Bylaws of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering

  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • Approved by the Department Faculty on October 21, 2019
  • Approved by the Dean of the College of Engineering on September 16, 2020

Table of Contents

  1. Preliminaries
  2. Mission of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering
  3. Organization
  4. Faculty Meetings
  5. Personnel Policies and Procedures
 

1 - Preliminaries

  • 1.1 Authorization

    Section 2.1.2 of the University of Nevada, Reno, Bylaws authorizes each department to develop bylaws. All references to the University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws are to ones approved by the Chancellor, November 18, 2009.

  • 1.2 Definitions

    Ballot - a vote by the voting faculty

    Quorum - greater than 50% of the voting faculty

    Faculty - all individuals that have teaching or research responsibilities with the Department. This includes adjunct appointments, visiting faculty, temporary appointments, and letters of appointment contracts.

    Voting Faculty - all individuals holding professional research or teaching contracts: (1)of at least 0.5 FTE within the University and (2) of at least 0.3 FTE within the Department and (3) having at least the rank of lecturer or instructor or emeritus faculty members on continuing part-time appointments.All voting faculty members have an equal vote.

    Staff - individuals who have no contractual teaching or research responsibilities within the Department but who offer technical, secretarial or management support to the Department.Staff members do not have voting rights.

    Teaching and Research Assistants - graduate students within the Department who are employed at 1/4 time or greater to assist Departmental faculty in their teaching and/or research. Teaching or research assistants do not have voting rights.

  • 1.3 Scope

    The Bylaws provide for the organizational and administrative structure and policies and procedures for the faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and shall be consistent with the College of Engineering Bylaws, the University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws, the Nevada System of Higher Education Code, the laws of the State of Nevada and the United States, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity policies. In the event of a conflict, the aforementioned Bylaws, Code, laws or policies shall prevail.

  • 1.4 Adoption and Amendment

    Adoption and amendment of the bylaws shall be in accordance with the provisions outlined in Section 2.1.2 of the University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws.

 

2. Mission of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering

The mission of the department is to advance the frontiers of computer science and engineering, to produce qualified individuals in the discipline, and to reach out both within and beyond the university to apply computer science and engineering solutions to technical and societal problems.

To accomplish this mission, the department seeks to:

  • Educate and produce outstanding BS, MS, and Ph.D. graduates with cutting edge knowledge about computing and who are able to learn and lead throughout their careers.
  • Perform basic and applied research in computing and information technology that advances our knowledge about computing and its applications.
  • Perform basic and applied research in computing and information technology that advances our knowledge about computing and its applications.
  • Engage in service and outreach to enrich the community, state, and profession.
  • Establish viable corporate and external partnerships to help identify problems and solutions and facilitate transfer of knowledge.
 

3. Organization

The Department shall consist of all faculty members, staff and teaching and research assistants or fellows. It shall be administered by the Department Chair.

  • 3.1 Chair

    The Chair 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 office for a new Department Chair shall be five years. Reappointment is possible for a three year term if re-nominated by a majority of the Departmental voting faculty. For the five year initial appointment, the voting faculty will vote at the end of the third year to recommend to the Dean the termination or continuation of the original term.

    The Chair shall be the administrative and executive officer of the Department, the Chair of its faculty, and ex-officio member of all its committees not having to do with the evaluation of the Chair. The Chair shall also serve as the chief representative of the Department within the University and as the chief spokesperson for the faculty of the Department. The position of Chair shall carry with it full authority to manage the Department and the person filling that position will be responsible for administrating the Department in a manner generally compatible with the thinking and expressed wishes of a majority of the faculty.

    The Chair shall be responsible for recommending the appointment of new personnel and making recommendations for promotion and tenure. Such recommendations concerning tenure, promotion, merit, and non-renewal of contract shall be made by the Chair only after considering the written recommendations of the Departmental Personnel Committees. In the event the Chair disagrees with the recommendation of a personnel committee, a written justification shall be provided to the personnel committee.

    The Chair shall, in consultation with the Faculty, prepare class schedules, make teaching assignments and prepare the Department budget. The Chair shall keep the faculty advised of his decisions regarding expenditure of funds, assignment of duties to Department staff and committee assignments. Capital expenditures in excess of $5,000 shall receive prior review by the Equipment and Facilities Committee. In addition, the Chair shall perform other management tasks as needed, and carry out such duties as expected of a faculty member.

    The Department Chair will be evaluated annually according to the Nevada System of Higher Education Code by the Personnel Evaluation Committee and the results reported to the Dean of the College of Engineering, or his designated representative.

  • 3.2 Committees

    The standing committees of the Department will be: Personnel, Equipment and Facilities, Undergraduate Studies, Graduate Studies, and Assessment. In addition, the Chair may, at his discretion, appoint other committees to assist him in fulfilling various administrative and management duties.

    1. Personnel Committees

      Only Tenured,Tenure-Track, and Lecturer (>Rank0 (l))faculty may serve on Personnel Committees.Throughout the following subsections “Lecturer” shall refer to >Rank0 (l).

      1. Promotion and Tenure Committee

        Promotion and tenure committees will function in accordance with the guidelines specified in the College of Engineering Bylaws and the University of Nevada Reno Bylaws.

        1. Professors will advise the Chair on non-emeritus promotion of associate and assistant professors
        2. Professors and associate professors will advise the Chair on non-emeritus promotion of assistant professors.
        3. Professors and associate professors will advise the Chair on promotion of lecturers. Additionally, lecturers can also advise the chair on the promotion of a lecturer with a lower rank than theirs.
        4. Non-retiring faculty members may advise the Chair on emeritus promotions for faculty retiring without a mandated emeritus promotion recommendation.
        5. Tenured faculty will advise the Chair on tenure.
        6. Tenured,Tenure-Track, and lecturer faculty will advise the Chair on the recognition or promotion of adjunct faculty.
      2. Evaluation Committee

        This committee will advise the Chair on annual evaluation and merit for all faculty except the Chair, and will advise the Dean on annual evaluation of the Chair.It will be constituted in the fall semester of each year and will have five (5) eligible faculty members with at least three out of the four ranks (lecturer, assistant, associate, full) represented. The term for each member will be for two years, with the terms staggered so that not all members are replaced in one year. One year terms for the initial constitution of the committee will be determined by random process. This committee will be appointed by the Chair in time to meet all evaluation deadlines and subject to the following criteria:

        A faculty member will be eligible for selection to the Committee provided that the faculty member:

        1. is not the Chair and
        2. is available to serve and
        3. has been a faculty member for at least one year and
        4. did not serve on the Committee in past year.
    2. Equipment and Facilities Committee

      This committee will make recommendations to the Voting Faculty for the acquisition and use of departmental equipment, laboratory space and facilities. It will advise the Department Chair on laboratory administration. It will monitor the computing environment to insure that it supports the Department’s mission. It will implement and enforce computer account policies approved by the Department. The Chair of the committee will supervise the staff responsible for system administration. The staff person in charge of system administration is a voting member of this committee.

    3. Undergraduate Studies Committee

      This committee will serve as a general policy making committee for undergraduate studies and make recommendations to the Voting Faculty for approval. It will be the curriculum committee for undergraduate programs and courses. It will help promote the programs and recruit undergraduate majors. It will respond to undergraduate articulation and transfer course evaluation requests. The Undergraduate Program Director will chair this committee and will lead it in carrying out its functions and responsibilities.

    4. Graduate Studies Committee

      This committee will serve as a general policy making committee for graduate studies and make recommendations to the Voting Faculty for approval. It will be the curriculum committee for graduate programs and courses. It will help promote the programs and recruit graduate majors. It will be responsible for evaluating applicants for admission, assistantship, and other scholarships or fellowships. The Graduate Program Director will chair this committee and will lead it in carrying out its functions and responsibilities.

    5. Assessment Committee

      This committee will advise the Chair and make recommendations to the Voting Faculty on the collection and evaluation of assessment data and its feedback for program evaluations. On a periodic basis the committee will (i) review graduation exit surveys, alumni surveys, and input from the Industry Advisory Board, (ii) review the instructor appraisals and responses to student course evaluations. Following the reviews, the committee could make recommendations on individual courses and overall program.

 

4. Faculty Meetings

  • The faculty shall meet at least two times per semester. Additional meetings may be called by the Chair or at the request of at least 1/3 of the faculty. In all cases, the Chair shall inform the faculty as to the time, place and agenda for the meeting at least three working days prior to the meeting. In the event of an emergency, the three working day notice may be waived, but only the emergency item may be considered at the meeting. A meeting will be considered official if a quorum is present.
  • The Departmental Chair, or his designated representative, will preside at all faculty meetings. At the discretion of the Chair, discussion and votes on personnel issues may be made in closed meeting sessions.
  • Any voting faculty member has the right to have items placed on the agenda.
  • Any faculty member may request that a vote to be taken on a motion be by written, secret ballot and such request shall be granted.
  • Minutes shall be kept of all Departmental Meetings and Robert’s Rules of Order shall be considered the final arbitrator of any procedural questions not specifically covered in these Bylaws.
 

5. Personnel Policies and Procedures

  • 5.1 Selection of Faculty

    In the event that a vacancy in the Department exists or is anticipated, the Chair shall appoint an ad hoc committee which shall implement recruiting procedures in accordance with all pertinent provisions of the Nevada System of Higher Education Code, University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws, the College of Engineering Bylaws, Departmental policies, Affirmative Action, and Equal Opportunity requirements. This Committee shall undertake a preliminary screening of all applicants and present to the Department a list of acceptable applicants from which the Department may choose a nominee. The results of this voting with a recommendation for employment shall be conveyed to the University administration by the Department Chair. The Department may reject the list but then must give the Committee further instructions.

  • 5.2 Selection of Chair
    1. Internal

      The nomination and election of a Chair from the voting faculty shall be overseen by an election committee of two chosen by random process from the Departmental faculty. This committee will prepare written nominating ballots listing all the names of the voting faculty so that voting is done by placing a mark next to a name. With this ballot, each voting faculty member shall nominate one voting faculty member for Chair by written secret ballot delivered to the nominating committee. Any faculty member receiving three or more nominating votes shall be considered a nominee. If no one individual receives the required three votes, the election committee shall call for a new ballot for nominations. If after three such tries, no individual receives the required three nominating votes, the committee shall declare all individuals receiving two votes in the most recent nominating ballot as nominees. Ballots with nominees name(s) will be prepared as for the nominating elections by the election committee and an election held. The Chair must be elected by a majority of the voting faculty. If a nominee receives the required majority, the election committee will recommend to the Dean of the College of Engineering that this nominee be appointed Chair of the Department. If after three tries, no individual receives the required majority, the election committee will ask the Dean of the College of Engineering to select a Chair.

    2. External

      The selection of a candidate from outside the Department shall be carried out by a search committee according to guidelines developed by the faculty. This committee shall have no more than two members from outside the Department. The majority of the committee shall be voting faculty from the Department elected by the Department. The search procedures are those required in the selection of new faculty.

  • 5.3 Faculty Responsibility and Evaluation

    For each calendar year, a Role Statement for each faculty member shall be agreed upon by the faculty member and the Chair. This document shall address the effort to be spent in the areas of teaching, research, and service for the year and shall be consistent with the mission of the Department. The document shall be signed by the faculty member and by the Chair and a copy shall be filed with the Chair. If the two parties are unable to reach substantial agreement, the matter will be referred to the Evaluation Committee. A Role Statement can be in effect for more than one year.

    In evaluating each faculty member the appropriate Personnel Committee (Section 3.2.1) will consider the Role Statement, the Personnel Evaluation and Merit Recommendation Form, and whatever other objective evidence may be available regarding the faculty member’s performance, such as an interview by the Committee or reports of classroom visitation by Department colleagues and student evaluations. The Committee may ask the staff member to provide information regarding text books, course materials, instructional methods, testing procedures or other items pertinent to quality of course instruction.

  • 5.4 Personnel Recommendations

    Recommendations for tenure, promotion and merit are made by the Department Chair after considering the written recommendations from the appropriate personnel committees (Section 3.2.1). In making their recommendations, the Personnel Committees will review all of the supporting documentation prepared by the faculty member in terms of criteria cited below or available in the NSHE Code of Administration.

    The Department endorses all personnel criteria established in the College of Engineering Bylaws, the University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws, and the NSHE code.