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Bylaws, Department of English


To detail comprehensive policies and procedures relating to governance, administration, hiring, promotion, tenure, and conduct of business of the English Department.

Applies to: 

All faculty employed by the English Department

Policy Statement: 



A. Duties
The Chair is responsible for the operation of the Department, including oversight and leadership of all Departmental units and activities.  Among other responsibilities and activities, the Chair
1) executes decisions of the Voting Department and Senior Staff, and presides at meetings of these bodies and the Advisory Committee;
2) serves as the liaison between the Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as other administrative offices of the University;
3) administers the budget of the Department;
4) in conjunction with the Faculty Evaluation Committee, evaluates annually the full-time faculty in the Department, including tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenured professors and instructors; supervises the evaluation of support staff, GTAs, and part-time lecturers;
5) calculates and recommends to the College merit salaries for full-time faculty and supervises merit salary calculation and recommendations for support staff, GTAs, and part-time lecturers;
6) initiates the process for preparing materials for faculty being considered for promotion and tenure and makes recommendations to the Dean based on the vote of eligible Senior Staff members; also makes recommendations for promotion of full-time lecturers, academic staff, and support staff;
7) initiates the process and makes recommendations for the appointment of new full-time faculty; supervises the hiring of support staff and other instructional staff;
8) adjudicates personnel matters and serves as the administrative representative for grievance procedures for the Department;
9) oversees long-range plans for the Department in the areas of teaching, hiring, mentoring, research, and service in consultation with relevant Departmental bodies.
10)   provides oversight and leadership for all unit activities, including outreach;
11) reviews and modifies the long-range planning for the unit as it concerns the unit’s curriculum, faculty support, outreach, and fund raising;
12)   oversees all internal budgetary, administrative, and personnel matters;
13)   seeks enhancement of all unit resources by actively seeking external funding;
14)   administers the undergraduate and graduate academic programs of the unit;
15) develops and enhances research and educational relationships between the unit and other units within the University, as well as with agencies outside the University, governmental, public, or private;
16)   executes College and University policy in the unit effectively; and,
17)   represents the unit and reports to CLAS, and represents the unit to other University entities.
B. Provisions Concerning the Search Committee for a New Chair 
Subject to actual appointment by the Dean of the College, the Department Chair shall be elected to a three- or five-year term.  Normally the term shall end with the fiscal year.  Before a search or reappointment process begins, the Voting Department may adjust the length of the coming term to normalize its ending date.
1) Selection of Search Organizers:
When the Chair resigns, declines serving another term, or is not reappointed by the Dean after Departmental and College review, the Advisory Committee shall designate two of its elected members from the professorial ranks as Organizers of the Chair Search.
2) Duties:
The duties of the Chair Search Organizers shall be
a. To solicit and formulate questions for the candidates to address in writing.
b. To draft a position description for Chair of the Department (based on the model position description provided by CLAS as well as past descriptions and including questions for nominees to address in writing) and present to the Voting Department for approval.
c. To call for nominations (including self-nominations) for Chair. Any faculty member meeting the required qualifications who applies for the position must be considered by the department.The Organizers will consult with the Advisory Committee if needed and will report to the Advisory Committee the resulting nominees (any Organizer who is nominated and agrees to stand will resign from the position).
d. To consult the Voting Department on how to proceed if the Organizers consider the number of candidates to be unmanageable.
f. To make candidates’ application materials available to the Department.
g. To arrange Department meetings at which candidates may make statements and discuss questions in open forum.
h. To distribute paper ballots to the senior staff, tally the votes, and inform the candidates, the Department, and the Dean of the results.
i. To keep the Dean apprised of all stages of the process.
C. Reappointment and Review of Chair  
1) An incumbent Department Chair may be recommended for reappointment for one additional three-year term.  If the Chair wishes to be considered for reappointment, the following procedure will be used.  The Advisory Committee shall assure
a. the evaluation of its Chair by the members of the Voting Department, and
b. the communication of the results of that evaluation to the College before the Dean decides on reappointment or non-reappointment.  The Dean will also initiate a review of the Chair’s performance by the College Committee on the Evaluation of Chairs and Directors (see Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations X.1 at https://policy.ku.edu/governance/FSRR#art10sect1).
2) Therefore, no later than the beginning of the second semester of the academic year during which the Chair’s term is to end, the Advisory Committee shall call the Voting Department together, in the absence of the Chair, to discuss the Chair’s performance and to vote on a motion encouraging the Chair to stand for reappointment.  The Committee shall then forward a report of the discussion, as well as a count of the vote, to the College Committee on the Evaluation of Chairs and Directors and to the Chair of the Department.  
3) Should the Dean’s decision differ from the Department’s vote, the Advisory Committee shall request that the Dean meet in closed session with the Senior Staff to indicate the reasons for his/her decision to appoint or not to reappoint the Chair.  If the Dean denies the reappointment of the Chair, a new Chair shall be selected.
4) If the Chair does not wish to be considered for reappointment or if the Chair resigns before the end of his/her regular term, Departmental evaluation need not be conducted, and a new Chair shall be selected.
5) At the conclusion of two consecutive complete or partial terms the Department Chair who wishes to be reappointed must stand for election.  A search committee will be formed (see section I.A.2.a above).
6) In addition to the review provisions described here, the Department may by two-thirds vote initiate a review of the Chair at any time, as provided in the Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff.


A. Functions of Department Administrators
1) The Associate Chair and Scheduling Officer:
a. handles assignment and scheduling of courses and rooms for all classes taught at the 200-level and above, including Honors classes (105 and 205)
b. serves as an information source and mediator for Academic Misconduct and Grievance cases involving full-time faculty members;
c. assists the Chair in any way deemed necessary by the Chair; 
d. stands in for the Chair in the Chair’s absence
e. serves as an ex-officio member of the Advisory Committee.  
2) The Director of First- and Second-Year English :
a. oversees the program budgets (staffing and 700 fund); 
b. assigns all part-time instructors to the appropriate teaching responsibilities in the required courses; 
c. supervises GTA medical leaves of absence and work adjustments; 
d. in consultation with the departmental Scheduling Officer, assigns part-time teachers to courses outside the required courses; 
e. monitors and appropriately controls enrollment in FSE courses; 
f. supervises the FSE Intern; 
g. reviews student petitions for course equivalency for FSE courses, study abroad, and CLAS BA writing requirement; 
h. provides advice to the Office of Admissions and the College Office regarding transfer credit for required English courses and related issues; 
i. administers program listserv, website, and Canvas sites; 
j. administers teaching advising; 
k. assesses 101 and 102; 
l. serves as ex-officio member of the Advisory Committee.
3)    Director of Composition:
a. oversees the curriculum/pedagogy for first-year writing and serves as the first-level contact for issues regarding the undergraduate emphasis and graduate program in rhetoric and composition. 
b. develops/designs appropriate curricula for the required courses based on current research and theory in Rhetoric and Composition; 
c. develops curricula on writing pedagogy and best practices for teaching writing;
d. conducts writing program research consistent with disciplinary knowledge/research in the field; 
e. aligns program curriculum, policies and procedures with current research and pedagogical approaches; keeps up to date on national policies related to placement, concurrent enrollment, online teaching, and other relevant FYC policies; 
f. creates professional development opportunities for writing teachers based on current pedagogical approaches to teaching writing; 
g. supervises curricular innovations, such as FSE Projects (summer grants for curricular development); 
h. coordinates university initiatives aligned with first-year writing, such as the KU Common Book; consults with faculty in the disciplines regarding the integration of writing instruction; 
i. chairs the FSE Committee; 
j. serves ex-officio on Grad Admissions Committee.
Together, the Director of FSE and the Director of Composition:
a. oversee the operations of the First- and Second-Year English Program, including developing policy, procedures, and curriculum; co-supervising GTAs and lecturers; completing annual performance evaluations; and handling any problems or concerns of GTAs, lecturers, and FSE students;
b. supervise the orientation and training of new GTAs and lecturers; supervise the continuing professional development of all GTAs and Lecturers.
c. oversee the selection of approved textbooks and the publication of FSE publications, such as MAT and CAL;
d. serve as contacts for Academic Misconduct and Grievance cases involving FSE students and instructors;
e. conduct outreach on writing program policies, procedures, and curriculum and serve as a liaison between the FSE program and University units or outside entities;
f. review files of new admissions recommended for GTAships and report back to the Graduate Admissions Committee the results of that review;
g. oversee the appointment of GTAs and the extension of formal offers to new GTAs (after Graduate Admissions Committee has agreed upon which candidates shall be extended GTA offers)
h. recruit and participate in the hiring of FSE interns 
4) The Director of Undergraduate Studies:
a. performs or supervises advising of English majors and minors and certifies students for graduation;
b. oversees the development of new curriculum, curriculum changes, major and minor requirements;
c. works with students interested in completing Departmental Honors or external internships;
d. acts as a liaison with the College Student Academic Services Office, the College Committee on Undergraduate Studies and Advising, and the Office of Student Success;
e. serves as chair of the Undergraduate Committee;
f. serves as ex-officio member of the Advisory Committee and of the Assessment Committee
5) The Director of Graduate Studies:
a. advises first-year graduate students and supervises advising of all continuing graduate students;
b. oversees the development of degree programs and requirements, new curriculum and curriculum changes, graduate examinations, assessment of the graduate program, and other policy issues relating to the Graduate Program; 
c. acts as a liaison with the College Office of Graduate Affairs; the College Committee on Graduate Studies, and the Office of  Graduate Studies;
d. serves as chair of the Graduate Committee;
e. serves as chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee;
f.     serves as ex-officio member of the Advisory Committee.
6) The Director of Graduate Creative Writing: 
The Director of Graduate Creative Writing is responsible for promoting and overseeing the various goals and activities of the MFA Program and the Creative Writing PhD track, as specified in the following list of duties.
a. participates in the admission and recruitment of students through the admissions process, including the nomination of potential students for GTA-ships and fellowships;
b. helps advise students on course work and program requirements and monitor their progress toward degree;
c. communicates with the Chair about staffing needs and participates in the hiring of new creative writing faculty;
d. promotes the MFA Program through outreach activities with respect to conferences, national websites, and other professional and informational sources and opportunities;
e. assists in fund raising and developing a budget for the Program;
f. serves as a liaison between the MFA Program and the department as a whole, as well as the university and the community;
g. chairs the Creative Writing  committee;
h.    participates in the selection of visiting writers and helps facilitate their campus visits;
i.     helps answer questions from prospective students 
7)     The Honors Coordinator:
a.  recruits and supervises enrollment in English 598 and 599, 
b. serves as teacher of record for English 599, 
c. acts as liaison with CLAS to ensure students complete and register with the CLAS coordinator to receive official Departmental Honors,
d. provides guidelines to both faculty and students for the Departmental Honors process.   
8) The Professionalization and Job Placement Advisor:
a. Reviews graduate student drafts of job letters, CVs, teaching statements, DEI statements, and the like
b. Holds workshops on matters related to job searches and other professionalization topics
c. Arranges mock interviews and practice job talks
d. Does general counseling about the interview process and job negotiations
e. Maintains job seeker site with job search assistance for academic positions, post-docs, and alt-ac careers as needed for current job market
f. Updates academic job search handbook every 5-7 years or as needed due to changing job market practices
g. Compiles statistics on KU English students on the market, interviews, and job placement, as needed for department records
h. Participates in graduate student orientation and recruitment events, as invited by DGS
B. Procedures For Selecting Faculty To Fulfill Major Administrative Positions 
1) The Associate Chair is appointed by the Chair; the Senior Staff may discuss this selection if five members request a meeting to do so, and the selection may be vetoed by a majority of those attending the meeting.   
2) Other administrators will be appointed as follows:
a. Announcement of the vacancy via notice to the whole Department together with a job description, usually generated by the outgoing incumbent;
b. Inviting and receiving by the Chair of nominations and self-nominations, as well as supporting materials, within a specified time period;
c. Securing by the Chair of expression of intent to serve if appointed;
d. Depending on the size of the pool of candidates, appointment by the Chair of an appropriately constituted screening committee (the decision to do which, to be made with the help of the Advisory Committee, also may specify other aspects of screening, such as procedures for interviewing);
e. Presentation of a list of acceptable candidates, ranked or unranked, to the Chair;
f. Discussion in the Advisory Committee of either the list of candidates furnished by the screening committee or of those interviewed by the Chair without benefit of the screening committee;
g. Presentation of the Chair’s nomination for the post to the Voting Department;
h. Action on the Chair’s nomination by the Voting Department;
i. Further discussion by the Advisory Committee (following procedural steps outlined above) if the Chair’s nomination is not approved;
j. Announcement of the appointment to the Department.
k. Administrators appointed in this way will ordinarily serve for a three-year term.  Near the end of the first three-year term, if the administrator wishes to continue, the Chair will conduct a review of the administrator by circulating a questionnaire to the Department requesting feedback on the administrator’s performance.  If the performance is deemed adequate by the Chair, with the assistance of the Advisory Committee if the case is at all questionable, the administrator will be appointed for three more years.
l. In the sixth year of an administrator’s position, the administrator who wishes to continue will stand for re-election, following the procedures outlined above.
m. The maximum term for an administrator is nine years.  At that point, an election for a new administrator will be held.  The previous administrator may stand for re-election for the same position after a three-year hiatus.  In case of emergency, an administrator may serve beyond their maximum term in an interim capacity.


A. Duties and Activities
1) The Voting Department will determine matters of academic policy—such as the creation of new courses and the modification of existing ones, the setting of requirements for the various degrees in English, amendments to the By-Laws, and so forth.  Policies will become operative when approved by a simple majority vote, except in the case of By-Laws amendments.  Proxy votes will be accepted on major policy issues at the discretion of the Chair. 
2) Announcements of new University and College policies, directives, and other matters of importance to the Department will be made and explained to the Voting Department.  Members of the Voting Department are responsible for knowing these policies and, in the case of SAGE members, for passing them along to their colleagues.
B. Membership
The Voting Department consists of
1) Tenured and tenure-track faculty
2) Senior Lecturers, full-time non-tenure track faculty, and unclassified academic staff
3) Graduate and undergraduate student members of the Advisory Committee and Departmental standing committees
4) Part-time lecturers’ representatives on Advisory and Standing Committees  
C. Meetings 
1) Voting Department meetings are normally scheduled on Tuesdays from 4-5:00 p.m. in a classroom arranged by the Associate Chair.  Additional meetings may be called or scheduled meetings cancelled by the Chair, depending on what business needs to be conducted.  On a Tuesday when no meeting is scheduled, a Standing Committee may schedule the room for its committee meeting.
2) Voting Department meetings are open to the Department, but only those members listed in I.3.B (above) are eligible to vote.
3) Meetings will be conducted using Roberts Rules of Order.
4) On occasion, issues will arise that need immediate attention or that seem obvious enough that a meeting need not be held to discuss them.  In such cases, the Chair may conduct an e-mail ballot.   An e-mail vote will be considered valid if fewer than five voting members request that the issue be discussed in an actual Voting Department meeting.   If five or more voting members request a meeting, the Chair will either schedule an additional meeting or bring up the issue for discussion in the next regularly scheduled meeting.


A. Duties and Activities
1) The Senior Staff considers and votes on matters of personnel such as appointments to tenure-track positions, promotion, and tenure.
2) The Senior Staff considers and votes on the Faculty Evaluation Plan and approves changes in forms.
3) The Senior Staff considers and votes on new hires, hiring priorities, and matters pertaining only to Senior Staff members. The annual meeting to discuss hiring priorities is a closed meeting of Senior Staff.
B. Membership
The Senior Staff consists of:
1) Tenured and tenure-track faculty 2) Teaching professors 3) Senior lecturers, academic program associates, and unclassified academic staff 
2) Tenure and/or promotion for a faculty member will be considered only by those senior to them in rank.   Associate and full professors will consider promotions to associate professorships and full professors will consider promotions to full professorships. In all cases, recommendations will be made to the Chair, who is in turn responsible for making recommendations concerning personnel matters to the College and University administrations.
C. Meetings
1) Senior Staff meetings are called by the Chair as needed when there are personnel decisions to be made or policies involving only Senior Staff members to be considered.  Meetings are ordinarily held on Tuesdays from 4-5:00 p.m. in the same room used for Voting Department meetings.  However, meetings may be scheduled at other times and in other places, which often happens when candidates for new hires are considered.
2) Except when others are invited to a meeting for a specific purpose, only members of the Senior Staff are allowed to attend Senior Staff meetings.  The Senior Staff will consider new appointments of tenure-line faculty, teaching professors, unclassified academic staff, multi-term lecturers, and lecturers / academic program associates. 


A. Duties
This elective body advises the Chair on all matters brought to its attention, whether by the Chair, standing committees, ad hoc committees, or individuals.  The Advisory Committee shall make recommendations to the Chair regarding action by the Voting Department (or, if applicable, by the Senior Staff) on proposals for amendment to any requirements of the several degrees offered by the Department, amendments to the Department By-Laws, and any other matters brought to its attention by the Chair.
B. Membership
The Advisory Committee includes both elected and ex-officio members.  
1) The tenured and tenure-track faculty will elect three members, with at least one but no more than two representatives from the untenured faculty, if possible. 
2) SAGE will elect one graduate student as a member. 
3) Senior Lecturers, lecturers/academic program associates, and unclassified academic staff will jointly elect one member.
4) Ex-officio members include the Chair, the Associate Chair, the Director of First- and Second-Year English, the Director of Graduate Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and the Director of Graduate Creative Writing.
5) After a two-year term of service on the committee, an elected member will ordinarily be ineligible to serve for one year  barring exigencies.
C. Meetings
1) The Advisory Committee meets at the request of the Chair.
2) Advisory Committee meetings are open to the Department, but non-members of the Committee should inform the Chair in advance that they plan to attend so that a larger room can be arranged if necessary.


Faculty may opt out of Faculty Evaluation Committee elections (if they wish) if they fall into one of the following categories: 
A. Faculty who hold an administrative position 
B. Faculty who are untenured.  
C. Faculty who have served within the last 3 years.  
D. Faculty who know they will be on leave in the Spring of the following year.
In addition to the list above, faculty who feel they have legitimate, serious reasons, aside from normal work load duties, for why they should be allowed to opt out of Faculty Evaluation Committee elections in a particular year (e.g. a particularly heavy service year in terms of work-intensive college or university committees or task forces, heavy national service, etc.) must negotiate with the Chair. 


In the Fall of each semester, the Chair shall appoint elected members of Advisory Committee, supplemented if necessary by elected members of Faculty Evaluation Committee, to serve as an “Advisory” Sabbatical Committee to help draft evaluative and summary materials for the departmental endorsement of sabbatical applications.  The Chair can revise such materials as s/he deems necessary in order to ensure fair and consistent standards among candidates, and shall have sole control over final recommendations and ratings of candidates.  No faculty member can serve on Sabbatical Committee if he/she is applying for a sabbatical in that year, or if he/she has a clear conflict of interest (e.g. a spouse or partner applying for a sabbatical in that year).


A. Committee Service Expectations
All tenured and tenure-track faculty are expected to serve in at least two, and normally three, significant forms of departmental service each year, including department administrative roles, standing committees, and/or search committees, except in the case of especially heavy service elsewhere or exceptional circumstances, which shall be approved by the Chair. Course remissions for administrator roles, as well as joint appointments, should be considered in the assigning of service.  Non-tenure-line faculty also serve on committees related to their contracted duties. 
B. Formation of Committees
The formation and duties of the Standing Committees will be approved by a simple majority of the Voting Department.
C. Procedure for Appointing Committee Members 
1) Appointment to service on committees takes place as follows:
a. expression of interest by individual faculty members
b. consultation between them and the Chair
c. consultation between the Chair and the continuing or newly selected chairs of the respective committees
d. approval of faculty committee slates by the Voting Department (may be done by e-mail, following procedures described above)
e. graduate student representatives are elected and appointed by SAGE, usually early in the fall semester after new students have enrolled; the number of graduate student representatives on committees varies according to student interest and the nature of the committees
f. undergraduate members may be nominated by the faculty members of the Undergraduate Committee and appointed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies
2) Other committee appointment considerations
a. Fluctuating interests of individuals, the kinds of activities generating certain needs on committees, a reasonable attention to effective size of committees, and the experience or expressed preference of appointed chairs may on occasion lead to disappointments for volunteers and to “drafting” of committee members.
b. Committee chairs come usually from the existing membership, sometimes ex officio, sometimes by virtue of suggestion from other members of the committee, sometimes by volunteering of one of the members, sometimes by the preference of the Chair.


The Chair may appoint committees or panels with terms of limited duration to assist in specific matters or to serve as fact-finding bodies.

I.10. S.A.G.E.

S.A.G.E., or Student Association for Graduates in English, is the organization that represents the graduate students in the Department.  All graduate students are automatically members of S.A.G.E. when they enroll.  S.A.G.E. conducts its own elections and appoints representatives to serve on Departmental Standing Committees.  Its chair, or co-chairs, are members of the Voting Department, as are all graduate students appointed to serve on Standing Committees.


The entire budget of the Department of English is administered by the Chair, who is accountable, both to their colleagues and to the central administration, for using its resources efficaciously and efficiently.  The Chair is aided significantly in that regard by:
A. the College budget analyst and SSC financial contact, who are responsible for handling all the forms that govern the disbursing, depositing, and transferring of Departmental moneys and for the bookkeeping thereby necessitated 
B. the Director of First- and Second-Year English, who oversees the budget for staffing courses taught by GTAs and lecturers
C. the Administrative associate, who helps prioritize expenditures for supplies and equipment.


Performance expectations for tenured and tenure-track faculty, as well as unclassified academic staff members, are outlined in the Faculty Evaluation Plan. The procedures outlined here apply to non-tenure-line faculty.


Unclassified staff members’ allocation of effort is determined by their individual contracts and is not normally subject to change.  Teaching professors’ allocation of effort will be comprised of 60% teaching and generally 20% research and 20% service, as negotiated with the chair in response to departmental need and reflected in the position description. Full-time lecturers who are not academic program assistants (APA) generally allocate their effort 100% teaching; service and research directly relevant to their teaching will be counted as part of the assessment of teaching.  Multi-term lecturers/academic program assistants (APA) generally allocate 75% to teaching and 25% to service; this again is negotiated with the chair in response to departmental need and is reflected in the position description.


A. Quantitative expectations
Unclassified staff members teach the number of courses specified in their contracts; this varies from one to four courses per semester.  Distribution of effort is likewise adjusted according to contracted number of courses. 
B. Qualitative expectations
1) Full-time multi-year contract term lecturers undergo peer review of teaching, following the guidelines outlined in the Faculty Evaluation Plan, by at least two tenured Department members during each of their three-year contract periods.  
2) Senior lecturers are reviewed by at least two tenured Department members during each of their five-year contract periods. 
3) Other unclassified teaching staff members are similarly reviewed every five years.


Unclassified staff and teaching professors will serve on committees in their area of responsibility as needed.   They may also be assigned as mentors to GTAs or other lecturers.  Unclassified staff members, MTL/APAs, and teaching professors are expected to attend department meetings and participate in department decision-making.


Unclassified academic staff expectations are determined by the staff member’s position description.


Full-time lecturers, multi-term lecturers/academic program assistants, teaching professors, and unclassified teaching and professional staff will generally be evaluated according to the same standards required of tenure-line faculty, as outlined in the Faculty Evaluation Plan, though the percentage of effort in each category will necessarily differ according to their different contracts. Service evaluations for unclassified staff will include professional activities as outlined in the Faculty Evaluation Plan. Service and research associated with teaching will count toward teaching for those lecturers for whom there is no contractual obligation for teaching or service.



Part-time lecturers should undergo a periodic review in the first semester of their teaching and every six semesters subsequently by the Director of FSE, the Director of Composition, or by a tenured member of the faculty.


The agreement between KU and its GTAs requires that all GTAs be evaluated each semester.  In order to give GTAs semesterly evaluation of their work as teachers in a way both helpful to the teachers and manageable for the Department, the Department has instituted a system of Teaching Advisors to supplement the existing academic advisors.
A. At the beginning of each year, the FSE Director, in consultation with the Chair, will assign each GTA a Teaching Advisor, a member of the tenured or tenure-track faculty who will become familiar with the work of the GTA, advise the GTA about teaching issues, and give the GTA feedback each semester about the quality of the GTA’s teaching.  In order to increase the contact between full-time faculty and GTAs and to give GTAs a range of response to their teaching, GTAs will be assigned a different Teaching Advisor each year.
B. The minimal requirements for teaching advising are:
1) the teaching advisor will visit a class taught by the GTA at least once each year
2) the teaching advisor will review the GTA’s grading by examining at least one set of graded papers
3) the teaching advisor will fill out a form about the GTA’s teaching to be included with other materials in the GTA’s personnel file. The letter will help provide context to the student evaluations and self-assessments provided by the GTAs for their annual review and act as one piece of evidence of the quality of the GTA’s teaching.  This letter should be shown to the GTA before it is submitted to FSE, and the GTA should receive a copy of the letter.


At minimum, all instructors in the Department will:
A. Submit a course description and an order for books (when appropriate), in advance of each semester.
B. Distribute a syllabus which includes class and relevant department policies, a schedule of readings, and information about grading, including what major assignments will count and what weight they will have in the final grade.  The syllabus should adhere with reasonable fidelity to the content and objectives of each offering as it is described in the catalogs and other publications.  The syllabus serves as a contract between teacher and student, so it is important that expectations and policies be clearly outlined (a clear syllabus is the best defense in cases of grade appeals or other grievances, for example).
C. Attend all assigned classes on time or arrange a substitute. In case of emergency, the instructor should contact students by e-mail.
D. Maintain communication with the students outside of class by holding office hours and responding to e-mail messages and KU Learning Management System (LMS) posts. All instructors must maintain an active e-mail account:  this is the University’s key method of communicating important policies and information to faculty, staff, and students.
E. Mark and grade all major assignments and return to students in a timely manner so that students have some idea of their standing in their courses throughout the semester.
F. Encourage students to fill out the digital course evaluation distributed by the university, including by reserving class time for this. Teachers will not have access to student evaluations of their instruction in any given course until grades for that course have been turned in.  Student evaluations are tallied and recorded by Department staff and kept on file.  The evaluations themselves are returned to the faculty member, who must keep them for annual evaluations, preparation of dossiers for promotion and tenure, teaching awards, and other potential uses.  The English Department has voted to use student comments as part of faculty evaluation.
G. Calculate accurate grades based on a variety of assignments and submit to the Registrar’s Office using the appropriate online form.
H. Submit an annual portfolio including student evaluations and other materials.


Any member of the Senior Staff may propose new courses to be taught in the Department. These proposals will be submitted for consideration by the Undergraduate Committee or the Graduate Committee (or both), depending on the level of the course.  If approved by the appropriate committee, such proposals will then be submitted to the Voting Department for approval.  Once approved by the Voting Department, course proposals are submitted to either the Committee on Undergraduate Studies and Advising (CUSA) or the Committee on Graduate Studies (CGS).



A. Tenured and tenure-track faculty will be assigned courses by the Associate Chair/Scheduling Officer, under the direction of the Chair.  Course assignments are made, as much as possible, according to the requests of faculty members.  Faculty should remember, however, that all course assignments are ultimately the prerogative of the Dean.  The principal responsibility of the Scheduling Officer is to ensure an adequate and varied number of offerings at the graduate and majors level.
B. The standard teaching assignment for tenure-line professors at all ranks is four courses per year, normally two each semester.  Appropriate remissions will be given for Departmental administrators, editors of journals, those holding endowed research professorships, and others with especially heavy service (as approved by the Dean).  However, professors may request to teach a 3/1 or 1/3 load, which request must be approved by the Chair.  
C. Tenure-track assistant professors are eligible for one Research Intensive Semester prior to their promotion and tenure review.  During that semester, they are relieved from teaching any courses, though they still perform service duties and meet with graduate students as needed.  Eligible assistant professors must consult with the Chair to determine when the RIS will be taken.  The Department’s teaching commitments are uppermost in considering any request for course reduction.
D. While the Department will always seek to be supportive of teaching leaves due to external or internal fellowships or sabbaticals, the Department’s teaching commitments are uppermost in considering any request for course reduction. 
E. Tenured and tenure-track faculty are normally expected to teach at least one course a year that meets enrollment demands or program requirements on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. Appropriate adjustments will be made for faculty with course remissions.


A. Senior Lecturers, Director of FSE, and non-FSE full-time multi-term contract lecturers will be assigned courses by the Associate Chair/Scheduling Officer.  Full-time FSE multi-term contract lecturers will be assigned by the Director of FSE, in consultation with the Scheduling Officer.  Courses will be assigned according to teacher preferences where possible, but Departmental need will be the primary criterion.  Instructors should remember that all course assignments are ultimately the prerogative of the Dean.
B. The number of courses assigned to full-time non-tenure-track instructors depends on their contracts


A. Requests for summer teaching assignments are made to the regular Scheduling Officers (Associate Chair and FSE Administrators), usually late in the Fall Semester.  In general, only basic courses in high demand will be offered during the summer.   For 300-level and above courses, the Scheduling Officer will attempt to rotate teaching assignments so that all those who wish to teach in the summer have the opportunity on a regular basis.  Thus priority will be given to those who have not taught recently.  Procedures for assigning summer teaching for FSE courses are outlined in MAT (Manual for Teachers).
B. Salary for teaching summer courses is in addition to academic year salary, or such teaching can be on-load.   Salaries for summer courses are allocated at a standard flat rate per course, not as a percentage of the academic year salary.



A. An ad hoc committee composed of several faculty members, a graduate student, and a faculty member from outside the Department, is appointed by the Chair.  Working with the Chair and the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX, the ad-hoc committee will draft a position description to be presented to the Senior Staff for approval. Following procedures formulated by the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX, the committee selects finalists are invited to Lawrence, often after an interview either at the MLA Convention or online.  Once finalists have been identified, their files are made available to the Department (with a separate file for letters of recommendation, available only to the Senior Staff).  When finalists visit Lawrence they are expected to give formal public presentations and to discuss their plans and interests informally with a large number of Department members, including graduate students.  Candidates are hired both for general excellence and for competence in one or more specific fields.  
B. When the visits are completed, a 90-minute meeting to consider the candidates is scheduled. In the first 30 minutes, the Department at large (not limited to the Voting Department) discusses in open forum the candidates’ potential for teaching, research, and service.  Prior to this open forum, the ad-hoc hiring committee and SAGE are invited to make written reports confidentially available to the Senior Staff no later than 24 hours prior to the hiring meeting. After the open forum, the Senior Staff convenes for further discussion including any discussion of candidate reference letters, and for a decision on the appointment.  The entire Senior Staff (with exceptions for conflicts of interest, as in domestic partner hires) participates no matter what the rank of the appointment. At this point, the Senior Staff may, if it wishes, reject all the candidates and request that the search be reopened or continued. Otherwise, first, the Senior Staff votes (secret ballot) on which candidate to rank highest. In the event no candidate receives a majority, a second ballot will be taken between the two candidates with the greatest number of votes. After the first-ranking candidate has been determined and the tally announced, the Senior Staff again votes on which candidate to rank second. This process is repeated until all candidates are ranked. (In a hire producing three “finalist” candidates, this would involve two actual votes, for example.) After all candidates have been ranked, faculty members can then make motions to exclude individual candidates from further consideration. (In this way, faculty can also express their dissatisfaction with those candidates.) These motions (if seconded) will be voted on one at a time.
C. Special-opportunity hires (e.g., hiring of targeted minority-group members and domestic partners of faculty members, hiring in tenure-track positions of persons who have held other positions in the University, and hiring to distinguished professorships) follow the procedures above as much as possible, except that discussion and an up-or-down vote are held after one candidate’s visit, and the next candidate, if there is one, is invited only if the position remains unfilled.


A. An ad hoc committee comprised of three or four Department faculty members is appointed by the Chair.  In the case of the Assistant or Associate Director of FSE, the Director of FSE serves as Chair.  The committee devises a position description and ensures that the position(s) are advertised on the Human Resource Management website and within the Department.
B. Applicants submit teaching portfolios to the Chair.  Applicants for Assistant or Associate Director of FSE submit materials demonstrating administrative experience and quality as well.  The committee also consults applicants’ FSE files, if available.  The committee chooses a group of finalists and conducts interviews with them.  The finalists’ portfolios and files are made available to the Senior Staff.
C. The finalists’ qualifications are discussed in an open meeting of the Department.  This is followed by a meeting of the Senior Staff, which votes in the same way it would for an external hire.


Advertising, interviewing, and hiring for these positions will be conducted by the appropriate Departmental administrators, under the direction of the Chair. 


Evaluations at the 3rd-year contract renewal stage are meant to assess whether the candidate is making adequate progress to the promotion review.


Each assistant teaching professor is assigned a teaching mentor by the chair of the department. This mentor aids the assistant teaching professor with teaching issues, observes one or more of the candidate’s classes, examines course materials, and has frequent discussions with the candidate about teaching goals and progress. As the person best informed about the assistant professor’s teaching, the mentor becomes a part of the contract renewal committee when the assistant teaching professor comes up for 3rd-year contract renewal and, eventually, for promotion.
For teaching professors at all ranks (assistant, associate, and full), teaching and advising are assessed through multiple sources of information including consideration of syllabi, course materials, and other information related to a faculty member’s courses; peer and student evaluations; a candidate’s own statement of teaching philosophy and goals; public representations of teaching; engagement in pedagogical workshops, seminars, or conferences; record of graduate advising where appropriate; record of advising undergraduate theses; and other accepted methods of evaluation, which may include external evaluations. Expectations and opportunities for graduate advising will be established in consultation with the teaching mentor, chair, and graduate director at the start of each 3-year contract period.


In the first semester of an assistant teaching professor’s appointment, the department chair assigns a more advanced scholar in the candidate’s field, or in one closely related, to serve as a research mentor; this scholar may also serve as the assistant teaching professor’s teaching mentor by mutual agreement. The mentor then becomes a member of the candidate’s 3rd-year contract renewal committee and, eventually, their promotion committee and assesses the candidate’s scholarship in each instance. This colleague synthesizes the information drawn from the candidate’s curriculum vitae, professional reviews and/or citations, the colleague’s own knowledge of the field and its expectations, and his/her assessment of the candidate’s research. Major publications in English can include books and peer-reviewed articles or book chapters (or the creative equivalent, e.g., plays, short stories, creative essays, poems, or other substantial creative work), and articles and book chapters on pedagogy, and minor publications generally include book reviews or encyclopedia entries. Given the relative weight of research in the teaching professor’s contract, conference presentations are also a potentially significant source of research/scholarly assessment.  
For renewals after the sixth year, the candidate may retain their research mentor from the previous promotion, or, in consultation and with the approval of the chair, may designate a different research mentor from among the senior faculty.
For teaching professors at all ranks, the factors that lead to a specific judgment about a renewal recommendation include the quality of the publications (extensiveness of research, innovative thinking, contribution to the field, effectiveness of the writing, etc.) and the status of the journal or press (based on scholarly reputation, appropriateness to a field, and rigor of review process). More weight is given to major publications.


The chair of the department serves as a member of the candidate’s 3rd-year contract renewal committee as well as the promotion committee. (In the case that the Chair is already serving on the candidate’s Promotion Committee as either research or teaching evaluator, the Associate Chair is asked to serve as service evaluator.) The Chair (or Associate Chair) evaluates the candidate’s service record based on examination of the candidate’s CV, annual evaluations, solicited and unsolicited letters regarding service, departmental records, and personal knowledge of service contributions. The Chair considers the workload and time-commitment of the service, the quality of the service contribution, the different levels of contribution (Department, Institution, and National / International), and the ways in which the service might enhance the Department’s and KU’s national reputation. The minimum requirement for English Department faculty is at least two, and normally three, significant forms of departmental service each year, including department administrative roles, standing committees, and/or search committees, except in the case of especially heavy service elsewhere or exceptional circumstances, which shall be approved by the Chair. 


According to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Student Academic Misconduct Policy, any student charged with any form of academic misconduct must be informed in writing and must be told of the right to appeal. It is absolutely essential that all instructors cooperate with departmental procedures and with the College procedures for notifying students of a misconduct charge. The regulations of the University Senate, of the University Judicial Board, and of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences explicitly require that instructors not deal unilaterally with academic offenses committed by their students. These regulations and procedures have been designed to protect the legitimate rights of both the student and the University. Students have the right to respond to any accusations of plagiarism and a right to due process. Any student whose instructor fails to adhere to these procedures may legitimately appeal to the University Judicial Board on the grounds that due process has been denied in their case. 
The following is the procedure for addressing Academic Misconduct that is a result of plagiarism in the Department. Note: If the teacher who is considering charges of academic misconduct is a faculty member, a Senior Lecturer or Multiterm lecturer, they will work with the Associate Chair. If the teacher is an Annual Contract Lecturer or a Graduate Teaching Assistant, they will work with the Director of FSE or the Director of Composition. For simplicity, Administrator is used below.

X.1. The instructor confers with the Administrator to determine whether or not academic misconduct has occurred, what the penalty should be, and go over the academic misconduct process. The Administrator provides the academic misconduct form to the instructor.

X.2. If there is strong evidence of Academic Misconduct, the teacher should first, if possible, discuss the evidence of misconduct with the student. If the instructor decides to continue with the charge of misconduct, they should 1) fill out the Academic Misconduct form; 2) submit the form and evidence to the Administrator who will discover whether the student has previous Academic Misconduct offenses. The Administrator will then route the form to the Chair for adjustment of penalty if needed and for signature, and then to the student with information about the process and their right to appeal. The instructor must complete the Charge of Academic Misconduct form to begin this process within 10 calendar days of the discovery of the misconduct.
X.3. The student will accept the charge, accept the charge but appeal the sanction, or deny the charge on the form, and in all three cases, the form returns to the Administrator for filing with the College, further mediation, or to arrange a hearing. Mediation consists of talking to the student and instructor separately to decide if they want to continue the process. The student and instructor must be informed that they may continue the process and request a departmental hearing.
X.4 If a hearing is held at the departmental level, the hearing panel will consist of a three-person faculty committee appointed by the Chair including the other Director (who has not tried to mediate the case) or Associate Chair. If the instructor is an annual contract lecturer or GTA, the other members will be the Associate Chair and a member of the FSE Committee. If the instructor is a faculty member, senior lecturer or multi-term lecturer, the other members will be the Chair and a member of the Advisory Committee on the Senior Staff. Present at the hearing will be the faculty panel, the instructor, and the student. All hearings must be audio recorded.
X.5 If the hearing finds the student committed misconduct, the student may appeal to the Judicial Board.
X.6. Depending on the number of Academic Misconduct offenses for which the student has been cited, the following minimal penalties are considered appropriate:
A. Minor Infractions:  
In case of a minor infraction, the instructor may choose to issue a warning or impose a lesser penalty than failing the assignment. However, an Academic Misconduct form should still be filed with the Department. In this case, the penalty would be “Censure.”
B. First offense:
Written exercises, themes: the student fails the assignment and repeats it, retaining the failing grade. Examinations: the student fails the examination. Academic misconduct charges that result in the lowering of a grade must be filed with the College as well as the Department. 
C. Second offense:
The student fails the course.  A Transcript Citation for Academic Misconduct may also be imposed.  In this case, as with most cases of second offense, a hearing is held by the College. Students who receive a D or F in a course as a result of a sanction of Reduction of Grade for the Course due to a finding of academic misconduct by a unit, school, or Judicial Board hearing body may repeat the course but are not eligible for the grade-replacement provisions of USRR 2.3.9. 
D. Third offense:
The Department of English recommends to the University administration that the student be suspended or expelled from the University (a hearing is held at the College level).
Note: If a faculty member wishes to enforce a more stringent policy than that described above, they may do so, but that policy must be outlined explicitly in the course syllabus.


University Senate Rules and Regulations allow students, under specifically limited circumstances, to appeal their semester grade in a course.
XI.1 Grounds for appeal.  The only ground for appeal of a grade is “improper application of the grading procedure announced for the course by the instructor” (USSR 2.4.5).  Grade appeals can only be made after the course grade has been assigned, based on the grounds articulated above. 
XI.2. Conference and Mediation. Students who feel that a teacher has not assigned a course grade fairly should first confer with him or her; if that conference ends in an impasse, they should appeal to the Director of First- and Second-Year English (for all GTAs and part-time lecturers) or the Associate Chair (for senior staff and full-time lecturers), who will mediate the case. Students may also appeal to the Director of Graduate or Undergraduate Studies to help mediate the case. The Associate Director of FSE and/or the Associate Chair can answer student questions about documentation and the process of the appeal.
XI.3. Departmental hearing.  If the student decides to go forward with the appeal after mediation, the Associate Chair will appoint a three-person committee to hear it. This committee will include the Associate Chair.  If the instructor is a part-time faculty member, the other members will be the Assistant/Associate Director of FSE and a member of the GTAL Committee.  If the instructor is a member of the Senior Staff, the other members will be two of the four elected Senior Staff members of Advisory Committee.  If the hearing sustains the instructor’s original grade, the student may then appeal to the Judicial Board.
XI.4. If the Judicial Board sustains the instructor’s original grade, the student has exhausted his or her remedies in the grade-appeals procedure.
XI.5. If the Departmental hearing sustains the student’s appeal, the three-person committee will review a student’s work, consult with the instructor, and assign the course grade. The instructor and the student will be informed of their right to appeal to the Judicial Board.
XI.6. If the Judicial Board sustains the student’s appeal, the three-person committee will, in accordance with U.S.R.R., assign the course grade for the student.  If the Board sustains the instructor’s appeal, the instructor will assign the course grade.

Department of English
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 3001
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Approved on: 
Friday, June 30, 2023
Effective on: 
Friday, June 30, 2023
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
bylaws, english
Change History: 

08/21/2023: New policy added to the Policy Library.

School/College Policy Categories: 
Code of Conduct/By-Laws

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