School of Communication Studies
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Approved March 7, 2018
ARTICLE I. GENERAL
The School of Communication Studies is a unit of the College of Communication and Information in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The administration of the School shall be consistent with the Bylaws of the College of Communication and Information and the Faculty Handbook of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Nothing in these bylaws shall abridge the respective powers and prerogatives residing in the University Faculty or the University Administration.
ARTICLE II. SCHOOL GOVERNANCE, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty members shall decide on matters of concern to the School, especially in curricular matters and Faculty affairs.
1. Membership Qualifications: All persons holding appointment in the School at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor are voting members. Administrators with academic rank are voting members.
B. Conduct of School Business
1. The Director shall schedule regular meetings of the faculty during the fall and spring semesters. Additional meetings may be called by the Director or by a majority of the faculty.
2. A quorum shall exist when two-thirds of the full-time voting faculty are present at a scheduled School meeting.
3. Decisions concerning curriculum and program change are the responsibility of the faculty of the School. Ordinarily, proposals for curriculum or program change shall originate in the Curriculum Committee, be discussed at a scheduled meeting, and if approved by majority vote be submitted to the appropriate curriculum review bodies. A proposal for curriculum or program change that is not recommended by the Curriculum Committee may be submitted for faculty
consideration at a School meeting by the Director or by a faculty member.
4. Decisions concerning matters other than curriculum and program revision that are of substantial import to the work of the faculty of the School—including such matters as allocation of operating funds and appointment of academic year or part-time or limited-term faculty—shall be made, whenever possible, in consultation with the faculty. Ordinarily, the decisions of the Director shall reflect the judgment of the faculty as expressed by majority vote in School meetings. Where a decision of the Director differs from the expressed judgment of the faculty, the Director shall explain that decision and provide an opportunity for the faculty to respond.
5. The Director shall give the faculty timely notice of each scheduled meeting, and shall invite the faculty to submit matters of interest for inclusion on the agenda. Ordinarily, the Director shall present to the faculty at least five days before each scheduled meeting an agenda listing those matters to be presented for their consideration.
The assigned workload for full-time faculty consists of a combination of teaching, advising, research, and service. All faculty members (non-tenure, tenure-leading, and tenured) will negotiate workload expectations for the coming year and review attainment of expectations for the previous year with the School Director during their annual performance review. Workload expectations are distinguished from retention, tenure, and promotion expectations. The School of Communication Studies Workload Policy appears in Appendix A of the School Bylaws.
ARTICLE III. COMMITTEES
A. Standing Committees
1. A standing Committee on Curriculum shall conduct periodic reviews of curriculum and degree programs, shall consider proposals from faculty members for curriculum and program changes, and shall report its
recommendations concerning curriculum and program change to the faculty.
2. The members of the Curriculum Committee shall be appointed by the Director at the first faculty meeting of each academic year and shall be subject to confirmation by the faculty. Prior to the formation of the Committee, the faculty shall be given an opportunity to indicate preferences for committee service. The Chairperson of the Curriculum Committee shall be elected by the voting members of the committee.
3. A standing Committee on Assessment shall conduct periodic reviews of learning outcomes associated with the overall program of study in the School as well as the learning outcomes associated with courses. The Committee on Assessment will report the results of their work to the faculty and relevant University units.
4. The Director may appoint an Administrative Committee whose members would normally include the Associate Director, Director for Graduate Studies and the Director for Undergraduate Studies. The terms of these appointments are normally three years for the director appointments and five years for the Associate Director position. Appointments are renewable for an additional consecutive term. Ordinarily, a person must cycle off for at least one term before being reappointed to the same position. Changes in the positions of the Administrative Committee memberships shall not normally coincide with one another.
5. Search Committees in the School shall be appointed by the Director in consultation with the voting members of the faculty. Ordinarily, search committees will be composed of three voting members of the faculty. Search Committees shall report to the faculty their recommendations along with pertinent information regarding applicants.
6. The Director shall appoint other committees as needed to assist with School activities.
7. The chairperson of each committee (except the Administrative Committee) shall present a report of the committee’s activities to the faculty at least once during
each regular academic term, and at the end of each academic year shall present a written report that will be kept in the School office.
8. The Director shall be a non-voting member of the Curriculum Committee and of other committees.
Service on Search Committees must conform to campus policies as outlined by the Provost’s office and the Office of Equity and Diversity.
ARTICLE IV. FACULTY EVALUATION
Faculty evaluation will include assessment of scholarship, teaching, and service. The research output for tenured/tenure-track faculty should include peer reviewed journal articles, scholarly monographs, grant/contract research activity, peer reviewed conference proceedings, books, peer reviewed book chapters, or other appropriate disciplinary outlets. The quality of the output will be measured based on one or more of the quality assessment factors described in this section. It is the faculty member’s responsibility to provide justified evidence of the quality of the publications venues. Scholarly publications should include a mix of single authored and co-authored works as appropriate.
Annual Reviews. Each faculty member will receive an annual review. In the tenure and promotion year, faculty members will not be eligible for evaluations other than those required by the tenure and promotion procedures.
Assessment of overall performance must reflect the faculty member’s rank and assignments. Based on the results of the overall performance evaluation, faculty members will be placed in one of five categories:
1. Far exceeds expectations for rank
2. Exceeds expectations for rank
3. Meets expectations for rank,
4. Falls short of meeting expectations for rank
5. Falls far short of expectations for rank
On an annual basis, the Director shall meet with each faculty member to establish goals and objectives for the following performance appraisal period (normally an academic year). The goals and objectives agreed upon between the faculty member and the Director will be kept on file in the School office.
During the annual performance appraisal meeting, each faculty member will provide appropriate documentation (through self evaluation, peer evaluation, and other relevant reporting sources) as to the extent to which his/her goals and objectives have been met. The submission of the documentation should conform to current University procedures. In addition, faculty members will bring to the attention of the Director any changes in assigned duties and responsibilities during the performance appraisal period. Following a review of the performance criteria, the Director will complete the evaluation process in the Faculty Review System.
The completed evaluation must be electronically signed by the Director and the faculty member. The faculty member’s signature does not constitute approval of the evaluation. Rather, it signifies notification of the results of the performance evaluation. Faculty members may attach rebuttals to the online review.
Criteria for performance evaluations involving tenured/tenure-track faculty members include research/creative activities, teaching, and service. This review will be based on the three evaluation components listed above.
Criteria for performance evaluations involving non-tenure-track faculty (NTTF) members shall be limited to the teaching criteria listed below unless otherwise noted in the NTTF’s letter of appointment.
The Dean will conduct an annual review of the Director’s performance.
C. Definition of Categories
Faculty members will be reviewed in the categories of teaching, research, and service using the professional goals stated in the most recent annual review as a guide. The following serves as a guideline for evaluating performance in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service.
Teaching Criteria. This area will be measured by peer review of teaching and/or course materials, University developed teaching
evaluation instruments, and self-evaluation. In judging the faculty member’s performance in teaching, student evaluations may not be assigned greater weight than peer evaluations. The instructional activities of the faculty member will be reviewed using the following guidelines:
1. Far Exceeds Expectations for Rank. Course evaluations (i.e., University developed student evaluations) are well above the mean for the University, and course materials are thorough, clear, and useful to students. Peer evaluations are outstanding. Faculty member receives teaching or advising award.
2. Exceeds Expectations for Rank. Course evaluations (i.e., University developed student evaluations) are at or above the mean of the University, and teaching materials are thorough and advance the learning objectives of the students. Peer evaluations are good. Faculty member is evaluated as providing School expectations for advising.
3. Meets Expectations for Rank. Course evaluations are only slightly below or near the mean of the teaching evaluation instrument. Peer reviews, if available, are satisfactory.
4. Falls Short of Meeting Expectations for Rank. Course evaluations (i.e., University developed student evaluations) are consistently near the lowest range, and course materials are minimally acceptable. Peer reviews indicate that improvement is needed.
5. Falls Far Short of Expectations for Rank. Peer and course evaluations (i.e., University developed student evaluations) are consistently in the lowest range. Course materials are of poor quality. Peer evaluations indicate that performance is unacceptable.
Research Activities Criteria. The scholarly activity of the faculty member will be reviewed using the following guidelines:
1. Far Exceeds Expectations for Rank. Has published and/or accepted for presentation far more than two refereed items during the previous year in national or international outlets. Grants, books, and book chapters will also be considered.
2. Exceeds Expectations for Rank. Has published and/or accepted for presentation more than two refereed items during the previous year in a national or international outlet. Faculty
members engaged in writing scholarly books or grant proposals and making demonstrable progress may also be considered for exceeds expectations.
3. Meets Expectations for Rank. Has published or presented two refereed items during the previous year in a national or international outlet. Faculty members engaged in writing scholarly books and making demonstrable progress may also be considered for meets expectations.
4. Falls Short of Meeting Expectations for Rank. Has an on-going research/creative activity program but has failed to submit manuscripts for publication, to present at a conference, or to submit a grant proposal over the past year.
5. Falls Far Short of Meeting Expectations for Rank. Consistent failure to engage in a program of on-going research/creative activity.
Service Criteria. The service activities of the faculty member will be reviewed using the following guidelines:
1. Far Exceeds Expectations for Rank. Has completed more than two service activities at the local, state, national, or international level for a professional or scholarly organization, or has participated in an active role as an officer, journal editor, or editorial board of an academic or professional journal. Has performed well in College and School committee assignments. His/her work brings national distinction to the faculty member and to the School.
2. Exceeds Expectations for Rank. Has completed two service activities at the local, state, national, or international level for a professional or scholarly organization, or has participated in an active role within a professional association. Has performed well in College and School committee assignments.
3. Meets Expectations. Has performed well in School and College committee assignments.
4. Falls Short of Meeting Expectations. Has made little contribution to School or College committee assignments beyond simply attending meetings.
5. Falls far Short of Meeting Expectations. Has not met School and/or College committee obligations. No evidence of service to academic or professional associations.
ARTICLE V. Appointment, Retention, Tenure, and Promotion of Faculty
The policies for Appointment, Retention, Tenure, and Promotion of tenure line and non-tenure track faculty in the School of Communication Studies shall conform to the procedures set forth in the UTK Faculty Handbook.
The School complies with the policy stated in the University of Tennessee Faculty regarding appointment to Faculty Rank. This document is accessible at the Provost’s Website. The criteria for appointment of tenure-track faculty are drawn from the Manual of Faculty Evaluation.
The School complies with the policy stated in the University of Tennessee Faculty Handbook regarding appointment of non-tenure-track teaching positions at the rank of lecturer, senior lecturer, and distinguished lecturer. The School conforms to the procedures for hiring non-tenure-track faculty as noted in the Faculty Handbook (see Section 4.1.1).
A. All actions of the School concerning appointment, retention, tenure, and promotion of any academic personnel shall conform to the standards and procedures set forth in the University of Tennessee Faculty Handbook and approved by the UTK Chancellor, Provost, Council of Deans, and the Non-Tenure Track Faculty Advisory Council.
B. After consultation with the faculty at a convened meeting, the Director will discuss job descriptions for faculty appointments with the Dean. The Director will appoint a search committee to handle correspondence, publicity, diversity, and on-campus interviews. When an appointment to a tenure-track position is contemplated, all members of the School of that rank and higher rank shall be consulted at a convened meeting before any offer of employment is made.
C. Faculty may be considered for promotion and/or tenure upon recommendation of the Director or notice from the Academic Affairs Office. An untenured assistant professor must be considered for tenure no later than his/her sixth year of service in that rank. A lecturer may be considered for promotion to
Distinguished Lecturer rank if he/she has a minimum of five years as a Lecturer; a Distinguished Lecturer may be considered for promotion to Senior Lecturer rank after a minimum of three to five years as a Distinguished Lecturer.
D. Faculty members to be considered for retention, tenure, or promotion shall be notified in writing by the Director of the School before the faculty committee is to act upon the matter; and shall be invited to submit materials for their personnel file and to propose the names of two or more people outside the university to serve as references. The Director shall solicit opinions from at least two of the people so named and from at least three others outside the University whose names are proposed by members of the School.
E. The Director in consultation with the faculty member involved is responsible for providing documentation for faculty review as outlined in the Manual for Faculty Evaluation from the Office of the Provost. After material has been compiled for the promotion/tenure file, the faculty member involved must sign off on the dossier indicating that he/she has viewed it and that the document is complete and accurate (excluding external letters of reviews).
F. The promotion and tenure committee of the School consists of the tenured faculty. All faculty members of the School who have tenure shall be called to a meeting expressly for the purpose of voting on retention and/or tenure. A vote shall be by individual secret written ballot after appropriate discussion. Faculty members may vote on promotion decisions for ranks equal to or lower than their own.
G. In each case --retention, tenure, or promotion -- the call of the meeting shall be issued not less than two weeks before the consultation, and members who expect to be absent may submit sealed ballots in advance. Immediately after a vote is taken, the ballots (including absentee ballots, if any) shall be counted and the number of votes for and against shall be announced before the meeting is adjourned.
H. A simple majority of the committee will constitute the recommendation of the faculty.
I. The School Director shall submit to the Dean of the College of Communication and Information the following:
1. The number of votes for and against the recommendation.
2. The school recommendation based on the vote of the faculty in the case of tenure.
3. Statement of the reasons for the School recommendation.
4. The Director’s own recommendation.
J. The Director shall inform all faculty members who were eligible to vote on the matter of the Dean’s final recommendation concerning retention, promotion, or tenure.
K. Eligible faculty will recommend tenure and promotion on the basis of excellence in teaching, research, and service. Eligible faculty members will evaluate the quality of work in each of these areas as covered in the School workload policy:
1. Teaching. Specific items to be considered under the general category of teaching include the following:
a. Classroom instruction.
b. Thesis and dissertation advising and committee membership.
c. Program advising.
d. Independent study tutorials.
e. Student course evaluations.
f. Peer teaching evaluation (see Peer Review Guide for UT Teaching).
g. Proposal writing for grants and grants obtained to promote teaching innovation and excellence.
h. Course materials such as handouts, syllabi, and exams.
2. Research/Creative Activity. Evidence of the quality of research, publications, and creative achievements is to be gathered by each faculty member and the Director. The evidence will be assessed by the faculty eligible to vote on tenure or promotion decisions. Specific items to be considered under the general category of research include the following:
a. Books, book chapters, and refereed monographs.
b. Refereed articles in academic journals.
c. Refereed presentations at conferences.
d. Monographs of conference proceedings.
e. Video/audio recordings, photographic exhibits, and computer programs.
f. Published reviews of scholarly works.
g. Proposal writing for research grants and grants obtained.
h. Creative works and patented inventions.
i. Articles in trade journals, both online and hard copy, relevant to the discipline
j. Invited scholarly presentations and encyclopedia entries.
k. Creative activity, especially that which is funded, distributed or critically reviewed within a communication discipline.
3. Service. Evidence of the quality of service to the School, College, University, and professional associations are to be gathered by each faculty member and the Director and assessed by eligible faculty. Specific items to be considered under the general category of service include:
a. Committee work as a chairman or member.
b. Adviser to a student organization or publication.
c. Peer teaching evaluation service
d. Contest judging.
e. Presentations and workshops for scholarly, professional or constituent groups.
f. Offices and active membership in professional and scholarly groups at the local, state, national, and international levels.
g. Editorial board membership.
h. Proposal writing for grants and grants obtained to promote service activities.
L. NTTF retention process shall be initiated by the Director. Ordinarily, the Director shall recommend to the faculty the retention or non-retention of NTTF faculty during the spring semester to take effect in the following fall semester. The Director shall share performance evaluations with the voting faculty and base recommendations for retention or non-retention on the outcome of performance evaluations that are conducted through the faculty Review System.
NTTF faculty will be notified in writing of the outcome of the retention process following the review of the voting faculty members.
ARTICLE VI. RATIFICATION AND AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
Section A. These Bylaws shall be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the faculty present and voting at a meeting called for this purpose.
Section B. These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the faculty present and voting. The text of the proposed amendment to the Bylaws shall be submitted to the faculty with the agenda for the meeting at which the amendment will be considered.