Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Bylaws
Approved: May 28, 2003
Amended: August 1, 2007
These Bylaws specify procedures for the participation by faculty in the governance of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB). It is intended that these Bylaws conform to the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
B. Bargaining Unit Faculty and School of Medicine Continuance Non-Bargaining Unit Faculty
In accordance with the CBA, full time SOM non-Bargaining Unit Faculty (but no other classification of non-Bargaining Unit Faculty) in BMB may participate in making recommendations about reappointment, dismissal, tenure, promotion, and evaluation of Bargaining Unit Faculty. Similarly, Bargaining Unit Faculty will participate fully in whatever procedures the Department uses in the dismissal, reappointment, promotion, and evaluation of SOM non-Bargaining Unit Faculty.
C. Faculty Meetings
Faculty meetings are scheduled by the Chair, as needed. They usually are held monthly throughout the year. Meetings are preceded by an agenda prepared by the Chair, who also presides at the meetings. A majority of the full time faculty constitutes a quorum. Faculty attendance at meetings is expected. Normally, only faculty present at a meeting will vote. All Bargaining Unit Faculty in the Department will be eligible to vote on all issues. Non-bargaining unit full-time faculty appointed in the School of Medicine will be eligible to vote on issues as indicated in the CBA and these Bylaws. Absentee ballots may be recorded when a member of the faculty is unable to attend a meeting, provided the faculty member notifies the Chair in advance of the meeting. A majority vote of the eligible faculty is required for making a recommendation. Any faculty member having a clear conflict of interest is obligated to abstain from voting. The minutes, as amended and approved, constitute the official record of the meeting. Roberts Rules of Order serve as a guide for conducting faculty meetings, unless otherwise agreed by those in attendance.
II. The Faculty Development Committee
The Department Faculty Development Committee (FDC) shall be composed of all full-time tenured bargaining unit faculty and non-tenure track, full time SOM Faculty at or above the rank of Associate Professor. The Chair of the FDC is elected annually by the Faculty. The Chair of the Department serves as a non-voting member. All members of the FDC are eligible to vote on promotion and/or tenure decisions but will not act on promotions to ranks higher than that which they currently hold.
- To evaluate each Bargaining Unit Faculty member below the rank of Professor for his or her progress toward promotion and/or tenure as indicated in the CBA.
- To make recommendations for promotion and/or tenure.
- To evaluate Bargaining Unit Faculty proposals for professional development leave and to make recommendations on this matter (Bargaining Unit faculty only).
- To advise the Chair of the Department on other matters pertaining to faculty development, e.g., continuance in the School of Medicine, or mentoring of new faculty members.
- To appoint a committee to review all criteria for promotion and/or tenure described in this document every five years.
C. Annual Review Statement of Progress Toward Promotion.
The FDC meets in a timely fashion every year to review all documents provided by each Bargaining Unit Faculty below the rank of Professor to provide Bargaining Unit Faculty with a statement of that individual’s cumulative progress toward promotion and/ or tenure as indicated in the CBA.
A cumulative statement will be given to each Bargaining Unit Faculty below the rank of Professor about progress toward promotion and/or tenure annually. However, tenured Assistant and Associate Professors have the option of receiving an evaluation of their cumulative progress toward promotion every three years but must exercise this option by writing to the Chair of the FDC.
D. Evaluation for Promotion and Tenure
An evaluation of each Bargaining Unit Faculty Assistant Professor for promotion and/or tenure will normally be initiated during the latter part of the fifth year of his or her probationary appointment. Alternatively, this evaluation can occur earlier by request of a faculty member in writing to the Chair of the Department with a copy to the FDC.
An Assistant Professor shall also have the right to decline such evaluation prior to the last year of the probationary period.
- Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor
Research: The Bargaining Unit Faculty candidate should have established a reputation as an independent, productive scientist as reflected by peer recognition at the national level. This will require quantitative evidence of ongoing, productive research. A minimum of four high quality, peer-reviewed research articles, documenting work performed during the probationary period at WSU is required. The publications must represent reports of work in which the faculty member is the primary author or played a major role in the inception, design, and implementation of the research.
Promotion and tenure also requires a minimum of three years of extramural funding at any time during the probationary period at $200,000 total costs resulting from a national competition which is peer reviewed for scientific merit where the Bargaining Unit Faculty is the Principal Investigator. If a new Bargaining Unit Faculty member obtains appointment at WSU and has existing national funding, funding transferred to WSU will count toward the three year/$200,000 requirements. For collaborative grants, the contribution towards the $200,000 funding threshold will be a fraction of the total award as reflected in the individual’s percentage of effort relative to the other collaborators on the funded award.
At least two items of national recognition such as invitations to give seminars, to be a symposium speaker, to contribute review articles or chapters, or to be a journal reviewer, editor, or study section member are normally required for promotion. These forms of recognition cannot substitute for the requirements of published scholarship or extramural funding.
External letters from individuals in the candidate’s area of professional expertise are required and will be used for evaluation. Five such letters are to be obtained from a list generated by the FDC. The list can include, but need not be limited to, names suggested by the candidate. These individuals cannot be research collaborators or scientific mentors. The candidate and the FDC must agree on the final list of external reviewers. All external letters must be forwarded with the promotion document. The letters of evaluation from external reviewers will serve in an advisory capacity to help judge the quality of the scholarship.
Teaching: The candidate will provide well-documented evidence of effective teaching. Multiple measures of teaching outcomes and teaching/mentoring effectiveness will be used as evaluative tools. These include:
- written evaluations of the candidate’s teaching based upon classroom visits by the course director and another from a faculty peer-review committee consisting of faculty designated by the FDC. These evaluations will be distributed to the faculty member, to the Chair of the Department, and the Chair of the FDC. Evaluation of classroom notes, items distributed to students, and educational software will also be performed;
- student evaluations, teaching awards, or other measures of classroom effectiveness;
- effective mentoring, graduate research training and professional development of students as a dissertation or thesis director (Presentations, publications, and extramural applications in support of research by the candidate’s students will be considered);
- serving on supervisory committees for Ph.D. and M.S. students;
- peer-reviewed publications or other evidence of a national reputation in which teaching/mentoring is the primary focus.
Service: Responsible committee service includes professional activities for governmental, University, College, School, Department, or professional organizations. At least two of these service activities are required. Letters of evaluation that confirm or explain service will be solicited. The candidate’s service should support the mission, goals, and operation of the Department, College or University
- Promotion from Associate Professor to Professor
An important criterion for promotion to Professor is evidence of sustained and excellent performance beyond that required for promotion to Associate Professor, which includes a body of scholarly work with significant impact in the candidate’s area of expertise. This will ordinarily require a minimum of five years after promotion to Associate Professor. Unequivocal evidence of a national reputation in the candidate’s area of research beyond that demonstrated for promotion to Associate Professor is essential.
Research: Productivity at the Associate Professor level is essential. An overall publication record of eighteen peer reviewed papers from Wright State since beginning the probationary period will normally be required. Within this total, ten of the publications should be during the period following promotion to Associate Professor. Normally, a candidate’s publication rate will exceed one paper per year. The publications should represent reports of work in which the faculty member is the primary author or played a major role in the inception, design, and implementation of the research.
A .continuing history (though not necessarily without breaks in grant support) of extramural grant support from federal, private, or state agencies is expected. Funding resulting from a national competition is required at the time of the FDC recommendation for promotion. The duration of the award must be for three years with a minimum of $200,000 in direct costs (prorated at $67k/year for grants of longer duration) budgeted to the faculty member’s laboratory.
Indication of a national reputation beyond published papers and grant funding is required. Indicators of a national reputation include: invited lectures or thesis committee membership at other universities or research institutions, appointment to study sections of a national funding agency, invitations to serve on editorial boards of quality journals, consultantships, and election to membership or office in relevant professional societies.
External letters of evaluation from individuals in the candidate’s area of professional expertise are required. Five such letters are to be obtained from a list generated by the FDC. The list can include, but need not be limited to, names suggested by the candidate. These individuals cannot be research collaborators or scientific mentors. The candidate and the FDC must agree on the final list of external reviewers. All external letters must be forwarded with the promotion document. The letters of evaluation from external reviewers will serve in an advisory capacity to help judge the quality of the scholarship.
Teaching: Promotion to Professor requires sustained effectiveness in the classroom and a high level of teaching skills. Cumulative student and peer evaluations and/or teaching awards will be used as indicators of instructional effectiveness. Teaching activities at this stage should include major responsibility in course development and instruction and the directorship of one or more survey courses. Teaching materials (handouts, class notes, websites, webct) should be of high quality.
Service: The candidate should present evidence of effective service to the institution and to the scientific community. The relative importance of a candidate’s committee assignments and evaluation of the candidate’s effectiveness on the committees will be considered. Examples of effective service include election or appointment as a member or chair of an academic committee(s) at the College, School or University level. Election to office in national professional organizations, invitations to organize symposia at national meetings, and nomination for membership or office on a national study section are unequivocal examples of effective service which also reflect a candidate’s status as a nationally recognized scientist (also satisfying the criteria for national reputation under Scholarship).
- FDC Recommendation
The FDC will collect materials and conduct a preliminary evaluation of a Bargaining Unit Faculty candidate for the purpose of promotion and/or tenure. It is the responsibility of the committee to be thoroughly conversant with all aspects of a candidate's record. The committee will then meet as often as needed to exhaust pertinent discussion. A quorum is defined as 75% of eligible voting faculty with a minimum of three voting. A positive vote of two-thirds of those voting (excluding abstentions) will constitute approval. If appointment of a third member of the FDC is required, the FDC will prepare a list of possible appointees and consult with the candidate, but the FDC will make the final decision on the appointment. The committee will vote on the questions of promotion and/or tenure by means of a written ballot at least three weeks prior to the university deadline for departmental recommendations. The Chair of the Department will discuss the results with the candidate and the Chair of the FDC will provide a written summary of the major comments. Following this discussion, a candidate may ask the FDC to reconsider a negative recommendation, and may appear before the committee to argue against the recommendation, or to present further information. .This meeting must occur at least one (1) week prior to the university deadline for department recommendations. In such cases, another written ballot shall be taken, and the results shall be final.
The P&T file of a candidate for promotion or promotion and tenure as a result of this procedure is sent to the Chair who will forward the nomination to the COSM Dean for transmittal to the College Faculty Development Committee, and to the SOM Dean. The promotion and/or tenure file of each candidate will include a separate evaluation from the Chair.
Candidates have the right to review their file and add a letter of rebuttal at any level. Only a candidate can withdraw his or her application from consideration.
E. Professional Development Leave
Bargaining Unit Faculty applying for professional development leave must submit a proposal to the Department Chair by November 1 for leave during the following academic year. The Chair will forward the proposal to a committee consisting of Departmental Bargaining Unit Faculty who will make a recommendation of support or denial. All proposals, with the recommendations of the faculty committee and the Chair and an additional statement from the Chair indicating whether and how adequate coverage can be provided during the Bargaining Unit Faculty member’s absence, will go forward to the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and the Dean of the School of Medicine.
F. Other Faculty Development Matters
- Continuation in the School of Medicine
Evaluation of all BMB faculty for Continuance in the SOM will be conducted by the BMB Faculty Development Committee (FDC), and their recommendation will be submitted to the department chair. For purposes of this evaluation procedure, the FDC will consider the candidate's contributions to the functions of the department and the SOM including information from the compiled BMB annual reports for the prior continuance period pertaining to the candidate's activities and achievements in areas of teaching, scholarship, and service.
Upon completion of the review, the recommendation of the FDC is forwarded to the Department Chair, who forwards his/her own recommendation with the FDC’s advice to the School of Medicine for a decision. An appeal mechanism is available through the School of Medicine.
2. Mentoring of New Faculty
The FDC will mentor newly appointed faculty by providing guidance towards promotion and tenure during the candidate’s annual review. Further mentoring of new faculty can include internal peer review of manuscripts, grant proposals, and teaching. Other examples include discussions of graduate student progress and guidance on how to function effectively in the WSU academic community.
3. Promotion and Tenure Bylaws Review
The Chair of the FDC will convene a committee of Bargaining Unit Faculty to review the Promotion and Tenure segment of these bylaws every five years. At this time or at other times, the Bargaining Unit Faculty faculty may recommend modifying and updating this portion of the Bylaws document to reflect the current objectives of the department. Amendments to these will be by a majority vote of the Bargaining Unit Faculty, and require approval by the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, the Dean of the School of Medicine, and the Faculty Governance Committee.
III. Teaching Assignments and Course Scheduling
A. Teaching Assignments and Curricular Review
The Department Chair will determine teaching assignments for each faculty member after consideration of the advice of the involved faculty member and course director. The Department faculty, during periodic review of the graduate and undergraduate curriculum, will review the syllabi of all BMB course offerings and may recommend changes.
B. Peer Review of Teaching
Each Bargaining Unit Faculty will undergo a yearly review of his or her classroom teaching by one or more peers. This is normally performed by the course director, by other instructors in the course or by other faculty members. .The FDC will ensure that a peer evaluation is provided for each bargaining unit faculty member. Written evaluations describing the instructor’s teaching effectiveness will be provided to the faculty member, the Chair of the FDC, and the Chair of the department.
IV. Graduate and Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Standards
The faculty shall assess the graduate and undergraduate curriculum and policies at least every five years. The review will include standards for student admission to the department’s academic programs, enrollment in its various courses, and an evaluation of the conduct of these courses and programs. Curricula and courses will be reviewed using criteria which include appropriateness of the subject material, faculty expertise, student demand, Department mission, and when appropriate, the service the course(s) provide to other University programs. New courses may be proposed by one or more faculty members. The appropriateness of new courses will be assessed using criteria which include those mentioned above. After consideration the Department faculty will make written recommendations regarding curricular changes and approval of new courses.
V. Annual Faculty Evaluation Criteria and Procedures
In accordance with the CBA, the Department Chair will conduct an annual evaluation of each Bargaining Unit Faculty. In preparation for this annual evaluation, the Bargaining Unit Faculty will submit to the Department Chair an activity report which documents his or her activities in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service for the past year. The deadline for receipt of the activity report will be set by the Department Chair in consultation with the faculty. For each Bargaining Unit Faculty, the Department Chair will assess a point value for each of the areas required in the CBA, provide a written evaluation, and, if the Chair wishes, hold individual meetings with Faculty about their annual evaluation. Faculty may decline to participate in such a meeting.
The Department Chair will conduct the annual evaluation using the information provided by the Bargaining Unit Faculty in the activity report and other items as indicated in the CBA, including peer and student evaluation of teaching. The Chair’s overall assigned evaluation score will be based on the evaluation criteria and the category weightings outlined below. In accordance with the CBA, a Bargaining Unit Faculty who disagrees with the Department Chair’s evaluation may send a written response to the Chair. This response will be attached to the original evaluation, sent to all other entities which receive a copy of the evaluation and kept on file.
A. Weightings for Teaching, Research, and Scholarship
In the Department of BMB, the normal weighting factors for evaluation are 35% teaching, 50% research, and 15% service. The Chair will receive a timely recommendation from the FDC concerning any changes in distribution for an individual of the % weighting for teaching, research, and service pertaining to the annual review.
Unless alternate percentages of effort are assigned to individual faculty by the Department Chair, the respective categories have an overall weighting of:
Scholarship- 50% Teaching- 35% Service- 15%
The chair may assign an alternate weighting to allow for:
- a. unique work assignments that differ from those of other Bargaining Unit Faculty members;
- b. discipline pursuant to CBA Article 14; or
- c. correction of a pattern of substandard performance extending more than one year.
The following evaluation criteria will be used for annual reviews of Bargaining Unit Faculty:
- A score of zero (unsatisfactory) indicates little or no evidence of scholarly work with associated achievements in the past year and little or no evidence of work in progress.
- A score of one (adequate) indicates that scholarly work is occurring but with limited achievements.
- A score of two (meritorious) indicates clear evidence of on-going scholarly work that should include publishing at least one refereed paper and maintaining laboratory funding from any source.
- A score of three (outstanding) indicates a very active and successful program of scholarly activity. This must include federal funding, publishing at least one refereed paper in a quality journal, as well as professional achievements (for example, presenting talks at meetings).
- A score of four (extraordinary) indicates a highly successful program of scholarly activity. This includes everything in the outstanding category but extends the accomplishments, for example, to having more than one federal grant, or publishing a number of refereed papers in high quality journals.
- A score of zero (unsatisfactory) indicates major problems with teaching. Examples of major problems would be the faculty member’s failure to conduct classes for no compelling reason or continual lack of preparation for teaching responsibilities.
- A score of one (adequate) indicates fulfillment of basic teaching responsibilities (e.g., lecturing and grading) and acceptable peer and student evaluations.
- A score of two (meritorious) indicates that the faculty member is doing a good job teaching with no apparent major problems as shown by peer and student evaluations. Typically, the faculty member should be involved at some level in student laboratory instruction.
- A score of three (outstanding) indicates that the faculty member is an accomplished instructor who receives excellent peer evaluations and student comments. The faculty member is actively involved in course updating and improvement. Typically, the faculty member is expected to be involved in graduate student research supervision.
- A score of four (extraordinary) indicates that the faculty member is an accomplished instructor who receives excellent peer evaluations and student comments. Examples of additional activities necessary for this rating would be the incorporation of innovative teaching strategies in their courses, taking a major role in curriculum development, or receiving a teaching award.
- A score of zero (unsatisfactory) indicates that the faculty member has little or no evidence of service performed for department, college, university or profession.
- A score of one (adequate) indicates a minimal level of department activity (attending faculty meetings and serving as a member of a committee with a minimal workload).
- A score of two (meritorious) indicates that the faculty member is actively engaged in suitable levels of service activities (appropriate to rank). .Attendance at faculty meetings is expected for all ranks. For an assistant professor, suitable service activity would include being a member of a committee with a moderate workload, or being a member of two committees with minimum workload, or reviewing a manuscript for a journal, or the equivalent. For an associate professor or full professor, the service expectation would be higher, such as a member of a committee with high workload, or a member of three committees with minimal workload, or chair of one committee, or reviewing multiple manuscripts for a journal, or the equivalent.
- A score of three (outstanding) indicates a very active service record. Substantial involvement in a number of activities [committee (e.g. serving as chair of a committee) or non-committee] is usually expected. If a particularly important single activity is highly time consuming then it should be considered equal to multiple lesser activities.
- A score of four (extraordinary) indicates strong evidence of service resulting in major accomplishment at some level (e.g., department, college, university, or faculty member’s profession). This may include specific achievements or involvement in a leadership role.
VII. Administrative Review Guidelines
At the time of administrative reviews for the Department Chair or Dean(s), the faculty will meet to discuss the process and to make recommendations regarding their involvement to the appropriate administrative office; the Provost or the Dean(s).