Bylaws of the Department of English

  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • Approved by the Department Faculty on March 1, 2019.
  • Approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts on March 11, 2019

Table of Contents

  1. Bylaws
  2. Mission
  3. Faculty
  4. Administration and Committees
  5. Faculty Responsibilities and Activities
  6. Personnel Policies and Procedures
  7. Program Review
 

I. Bylaws

  • A. Authorization

    Department bylaws are authorized by section 8 of the bylaws of the College of Liberal Arts, and by Section 2.1.2 of the bylaws of the University of Nevada, Reno.

  • B. Scope

    The bylaws provide for the administrative structure and personnel policies and procedures for the department of English, and shall be consistent with the college and the university bylaws, the NSHE Code, the laws of the state of Nevada and the United States, and Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies.

  • C. Adoption

    These bylaws shall be adopted and in full force upon: (1) a secret ballot in which two thirds of the active faculty (as defined in section III.A. below) must vote and two thirds of those voting must vote yes, and (2) approval of the dean of the college.

  • D. Amendment

    Any member of the department’s regular faculty may propose amendments to these bylaws. Proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing to the Chair and shall be distributed to the regular faculty at least five working days before they are discussed in a faculty meeting. Voting shall be by secret ballot or by mail. An amendment shall be in full force upon: (1) a secret ballot in which two thirds of the active faculty (as defined in section III.A. below) of the department must vote and two thirds of those voting must vote yes and (2) approval of the dean of the college.

  • E. Suspension

    Any member of the regular faculty may propose that a portion of the bylaws be suspended. Any such proposal shall be submitted in writing to the Chair and distributed to the regular faculty at least five working days before it is discussed in a faculty meeting. Voting shall be by anonymous ballot. For the proposal to be approved, two thirds of active faculty of the department must vote and two thirds of those voting must vote yes.

  • F. Interpretation

    Should one third of the regular faculty question the interpretation of these bylaws, the department may seek a ruling from the dean of the college. Should a majority of the regular faculty disagree with the dean's ruling, the department may appeal to the provost for a final ruling.

 

II. Mission

The mission of the Department of English shall be to promote the ability to read, write, and think critically. The Department achieves this goal through instruction, scholarship, and creative activity. In all areas of our curriculum—literary and film studies, rhetoric and writing studies, creative writing, linguistics, and the digital humanities—we help our students cultivate their capacities for critical thinking and imaginative reasoning. Our faculty devote equal priority to teaching and scholarship, and secondary priority to service, engagement, and entrepreneurial activity, and related professional enterprises.

 

III. Faculty

  • A. Composition of the Department

    The Department of English is composed of all regular faculty members with a primary assignment in the department of .50 FTE or more as described in Section 2.3 of the University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws. All tenure-track faculty members shall have an equal vote in department elections, in hiring decisions, and on matters of policy. For matters of voting, “active faculty” includes all regular faculty not currently on formal leave or sabbatical. Unless otherwise specified in these bylaws, a simple majority vote of the active faculty shall be sufficient to approve matters brought before the regular faculty for a vote. Faculty on formal leave or sabbatical may vote should they choose to do so and in doing so will be considered active faculty for the purposes of computing a simple majority vote.

    All regular lecturers shall have an equal vote in department elections, in hiring decisions for all Rank 0 faculty, and on matters of policy except those concerning graduate curricula or other graduate programmatic issues. Rank 0 faculty may not vote on tenure-track searches, though where a tenure-track hire directly affects the Rank 0 faculty (as for example in the hiring of Core Writing Administrators), those affected should be given a formal opportunity to evaluate candidates and offer feedback to the search committee and to the department. Where possible, a Rank 0 faculty member should serve as a representative on the search committee in such cases.

    As needed to carry out its mission, the department will hire contingent faculty on one-year contracts and/or instructors on letters of appointment. Individuals in these positions shall not have a vote in department elections, in the hiring of regular faculty, or on matters of policy.

  • B. Responsibilities and Role Statements

    The responsibilities of each faculty member shall consist of an assigned combination of instruction, scholarly and/or creative activity, service, and engagement (CLA bylaws section 18; for specifics see section V below). Each faculty member will have a statement of professional responsibilities or role statement that documents these responsibilities and serves as the basis for annual evaluation (as specified in CLA bylaws section 20). Faculty assignments typically reflect the priorities in the department’s mission statement. To carry out the necessary work of the department, regular faculty are expected to serve actively on at least one permanent or standing departmental committee annually unless they are on leave. Regular faculty are also expected to serve on all tenure and promotion committees for which they are eligible. Under certain circumstances such as research grants, fellowships, and administrative assignments, faculty may negotiate variations on these norms as part of their annual role statements, but such variations should be tied to the life of the project or assignment and will not affect the department’s standards for tenure and promotion. The revised role statement must include responsibilities in all areas.

  • C. Meetings

    The regular faculty shall meet at least once per semester, at a time scheduled so far as possible not to conflict with faculty teaching schedules. That meeting shall be called by the Chair in consultation with the Planning Committee. The department shall meet as necessary during the fall and spring semesters to discuss hiring priorities, budget, annual evaluation, curriculum, and other matters of policy. Any member of the regular faculty may, upon submission of a written request to the Chair, ask that discussion of a department issue be placed on the agenda for a forthcoming department meeting. Any member of the regular faculty may, upon submission of a written request to the Planning Committee, have the Chair call a department meeting to consider any department issue. Meetings shall occur only on contract days.

    1. Agendas for faculty meetings shall be distributed five working days in advance. Annotated meeting agendas recording attendance and formal decisions made by faculty vote shall be circulated after department meetings, approved formally at the next meeting, and kept on file in the department office.
    2. A faculty member unable to attend a meeting may ask another member of the regular faculty to vote on his or her behalf by proxy. Written proxy authorization must be submitted at the faculty meeting to which it applies.
    3. Faculty meetings shall be run according to the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
  • D. Hiring

    Regular faculty: once the dean has approved the department’s request to fill a replacement or new regular faculty position, the Chair shall appoint a search committee from the regular faculty to conduct a search for the best applicants to fill the position. The committee may include a nonvoting graduate student member. The committee shall advertise, screen and select applicants for interviews, make recommendations to the department concerning finalists to be brought to campus for interview, and then recommend a candidate for the position. The department’s vote on candidates shall be by secret ballot. To be recommended for hire, a candidate must be supported by two-thirds of the active faculty. Proxy voting is allowed if the search committee distributes specific motions and subsequent, contingent motions to the faculty at least 24 hours in advance of the announced hiring meeting. A valid proxy must be in writing, signed (or emailed directly to the chair), and must list the faculty member’s vote on each of the submitted motions/contingent motions.

    Contingent faculty: once the dean has approved the request to fill a contingent position, the Chair shall appoint a search committee from the regular faculty and contingent faculty to conduct a search for the best applicants to fill the position. The committee may include a nonvoting graduate student member. The committee shall advertise, screen and select applicants for interview, conduct phone interviews, and recommend a candidate for the position to the Chair. These hiring decisions need not be voted on by the active faculty. The department shall not hire an individual in a contingent position for more than a total of three years.

    Letters of appointment: the Chair shall hire instructors on letters of appointment and do so in consultation with the Core Writing Director if the instructors will teach first-year writing courses. These appointments need not be approved by the active faculty.

 

IV. Administration and Committees

  • A. Department Chair

    In accordance with Chapter IV, section 15.A. of the Bylaws of the College of Liberal Arts, “Chairs and directors shall be responsible to the dean for implementing college policies and procedures, and responsible to faculty for implementing policies and procedures mandated by department or unit bylaws.” The Chair shall be an ex officio member of all department committees. The Chair shall discuss curricular, scheduling, budgeting, and planning issues with the Planning Committee, and shall work with the Planning Committee to produce a budget that the faculty will then review and discuss. He or she shall be responsible for administering all department budgets.

    1. Appointment: The regular faculty shall recommend a candidate or candidates for department Chair to the dean of the college, who in turn recommends a candidate to the provost, for final appointment by the president. The department Chair serves for a period of three years. When a vacancy occurs in the office, the Planning Committee shall ask three members of the regular faculty to form an election board. The board shall seek nominations from the regular faculty and then distribute ballots to the regular faculty for a confidential written vote. The nominee receiving the majority of votes shall be recommended to the dean. In the case of three successive tie votes, or votes which do not produce a majority candidate, the names of all the candidates for Chair shall be forwarded to the dean. The nomination and election process typically occurs in the spring semester, for appointments beginning 1 July. Under normal circumstances a Chair may serve no more than two terms in succession.
    2. Evaluation: The Personnel Committee shall evaluate the Chair annually. The Personnel Committee shall solicit anonymous online feedback from all regular faculty, and shall write a report synthesizing that feedback; faculty who would prefer shall be given the opportunity to supply their feedback directly to a member of the Personnel Committee. That report may also reflect discussions among the Personnel Committee, though the Chair shall not be present during those discussions. The Chair shall also submit a written self-evaluation to the Dean of the College annually.
    3. Removal: Should one-third of the regular faculty at any time desire that the Chair step down, they may upon written notification (five working days) to the regular faculty call a meeting to vote upon the question. Should a majority of the regular faculty in secret ballot vote affirmatively, the recommendation shall be made to the dean. Upon approval by the dean, new nominations shall be made and an election held.
    4. Faculty Recourse: In the event any faculty member objects to a decision or action or omission on the part of the Chair, she or he may submit the case to the dean, providing the faculty member (1) submits to the Chair a copy of any written objection, and (2) notifies the Chair of any interview with the dean on the issue.
    5. Temporary Chair: Should the Chair need to be absent for a brief period (up to one semester), the Chairs hall propose a replacement to the Planning Committee, which will appoint an interim Chair. Should the Chair be absent for an extended period of no more than one year, the department shall recommend an acting Chair to the dean following procedures outlined in IV.A.1. The period for which the Chair is absent shall not count as part of his or her term.
  • B. Associate Chair

    The Associate Chair shall administer the department schedule for all courses outside of Core Writing, and shall work in consultation with the department Chair on other curricular issues and serve on the Planning Committee. The Associate Chair shall assist the Chair in forming and charging standing and temporary committees; shall share in the responsibility of serving ex officio on search committees; shall share in ad hoc tasks and projects as directed by the Chair; shall write the annual evaluations for all lecturers; and may be empowered to represent the Chair in various department, college, and university functions. In the Chair’s absence, the Associate Chair serves as the Chair of the Department. If the Associate Chair is unable to serve, the Director of Graduate Studies will serve as acting Chair.

    1. Appointment: The Associate Chair shall be elected by the regular faculty to a term of three years. When a vacancy occurs in the office, the Planning Committee shall ask three members of the regular faculty to form an election board. The board shall seek nominations from the regular faculty and then distribute ballots to the regular faculty for a confidential written vote. The nominee receiving the majority of votes shall be appointed by the Chair. Should no candidate receive a majority, a runoff election shall be held between the two candidates who received the most votes. Should the Associate Chair be absent or unable to perform the duties of his or her position for an extended period not longer than a year, the department Chair, in consultation with the Planning Committee, shall appoint an acting Associate Chair. The nomination and election process typically occurs in the spring semester, for appointments beginning 1 July. A period of one year for which the Associate Chair is absent shall not count as part of his or her term. Under normal circumstances an Associate Chair may serve no more than two terms in succession in one of these positions.
    2. Evaluation: The Personnel Committee shall evaluate the Associate Chair annually. The Personnel Committee shall solicit anonymous feedback from all regular faculty, and shall write a report synthesizing that feedback. That report may also reflect discussions among the Personnel Committee, though the Associate Chair shall not be present during those discussions.
    3. Removal: Should one third of the regular faculty at any time desire that the Associate Chair step down, they may upon written notification (five working days) to the regular faculty call a meeting to vote upon the question. Should a majority of the regular faculty in secret ballot vote affirmatively, the recommendation shall be made to the dean. Upon approval by the dean, new nominations shall be made and an election held.
  • C. Core Writing Administrator

    The Core Writing Administrator shall be responsible for the assessment, revision, and implementation of the Core Writing Curriculum. Outside the department, the Administrator shall serve on the College Chairs and Directors Committee, the University’s Core Board Committee, and participate in ongoing University writing initiatives. Inside the department, the Administrator shall serve on the planning committee, shall be a ex officio member of all committees whose business is relevant to the first-year writing program, and shall Chair the Core Writing Committee. The Administrator, or a representative, will sit on the Personnel Committee on the day that Regular Lecturers in Core Writing are evaluated and ranked. The Administrator has responsibility for scheduling, staffing, training, and evaluating instructors who teach in Core Writing.

    1. Appointment: The Core Writing Administrator may be hired into the position through the normal hiring process and two-thirds faculty vote. In the case of vacancy, there may be a department election proposed by the Planning Committee. The Planning Committee shall ask three members of the regular faculty to form an election board. The board shall seek nominations from the regular faculty and then distribute ballots to the regular faculty for a confidential written vote. The nominee receiving the majority of votes shall be appointed be recommended to the Dean. There is no defined term limit for the Core Writing Administrator.
    2. Removal: Should one third of the regular faculty at any time desire that the Core Writing Administrator step down, they may upon written notification (five working days) to the regular faculty call a meeting to vote upon the question. Should a majority of the regular faculty in secret ballot vote affirmatively, the recommendation shall be made to the dean. Upon approval by the dean, new nominations shall be made and an election held.
    3. Temporary Administrator: Should the Administrator need to be absent for a brief period (less than one semester) the Administrator shall propose a replacement to the Chair. Should the Administrator be absent for an extended period of no more than one year, the department shall recommend an acting Administrator to the dean following procedures outlined in IV.C.1. The period for which the Chair is absent shall not count as part of his or her term.
    4. Evaluation: The Personnel Committee shall evaluate the Administrator of Core Writing annually. The Personnel Committee shall solicit feedback from all regular faculty, and shall write a report synthesizing that feedback.
  • D. Associate Core Writing Administrator

    The Core Writing scheduling and evaluation of term lecturers shall be administered by the Associate, who will also write their annual evaluations. Additionally, the Associate will work in consultation with the Core Writing Administrator on other curricular and programmatic issues. Should the associate administrator be absent or unable to perform the duties of his or her position for an extended period not longer than a year, the department Chair, in consultation with the Planning Committee, shall appoint an acting associate administrator. A period of one year for which the associate administrator is absent shall not count as part of his or her term. Under normal circumstances an associate administrator may serve no more than two terms in succession.

    1. Appointment: The Associate Administrator shall be elected by the regular faculty to a term of three years. When a vacancy occurs in the office, the Planning Committee shall ask three members of the regular faculty to form an election board. The board shall seek nominations from the regular faculty and then distribute ballots to the regular faculty for a confidential written vote. The nominee receiving the majority of votes shall be appointed by the Chair. Should no candidate receive a majority, a runoff election shall be held between the two candidates who received the most votes.
    2. Removal: Should one-third of the regular faculty at any time desire that the Associate Core Writing Administrator step down, they may upon written notification (five working days) to the regular faculty call a meeting to vote upon the question. Should a majority of the regular faculty in secret ballot vote affirmatively, the recommendation shall be made to the dean. Upon approval by the dean, new nominations shall be made and an election held.
    3. Evaluation: The Personnel Committee shall evaluate the Associate Core Writing Administrator annually. The Personnel Committee shall solicit feedback from all regular faculty, and shall write a report synthesizing that feedback.
  • E. Directors

    The department’s instructional programs shall be administered by two directors, in addition to the Core Writing Administrator and Associate Core Writing Administrator: the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Graduate Studies. The directors work in consultation with the department Chair and serve on the Planning Committee. Each director shall present a report to the department at a meeting prior to the end of the spring semester. Each director shall be elected by the regular faculty to a term of three years. When a vacancy occurs in the office, the Planning Committee shall ask three members of the regular faculty to form an election board. The board shall seek nominations from the regular faculty and then distribute ballots to the regular faculty for a confidential written vote. The nominee receiving the majority of votes shall be appointed by the Chair. Should no candidate receive a majority, a runoff election shall be held between the two candidates who received the most votes. Should any of the directors be absent or unable to perform the duties of his or her position for an extended period not longer than a year, the department Chair, in consultation with the Planning Committee, shall appoint an acting director. A period of one year for which the director is absent shall not count as part of his or her term. Under normal circumstances a director may serve no more than two terms in succession in one of these positions. The Personnel Committee shall evaluate all directors annually. The Personnel Committee shall solicit feedback from all regular faculty, and shall write a report synthesizing that feedback.

    1. The Director of Undergraduate Studies has responsibility for implementing the undergraduate program in English. She or he shall be either a regular or ex officio member of all committees whose business is relevant to the undergraduate program and shall Chair the Undergraduate Committee. He or she shall act as departmental liaison to undergraduate students in the department.
    2. The Director of Graduate Studies has responsibility for implementing the graduate program in English. The director shall be either a regular or ex officio member of all committees whose business is relevant to the graduate program and shall Chair the Graduate Committee. He or she shall further be responsible, in consultation with the Graduate Committee, for recruitment efforts and for overseeing the appointment of graduate students to teaching assistantships. She or he shall act as departmental liaison to graduate students in the department.
  • F. Committees

    The department shall have permanent, standing, and temporary committees. Permanent committees include the Planning, Core Writing, Undergraduate, Graduate, Personnel, Core Writing Personnel, and the Tenure and Promotion committees.

    1. The Planning Committee shall be responsible for departmental planning, as required by the college and university, programmatic issues, and coordinating the work of the department’s permanent, standing, and temporary committees. The committee shall be composed of the department Chair, Associate Chair, the Administrator and Associate Administrator of Core Writing, and the Directors of Undergraduate Studies and Graduate Studies. At regular intervals set by the university, the Chair, working closely with the Planning Committee, will initiate and coordinate departmental program reviews. The Planning Committee will be assisted in this by other permanent committees and individuals as appropriate.
    2. The Core Writing Committee shall be responsible for reviewing and revising the department’s first-year writing course offerings, policies and procedures, and curriculum; for assessing the Core Writing Program; and for making recommendations to the faculty concerning these and related issues. The committee shall be Chaired by the Administrator of Core Writing, and shall include current Core Writing Program officers (Associate AdministratorandAssistant Director) as members. Other members of the committee shall be appointed from the regular faculty by the department Chair, in consultation with the director, in order to ensure as far as possible (1) continuity of experience; (2) a representative mix of faculty ranks and areas of expertise; and (3) opportunities for breadth of service across the department.
    3. The Undergraduate Committee shall be responsible for reviewing the department’s undergraduate degree programs, course offerings, policies, and procedures; for assessing the undergraduate program; for administering the department’s undergraduate scholarships and awards; and for making recommendations to the faculty concerning these and related issues. The committee shall be Chaired by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Members of the committee shall be appointed from the regular faculty by the department Chair, in consultation with the director, in order to ensure as far as possible (1) continuity of experience; (2) a representative mix of faculty ranks and areas of expertise; and (3) opportunities for breadth of service across the department.
    4. The Graduate Committee shall be responsible for reviewing the department’s graduate degree programs, course offerings, policies, and procedures; for assessing the graduate programs; and for making recommendations to the graduate faculty of the department. Members of the committee shall be appointed from among the graduate faculty of the department by the Chair, in consultation with the director, in order to ensure as far as possible (1) continuity of experience; (2) a representative mix of faculty ranks and areas of expertise; and (3) opportunities for breadth of service across the department. The committee shall evaluate the needs of new graduate students, advise the graduate faculty and students regarding examinations and other requirements, and help evaluate the progress of graduate students toward degrees. The committee shall determine graduate admissions and, in consultation with the Director of Core Writing, shall recommend to the Chair on the appointment and reappointment of teaching assistants.
    5. The Personnel Committee shall be composed of the department Chair, who shall chair the committee, and four members of the regular faculty, either three tenured faculty members and one Rank 0(III) or Rank 0(IV) faculty member or—should a Rank 0(III) or Rank 0(IV) faculty member not be available—four tenured faculty members. Committee members shall be appointed by the Chair to two-year terms, on a staggered schedule. All regular faculty who have been tenured and all Rank 0(III) and Rank 0(IV) faculty shall serve on this committee in turn. The committee shall evaluate the performance of each faculty member annually in conformity with section 20.C. of the CLA bylaws and section 3.4.4 of the university bylaws. Each member shall be asked to submit materials relevant to teaching, research/creative activity,and professional service during the year under review. On the basis of this evidence, the committee shall evaluate each faculty member's performance and make a corresponding recommendation regarding annual job performance. When there is merit, this recommendation shall be used to determine the amount of merit distributed. The evaluation in all areas, including the overall evaluation, shall be determined by majority vote of the Personnel Committee. The committee must rank or group its evaluations.
    6. The Core Writing Personnel Committee shall be Chaired by the Associate Chair of the department. The Core Writing Administrator and the Associate Core Writing Administrator shall serve on this Committee annually, as shall one other member of the regular faculty. That committee member shall be appointed by the Chair to two-year terms. All regular faculty who have been tenured and all Rank 0(III) faculty shall serve on this committee in turn.
    7. The Tenure Committee shall consist of the tenured faculty and shall be chaired by the department Chair. The committee shall make recommendations on tenure and on the reappointment of probationary tenure-track faculty members; the Chair shall forward these recommendations to the dean with any minority reports or dissenting opinion. Every probationary tenure-track member of the faculty shall be assessed each year. The committee shall evaluate the progress toward tenure of each probationary tenure-track faculty member each year and conduct the third-year review of each tenure-track faculty member, as required in section 21 of the CLA bylaws. The committee shall formally evaluate the application for tenure of each probationary tenure-track faculty member, as specified in section 22 of the CLA bylaws.
    8. The Regular Lecturer Promotion Committee shall consist of the tenured faculty and all Rank 0(III) and Rank 0(IV) faculty. The committee shall make decisions on the promotion of Rank 0(II) faculty members to Rank 0(III). This committee shall carry out annual reviews for all Rank 0(II) faculty members during the first five years, or before the application for promotion to Rank 0(III). This committee shall convene without Rank0(III) faculty members to discuss and vote on the promotion of Rank 0(III) faculty to Rank 0(IV).
    9. Promotion Committees shall be constituted as follows: for promotion to Rank IV, all faculty members at Rank IV; for promotion to Rank III, all faculty members at Rank III and above; for promotion to Rank 0(IV), all faculty members at Rank IV or Rank 0(IV); for promotion to Rank 0(III), all faculty members at Rank III or Rank 0(III) and above. They shall be chaired by the department Chair, if she or he is eligible to serve (otherwise he or she shall be an ex officio non-voting member). The committees shall formally evaluate application for promotion, as specified in sections 22 and 23 of the CLA bylaws. Promotion Committees shall make recommendations which shall be forwarded to the dean with any minority reports or dissenting opinion of the Chair that may be offered. Each faculty member shall be eligible to be considered for promotion each year and may submit information relevant to this consideration to the appropriate promotion committee.
    10. Standing Committees and Temporary Committees shall be responsible for the matters assigned to them. The former shall include field committees, to address curricular, advising, and research issues in the various specializations within our degree programs and discipline. The latter shall include ad hoc committees, to address specific issues such as bylaws revision. Members of such committees shall be appointed from among the regular faculty of the department by the Chair, in consultation with the Planning Committee, in order to ensure as far as possible (1) continuity of experience; (2) a representative mix of faculty ranks and, when appropriate, areas of expertise; and (3) opportunities for breadth of service across the department.
 

V. Faculty Responsibilities and Activities

An academic faculty member’s duties shall consist of an assigned combination of teaching; scholarly and creative and entrepreneurial activity; and service or professional development as specified in the faculty role statement. Examples of these activities include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • A. Instruction

    Instruction includes activities such as teaching (classroom, online, service learning, and other college-approved forms of delivery); preparation and development of courses; evaluation of student performance; consultation with students; direction of undergraduate and graduate students in independent study, research, internships, and practice; advising of undergraduate and graduate students; professional development of teaching skills; and service on undergraduate or graduate student advisory committees.

  • B. Scholarly and/or Creative Activity

    Scholarly and/or creative activity includes the advancement, integration, and application of knowledge through research and scholarship (including engagement and entrepreneurship as described under Annual Evaluation below) related to the faculty member’s academic area of expertise and in keeping with standards in the discipline, leading to products such as books, articles, chapters, digital tools, and public presentations; studies designed to enhance the teaching of that discipline; performances, exhibits, creative writing, screenwriting, and other creative works appropriate to the discipline; seeking and acquiring outside funds (e.g., grants, fellowships, and contracts) in support of scholarly and creative activity; or evidence of professional development where the above criteria may not be applicable. Peer-reviewed work is considered of prime importance in a faculty member’s research or creative profile given that it involves a rigorous evaluation process by other experts in the field.

    Entrepreneurial activity refers to the application of sophisticated research and creative methodologies and innovations to the public domain with the goal of developing a market outside the university. A record of entrepreneurial productivity is not required of individual faculty members, but where present it should be recognized as a significant part of a faculty member’s professional achievements. Entrepreneurial activity must be appropriate to the faculty member’s discipline and approved by the chair and dean as part of the role statement articulating the distribution of duties.

  • C. Service

    Service includes activities such as:

    1. University service: Administrative activities; participating on unit, department, college and university committees, boards, and panels; and similar activities.
    2. Community or public service intrinsically related to the professional competence of the individual faculty member.
    3. Professional service: activities related to professional growth and development, such as holding office or serving as a committee member in professional organizations; editing and refereeing for professional journals and presses; organizing professional workshops and meetings; reviewing research and grant proposals for a professional society or foundation; serving on academic review, editorial, or accreditation boards; and similar professional activities.
  • D. Engagement

    Engagement refers to scholarly, creative, pedagogical, and service activities engaged for the public good, and directed toward persons and groups outside the university. Some examples are given below (VI.A.1.e.). Such activities, in the form of teaching/performance of assigned duties, research, scholarly, creative, and entrepreneurial activity, and/or service, develop as collaborative interactions that respond to short-and long-term societal needs. Engagement serves or local community, state, nation, and/or the wider world through academically or creatively informed activities that are intentional in their effort to enrich and improve the lives of people. Engagement may be recognized as a significant part of a faculty member’s professional achievements.

 

VI. Personnel Policies and Procedures

All personnel actions and decisions shall conform to the requirements of the department, college, and university bylaws, the NSHE Code, and Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies.

  • A. Annual Evaluation

    The performance of each faculty member shall be evaluated annually by the Personnel Committee or by the Core Writing Personnel Committee in conformity with section 20.C. of the CLA bylaws and section 3.4.4 of the university bylaws. Each member shall be asked to submit materials relevant to teaching, research, and professional service during the year under review. A faculty member shall have the right to read the evaluation before signing it and the right to meet with the department Chair regarding it. Annual evaluation helps to gauge progress toward tenure/reappointment or promotion but a favorable evaluation does not necessarily mean that all the requirements for tenure/reappointment or promotion are being met. A summary showing the distribution of faculty evaluations for the year shall be available to evaluated faculty upon request.

    Teaching: faculty must submit syllabi and student course evaluations from all courses taught. Student evaluations should be administered following departmental guidelines. Faculty must also submit a list of all graduate, honors thesis, and similar advisory committees, with notations regarding each student’s progress during the year. Faculty may also submit evidence of teaching awards, pedagogical grants, and other teaching-related activity.

    Research/Creative Activity: faculty must submit copies of any published work to be credited that year. Professional publications include but are not limited to scholarly articles, essays, fiction, poetry, and reviews; the development and dissemination of scholarly tools, encoding, and programming, and the published data mining of large corpora should also be considered in this category. Professional publications other than books may be credited once, either when accepted or published. Book-length works should be credited three times, usually in the year formally accepted, the year published, and the year following publication. Works of textual editing, edited collections, and co-authored book-length works will be evaluated and credited on a case-by-case basis. Manuscripts shall be regarded as accepted from date of formal acceptance of the final manuscript by the publisher. Faculty should clarify the status of materials when they are submitted. The relevant distinctions include: work in progress, work in circulation, accepted work, published work, reprinted work, work previously credited. All faculty should submit evidence of professional development activities to be credited that year. All faculty may also submit evidence such as research awards, conference papers, grant proposals, and any documentation of engagement or entrepreneurial activities.

    Service: faculty must submit a list of service roles and assignments, with brief descriptions of work done and, as appropriate, copies of non-confidential documents completed in the role.

    Entrepreneurial Activity: where entrepreneurial activity (see VI.B.1.d for examples) is part of the role statement, faculty must submit a list of this activity and documentation of work done. Where such activity is not explicitly part of the role statement, faculty may still submit it as part of the report on research and creative activity (VI.1).

    Community Engagement: where community engagement (see VI.B.1.e for examples) is part of the role statement, faculty must submit a list of this activity and documentation of work done. Where such activity is not explicitly part of the role statement, faculty may still submit it as part of the report on research and creative activity (VI.1).

    Regular and contingent lecturers who teach more than half of their annual courses in the Core Writing program shall be annually evaluated by the Core Writing Personnel Committee. Regular and contingent lecturers shall be evaluated on the basis of the areas included in their role statements, which shall always be teaching and service but may also include professional development.

    In keeping with NSHE Code (Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 4.5), “Academic or administrative faculty members receiving an overall rating of ‘unsatisfactory’ on their evaluation shall be provided with constructive feedback in the written evaluation for improving their performance. This constructive feedback must include a written plan for improvement, which must be specific and must be provided at the time of the first ‘unsatisfactory’ rating.”

  • B. Tenure and Promotion: Tenure-track Faculty
    1. Acting under the provisions of the Code and department, college, and university bylaws, Tenure and Promotion Committees shall evaluate the performance of tenure-track faculty in the areas of teaching, research, and service. Such committees shall make qualitative judgments in reviewing each of these areas.
      1. Teaching: A record of effective teaching as suggested by course syllabi, written evaluations submitted by students, visit reports by peers, and service on graduate committees, all evidence assembled according to uniform methods. In addition, candidates may present other relevant evidence.
      2. Research: Achievement in scholarly research or creative work, necessarily including peer-reviewed publication at the national level. Achievement is evidenced by published books or articles, other professional publications, grants and awards, and papers read at professional meetings. Professional publications include but are not limited to scholarly articles, essays, fiction, poetry, and reviews. Manuscripts shall be regarded as accepted from date of formal acceptance of the final manuscript by the publisher.
      3. Service: Active participation in department, college, university, and/or national service. Involvement in professionally related community service and other professional activities shall be considered. Faculty members applying for promotion and tenure (as well as promotion to Rank IV) will be expected to have been participating constructively in the life of the department. Such participation is normally demonstrated by regular attendance at meetings, constructive participation in decision-making, reasonable communication with colleagues, and other aspects of the functioning of the department.
      4. Entrepreneurial Activity: Entrepreneurial activity refers to the application of sophisticated research and creative methodologies and innovations to the public domain with the goal of developing a market outside the university. A record of entrepreneurial productivity should be recognized as a significant part of a faculty member’s professional achievements. However, such activity is not required of individual faculty members. Entrepreneurial activity must be appropriate to the faculty member’s discipline and approved by the Chair and dean as part of the role statement articulating the distribution of duties. For entrepreneurial activity to count toward a faculty member’s case for promotion and tenure, it must be approved by the department Chair and the dean of the college in advance of the review (18.B.).
      5. Community Engagement: Community engagement refers to collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. Community engagement may also include public-facing writing or other productions designed to communicate the values of humanist scholarship to a non-academic audience. Although such activity is not required of individual faculty members, a record of community engagement should be recognized as a significant part of a faculty member’s professional achievements. Community engagement must be relevant to the faculty member’s discipline and approved by the Chair as part of the role statement articulating the distribution of duties. Community engagement activities can enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; and contribute to public service.
    2. Criteria for Tenure: The faculty member shall demonstrate a record of achievement in teaching, scholarly and/or creative work, and service as defined in CLA bylaws section 18 and consistent with the faculty member’s role statement and the department’s mission. That record shall include scholarly and/or creative work published prior to the faculty member’s appointment at the university. The Tenure Committee must evaluate the candidate as “excellent” in teaching or research and at least “satisfactory” in the other two areas in order to meet the minimum criteria for the candidate to be eligible to apply for tenure.
    3. Criteria for Promotion to Assistant Professor (Rank II): To be eligible for promotion, a faculty member in Rank I shall have obtained a terminal degree in an appropriate professional field and have demonstrated potential for achievement in teaching, research, and service.
    4. Criteria for Promotion to Associate Professor (Rank III): A faculty member in Rank II shall be eligible for promotion to Rank III when the faculty member has established a substantial record of achievement in teaching/performance of assigned duties, scholarly, entrepreneurial and/or creative work, and service. Public engagement is not required of individual faculty members, but engagement appropriate to a faculty member’s discipline should be counted in a faculty member’s application for promotion. A departmental recommendation for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor may precede, accompany, or follow upon a recommendation for tenure. Such promotion recommendation shall be based upon an “excellent” evaluation in teaching or research, scholarly, creative, and/or entrepreneurial activity; and at least a “satisfactory” evaluation in the other two areas. Departments and units shall obtain appropriate external evaluations of the faculty member's achievement according to UNR bylaws 3.3.5. Ideally five external evaluations but no fewer than four and no more than six should be included.

      To achieve promotion to Rank III, a faculty member must demonstrate evidence of effective teaching, a willingness to participate in the activities of the Department, and excellence or the promise of excellence in professional publication (scholarly or creative), either in print or other recognized media. Excellence or the promise of excellence in scholarly and creative work can be demonstrated by the publication of a monograph or, where professionally appropriate, co-authored book, and/or by the acceptance of an equivalent amount of high-quality work in refereed journals, collections, or other recognized media. Typically, six peer-reviewed articles is taken as an equivalent to a book-length work, though article length and quality, and the prestige of the publication venue, matter as much or more than quantity. The development and dissemination of scholarly tools, encoding, and programming, and the published data mining of large corpora may also represent an equivalent to book-and article-length publication. The Tenure Committee seeks evidence that a candidate has produced scholarly, critical, or creative work that has merited positive recognition in the profession through acceptance and/or publication.The quality and influence of a faculty member’s work should also be evidenced in external reviews solicited by the department Chair from scholars in the field at peer and peer-aspirant institutions.

    5. Process for Initiating Consideration for Early Promotion and Tenure: Faculty should normally come up for tenure during their sixth year. An early award of tenure is rendered only in exceptional circumstances. A faculty member wishing to be considered for promotion and tenure before the sixth year should meet with the department Chair. If the Chair judges the case to merit consideration for early promotion and tenure, then they should consult with the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
    6. Criteria for Promotion to Professor (Rank IV): A faculty member in Rank III shall be eligible for promotion to Rank IV when the faculty member has established a sustained record of excellence in a professional field. The record shall document publications and/or creative work as defined in 18.B of the College bylaws and as judged significant by peers in the field; distinguished professional service; and distinction in teaching and related activities such as graduate student advising. The record should, where relevant, document exceptional administrative achievement as well. Public engagement is not required of individual faculty members, but engagement appropriate to a faculty member’s discipline should be counted in a faculty member’s application for promotion. Departments and units shall obtain appropriate external evaluations of the faculty member’s achievement according to procedures defined in their bylaws. Ideally five external evaluations but no fewer than four and no more than six should be included.

      For promotion to Rank IV, a faculty member must have continued to make significant contributions to the department, the university and the profession in the areas of teaching and service. However, the most important requirement for promotion is distinguished scholarly, critical, or creative achievement since the time of promotion to the rank of associate professor. Ordinarily this achievement takes the form of a monograph or, where professionally appropriate, co-authored book, a major data project, or a number of substantial articles. As with tenure and the promotion to Rank III, but at a higher level, the quantity of published material is not the sole determinant; there must be evidence that the candidate has made and continues to make important contributions to his or her field of knowledge. A faculty member applying for promotion to Rank IV should be able to demonstrate the impact of his or her work on the field, as well as national and international reputation. In addition to published scholarly work, the faculty member should have an active record within his or her field (measured by—for example—invited lectures, readings, and plenary addresses at other institutions; book reviewing, particularly in significant venues; instances of cross-university collaboration in research and the presentation of research). Promotion to Rank IV is typically based on the publication of a high-quality monograph or book-length creative project, published by a reputable press. However, in some cases national recognition may rest on a different scholarly or creative profile (e.g., a series of edited collections or substantive; field-changing articles or publications in refereed outlets; development and dissemination of scholarly tools, encoding, and programming, and the published data mining of large corpora; or a substantial body of creative work in non-book-length print form or in another acceptable media).

    7. Process for Initiating Consideration for Promotion to Rank IV: Per UNR bylaws section 3.3.5, “a rank III faculty member shall be evaluated by the department and/or dean regarding progress toward promotion no later than the end of the sixth full academic year in rank.” Each fall, the Rank IV Committee will invite faculty who have been at Rank III for four years or more to submit their CVs to the committee. The purpose of this process is to allow the faculty member who wishes to be considered for promotion to receive constructive advice from the pertinent committee. Faculty who have been at Rank III for less than four years may also request that the Rank IV Committee review their CVs. Should the committee think that the faculty member should defer application for promotion, the committee will discuss how the faculty member might best strengthen their record in teaching, research/creative activity, and/or service. Should the committee think that the faculty member’s application merits serious consideration, the department Chair will ask members of the committee to prepare reports on each evaluation area for a meeting to occur late the following spring. The Chair will meet with the faculty member on behalf of the committee and ask him/her to prepare a full promotion application. Because a full review includes other materials such as letters from external reviewers, in no case should the candidate presume that being invited to submit a promotion application ensures that promotion is guaranteed.
  • C. Promotion and Reappointment: Regular Lecturers
    1. Regular lecturers may be reappointed annually and are eligible for promotion within rank 0. Acting under the provisions of the Code and department, college, and university bylaws, Promotion Committees shall evaluate the performance of non-tenure-track regular faculty in the primary area of teaching, and in professional development and service. Such committees shall make qualitative judgments in reviewing each of these areas.
      1. Teaching: A record of effective teaching as suggested by course syllabi, written evaluations submitted by students, and visit reports by peers, all evidence assembled according to uniform methods administered by the department. In addition, candidates may present other relevant evidence.
      2. Professional Development: A record of achievement in the following areas: presentation of lectures or readings outside the classroom; reading of papers or membership on panels at professional meetings; publication of scholarly or creative work (including work published prior to the faculty member’s appointment at the university); development of new areas of teaching and scholarly expertise that results in publications, presentations, or new courses.
      3. Service: Active participation in department, college, university, and/or national service. Involvement in professionally related community service and other professional activities shall be considered.
    2. Criteria for Promotion to Rank 0(II): A faculty member in Rank 0(I) shall be eligible for promotion to Rank II when the faculty member has attained an appropriate advanced degree in the relevant professional field, and has demonstrated potential for developing professional achievement in teaching/performance of assigned duties; service; and, where these activities represent a significant part of the faculty member’s role statement, research, scholarly, creative and/or entrepreneurial work.
    3. Criteria for Promotion to Rank 0(III): To be eligible for promotion, a faculty member in Rank 0(II) shall have established “a substantial record of achievement in his or her major area of responsibility” (CLA bylaws 23.D.2). The Regular Lecturer Promotion Committee shall carry out an internal review of the faculty member’s achievement in teaching, which is the major area of responsibility, and either professional development or service (or both). Service and professional development should be weighted in keeping with the faculty member’s role statement. Public engagement is not required of individual faculty members, but engagement appropriate to a faculty member’s discipline should be counted in a faculty member’s application for promotion. A Rank 0(II) faculty member shall be evaluated in writing by the department regarding progress toward promotion annually, and may ask the Chair to be considered for promotion at any time after the fifth year in rank.

      To apply for promotion, lecturers should submit the formal application and a dossier for departmental review, which should provide a position description, vita, statement of teaching philosophy, and summary of accomplishments. A teaching portfolio should be submitted that provides evidence of exceptional teaching ability. Such documentation of instructional excellence may include, but is not limited to, the following: student or peer evaluations; course materials, such as syllabi, exams, student papers, etc.; teaching awards or recognition; evidence of scholarship in teaching; participation in faculty development programs or workshops related to instruction; development of new courses, instructional materials, or technological innovations; comments from peer collaborators; comments from student interviews; letters of commendation from students, faculty peers, or external colleagues.

    4. Criteria for Promotion to Rank 0(IV): To be eligible for promotion, a faculty member in Rank 0(III) shall have established a “sustained record of excellence in his or her major area of responsibility” since promotion to Rank 0(III) (CLA bylaws 23.D.3). The Regular Lecturer Promotion Committee shall carry out an internal review of the faculty member’s achievement in teaching, which is the major area of responsibility, and either professional development or service (or both). The department expects that regular lecturers who aspire to promotion to Rank 0(IV) demonstrate excellence in classroom instruction and exceptional value to the department, either in terms of undergraduate advisement (where applicable) or service. Professional development should be weighted in keeping with the faculty member’s role statement. Public engagement is not required of individual faculty members, but engagement appropriate to a faculty member’s discipline should be counted in a faculty member’s application for promotion.

      A Rank 0(III) faculty member shall be evaluated in writing by the department regarding progress toward promotion annually, and may ask the Chair to be considered for promotion at any time after the third year in rank. Faculty members applying to Rank 0(IV) should submit a dossier for departmental review, which should provide a position description, vita, statement of teaching philosophy, and summary of accomplishments. A teaching portfolio should be submitted that provides evidence of exceptional teaching ability. Such documentation of instructional excellence may include, but is not limited to, the following: student or peer evaluations; course materials, such as syllabi, exams, student papers, etc.; teaching awards or recognition; evidence of scholarship in teaching; participation in faculty development programs or workshops related to instruction; development of new courses, instructional materials, or technological innovations; comments from peer collaborators; comments from student interviews; letters of commendation from students, faculty peers, or external colleagues.

 

VII. Program Review

At least every ten years, as initiated by the Provost’s Office, the English department will carry out an external program review. The Planning Committee, in consultation with area committees and all regular faculty as necessary, shall draft a detailed self-study; that self-study shall include a department mission statement; an overview of recent history; an explanation of administrative structure; details about faculty size and research interests; details about undergraduate and graduate student enrollment and degree completion; the state of the Undergraduate, Graduate, and Core Writing programs; an account of department resources, along with physical facilities and virtual resources; information about assessment; and information about the diversity of faculty and students. The Planning Committee shall invite three external reviewers from other research-intensive universities to campus, and shall organize necessary meetings between those external reviewers and department faculty, administrators, and students, and with upper administration. Upon receiving the report from the external reviewers, the Planning Committee shall draft a response to that report, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and short-and long-term goals. Both the self-study and this report shall be reviewed by all regular faculty before submission.