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Department Bylaws

1 Governance and Organization

    1.1          Introduction
    1.2         Voting Faculty
    1.3         Department Head
    1.3.1      Appointment of the Head
    1.3.2      Role of the Head
    1.3.3      Annual Evaluation of the Head
    1.4         Advisory Committee
    1.4.1      Advisory Committee Elections
    1.4.2      Role of the Advisory Committee
    1.5         Faculty meetings
    1.6         Major Standing Committees
    1.6.1      Curriculum
    1.6.2      Admission and Retention of Graduate Students
    1.7        Other Committees
    1.8        Amendments

2 Faculty Workload

    2.1        Research
    2.2        Teaching
    2.3        Service

3 Appointment, Evaluation, Promotion, Tenure, and Review for All Tenure-track and Tenured Faculty

    3.1         Appointment
    3.2         Annual Retention Review of Tenure-track Faculty
    3.3         Midpoint Review of Tenure-track Faculty
    3.4         Tenure and Promotion
    3.4.1      Departmental Criteria and Expectations for Tenure and Promotion
    3.4.1.1      Criteria for Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor
    3.4.1.2      Criteria for Promotion to Full Professor
    3.4.2      Committees
    3.4.3      Teaching Materials
    3.4.4      Research Materials
    3.4.5      Service Materials
    3.4.6      Faculty Recommendation
    3.5         Annual Evaluation of Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty
    3.6         Expectations for Teaching, Research, and Service for Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty
    3.6.1      Teaching
    3.6.2      Research
    3.6.3      Service
    3.6.4      Annual Review of Joint Faculty
    3.7         Definitions for Overall Rating of Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty
    3.7.1      Exceeds Expectations
    3.7.2      Needs Improvement
    3.7.3      Unsatisfactory

4 Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

    4.1         Appointment
    4.2         Annual Review of Non-Tenure-track Faculty
    4.2.1      Expectations for Teaching
    4.2.2      Definitions of "Needs Improvement" and "Unsatisfactory"

 


1 Governance and Organization

 


1.1 Introduction

These bylaws represent this department’s implementation of the provisions on faculty governance that appear in the University Faculty Handbook, the Manual for Faculty Evaluation, and the bylaws of the College of Arts and Sciences. The departmental bylaws are a supplement to the other three documents and are not in themselves complete.

 


1.2 Voting Faculty

The various faculty ranks are defined in the Faculty Handbook. Voting Faculty consist of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty, Voting Joint Faculty, defined as Joint Faculty whose regular teaching load is at least 50% of the normal Tenured and Tenure-Track teaching load, and Voting Lecturers, defined as Lecturers with at least one year term contracts at least 50% time.

 


1.3 Department Head

 


1.3.1 Appointment of the Head

The Department Head is appointed by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences following the procedures in the Faculty Handbook.

 


1.3.2 Role of the Head

In addition to the role set out in the Faculty Handbook, college bylaws, and Evaluation Manual, the Head has responsibilities specific to the mathematics department. The Head presides over meetings of the whole faculty and the Advisory Committee. The Head may appoint additional faculty to assist in administration within the department. The Head will seek the recommendations of the major standing committees and/or the Advisory Committee regarding scheduling of courses, registration policies, and other procedures necessary to administer the mission of the department.

 


1.3.3 Annual Evaluation of the Head

The performance of the department head will be reviewed annually in accordance with policies of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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1.4 Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee consists of the Head, four members elected at large by the tenured, tenure-track, and voting joint faculty, and two additional members appointed by the Head. The term of office of members elected at large will be two years, two new members being elected each year. At the discretion of the Head, departmental administrators who are not members of the Advisory Committee may attend Advisory Committee meetings.

Regular meetings of the Advisory Committee will be held each month during the academic year; additional meetings may be called as needed.

 


1.4.1 Advisory Committee Elections

Advisory Committee elections will be held between April 1 and April 15 each year. The Head will call for nominations from the Voting Faculty, each member of which may nominate two people. Any tenured or tenure-track faculty member who receives three or more nominations will be named on the ballot unless that member declines nomination. Voting will be by secret ballot and counted under the direction of the Advisory Committee. If three or more people tie for the largest number of votes, a run-off election between them will be held. Otherwise, the two candidates with the largest number of votes will be elected. If two or more people tie for the second largest number of votes, a run-off election between them will be held.

The Head will appoint two additional members promptly after the election, and the new Advisory Committee will take office on May 1.

When elected members will be absent from the university for three months or longer, a special election will be held to select a substitute to serve during the period of absence.

 


1.4.2 Role of the Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee will advise the Head on policies and procedures governing the recruitment of new faculty members, salary determinations, allocations of funds, committee and administrative assignments, and any other matters designated by the Head. The Head will circulate the agenda of upcoming Advisory Committee meetings to all faculty and will notify the department of progress on important topics.

 


1.5 Faculty meetings

The agenda of each faculty meeting will be distributed to the faculty at least five calendar days before the meeting. Items may be placed on the agenda by the Head, any standing committee of the faculty, faculty action at a previous faculty meeting, or petition signed by ten percent of the Voting Faculty.

A quorum consists of a majority of tenured and tenure-track faculty who are eligible to vote at the meeting. Faculty meetings are conducted in accordance with the procedures set down in the revised Robert's Rules of Order except as otherwise provided in these bylaws. The Head will appoint a parliamentarian for faculty meetings.

 


1.6 Major Standing Committees

The major standing committees are the Undergraduate Committee and the Graduate Committee. These committees will report directly to the faculty at faculty meetings.
Each major standing committee consists of at least seven Voting Faculty members appointed by the Head in consultation with the Advisory Committee. The Head will designate one member of each committee to chair the committee.
The major standing committees meet at least once during each term. Additional meetings may be called by the chair or on petition of three members. A majority will constitute a quorum.

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1.6.1 Curriculum

All changes to the undergraduate or graduate catalogs must first be approved by the respective standing committee. Changes that are approved by the standing committee are presented in finished form for approval at a faculty meeting. Each committee will periodically review the respective curriculum in light of the changing needs of students and the requirements of other departments, the college, and the university.
The major standing committees will ensure that, when appropriate, course materials are developed and made available either by subcommittees or administrators within the department such as course coordinators.
The major standing committees will either consider petitions from students concerning catalog requirements or designate consideration of petitions to an appropriate departmental administrator.

 


1.6.2 Admission and Retention of Graduate Students

A subcommittee of the Graduate Committee will screen applications for admission to graduate programs. The Graduate Committee will advise the Head regarding criteria for appointment and retention of graduate teaching assistants, including making policies concerning graduate students' rights and responsibilities

 


1.7 Other Committees

Additional standing and ad hoc committees may be formed by either the faculty at a faculty meeting or by the Head. The chair of any committee is designated by the Head in consultation with the Advisory Committee and must be a member of the Voting Faculty.

 


1.8 Amendments

The faculty will have the power to amend these bylaws according to the following procedures.
1. Amendment proposals will originate through a petition to the Advisory Committee signed by at least seven members of the Voting Faculty or directly from the Advisory Committee itself.
2. The Advisory Committee will present proposed amendments to the faculty in writing at least 14 days before the next regular faculty meeting following receipt of a petition.
3. At that faculty meeting (or subsequent meetings when in order) a motion to poll the faculty for the purpose of adopting the prospective amendment may be made and voted upon according to the usual rules of parliamentary procedure, a majority vote being sufficient to carry the motion.
4. After a motion to poll the faculty has carried, a ballot will be distributed immediately to all Voting Faculty and, after seven days, votes will be counted under the direction of the Advisory Committee. An affirmative vote by two-thirds of the faculty who do vote will constitute an enactment of the amendment, provided at least two-thirds of the tenured and tenure-track faculty do vote.
Amendments will become effective immediately following the vote of enactment, and the Voting Faculty will be informed in writing.

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2 Faculty Workload

 


2.1 Research

Tenured and tenure-track mathematics faculty members are expected to be engaged in ongoing research programs with clear goals. Output of the research program may include publication of books and/or articles in peer-reviewed journals, and presentations at scholarly meetings. Where appropriate, faculty members work towards acquiring external funding.

 


2.2 Teaching

The teaching responsibilities of tenured and tenure-track faculty include a normal teaching load of two classes per semester. Over time, tenured and tenure-track faculty members are expected to contribute to the teaching mission of the department at various levels, from lower division service courses to graduate courses and seminars. The teaching mission of tenure-track and, especially, tenured faculty also includes direction of undergraduate and graduate research, including honors and masters' theses, masters' projects, and doctoral dissertations.

 


2.3 Service

All faculty, and to a larger degree tenured faculty, are expected to participate in departmental governance, administration, and committees; academic advising and mentoring of students; college and university committees and taskforces; community outreach activities; and service to the profession.

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3 Appointment, Evaluation, Promotion, Tenure, and Review for All Tenure-track and Tenured Faculty

 


3.1 Appointment

When permission to search for one or more tenure track positions is obtained, or the head judges that such permission is likely to be obtained, a faculty meeting of tenured, tenure-track, and voting joint faculty will be held to advise the head concerning the research area(s) in which to hire. Potential areas will be ranked via a single Borda ballot. In order for a research area to be placed on the ballot, supporters of the area must present a list of willing nominees sufficient for the creation of a search committee in the area. The Head will be advised by this ballot and other discussion at the meeting, and in consultation with the Advisory Committee will select the area(s) in which to hire and appoint a search committee for each area.

When a final list of at least three candidates for a position has been selected, tenured, tenure-track, and voting joint faculty will meet to rank the candidates for the position via Borda ballot and make a recommendation to the head.

 


3.2 Annual Retention Review of Tenure-track Faculty

The head will appoint a retention committee consisting of two members of the department in, or close to, the faculty member's research area. The committee will solicit the documentation required by the faculty handbook and write a brief summary of these materials. During a meeting of tenured faculty, the records of tenure-track faculty will be discussed and the faculty will vote for or against retention of the candidate. The retention committee will add to the earlier statement a summary of the discussion at the meeting. The vote total and the narrative will be shared with the faculty member and the Head. A positive recommendation for retention will result from a simple majority of votes for retention.

 


3.3 Midpoint Review of Tenure-track Faculty

Tenure-track faculty having a probationary period of more than four years will have an enhanced retention review near the midpoint of the probationary period. The process for the midpoint review is the same as that described below for tenure and promotion, except that the number of external letters solicited will be determined by the department, subject only to the restrictions that at least two, but not all, of the letters be from the candidate's list, and letters from the candidate's dissertation advisor, postdoctoral mentor, or recent co-author will be acceptable. Candidates for midpoint review will be evaluated based on their progress toward meeting, by the end of their probationary period, the expectations stated below for tenure.

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3.4 Tenure and Promotion

Candidates for tenure and promotion will be evaluated according to the standards and procedures in the Faculty Handbook, the College of Arts and Sciences Statement of Criteria for Promotion and Tenure, and the Departmental Criteria and Expectations for Tenure and Promotion below. In this section, "candidate" will refer to the faculty member who is being considered for tenure, promotion, or midpoint retention. "Eligible voting faculty" will refer to tenured faculty for tenure or midpoint retention cases and to tenured faculty of higher rank than the candidate for promotion cases.

 


3.4.1 Departmental Criteria and Expectations for Tenure and Promotion
Candidates must meet an acceptable standard in each of the areas of research, teaching, and service, as described below. Candidates are also expected to exhibit excellence or strong promise of excellence in some area or areas.

Evaluation of research is based on regular publication of papers in reputable, refereed journals or books having substantial new research content. Other indicators of quality research include invited presentations at conferences, invited seminars or colloquia, interdisciplinary collaboration, research grant proposals, and quality of directed doctoral dissertations. Factors which may constitute evidence of excellence in research include significant research grant support or other major research awards, a publication record that is much stronger than the norm, invited plenary talks at prestigious conferences (as indicated by the institutions at which the organizers and main speakers are based), and invited seminars or colloquia in highly ranked departments.

Factors that may contribute to an evaluation of teaching include teaching materials, feedback from students, peer visitations, and grade distributions. Factors which may constitute evidence of excellence in teaching include significant involvement in advising theses or dissertations, giving seminars or colloquia primarily intended for students, involvement in undergraduate research, publication of textbooks or other works relevant to teaching, awards for teaching, significant involvement in curriculum development, and external funding for teaching-related activities or to support the department's teaching mission.

Service will be evaluated on the basis of service to the university through departmental, college, and university committee work or administrative duties, and service to the profession through refereeing, reviewing, editorial work, conference or special session organization, serving on regional, national, or international committees or organizations related to the mathematics profession, or through significant outreach work related to mathematics. Factors which may give evidence of excellence in service include leadership roles within the university, such as significant service on College or University committees, or in regional, national, or international organizations, outreach which contributes significantly to the visibility of the department, or significant grant support for service-related activities.

 


3.4.1.1 Criteria for Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor

Candidates for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor should have a strong publication record and an active research program at a level consistent with the department's ranking among mathematics departments by the National Research Council, be visible and active professionally, and have national research recognition. Candidates should exhibit good teaching practice at all levels, including organizing classes carefully, presenting material clearly in class, following fair grading procedures, and being receptive to student questions in class and office hours.

Candidates are expected to participate in the administrative work of the department by serving on departmental committees or by carrying out other department tasks when asked. Candidates are expected to serve the profession by doing referee, review or organizational work, or by participating in mathematical organizations.

 


3.4.1.2 Criteria for Promotion to Full Professor

Candidates for promotion to Full Professor should satisfy all the criteria for promotion to Associate Professor. In addition, candidates must have an outstanding publication record, an ongoing research program which has received international recognition, should have substantial involvement in promoting undergraduate or graduate student research, and should exhibit the potential for leadership in the department.

 


3.4.2Committees

The teaching and service efforts of all candidates will be evaluated by a Teaching Effectiveness Committee formed by the Head in consultation with the Advisory Committee. The Head will also form a Research committee for each candidate. The two committees will review the relevant materials in the candidate’s dossier and will write an objective report that becomes a part of the dossier. In addition to the teaching, service, and research materials described below, the candidate’s dossier will include a comprehensive vita and a statement from the candidate concerning his or her past, present, and future role with regard to teaching, research and service.

 


3.4.3 Teaching Materials

Teaching materials will include all available teacher evaluations from past academic years, copies of teaching materials from selected courses at various levels (as determined by the committee).


 


3.4.4 Research Materials

The candidate will provide the Head with a list of the names of several people qualified to evaluate his/her research. The Head will solicit evaluations of the candidate's research. None of the letters solicited will be from faculty members at the University of Tennessee. Half of the letters in the initial solicitation will come from the candidate's list.

A "recent co-author" is defined to be "someone with whom the candidate has submitted a joint paper within the past 48 months." The letters will be included in the candidate's dossier. The candidate will also provide reprints of all journal publications or books, preprints of submitted papers, and any other evidence of a strong research program.

 


3.4.5 Service Materials

In addition to the written statement of the candidate, comment will be solicited from the chair of any committee on which the candidate has served and from participants in any interdisciplinary or interdepartmental activities involving the candidate.

 


3.4.6 Faculty Recommendation

The candidate's completed dossier will be made available to eligible voting faculty at least two weeks prior to a meeting called expressly for the purpose of making a tenure/promotion recommendation. Eligible voting faculty who will be absent may submit sealed ballots in advance. During the meeting, the chair of each of the candidate's two committees will make an objective presentation of the candidate's qualifications.
After some discussion, those present will vote by secret ballot. After a vote has been taken, the ballots (including absentee ballots, if any) will be counted and the totals for and against will be announced. When more than one candidate is being considered, this count and announcement will be made after votes for all candidates have been collected.

The chair of the research committee will provide to the Head a written summary of the faculty discussion and the vote, which comprises the recommendation of the faculty to the Head. The minimum number of votes necessary to constitute a positive recommendation by the faculty for tenure or promotion is two-thirds of the number of votes cast. A positive recommendation for midpoint retention will result from a simple majority of votes for retention.

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3.5 Annual Evaluation of Tenured, Tenure-Track, and Joint Faculty

The Head will conduct an annual review of each faculty member as set forth in the Evaluation Manual.

 


3.6 Expectations for Teaching, Research, and Service for Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty

Performance evaluation normally includes data from the preceding three calendar years, which will be provided to the Head by the faculty member on the Workload Form of the College of Arts and Sciences. The faculty member may provide other relevant documents, such as student evaluations and comments, copies of published reviews of his or her work, etc. Each faculty member will receive individual ratings for teaching, research, and service, as well as an overall rating. In the three individual ratings, faculty who do not meet or exceed expectations as described below will be rated as "needs improvement" or "unsatisfactory". Except in cases of serious professional misconduct, a faculty member will not be given a rating of "unsatisfactory" in one of the three areas unless he/she has previously received a rating of "needs improvement" in the same area in one or more of the previous three years. Standards will be modified accordingly for faculty accepting positions within or outside the department whose descriptions include significantly greater administrative or service responsibilities.

 


3.6.1 Teaching

To meet expectations for teaching, tenured faculty must be good teachers who communicate effectively and work enthusiastically with students. Tenure-track faculty are expected to show a clear interest in, and promise of, developing these attributes in themselves. Factors that may contribute to the evaluation of teaching include teaching materials, feedback from students, peer visitations, and grade distributions.

Factors that may contribute to a rating of "exceeds expectations" include significant involvement in advising theses and dissertations, giving seminars or colloquia primarily intended for students, involvement in undergraduate research, publication of textbooks or other works relevant to teaching, awards for teaching, significant involvement in curriculum development, and external funding for teaching-related activities or to support the department's teaching mission.

 


3.6.2 Research

To meet expectations for research, full professors should have an ongoing program of research or scholarly activity at a level consistent with the department's ranking among mathematics departments by the National Research Council, be visible and active professionally, and have international recognition for these efforts. An associate professor should have an active research program at a level consistent with the department's ranking, be visible and active professionally, and have national research recognition. An assistant professor should be developing a research program likely to help the department at least maintain, but preferably improve, its position in the rankings, and participate in the activities of the national mathematical community. Evaluation of research is based on regular publication of papers in reputable, refereed journals or books having substantial new research content. Other indicators of quality research include invited presentations at conferences, invited seminars or colloquia, interdisciplinary collaboration, research grant proposals, and quality of directed doctoral dissertations.

Factors that may contribute to a rating of "exceeds expectations" include significant research grant support or other major research awards, a publication record that is much stronger than the norm, invited plenary talks at prestigious conferences (as indicated by the institutions at which the organizers and main speakers are based), and invited seminars or colloquia in highly ranked departments.

 


3.6.3 Service

To meet expectations for service, tenured faculty are expected to show leadership within the department; to participate, when asked, in the work of the college and the university, including outreach; and to put effort into service to the discipline through the refereeing process and/or involvement in regional, national, and international organizations. Tenure-track faculty are expected to participate in departmental activities, normally contributing to at least one active departmental committee each year.

Factors that may contribute to a ranking of "exceeds expectations" include significant leadership roles within the university or in national organizations, outreach that contributes significantly to the visibility of the department, and significant grant support for service-related activities such as outreach or conference organization.

 


3.6.4 Annual Review of Joint Faculty

Joint faculty will be reviewed by the procedures and criteria for tenured or tenure-track faculty at the corresponding rank, with the percentage of effort in the department taken into account.

 


3.7 Definitions for Overall Rating of Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty

Faculty members will be rated as "meeting expectations" unless they fall into one of the following categories:

 


3.7.1 Exceeds Expectations

For tenure-track faculty: exceeds expectations for rank in research and meets or exceeds expectations in teaching and service.

For tenured faculty: (1) exceeds expectations in two of the three categories and meets or exceeds expectations in the third, or (2) meets expectations for teaching and service and has exhibited exemplary research significantly above what is expected at a university of comparable research ranking.

 


3.7.2 Needs Improvement

A faculty member will receive this rating if he/she (1) meets or exceeds expectations in one area and needs improvement in two areas or (2) meets but does not exceed expectations in two areas and in the third area is rated in the current year as "needs improvement" and in the previous year as "needs improvement" or lower.

 


3.7.3 Unsatisfactory

A faculty member will receive this rating if he/she is rated as needing improvement in all three areas or unsatisfactory in any area.

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4 Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

 


4.1 Appointment

Appointment of non-tenure-track faculty is carried out by the Head in consultation with the advisory committee and departmental administrators.

 


4.2 Annual Review of Non-Tenure-track Faculty

Evaluation of non-tenure-track faculty will follow the procedures given in the Faculty Handbook and Evaluation Manual. Evaluation of non-tenure-track faculty is based on evidence of high-quality teaching, with additional consideration given to administrative work and scholarly activity related to the department's teaching mission. Performance evaluation normally includes data from the preceding three calendar years, which will be provided to the Head by the faculty member. In addition to any required data, the faculty member may provide other relevant information such as student comments or evidence of scholarly or service activity.

 


4.2.1 Expectations for Teaching

Lecturers who have been teaching the equivalent of three full-time years are expected to be good teachers who communicate effectively and work enthusiastically with students. Lecturers who have been teaching for less than three years are expected to show a clear interest in, and promise of, developing these attributes in themselves. Factors that may contribute to the evaluation of teaching include teaching materials, feedback from students, peer evaluation, and grade distributions.

Factors that may contribute to a rating of "exceeds expectations" include significant involvement in innovative curriculum development; evidence of very high student success and satisfaction, significant administrative or service leadership in the department or university, teaching awards, significant scholarly activity related to mathematics or mathematics education, leadership positions in education-oriented organizations, and external funding for teaching-related activities or to support the department's teaching mission.

 


4.2.2 Definitions of "Needs Improvement" and "Unsatisfactory"

Non-tenure-track faculty who do not meet or exceed expectations will be rated as "needs improvement" unless: (1) serious professional misconduct has occurred or (2) the faculty member has been rated as "needs improvement" or below in one or more of the preceding three years. In case of (1) or (2), a rating of "unsatisfactory" could be given.

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last updated: April 2016

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