Bylaws of the Department of Economics

  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • Approved by the Department Faculty on February 24, 2021
  • Approved by the Dean of the College of Business on March 1, 2021

Table of Contents

Department Bylaws


I. Mission and Vision of the Department

The mission of the Department of Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno is to produce teaching and research of increasing quality. In support of this primary goal, service is provided internally to the college and university, and externally to community, state, nation, and discipline. Applied research, which benefits the community and state, is produced to serve Nevada taxpayers under our Land Grant Mission, to provide learning by doing experiences to students, to develop research projects of interest to the economics discipline, and to raise funds for the department. Opportunities to enhance department productivity through specialization and cooperation are sought, where faculty and staff with different roles work together as an all-inclusive team, where all on the team can achieve excellence. Departmental improvement is measured by results obtained, not by efforts made. For teaching quality, the primary success metric is student placement (into good internships, jobs, and graduate schools) and outputs such as textbooks and teaching materials that support quality teaching. For research quality, the primary success metric is quality publications in the form of journal articles, academic books and monographs, and other outlets accepted by the national economics research community.

 The Department of Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno seeks a reputation in the state and nation for producing high quality applied economic research, and an associated reputation for high quality teaching that supports student success in competing for internships, jobs, and graduate schools in the region and nation. As part of this mission, the Department will promote diversity and inclusion, academic freedom, shared governance, and transparency.


II. Authorization and Amendment of Bylaws

  1. These Bylaws are authorized by the Bylaws of the College. They are a statement of general policy and are not contractual in nature.
  2. These Department Bylaws are subordinate to and shall not conflict with either the College of Business Bylaws or the UNR Bylaws. Amendment of these bylaws shall be in force upon: (1) approval by two-thirds of those members of the department faculty who vote in a fair, written, and secret ballot; (2) review by the College Bylaws Committee; and (3) approval by the Dean. Approved department bylaws shall be made available to all faculty by the department.
  3. An ad hoc Bylaws Committee shall review all proposed amendments. This committee shall consist of three faculty members elected by secret ballot of the department’s voting members, with terms not to exceed one year. Members may serve more than one term. Proposed amendments to these bylaws shall be addressed to the Chair, who shall forward these proposals to the Bylaws Committee, who in turn shall review these proposals and make a recommendation to the faculty. Proposed amendments shall be distributed to the faculty together with the recommendations of the Bylaws Committee. A faculty meeting may be called as per Section V.A of these bylaws to consider and vote on the proposed amendments, or the Chair may hold an election by mail ballot as per Section VII.B of these bylaws.
  4. The purposes of these Bylaws are to establish:
    1. Rights and responsibilities of faculty members in the department,
    2. Procedures for evaluation of faculty performance,
    3. Criteria for promotion in rank, tenure, and commendation for merit,
    4. Procedures for meetings of the department,
    5. Duties of and procedures for the selection of standing department committees,
    6. Duties of and procedures for the selection of the Chair, and
    7. Search procedures.

III. Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty

  1. Faculty of the Department of Economics shall have all rights of academic freedom provided by the Nevada System of Higher Education Code, and the bylaws of the university and the college.
  2. Department faculty shall include all academic and administrative faculty on annual contracts that assign at least 0.5 Full-Time-Equivalent (FTE) of their position to the department, including all faculty whose promotion, tenure or merit decisions are the responsibility of the department, but excluding visiting faculty on leave from other universities and those faculty who have received a notice of nonrenewal from the university. Except as otherwise limited by university, college, or department bylaws, voting members of the department shall include all tenured and tenure-track faculty, as well as nontenure-track academic faculty who have been employed by the university for three or more years.
  3. Individual faculty in the department have a general collegial responsibility to demonstrate intellectual and academic development and progress. Criteria for demonstrating fulfillment of these responsibilities shall be the basis of faculty evaluations for the purpose of granting promotions in rank, tenure, and commendations of merit. These faculty evaluations are based on the criteria as listed in Section IV of these bylaws.

IV. Evaluation of Faculty Performance

  1. Faculty shall be evaluated on their teaching performance, their research contributions to the field of economics, and their service to the department, the college, the university, the state, and the community as a whole, consistent with their role statement.
  2. All members of the department faculty shall submit a role statement to the Chair at the beginning of each calendar year. The Chair shall then review the role statements of all faculty to ensure that they are compatible with the mission and the needs of the department as well as the long-run professional interests of the faculty member, and the Chair may require the faculty member to revise his or her role statement accordingly. Once approved by the Chair, all role statements shall be made available to the department faculty.

    The role statement should be a general statement of the faculty member's intended allocation of effort for the coming year, with regard to teaching, research, and service. In particular, the role statement should indicate any major departure from the normal teaching, research, and service responsibility of the faculty member. As such, the role statement is a written understanding between the faculty member and the chair regarding the general allocation of time. However, the role statement is not a contract, nor does it any way supersede the standards for merit, tenure, and promotion as expressed in these bylaws or the bylaws of the college or university.

  3. The Department Personnel Committee constituted under these bylaws shall evaluate faculty performance to determine whether an individual faculty member's performance is excellent, commendable, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory in each of three areas of teaching, research, and service and in their overall performance.
  4. The evaluation of research shall include but not be limited to:
    1. Publications in refereed academic journals;
    2. Publications in refereed practitioner journals;
    3. Demonstrated record of extramural funding in support of research;
    4. Scholarly books and book chapters;
    5. Publications in proceedings;
    6. Peer-reviewed Extension publications;
    7. Presentations at academic meetings and seminars;
    8. Presentations at practitioner meetings; and
    9. Working papers.
  5. The evaluation of teaching shall include but not be limited to:
    1. Student evaluations;
    2. Quality of course material; 
    3. Other teaching activities including, but not be limited to, supervision of theses, supervision of independent studies, and coordination of student activities in professional organizations;
    4. Cooperative Extension and similar university outreach teaching activities that execute the university’s land grant mission, educating the general public through the co-generation and dissemination of science-based information and research findings.
  6. The evaluation of service shall include internal, external and community service, including but not limited to the following:
    1. Internal service:
      1. Acting as a representative on departmental, college, university, and system level committees, and
      2. Acting as an advisor to a student organization.
    2. External and Community Service:
      1. Serving as an officer or board member of a professional organization;
      2. Paper/book reviews for a journal;
      3. Book review for a publisher;
      4. Publications in practitioner newsletters;
      5. Serving on the editorial board of an academic and/or professional journal;
      6. Being a track chair or workshop leader at a professional conference;
      7. Serving on committees to review academic programs in other universities;
      8. Paper review for academic and/or professional meetings;
      9. Organizing a professional seminar for the business community;
      10. Participation in local community services that may include:
        1. Membership on the board of an organization which promotes and recognizes the Department or College or University, and
        2. Professional speaking to local community
      11. Continuing education teaching;
      12. Consulting reports;
      13. Public testimony; and
      14. Participation in popular media outlets.
  7. Criteria for evaluating demonstrated performance include:
    1. Criteria for Tenure: The minimum standards for a recommendation for tenure are found in Chapter 3, Section 3.4.2, of the NSHE Code. Following Section 3.1.2 of the Code, a recommendation for tenure also requires that the applicant demonstrate a commitment to excellence and excellent abilities sufficient to convince the University of Nevada community that their expected services and performances in the future justify the privileges afforded by tenure.
    2. Criteria for Promotion to Associate Professor: A recommendation for promotion to associate professor may be considered if a qualified applicant is consistently rated as excellent in research, at least commendable in teaching, and at least satisfactory in service. In addition, an applicant must demonstrate that they have a record of consistently exceeding the standards of their expected AACSB qualifications.
    3. Criteria for Promotion to Full Professor: The criteria for promotion to Full Professor shall be the same as the criteria for Associate Professor with the following additions:
      1. Promotion to Full Professor shall be recommended by the Department Personnel Committee when the applicant has demonstrated continued professional development and nationally and/or internationally recognized contributions to the discipline of Economics through research and service;
      2. There should also be evidence of continued professional development in the entire spectrum of professional obligations including, but not be limited to, excellent ratings in research, and excellent or commendable ratings in teaching, service, and in overall performance.
    4. Criteria for Commendation for Merit: Commendation for meritorious performance shall be based on the role statement and annual evaluations of faculty research, teaching and service. Annual evaluations are separate and distinct from evaluations for tenure and promotion.
  8. In the event that a member of the faculty requests promotion in rank, the Chair shall call for a meeting of all faculty holding the rank being sought by the individual, or higher rank, to discuss the promotion request. A ballot of all faculty in the meeting will be taken on the request for promotion. In the event of a request for tenure, the Chair shall call for a meeting of all tenured faculty, to discuss the tenure request. A ballot of all faculty in the meeting will be taken on the request for tenure. In either case, the outcome of the recorded ballot will be reported by the Chair to the Department Personnel Committee.

V. Department Committees

  1. Standing committees of the department include those described herein. Other standing committees can be created and dissolved by majority vote of the department faculty, provided that there is a written proposal that describes the committee’s responsibilities, membership, and election.
  2. Ad hoc committees may be formed to perform specific departmental duties by a majority vote of the faculty. Such committees shall be dissolved upon reporting to the faculty that these duties have been completed.
    1. The Department Personnel Committee shall be elected by secret ballot of voting members of the department and shall consist of three tenured voting members of the department.
      1. The Personnel Committee shall annually evaluate the performance of all members of the department for the purpose of recommending commendations of merit for individual faculty. The committee shall consider the approved role statements for the prior calendar year in making recommendations for the annual evaluation of faculty.
      2. The Personnel Committee shall also evaluate requests for promotion in rank and requests for tenure of the faculty of the department.
      3. The evaluations of the Personnel Committee shall be sent to the Chair of the department, to be forwarded to the College Personnel Committee and to the Dean of the College. These evaluations are advisory.
      4. The Personnel Committee shall also annually evaluate the performance of the Chair, and this evaluation shall include consultation with the department faculty and classified staff. This evaluation shall be shown to the Chair and then sent to the Dean of the College. This evaluation is advisory.
  3. The Department Curriculum Committee shall be elected by secret ballot of voting members of the department and shall consist of three voting members of the department.
    1. The major responsibility of the Curriculum Committee shall be to evaluate requests by the department faculty to add, remove, or substantially alter courses or curriculum requirements. Course revisions will not normally be reviewed by the Curriculum Committee unless they merit changes to the course descriptions found in the University Catalog.
    2. Recommendations of the Curriculum Committee for specific changes or additions to courses or curriculum requirements shall be sent to the Chair, who shall distribute them to the department faculty. A faculty meeting may be called as per Section V.A of these bylaws to consider and vote on these recommendations. Recommendations of this committee which are approved by the faculty, or for which no meeting is called, shall be forwarded by the Chair to the College Curriculum Committee for further consideration.
  4. The Department Graduate Committee shall be elected by secret ballot of voting members of the department and shall consist of three voting members of the department who teach 700-level courses in the department’s graduate program. In addition, the department’s Graduate Director shall serve as an ex-officio member of the committee, and as the committee’s chair. Upon the request of the Graduate Director, the Graduate Committee shall advise the Director regarding graduate admissions, the assignment of teaching assistants, and other financial aid. The Graduate Committee shall also advise the department faculty on matters related to graduate programs, curricula, or policies. As authorized by a majority vote of the department faculty, under Section VI.A. of these bylaws, the Department Seminar Committee shall be a standing committee of the department.
  5. Faculty members elected to the standing committees shall serve three-year terms, so that in each year one new member is elected for each. If any member of these committees is to be absent for less than a year, the Chair may appoint a temporary replacement for that period only. If any member of these committees is to be absent for a year or more, the department shall elect an eligible faculty member for the remainder of that member’s term. Any faculty member ending a term on the Personnel Committee of one year or more is not eligible to serve on that committee for one year. The member of each committee that is serving the third year of his or her term shall serve as committee chair, unless the committee unanimously agrees otherwise.
  6. Except as described above, all department committees shall elect their own chairs. The Chair is an ex officio member of all department committees.

VI. Meetings of the Department

  1. The faculty of the department shall meet at least once each academic term. Additional meetings will be held at the request of the Dean of the College, the Chair, or upon written request of twenty-five percent of voting faculty members
  2. Departmental meetings shall be governed by procedural rules agreed upon by a majority of faculty present at a meeting.
  3. A quorum shall consist of fifty-one percent of all voting faculty in the department.
  4. The minutes of all department meetings will be prepared by the department’s administrative assistant and will be available to the department faculty upon request.
  5. On matters requiring a vote of the department faculty, the chair shall notify the faculty and set a deadline for their response. If no meeting is called as per section VIII.A. of these bylaws, then the Chair shall call for a vote by mail ballot. A quorum of fifty-one percent is required for all mail ballots.

VII. Department Chair

  1. The department faculty shall nominate a faculty member from among their number to serve as Chair. This nomination is subject to approval by the College Dean and is advisory to the President. The Chair’s term of office is three years, and the nomination shall require the approval by majority in a secret ballot of voting members of the department, except that a Chair nominated to a third consecutive term shall require approval by two-thirds of the faculty. In addition, a vote of confidence by secret ballot shall be held upon the receipt of written request by fifty percent of the voting members of the department. If two-thirds of all voting members vote against the continuation of the Chair, then the College Dean shall appoint an Acting Chair. The Acting Chair shall serve a term not to exceed one year, until the department nominates a new Chair who is approved by the Dean and President, as described here, for a new three-year term.
  2. The Chair has primary responsibility for:
    1. Approval of expenditures of department funds;
    2. Calling Departmental meetings as per Section V.A of these bylaws;
    3. Scheduling convenient and timely departmental meetings, and clearly communicating the schedule and agenda in advance, so that as much as possible all voting members of the department faculty may attend and be adequately prepared;
    4. Calling for votes by the faculty and ensuring that these votes, whether by mail ballot or in departmental meetings, follow fair and established procedures;
    5. Establishing and communicating clear, convenient, and reasonably timely deadlines for faculty mail ballots or faculty requests to convene departmental meetings;
    6. Reviewing, negotiating, and approving the role statements of all department faculty to ensure that they are compatible with the mission and the needs of the department as well as the long-run interests of the faculty member, and making approved role statements available to all department faculty;
    7. Evaluating faculty members requesting promotion in rank or tenure;
    8. Evaluating faculty members overall performance for recommendations of merit; and
    9. Conveying important policy matters to members of the department, the college, and the university.
  3. The Chair may suggest the creation of any formal or informal faculty position, including graduate program director, undergraduate major advisor, et cetera, or the creation of any ad-hoc committee. The Chair may also nominate any faculty member to serve in these positions or on any committees. The creation of these positions and committees, and the election of faculty members to them, shall be subject to approval by the department faculty.
  4. The performance of the Chair shall be evaluated as described in Section VI.C above, and in College Bylaws. The Chair shall be evaluated annually both for his or her administrative responsibilities as Chair as described above, and for his or her faculty responsibilities in teaching, research, and service other than his or her administrative responsibilities as Chair.
  5. The Chair shall appoint an Acting Chair of the department during a temporary leave. The Acting Chair shall assume all the responsibilities of the Chair written in these bylaws.

VIII. Search Procedures

  1. When openings appear within the department, an ad hoc Search Committee shall be formed in accordance with the procedures provided in these bylaws.
  2. The Search Committee shall develop a position description for each opening and undertake a search for the purpose of identifying qualified candidates for the position(s) to be filled.
  3. After reviewing applicants' qualifications, the Search Committee shall present a list of the most qualified candidates to the members of the department for consideration. The voting members of the department shall then develop a ranking of these candidates for the purposes of filling the vacant position(s) in the department. The criteria to be used by the Search Committee and the department in developing this ranking shall take into consideration the likelihood of a candidate meeting the criteria for promotion, tenure, and commendation for meritorious performance provided in these bylaws.
  4.  If the search is for a tenure-track position, only tenured or tenure-track faculty are eligible to vote on hiring recommendations or serve on the Search Committee, though all faculty may participate in the search or otherwise advise voting members of the faculty.