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English Department Bylaws

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Overview

The Coastal Carolina University Department of English has established these bylaws by common consent and vote as a set of best working practices for Department faculty. The bylaws should maintain consistency with the professional definitions, practices, procedures, responsibilities, and rights detailed in the Coastal Carolina University Faculty Manual. 

I. Department Membership

The Coastal Carolina University Department of English will include faculty at some or all of the following ranks: Teaching Associate, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor. The Department will have a Chair and preferably an Associate or Assistant Chair.  

A. CHAIR AND ASSOCIATE OR ASSISTANT CHAIR

The Department Chair will be a tenured faculty member of the Department. While the Chair position is an appointment made by the University Provost after consultation with the College Dean, the voting membership of the Department, after a period of discussion and a vote, will provide its recommendation for Chair to the Dean and Provost. Given the size and population of the Department, the most productive model envisioned is to have an Associate or Assistant Chair, who will aid the Chair with regard to managing administrative duties and decision-making. The Associate or Assistant Chair will be a tenured faculty member of the Department. While the Associate or Assistant Chair position is an appointment made by the Chair, the voting membership of the Department, after a period of discussion and a vote, will provide its recommendation to the Chair.

B. VOTING MEMBERSHIP

The voting membership of the English Department comprises the slotted faculty (except those serving primarily in administration outside the Department), which includes Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. 

1) Tenured and Tenure–Track Faculty

  • Professor: To be eligible for the rank of Professor, a faculty member must compile a sustained record of outstanding performance at the rank of Associate Professor that reflects 1) effective teaching; 2) intellectual contributions/professional contributions to the discipline; and 3) ongoing University service. Promotion to the rank of Professor requires outstanding performance in two of these areas, one of which must be intellectual contributions/professional contributions to the discipline and, at a minimum, satisfactory performance in the third area. Definitions of “outstanding” and “satisfactory” are contained in departmental and College performance expectations elaborations documents.
  • Associate Professor: To be eligible for the rank of Associate Professor, a faculty member must have a record of effective performance over a probationary period usually involving teaching, intellectual contributions, other recognized professional contributions in the discipline, and University service. The faculty member must possess strong potential for further development as a teacher and as a scholar. It is expected that the faculty member will hold the appropriate terminal degree or meet the established alternative qualifications. 
  • Assistant Professor: To be eligible for the rank of Assistant Professor, a faculty member must possess strong potential for development as a teacher and as a scholar. It is expected that the faculty member will hold the appropriate terminal degree or meet the established alternative qualifications. 
  • Each member is entitled to one vote on matters including, but not limited to, curricular issues, faculty governance, recruitment and retention, hiring, and tenure and promotion, although some meetings concerned with hiring or tenure and promotion matters have more restricted voting, per the University Faculty Manual. 

2) Senior Teaching Lecturers and Teaching Lecturers

  • Senior Teaching Lecturer: To be eligible for the title of Senior Teaching Lecturer, the faculty member must have completed 18 graduate hours in the relevant discipline, hold a master’s degree or meet the established alternative qualifications, have an outstanding record of teaching, and hold a full-time appointment under the title of Teaching Lecturer or higher at the University for a minimum of six years. Appointments holding this title must be conferred following promotion from Teaching Lecturer. Individuals holding this title are not allowed to vote on issues concerning tenure and promotion policies and procedures for tenured and tenure track faculty. 
  • Teaching Lecturer: To be eligible for the title of Teaching Lecturer, the individual must have completed 18 graduate hours in the relevant discipline, hold a master’s degree or meet the established alternative qualifications, and exhibit strong potential for excellence in teaching. This is a three-year teaching appointment that may be renewed based on enrollment needs, and appointees are not eligible for tenure. This title may be extended when indicated to include Artist-in-Residence, Writer-in-Residence, or Executive-in-Residence. Individuals holding this title do not have faculty governance responsibility. 
  • Senior Teaching Lecturers and Teaching Lecturers are hired primarily to support the first-year writing program, and therefore should vote on matters related to this program. Each member is entitled to one vote on these matters. Individuals holding the title of Senior Teaching Lecturer or Teaching Lecturer are not allowed to vote on issues concerning tenure and promotion policies and procedures for tenured and tenure-track faculty. Senior Teaching Lecturers and Teaching Lecturers are expected to attend all official department functions and open meetings.

C. NON–VOTING MEMBERSHIP

1) Teaching Associates

To be eligible for the title of Teaching Associate the individual must have completed 18 graduate hours in the relevant discipline, and hold a master’s degree or meet the established alternative qualifications. Teaching assignments for this title are arranged on a per course basis according to enrollment demands each semester. The English Department may include non-slotted faculty teaching a variety of courses. Among the non-slotted faculty may be some hired for only a class or two, some hired to teach on a regular basis, and some retired faculty who teach on occasion. Teaching associates are not voting members of the Department. However, they are invited to attend all official department functions and open meetings. 

2) Emeritus Faculty

Retired faculty who have been granted emeritus status continue to be affiliated with the department and may teach on occasion. Emeritus faculty may also attend all official department functions and open meetings. They are not voting members of the department.

3) Support Staff

The English Department may include a number of support staff, among them classified staff responsible for managing the Department Office. Support staff are not voting members of the Department. However, in specified cases, staff may attend department meetings. They are also invited to attend all official department functions and open meetings.

II. Department Procedures

A. CALLING MEETINGS AND SETTING AGENDAS

A Departmental meeting may be called by the Department Chair, or by the Department Associate Chair, or by the Chair of a Departmental committee, or by petition of one-third of all Department slotted faculty members. The individual(s) who called the meeting will announce the purpose of the meeting and call for any additional agenda items from the Department faculty as soon as possible before the meeting. Faculty-requested items will be added to the agenda or the agenda shall contain a standard item titled “Other Business” in which faculty may bring up issues of concern at the meeting.

B. VOTING AT MEETINGS

Voting will be open response except where otherwise stated in these bylaws or unless a faculty member requests that the voting for a particular issue be by secret ballot.

III. Creation of Departmental Standing Committees

The Department of English at Coastal Carolina University has established a system of shared governance through the creation of departmental standing committees. The standing committees were founded with the consensus of slotted faculty in the Department, and standing committees can only be removed with the consensus of slotted faculty in the Department. Standing committees exist to share the responsibility of governance among Department faculty and to help disseminate important information among Department faculty. Each of these committees has a main area of responsibility and a specific makeup. Each committee considers issues pertinent to its area of responsibility and makes recommendations to the Department as a whole. The Department’s standing committees include: the Executive Committee, the Curriculum Committee (Undergraduate), the Graduate Studies Committee, the Composition Committee, the Creative Writing Committee, the Assessment Committee, the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee, the Distance Learning Committee, and the Recruitment and Retention Committee. 

A. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

  • The Department Chair serves as the chair of the Executive Committee; the Department Associate Chair will serve as a member of the Executive Committee and will serve as the chair for the Assessment Committee and for the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee; and the Coordinators for Composition, Creative Writing, and Graduate Studies serve as chair for their respective committees.
  • Typically, Departmental committees have five members (including the committee chair) who are slotted faculty (tenured, tenure-track, and lecturers) and are appointed by both the Department Chair and respective Committee Chair.
  • Faculty appointed to committees serve for three years, and the terms are staggered so that one faculty member of each committee is appointed each year and one faculty member is appointed in two out of every three years.

B. COMMITTEE RESPONSIBILITIES

1) Executive Committee

The primary responsibility of the Executive Committee is to advise the Chair on the formulation and implementation of departmental policies not delegated specifically to other committees or to the faculty at large. The members of this committee include the Associate Chair as well as the coordinators for each departmental committee: the MAW Program Coordinator, the Composition Coordinator, the Curriculum Chair, and the Creative Writing Coordinator, and the Faculty Welfare and Development Chair.

  • In consultation with the Department Chair, the committee provides input on the agenda for the regular departmental meetings.
  • The Executive Committee, moreover, serves as a “committee on committees” in order to adjudicate any questions concerning which committee or committees should consider a given issue.
  • Matters which do not appear to be immediately relevant to the charge of any specific committee, but which might be better handled by a committee than by the Department as a whole can be referred to the Executive Committee or to an Ad Hoc committee as noted below.
  • Finally, the Executive Committee serves in an advisory capacity to the Department Chair on scheduling. The committee makes recommendations to the Department Chair on (a) faculty teaching assignments and (b) course rotation and scheduling to ensure that the Department meets its commitment to provide a full and diverse undergraduate curriculum and to provide such offerings at suitable times.

2) Curriculum Committee (Undergraduate)

The Curriculum Committee (Undergraduate) in the English Department is established to review and recommend changes to the English department undergraduate curriculum at the behest of the English Department. All changes that are developed by the committee must be presented to the English Department for discussion and a vote, before they are then enacted.

  • The Curriculum Committee is responsible for reviewing matters relating to the Department’s undergraduate curricula.
  • The committee considers proposals for new or revised courses, proposals to revise the requirements for the undergraduate major and minors, and proposals to initiate new undergraduate programs.
  • The Curriculum Committee is also responsible for generating reports on program needs.

3) Graduate Studies Committee

The Graduate Studies Committee in the English Department is established to recommend policies and initiatives pertaining to the M.A. in Writing Program (MAW). In addition to making admissions decisions for MAW, the committee should consider, but not be limited to, issues relating to programming, curriculum, and assessment. The committee brings significant proposals and revisions to the English Department for discussion and a vote before developments are enacted.

  • The Graduate Studies Committee is responsible for reviewing matters of policy relating to the MAW graduate program.
  • The committee is responsible for reviewing applications to the graduate program and recommending which applicants should be admitted and making recommendations for graduate assistantships.
  • The committee also considers and makes recommendations to the Department on any proposals for new or revised graduate courses.
  • Department input and confirmation are necessary for initiating new graduate programs and courses.
  • Finally, the committee is responsible for graduate program outcomes assessment, including an annual outcomes assessment report.

4) Composition Committee

The Composition Committee is established to support the work of the Coordinator of Composition to develop a first-year writing program that is both effective and innovative in its instruction. This committee should consist of four members (including tenured/tenure-track faculty and lecturers), the Coordinator of the Writing Center (as an ex-officio member), and a committee chair (the Coordinator of Composition). These members work to articulate and develop initiatives to support the development of student writers through pedagogical advancements, faculty development, and programmatic practices that both promote and value rhetorically sound composing practices. The Composition Committee brings all proposed initiatives and revisions to the English Department for discussion and a vote before any developments are enacted.

  • The Composition Committee is responsible for developing policy, program, and course recommendations related to first-year composition courses. 
  • The committee also has input into matters as the goals and objectives of first-year composition courses, textbook selection, and instructor-development workshops.
  • Finally, the committee oversees Goal 1a of the Core Curriculum, including an annual outcomes assessment report, with input from the assessment team.

5) Creative Writing Committee

The Creative Writing Committee in the English Department is established to consider a range of issues related to creative writing courses and associated projects, such as the online literary journal Waccamaw, the Paul Rice Poetry Broadside Series, and the Words to Say It Visiting Writers Series. This committee consists of at least four members and is chaired by the standing Coordinator of Creative Writing. While the committee is empowered to make decisions on visiting writers and issues involving the journal and poetry contests, any curricular initiatives (new course proposals and/or revisions to existing courses) that the committee discusses must be brought before the English Department for approval before they are implemented.

  • The Creative Writing Committee is responsible for developing policy, program, and course recommendations related to creative writing courses.
  • The committee considers proposals for new or revised creative writing courses in the major and in the core.
  • The committee also plans, coordinates, and, when appropriate, seeks funding for The Words to Say It visiting writers series, the online literary journal Waccamaw, and the Paul Rice Broadside Series.

6) Assessment Committee

The assessment committee in the English Department is established to conduct the assessment of the English major. This committee should consist of at least four members and a committee chair who discuss the assessment rubric, conduct the departmental assessment and report the results appropriately, work to represent the Department at College- and University-level assessment meetings as needed, and bring all ideas and changes to the assessment plan and procedure to the English Department for a vote for adoption.

  • The primary responsibility of the Assessment Committee is to oversee undergraduate program outcomes assessment, including oversight of such matters as the goals and objectives of ENGL 300 (Critical Conversations), ENGL 411 (Capstone Seminar), and an annual outcomes assessment report.

7) Faculty Welfare and Development Committee

The Faculty Welfare and Development Committee is established to represent faculty interests and to encourage professional growth. The committee assists in aspects of faculty development and workload, scholarly research, publication, and travel to professional meetings. The committee exists to foster a strong sense of community, collegiality, and wellbeing within the Department. The Chair of the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee should be a tenured faculty member. The committee brings proposed initiatives and revisions to the English Department for discussion and a vote before developments are enacted.

  • The primary responsibility of the Department Faculty Welfare and Development Committee is to compose and input amendments to the Department bylaws. Every two years, the committee will consider the Department’s Faculty Performance Expectations for slotted and non-slotted faculty, and will share its recommendations for discussion and voting before developments are enacted. The committee will offer to conduct non-required teaching observations for any Department faculty members who would like to include an additional teaching observation on their record. The committee will also organize a Professional Enhancement Grant workshop for Department faculty to aid and strengthen our faculty’s applications. 

8) Distance Learning Committee

The Distance Learning Committee works to ensure that Department of English faculty employ pedagogical practices that reflect a commitment to sustained quality online education and instruction. The committee also establishes guidelines for best practices in online content delivery and offers resources and support for developing online courses and initiatives, including sessions or seminars within the Department related to and concerning best pedagogical practices for online learning. The committee will oversee the creation of an online learning link for faculty from the Department of English webpage. The committee has established following guidelines and protocols for all online courses and instruction (beginning in Spring 2015):

  • All online course instructors will need to have completed relevant training provided by CeTEAL/COOL.
  • All online course syllabi will need to be reviewed by the Distance Learning Committee.

9) Recruitment and Retention Committee

The Recruitment and Retention Committee works to promote, recruit, and retain English majors and minors.  

  • In response to pressures for undergraduate recruitment and retention, the Department of English has developed a “Degree in 3” / “More in 4” program that will attract high achieving and highly motivated students. The committee oversees efforts at publicizing the Degree in 3” / “More in 4” program as well as recruiting and retaining eligible students.
  • The committee is revising the Department of English website and creating a more aesthetically pleasing and user friendly space that provides current and relevant information for students.
  • The committee utilizes social media to promote the major/minor and to keep in touch with alumni.
  • The committee conducts yearly exit surveys and alumni surveys in order to assess students reactions to programmatic elements of the Department.
  • The committee develops and maintains current information about the Department of English in the form of brochures, wall displays, and Department events that will create a sense of community among our majors and minors and help to recruit and retain students. 

10) Ad Hoc Committees

The Department Chair forms and appoints faculty to serve on Ad Hoc Committees when issues fall outside of the responsibilities of the standing committees.

  • Ad Hoc Committees formed during the 2011-2012 academic year, included: Ad Hoc Committee on Lecturer Expectations, Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Performance Expectations, Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Workload, and Faculty Search Committees (Creative Writing, Linguistics, Composition and Rhetoric).

IV. Search Committees and Duties

The Department faculty assumes a major role in the process of hiring its faculty members by recommending the responsibilities of the position to be filled; reviewing candidate credentials; interviewing applicants; and recommending a person or persons to be hired by the Department. The Department faculty will make recommendations for hiring positions to the Dean, and when a position becomes available and, with the approval of the Dean, the Department Chair will initiate the process for forming a search committee. Department search committees typically consist of three slotted faculty members from the Department who are at or above the rank of the position to be filled. Each search committee will comply with the policies and procedures outlined by the University Faculty Manual as well as the University’s Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity; make recommendations for advertising the position; screen applicant files; make recommendations as to which candidate(s) should be invited for on-campus interviews; assist the Department Chair in making arrangements for candidate campus visits, which should allow Department faculty sufficient time to observe the candidate(s) in a variety of settings on campus and which should provide for the candidate(s) to teach a class and/or give a public presentation; and make a recommendation to the Department Chair regarding the candidate(s) to be offered the position. The Department Chair will communicate to the rest of the Department’s voting faculty the name of the search committee’s top candidate(s) for the position, and the Department voting faculty will then have the opportunity to endorse or not endorse the search committee’s recommendation. If the search committee’s top candidate(s) is endorsed by Department voting faculty, then the Department Chair will forward this recommendation for hiring to the Dean.

V. Faculty Performance Expectations

Every two years, the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee will consider and evaluate the Department’s Faculty Performance Expectations for each respective slotted and non-slotted faculty position. The committee will bring any suggestions for changes in the Department’s Faculty Performance Expectations before the English Department for discussion and a vote before any developments are enacted. Tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible to vote on Faculty Performance Expectations for their positions. Performance expectations for the tenured / tenure-track faculty of the Department of English at Coastal Carolina University are based upon a definition of professional life that encompasses teaching and learning; research, scholarship, and creative activity; and service to the profession, the institution, and the community. A statement of expectations for each performance area constitutes the standards by which the tenured / tenure-track faculty of the Department will be evaluated for the purposes of annual salary adjustment, third-year review, tenure, promotion, and post-tenure review. Annual productivity in each performance area is required for a satisfactory review. The Faculty of the Department endorses excellence as the performance goal in each area and accepts that excellence of achievement in the arts and humanities involves evaluation of quality as well as quantity, in the context of institutional mission. As members of a self-governing profession, the faculty of the Department endorses the concept of peer evaluation, both internal (by peer committees and academic administrators at Coastal Carolina University) and external (by peers within the discipline). Performance indicators are of two kinds: 1) those that denote modes of activity relevant to a performance area and 2) those that provide documentary support of the quantity and quality of activity in a performance area. Neither the number of activities nor the number of supporting documents necessarily indicates a high (or low) quality of performance; instead, faculty should consider a combination of quantitative and qualitative elements when evaluating performance. 

A. ANNUAL EVALUATION

Each year, all slotted faculty are required to submit to the Department Chair a completed Faculty Performance Evaluation Form for their respective faculty position. These reports will be evaluated according to the Department’s Faculty Performance Expectations. 

B. Third-Year Evaluation

Each tenure-track faculty will submit materials during Spring semester of his or her third academic year toward tenure and promotion. The process for the third-year evaluation will follow the "Third-Year Evaluation Guidelines" document established by the Department.

C. Tenure and Promotion Evaluation

Each tenure-track Department faculty member will follow the process for tenure and promotion evaluation established in the University Faculty Manual. The Faculty Performance Expectations of the Department of English will be the basis of evaluation in determining whether to recommend Department candidates for tenure and promotion.

D. Post-Tenure Evaluation

Each tenured Department faculty member will follow the process for post-tenure evaluation established in the University Faculty Manual. The Faculty Performance Expectations of the Department of English will be the basis of evaluation for tenured Department faculty scheduled for post-tenure review.  

VI. AMENDMENTS

Any slotted faculty member of the Department may make a motion at a Departmental meeting to amend the Departmental bylaws. The proposed amendment(s) must be submitted in writing. The motion to amend must be seconded by another slotted faculty member. The Department will then take the motion under consideration, and discuss and vote on it at a subsequent Departmental meeting. A majority of all slotted faculty in the Department must vote affirmative for the amendment to pass.