School of Social Welfare Governance
Provides the description of the governing body of the School of Social Welfare.
All faculty and staff of the School of Social Welfare.
I. School Governing Body
The School Governing Body is responsible for the School’s educational policy decisions. Voting membership of this School Governing Body is defined below. Educational policy is broadly interpreted to mean all policies that pertain to the educational mission of the School. Specifically, educational policy decisions include educational degree programs and credit-bearing certificates; curriculum development, maintenance, and evaluation; and standards and evaluation related to teaching. Other educational decisions, such as course size, scheduling, location, and modality, are determined by Dean, Associate Dean of Academic Programs, Program Directors, and/or Assistant Dean and when feasible, with input from faculty/students. For example, this input may come from surveys, scheduling tool, program committee meetings, at Faculty and/or School Business Meetings.
A. School Governing Body Voting Membership
Membership shall include:
- All tenured or tenure track faculty with appointments of half-time (.5 FTE) or more with appointments of half-time (.5 FTE) or more within the School
- Unclassified academic staff (e.g., research professors, clinical professors) with appointments of half-time (.5 FTE) or more within the School
- Professors of the Practice (i.e., non-tenure track faculty) with appointments of half-time (.5 FTE) or more within the School
- Up to six student representatives, who must be in good academic standing and enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours in the School. The six will consist of two representatives from the BSW program (one from each campus), three from the MSW program (one from each campus), and one from the PhD program, appointed by the respective program directors.
B. School Governing Body Meetings
There will be a minimum of two meetings of the School Governing Body, termed School Business Meetings, each year and special meetings as required. Print or electronic notification of each meeting will be distributed to members. Other persons associated with the mission of the School may be invited as non-voting participants. The Dean of the School shall preside at these meetings.
II. Faculty Body Subset of the School Governing Body
The Faculty Body, which is a subset of the School Governing Body, includes 1, 2, 3 of the School Governing Body (see I. A.), that is all tenured or tenure track faculty, unclassified academic staff (e.g., research professor, clinical professors), and Professors of the Practice with appointments of half-time (.5 FTE) or more. The Faculty Body is responsible for non-curricular policies and procedures, such as voting on certain elected committees as detailed in III.B. below, and approval of degree candidates, apart from the Promotion, Retention, and Tenure (PRT) policies and procedures on which Professors of the Practice do not vote.
III. Standing Committees of the School
The School Governing Body sets policy, and the duties of the standing committees are to 1) implement those policies through appropriate procedures, course offerings, etc. and 2) recommend needed changes in policy to the School Governing Body. All standing committees except the Promotion, Retention, and Tenure Committee, the Awards Committee, and the Faculty Executive Committee may include as many students, less one, as faculty serving on the committee. All committees will keep minutes of meetings and will make reports of their activities at each School Business Meeting. The chair of each committee shall maintain a current policy and procedure document, a copy of which shall be kept in the Dean’s office, made available on request, and filed in the School’s overall policy and procedure virtual library on the website.
A. Program Committees
Every faculty member with appointments of .5 FTE or more and classroom responsibilities will be expected to serve on at least one program committee. Adjunct instructors are not expected to participate in program committees on an ongoing basis but can be invited by a Program Director to participate in a particular committee for specific discussions as needed.
Each program committee listed below (BSW, MSW, DSW, and PhD) is responsible for the planning, development, and evaluation of their respective curriculum and educational policies, including policies and standards for academic performance and student advancement within the program. When changes in the curriculum and/or the policies are proposed by a program committee, the Associate Dean for Academic Programs will consult with the program committee chairs to discuss implications of the proposed change for all programs and the total school. Then, such changes require a vote of the School Governing Body.
The MSW, DSW, and PhD programs will establish admission guidelines in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Programs. These program committees make recommendations to the faculty as a whole regarding policies and standards for admissions in each program area. Program Committees establish procedures to assess and make recommendations regarding each applicant’s admission to the program. Each faculty member is expected to review admissions files as assigned.
BSW Program Committee:
Purpose. The BSW Program Committee focuses on five core areas, as needed: curriculum policy decision making; development, review, and approval of syllabus guides; program maintenance; teaching and pedagogy improvement; and assessment and evaluation of program for internal and external purposes, i.e., KU’s undergraduate program requirements and CSWE’s reaffirmation requirements. Additionally, the committee attends to and develops aspects of the implicit curriculum and makes recommendations.
Membership. The Director of the BSW Program, who is appointed by the Dean, serves as the chair of the BSW Program Committee. The membership of this committee consists of six faculty members, including the Director of Field Education and the BSW Program Director, and up to three students. The faculty members represent instructors who teach in the BSW curriculum, mentor BSW instructors, and/or are otherwise committed to undergraduate education. Faculty members are elected to the committee for a three-year term, and membership is staggered to ensure continuity. Faculty members can serve more than one term. Election of faculty must consider representation of core curriculum areas. The three student members represent students from the Edwards and Lawrence campuses, and membership is staggered to ensure continuity (at least one student who served in the previous year continues for two years). The three student members self nominate themselves or are invited by the BSW Program Director based on their statements of interest in serving on a school committee submitted in response to the annual call for statements by the Assistant Dean. Student members are expected to share committee information with and solicit input from peers. The BSW Program Director can create ad hoc sub-committees, including members from outside of the BSW Program Committee, as needed.
Voting. All BSW Program Committee members, including students, have a right to vote on all matters, unless there are matters requiring confidentiality or are beyond the scope of student responsibility.
MSW Program Committee:
Purpose. The purpose of the MSW Program Committee is to continuously evaluate and enhance the quality of the MSW program and curriculum. This includes routinely addressing the fit of the program with the school’s vision, mission, and guiding principles; assessment and evaluation of program for internal and external purposes, such as ensuring compliance with CSWE accreditation standards; and creating and maintaining a welcoming and supportive educational environment and experience for MSW students and instructors.
The MSW Program Committee is chaired by the MSW Program Director, who is appointed by the Dean and will coordinate ongoing efforts of the Committee to determine priorities and oversee MSW curricular development and implementation. These coordination and oversight responsibilities focus on balancing the Committee’s attention to generalist and specialization curricula, Traditional and Advanced Standing plans of study, full-time and part-time completion plans, and student academic needs and resources at our various campuses and sites.
The Committee routinely reviews MSW courses and syllabi guides, updating them as needed. Proposals for new and revised MSW courses are reviewed by the Committee which makes recommendations to the School Governing Body for final decisions. The MSW Program Committee also regularly reviews and updates MSW admissions and advancement policies and procedures working with faculty and staff members with responsibilities in these areas.
Voting Members. Faculty members who teach in the MSW program within the last three academic years are eligible to become voting members of the MSW Program Committee, which shall have 8 voting faculty members and 3 voting student members. Voting faculty members of the MSW Program Committees are the MSW Program Director, the Director of Field Education, and six faculty members teaching and, ideally, representing the range of courses across program levels (i.e., generalist, clinical, macro) and sites Six faculty members teaching generalist and specialization courses on the Committee will be elected by the School Governing Body at the last school business meeting of each academic year. The initial term of office is three years and faculty members can be re-elected. Terms should be staggered to assure continuity.
One student taking generalist courses and two students taking specialization courses will be selected by the MSW Program Director to be voting members based on their statements of interest in serving on a school committee submitted in response to the annual call for statements by the Assistant Dean. Whenever possible, students selected to be voting members of the Committee will be taking classes on different campuses.
Responsibilities of Voting Members. Faculty and students who are voting members of the MSW Program Committee have the responsibility to fully and fairly represent their constituencies through consultation on a regular basis and in a systematic manner. In other words, faculty members will be designated within the committee to represent core components of the curricula; these individuals will be responsible for consulting with other faculty members teaching in related areas (e.g., generalist diversity, clinical specialization, macro specialization, etc.) regarding ongoing issues as identified in the first paragraph of this section as well as emerging and special issues to be addressed by the Committee. Likewise, faculty members elected to represent areas of specialization do the same with faculty colleagues teaching specialization courses. The MSW Program Committee can request the creation of ad hoc sub-committees as needed for activities that require specific faculty expertise beyond the scope of the current membership.
With the help of the Committee Chair, students who serve as voting members of the Committee collect information from other students and bring ongoing and emerging program-related issues identified by students to the MSW Program Committee for discussion. Student members are expected to share committee information with and solicit input from their fellow students.
Voting. All MSW Program Committee members, including students, have a right to vote on all matters, unless there are matters requiring confidentiality or are beyond the scope of student responsibility. When voting members of the Committee are unable to attend a meeting at which a vote will be taken, the Chair will ask for their vote in advance, or the vote will be conducted electronically for all voting members as soon as possible after the meeting. When a vote by the MSW Program Committee results in a tie that cannot be resolved by additional information and/or discussion, the Committee Chair will ask that the issue be placed on the agenda for a vote at the next full faculty meeting. The Chair will share necessary background information, including student perspectives, with the faculty at least one week before the faculty meeting.
DSW Program Committee:
The purpose of the DSW Committee is to review major educational policy issues for the program, to develop and maintain the explicit curricula, and to provide an opportunity for the members to collectively discuss and improve teaching and pedagogical challenges. The committee attends to and makes recommendations to improve aspects of the implicit curriculum of the DSW program to ensure educational quality.
The chair of the DSW Program Committee is the director of the DSW program, who is appointed by the Dean. The membership of this committee consists of four faculty members and one DSW student, all of whom have voting rights on the committee. The student member is elected by the other DSW students at the beginning of the academic year and is expected to share committee information with and solicit input from their fellow students.
The faculty members include: the DSW Program director; two faculty members elected by the faculty as a whole for staggered terms of three years; and the DSW Program’s Capstone Coordinator. Only these five members have voting rights on the DSW Committee. All DSW Program Committee members, including the student, have a right to vote on all matters, unless there are matters requiring confidentiality or are beyond the scope of student responsibility.
PhD Program Committee:
Purpose. The PhD Program Committee has three overarching purposes. First, the PhD Program Committee guides and advises the PhD Program on curriculum and program policies. Second, the PhD Program Committee ensures that the PhD Program is aligned with the School of Social Welfare’s vision and guiding principles. Third, the PhD Program Committee provides overall support for the PhD Program by monitoring and evaluating the program, communicating to the School about the program, and continually supporting PhD students in formal and informal events and activities.
The PhD curriculum is considered broadly by the PhD Program Committee to include coursework and other critical components of PhD student experiences, such as Graduate Research Assistant roles, Graduate Teaching Assistant roles, co-authorship of research and scholarship, co-presentations of research and scholarship, School service roles, peer mentoring, etc.
Chair. The chair of the PhD Program Committee is the director of the PhD Program, who is appointed by the Dean and coordinates ongoing efforts of the PhD Program Committee to determine priorities and oversee PhD program development and implementation.
Composition. The membership of the PhD Program Committee consists of six faculty members and three elected PhD students. These elected students should represent students at different stages of the PhD Program to the extent possible, including one first-year student, one student in the advanced coursework phase, and one student in the post-coursework phase. Student members are expected to share committee information with and solicit input from constituents. The six faculty members include: the PhD Program Director and five faculty members elected by the faculty as a whole for a term of three years. Terms should be staggered to assure continuity. At least two of the five elected members should have taught in the PhD Program in the last five years.
Voting Members. All members of the PhD Program Committee are voting members on matters related to the PhD curriculum. All faculty members of the PhD Program Committee are voting members on matters related to students, including admission decisions, leave of absences, and other individual student decisions. Student members do not participate in discussion or voting on matters related to other individual students.
When voting members of the PhD Program Committee are unable to attend a meeting at which a vote will be taken, the Chair will ask for their vote in advance of the meeting, or the vote will be conducted electronically for all voting members as soon as possible after the meeting. When a vote by the PhD Program Committee results in a tie that cannot be resolved by additional information and/or discussion, the Committee Chair will ask that the issue be placed on the agenda for a vote at the next full faculty meeting.
B. The Field Education Advisory Committee
Faculty Search Committee:
Terms of office begin immediately following the election of members of the Faculty Search Committee. The Faculty Search Committee is comprised of five elected faculty members and at least one doctoral student selected by the committee. In consultation with the Dean and the Associate Deans, the Faculty Search Committee develops procedures relevant to screening and interviewing of candidates for all prospective faculty appointments of .5 FTE or more and recommends appointments to the Dean. In recruiting faculty to teach in specific areas, the committee will involve faculty members with relevant expertise in the interview and selection process. In cases where the committee is searching to fill a position for which there is not existing representation on the committee, the committee chair may temporarily invite a person of that position to participate in activities related to the search. The committee is responsible for becoming familiar with and following Excellence in Diversity, the University’s faculty hiring guidelines, and Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action guidelines and procedures.
Promotion, Retention, and Tenure Committee (PRT):
Terms of office begin immediately following the election of members of the PRT Committee. The PRT Committee consists of seven elected members and an alternate member. Membership includes elected tenured faculty members, including at least one full professor. If available, at least one unclassified academic staff with faculty position equivalent to associate or full professor is elected to PRT. A tenured faculty person or unclassified academic staff with faculty position equivalent to associate or full professor will be elected to PRT to serve as an alternate. Alternate PRT member will serve actively when a regular member of the PRT Committee is also a mentor for candidate. Members and alternate members serve three years.
The committee advises faculty candidates of promotion, tenure, and sabbatical, Keeler Intra- University Professorship application guidelines, reviews their application materials, and makes a recommendation to the Dean and to the UCPT. The committee conducts annual and progress toward tenure and/or promotion reviews of unclassified academic staff and pre-tenured tenure track faculty, advises them with regard to PRT standards, and gives a written report to the Dean and the faculty member with observations on faculty progress and suggestions about preparation for tenure application.
The PRT committee develops the policies and procedures for tenure, post tenure review, promotion, Keeler Intra University Professorships, and sabbaticals and brings them to the full faculty for approval.
Faculty Executive Committee:
Terms of office begin in the fall term following the election of the Faculty Executive Committee. The five elected faculty members of this committee must have served a minimum of one year in the School and have full time tenure track or tenured appointments. At least two members must be tenured. The function of the committee is to provide oversight and appraisal of faculty governance and other issues that affect the welfare of the School. Activities include: review of committee function and structure; oversight of and adherence to school and university policies; consultation with the Dean, Associate Deans, and Program Directors about school policy issues, long range planning, and program development; fulfilling its duties as outlined in the School’s grievance procedures; and providing a steering or coordinating function for other faculty governance and school policy issues as they arise.
Terms of office begin in the fall term following the election of the Awards Committee. There are three elected faculty members (i.e., either unclassified academic staff, tenured or tenure track faculty, or Professors of the Practice) on this committee and one elected faculty alternate who serves when a committee member has a conflict of interest, and up to two members each of the School’s academic staff and the School’s research staff.
Upon tallying the nominations, the chair or designee of the Awards Committee shall contact and seek approval to serve on the committee from those academic staff members and research staff members with the three highest total number of nominations. Should any of these staff members choose not to serve on the committee, the chair or designee of the Awards Committee shall contact and seek approval from the staff member with the next highest number of nominations, to the point that up to three academic and three research staff agree to be nominated to the committee.
Anonymous voting will be conducted to elect up to two academic staff member and up to two research staff members from the academic and research staff members who have agreed to be nominated. The chair or designee of the Awards Committee will seek votes from academic and research staff and from the School Governing Body prior to the next scheduled School Business Meeting
Should the result of the nominating process result in either no academic or no research staff being nominated to the Awards Committee, the positions will remain vacated until the following Spring, at which time the nomination and voting process just described will resume.
The Awards Committee focuses on awards that have been established to honor past work and accomplishments, and that are not typically reliant on self-nominations. Award Committee members will have the following responsibilities:
- nominating faculty from the KUSSW for awards including the Chancellor Budig Excellence in Teaching Award and the Statland Award for excellence in Research and Scholarship;
- nominating academic and research staff from the KUSSW for honors including the Higuchi Awards and employee recognition programs;
- working collaboratively with the Dean and others to identify other awards at the university and national levels for which faculty and staff members may be nominated;
- establishing, maintaining, and updating criteria and bases of evaluation for award nominations; as well as making those available to faculty members;
- assisting faculty and staff members who agree to be nominated with application/nomination materials;
- making nominations for awards to the Dean for the Dean’s further action; and
- maintaining a list of possible awards to be considered.
IV. Amendment Procedures for the Governance Document
This document may be altered, amended or repealed pursuant to the following procedure:
A. Proposals. A proposed addition or amendment to, or repeal of, any part of this document shall be presented in writing as a main motion (hereinafter “proposal”) for initial consideration by the School Governing Body using any one of the following procedures:
- The Faculty Executive Committee may originate a proposal to be forwarded to the School Governing Body for consideration.
- A petition containing the proposal and signed by 25 members of the School community (including faculty, field liaisons, adjunct lecturers, staff, and students) may be forwarded to the Faculty Executive Committee.
- A member of the School Governing Body may offer a proposal from the floor (including rationale) in writing, as a main motion during “New Business” at any regular or special School Business Meeting. A majority vote of the School Governing Body present and voting shall be necessary for the amendment to receive initial consideration as a main motion at the following Meeting.
B. Notification and Discussion. The Chair or designee of the Faculty Executive Committee will forward proposals initiated through the process described in IV.A.1 and IV.A.2 to the School Governing Body following the procedures outlined below:
- The School Governing Body shall be notified of a proposal by the Chair or designee of the Faculty Executive Committee by email at least seven calendar days (excluding spring break, summer session and break, fall and thanksgiving break, and winter break) before its initial consideration at a regular or special School Business Meeting. The posting shall provide an explanation of the reasons for the proposal. It shall also indicate the time and place of the School Business Meeting at which the proposed changes will be considered.
- A brief presentation of the proposal will be made by the Chair or designee of the Faculty Executive Committee to the School Governing Body at the School Business Meeting. Members of the School Governing Body with supporting and opposing views shall be permitted to make brief presentations (i.e., 10 minutes for supporting and opposing views each) to the School Governing Body before discussion and a vote is taken to accept or reject the proposal.
C. Two-Thirds Majority. A proposal is passed by a two-thirds majority vote of the School Governing Body present at any School Business Meeting, at which there is a quorum.
D. Voting of the Dean. The Dean votes only to break a tie or to provide or deny the required two-thirds majority.
E. Quorum. A quorum shall be deemed to exist when 50% or more of voting members are physically or virtually present (e.g., phone, Zoom, Skype). The Assistant Dean in consultation with the Chair or designee of the Faculty Executive Committee shall maintain an up-to-date list of the members of the School Governing Body for the purposes of determining whether a quorum exists. A quorum call may be used to determine the actual number of people present at the time a vote is to be taken; otherwise, the attendance recorded in the minutes shall be binding. If there is no quorum, anyone eligible to vote may request that the vote be conducted via e-mail and the request shall be granted.
F. Proxy Votes. A majority of those present and eligible to vote must approve the acceptance of proxy votes. A prerequisite for this is that the proposal under consideration must have been previously publicized and remains either unchanged or changed only by friendly amendments. The motion to allow proxy votes must be voted on prior to the vote on the proposal to which it pertains. If a motion to accept proxy votes fails, then a majority vote to conduct the issue by e-mail shall prevail.
G. E-mail Ballot. When a motion is referred to an e-mail ballot, those eligible to vote are those eligible to vote on the original proposal. The e-mail ballot must include the proposal together with such explanatory materials as may be proper and allow a reasonable time for responses. Unreturned ballots shall be counted as abstentions.
H. Secret Ballots. Any voting member’s request that a proposal be decided by secret ballot rather than by voice vote shall be honored.
I. Counting of Ballots. The collection and counting of electronic and in-person ballots shall be the responsibility of the Assistant Dean and the Chair or designee of the Faculty Executive Committee.
J. Technical Amendments. The requirements of subsections IV.A through IV.I shall not apply to technical amendments determined by the Faculty Executive Committee to be necessary to correct errors or clarify the original intent of provisions, which may be approved by simple majority vote of the Faculty Executive Committee.
K. Duties of the Assistant Dean. It shall be the duty of Assistant Dean to collect, compile and to make proposals available and, when necessary, to make appropriate technical changes to official statements of rules and policies, per section IV.J.
School of Social Welfare
08/23/2023: Updated information on membership and voting information for committees. Approved by faculty on 5/5/2023.
09/22/2022: Updated information from May 6, 2022 document.
04/25/2022: Converted from PDF to live text page.
04/18/2022: Added accessible document.
05/08/2020: Updated Governance document approved at May School Business Meeting.
05/30/2019: Updated Governance document approved at May School Business Meeting.
09/26/2018: Updated Governance document.
08/2000: Approved by School of Social Welfare Faculty.