Academic Departmental Structure
KING'S UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
AND OPERATING PROCEDURES
(Approved by Faculty Council on May 7, 2007)
- Economics, Business and Mathematics;
- Interdisciplinary Programs;
- Modern Languages;
- Philosophy and Religious Studies;
- Political Science;
- School of Social Work.
RECOMMENDATION #1: that a new Department of Interdisciplinary
Programs be created.
RATIONALE: Since the last review of departmental structures, the College has developed a number of very successful cross-disciplinary programs, some of which also have a strong interdisciplinary and/or integrated studies orientation. Over time, we have hired several cross-appointments encompassing a traditional discipline and one of these programs. We have also created several new Program Coordinator positions, all of whom report to the Academic Dean in a manner somewhat akin to a Department Chair but without the formal structure of a department.
Over time, a number of interesting challenges and opportunities have emerged, at least some of which could be addressed through some form of restructuring. A Department that would house three distinct programs at this time (CSI, SJPS and Thanatology), as well as several other “orphans” (Women’s Studies, Humanities, Interdisciplinary Studies) will be distinctive. In large part, this is because, for course development and staffing, these programs rely for their success upon the cooperation and participation of other disciplines at the College. In addition, each of the programs is sufficiently distinctive that the Chair of such a Department will still need to rely heavily upon faculty members associated with the other programs to function as Coordinators.
That being said, it is important for faculty who have cross-appointments in an interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary program, and who have interdisciplinary research agendas and pedagogical outlook to be evaluated by like-minded individuals. Such a department will eventually provide the critical mass of faculty needed to regularize the “departmental” AP&T process. Cross-appointed faculty whose primary responsibilities fall within one of the special programs will be assigned to this new department while retaining Associate member status within the department of their secondary area of responsibility. Thus, the Department will be comprised of seven full-time members, whose primary teaching responsibilities lie within an interdisciplinary program. In addition, other faculty members who actively participate in special program planning and development and/or who teach courses in one of the programs could request Associate member status within the department.
- Internal candidates for the office of Department Chair must hold a full-time (tenured) appointment in one of the disciplines represented in the Department (regardless of actual course load). Normally, they should not hold any other part or full-time administrative office within the College. The preceding statement is not intended to exclude candidates from serving on various College committees, Board of Directors, Senate, etc.
- Normally, candidates for the office of Chair should have completed at least one year of full-time teaching at King’s University College. However, this does not preclude consideration of an external candidate.
- The term of office shall be three years, renewable for up to two further three-year terms (through the procedures outlined in III. below.) Appointments as Department Chairs are held at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.
RECOMMMENDATION #2: That the limit on the number of renewable terms as Chair be extended from one to two.
RATIONALE: To provide greater staffing flexibility for some departments.
D. The duties and responsibilities of Department Chairs will include:
- establish and maintain good working relations with academic and administrative units in all relevant venues within the College;
- establish and maintain good working relations with related Departments at the Constituent University, and other Affiliated University Colleges;
- Participate in annual meetings and exchanges of information with their counterparts at the other units of the university and submit a report of these meetings to the Academic Dean;
- establish and maintain good working relations with relevant community organizations;
- Ensure the proper functioning of all Department/School committees in a manner consistent with College policy and procedures;
- deal knowledgeably, with fairness, and in a considerate manner with individual students and colleagues;
- deal knowledgeably and collegially with departmental, College and University employees, committees, and officers;
- exercise leadership in expediting departmental matters;
- serve the current needs of the Department and of the College in relation to the Department;
- represent and carry out the philosophy, goals, and policies of the Department, King's University College and The University of Western Ontario;
- authorize course registration of students concentrating in their disciplines;
- adjudicate eligibility of students for progression and graduation in all programs;
- fulfil the role assigned to Chairs by Senate in appeals and petitions;
- exercise financial control over expenditures from the Department's budget;
- recommend academic appointments to the Dean in accordance with College procedures;
- advise the Dean concerning the eligibility of untenured faculty for a tenured appointment;
- normally chair the Department's Promotion and Tenure Committee and report on behalf of the committee to the College's Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Committee;
- coordinate academic planning and the Department's budget proposal;
- recommend course offerings to the Dean following consultation with the Department;
- determine teaching assignments following consultation with members of the Department;
- arrange for the provision of academic counselling for students majoring or honouring in their discipline(s);
- arrange and coordinate Departmental cooperation with the administration in such areas as pre-registration, registration, examinations, mark submission and graduation;
- ensure departmental files are maintained;
- in conjunction with the Administrative Assistant to the Academic Dean, recommend the hiring, termination, annual evaluation, hours of employment, priority of work, approval of vacation schedules, and approval of overtime of faculty secretaries;
- fulfil the responsibilities assigned to Chairs by Senate, Conditions of Appointment for Faculty, Faculty Council and College Council, and other duly approved College documents;
- report annually to the Dean on the activities of the Department; and
- undertake such tasks as are consistent with the role of a Department Chair, as requested by the Academic Dean.
- Before the month of May of the last semester of the tenure of the Chair, the Registrar will call a meeting of the Department for the stated purpose of choosing a chair. (At least three weeks before this, all eligible voters will be notified of the meeting date.) In cases of vacancy because of resignation or absence from the College, either a new or Acting Chair may be chosen by procedures for the election of Department Chairs. The Registrar will chair the meeting, and will have neither voice nor vote.
- Candidates must be nominated and supported (signed) by two full-time members of the Department other than the person nominated. The nomination(s) should be forwarded to the Registrar with the agreement of the nominee at least 10 days before the meeting. Seven days before the meeting the Registrar will inform eligible voters of the names of all nominees. Additional nominations, however, will be accepted up to two days before the meeting.
- All persons with membership in the Department/School as defined below in IV. A. 1. and qualified in V. A. 4. have voice and vote in the election of Department Chairs/Director.
- All those who are eligible to vote should be present at the meeting if they are in the Province of Ontario. However, if an eligible voter is out of Province (or unable to attend because of extraordinary reasons), the Registrar will accept before the meeting, by telephone and/or in writing, the first and second preferences only and will then cast the appropriate ballot(s) on behalf of the absent eligible voter. The Registrar will determine whether a quorum exists. In order for an election to occur, a quorum of at least 3/4 (to the nearest whole) of eligible voters must be present at the meeting, either in person or by proxy ballot.
- The Registrar will ask those present at the meeting to select a Secretary for the purpose of recording minutes and reading the list of all eligible voters and all eligible nominees. If only one candidate has been nominated, a ballot will be held in which voters will be asked to vote by secret ballot for or against the acceptability of the candidate. The candidate will be considered elected if s/he receives the support of a simple majority of the voters present (including absentee ballots) assuming that a quorum has been achieved.
- If more than one candidate has been nominated, as many secret ballots as necessary will be taken (the results of each being announced by the Registrar) until one candidate receives the support of a simple majority of the voters present (including the absentee ballots) assuming a quorum has been achieved. The balloting will proceed as follows:
- If no candidate receives the support of a simple majority of the quorum (as defined above) on the first ballot, the name(s) receiving the least number of votes will be removed from the list of eligible candidates for all subsequent ballots and then another ballot will be taken and the process continued.
- If the remaining names have an identical number of votes, then these names will remain as candidates for one additional ballot.
- The Registrar will ask the Department to select one of its members as Chair Selection Representative (CSR) to write a letter to the Dean informing her/him of the Department's choice and addressing her/his ability to fulfil the duties and responsibilities of the Chair. Minutes of the meeting should also be forwarded to the Dean so that s/he may have a record of procedures.
- If a deadlock under 2 above continues for a second ballot, the Registrar will forward these names to the Dean, and the Dean may select the Chair from the deadlocked names.
- If some event should occur which is not covered by the procedure outlined above, such as: the absence of nominees or any other situation in which the above process fails to produce a nominee who is supported by a simple majority of the quorum as defined above; or, if there should arise some question of interpretation of the above rules, the Dean, in conjunction with the Faculty Chair Selection Committee (FCSC) minus the member from the Department in question, will deal with the procedural and substantive matters to settle the difficulty.
- The Role of the Dean
- The Dean will consider the departmental recommendation on procedural and substantive grounds. If the Dean agrees with the departmental recommendation or if s/he selects a Chair from the deadlocked names, s/he will forward her/his recommendation giving substantive reasons to the Principal, who will appoint a Chair, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.
- If the Dean disagrees with the Department's choice (or choices in the case of a submission of deadlocked names) on either substantive or procedural grounds, s/he may ask the Department to reconsider its choice(s) through a letter addressed to the Department through the Registrar indicating the basis for the disagreement. The Registrar will then call another Department Chair selection meeting. If the Department agrees by a simple majority of the quorum as defined above to reopen the matter, nominations
will be accepted from the floor.
- If the Department refuses to reopen the matter, or re-elects its original choice(s), and the Dean disagrees with the departmental choice(s) on substantive and/or procedural grounds, s/he will request the FCSC (minus the member from the Department in question) to consider the matter in a letter to the Committee's Chair outlining the grounds for his/her disagreement. The FCSC will hear the Department, the nominee(s) selected by the Department, and the Dean. If no agreement is possible, the FCSC, giving reasons, will recommend to the Principal the appointment of an Acting Chair for a one year term. The FCSC will forward all relevant materials to the Principal, who will appoint a Chair for a one year term, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.
- These procedures take precedence over departmental procedures but do not apply to the selection of a Director of the School of Social Work.
Each Department shall develop a Constitution which requires the approval of Faculty Council. The Constitution should specify membership, role of Professors Emeriti, faculty on reduced load and/or cross-appointment and part-time faculty, student representation, procedures for calling meetings, procedures for conducting meetings, quorum requirements, and other matters as noted below.
Membership in Departments is defined as including the following categories:
- Full Membership is limited to: all full-time faculty with probationary, tenured or renewable limited term appointments from King's University College (excluding the Principal, Academic Dean and Associate Academic Dean). Full Membership confers the right to voice and vote on all departmental business except on matters of re-appointment, promotion and tenure decisions. In those cases, all full-time tenured faculty and the student representative(s) as noted in V. (A) 4 below are eligible to vote. For purposes of re-appointment, promotion and tenure, where a department does not have at least three tenured faculty members on its AP&T committee, the Chair may request permission from the Dean to include additional tenured faculty from other departments. In the case of the Department of Interdisciplinary Programs, such additions to the AP&T committee will be first drawn from the tenured Associate Membership.
For purposes of re-appointment, and promotion and tenure decisions, all full-time appointments in the final year of their probation who have been approved for tenure by the Board prior to the deliberations of the departmental AP&T committee shall have the right to vote.
Cross-appointed faculty with renewable limited term, probationary or tenured appointments shall be full members as defined above in a designated primary department.
The following are also full members of their respective Department/School with voice and vote on all matters except appointment, promotion and tenure: the Coordinator of Field Instruction, the Admissions Coordinator, and the Practicum and Graduate Program Assistant in the School of Social Work, as well as elected representatives of the professional social work community as determined by the School (currently, OASW, Alumni Association, Association of Field Practice Educators); and the Coordinator of Communications Courses in Modern Languages.
RECOMMENDATION #3: That the section defining membership be amended as suggested above.
RATIONALE: to clarify:
- the status of full-time faculty;
- the role of the Coordinator of Communications Courses and the Associate Academic Dean;
- the status of untenured faculty participation in promotion and tenure decisions.
RECOMMENDATION #4: Assuming that Recommendation #1 is approved, then:
Cross-appointed Faculty with probationary or tenured appointments shall be full members within their designated primary department (e.g. Department of Interdisciplinary Programs) and Associate Members within their secondary department. The designation of departmental status may be reversed with the approval of the faculty member, the departments concerned, and the Academic Dean.
- Associate Membership: With the approval of the secondary department at the time of appointment, a cross-appointed faculty member shall be an Associate Member within that department. Non-renewable limited term appointments shall be Associate Members. At the discretion of the Department, Associate Membership may be extended to other individuals, subject to these provisions:
part-time instructors and/or professional staff may be Associate Members with voice and vote, except on appointment, promotion and tenure decisions and other matters specified in the Department's Constitution. No Department shall have more than two part-time instructors and/or professional staff Associate Members with voice and vote. A Department may choose to confer voice only on its Associate Members.
RECOMMENDATION #5: That the clause defining Associate Membership be revised as noted above.
RATIONALE: The deletion is in light of the proposed revisions to the Conditions of Appointment (effective March 2007) that clearly extend full voting privileges to all faculty with Reduced Responsibility Appointments unless such administrative responsibilities are specifically precluded in the contractual appointment.
If the recommendation regarding cross-appointments (see 4.A.1) is approved, then this section should also be amended to include reference to cross-appointments. If all cross-appointments are automatically considered Associate Members in their secondary department, then the proposed additional sentence confirms that all such cross-appointments will be considered Associate Members.
The Department shall implement some form of student representation in accordance with the following guidelines:
- Each Department shall have at least one student representative for each of its disciplines with a program module and/or honors program, as chosen by Students' Council in consultation when desired with the Department concerned. The student representative(s) shall:
- be chosen from students registered at King’s University College in the third or fourth year of their honors programs; or The UWO Faculty of Graduate Studies for graduate programs;
- be chosen from those registered in a program module in the Department;
- have obtained at least a 70% average in their previous academic year;
- have the right to participate with voice and vote in all matters dealt with by the Department members' meetings or in any and all departmental committees except as follows. In Departments where there is more than one, student representatives shall have the right to cast only one vote in the election of Department Chairs. On appointment, promotion and tenure decisions, only the student representative from the discipline of the faculty member in question shall have a right to vote. *
- The Department of Economics, Business and Mathematics shall have the right to two student representatives who have obtained at least a 70% average in their previous academic year: one chosen as noted above from among those registered in a Major or Honors Specialization module in Economics; and one chosen from among those registered in a Major, Specialization or Honors Specialization module in MOS.
- In the School of Social Work, BSW student representatives shall be elected by the Social Work Students’ Association and MSW student representatives shall be elected by students in the MSW program. Student representation on the Council of the School of Social Work and its various committees shall conform to the structures outlined in the School’s Constitution.
RECOMMENDATION #6: That the clause governing student membership in Departments be revised as above.
RATIONALE: Changes to A are primarily editorial in light of the recent changes to nomenclature. Changes in B reflect program changes, and the deletion of C reflects current practice.
The specification that the student representative be registered in Year 3 or 4 of an Honors program highlights the need for an academically-oriented student given the important role this representative plays on matters of appointment, promotion and tenure. It is understood that a student registered in an Honors Specialization module or in a Double Major with the requisite average from the prior year is qualified to be a departmental student representative.
- Departments shall meet regularly in accordance with their Constitutions and not less than once per term. Agendas, Department reports, and minutes of all Department meetings shall be forwarded to the Dean.
- Departments are encouraged to create permanent standing committees or other mechanisms to distribute the workload more efficiently. Participation will be recognized as contribution to community service by the Chair in her or his annual report to the Dean. Such allocations might include the following:
- Student Affairs – to assist the Chair in matters of course and program counselling, relations with various student clubs associated with the department, organization of career days, participation in Open House days, etc.
- Curriculum and Course Development: assist the Chair in the formulation of new course and/or program proposals, periodic revisions to established courses and programs, etc.
- Timetable: assist the Chair in the creation and ongoing maintenance of an effective and conflict-free departmental timetable.
- d. Adjudication: assist the Chair with issues pertaining to admission and progression within modules.
- Staffing: assist the Chair in the hiring of full-time limited-term appointments, and part-time instructors, as required and approved.
- Appointment, Promotion and Tenure: This committee is already embedded within our departmental structures.
- Each Department shall conduct regular and ongoing reviews of its course and program offerings.
- Each Department shall conduct regular accreditation and/or external reviews every seven years.
- Each Department shall develop its own proposals for staffing and for the allocation of other resources. In multi-discipline Departments, such recommendations may originate with each discipline.
- Each Department shall develop procedures for recommendations concerning promotion and tenure for its members in accordance
RECOMMENDATION #7: That Clause VI. B be added as above.
RATIONALE: In addition to the issue of workload distribution, some Departments are becoming of sufficient size and complexity that a set of standing committees is essential to ensure the proper handling of departmental responsibilities on a regular basis. Currently the School of Social Work operates very effectively in this fashion. It also embraces the principle of subsidiarity, a core component of Catholic Social Justice teaching.
The remaining changes are editorial. The reference to a seven-year cycle for the external reviews is consistent with the new undergraduate program review guidelines established by Senate.
It is understood that the departmental structure will in no way interfere with the informal discipline-to-discipline relations with The University of Western Ontario and/or the Affiliated University Colleges.
In multi-discipline Departments, each discipline should designate a faculty member who will conduct informal relations with parallel disciplines at The University of Western Ontario and the Affiliated University Colleges. Official relations will be conducted by the Chair, who may delegate this responsibility to another member of the Department.
Chairs will report regularly to the Academic Dean on matters of concern to the Department. They will report and/or make recommendations to the Academic Dean on all departmental matters of an academic nature that require administrative action, unless otherwise specified by a duly approved College document. The Academic Dean is the normal chief link between Chairs and the Principal. While this should be viewed as the normal pattern of communication, it does not preclude other forms of communication.
A. From time to time, the secretarial and administrative needs of the academic Departments will be reviewed to ensure that adequate support for the Departments is provided.
RECOMMENDATION #8: That Clause IX be added.