University of Delaware - College of Engineering
ELECTRICAL & COMPUTER ENGINEERING

ECE Business Operations

Governing Policies

ByLaws

DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING

UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE

(Approved May, 2003)

BY-LAWS

PREAMBLE

            We, the member of the Faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Delaware, concerned with continual improvement of academic standards and dedicated to the achievement of academic excellence, are convinced that those directly involved in instructional and research activities also must play an active role in administrative and academic affairs relating to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (hereinafter, “the Department).  Therefore, being aware that a regular authorized and representative agency of the Department must serve this function if academic excellence is to be achieved, maintained and improved, we herby formalize these bylaws to establish and constitute the official channel of faculty opinion in all matters which bear upon the academic program.

ARTICLE I.  MISSION

            These Bylaws of the Department and the powers of the faculty shall be consistent with, and subordinate to, the policies of and authority delegated by: the University Charter, the Trustee Bylaws, the University Faculty Senate Bylaws and Regulations, the Constitution of the Faculty of the University of Delaware, the Constitution and Bylaws of the College of Engineering, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the University of Delaware and the American Association of University Professors.

            These Bylaws exist to better fulfill our mission of cultivating both learning and the advancement of knowledge in the engineering sciences by providing all of our students with outstanding undergraduate and graduate education programs so that they will know how to reason critically and independently, yet cooperate productively

A. All matters relating to the educational and administrative affairs of the department are committed to the Department’s Faculty for the purposes of governing the department.

B. The Department’s Faculty exercises control over all Electrical and Computer Engineering degree programs and curricula.  The Faculty shall-

    • Provide for the establishment and deletion of curricula and courses;
    • Formulate educational and academic standards
    • Recommend to the College for appropriate action the educational and academic policies relating to the administration of university services (e.g., university library, computing center, ect.) as they pertain to the Department; and
  • Adopt regulations governing its own procedures.

C. The Department Faculty is responsible for the nature and the quality of the Department’s instructional, research, and service programs.

ARTICLE II.  MEMBERSHIP OF FACULTY

A. Faculty.  The Department Faculty shall consist of the Full Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors in the Department; Faculty with Joint Appointments; Faculty with Secondary Appointments; Faculty with Adjunct Appointments; Lecturers and Visiting Faculty in the Department.  A faculty member on temporary leave shall retain faculty status.

B. Voting Faculty.  Voting membership is restricted to those members from the previous list of faculty who are voting members of the University faculty and hold full-time tenured or tenure-track positions and have full or joint (salary-based) appointments in the Department.

C. Secondary and Ajunct Appointments.  Secondary and Ajunct Appointments are appointments made in a spirit of mutual benefit and to formalize a connection between the appointee and the Department with the purposes of (1) encouraging scholarly collaboration, and/or (2) exchanging education experiences.  Appointments are for a 2 year period, are renewable, and any appointee must be nominated by a Voting Faculty member of the Department.  Criteria for making a nomination would include:  (1) teaching, (2) research and/or (3) service with the level of appointment (Assistant, Associate or Full) commensurate to the individuals resume.  Secondary Appointments are offered to individuals with full-time appointments in other units at the University of Delaware; Ajunct Appointments are offered to other individuals- by University definition, individuals with Adjunct Appointments do not receive monetary compensation for the affiliation.  Appointments are confirmed as a normal item of business at a regular faculty meeting.

D. Lectures and Visiting Faculty.  Lectures are appointed by the Chairperson to fill specific teaching needs of the Department.  Visiting Faculty are appointed by the Chairperson upon recommendation of a Voting Faculty member of the Department.  These appointments are made on a semester basis.

E. The duties of a member of the faculty of the department include the following:

  • The teaching of each assigned course within the faculty member’s general competence.
  • Conducting research and/or other scholarly pursuits related to the field of appointment and satisfying the conditions that the work can be conducted openly and has a reasonable chance of leading to results publishable in professional media.
  • Advising, encouraging and challenging undergraduate and graduate program aspects that require faculty advisement, a Voting Faculty member of the Department must be the primary advisor or a primary co-advisor.
  • Participating in the duties of departmental, college and university committees.
  • Actively participating at professional meetings, symposia, and seminars; keeping the departmental chairperson informed of these activities.
  • Seeking sponsorship for research and/or other scholarly pursuits.
  • Improving personal knowledge and capabilities in the chosen professional area of specialty.
  • Pursuing all activities in a manner that aids the other faculty and students in their progress toward reasonable goals.

ARTICLE III.  MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL STAFF

Professional Staff

  • The Assistant to Chairperson of the Department shall provide general administrative assistance to the Chairperson on all matters relating to the instructional program as well as the research activities of the Department; including, but not limited to, scheduling of classes, facility and facility operations, and proposal preparation/ submittal including interactions with the University Research Office.
  • The Clean Room Coordinator of the Department shall report to the Chairperson and provide for safe and proper utilization of the clean-room used by the Department.

ARTICLE IV. MEETINGS

A. Presider.  The Chairperson of the Department shall preside over Department Faculty meetings.

B. Meetings.  The Department Faculty shall meet at least once a semester at times determined by the Chairperson.  Under normal circumstances, the Department Faculty shall meet bimonthly during the Fall and Spring Semesters (every 2 months).  Special meetings of the Faculty may be called by the Chairperson, or by written petition of 15 percent of the voting membership of the Department Faculty presented to the Chairperson, or by a majority vote at a regular or special faculty meeting.  The Chairperson shall establish dates for regular meeting and distribute the list to faculty members within three weeks after the start of the academic year.  Written notice of special faculty meetings shall be given to the Faculty at least forty-eight (48) hours of such meetings, preferably with one week’s notice.

C. Agenda.  The agenda for the faculty meeting shall be established by the Chairperson.  Other items can be added by a written petition to the Chairperson of 15 percent of the voting membership of the Department Faculty.  The agenda for each faculty meeting must be distributed to the Faculty at least forty-eight (48) hours before the meeting, but preferably one week in advance.  Under new business, resolutions introduced from the floor shall be entertained.  Any resolution, which is introduced from the floor and is not part of an agenda item, will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting, at which time action can be taken.  A resolution concerning death of a person associated with the Department can be acted upon at the meeting at which it is introduced.  The Chairperson shall decide the items of business that are to be discussed only among the Voting Faculty members of the Department.

D.  Minutes of Meetings.  Under direction of the Chairperson, a record of each faculty meeting shall be prepared and distributed to each faculty member within two weeks of the meeting reported.  Any prior pertinent actions will be reported to the Faculty prior to a subsequent meeting.  A permanent record of faculty minutes shall be filed in the Chairperson’s Office.

E.  Quorum.  One-third of the Voting Faculty members of the Department not on leave shall constitute a quorum.  The Faculty shall abide by its own rules of procedure, but in cases where it has adopted no explicit rules, or where applicability or interpretation of rules is in doubt, Robert’s Rules of Order- Newly Revised shall govern.  A Parliamentarian may be appointed by the Chairperson to assure conformity.

F.  Order of Business.  The first part of the agenda will consist of old business, which will be disposed by majority vote of those present.  Any resolution received by the Faculty at least one week prior to the meeting will be considered old business.  The second part of the agenda will consist of new business.   New business included in the agenda will require a two-thirds vote of those present for disposition.

G.  Items Requiring a Vote of the Faculty.  The following items must be discussed in a regular or special faculty meeting, and brought to a vote by the entire Department faculty: creation or elimination of programs, changes in names of the Department or any of its degree programs, and resolutions or motions which have effect upon the University, Colleges or Departments of the University other than the College of Engineering or its Departments.

            The proposed action will be considered to have been recommended by the faculty if it has the support of a majority of the voting members of the Department present at the meeting.  The tally should be noted clearly in any related proposals going from the Department to the College.

ARTICLE V. OFFICERS

A.  Chairperson of the Department.

               1.  The Chairperson of the Department, shall have general administrative authority over department affairs, exercise leadership in the formulation of policies, introduce educational ideas and proposals, and stimulate discussions leading to improvement of the educational and research programs of the Department. Responsibilities shall include both strengthening the Department and its programs plus interpreting and defending those programs to the College and to the University community.

               2.  The Chairperson shall have the authority to make budgetary recommendations to the Dean of the College of Engineering.

               3.  The Chairperson may appoint committees to advise on any matters of concern to the Department.

B. The Departmental Chairperson is responsible for the following (from College of Engineering Bylaws):

               1.  Recommendations for new appointments, reappointments and promotions within the department to the Dean of Engineering, after consultation with faculty members in the department.

               2.  An awareness of the professional and scholarly activities of the faculty members in the department.

               3.  General supervision of the work of staff and students employed by the department.

               4.  Formulation, control of quality and improvement of educational programs.  The faculty should be consulted concerning these tasks and will assist with these tasks.

               5.  Review of performance of faculty and staff, assignment of workloads consistent with contracts existing between the University and the AAUP.

               6.  Preparation of departmental budgets, and supervision of the expenditure of departmental funds in cooperation with other members of the department.

               7.  The formulation and execution of departmental policies in cooperation with the other members of the department and the execution of the policies of the University and the College of Engineering insofar as they affect the department.

               8.  Supervision and performance review on a continuing basis of directors of research centers and any administrative assistants or associated in the department.

C. In addition to those duties from the College of Engineering  Bylaws, the Chairperson is also responsible for:

               1.  Initiating and actively participating in fund-raising activities inside and outside of the University that benefit the Department and are in alignment with University and College development plans.

               2. Special attention should be paid to identifying collaborative and/or interdisciplinary research opportunities.

               3.  Promoting the Department by publicizing Department achievements.

ARTICLE VI. STANDING COMMITTEES

A.  General Function. The functions of the Faculty Committees are to investigate, advise and recommend in those areas assigned and delineated below.

B. Standing Committees.

               1.  Formation or Deletion.  Standing committees can be formed or deleted by majority vote of the entire Department Faculty (by mail ballot).

               2.  Eligibility.  Each member of the Voting Faculty shall be eligible for membership on standing committees with the power to vote.  The Chairperson is an ex-officio member of all committees except the Promotion and Tenure Committee.  No faculty member should serve concurrently on more than two (2) standing committees of the Department Faculty.  Members are appointed by the Chairperson.

               3.  Presider. Presiders of the standing committees shall be appointed by the Chairperson.  If the committee has been in existence for more than one academic year, the presider is usually appointed from those who have served on the committee for at least one academic year.

               4.  Terms of Office.  The terms of office of members of standing committees shall be for the academic year and are appointed annually.  Terms of office begin on the first day of the academic year following their appointment though the spring semester (and into the summer- if there is business), except when a vacancy arises.

               5.  Filling of Vacancies.  The Chairperson will make appointments to fill unexpired terms when vacancies arise.

               6.  Procedures of Standing Committees.

                        a. Informal procedures shall govern all committee meetings, but a written record of any major actions and a brief summary of any pertinent deliberations shall be submitted to the Chairperson by the appointed presider. 

                        b. Each committee shall meet at least once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester and make a report of its activities to the Chairperson at least once each year.

C.  Composition and Function of Faculty Standing Committees.

               1.  Undergraduate Education Committee.

                        a. Composition:  At least one faculty member from each sub-discipline with the department.  A student advisory committee, selected by this committee from the student leaders, shall serve in the advisory capacity.

                        b. Presider:  Chosen by the Chairperson, this individual serves as the Department’s representative on the College Educational Activities Committee, as the Department’s Undergraduate Advisor, and is responsible for making transfer admission decisions following the guideline that the student is in good academic standing.

                        c. Function.

                        (1)  Reviews additions or deletions of courses and changes in undergraduate course descriptions appearing in any University Catalog prior to submittal to the College.

                        (2)  Reviews all changes in the undergraduate curriculum involving the number, composition or prerequisites of required courses, or any changes that alter the total hours for graduation. The committee recommends approval or rejection of each of the changes to the Departmental Faculty prior to submittal to the  College.

                        (3)  Review effectiveness of departmental courses and programs for accreditation purposes.

                        (4)  Recommends new or revised educational programs.

                        (5)  Contacts departmental faculty to determine course transfer and/or allowable substitutions for program requirements including course appropriate for the technical elective requirement.

                        (6)  Coordinates the Department’s undergraduate advising activities.

                         (7)  Coordinates with the College on all undergraduate recruitment events.

                         (8)  Coordinates with the College on all undergraduate honors and awards.

                        d. Actions:  Actions taken under the authority delegated to the committee by items c. (1)-(7) shall be decided by a majority vote of committee members- votes may be handled by electronic communication.

               2. Graduate Education Committee.

                        a. Composition:  At least one faculty member from each sub-discipline with the department.

                        b. Presider:  Chosen by the Chairperson.

                        c. Function.

                        (1)  Reviews additions or deletions of courses and changes in graduate course descriptions appearing in any University Catalog prior to submittal to the College.

                        (2)  Reviews all changes in the graduate curriculum  involving the number, composition or prerequisites of required courses, or any changes that alter the total hours for graduation.  The committee recommends approval or rejection of each of the changes to the Departmental Faculty prior to submittal to the College.

                        (3)  Coordinates all graduate recruitment activities and events.

                        (4)  Coordinates the Department’s graduate mentoring activities.

                        (5)  Coordinates with the College on all graduate honors and awards.

                        d. Actions:  Actions taken under the authority delegated to the committee by items c. (1)-(4) shall be decided by a majority vote of committee members- votes may be handled by electronic communication.

               3. Promotion and Tenure Committee

                        a. Composition:  The Department Promotion and Tenure Committee consists of all tenured members of the Department.  However, only those members at or above the rank being considered in a submitted dossier are considered voting members and may participate in any discussion.

                        b. Presider:  The Chairperson will designate a presider who must be a tenured full professor.  This designee shall not represent the Department on the College Promotion and Tenure Committee.

                        c. Function:  Once the presider is selected, the committee is autonomous.  It considers requests for promotion and appeals from individual faculty, and, based on the Departments’, Colleges’ and Faculty Senate’s criteria and procedures, formulates its own recommendations, and forwards those recommendations to the Department Chairperson.  This committee also is responsible for post-tenure periodic faculty review.

                        d. Criteria.  The Departmental stresses certain qualifications for promotion; the Department’s Promotion and Tenure Committee is required to consider these qualifications in reaching its evaluations and recommendations.  The Department’s policies and practices pertaining to promotion and tenure have been approved by the College and the University Faculty Senate Committee on Promotion and Tenure.  A copy of these documents will be given to all new faculty during their first semester.

                        e. Report to Candidate.  The results of the review by the Department committee shall be promptly reported in full and in writing to the candidate, who must be given sufficient time to consider whether to withdraw candidacy before the Department’s recommendation are forwarded with the dossier for review and recommendation by the Chairperson.

                        f. Additional Evidence.  Before reaching a final decision the committee may, indeed is encouraged to, consult with the candidate regarding additional evidence that might clarify the promotion dossier.  The committee should allow a reasonable amount of time for this purpose.

                        g. Chairperson’s Action.  The Chairperson shall review the dossier and shall either endorse or recommend against the promotion in a written notification to the candidate and department committee.  The Chairperson shall also forward the dossiers and statements of action on them to the College of Engineering Committee on Promotions and Tenure.

                        h. Appeal.  Candidates who wish to appeal the decision of the Department Committee must notify the Committee in writing no later than two business days following receipt of the committee’s decision.  The committee will schedule hearings that will be convened by the presider of the committee.  Evidence in support of the appeal must be submitted to the committee at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.  Likewise, appeal of the decision of the Chairperson must be made in writing no later than two business days following receipt of the Chairperson’s decision.  Evidence in support of the appeal must be submitted to the Chairperson prior to a personal meeting.

               4. Facilities & Safety Committee.

                        a. Composition.  At least one faculty member active in courses that have laboratories and the Department’s Facilities Coordinator.

                        b. Presider.  Chosen by the Chairperson, this individual serves as the faculty liaison between the Department and the University Safety and Facilities groups.

                        c. Function. Reviews labs and the facilities under the guidance of the  University Safety and Facilities groups to guarantee a safe learning environment and to address other facility-related concerns.

ARTICLE VII. SPECIAL COMMITTEES

            A. Ad Hoc Committee.  Ad Hoc Committees of the Faculty may be created by the Chairperson’s initiative or following the majority vote of the Voting Faculty at a duly constituted meeting.  Presiders of such committees shall be responsible for providing a written report to the Faculty no later than June 1 of each year, or if the Ad Hoc Committee is terminated within the academic year, a terminal report shall be distributed within thirty (30) days of the committee’s termination.

ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS AND EFFECTIVE DATE

            A.  This Constitution can be changed only through mail balloting, by a two-thirds vote of the total voting membership of the Department Faculty.  Petitions for such changes must be presented for discussion at a faculty meeting preceding the balloting by two weeks or more.

            B.  Nothing in these Bylaws shall be understood to give the Department any powers which contravene the rights of the University Faculty.  These Bylaws shall take effect on the first day of the month after their adoption.


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