Jun 21, 2021  
2020-21 University Handbook 
    
2020-21 University Handbook

Chapter 2 - Departments and Units


Section 1: Departments

(To see who has authority to approve changes to this section, please see the Approval of Changes  page).

Section 2: Units

(To see who has authority to approve changes to this section, please see the Approval of Changes  page).

CHAPTER 2 DEPARTMENTS AND UNITS

SECTION 1  DEPARTMENTS

DEFINITIONS AND COVERAGE

DEFINITIONS.  

Department. 

“Department” means a group of faculty members, or faculty and academic staff members, recognized by the faculty and chancellor of the university, and by the Board of Regents, as dealing with a common field of knowledge or as having a common or closely related disciplinary or interdisciplinary interest primarily for the purposes of classroom instruction.  In addition, groups of faculty members who function as a department in personnel matters, regardless of their formal designation (school, college) shall be covered in all references herein to “department.”

Chairperson. 

Whenever the term “chairperson” is used in this chapter, and elsewhere in the University Handbook to refer to the individual selected to serve as primus inter pares for an academic department, it shall also be construed to include personnel with the title of “associate dean/head” [of a department].

COVERAGE. 

At the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, “department” is used exclusively within Academic Affairs and to designate academic areas as defined above.

Other administrative areas in Academic Affairs and all administrative areas within Business Affairs and Student Affairs and University Relations are referred to as units, defined in section 2 of this chapter.  

MEMBERS AND VOTING

MEMBERS. 

Appointment. 

Unclassified appointments to a department are made by the chancellor, or the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs or appropriate dean acting as the chancellor’s designee.  All faculty and academic staff appointed to a department by the chancellor or an appropriate designee are members of that department.

Affirmative Recommendation Required. 

Persons to be employed as faculty or as academic staff employed primarily for classroom teaching may be appointed to a department only upon the affirmative recommendation of the department in which the person will hold the appointment.

Additional Recommendations. 

Departmental recommendations for appointments are submitted to the chancellor through the dean of the appropriate college and the provost, who also normally make recommendations regarding the appointments.  Recommendations submitted to the provost acting as designee are made through the dean, who normally also makes recommendations regarding the appointments.

Joint Appointments. 
Faculty. 

Academic joint appointments of faculty members may be made between departments and/or colleges or between departments and units.  These appointments are made only if the faculty member and the involved departments/units agree upon the desirability of such an arrangement.  Joint appointments may be terminated at the end of a contractual period upon the request of any of the involved individuals or departments/units.

Home Department. 

Faculty members with joint appointments will have a home department which will be responsible for the person’s salary, tenure, and rank.

Governance Rights. 

Faculty with joint appointments will be eligible to participate in both departments/units in departmental/unit meetings, appropriate committees, research, and teaching.  Such participation will depend upon prior agreement of the involved departments/units.

Academic Staff. 

Joint appointments of academic staff members may be made between departments or between departments and units (e.g., Physics and English, Chemistry and Student Services).  These appointments are made only if the academic staff member and the involved departments/units agree upon the desirability of such an arrangement.  Joint appointments may be terminated at the end of a contractual period upon the request of any of the involved individuals or departments/units.

Department/Unit Responsibilities. 

Letters of appointment for academic staff members with joint appointments shall clearly delineate the percentages in each department/unit, the salary responsibilities of each department/unit, the titles for each position, and the appointment type (fixed term, probationary, or indefinite) in each position.

Governance Rights. 

Academic staff with joint appointments will be eligible to participate in both departments/units in meetings, appropriate committees, and other activities under each area’s policies and procedures.  Such participation will depend upon prior agreement of the involved areas.

VOTING. 

Each department determines which members may vote.  Normally, all members are voting members for all matters other than personnel decisions.

Academic Staff. 

Each department may extend voting rights to departmental academic staff to whatever extent the department determines appropriate, except that academic staff may not vote on decisions on the hiring, retention, promotion, or granting of tenure for individual faculty.

Restricted Voting. 
Personnel Decisions. 

Recommendations and decisions on a majority of personnel matters are restricted to tenured faculty and, where appropriate, indefinite appointment academic staff.

Alternative Assignments. 

Persons assigned to or tenured in a particular department but not presently serving in the department are usually excluded from voting while they are serving in the alternative assignment.

Other Considerations. 

Departments may wish to consider other situations in which department members might logically be excluded from voting, e.g., persons less than half-time, persons serving less than 50% of their appointment in the department or persons not on campus for at least 50% of their appointment (on leave, sabbatical, Semester Abroad, etc.).

Methods of Voting. 

Methods of voting shall be in accordance with the Open Meetings Law.  Absentee ballots are not permitted.

STUDENT PARTICIPATION

Students may participate and vote in departmental meetings and departmental committee meetings to the extent determined by the department but students may neither vote on individual personnel decisions nor attend closed meetings on personnel matters unless specifically called by one of the parties involved.

Departments choosing to include student participants often ask departmental majors to select representatives to attend department meetings.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND ORGANIZATION

RESPONSIBILITIES. 

Collegial Relationships.  

Every department member has an obligation to establish and maintain productive working relationships with departmental colleagues and to help meet the missions and objectives of the department, college, and university.

Meetings. 

Departments are expected to hold regular meetings with sufficiently well-planned agendas to ensure that important matters will be taken up and considered carefully.

Policy Determination. 

Department members have a continuing responsibility to assist the department chairperson in the effective administration of the department.  Department members shall participate actively with the chairperson–through department meetings, departmental committees, and consultation with the chairperson–in determining departmental policies and recommendations in matters including but not limited to

  • curricular offerings;
  • major and minor requirements;
  • courses to be offered each term;
  • teaching loads and class schedules;
  • departmental budget, including division of travel allowance;
  • use of departmental facilities and equipment;
  • recruitment, evaluation, and recommendation of prospective staff members to the   administration;
  • recommendations to the administration on reappointment, promotion, tenure,  indefinite appointment, salary, and merit;
  • evaluation of the effectiveness of the departmental curriculum;
  • evaluation of major students;
  • summer session teaching opportunities and assignments;
  • textbooks;
  • secretarial and student help; and
  • library holdings.
Complaints. 

Students, other staff members, or members of the community occasionally bring complaints or contemplate bringing complaints against department members.  These individuals, particularly students, are often vulnerable to retaliation or believe themselves to be vulnerable to retaliation.

Protecting Rights. 

Every department has an obligation to protect the rights of its members; every department also has an obligation to protect the rights of individuals making or considering a complaint.  It is essential that department chairpersons and other department members who are approached by individuals for advice about making complaints inform those individuals of the policies and procedures related to complaints (see chapter 4A ). 

Potential Risks. 

It is also essential for department personnel to discuss candidly with those individuals the potential risks of filing a complaint.  However, members of the department must be equally candid in pointing out that inappropriate behavior cannot be changed unless someone assumes the risk and responsibility for bringing these matters to the attention of the department and allows the department to act on the information.

Personnel Decisions. 

Department members have primary responsibility for recommendations regarding recruitment, appointment, retention or reappointment, promotion, tenure, indefinite appointment, merit, and salary for members or prospective members of the department.

Institutional Policies and Procedures. 

Personnel decisions shall be made in accordance with institutional policies and procedures found in chapter 4B, sections 3  and 4  of this Handbook.  These policies and procedures derive from local personnel rules (chapter 4A, section 2 ), which in turn derive from system rules (chapter 4A, section 1 ).  Wherever a department is required to develop personnel policies or procedures, those policies or procedures must conform to system and institutional rules and procedures.

Approval of Policies. 

Wherever UWSP personnel rules, policies, or procedures provide for the development of departmental policies and procedures and the approval of those policies or procedures by the chancellor or provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, approval has been delegated to designees–

  • for departments reporting to a dean, the designee is the dean; and 
  • for departments reporting directly to the provost/vice chancellor, the designee is the provost/vice chancellor.
Departmental Policies and Procedures. 

Faculty Policies. 

Institutional policies require each department to develop policies and procedures related to 

  • recruiting of faculty; 
  • probationary appointments for faculty; 
  • procedures and criteria for evaluation of probationary and tenured faculty;
  • renewal of probationary faculty appointments; 
  • procedures and criteria for granting tenure; and 
  • procedures for reconsideration of decisions not to renew or not to tenure.

Academic Staff Policies. 

Departments which hire academic staff are required to develop policies and procedures related to 

  • recruiting of academic staff; 
  • procedures and criteria for evaluation of academic staff; 
  • procedures and criteria for the reappointment of fixed term or probationary academic staff; 
  • procedures and criteria for granting indefinite appointment; and 
  • procedures for reconsideration of decisions not to reappoint or not to grant indefinite appointment.

ORGANIZATION. 

Departments may organize as their needs dictate and the members consider appropriate.  Some use a committee framework, others act as a committee of the whole.  The most typical structure is a combination of the two.

Committees. 

Departments normally at least establish committees for the consideration of personnel decisions and recommendations.  Frequently, a single personnel committee is empowered to act on behalf of the department on all personnel matters, including the initial appointment.  In departments with a single personnel committee, subcommittees which meet the appropriate guidelines below are usually established for consideration of promotions.

Attendance at Meetings. 

To be absolutely certain that there is no possibility for confusion as to who is eligible to attend meetings under the provisions of the Open Meetings Law (chapter 4B, section 5 ), departments are encouraged to specify in writing the membership of any committee and to specify in writing which department members and others may attend meetings.

Personnel Committee Membership and Empowerment. 

A departmental personnel committee must be restricted to tenured faculty and indefinite appointment academic staff and must be empowered to act on behalf of the department for individual personnel actions involving retention, reappointment, tenure, or indefinite appointment.  Action on other personnel decisions may also be delegated to the personnel committee.

Limitation. 

Under institutional rules approved by the Common Council (Resolution 1992-1993-160), academic staff may not vote on decisions on the hiring, retention, promotion, or granting of tenure for individual faculty.

Information. 

Regardless of the structure or who may vote on a particular personnel decision, departments are urged to solicit information and input from the widest possible base.

Recruitment. 

If a committee is established, membership may but need not necessarily include all members of the department.  Certain functions–or all functions–may be delegated to an individual; e.g., either the committee, a subcommittee, the committee chairperson, or the department chairperson might be given responsibility for developing a position description or for conducting the entire initial part of the process through the initial screening.

Hiring and Appointment. 

Appointment to either a faculty position or to a classroom teaching academic staff position requires the affirmative recommendation of the department.  Typically, all eligible voting members of the department are involved in initial hiring decisions.  While decisions on hiring and appointment may be delegated to a committee, it is normally not prudent to delegate this responsibility to one individual. 

Retention. 

Membership of retention committees for faculty is limited to tenured faculty.  Membership of retention committees for academic staff is limited to tenured faculty and indefinite appointment academic staff.

Promotion.

The persons within a department voting on a promotion are normally those at or above the rank to which the person under consideration seeks promotion.

Limited Numbers. 

In cases where there are very few individuals at or above the rank, departments may include members of the next lower rank, outside evaluators, or ad hoc members of the appropriate rank from other departments.

Subcommittees. 

In very large departments where this procedure might be cumbersome, departments may elect to empower subcommittees to take action.

Tenure and Indefinite Appointment. 

Membership of tenure committees is limited to tenured faculty.  Membership of indefinite appointment committees is limited to tenured faculty and indefinite appointment academic staff.

Salary. 

Any committee which makes recommendations on individual salaries normally shall include representatives from all ranks and all types of appointments.  Typically, matters pertaining to salary are voted upon by all eligible voting members of the department.

Merit. 

Departments are required to establish a merit committee, which normally shall include representatives from all ranks, and a chairperson to direct the process.  Decisions on who evaluates data, how voting, rating, or ranking is handled, and reporting results to department members are up to the department.

Role of Chairperson in Personnel Matters. 
Records. 

The department chairperson shall maintain files of records and correspondence relating to departmental actions on personnel matters.

Committee Actions. 

The department chairperson shall assist the chairperson of any departmental personnel committees making personnel recommendations in the preparation of all relevant records and correspondence.

Forwarding Results. 

As appropriate, the department chairperson shall forward results of departmental personnel actions to the dean of the college.

Separate Recommendation. 

Normally, the department chairperson provides to the dean a separate recommendation on personnel matters.  Where a department chairperson provides separate recommendations on personnel matters, the chairperson shall not be a voting member of departmental personnel committees and shall not be counted in determining a quorum.

No Separate Recommendation. 

With the approval of the department, the chairperson, and the dean of the college, a department chairperson may vote with departmental committees on personnel matters.  Where this practice is adopted, the chairperson shall be a voting member of appropriate personnel committees and shall not forward a separate recommendation to the dean; the dean shall receive only the committee’s recommendation.

 

ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHAIRPERSON

[Refer to the subsection at the end of this section on departments for information pertaining to the selection of a chairperson.]

NOTE.  Associate Deans in the College of Professional Studies who are also heads of a school are the chief administrative officers of the school.  These associate deans have duties and responsibilities similar to those of a department chairperson, except that these duties and responsibilities may be modified by the dean to meet the needs of the particular school.  The term of office for these associate deans and search, appointment, and evaluation procedures shall be the same as those for department chairpersons.

Role. 

The chairperson is both administrator and representative of the department, and is responsible to both the administration and to the members of the department for providing leadership in the effective administration of the department.

Members’ Responsibilities. 

In the administration of the office, the chairperson shall recognize the individual responsibility of other members of the department for the discharge of the duties committed to them by their appointments, and shall allow proper scope to the ability and initiative of all members of the department.

Duties and Responsibilities. 

The chairperson shall

  • coordinate short and long range planning for the department and in the process identify personnel and other budget support needed to achieve departmental program goals;
  • assign staff to the academic advisement of majors and minors;
  • make recommendations to the Dean regarding appointments, promotions, tenure, indefinite appointment, merit, and salaries;

    With the approval of the department, the chairperson, and the dean of the college, a department chairperson may vote with departmental committees on personnel matters.  Where this practice is adopted, the chairperson shall be a voting member of appropriate personnel committees and shall not forward a separate recommendation to the dean; the dean shall receive only the committee’s recommendation.
  • accept majors and minors, and certify completion of the required curriculum for such majors and minors;
  • assist in the orientation and guidance of new faculty;
  • encourage and advise department members in furthering professional growth in such ways as research, graduate work, and the improvement of instruction;
  • prepare and administer the departmental budget;
  • prepare the class schedule and such other assignments for department members as appropriate;
  • forward to the appropriate university officials the department’s recommendations on such policy matters as are the proper responsibility of the department;
  • in consultation with the department, make an annual report to the dean of the college concerning the organization and operation of the department, with particular reference to items such as those listed earlier regarding determination of policies and recommendations;
  • keep records of departmental actions on personnel matters, and maintain a complete file of all information gathered for the review and evaluation of department members;
  • Upon the request of the appropriate committee chairperson, the department chairperson shall make these personnel files available for the use of committees involved in personnel actions.
  • Individuals have the right to examine their personnel files and to have placed in them written responses to any material contained in the file.
  • perform other duties which may from time to time be assigned by the dean of the college; and
  • perform such other duties normally associated with the responsibilities of a departmental chairperson and necessary for the efficient operation of the department.

 

Role and Responsibilities of A Graduate Coordinator

The Graduate Coordinator plays a critical role in the success of a graduate program.  The Coordinator serves as an active advocate within a school or department for the graduate component of the curriculum.  The Coordinator is a key spokesperson for graduate students within the program.  The Coordinator serves as the liaison between faculty in the department or school and the Graduate School, and in this liaison role is responsible for:

  • assisting with the recruitment and retention of graduate students in the program;
  • coordinating and managing the admission of graduate students into the program after students have successfully applied for graduate study;
  • advising graduate students in general, and where appropriate, assisting with the assignment of graduate students to graduate committees;
  • in consultation with school/departmental faculty, preparing the request for graduate assistantships from the college, recommending the assignment of graduate assistantships to individuals, and providing overall coordination and assessment of students on assistantships assignments;
  • in consultation with school/departmental faculty, preparing the requests for Graduate Instructional Support positions from the college;
  • approval, for the department or school, each students’ Program of Study prior to final approval by the college;
  • approval, for the department or school, completion of final degree requirements (courses, thesis, final exams, etc.) for each student prior to final approval by the college;
  • other duties as may be assigned by the faculty within the school or department.

MEETINGS

Departments are expected to hold regular meetings with sufficiently well-planned agendas to ensure that important matters will be taken up and considered carefully.

PUBLIC NOTICE. 

Public notice of all department and departmental committee meetings shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Law and institutional procedures.

OPEN MEETINGS REQUIRED. 

Department meetings and meetings of departmental committees shall be open, except that when appropriate, meetings may be closed under one of the exemptions in 19.85 Wis. Stats.

NOTE.  Departments of the university are “formally constituted subunits” of a governmental agency and therefore subject to the provisions of the Wisconsin Open meetings Law (19.81-19.98, Wis. Stats., 1991-1992).

Attendance and Speaking. 

An open meeting means anyone may attend.  However, the right to speak is restricted to members of the body unless the chairperson or body extends an invitation to speak.

Presence at Meetings. 
No Exclusions. 

Under the provisions of 19.89 of the Open Meetings Law, no member of a governmental body may be excluded from any meeting of the body.  In addition, no member may be excluded from meetings of the body’s subunits unless the rules of the body specifically state otherwise.

Local Application. 

No unclassified staff member of a department may be excluded from a department meeting even if the meeting is moved into closed session.  No unclassified staff member of a department may be excluded from any departmental committee meeting unless departmental rules specifically state to the contrary.

Attendance at Meetings. 

To be absolutely certain that there is no possibility for confusion as to who is eligible to attend meetings under the provisions of the Open Meetings Law (chapter 4B, section 5 ), departments are encouraged to specify in writing the membership of any committee and to specify in writing which department members and others may attend meetings.

Right to Open Meeting for Personnel Matters. 
UWSP 3.06.   

Under the provisions of UWSP 3.06 (1) (d) , a probationary faculty member has the right to request and receive an open meeting for any meeting of a department or unit or subunit involving consideration of tenure for that individual.

UWSP 10.03.   

Under the provisions of UWSP 10.03 (2)(a)(5) , a probationary academic staff member has the right to request and receive an open meeting for any meeting of a unit or subunit involving consideration of indefinite appointment for that individual.

19.85 Wis. Stats. 

Under the Open Meetings Law, even when departmental policies provide that subunit or committee meetings be restricted to members of the subunit or committee, a faculty member under consideration for tenure has the right to request and receive an open meeting for the portion of the meeting pertaining to consideration of that individual.

Departmental Policies. 

Normally, departmental policies will require a written request for an open meeting reasonably in advance of the meeting.

CLOSED MEETINGS. 

Attendance. 

Meetings which are closed may be attended by members of the department, any representative of any member of the department, and persons specifically invited by the body, except as may otherwise be specifically provided for in departmental policies.

Speaking Rights. 

The right to speak is restricted to members of the body unless the chairperson or body extends an invitation to speak.

MINUTES

Written minutes shall be taken of every department and every departmental committee meeting at least to the extent required by the Open Meetings Law.

19.88 (3) 

The motions and roll call votes of each meeting of a governmental body shall be recorded, preserved and open to public inspection to the extent prescribed in subch. II of ch. 19… .

19.35 Access to records; fees. 

  1. Right to inspection.
  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to inspect any record… .
  2. Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to inspect a record and to make or receive a copy of a record which appears in written form… .

APPOINTMENT AND EVALUATION OF CHAIRPERSON

APPOINTMENT AND TERM.   

Acceptability. 

A chairperson must be acceptable to both the department and the dean of the appropriate college at the time of appointment and throughout the chairperson’s term of office.  An acceptable chair candidate is normally required to be tenured or recommended for tenure.  In extremely rare circumstances, non-tenured faculty may serve as department chair with the approval of the dean and provost/vice chancellor.

If a non-tenured faculty member is appointed as department chair, all future departmental retention/tenure/promotion decisions for this person until after the tenure decision, must be made by a committee composed equally of department members and non-department members to be appointed by the appropriate college dean.

Appointment. 

An individual is appointed to a limited appointment as chairperson by the dean of the college upon the nomination and recommendation of the department.

Limited Appointment. 

A limited appointment is an appointment to a designated position in which the individual serves at the pleasure of the appointing official.

Term. 

The term of office for a chairperson is normally three years but a chairperson may be nominated and reappointed for an indefinite number of terms.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES. 

Each department shall develop policies and procedures for the selection, appointment, and evaluation of a department chairperson.  When approved by the dean of the college and forwarded to the provost/vice chancellor for information, these policies and procedures shall govern the selection, appointment, and evaluation of the department’s chairperson.

NOTE.  Departmental policies and procedures shall include all minimal requirements given in this subsection but need not adhere to the sequence as presented here.  Likewise, some departments may choose to begin parts of the process during the fall semester rather than the spring.

Extent of Search. 

Members of each department shall vote to determine whether the department wishes to recommend consideration of nominees from within the department;

  • wishes to recommend consideration of nominees from outside the department;
  • wishes to recommend consideration of nominees both from within and outside the department; or
  • does not wish to make a nomination but request the dean to appoint a chair-person after consultation with the eligible voters.
Dean’s Action. 

Notification of the departmental recommendation shall be sent to the dean of the college who shall promptly inform the department whether the recommendation is accepted or not accepted.

Recommendation Accepted. 

If the dean accepts the recommendation, the department shall proceed under the appropriate procedures.

NOTE.  If nominees are to come exclusively from within the department, the procedures below shall apply as minimal requirements; if exclusively from outside the department, recruitment procedures shall apply (refer to chapter 3, recruitment ); and if both from within and outside the department, a combination of these procedures and search procedures shall be used.

Recommendation Not Accepted. 

If the dean does not accept the recommendation, the dean shall promptly notify the department and shall consult with the department to attempt to resolve differences.

Resolution. 

If a resolution acceptable to the department and the dean is reached, the department shall proceed appropriately.

Impasse. 

If no resolution acceptable to the department and the dean is found, the dean shall determine whether the department wishes to reconsider its previous action and provide an alternative recommendation.  If not, the dean shall appoint a temporary chairperson (under those procedures).

Minimal Criteria for Candidates for Nomination. 

At a minimum, departmental policies and procedures for the evaluation and screening of candidates for nominees for department chairperson shall include

  • the needs of the department and of areas, fields, or disciplines within the department;
  • the display of a strong, general interest in all areas, fields, or disciplines within the department;
  • the ability to cooperate and elicit cooperation in both intra- and inter-departmental affairs; and
Evaluation of Incumbent. 

At a minimum, departmental policies and procedures shall provide for 

  • a timely determination by the dean as to whether an incumbent wishes to seek reappointment;
  • evaluation of an incumbent who seeks reappointment, conducted by the dean, following consultation with the department to determine
  • the evaluation form(s) to be used; and
  • the procedures to be followed, which at a minimum shall provide that
  • all members of the department are provided an opportunity to evaluate the chairperson;
  • other appropriate administrative personnel in the institution are provided an opportunity to evaluate the chairperson;
  • the chairperson shall be asked if there are specific university personnel, members of the community, students, or other individuals to whom the chairperson wants evaluation forms sent, and any such requests shall be honored; and
  • the members of the department shall be asked if there are specific university personnel, members of the community, students, or other individuals to whom they want evaluation forms sent, and any such requests shall be honored.
  • distribution of the form by the dean in adequate time to respond and enable the dean to meet with the department chairperson not later than March 1 to review the evaluations;
  • a meeting between the dean and incumbent chairperson to review the evaluations of the department chairperson;
  • following the review, timely written notification to the dean and the department if the incumbent chairperson still wishes to be a candidate for nomination for reappointment;
  • if the incumbent department chairperson wishes to be a nominee
  • a meeting between the dean and the departmental personnel committee chairperson (or some other similar departmental representative) to prepare a summary report of the results of the evaluation of the chairperson;
  • a department meeting to review the performance of the incumbent department chairperson, which shall include
  • a summary report, which may be an oral report, of the evaluation session with the dean; and
  • an opportunity for the incumbent chairperson to present information on the chairperson’s own behalf;

NOTE.  Departments may prefer to have this evaluative review after nominations of candidates for chairperson.

  • written notice of the departmental review meeting, which shall inform the chairperson
  • of the date, time, and place of the review;
  • of the opportunity to present information on the chairperson’s own behalf;
  • of the right to be represented by an individual of the chairperson’s choice; and
  • that the meeting will be a closed meeting unless the department chairperson sends a timely written request for an open meeting, in which case the meeting will be open.
Nomination Procedures. 

At a minimum, departmental nomination procedures shall provide for

  • nomination, evaluation, and election of a nominee or nominees, or selection of an external candidate;
  • notification of the results to the dean if someone is nominated or selected;
  • appointment of a chairperson by the dean if a recommendation is accepted;

If the dean accepts the recommendation, (one of) the nominee(s) shall be appointed as chairperson;

  • procedures for dealing with situation where there is no nominee or the dean does not accept any nominee.
Procedures if No Nominee or Nominee Not Accepted. 

Departmental procedures for handling situations where there is no nominee or where no nominee is accepted by the dean shall provide for

  • repeating the process; or
  • requesting the appointment of a chairperson by the dean, after consultation with the eligible voters of the department; or
  • requesting the appointment of a nominee from within the department as temporary chairperson; or
  • requesting the appointment of a temporary chairperson by the dean, after consultation with the eligible voters of the department; or
  • requesting authorization for an external search.
Procedures if Outside Nominees Preferred. 

Departmental procedures shall provide for

  • consultation with the dean to determine whether a position exists and whether the dean will authorize an external search;
  • a search under existing department policies, if the dean authorizes an external search, or
  • means of handling situations when an external search is not authorized, including
  • repeating the nomination process; or
  • requesting the appointment of a chairperson by the dean, after consultation with the eligible voters of the department; or
  • requesting the appointment of a nominee from within the department as temporary chairperson; or
  • requesting the appointment of a temporary chairperson by the dean, after consultation with the eligible voters of the department

TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON. 

A temporary chairperson, whether nominated by the department or appointed by the dean at the request of the department but without nomination, normally shall be appointed for a period of one year.

Under extraordinary circumstances, a dean may reappoint a temporary chairperson for a second year but only after consultation with the affected department and with the authorization of the provost/vice chancellor.

 

SECTION 2 UNITS

DEFINITION AND COVERAGE

DEFINITION. 

“Unit” means a group of academic staff members, or academic staff members and faculty members, recognized by the chancellor of the university as working in the same office or closely related offices and dealing with a common or closely related activity, or having a common or closely related function.  In addition, groups of academic staff members who function as a unit for personnel matters, regardless of their formal designation (divisions, service area) shall be covered in all references herein to “unit.”

COVERAGE. 

At the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, administrative areas within Business Affairs and Student Affairs/University Relations are referred to as units

Administrative areas within Academic Affairs primarily involved in classroom instruction are referred to as departments, defined in section 1 of this chapter; other administrative areas are referred to as units.

WORKING ENVIRONMENT

INTERRELATIONSHIPS.  

Every unit member has an obligation to establish and maintain productive working relationships with colleagues and to help meet the mission and objectives of the unit, division, and university.

PARTICIPATION IN UNIT GOVERNANCE

PERSONNEL POLICIES. 

The university is committed to active unit level participation by academic staff in the development of personnel policies and procedures for academic staff.  Academic staff shall be afforded the opportunity for participation in the development of the unit’s personnel policies and procedures.

BROAD PARTICIPATION. 

The university encourages academic staff participation in the development and implementation of unit policies, procedures, and operations.

MEMBERS AND VOTING

MEMBERS. 

Appointment. 

Unclassified appointments to a unit are made by the chancellor, or the provost or an appropriate vice chancellor acting as the chancellor’s designee.  All academic staff (or faculty) appointed to a unit by the chancellor or an appropriate designee are members of that unit.

Additional Recommendations. 

When recommendations for appointments are submitted to the chancellor by the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs or other vice chancellor, the provost or vice chancellor normally also makes recommendations regarding the appointments.

Recommendations submitted to the provost acting as designee are made through the dean of the appropriate college, while recommendations submitted to the vice chancellor for business affairs or student affairs acting as designee are made through the appropriate executive director; each also normally makes recommendations regarding the appointments.  In areas having no executive director, recommendations are submitted directly to the appropriate vice chancellor.

Joint Appointments.
Academic Staff. 

Joint appointments of academic staff members may be made between units or between units and departments (e.g., Financial Aid and Conference and Reservations, Admissions and Physics).  These appointments are made only if the academic staff member and the involved units/departments agree upon the desirability of such an arrangement.  Joint appointments may be terminated at the end of a contractual period upon the request of any of the involved individuals or units/departments.

Unit/Departmental Responsibilities. 

Letters of appointment for academic staff members with joint appointments shall clearly delineate the percentages in each unit/department, the salary responsibilities of each unit/department, the titles for each position, and the appointment type (fixed term, probationary, or indefinite) in each position.

Operational Areas.  An academic staff appointment is limited to an operational area specified at the time of the appointment and does not carry rights beyond that limitation.  An academic staff appointment might be to an operational area as broad as Safety and Loss Control or as narrow as Risk Management, one of the subunits within Safety and Loss Control.

Governance Rights. 

Academic staff with joint appointments will be eligible to participate in both units/departments in meetings, appropriate committees, and other activities under each area’s policies and procedures.  Such participation will depend upon prior agreement of the involved areas.

Faculty. 

Academic joint appointments of faculty members may be made between units and departments.  These appointments are made only if the faculty member and the involved units/departments agree upon the desirability of such an arrangement.  Joint appointments may be terminated at the end of a contractual period upon the request of any of the involved individuals or units/departments.

Home Department. 

Faculty members with joint appointments will have a home department which will be responsible for the person’s salary, tenure, and rank.

Governance Rights. 

Faculty with joint appointments will be eligible to participate in units/departments in meetings, appropriate committees, research, and teaching.  Such participation will depend upon prior agreement of the involved units/departments.

VOTING. 

Where units have provided for academic staff participation through voting by the academic staff, the academic staff of each unit determine which academic staff members may vote.  Normally, all academic staff members are voting members for all matters other than personnel decisions.

Restricted Voting. 
Alternative Assignments. 

Persons assigned to or holding an indefinite appointment in a particular unit but not presently serving in the unit are usually excluded from voting while they are serving in the alternative assignment.

Other Considerations. 

Units may wish to consider other situations in which academic staff members of the unit might logically be excluded from voting, e.g., persons less than half-time, persons serving less than 50% of their appointment in the unit, or persons not on campus for at least 50% of their appointment (on leave, Semester Abroad, etc.).

Methods of Voting. 

Methods of voting shall be in accordance with the Open Meetings Law.  Absentee ballots are not permitted.

STUDENT REPRESENTATION

Some units may find student participation appropriate.  Students may participate and vote in unit meetings and unit committee meetings to the extent determined by the unit but students may neither vote on any personnel decisions nor attend closed meetings on personnel matters unless specifically called by one of the parties involved.

COMPLAINTS

Students, other staff members, or members of the community occasionally bring complaints or contemplate bringing complaints against academic staff members.  These individuals, particularly students, are often vulnerable to retaliation or believe themselves to be vulnerable to retaliation.

Protecting Rights. 

Every unit has an obligation to protect the rights of its members; every unit also has an obligation to protect the rights of individuals making or considering a complaint.  It is essential that unit supervisors and other unit members who are approached by individuals for advice about making complaints inform those individuals of the policies and procedures related to complaints (see chapter 4A ). 

Potential Risks. 

It is also essential for unit personnel to discuss candidly with those individuals the potential risks of filing a complaint.  However, members of the unit must be equally candid in pointing out that inappropriate behavior cannot be changed unless someone assumes the risk and responsibility for bringing these matters to the attention of the unit and allows the unit to act on the information.

PERSONNEL POLICY DEVELOPMENT

RESPONSIBILITIES. 

Academic Staff Members. 

Each unit’s academic staff members have primary responsibility for the development of policies and procedures.  In addition, they participate in the evaluation of academic staff for personnel recommendations to the degree specified in those policies and procedures.

Director or Other Supervisor. 

The director (or other equivalent supervisor) of each unit with personnel having academic staff appointments has the primary role in evaluation, particularly for:

  • developing performance objectives;
  • assessing effectiveness in meeting performance objectives; and
  • recommendations for:
  • appointment;
  • promotion;
  • merit; and
  • indefinite appointment.

In addition, the director shall provide for:

  • the opportunity for participation in the development of the unit’s personnel policies and procedures by the unit’s academic staff members; and
  • the approval of personnel policies and procedures by the academic staff of the unit.

ACADEMIC STAFF ORGANIZATION. 

For the purpose of participation in the development of personnel policies and procedures, academic staff within units may organize as their needs dictate and the academic staff members consider appropriate.

REQUIRED POLICIES. 

Institutional Policies and Procedures. 

Personnel decisions shall be made in accordance with institutional policies and procedures found in chapter 4B, sections 3   and 4 , of this Handbook. These policies and procedures derive from local personnel rules (chapter 4A, section 2 ), which in turn derive from system rules (chapter 4A, section 1 ). Wherever a unit is required to develop personnel policies or procedures, those policies or procedures must conform to system and institutional rules and procedures.

NOTE.  In the consideration of providing for policies and procedures at the unit level, academic staff who so desire may be able to defer to and use the institutional policies without modification or further explication.

Unit Policies and Procedures. 

Units with academic staff members are required to develop policies and procedures related to:

  • recruiting of academic staff;
  • expectations in fulfilling performance objectives;
  • procedures and criteria for granting indefinite appointment;
  • promotion and changes of title; and
  • merit assessment.
Additional Policies. 

Unit policies and procedures must also provide for the:

  • implementation of institutional rules and policies on fixed term and probationary appointments for academic staff;
  • implementation of institutional procedures and criteria for the reappointment of fixed term or probationary academic staff;
  • implementation of institutional policies and procedures on nonrenewal or failure to reappoint; and
  • implementation of institutional procedures for reconsideration of decisions not to reappoint or not to grant indefinite appointment.
Division Policies or Policies Developed by a Group of Units Acceptable. 

Academic staff may choose to develop personnel policies and procedures at the division level rather than at the unit level, adapting sections as necessary for individual units, or as a collaboration among a group of units.

Unit Approval Required. 

Policies may be developed by a group of units or at the division level provided that the academic staff members of each unit

  • approve such a process of policy development; and
  • approve the completed policies and procedures.
Initial Decision. 

Wherever UWSP personnel rules, policies, or procedures provide for the development of unit personnel policies and procedures, the academic staff of each unit shall

  • give careful consideration to whether they wish to develop unit-level personnel policies beyond those at the institutional level;
  • discuss the issues in a unit meeting;
  • vote on the whether they wish to develop unit-level policies; and
  • if so, vote on the appropriate method for the development of personnel policies and procedures.
Alternatives. 

If the academic staff within the unit decide not to defer exclusively to institutional policies and procedures, they shall determine whether

  • policies and procedures shall be developed at the unit or division level or in collaboration with a group of units; and
  • if at the unit level, whether
  • all eligible academic staff members of the unit shall have the opportunity to participate, either in some committee structure or as a committee of the whole; or
  • policies and procedures are to be developed by the unit’s supervisor; or
  • the unit’s supervisor and a committee of or from among the academic staff shall develop policies and procedures; or
  • some other process shall be used for the development of personnel policies and procedures; or
  • if at the division level, whether
  • all eligible academic staff members of the division shall have the opportunity to participate, either in some committee structure or as a committee of the whole; or
  • policies and procedures are to be developed by the vice chancellor; or
  • the vice chancellor and a committee of or from among the academic staff shall develop policies and procedures; or
  • some other process shall be used for the development of personnel policies and procedures; or
  • if among a group of units, whether
  • all eligible academic staff members from among the units shall have the opportunity to participate, either in some committee structure or as a committee of the whole; or
  • policies and procedures are to be developed by the supervisor(s) of the units; or
  • the unit supervisors and a committee of or from among the academic staff of the units shall develop policies and procedures; or
  • some other process shall be used for the development of personnel policies and procedures.
Unit Adaptations. 

Any policies and procedures developed at the division level or among a group of units shall specifically provide which parts may be adapted at the unit level to meet specific unit needs.

Individual Adaptations.

Policies and procedures developed at all levels shall specifically provide which parts may be adapted to meet specific unit needs for individual members of the unit.  Such individualization shall occur in consultation between the unit supervisor and the individuals concerned.

APPROVAL. 

Unit. 

Regardless of the method chosen for the development of personnel policies and procedures, the completed policies and procedures shall require a majority vote of the unit’s eligible academic staff members for adoption and implementation.

Administrative. 

Wherever UWSP personnel rules, policies, or procedures provide for the development of unit policies and procedures and the approval of those policies or procedures by the chancellor or provost, approval has been delegated to designees:

  • for units reporting to a dean, the designee is the dean;
  • for units reporting to the vice chancellor of business affairs or student affairs, the designee is the vice chancellor; and
  • for units reporting directly to the provost, the designee is the provost.

EVALUATION. 

The primary responsibility for evaluation of academic staff for purposes of retention, change of title or promotion, merit, indefinite appointment, and salary is that of the unit in which the individual holds an academic staff appointment.  All academic staff to be evaluated and all academic staff who do evaluations shall have completed appropriate orientation and training provided through Human Resources.

Requirements. 

Procedures for evaluation of academic staff are delineated in chapter 4B, section 4 , of this Handbook.   These procedures require

  • annual evaluation of all fixed term, probationary, and indefinite term academic staff;
  • an interim evaluation meeting between each academic staff member and the member’s supervisor; and
  • a supplemental, broader-than-unit evaluation in the 2nd and 5th years of service.
Roles. 

Unit policies and procedures shall specifically define the role of the unit’s academic staff in evaluations and determinations of recommendations for individual personnel action in all areas.

NOTE.  It is important to remember that under institutional rules approved by the Common Council (Resolution 1992-1993-160), academic staff may not vote on decisions on the hiring, retention, promotion, or granting of tenure for individual faculty.

MEETINGS

MEETINGS. 

Units are expected to hold regular meetings with sufficiently well-planned agendas to ensure that important matters will be taken up and considered carefully.

PUBLIC NOTICE. 

Public notice of all unit meetings and any unit committee meetings shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Law and institutional procedures.

OPEN MEETINGS REQUIRED. 

Unit meetings and meetings of unit committees shall be open, except that when appropriate, meetings may be closed under one of the exemptions in 19.85 Wis. Stats.

NOTE.  Units of the university are “formally constituted subunits” of a governmental agency and therefore subject to the provisions of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law (19.81-19.98, Wis. Stats., 1991-1992).

Attendance and Speaking. 

An open meeting means anyone may attend.  However, the right to speak is restricted to members of the body unless the chairperson or body extends an invitation to speak.

Presence at Meetings. 
No Exclusions. 

Under the provisions of 19.89 of the Open Meetings Law, no member of a governmental body may be excluded from any meeting of the body.  In addition, no member may be excluded from meetings of the body’s subunits unless the rules of the body specifically state otherwise.

Local Application. 

No unclassified staff member of a unit may be excluded from a unit meeting even if the meeting is moved into closed session.  No unclassified staff member of a unit may be excluded from any unit committee meeting unless unit rules specifically state to the contrary.

Attendance at Meetings. 

To be absolutely certain that there is no possibility for confusion as to who is eligible to attend meetings under the provisions of the Open Meetings Law (chapter 4B, section 5 ), units are encouraged to specify in writing the membership of any committee and to specify in writing which unit members and others may attend meetings.

Right to Open Meeting. 

UWSP 10.03  

Under the provisions of UWSP 10,03 (2)(a)(5) , a probationary academic staff member has the right to request and receive an open meeting for any meeting of a unit or subunit involving consideration of indefinite appointment for that individual.

Unit Policies. 

Normally, unit policies will require a written request for an open meeting reasonably in advance of the meeting.

CLOSED MEETINGS. 

Attendance. 

Meetings which are closed may be attended by members of the unit, any representative of any member of the unit, and persons specifically invited by the body, except as may otherwise be specifically provided for in unit policies.

Speaking Rights. 

The right to speak is restricted to members of the body unless the chairperson or body extends an invitation to speak.

MINUTES

Written minutes shall be taken of every unit meeting and every unit committee meeting at least to the extent required by the Open Meetings Law.

19.88 (3) 

The motions and roll call votes of each meeting of a governmental body shall be recorded, preserved and open to public inspection to the extent prescribed in subch. II of ch. 19… .

19.35 Access to records; fees. 

  1. Right to inspection.
  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to inspect any record… .
  2. Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to inspect a record and to make or receive a copy of a record which appears in written form.