Bylaws of the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering

  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • Approved by the Department Faculty on January 25, 2011
  • Approved by the Dean of the College of Engineering on May 24, 2011

Table of Contents


I. Authority

Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE)


II. Scope

These bylaws shall apply for the organization, administrative structure, and personnel policies and procedures of the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering. No part of these bylaws shall be in conflict with those of the College of Engineering or the University of Nevada, Reno or with the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Code.


III. Adoption

These bylaws shall be in force upon: 1) approval by the faculty of the Department, which shall be two-thirds (2/3) of eligible faculty 2) approval by the Dean of the College of Engineering.


IV. Amendments

Any member of the faculty may propose an amendment to the bylaws by submitting it in writing to the Chairman, who shall bring it before the faculty. Approval of any amendment is attained through a voting and approval procedure identical with that in the ADOPTION section above.


V. Objectives and Purposes of the Department

The objectives and purposes of the Department are to

  1. provide the best possible instruction in Chemical Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering for all students enrolled in courses offered by the department,
  2. pursue new knowledge through research,
  3. disseminate and evaluate new and existing knowledge through publications or oral presentations, and
  4. provide service in the fields of Chemical Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering to the State of Nevada.

VI. Organization of the Department

The Department shall be administered by a Chairman and have as voting members all individuals holding full-time authorized professional research and teaching contracts in the Department and having rank of lecturer or instructor or above (see voting criteria, section IX). Authorized continuing part-time faculty, holding at least a 0.50 FTE position in the University and for whom the largest proportion of his/her FTE is assigned to the Department, shall have the same voting rights as full-time faculty. Department staff persons are those who have no contractual teaching-research responsibilities within the Department but who offer technical/secretarial/management support to the Department. Teaching/research assistants/fellows are those graduate students within the Department who are employed one quarter time or greater to assist department faculty in their teaching and/or research. Neither department staff or teaching/research assistants/fellows have voting rights.


VII. Faculty

Department faculty shall consist of all persons holding authorized professional contract positions in the Department with the rank of lecturer or instructor or above.

Duties and responsibilities: Faculty members are charged with the responsibilities of instruction and research in their own field of specialization as well as in such other related fields as may be necessary to allow a full spectrum of department instruction. In most cases a faculty member will provide instruction in both undergraduate and graduate courses. In addition to classroom instruction, a faculty member will advise students, direct thesis and/or dissertation research, provide budgetary information to the Chairman and serve on such intradepartmental committees as may be necessary and to which he/she has been assigned by the Chairman. A faculty member is expected to maintain a presence and accessibility within the Department commensurate with that faculty member’s contractual obligations.

It is recognized that to maintain a strong and viable program, research is a creative activity which must be entered into by the faculty as well as the students. Good research and good teaching are symbiotic endeavors and shall e given equal merit in the assignment and evaluation of faculty activities.

All tenured and tenure-track Assistant, Associate, and full Professors in the department are formally members of the University graduate faculty. Additional faculty may be elected to the graduate faculty by majority vote of the current graduate faculty in the department.


VIII. Chairman

The Chairman shall be appointed by the President of the University of Nevada, Reno, acting on the nomination of the faculty and endorsement of the Dean of the College of Engineering. The term of the Department Chairman is initially for five years and an additional three year appointment is optional. Selection procedures are given later in this document.

The Department Chairman shall be the administrative and executive officer of the Department, the Chairman of its faculty, and ex-officio member of all its committees. The Chairman shall also serve as the chief representative of the Department within the University and the College of Engineering and as the chief spokesman for the faculty of the Department. In this capacity of spokesperson and representative, the Chairman has the obligation of making clear the distinction between those occasions when he/she is speaking only as an individual.

The Chairmanship shall carry with it full authority to manage the Department and as such will be responsible for carrying on the Department’s various academic and non-academic functions and business in a manner generally compatible with the thinking and expressed wishes of a majority of the faculty. Ideally, the Chairman should function as a leader and coordinator rather than a source of arbitrary authority.

The Chairman shall be responsible for:

All academic and non-academic functions of the department and the finances of the department.

Evaluation: The Department Chairman will be evaluated annually as per NSHE Code by the department faculty and the Dean, College of Engineering, or the Dean’s designated representative.

Associate Chair—The Chair may appoint an Associate Chair with consent of the department faculty, of the Dean and the Provost.


IX. Faculty Meetings

The faculty shall meet at least every three months during the academic year.

Each academic faculty member of rank I and above and research faculty of rank 0 (III) and 0 (IV) and above shall have an equal vote.

Additional meetings or changes in time/day for the regular meetings maybe made by the Chairman with appropriate notice to the faculty. A meeting will be considered official and time at which business can be conducted if a quorum of faculty is present. (A quorum is defined later in this document.) A special faculty meeting may also be called by the request of at least one-third of the voting faculty.

The Department Chairman or the Chairman’s designated representative will preside at all faculty meetings. Any properly made motion may be voted upon at any faculty meeting; however, the taking of a vote on a motion which involves a subject not discussed at the immediately preceding faculty meeting can be blocked by a majority vote of the faculty present. At the request of any faculty member a secret ballot shall be cast on any given motion. In general, faculty meetings will be open to the public. Discussion and votes on personnel matters may be made in closed meeting sessions.

Any faculty member has the right to have items placed on the agenda. The Chairman will make a call for agenda items at least three days prior to each regularly scheduled faculty meeting.

Two-thirds of the voting faculty represents a quorum, and motions, in order to pass, must receive a simple majority of the votes cast.


X. Committees

There shall be the following standing committees appointed by the Chairman: 1. Personnel, 2. Graduate Admissions, 3. Curriculum, 4. Space

The Chairman may at his/her discretion, appoint additional committees to assist him in fulfilling various, academic, administrative and management duties.


XI. Personnel Policies and procedures

The following subsections and paragraphs outline procedures which will be followed by the Department in all matters having to do with personnel. Such matters will be addressed in the following order:

  1. Selection of Faculty

    Faculty search shall be conducted by a faculty committee appointed by the Department Chairman. Such search will be conducted in accordance with all College, University, and general affirmative action guidelines. The results of any search will be reported to the Chairman by the search committee by means of a written ranked list of no less than 3 applicants. A final vote will be taken of the department faculty, and the result of this voting along with the Chairman’s recommendation shall be conveyed to the Dean by the Department Chairman.

    When appropriate, persons, employed full-or part-time by other departments or departments of the NSHE may be given joint appointments making them faculty members of the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering.

  2. Selection of Chairman
    1. Internal

      Upon the Chair position becoming vacant, an internal candidate for replacement may be recommended to the Dean by the faculty. If the Dean decides on an internal search, a search committee will be formed, consisting of three tenured faculty members elected by the faculty, and one member from outside the department selected by the Dean. The search committee shall elect its own committee chair. The search committee, after consultation with the faculty, shall provide a non-binding, unranked list of candidates to the Dean.

      The procedure for selecting a candidate from within the Department is as follows:

      Each member of the faculty shall recommend in writing by secret ballot one nominee for the Department chairmanship. Each such nomination will be delivered to the chairman of the Department Personnel Committee. Any candidate receiving 2 or more nominations shall be considered a nominee. If no one individual receives the required two nominations, the chairman of the Personnel Committee may declare all individuals with at least one nomination as nominees. Once nominations are completed, voting, by means of secret ballot, shall take place. The successful nominee will be recommended by written memorandum from the chairman of the Personnel Committee to the Dean for appointment as Chairman, Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, UNR.

    2. External

      The selection of a candidate from outside the Department shall be carried out according to instructions from the faculty to the department Personnel Committee and the appointed search committee. The search procedure will be similar to that required in the selection of new faculty.

  3. Promotion, Tenure, and Annual Evaluations

    In matters related to the granting of tenure, a Committee composed of all tenured faculty members of the Department will examine the credentials of the candidate and make a recommendation to the Chair; for promotion, the Committee will consist of all members having a rank higher than that of the candidate being considered and again will make a recommendation to the Chair. In the case of promotion to Full Professor, at the request of the candidate, the Chair may add an additional external member to the committee.

    In either case, tenure or promotion, the committee will elect its own Chair. For promotion and tenure the committees formed are ad hoc committees.

    Pre-tenured faculty will receive a timely three year evaluation. This evaluation will be considered a part of the later tenure evaluation.

    For other personnel matters, including Annual Evaluations, a Department Personnel Committee consisting of four members, two from Chemical Engineering and two from Metallurgical Engineering, shall advise the Chairman in matters related to teaching and research performance as part of the annual evaluation process. This committee may meet as one committee or as two committees representing both divisions, Chemical Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering, at the discretion of the faculty. The department personnel committee is a permanent committee. No faculty member, including the Department Chairman, may take part in committee deliberations relating to that faculty member’s own evaluation. Election or appointment to this annual evaluation committee is rotating with a total service of two years except in the case of the first appointed member who shall serve one year.

    In all of the above cases—annual evaluations, promotion, and tenure—the Personnel Committee will review all of the appropriate credentials prepared by the applicant in terms of criteria cited below or available in the NSHE Code or Administrative Manual and will make written recommendations to the Department Chairman. The Chairman is then required to review each of the Committee’s recommendations, to make his/her own recommendation, and to meet with the applicant faculty member and review and discuss the recommendation. The evaluation is signed as having been received and forwarded to the Dean. The faculty member may submit additional materials and/or a response to the recommendation, which will be forwarded along with the recommendation to the Dean.

    Grievance procedures as outlined in the UNR Bylaws may also be followed by a non-concurring faculty member.

    Guidelines for personnel evaluation are as follows:

    1. Promotion

      Each year the Department Chairman shall notify all faculty members eligible for tenure and/or promotion. Should that faculty member choose to apply for promotion he/she shall prepare Part Iof the appropriate application and submit it by the required deadline to the Chairman. The Chairman will then submit the application to the relevant Department Committee, that will provide the Department evaluation which, when completed, will be returned to the Department Chairman for discussion with the faculty member. The application will then be forwarded, complete with the Chairman’s recommendation, to the College Personnel Committee and the Dean or the Dean’s designated representative.

      The evaluation shall include the areas of teaching, research and service. The applying faculty member must have performed assigned duties and planned activities at a level of excellent in at least one of these areas to receive favorable consideration by the Committee. Performance in the remaining area must not be less than satisfactory. Emphasis shall be placed on high quality teaching and research. For assessing teaching performance an important source of information is the course and teaching evaluations by students. Furthermore, the faculty member must have demonstrated that he/she canorganize or reorganize courses, design curricula and provide mature and academically sound guidance to students. For research, the applying faculty must have performed scholarly work and reported the results of that work in nationally and/or internationally recognized, refereed professional journals. For promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor the individual must have demonstrated that he/she can attack and solve significant technical problems. For promotion to Professor, in addition to the above criteria, the applying individual must also have achieved a reasonable level of national recognition for academic achievements.

      External peer review will be conducted in accordance with University procedures.

      The Personnel Committee shall forward its recommendation to the Department Chairman for continuing action and submission with the Chairman’s recommendation to the appropriate higher level Committees and administrative officials.

    2. Tenure

      The evaluation procedure for tenure recommendations shall be the same as that for promotion. Tenure recommendations are made for individuals who have exhibited superior abilities and for whom there are long-term expectations for continued excellence in teaching and research.

    3. Annual Evaluations

      Each faculty member shall be evaluated annually in order to assess the quality of professional performance as excellent, commendable, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. It is the responsibility of each faculty member to submit documentation to the Department Chairman on his/her professional performance during the specified evaluation period in the areas of teaching, research and service. This evaluation shall be done with respect to the faculty’s role statement. The Department Chairman will collect this documentation from all faculty and then submit this to the department Personnel Committee for evaluation.

      Each faculty member’s performance in each of the three areas listed above shall be rated using the following criteria:

      Teaching evaluation will be based on student comments, both solicited, through a questionnaire, and unsolicited; also based on peer observations and evaluations.

      Other aspects of teaching skills, such as innovative techniques to teach difficult concepts, introduction of new material, new course development, etc. shall also be considered. Student advisement at both undergraduate and graduate levels is considered a teaching function as is the supervision on graduate research.

      Research evaluation will be based on scholarly productivity, e.g. papers or other creative work published in nationally or internationally refereed journals and invited and volunteered lectures/seminars presented at regional, national, or international symposia or meetings and at other institutions. And also on the award of grants or contracts to conduct research.

      For service, Department, College, and University committee activities shall be considered as well as sponsorship of undergraduate and/or graduate student clubs and societies, consultation to citizens of public agencies, and the delivering of lectures to local philanthropic or service organizations on technical topics. For judging service by other professional activities, the criteria are subjective, but meritorious activities would include active participation in scientific societies, service as an officer or “board” member of professional societies, journal editorships, consultation to government agencies, consultation to private industry, refereeing proposals and manuscripts, etc.

  4. Appointment and Supervision of Department Staff

    Search for and appointment of Department Staff will be carried out by the Department Chairman or the Chairman’s designee in consultation with the appropriate knowledgeable Department Staff presently available within the College. Search and appointment will be carried out in accordance with all NSHE and affirmative action guidelines. Once hired, Department Staff are governed by the State of Nevada’s “Rules for State Personnel Administration.” Duties of the Department Staff shall be assigned by the Department Chairman or by the Chairman’s designee. Annual evaluations shall be performed by the Department Chairman or the Chairman’s designee.

  5. Supervision of Teaching/Research Assistants/Fellows

    Duties and supervision of the teaching and research fellows/assistants shall be the responsibility of the faculty member to whom they have been assigned or working with.

    Teaching assistant/fellow appointments shall be for at least a semester. Renewal of the appointment is the responsibility of the person funding the position.