- The department consists of voting members and non-voting members. Voting members may be either "active" or "inactive."
- Voting members are faculty members (general faculty, tenure-track faculty, and tenured faculty) who have an ongoing commitment to the Department—defined as holding an appointment that is for longer than one year, and that is at least quarter-time (0.25 FTE) in MESALC. All other teaching staff are non-voting members of MESALC.
- A voting member of the department faculty may declare him- or herself "inactive" if he or she is unable to attend faculty meetings--for example, while on leave. Voting members of the faculty may choose to remain "active" or declare themselves "active" again at any point during a leave.
- Department votes take place at department faculty meetings. Faculty must be present at the meeting in order to place a vote. The Chair will make every reasonable effort to schedule faculty meetings at times when all department faculty can attend, and to provide timely and sufficient information to all department faculty about the issues to be discussed at each meeting
- In addition, MESALC can designate (as non-voting members) courtesy appointments to the department. Courtesy appointees may be adjunct lecturers or professors (recently retired MESALC faculty, for example, or established scholars who come to the Charlottesville area and who could contribute to the academic mission of the department in a significant manner) or faculty members in other departments at the University of Virginia, who would like to be considered for second appointments in MESALC. Individuals considered for courtesy appointments in MESALC should have expertise appropriate for one or more of the research areas within the department. Consideration for courtesy appointments requires a formal vote by departmental faculty. Courtesy appointees may be assigned office space, at the discretion of the chair.
II. Directors of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies
- The Director of Undergraduate Programs (DUP) is appointed by the department chair and has responsibility for the administration of undergraduate programs. The DUP serves as chair of the Curriculum Committee. This committee is responsible for establishing policy for the administration of the departmental undergraduate program.
- The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) is appointed by the department chair and has responsibility for the administration of graduate programs. The DGS serves as chair of the Graduate Studies Committee. This committee is responsible for establishing policy for the administration of the departmental graduate program.
III. Faculty Meetings
- The department chair insures that one weekly period of ninety minutes is available for faculty meetings (i.e., no teaching is scheduled for that time, nor are colloquia or other departmental functions). Under unusual circumstances, faculty meetings may be held at other times during the week.
- Faculty meetings are usually called by the department chair. Any other voting member may request a faculty meeting by contacting the chair of the department.
- Faculty meetings are usually called with one week’s prior notice.
- A quorum consists of two-thirds of the active voting members. No motion or vote may be made unless a quorum is present. (When a motion to promote a faculty member is made, the quorum consists of two-thirds of the active voting members who are above the candidate’s present rank.)
- The chair should make every effort to distribute an agenda of the meeting at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
- Minutes of the meeting are kept and distributed to the faculty. A file of these minutes is kept in the department office.
IV. Voting Procedure
- All motions are adopted by majority vote of active voting members who are present at the faculty discussion. Votes to approve a hire must pass by a 2/3 majority of active voting members who are present at the faculty discussion.
- Motions to promote a faculty member are voted on by all active voting members of the department whose rank is above the candidate’s present rank, and who are present at the faculty meeting where the promotion is discussed. (Discussion of promotions takes place at special faculty meetings attended only by those who are eligible to vote on the promotion.) For the purpose of defining voting eligibility, “rank” is defined as follows: Lecturers in their 1st year < Lecturers having passed their First-Year Review < Lecturers having passed their Third-Year Review < Lecturers having passed their Sixth-Year Review < Assistant Professors < Assistant Professors having passed their Third-Year Review < Associate Professors < Full Professors.
- All votes are taken by a show of hands, except on motions to hire new faculty, to offer a courtesy faculty appointment, and motions to promote a faculty member, for which voting must be by secret ballot. On the request of any voting member present at the meeting during which a motion is made, any motion may be voted on by secret ballot.
- When a motion is voted on by secret ballot, the department chair counts all submitted ballots and announces the results of the vote (including the vote count) before the end of the faculty meeting. (The chair may designate a voting member of the faculty to assist with the tallying of votes.)
- Votes that end in a tie can be handled in several ways, at the discretion of the chair: The vote can be re-taken; the issue can be put off for further discussion and vote at a subsequent faculty meeting; or the issue can be re-phrased and put forward for a new vote.
V. Approving and Changing the Bylaws
A new article of the bylaws or an amendment of a previously approved article of the bylaws must be brought up for discussion at a faculty meeting. Such a change to the bylaws is adopted by a two-thirds vote of the voting members who cast a vote.
Adopted: 31 August 2007.
Amended: 7 September 2007.