1.0 The Classics and Religious Studies Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln focuses on the teaching of ancient languages, civilizations, and cultures and world religions. Department is created by action of the Board of Regents and functions under the rules and regulations approved by the Board.
1.1 The Department shall meet at least once in each semester of every academic year and may meet as often as business requires. All departmental teaching staff, excluding graduate teaching assistants, are invited to attend and participate. The Chair shall be responsible for keeping and posting a record of the agenda and minutes for each meeting.
1.1.1 The Department shall meet at the request of the Chair, the Chancellor, the Dean of the College, or a majority of the voting members of the Department.
2.0 Voting Membership in the Department
2.1 In personnel decisions, the voting membership shall consist of all full-time, tenure-line and practice faculty, subject to the provisions made elsewhere in these bylaws. This provision shall not affect voting rights on search committees whose membership has been approved by the Chair. [Revised 28/4/19]
2.2 On the general business of the Department, the voting constituency shall be all tenure-line and practice faculty holding at least a .50 FTE appointment in the Department, faculty on special appointment holding at least a .51 FTE in the Department for at least two consecutive years and who are not working for an advanced degree at UNL. The voting rights of all faculty are subject to specific provisions regarding membership on various committees. [Adopted 28/4/19]
2.3.1 On a recommendation for the reappointment or continuous appointment of tenure-line faculty: faculty who hold tenured appointments in the Department. [Adopted 28/4/19]
2.3.2 On a reappointment of practice faculty: all faculty members in the department holding tenure and all practice faculty in the department holding appropriate rank: associate and full professors of practice vote on reappointment of assistant professors of practice; full professors of practice (excluding a member under consideration) vote on reappointment of associate and full professors of practice. [Adopted 28/4/19]
2.4.1 On a recommendation for promotion of tenured or tenure-line faculty: tenured-faculty in the Department who hold rank equal to or higher than that to which promotion is under consideration. [Adopted 28/4/19]
2.4.2 On a recommendation for promotion to associate professor of practice: tenure line associate and full professors, and associate and full practice professors; for promotion to full professor of practice: full tenured and practice professors. [Adopted 28/4/19)
2.6 On all matters concerning graduate education, Fellows of the graduate faculty.
3.1 The Chair is the presiding officer primarily charged with administering the Department and serving as chief advisor to the Dean on matters concerning the department. The Chair may make recommendations to the Dean and faculty of the College concerning the welfare of the department and its relationship to other departments, after consultation with the appropriate faculty in the department. Duties and responsibilities include the preparation of the budget, salary and merit recommendations, preparation of the schedule of classes, the assignment of duties to the staff, recommendations of recipients of Faculty Development Fellowships, the recruitment of new staff, and all business affairs of the Department. The Chair may delegate some of the work involved in meeting these responsibilities, but is responsible for the decisions made. The Chair shall appoint a faculty member as acting chair during absences of less than one semester. In absences of more than one semester, the acting chair shall be chose in consultation with the faculty and the Dean of the College.
184.108.40.206 The Chair shall report to the Department once a year on the operating budget of the Department, providing details as requested by a majority of the faculty present. (not yet approved, Aug. 2019)
220.127.116.11 The Chair shall report to the Department once a year on any Foundation funds associated with the Department, providing details as requested by a majority of the faculty present. For Foundation funds, and expenditure of $5000.00 or more the Chair shall seek the advice of Department faculty. (not yet approved, Aug 2019)
3.2 The Undergraduate Advisor(s) shall be appointed by the Chair to coordinate undergraduate advising and assessment in the Department.
3.3. 4 The Library liaison(s) shall be appointed by the chair to consult with the faculty and apportion available funds equitably; recommend the acquisition of books and periodicals on the basis of Department need; work closely with the Humanities librarian in developing collections.
4.0 Standing Committees
4.0.1 The standing committees of the Department shall include the Advisory Committee, the Curriculum Committee, and the Undergraduate Grade Appeals Committee.
4.1 The Advisory Committee shall function as a committee of the whole, membership composed of the Classics and Religious Studies faculty as defined in these bylaws. The Chair shall serve as the
ex-officio chair of the committee. The department may appoint an advisory committee of not less than two tenure-line members of the department to act in the absence of the department as a whole.
4.1.2 Duties and Functions: to advise the Chair; to recommend hiring priorities; to recommend budgetary priorities, relating both to the Department’s operating budget and non-state accounts.
4.2 The Curriculum Committee shall function as a committee of the whole, membership composed of the Classics and Religious Studies faculty as defined in these bylaws. The Chair shall serve as chair, and be a voting member, of the committee.
4.2.1 Duties and Functions: to evaluate and act on all proposals for changes in, or additions to, the undergraduate curriculum of the Department; to recommend candidates for scholarships. The Committee shall also periodically evaluate the results of such curriculum changes, and shall respond to requests from the Chair for the review of curriculum. Ad hoc committees reporting to the Committee may be created by the Chair.
4.3 The Undergraduate Grade Appeals Committee shall be composed of two faculty members, not involved in the appeal, appointed by the Chair and one undergraduate major appointed by the Chair. The Chair shall serve as the ex-officio chair of the committee.
4.3.1 Duties and Functions: to consider all grade appeals in accordance with the guidelines established by the College Grade Appeals Committee. A grade appeal must be filed no later than the end of the regular semester following the semester or summer session in which the grade was recorded.
5.0 Appointment, Reappointment. Tenure, and Promotion of A-Line Faculty
5.1 Initial Appointment
N. B. Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity regulations will be adhered to
throughout the process described below.
5.1.1 The Department or the Advisory Committee shall approve a preliminary position description for each new position.
5.1.2 The Chair shall constitute a search committee for each position authorized by the Dean, following standard procedures, and shall advertise the positions appropriately.
5.1.3 The search committee shall evaluate the applications for each vacant position and present to the Chair, for each position advertised, a list of candidates acceptable for preliminary interview. The Chair shall examine the credentials of these candidates, and those of other candidates (especially candidates from protected classes) at her/his discretion, and shall approve the final interview list in consultation with the search committee.
5.1.4 Representatives of the Department (including the Chair and the chair of the search committee, if possible) shall interview the candidates. The Chair, consulting with those who have interviewed the candidates, shall draw up a final list of acceptable candidates for each vacant position. The list may be divided into groups, but candidates within each group shall be unranked. Each group must ordinarily contain at least two names.
5.1.5 The Chair shall then determine, subject to the Dean’s approval, which candidate or candidates to invite for on-campus interviews, and in what order, and shall supervise the necessary arrangements. Those arrangements shall include a presentation to the entire Department, an opportunity for the members of the department to interview the candidate, an opportunity for as many interested parties to meet the candidate as time permits, and an interview with the Chair.
5.1.6 Following the on-campus interviews, the Chair shall convene the Department to vote on the candidates. The vote of the Department is advisory to the Chair, who is responsible for the decision. If the Chair does not endorse the recommendation of the Department, the Chair shall present to the Dean of the College both his/her recommendations and the recommendations of the Department.
5.1.7 If no suitable candidate can be found, the Chair shall cancel the search and initiate a new search as soon as is possible and practical.
5.2 Reappointment. Continuous Appointment. and Promotion
5.2.1 The Department shall follow the policies, procedures, and criteria set out in the operative documents of the Board of Regents, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Faculty shall be evaluated on their teaching, research, and service records, and are responsible for providing the information necessary to these evaluations, consulting the Chair as necessary.
5.2.2 The Chair shall call the necessary meetings and preside at them, but shall not vote.
5.2.3 Faculty eligible to vote are encouraged to examine the file of the candidate before voting. Absentee ballots are acceptable provided that the eligible voter gives or sends the Chair a written ballot in advance of the meeting. The Chair shall announce the ballot results at the meeting, indicating the number of absentee ballots.
5.2.4 Following the meeting, the Chair shall write a letter to the Dean which shall indicate the vote and shall fairly summarize the discussion which preceded it. Th€ Chair shall make a draft of the letter available to the candidate and to the voting members for review, and shall revise the letter as may be necessary to make it accurate with respect to fact and congruent with the vote. If the Chair agrees with the majority, s/he shall so indicate. If the Chair disagrees with the majority, s/he may write a separate letter to the Dean, copies of which shall go to the candidate and to the voting members in time for the candidate to respond. If the Chair disagrees with the majority, s/he shall offer a senior faculty member representing the majority opinion the opportunity to write the letter of transmittal; copies of this letter shall also go to the candidate, the Chair, and the voting members in time for the candidate to respond.
6.0 Evaluation of Teaching
6.1 All members of the teaching staff must allow students to evaluate their classes every semester. Staff are expected to use the evaluation forms approved by the Department (See Appendix A); the Department will provide a data analysis sheet for each section taught. Student evaluations and data analysis sheets for multi-section courses shall be discussed with the appropriate coordinator; together with syllabi for courses not coordinated, they shall be furnished to the Chair and to other authorized persons and committees in connection with such matters as appointment, reappointment, merit, continuous appointment, promotion, and special awards or fellowships. Teachers are encouraged to provide materials in addition to student evaluations and syllabi which they deem relevant to an evaluation of their teaching.
6.1.1 All members of the teaching staff must include with the teaching evaluation packet for each course taught a copy of the syllabus for that course.
6.1.2 All student evaluation materials are the property of the teacher, who must keep them for five years and make them available to the Chair on request.
6.2.1 The Chair, as a part of the annual merit review, shall evaluate the teaching record of tenured or tenure-track faculty.
6.3.1 In considering reappointment, continuous appointment, or promotion: the appropriate voting faculty shall evaluate the teaching record of tenured or tenure-track faculty in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Department and of the document listed in 5.2.1 above.
6.4.1 The faculty member is responsible for including in the file the information necessary to permit an informed judgment of her/his teaching record.
7.0 Evaluation of Research
7.1 The Chair, as part of the annual merit review, shall evaluate the research record of tenured or tenure-track faculty.
7.2 In considering reappointment, the appropriate voting faculty shall evaluate the research record of faculty on specific term appointments in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Department and of the document listed in 5.2.1 above, basing its judgment on materials in the file.
7.3 To aid the appropriate voting faculty in considering continuous appointment or promotion, the Chair shall solicit outside letters from three referees qualified to evaluate the candidate’s research record, consulting the candidate and the appropriate voting faculty in the process of constituting the review panel, which shall include at least six names. Every reasonable effort shall be made to assure that the referees represent an appropriate subset of peers. The candidate shall be given the list of names comprising the panel before letters are solicited.
7.3.1 The candidate may waive the right of access to the outside reviews and the right to know the identity of the reviewers. Any such waiver shall be given in writing prior to the solicitation of the reviews, and shall become part of the review file. Any letter soliciting an outside review shall inform the potential reviewer of the extent to which the contents of the review or the identity of the reviewer is to be made known to the candidate. The candidate who has not executed a waiver of access may have a copy of any review received and may append a written response, which shall also be included in the file. A review may not be automatically discounted because a candidate does not execute a waiver of access or of the right to know the identity of the reviewer.
7.4 The faculty member is responsible for including in the file the information necessary to permit an informed judgment of her/his research accomplishments.
8.0 Evaluation of Service
8.1 The Chair, as part of the annual merit review, shall evaluate the service record of the faculty member.
8.2 In considering reappointment, continuous appointment, and promotion, the appropriate voting faculty shall evaluate the service record of the faculty member in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Department and of the document listed in 5.2.1 above, basing its judgment on materials in the file.
8.3 The faculty member is responsible for including in the file the information necessary to permit an informed judgment of his/her service record.
9. Personnel Files and Related Matters
9.0 The Chair shall maintain a personnel file for each staff member which shall include personnel action forms and similar documents required by the University; documents related to appointment, work assignments, reappointment, continuous appointment, Graduate Faculty membership, promotion, leaves, salary and merit recommendations, retirement or tenure buyout, awards, fellowships, grants, and contracts, etc.
9.1 Comparative data on teaching and syllabi for all courses shall be kept in the main office.
9.3 These files shall be accessible only to the staff member, the Chair, and to persons and committees authorized to consult them.
9.4 Each staff member, upon request of the Chair, shall provide such additional information as is required for the various reviews mandated by the Department or the University.
9.5 Faculty on tenured or tenure-track appointments, with the cooperation of the Chair, shall create an annual merit review file containing materials relevant to an evaluation of teaching, research, and service for the period covered by the review. Materials not part of the permanent personnel file shall be returned to the staff member after the review.
9.6 Faculty on tenured, tenure track or practice appointments, with the cooperation of the Chair, shall create the files required by the Department or the University in connection with recommendations for reappointment, continuous appointment, promotion, and special awards and fellowships. Materials not part of the permanent personnel file shall be returned to the staff member after the review, except that the outside letters of review shall be retained by the Dean.
9.7 Complaints about a staff member shall not be made a part of the staff member’s personnel file unless they result in formal action unfavorable to the staff member. The Chair may retain a separate and temporary complaint file if, in her/his judgment, it may be required in a formal proceeding or needed to document a history of inappropriate or unprofessional conduct. However, the Chair must investigate all serious complaints and, if they are found substantive, discuss them immediately with the staff member. Should the Chair decide that a complaint document must be retained, or that he or she should write the staff member about a particular problem, the staff member shall have the opportunity to respond, and his or her response shall be attached to the complaint document(s) or to the Chair’s letter. Complaints more than three years old, unless part of a pattern that may require documentation, shall be destroyed.
9.8 Complaints about a staff member’s teaching or service which, upon investigation, the Chair deems relevant to a mandated evaluation of the staff member, shall not be placed in a review file unless the staff member has had the opportunity to respond to them. Inaccurate, insubstantial, or anonymous complaints shall not be placed in a review file.
10. Amendment of Bylaws: A motion to change the Bylaws of the Department requires a vote of 2/3 of the faculty as defined in Section 2.2, and must be passed at two consecutive meetings of the department.
These Bylaws last amended: first approval 10 October 2018, second approval