Skip to main content
Department of English

General Operating Procedures

Revised September 17, 1999

Revised October 13, 2000

Revised May 4, 2001

Revised February 7, 2007

I. INTRODUCTION

The following procedures govern the operation of committees and administrative positions unless an exception is clearly stated in a specific description later in the report.

Committee vacancies occurring between regular elections shall be filled by appointment by the Chair.

Once constituted, all committees except Selections shall elect their own Chairperson. Each Committee shall be responsible for posting an agenda in the main office one week in advance of each of its meetings so that interested faculty members may attend and speak if they give prior notice to the Committee Chairperson. Committees shall keep minutes of their meetings and shall place one copy in a continuing, open file in the main office.

A committee shall complete action on any matter presented for its deliberation by the Department or a Department member within three months unless granted a specific time extension by the vote of the Department. A committee report shall be presented to the Executive Committee (hereafter called EC) in time to prepare the agenda and to distribute copies of it to Department members one week in advance of the Department meeting at which it is to be considered.

At any time changes in the operating procedures may be proposed and discussed at any Department meeting, but adoption must be by vote of the Department at a meeting following the meeting at which the proposal is introduced and initial discussion takes place. Proposed changes in the Operating Procedures shall be referred to the Executive Committee which shall include the changes in its minutes and in the appropriate Department agenda.

II. COMMITTEE STRUCTURE

II.A. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (EC)

II.A.1. Membership

Director of Graduate Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and one member elected at large from the Department for a two-year term. Department Chair is a Non Voting Ex-Officio member. If an elected member is unable to complete his/her term, a replacement shall be elected by the Department faculty. The Chair of the EC may receive up to 1/3 released time.

II.A.2. Responsibilities and Authority

a. The EC shall exercise oversight of all Department policies and operations.

b. The EC shall receive all reports of Department committees and shall be empowered to charge committees with such assignments as the EC shall deem appropriate. The EC shall review the reports of Departmental committees, and when it thinks it necessary or appropriate consult with other committees regarding those reports.

However, the committees will have the power of final determination in forwarding reports and recommendations to the Department for action. The EC may designate a subcommittee to carry out the functions set forth in paragraphs b and f.

c. The EC shall be responsible for reviewing (and if necessary revising) the Long Range Plan, with all revisions subject to Department approval.

d. The Department Chair shall consult the EC concerning all actual or prospective university actions or policies likely to affect the Department. The EC shall report on such consultation at each regular Department meeting. When necessary and/or appropriate, the EC shall prepare recommendations relative to such consultation.

e. The EC shall prepare all agendas for regular and special Department meetings, and shall have the authority to convene special Department meetings. All requests for inclusion of matters on Department meeting agendas shall be forwarded to the EC in compliance with a time schedule determined by the committee. The EC shall be empowered to consult with faculty of committees seeking inclusion in agendas. Items not included on the agenda prepared by the Committee may come to the floor as new business.

f. The EC shall meet weekly, and shall provide to the Department full minutes of all committee meetings within three school days of relevant meeting. One of the regular meetings shall be devoted--not necessarily exclusively--to devising the agenda for the Department meeting. The Committee shall be authorized to hold additional meetings as appropriate. Except for dealing with personnel matters, all meetings and proceedings of the Committee shall be open to observation by all Department faculty; however, faculty may actively participate in committee meetings only with the explicit prior permission of the Committee.

g. At each regular Department meeting the EC shall report to the Department on its activities.

h. Relation of the EC to the Department and the Chair: The EC, as the creation of the Department, shall be primarily accountable to the Department and shall report to the Department independently of the Chair. Charges to the Committee, other than those enumerated here, shall be made and approved by the Department. However, no part of the committee's establishment or charges shall be construed as in any way constraining the role of the Chair as defined in the university manual or the AAUP/BOG collective bargaining agreement. While the Committee shall request information from the Chair and report on that information, the Committee shall not intercede in or limit the Chair's relations with any officer of the college or university, any delegated Department administrator, or any member of the Department.

II.B. NOMINATING/TELLERS COMMITTEE (N/T)

II.B.1. Membership

The N/T Committee shall consist of two members elected at large from the Department faculty. Members shall serve three-year staggered terms.

II.B.2. Responsibilities and Authority

Elections shall be conducted by the Nominating/Tellers Committee.

By February 1 of each year, the N/T Committee shall provide to the Department faculty in writing: 1) the names of all members of each Department standing committee; 2) the names of continuing members of each standing committee; 3) the number of vacancies to be filled on each standing committee.

The N/T Committee shall request faculty to indicate in writing the vacant committee positions they desire to fill. If there is an insufficient number of such self-nominations, the N/T Committee shall solicit individual faculty to stand for election.

At the April Department meeting the N/T Committee shall present a list of nominees (with room for further nominations) for all available committee positions. At that meeting nominations, including self-nominations, shall be accepted from the floor. Any faculty member may decline nomination. The N/T Committee shall supply paper ballots and the voting shall occur during the meeting.

N/T Committee shall conduct elections for all elected ad hoc Committees in accordance with the above procedures.

II.C. SELECTIONS COMMITTEE (Revision Approved at Department Meeting on 9/22/00)

II.C.1. Membership

The Selections Committee shall normally consist of the Department Chair and one member elected at large. When a search is being conducted, the Department shall elect three additional members, one from each rank. In accordance with Article XI, Section 11.11 of the URI-AAUP/RI Board of Governors contract, the Department Chairperson shall serve as Chairperson of the Selections Committee.

When the Committee is conducting a search for faculty specializations not represented by one of the members of the Selections Committee, the Department will elect a faculty member with appropriate expertise to serve as a voting member of the Committee.

In the event of multiple searches, the Selections committee may determine that it wishes to establish subcommittees. If additional members are needed for the subcommittees, the Department shall elect them.

Thus, all members of the Selections Committee and of any of its subcommittees, with the exception of the Department Chairperson, shall be elected. Members of any subcommittee created for the purpose of an individual search shall review dossiers, evaluate and rank applicants for presentation to the Selections Committee, and shall vote with the Selections Committee on the final ranking of candidates for that particular position.

The Department Affirmative Action Officer shall sit with the Selections Committee as a non-voting observer and advisor.

II.C.2. Responsibilities and Authority

The Selections Committee shall act in place of the Department and shall assume the powers and duties of the Department in the selection procedure, as provided for in the URI-AAUP/RI Board of Governors Contract, Article XI, Section 11.10.

The Selections Committee, acting as a whole and/or in conjunction with any appropriate subcommittee, shall receive and evaluate applications for all full-time, term, and continuing appointments, but not for part-time appointments. It shall, as a result of its evaluation, interview prospective finalists and/or invite finalists to campus for interviews, presentations, and meetings with faculty and administrators.

Addition to Sec. II.C.2. (Approved at Department Meeting on 5/4/01):

The Selections Committee will incorporate a one hour-long open forum with the Department faculty to take questions and to field responses about the candidates before making its decision about the finalists. The Selections Committee shall rank the finalists. The Selections Committee will post its rankings of the finalists in a notice posted outside the Department Chair's office.

II.D. CURRICULUM COMMITTEE

II.D.1. Membership

The Curriculum Committee shall normally consist of two members elected at large. When the Department is planning a review or revision of the curriculum, a third member shall be elected at large.

II.D.2. Responsibilities and Authority

The Committee may originate proposals for curricular change and forward them to the Department for vote. The Committee also may receive proposals for curricular change from the faculty which they must forward in a timely fashion to the Department for vote along with a recommendation for acceptance or rejection and a rationale for such recommendation.

II.E. GRADUATE COMMITTEE

II.E.1. Membership

The Graduate Committee shall consist of three graduate faculty members elected by the department, two graduate student members elected by the graduate students, the Supervisor of Teaching Assistants (ENG), a graduate faculty member chosen by the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, and the Director of Graduate Studies, who shall be ex officio Chairperson of the Committee with voting privileges. The Supervisor of Teaching Assistants assigned to teach WRT courses shall be a member of the Subcommittee on Admissions, with voting priviledges on that subcommittee. Faculty members shall be elected for staggered two-year terms. The graduate student members shall be elected for one year to serve on the Committee but not on it subcommittees.

II.E.2. Responsibilities and Authority

The Committee as a whole shall act as a policy recommending body, bringing suggested changes in general policy to the EC. Course proposals shall be referred to the Curriculum Committee. The Graduate Committee shall, among other duties, be responsible for the orderly development and operation of the graduate programs of the Department.

In addition, the Committee shall form one subcommittee on admissions and others as needed. The subcommittee on admissions shall have responsibility for decisions on graduate admission. And after consultation with the Department Chairperson and the Director of the Writing Program, this subcommittee shall also recommend the awarding of graduate assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships. Before recommending the (re-) appointment of any teaching assistant, this subcommittee shall consult with the Supervisor of Teaching Assistants (ENG) and the Director of the College Writing Program and the Department Chair, as appropriate.

II.F. LONG RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE

II.F.1. Membership

The Long Range Planning Committee will consist of 3 members elected at large. Its work shall coincide with the appointment or re-appointment of the Chair.

II.F.2. Responsibilities and Authority\

This Committee shall be responsible for writing a long range plan for the Department and/or for an in-depth review of the existing long range plan. This Committee shall consult with the Department Chair and with the directors of the Graduate Program, the Undergraduate Program, the College Writing Program and the Coordinator of CCE. The committee shall report to the Department within 3 months from the start of its deliberations.

II.G. ALUMNI LIAISON COMMITTEE

II.G.1. Membership

The Alumni Liaison Committee shall consist of three members elected by the Department for staggered 3-year terms. The Committee may include alumni, graduate and undergraduate students and/or retired faculty as appropriate.

II.G.2. Responsibilities and Authority

The Alumni Liaison Committee will engage in a range of activities to build and maintain a strong relationship between the Department and its alumni. These activities may include: publishing an alumni newsletter, planning and conducting an annual alumni event and maintaining a data base with alumni addresses and other relevant information.

II.H. GRADUATE STUDENT LIAISON COMMITTEE (New Committee/Approved at Department Meeting on 10/13/00)

II.H.1. Membership

The Graduate Student Liaison Committee shall consist of three graduate student members elected by graduate students enrolled in a graduate degree program in the English Department. (Note: Elections for this committee are conducted annually by the graduate students.)

II.H.2. Responsibilities and Authority

II.I. PUBLICITY, SERIES, EVENTS, AND WEBSITE COMMITTEE

II.I.1. MEMBERSHIP

The Publicity, Series, Events, and Website Committee shall consist of three faculty members elected by the department at staggered two-year terms, and one graduate student elected for two-year terms.

II.I.2. Responsibilities and Authority

The Publicity, Series, and Events Committee shall publish a monthly bulletin or newsletter listing all scholarly, pedagogical and public service accomplishments of students, faculty, and per course instructors in the Department. This document is to be posted of the Department website and sent to appropriate campus news outlets. The committee will also coordinate all aspects of the R E A D / W R I T E Series (in consultation with the Writer's Collective) and the Faculty Colloquium Series, including planning and setting the schedule ahead of time each semester, corresponding with writers and speakers, arranging for funding, doing publicity, coordinating introductions to speakers and ordering refreshments. The committee will also be the "go to" committee for all other events and speakers hosted on an ad hoc basis by English Faculty, will offer advice about PR and funding sources, and will help to avoid scheduling conflicts. One of the three faculty members of the committee will serve as English Department Webmaster, and will oversee all design and updates of the Department Website.

 

III. APPOINTIVE POSITIONS

The Department Chair in consultation with the EC shall appoint continuing Department faculty to the following positions: Director of Graduate Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Supervisor of Teaching Assistants (ENG), Library Coordinator, Affirmative Action Officer. Terms for all appointed positions shall coincide with the term of the Department Chair. The Department Chair, in consultation with the EC, may remove faculty from appointed positions, in which case new appointments for the remainder of the term in question shall be made as specified above. The initiative for consideration of removal of a faculty member from an appointed position may also come from any Department faculty member in consultation with the EC.

III.A. DIRECTOR OF GRADUATE STUDIES

To be eligible for appointment, the Director of Graduate Studies must be a member of the graduate faculty. He/she may receive a reduction of up to one-half the normal teaching load for graduate faculty.

The Director of Graduate Studies shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of all graduate programs in English. He/she shall be ex officio Chairperson of the Graduate Committee, a member of the EC, and available for consultation by the Curriculum Committee when it acts upon matters affecting graduate curriculum.

The Director of Graduate Studies shall supervise faculty and student conformity to all relevant requirements of the Graduate Manual and the Graduate Bulletin. The Director of Graduate Studies shall be responsible, in consultation with the Chair of the Department, for drawing up a three-year course rotation, preparing schedules for graduate courses, and supervising curriculum and teaching within the graduate program. The Director of Graduate Studies shall submit an annual report to the EC and the Department by the first Fall Department meeting regarding the current and projected status of the Graduate Program.

III.B. DIRECTOR OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES

The Director of Undergraduate Studies shall supervise faculty advisors for English majors and minors and he/she will assist the Chair in undergraduate activities. He/she may receive a reduction of up to one-half of the normal teaching load.

The Director of Undergraduate Studies shall supervise faculty and student conformity to all relevant requirements of the Undergraduate Manual and the Undergraduate Bulletin. The Director of Undergraduate Studies shall be responsible, in consultation with the Chair of the Department, for drawing up a three-year course rotation, preparing schedules for undergraduate courses, and supervising curriculum and teaching within the undergraduate program. The Director of Undergraduate Studies shall submit an annual report to the EC and the Department by the first Fall Department meeting regarding the current and projected status of the Undergraduate Program.

III.C. SUPERVISOR OF TEACHING ASSISTANTS (ENG)

The Supervisor of Teaching Assistants (ENG) shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Department. S/he may receive a reduction of up to one-third of the normal teaching load. The Supervisor of Teaching Assistants (ENG) shall be an ex officio, non-voting member of the Curriculum Committee.

The Supervisor may also be an ex officio non-voting member of the Graduate Committee and shall be available for consultation to its sub-committee on admissions in the awarding of teaching assistants. The Supervisor (or his/her designees) shall be responsible for supervising teaching assistants in English, except for those whose teaching responsibility is in writing courses (WRT).

In addition, the Supervisor shall have the responsibility of recommending to the Graduate Committee the dismissal of any teaching assistant who does not fulfill his/her duties satisfactorily. The Committee, after a hearing with the teaching assistant present, shall vote on his/her retention or dismissal. Any appeal of dismissal shall be to the Department Chairperson who shall have final authority for dismissal or retention in such cases.

Addition to Sec. III.C. (Approved at Department Meeting on 9/17/99):

The Supervisor of Teaching Assistants shall work in conjunction with the ENG 999 Literature Teaching Assistant Development Committee to conduct ENG 999 Methods of Teaching Literature. The ENG 999 guidebook, Enhancing the Teaching Experience: A Program for Literature Teaching Assistants, forms the basis for the ENG 999 program. The Supervisor is also responsible for conducting at least two classroom observations of and subsequent consultations with each first year literature assistant during the first (Fall) semester of the TAs academic year assignment to teach literature courses.

Literature Teaching Assistant Development Committee

The Development Committee works in conjunction with the Supervisor of Literature Teaching Assistants to conduct ENG 999 Methods of Teaching Literature. The graduate student members of this committee are responsible for working with the Supervisor to implement the ENG 999 workshop program and presenting at least one workshop unit each as detailed in the "Program of Workshops" section of the ENG 999 guidebook, Enhancing the Teaching Experience: A Program for Literature Teaching Assistants.

The ENG 999 Teaching Assistant Development Committee is comprised of four graduate students--two appointed by the Supervisor of Literature TAs and two elected from among the current body of graduate students. All graduate students serving on this committee must have reached the third year of their assistantship, and must have taught at least one year of literature courses at URI. Members of this committee serve one year terms with the possibility of reappointment or reelection for an additional year's service. Membership on this committee shall not exceed a total of two academic years.

The first two members of the committee are appointed by the Supervisor of Literature Teaching Assistants during the Spring semester, for service in the following year. (If a new Supervisor of Literature Teaching Assistants begins her/his tenure at the beginning of the new academic year, that person will make these appointments.) These two graduate students will then issue a call for candidates and conduct an anonymous vote of all Department graduate students to fill the Committee's two remaining seats, also for service in the following year. This election will be conducted within one month of the first two members' appointment and, in the event of a tie, will be immediately followed by a run-off election by all Department graduate students.

III.D. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OFFICER

The Affirmative Action Officer shall be appointed by the Department Chairperson, and highest priority in the appointment shall be accorded to members of minority groups and women. The Affirmative Action Officer shall serve on the Selections Committee and shall develop and provide advice for the implementation of an affirmative action plan. Procedures for the office shall be governed by the University's Current Affirmative Action Procedures.

III.E. ENGLISH STUDIES IN CCE (Revision Approved at Department Meeting on 10/13/00 - See Appendix A)

 

IV. DEPARTMENT MEETINGS

All Department meetings shall require the presence of a quorum consisting of at least one more than half of the continuing Department faculty on active service.

In Department meetings debate on any motion or amendment shall be limited to 15 minutes. Extensions of no more than 15 minutes each may be approved in accordance with Sturgis.

Except for annual peer review, all matters on Department meeting agendas and requiring Department action shall be resolved by a vote at a Department meeting.

At the first meeting of the fall semester the Directors of the Graduate and Undergraduate Programs will report on the status of their programs. The EC will report on the status of the Long Range Plan. In open discussion, faculty members shall voice their concerns and interests for Department priorities for that academic year. The Department will arrive at a consensus of issues for attention during that year. If appropriate, ad hoc committees will be formed to address particular issues.

APPENDIX A

 

III.E. ENGLISH STUDIES IN CCE

(Revision Approved at Department Meeting on 10/13/00)

Lecturer and Coordinator for Arts and Sciences Courses at CCE

The Coordinator reports to the Associate Dean, Academic Programs, CCE. The Lecturer and Coordinator for Arts and Sciences Courses at CCE is a non-tenure track, 3-year, renewable academic year appointment with a separate contract for summer sessions. The Lecturer/Coordinator must hold the Ph.D. in English.

The Coordinator holds a lecturer line at CCE. The normal teaching load for a lecturer line at URI is 4 courses each semester (fall and spring). However, in order to perform coordinating and advising duties, the Coordinator will have a reduced load of 2 courses each semester (fall and spring). The Coordinator will thus be responsible to teach two courses each semester. The courses to be taught will be undergraduate English courses and shall be determined in consultation with the English Department Chairperson.

The Coordinator is responsible for planning, scheduling, and assisting in staffing Arts and Sciences course offerings sponsored by the College of Continuing Education, and advising declared majors in Arts and Sciences programs offered through CCE.

The Arts and Sciences Coordinator, in consultation with and approval of the appropriate Department Chairperson and the Academic Dean of CCE Programs, is responsible for devising lists of offerings and schedules primarily for all English and Writing courses, and secondarily, for all History, Anthropology, Sociology and Economics courses sponsored by the College of Continuing Education. These duties shall be performed consistent with University Manual 3.40.14. Scheduling responsibilities shall include updating and maintaining records of past schedules, enrollments, staffing, and related matters.

The Coordinator shall maintain regular office hours at CCE and be responsible for departmental advising of all CCE students who are majoring in Arts and Sciences programs. This includes English, Economics and History majors. The Coordinator must meet with the appropriate Department Chairperson on a regular basis to insure implementation of the appropriate departmental curriculum in keeping with the requirements of the Department, the College, the University and the needs of the students.

Staffing

The first consideration in staffing of all CCE courses shall be the academic integrity of programs and the professional qualifications of faculty. The Coordinator shall make recommendations for faculty staffing assignments after consultation with faculty and the Department Chairpersons, and for Writing courses, the Director of the College Writing Program, and the Academic Dean of CCE. At the time course schedules are devised, staffing priorities shall be as follows: 1) Department faculty receiving extra compensation, and 2) part-time faculty. (Note: English graduate courses offered at CCE can only be staffed by graduate faculty in the English Department as part of their regular teaching load.)

Each semester all Department faculty will be notified of the availability of extra-compensation assignments at CCE. Faculty desiring such assignments shall notify the Coordinator, who shall, after consultation prescribed above, recommend assignments to the Department Chairperson. In the event that the number of faculty requests exceeds the number of available courses, assignments shall be made on the basis of: 1) faculty rank (in ascending order, beginning with Assistant Professor), and 2) seniority within rank. Part-time faculty will be recommended by the Coordinator and appointed by the Department Chairperson and the Academic Dean of CCE.

All staffing procedures and assignments shall be consistent with University Manual 4.60.14 and 7.72.11-7.72.13. Cancellation of CCE classes is the primary responsibility of the Dean of CCE, University Manual 3.40.14

Operating Procedures Department of English Revised 2/7/07