulation of policies for the College that relate to its functions, use of its resources, and evaluation of its academic undertakings. This function is accomplished by the development of recommendations to the Dean and to the University's administration, and to the pursuit of policies, procedures, priorities, and principles that underscore the academic responsibilities of the College and of the University.
All members of the College's electorate are eligible to participate in governance activities and agencies of the College. The electorate is defined as faculty members holding the rank of instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor and holding an appointment equal to or greater than 0.5 as a faculty member in one of the aforementioned degree-granting departments/schools/disciplines of the College. The Dean of the College shall serve as an ex officio member of all governance agencies of the College.
Membership in the various agencies of College governance, as described below, is open to the College's electorate, subject to restrictions and exceptions provided hereafter for a given agency. With the exception of service in the Faculty Assembly, College Council, and the Council of Chairs, faculty may not serve in more than one agency in a single term, nor may a faculty member serve on both the College Council and the Council of Chairs. Members of the College's electorate who are on sabbatical leave, leave without pay, long-term disability or who plan to retire within the proposed length of committee term are not eligible to serve in any agency of College governance. When entering any such status, their seats are vacated and another member of the College's electorate must be chosen in an appropriate manner to serve on the committee or council. Individuals who must be away from campus for extended periods of time should disqualify themselves from service in any governance agency other than the Faculty Assembly.
The College Council is responsible for the supervision of all College elections. Elections are run consecutively for the Tenure, Promotion and Appeals; Faculty Support and Fellowship Awards; and Admissions and Exceptions committees. The College Elections Commissioner, who is appointed by the College Council each academic year in the fall, confirms nominees’ willingness to stand and informs them of election outcomes. The Assistant Dean coordinates the nominations and elections processes.
The recommended nomination and election schedule follows:
|February||First Monday||T&P nomination ballots||Noon, first Wednesday|
|February||Second Monday||T&P election ballots||Noon, second Wednesday|
|March||First week||If there are ties, follow above process||If there are ties, follow above process|
|March||Second Monday||FSFA nomination ballots||Noon, second Wednesday|
|March||Fourth Monday||FSFA election ballots||Noon, fourth Wednesday|
|April||First Monday||A&E nomination ballots||Noon, first Wednesday|
|April||Second Monday||A&E election ballots||Noon, second Wednesday|
|April||Third Monday||A&E At-large nomination ballots, if necessary||Noon, third Wednesday|
|April||Fourth Monday||A&E At-large election ballots, if necessary||Noon, fourth Wednesday|
All agencies of College governance will elect such officers as are useful to facilitate the work of the agency. Each agency may write and maintain bylaws, rules, and/or statements of procedure, which must be consistent with College and university policies and provisions. Each agency will maintain a record of its work, copies of which will be provided to the College office for an archive.
“Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised,” by Henry M. Robert, revision by Henry M. Robert III et al. (Da Capo Press, Philadelphia, 2011), will serve as the parliamentary guide for the Faculty Assembly and any other agencies of College governance that do not provide otherwise for such a guide; this guide may be replaced by another at the discretion of the governance agency in question.
The Faculty Assembly is the primary faculty agency of College governance. It consists of the College’s electorate when assembled with due notice. The Faculty Assembly may be called into session by the Dean, by the College Council, or by the College Council acting on petition of a requisite number of members of the College's electorate (see below). Meetings that require a formal decision by the Assembly will be called with at least one week’s notice, and the notice will include a meeting agenda. The Dean of the College will chair meetings of the Faculty Assembly, unless circumstances render that inappropriate, in which case the chair of the College Council will preside.
The Faculty Assembly shall have general authority over academic matters affecting the College as a whole, including the power
- to formulate academic, curricular, and personnel policies that are within the College's purview;
- to develop such regulations and procedures as are necessary to promote and enforce such policies;
- to formulate bylaws which deal with governance of the College;
- to receive, discuss, and act upon such recommendations, reports, and proposals as are brought to it by the Dean, the College Council, College committees, or members of the College's electorate; and
- to provide a forum for discussion of relevant matters that may be identified by the College's administration, faculty, staff, or students.
In extraordinary circumstances, resolutions involving important and material policy matters may be presented for faculty consideration by ‘remote voting.’ The resolution shall be sent to all eligible faculty, along with any supporting documents. The vote shall be returned to the Fairmount College Election Commissioner through the use of an electronic survey or by original signature, facsimile signature, e-signature, or email confirmation. All faculty will be informed of the voting result within two weeks of the close of voting and the result will be considered to take effect on the date on which the results are reported.
Given extraordinary circumstances, a request for a ‘remote vote’ on such important and material policy matters may be made at a Faculty Assembly meeting according to the ordinary process for voting requests as set out in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised (2011). In addition, such a request for ‘remote voting’ may be made by the College Council, following a vote at a regularly scheduled council meeting in which the request is supported by a majority of all College Council members. Nothing in this provision shall be interpreted to supersede the preference for presenting, discussing and voting on resolutions for consideration by the Faculty Assembly in person during an Assembly meeting.
Department chairs/school directors will comprise this body. Individually and collectively these faculty may be consulted by the Dean of the College or advise the Dean on matters that may arise. This group will also provide a communications medium between degree-granting departments/schools/disciplines divisions of the College and the Dean's office.
This agency will be composed of one delegate chosen by the electorate of each degree-granting department/school/discipline of the College; since chairs/directors already serve in a significant advisory body (the Council of Chairs), they are not eligible to serve on this council. Terms of office will be three years; an individual may serve two consecutive terms, but no more than six consecutive years, after which she/he is ineligible to serve on the council for two years. A degree-granting department/school/discipline of the College may select a replacement as its council delegate whenever its council seat is vacated for any reason. The chair of the College Council will be elected to a one-year term by delegates from the ranks of council members; the chair may serve for two consecutive one-year terms, provided that she/he is eligible to serve on the council and that she/he is elected to a second consecutive term by the council.
The College Council will serve
- to make recommendations to the Dean on any matter she/he brings to the council, including (but not limited to) budgetary matters and appointments to positions that the Dean is responsible for making;
- to advise the Faculty Assembly, either on its own initiative or by request, on matters which arise before that body;
- to advise other College agencies/officials on matters pertaining to the College as requested by them;
- to recommend to the Faculty Assembly any additions to or changes in College policies, procedures, bylaws, or handbook provisions that it deems appropriate;
- to recommend to the Faculty Assembly proposals for new undergraduate degrees or majors, the deletion of existing undergraduate degrees or majors, and proposals for changes in graduation requirements of the College;
- to hear appeals concerning departmental/school election outcomes and decisions from any College governance agency other than the Faculty Assembly and the Tenure, Promotion and Appeals Committee, and to affirm, reverse, or modify those outcomes as the council finds appropriate;
- to supervise all elections for the College through appointment of the College Elections Commissioner, who will certify annually membership in the College's electorate, in conjunction with the Fairmount College Dean’s Office;
- to coordinate a College review of the Dean three years after each five-year evaluation conducted by the provost and senior vice president; however, in the case of a newly appointed Dean, the College Council will conduct its first review in the third year following the initial appointment;
- to call a meeting of the Faculty Assembly upon presentation of a petition signed by at least six members of the College's electorate, provided that the signatories represent at least three different degree-granting departments/schools/disciplines of the College;
- to function as the College Retrenchment Committee, in coordination with the Fairmount College Dean’s Office, with the responsibility of determining staffing priorities following a declaration of financial exigency.
The College Council will establish and publicize a routine meeting time and place and conduct its affairs publicly except when the issues before it concern specific personnel cases. Agendas for council meetings will be developed and circulated prior to the meeting by the council chair in consultation with the Dean. A Council secretary, appointed by the council from among its members to serve a one-year term, will take minutes at these meetings. The council will circulate its minutes in timely fashion to members and to degree-granting departments/schools/disciplines of the College. Individuals who are not members of the council may participate in the council’s discussions only to the extent and in the form authorized by the council, executive committee, council chair, or Dean.
The Dean, a non-voting ex officio member of the council, should not be present during the coordination of the College's review of the Dean nor during hearings on appeals on degree-granting departmental/school/discipline/divisional elections or decisions of other College governance agencies. However, once the council has completed those tasks, it will report to the Dean and discuss its findings and recommendations with her/him.
The College Council will create from ranks of its members three committees with rotating responsibilities, as well as an executive committee. The executive committee consists of the council president, council secretary, and chairs of the three council committees. Committee representation will consist of each of the three College divisions.
The committees will be assigned tasks on a rotating basis unless new business falls within their existing remit. Issues and functions of the committees may include
- advising the council and the Dean on budgetary matters;
- receiving, reviewing, amending if necessary, and making recommendations to the College Council concerning proposals for new undergraduate degrees or majors, the deletion of existing undergraduate degrees or majors, and proposals for changes in graduation requirements of the College; however, changes in curricular requirements for majors and minors in existing programs are the province of the College Curriculum Committee;
- advising the Admissions and Exceptions Committee on the interpretation and application of academic requirements and policies of the College and its degree-granting departments/schools/disciplines.
In extraordinary circumstances, additional support committees may be created from the College electorate and chaired by a council member. The charges of any support committee will be provided by the council.
This Committee will consist of five members of the College's electorate, one chosen
by each division from its electorate, one chosen by the College electorate at large
and one appointed by the Dean. The term of membership is three years; members may
serve two consecutive terms, or six years, before becoming ineligible for service
on the Committee for at least two years. A degree-granting department/school/discipline
may have no more than one representative on the Committee at a time.
Delegates from the relevant discipline of the College Council will select a replacement member of the Committee to fill out an unexpired term on the Committee should one of the divisional representatives’ seats become vacant; the entire council will similarly elect an at-large replacement should that seat become vacant, and the Dean will appoint a replacement should the seat filled by her/his appointment become vacant.
Although the Dean is an ex officio member of this Committee, the Dean may also designate a member of her/his staff to serve as a second ex officio member; this individual will be a representative of and liaise with the Dean's office and will serve as the administrative support officer for the Committee.
This Committee will
- evaluate students' petitions for exceptions from College and University requirements and procedures. Petitions which involve University requirements will be forwarded, with recommendations, to the University Exceptions Committee;
- develop a set of procedures and guidelines that apply to evaluation of appeals. These procedures will guide the College staff as to the areas and extent of discretion they may exercise, so that routine matters may be disposed of expeditiously and efficiently. They will insure that each petition is considered on its own merits and that appropriate and useful information and documents are available and employed as a petition is evaluated.
The procedures will provide for a degree-granting department/school/discipline to advise the Committee/College staff when a petition concerns its curricular matters, late admission or late enrollment in a specific class, or late withdrawal from a specific class. The procedures may permit one or more Committee members to give a student a hearing, but they will retain for the Committee as a whole the responsibility of acting on a petition.
This Committee will be composed of 12 members, four elected from each discipline to three-year terms; members may be re-elected to and serve a second term, but members may not then serve on the Committee for two years following their second consecutive term. There is one seat per constituency, but the seat may be shared by more than one degree-granting department/school/discipline. Representation is rotated through alternating terms. Designated constituencies include: English; History/Philosophy; Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Women's Studies and Religion; Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Geology/Physics; Mathematics; Anthropology/Political Science; Elliott School of Communication; Psychology/Sociology; Hugo Wall School/School of Community Affairs/School of Social Work.
The College Curriculum Committee will
- receive, review, amend if necessary, approve or disapprove, and recommend to the University's curriculum Committee all approved degree-granting department/school/discipline and College proposals concerning addition, deletion, or modification of courses and concerning changes in requirements of majors and minors in existing programs;
- supervise the field major and general studies programs of the College. In doing so it will develop a schedule of periodic assessments of each such program, conduct those evaluations, and report findings to the College Council.
This Committee will consist of six tenured faculty members, two chosen by each division from its electorate. The term of membership is three years; members may serve two consecutive terms, or six years, before becoming ineligible for service on the Committee for at least two years. A degree-granting department/school/discipline of the College may have no more than one representative on the Committee at a time. An election will be held to select a replacement member of the Committee to complete an unexpired term on the Committee should one of the divisional representative’s seats become vacant.
This Committee will
- review applications and make recommendations to the Dean concerning internal awards for faculty. These include, but are not limited to, applications for sabbatical leave, College-supported summer research fellowships and summer curriculum development fellowships;
- develop a set of procedures and appropriate guidelines for making these recommendations to the Dean.
A member of the Committee may not vote upon any case involving a candidate from her/his degree-granting department/school/discipline, nor upon any case in which the Committee member participated as a reviewer at a level subordinate to that of the College.
No member of the Committee may present herself/himself as a candidate for sabbatical leave or College fellowships while serving on the Committee.
Furthermore, members of the Committee will not vote on any candidate for sabbatical leave or fellowship awards with whom they enjoy a significant personal, familial, professional, or business relationship.
This Committee will consist of nine tenured faculty members who hold professorial rank and the Dean (ex officio). Department chairs/school directors are eligible to serve on this Committee, but assistant and associate Deans are not. A degree-granting department/school/discipline may be represented on this Committee by no more than one of its faculty members at any given time.
Three of the nine members, one from each division of the College, will be appointed by the Dean to serve three-year terms; appointments will be made prior to May 31 for terms which begin the following fall. Should an appointed Committee member vacate her/his seat for any reason, the Dean may appoint a successor to complete that individual's term. At the expiration of the original term the Dean will appoint someone for a new three-year term. Should the vacancy occur during the period of Committee deliberations, the Dean may defer the appointment until the end of the review cycle for that year, rather than disrupt the Committee's work by the addition of a new member in mid-cycle.
Six of the Committee members, two per discipline of the College, will be elected to three-year terms by the electorate of their disciplines. The electorate is encouraged to view nominated candidates' CVs. Should an elected Committee member's seat become vacant for any reason, an election will be held to fill the vacant position for the unexpired term. However, upon written request from the Tenure, Promotion, and Appeals Committee to the College Council, this election may be deferred until the end of that year's review cycle, rather than risk disruption of Committee work in mid-cycle. If an election is deferred, it will be held following that year’s review cycle. Upon expiration of the original term of office for that position, an election will be held to choose a Committee member for a new three-year term.
No member of this Committee may serve more than six consecutive years on the Committee; one who serves for six consecutive years is not again eligible for service until at least two years have passed.
Members of the Committee may not pursue promotion or professor incentive review while serving on the Committee.
The functions and responsibilities of the Tenure, Promotion and Appeals Committee are
- to develop, revise as necessary, and circulate to College faculty a statement of procedures which will guide this Committee's consideration of cases brought to it;
- to receive degree-granting department/school/discipline recommendations concerning candidates for tenure and/or promotion or incentive review and all appropriate materials relevant to those recommendations, including candidates' primary and secondary dossiers;
- to review and evaluate those recommendations in the light of the relevant degree-granting department/school/discipline's stated criteria for academic tenure and promotion and incentive review as applicable to its discipline;
- the more general criteria of Fairmount College;
- the University-wide regulations concerning academic tenure and promotion and incentive review;
- to forward its recommendations to the Dean and to any other appropriate review agencies which may constitute part of the tenure and promotion and incentive review process of Wichita State University;
- to recommend to the Faculty Assembly any changes in College policies and procedures concerning tenure, promotion, incentive review, and appeals that it regards desirable or necessary.
The Committee will choose a chairperson and secretary from among the faculty serving on the Committee.
The Committee chair will serve a two-year term and will preside over all Committee sessions, and at the conclusion of deliberations, the chair will submit to the Dean a report that includes recommendations of the Committee, the vote on each case, and any other relevant or required information. The College Committee chair also serves on the University’s Tenure and Promotion Committee and carries the responsibility of presenting the College cases to the University Committee. The secretary will serve a one-year term and will keep and circulate to members the minutes of Committee meetings.
The Committee will employ the following procedures and any others it deems advisable in carrying out its duties
- deliberations of the Committee are absolutely confidential, and Committee recommendations are confidential until officially announced;
- indications of a breach of confidentiality will be reported to the Dean, who will investigate the matter and report her/his findings to the Committee, and the Committee will take appropriate action;
- a member of the Committee may neither speak to nor vote upon any case involving a candidate from her/his degree-granting department/school/discipline, nor upon any case in which the Committee member participated as a reviewer at a level subordinate to that of the College;
- no member of the Committee may present herself/himself as a candidate for promotion or incentive review while serving on the Committee;
- members of the Committee will absent themselves from discussion and balloting on any candidate for promotion or tenure or incentive review with whom they enjoy a significant personal, familial, professional, or business relationship; this provision does not extend to typical bonds of friendship and departmental/school/discipline collegiality, but it does include such relationships as significant research/artistic collaboration and joint private business activities; beyond that, Committee members should be guided by the principle that if a faculty colleague may reasonably conclude that a Committee member’s judgment could be compromised by an existing relationship with a tenure or promotion or incentive review candidate, that member will not be present when the Committee reviews that candidate;
- the Dean may participate as a Committee member during discussion of the cases before the Committee, and she/he may obtain and provide information to the Committee in response to questions it may pose; however, the Dean may not be present when the Committee takes its final, official vote on each case;
- the Dean will forward the Committee's recommendations, along with her/his separate recommendation, to the University Tenure and Promotion Committee;
- once the president's decisions have been made, the Committee shall prepare a report for the Faculty Assembly which summarizes its actions for the year and which includes specific recommendations for changes in College tenure, promotion, incentive review and appeals policies and procedures it considers appropriate;
- each year, the Committee chair, Dean, and such other members of the Committee as are appropriate may conduct a workshop/orientation session for College faculty who expect to undergo tenure or promotion or incentive review in the near future; attendance by potential candidates would be voluntary.
Procedures for Selecting Degree-Granting Departmental/School/Discipline Tenure and Promotion Committee Members when Insufficient Members are Available
(approved by the Faculty Assembly, May 3, 2007, amended by the Faculty Assembly, September 3, 2015)
In accordance with Section 4.18 of the WSU Policies & Procedures Manual, the College has the following procedure: In cases where the department/school/discipline lacks members at the appropriate rank, in consultation with the department chair/school director and the candidate, the Dean will select additional member(s) at the appropriate rank. In cases where the department chair/school director is the candidate, in consultation with the candidate and the chair of the College Tenure, Promotion, and Appeals Committee, the Dean will select an additional member(s) at the appropriate rank. In all cases, members will be selected from the College, preferably from the division of the candidate.
The WSU Policies and Procedures Manual details organization and operation of the Colleges, the Deans' offices, the Colleges' subunits (departments), and those subunits' administrators (department chairs). Because departments and department chairs play significant roles in the work of the University, it is appropriate to note the emergence of a new type of subunit of the College and to provide for its functioning within the framework of the College. The new subunits are schools, and their administrators are designated directors. The schools of Fairmount College will function as do departments, and their directors will serve in the fashion of department chairs. College governance policies and procedures for departments and department chairs, therefore, also apply to schools and directors, including the processes for selection and evaluation of directors.