Department By-Laws

Department Organization

Membership and Voting Rights

  1. The faculty members of the department have ultimate responsibility for the curriculum and for making recommendations regarding hiring, retention, tenure, and promotion subject to university regulations which can be viewed on the Faculty Affairs website.
  2. All tenured and tenure-track faculty in the department, regardless of their time-base, shall be entitled to full participation in all departmental voting and meetings.
  3. All faculty on early retirement, regardless of their time-base, shall be entitled to full participation in all departmental voting and meetings, consistent with university policy.
  4. Voting for department chair shall be open to all faculty. The senate’s policy on selection of chairs states: “For purposes of selection, appointment, and review of chairs, the term ‘faculty’ includes tenured and tenure-track faculty, and instructors of record on a yearly contract excluding temporary faculty who are also graduate students in the department. Departments shall tabulate votes of temporary faculty on a pro-rated basis in proportion to the faculty member's time-base appointment in the semester in which the review or selection process is initiated.”
  5. Lecturers shall be entitled to pro rata participation in departmental voting and meetings, other than in those circumstances specified above, consistent with university and trustee policy.
  6. In the event that university policies should conflict with these provisions, university policies shall take precedence.

Meetings

  1. There shall be a minimum of two department meetings per semester, scheduled by the department chair.
  2. A meeting may be called at any time upon the request of one-third of the voting members of the department.
  3. Meetings shall be conducted with Robert’s Rules of Order as a guide.
  4. A necessary quorum to complete business shall consist of 50 percent plus 1 of the tenured, tenure-track, and FERPed faculty in residence in that semester. Lecturers are always welcome at departmental meetings; however, their presence or absence will not be taken into account in determining a quorum.

Department Administration

The Department Chair

The current senate policies outlining the duties of the department chair can be found at the Academic Senate website.

Department Chair Selection

Voting Rights

  1. All tenured and tenure-track faculty members shall be entitled to one full vote, regardless of their time-base during the semester of the selection process.
  2. Faculty on early retirement shall be entitled to one full vote, regardless of their time-base during the semester of the selection process.
  3. Lecturers shall be entitled to pro rata participation in chair voting consistent with university and trustee policy.

Nomination Process for Internal Candidates

  1. A call for nominations shall go out to all members of the department.
  2. NEC shall serve as a nominating committee.
  3. NEC will receive the nominations and determine who is willing to stand 
for election.
  4. Ballots shall be distributed to all faculty with voting rights as discussed above.
  5. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, the candidate with the lowest number of votes shall be dropped from the ballot and another vote taken, until one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast.

External Searches

  1. In circumstances where the University has approved an external search, the Department’s Hiring Committee will serve as a Search Committee.

Acting Chair

  1. In circumstances where an acting chair is required for leave or sabbatical cover, or during the period of an external search (for example), the nomination process shall be the same as for the internal election of a new department chair.
  2. In all other matters the department follows the existing Academic Senate policy. In the case of contradiction, Academic Senate policy shall take precedence.

The Director of the Undergraduate Writing Program

  1. The director of the Undergraduate Writing Program shall be recommended by the chair, or nominated by the Composition faculty, and elected by the voting members as a whole for a term of three years to run concurrently with the term of department chair.
  2. The duties of the director are as follows: to supervise the undergraduate writing program; to prepare draft schedules of courses and sections to be offered each semester and to advise the chair on staffing these courses; to advise the chair on the need for additional faculty and on priorities in the program; to serve as consultant to appropriate campus and departmental curriculum committees; to coordinate the campus Early Start Program in English; to work with the chair and department staff during the online registration period to respond to any scheduling and/or staffing needs; to serve ex-officio on the English Advisory Board; to serve on the University Committee on Written English Proficiency.
  3. The director coordinates with the chair all GTA positions for Composition MA students.
  4. The director monitors and, where necessary, manages the revision of undergraduate composition course and program descriptions in the bulletin and on the department website.

The Program Coordinators

There are eight program coordinators corresponding to the undergraduate and graduate programs in the department: 1) undergraduate literature coordinator; 2) graduate literature coordinator; 3) linguistics coordinator; 4) english education coordinator; 5) composition for multilingual students (CMS) coordinator; 6) graduate composition coordinator; 7) TESOL coordinator; and 8) Technical and Professional Writing (TPW) coordinator.

  1. Program coordinators are appointed by the chair, or nominated and elected by the faculty of the relevant program, for a term of three years to run concurrently with the term of department chair.
  2. Duties of the program coordinators are as follows: To assist the chair in carrying out his/her duties and responsibilities; to prepare draft schedules of program courses and sections to be offered each semester and to advise the chair on staffing these courses; to serve as ex-officio members of EAB; to advise the chair on the need for additional faculty and on priorities in the programs; to serve as consultants on appropriate curriculum committees; to coordinate periodic program reviews and assessments; to call meetings of the faculty of their programs as needed; to monitor, and where possible, manage revisions to program and course descriptions in the Bulletin and on the department website.
  3. Program coordinators serve as ex-officio members of the Hiring Committee when there is a faculty search in their program.
  4. Program coordinators may not serve on the Retention Committee or Tenure and Promotions Committee. Should a member of the department presently serving on the Retention Committee or tenure and Promotions Committee be appointed as a program coordinator, NEC will proceed to fill the vacancy by their usual procedures.
  5. Program coordinators shall receive appropriate released time, negotiated annually with the college dean.

The Department of English Staff 

Assistant to the Chair/Office Manager (AOC)

The Department of English assistant to the chair and office manager oversees both day-to-day and long-range administrative, business and academic support functions for a large, complex academic unit of tenure-track/tenured faculty, lecturers and GTAs, part-and full-time staff; oversees the daily operations of the department office.

Scheduling and Curriculum Coordinator/Department Facilities Manager (AOC)

The Department of English scheduling and curriculum coordinator/department facilities manager oversees schedule-building for the seven faculty program coordinators; manages new and revised course proposals and bulletin changes; oversees facilities and space management for the department, including classrooms, computer labs and faculty offices; helps coordinate hiring and budgeting for student assistants; with assistant to the chair, co-manages daily operations of the department office.

Graduate Programs Coordinator (ASC)

The Department of English graduate programs coordinator provides administrative support for the department’s seven graduate degree and certificate programs and coordinates multiple timelines and complex tasks associated with different program requirements and policies.

Office/Web Coordinator (ASC)

The Department of English's office/web coordinator independently oversees all tasks related to clerical assistance and reception in the department’s main office for faculty, students and staff; coordinates the dissemination of information about the departments programs, courses, faculty and department events; updates and conducts ongoing review of department website and coordination with associated university websites; oversees the processing of student petitions.

Assistant to the Undergraduate Writing Programs (AOC)

The writing programs assistant independently carry out all tasks related to reception and clerical assistance; support advising and placement activities for the Composition and Composition for Multilingual Students Programs; and provide administrative assistance to the writing program director and CMS Program coordinator.

English Tutoring Director

The ETC director oversees and supervises tutoring, and recruitment and training of new tutors. Working in coordination with SF State’s director of New Student Programs, the ETC director also monitors enrollment during the summer, evaluates the need to add or subtract sections, and problem-solves student placement issues during the course of the semester. With the mandate to launch the mandatory Early Start program, the ETC director also helps manage the influx of calls and questions from incoming students and their families and oversees enrollment management of Early Start English courses.

English Tutoring Center Staff Coordinator (ISA I)

The ETC staff coordinator assists the ETC director with comprehensive support services for tutoring programs in reading, writing and computer learning skills. The tutoring programs primarily serve students enrolled in SF State’s first and second-year composition courses. The ETC staff coordinator also assists with management of the Early Start English program.

Student Assistant (Work-Study)

The student assistant tasks are coordinated by the AOC in conjunction with the dean’s student employment officer.

Standing Committees

In addition to program-specific committees (section IV), the Department of English shall have ten department-wide standing committees: 1) The English Advisory Board; 2) Retention; 3) Tenure and Promotions; 4) Tenure-Track Hiring; 5) Nominations and Elections; 6) Lecturer Hiring, Appointments and Evaluation; 7) Undergraduate Curriculum; 8) Faculty Support and Mentoring; 9) Students and Alumni; and 10) Events

English Advisory Board

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. In addition to the department chair, The English Advisory Board shall consist of four faculty members, and two lecturer representatives, nominated and elected by lecturers in the department.
  2. Program coordinators, and the writing program director (or their designees) shall serve as ex-officio members of EAB.
  3. The department chair serves as chair of EAB.
  4. All members of the department are eligible to serve. Members shall be nominated by NEC and elected by voting members of the department.
  5. Members shall serve for three years on staggered terms; lecturer terms shall be for one year.
  6. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.

Responsibilities

  1. Advise the chair on matters of importance to the department, including setting agenda priorities for department meetings, budgetary considerations and priorities, recommendations and requests submitted from within and outside of the department, evaluation of tenured faculty and lecturers, and procedures for student evaluation of teaching effectiveness.
  2. Advise and recommend to the department and chair priorities for long-term changes in the department, including the development of a Five-Year Plan.
  3. Review and revise departmental policies and by-laws for consideration by faculty.
  4. Identify situations that may need to be addressed by the adoption of further by-laws.
  5. Propose changes to departmental policies and by-laws, but any such proposals require majority approval by voting members of the department.
  6. Safeguard the interests and integrity of the programs and at the same time to provide a climate conducive to the development of a cohesive department and a spirit of community and trust.
  7. Present the business of the department to members at meetings.
  8. In consultation with the chair, review directives and proposals from higher administrative authority (including campus reorganization, departmental mergers and/or program partnerships) and pass them on to the department with recommendations for carrying them out or for opposing them.
  9. Form and dissolve ad hoc committees.

Retention Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The Department of English retention committee shall consist of at least three associate professors and shall have at least one member representing the program area of each candidate under review.
  2. All associate professors are eligible to serve. Members shall be nominated by NEC and elected by voting members of the department.
  3. The committee shall elect its own chair.
  4. Members shall serve for three years on staggered terms to provide year-to-year continuity.
  5. Elections shall take place mid-spring with terms of service beginning in the Fall semester.
  6. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.

Responsibilities

  1. Review and recommend in writing to the department chair and dean regarding retention of probationary faculty.
  2. Comply fully with all University policies and with all provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.
  3. Fully support all faculty coming up for review and advise on processes, departmental and university criteria and deadlines.

Tenure and Promotions Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The Department of English Tenure and Promotions Committee shall consist of at least three full professors and shall have at least one member representing the program area of each candidate under review.
  2. All full professors are eligible to serve. Members shall be nominated by NEC and elected by voting members of the department.
  3. The committee shall elect its own chair.
  4. Members shall serve for three years on staggered terms to provide year-to-year continuity.
  5. Elections shall take place mid-Spring with terms of service beginning in the Fall semester.
  6. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.

Responsibilities

  1. Review and recommend in writing to the department chair and dean regarding tenure and promotion of probationary faculty.
  2. Review and recommend in writing to the department chair and dean regarding promotion of tenured faculty.
  3. Comply fully with all University policies and with all provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.
  4. Fully support all faculty coming up for review and advise on processes, departmental and university criteria and deadlines.

Tenure Track Hiring Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The Department of English hiring committee shall consist of at least five members of the tenured and tenure-track faculty, including the department chair.
  2. Members shall be nominated by NEC and elected by voting members of the department.
  3. Program coordinators serve as ex-officio members of the Hiring Committee when there is a faculty search in their program.
  4. The committee shall elect its own chair.
  5. Members shall serve for three years on staggered terms.
  6. Elections shall take place mid-spring with terms of service beginning in the fall semester.
  7. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.

Responsibilities

  1. Draft the job announcement and recruitment plan, in consultation with the chair, for submission to the dean.
  2. Read the files of all applicants.
  3. Reduce a large number of candidates to an initial list of seven to ten.
  4. Conduct reference checks and preliminary interviews with candidates on the initial list.
  5. Decide which candidates among those on the initial list to invite for on-campus interviews.
  6. Attend all interviews and presentations by applicants chosen for campus interviews.
  7. Decide which candidate(s) among those invited for on-campus interviews to recommend for the position. The committee may elect to recommend one candidate, to rank all candidates, to exclude candidates, etc.
  8. Draft a memo to the chair in support of the committee’s decision.
  9. Maintain the confidentiality of the hiring process.

Nominations and Elections Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The Department of English Nominations and Elections Committee shall consist of at least three members, nominated by NEC and elected by voting members of the department.
  2. All members of the department are eligible to serve.
  3. Members shall serve for three years on staggered terms.
  4. The Committee shall elect its own chair.
  5. Elections shall take place mid-spring with terms of service beginning in the fall semester.
  6. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.

Responsibilities

  1. Identify department members eligible to serve on committees.
  2. Promote broad participation in departmental work by assuring the representation of diverse interests, attitudes and programs.
  3. Nominate members to run for vacancies on departmental committees.
  4. Run elections each spring to fill committee vacancies.
  5. Run special nominations and elections when it is necessary to replace an already elected member.

Lecturer Hiring, Appointments and Evaluation Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The Lecturer Hiring, Appointments and Evaluation Committee shall consist of each tenured program coordinator representing programs in the department that employ lecturers, the director of the Writing Program, and at least two at-large tenured faculty members.
  2. Other at-large tenured faculty members are eligible to serve and encouraged to serve.
  3. At-large members shall be nominated by NEC and elected by voting members of the department. At-large members shall serve one-year terms.
  4. Members shall serve for three years, on staggered terms when possible to provide year-to-year continuity.
  5. The committee shall elect its own chair.
  6. Elections shall take place mid-spring with terms of service beginning in the fall semester.
  7. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.

Responsibilities

  1. Review applications and make hiring recommendations to department chair for appointment of new lecturers; recommendations for appointment of GTAs are made by Writing Program director and CMS coordinator.
  2. Conduct periodic evaluations in full compliance with University policies and all relevant provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  3. Review and make recommendation in writing to the department chair and college dean regarding lecturer re-appointments.
  4. Review and make recommendations in writing to the department chair and college dean regarding retention of probationary lecturers.
  5. Help conduct and arrange for classroom observations as needed to comply with Periodic Evaluation procedures.
  6. Develop, review and effectively communicate Periodic Evaluation procedures, criteria and timelines in compliance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  7. Partner with the Faculty Support and Mentoring committee who is charged with coordinating lecturer support and mentoring as necessary.

English Curriculum Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The English Curriculum Committee shall consist of program coordinators (ex-officio) and five tenured and tenure-track faculty members.
  2. All tenured and tenure-track members are eligible to serve. Members shall be nominated by NEC and elected by voting members of the department.
  3. Members shall serve for three years on staggered terms.
  4. The Committee shall elect its own chair.
  5. Elections shall take place mid-spring with terms of service beginning in the fall semester.
  6. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.

Responsibilities

  1. To assist program coordinators and department chair with conducting periodic program reviews and assessments of undergraduate and graduate programs in the major.
  2. Undertake regular curricular review and creative re-thinking of undergraduate and graduate department programs.
  3. Make curricular and program recommendations relevant to the undergraduate and graduate programs in the major based on the committee’s understanding of what the central academic intentions of the department are, informed by advice from individual members of the department, from program coordinators, from the major program staffs or from the department acting in concert.
  4. Coordinate suggestions presented to it, and to initiate recommendations for courses or programs deemed relevant to the central academic intentions of the department. 
  5. Serve as the department liaison on curricular matters initiated outside the department.

Faculty Support and Mentoring Committee 

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. Three tenured and tenure-track faculty members representing at least two different programs, and at least three lecturers, nominated by NEC and elected by voting members of the department.
  2. The chair of the Retention Committee shall serve as ex-officio member of committee.
  3. All members of the department are eligible to serve.
  4. Members shall serve for three-year staggered terms.
  5. The Committee shall elect its own chair.
  6. Elections shall take place mid-spring with terms of service beginning in the fall semester.
  7. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.

Responsibilities

  1. Provide new faculty members with an overview of department programs and functions and a roadmap of expectations for new faculty during their first three years in the department. Mentoring shall include recommendations and information about opportunities to participate in program, departmental and university service.
  2. Support professional development of probationary faculty and lecturers by providing or arranging for one-on-one mentoring, including curricular, teaching and/or research support and information about internal and external funding sources.

Students and Alumni Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The Department of English Student and Alumni Committee shall consist of at least three faculty members, nominated by NEC and elected by the voting members of the department, two students (one from the graduate and one from the undergraduate programs), and one alumnus/a.
  2. All tenured and tenure-track members of the department are eligible to serve.
  3. Faculty members shall serve three-year terms.  Alumni and student members shall serve one-year terms.
  4. The Committee shall elect its own chair.
  5. Elections shall take place mid-spring with terms of service beginning in the fall semester.
  6. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.

Responsibilities

  1. Consult with students and alumni on matters related to the department’s academic programs.
  2. Advise and recommend strategies for building community within the department via events, initiatives, etc.
  3. Communicate with students and alumni about current Department of English programs and events.
  4. Plan and publicize events and programs to engage alumni.

Events Committee 

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. Three tenured and tenure-track faculty members and at least two lecturers, representing at least two different programs, nominated by NEC and elected by voting members of the department.
  2. At least one staff member selected by Department of English staff.
  3. All members of the department, and all staff, are eligible to serve.
  4. Faculty members shall serve for a three-year term; staff shall serve for a one-year term.
  5. Committee members are free to seek out volunteers to assist them in their responsibilities.
  6. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.

Responsibilities

  1. Assist in sustaining social support, morale and intellectual engagement for the department as a whole, including planning intellectual events, departmental parties and other regular social functions, such as graduation receptions and honors ceremonies.

Program Committees

Graduate Literature Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The Graduate Literature Committee shall consist of six members of the tenured, tenure-track faculty with an appointment in the Literature program.
  2. Members shall serve for three-year terms.
  3. The literature coordinator serves as chair of the committee.
  4. Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.
  5. Subcommittees may be formed to handle any of the above responsibilities.

Responsibilities

  1. Assist the department chair in scheduling graduate courses to best serve the needs of the students and the MA Literature program.
  2. Formulate recommendations pertaining to the graduate literature curriculum and degree requirements and transmit recommendations to EAB for approval.
  3. Consider and recommend proposals for new courses and revisions to existing courses.
  4. Communicate hiring priorities to department chair and Department Hiring Committee.
  5. Read and make decisions on admission files.
  6. Assist the graduate program coordinator and department chair with periodic program reviews and assessment.
  7. Plan and carry out events for the MA Literature program on campus (e.g., career nights, guest lecturers, commencement activities) and off-campus (e.g., networking and other events at professional conferences).
  8. Assist the literature coordinator with advising MA Literature students.
  9. Review applications and rank applicants for department scholarships and awards.
  10. Receive requests for and recommend procedures for the adjudication of unresolved disagreements on such matters as approval or satisfaction of Culminating Experience requirements, interpretation of requirements, and other problems that may arise in the administration of the graduate literature program.

TESOL Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The TESOL Committee shall consist of all full-time faculty with an appointment in the TESOL program.
  2. Members serve during the semesters when they teach.
  3. The MA TESOL program coordinator serves as chair of the committee.
  4. Subcommittees may be formed to handle any of the responsibilities listed below.

Responsibilities

  1. Assist the department chair in scheduling graduate courses to best serve the needs of the students and the MA TESOL program.
  2. Formulate recommendations pertaining to the MA TESOL curriculum and degree requirements and transmit recommendations to EAB for approval.
  3. Consider and recommend proposals for new courses and revisions to existing courses.
  4. Communicate hiring priorities to department chair and Department Hiring Committee.
  5. Read and make decisions on admission files.
  6. Assist the graduate program coordinator and department chair with periodic program reviews and assessment.
  7. Plan and carry out events for the MA TESOL program on campus (e.g., career nights, guest lecturers, commencement activities) and off-campus (e.g., networking and other events at professional conferences).
  8. Assist the MA TESOL program coordinator with advising MA TESOL students.
  9. Review applications and rank applicants for department scholarships and awards.
  10. Receive requests for and recommend procedures for the adjudication of unresolved disagreements on such matters as approval or satisfaction of Culminating Experience requirements, interpretation of requirements, and other problems that may arise in the administration of the MA TESOL program.

Graduate Composition Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The Graduate Composition Committee shall consist of all tenured, tenure-track faculty with an appointment in the MA Composition program.
  2. Members serve during the semesters when they teach.
  3. The MA Composition Program coordinator serves as chair of the committee.
  4. Subcommittees may be formed to handle any of the responsibilities listed below.

Responsibilities

  1. Assist the department chair in scheduling graduate courses to best serve the needs of the students and the MA Composition and Graduate Ceritificate programs.
  2. Formulate recommendations pertaining to the MA Composition and certificate curriculum and degree requirements and transmit recommendations to EAB for approval.
  3. Consider and recommend proposals for new courses and revisions to existing courses.
  4. Communicate hiring priorities to department chair and Department Hiring Committee.
  5. Read and make decisions on admission files.
  6. Assist the graduate program coordinator and department chair with periodic program reviews and assessment.
  7. Plan and carry out events for the MA Composition and certificate programs on campus (e.g., career nights, guest lecturers, commencement activities) and off-campus (e.g., networking and other events at professional conferences).
  8. Assist the MA Composition coordinator with advising MA Composition and certificate students.
  9. Review applications and rank applicants for Department scholarships and awards.
  10. Receive requests for and recommend procedures for the adjudication of unresolved disagreements on such matters as approval or satisfaction of Culminating Experience requirements, interpretation of requirements, and other problems that may arise in the administration of the MA Composition and certificate programs.

Linguistics Committee

Membership and Terms of Service

  1. The Linguistics Committee shall consist of all full-time faculty with an appointment in the Linguistics program.
  2. Members serve during the semesters when they teach.
  3. The Linguistics Program coordinator serves as chair of the committee.
  4. Subcommittees may be formed to handle any of the responsibilities listed below.

Responsibilities

  1. Assist the department chair in scheduling graduate courses to best serve the needs of the students and the Linguistics program.
  2. Formulate recommendations pertaining to the undergraduate and graduate Linguistics curriculum and degree requirements and transmit recommendations to EAB for approval.
  3. Consider and recommend proposals for new courses and revisions to existing courses.
  4. Communicate hiring priorities to department chair and Department Hiring Committee.
  5. Read and make decisions on admission files.
  6. Assist the Linguistics coordinator and department chair with periodic program reviews and assessment.
  7. Plan and carry out events for the Linguistics program on campus (e.g., career nights, guest lecturers, commencement activities) and off-campus (e.g., networking and other events at professional conferences).
  8. Assist the Linguistics Program coordinator with advising Linguistics students.

Review applications and rank applicants for Department scholarships and awards.

  1. Receive requests for and recommend procedures for the adjudication of unresolved disagreements on such matters as approval or satisfaction of Culminating Experience requirements, interpretation of requirements, and other problems that may arise in the administration of the Linguistics program.

Retention, Tenure and Promotion Criteria

The Department of English's criteria for RTP are available from the San Francisco State University Faculty Affairs website, as are the general university criteria.

Amendment

These by-laws may be amended by a quorum (see I.B. 4 above) of the voting members at a departmental meeting or by majority of members in electronic voting, as determined by NEC.

Ratified March 7, 2017