Bylaws

Department of Chemistry, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Updated March 27, 2020

View the bylaws in PDF format

  • I. The Department of Chemistry

    Section 1. For the purposes of this document, the Department of Chemistry shall consist of all full time faculty members assigned to it by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

    Section 2. The Department shall meet at least once each term during the regular academic year (Fall, Winter) and shall keep records. The Chairperson may call special meetings when necessary. Upon the request of one-third or more of the members of the Department, the Chairperson shall call a special meeting of the Department. Written notice of all special meetings shall be given to the Department not less than forty-eight hours in advance.

    Section 3. The Department shall determine all matters of educational policy, and it shall concern itself with all matters dealing with the general welfare of its members, staff and students. All major items for action shall be on the agenda of a meeting and may be discussed, but they must be placed on the table for final action at the next meeting unless this requirement is suspended by a TWO-THIRDS VOTE of those present and voting.

    Section 4. A quorum for action at meetings shall be a MAJORITY of the department, excluding those members who are on sabbatical or other long-term leave. Motions shall be carried by a MAJORITY vote of voting-eligible members present and voting.

    Section 5. The Department may invite part-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and representatives of undergraduate and graduate student organizations to attend department meetings and participate in discussions. Invited guests shall not have the right of vote.

  • II. The department chairperson

    Section 1. The Chairperson is the administrative officer of the Department. The Chairperson shall inform the Dean concerning departmental matters and members of the Department concerning College and University matters of interest to the Department.

    Section 2. The Chairperson is the presiding officer with vote at department meetings. The Chairperson shall serve as ex-officio Chairperson of the Personnel/Budget Committee without vote and shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of all other departmental committees.

    Section 3. After consultation with the Department, The Chairperson shall appoint the Chairperson of all standing committees and the Graduate Admissions Officer.

    Section 4. Chairperson Selection Advisory Committee

    1. Formation. Whenever the Chairpersonship of the Department becomes vacant, or the Chairperson announces their intention to resign the Chairpersonship, a Department Chairperson Selection Advisory Committee shall be formed as soon as possible.

    2. Membership. This Committee shall consist of five elected persons from the Department. The out-going Chairperson shall be ineligible to serve on this committee. Immediately following formation of the Committee, the out-going Chairperson/acting Chairperson shall submit the names of the elected members of the Committee to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Dean may appoint additional members to the Committee and/or appoint the Chairperson of the Committee. If the Dean does not select a Chairperson for the Committee, then the Committee shall elect its own Chairperson.

    3. Duties.

      1. The Committee shall explore the profession for appropriate candidates and shall solicit feedback from the members of the Department prior to finalizing a list of candidates.

      2. The name(s) of the candidate(s) approved by the Committee shall be submitted to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences by the Chairperson of the Committee.

      3. Should the recommended candidate(s) not be acceptable to the administration, the Chairperson of the Committee shall report to the Department, and the Committee shall make alternative recommendation(s), repeating the procedures described above, until a Chairperson is appointed.

    4. Vacancies. Vacancies on the Committee shall be filled through election. The Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences should be asked to fill vacancies created through the loss of the Dean's original appointees.

    5. Acting Department Chairperson. Should the Department Chairpersonship suddenly become vacant, e.g. before a new Chairperson can take office, the Committee shall constitute an ad hoc committee to recommend persons for "Acting Chairperson". The ad hoc committee shall call a special meeting of the Department, allowing at least three days advance written notice, for the purpose of obtaining the approval of the Department. Approval will be indicated by a MAJORITY vote (secret ballot) of those present and voting at the special meeting. The ad hoc committee will submit the approved names to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences without delay.

  • III. The personnel/budget committee

    Section 1. Composition and Manner of Election.

    1. The Personnel/Budget Committee shall consist of five members, elected for two years. Terms shall be staggered so that three members are elected one year and two the next year. At least four divisions of the department shall be represented on the Personnel Committee at any time.

    2. All full-time tenured faculty are eligible for election to the Personnel/Budget Committee. Should there be at least three non-tenure-track faculty in the Department, an extra position will be added to the committee. An election will be held to elect a non-tenure-track faculty to the committee to fill the expanded position for a two-year term.

    3. Elections shall be held annually by secret, electronic ballot at least one week prior to the first regularly scheduled department meeting of the academic year. All full-time members of the Department (Full-time faculty, including faculty holding concurrent administrative appointments, teaching faculty, and non-tenure-track faculty) shall be eligible to vote for the Personnel/Budget Committee members. Electronic elections will be conducted with voting open for 72 hours. Voting members of the Department can vote for two or three people,

      depending on the year. The top five vote receivers, including ties for the fifth spot, will enter a run-off election that will be electronically open for 72 hours. The top two or three (depending on the year) vote recipients from the run-off election will be selected. If there is a tie, then a second run-off election will be held electronically open for 72 hours, to break the tie. Final results will be announced by email or at the department meeting. In the event that the top candidates in a given year would limit committee representation to 3 divisions or less, then the next highest candidate who brings added representation to the committee will be selected.

    4. Vacancies on the Personnel/Budget Committee shall be filled for the remainder of the term by electronic election to be held within two weeks of when the vacancy occurs. The voting provisions of By-Law III. Sec. 1(c) shall be followed.

    5. Special, short-term assignments to the Personnel/Budget Committee shall be made according to the provisions of By-Law IV, Sec. 1(c). whenever any members are ineligible to vote on any matter.

    6. The Personnel/Budget Committee annually shall elect a Secretary from its own membership, who shall record the Minutes of meetings of the Committee and receive correspondence to the Committee.

    Section 2. Tenure and Term Appointments.

    1. If non-tenure-track faculty are on the committee, they will not be allowed to participate in the discussion or voting for tenure.

    2. The Personnel/Budget Committee shall evaluate annually all non-tenured faculty of the Department above the rank of instructor for recommendation for tenure. The record of each such person shall be presented orally to the Committee by a designated member of the Department. A MAJORITY vote of the membership of the Personnel/Budget Committee shall be required for a recommendation to grant tenure.

    3. Should a non-tenured faculty member not be granted tenure the year preceding the final year of their term appointment, the Personnel/Budget Committee shall review the professional performance of the individual and shall recommend to the Chairperson of the Department either termination or reappointment for an additional term appointment. However, term appointments are limited to a maximum of seven years of full-time service at this University, including counted prior full-time service.

    4. When a decision not to recommend tenure for an individual would result in termination of employment [e.g. as in the sixth year of counted full-time service as defined in By-Law IV, Sec. 2 (b).], a tenure vote shall be taken only when all members of the Personnel/Budget Committee are in attendance, in person or electronically. In the event that the motion to recommend tenure for such an individual does not carry by majority vote, the Department Chairperson or designated representative from the Personnel/Budget Committee shall transmit this information orally and in writing to the affected individual no later than the date on which departmental recommendations regarding tenure are due in the Office of the Dean. If any member of the Personnel/Budget Committee cannot be present during the period in which the preceding decisions(s) must be made, that person shall be replaced for that period by another representative of the Department in accord with the voting provisions of By-Law III. Sec. 1(c).

    5. When a decision is to be made recommending termination of contract for an individual under the circumstances described in Sec. 2(c), the procedures specified in Sec. 2(d), shall be followed.

    6. If the Chairperson of the Department does not recommend contract renewal for a faculty member or tenure for a faculty member in that person's sixth year of counted, full-time service, the Chairperson shall notify the individual orally and in writing no later than the date on which recommendations are due in the Office of the Dean.

      1. Within two weeks following the transmittal of the information to a faculty member regarding not been recommended for tenure or contract renewal that would result in termination of employment, the individual in question may request an appearance before the entire Personnel/Budget Committee (and/or the Chairperson) for an explanation of the facts upon which the decision was based. This request shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the Personnel/Budget Committee, the Chairperson, or both. The meeting shall be held within two weeks of receipt of this request.

      2. If, following the meeting with the Personnel/Budget Committee, the Chairperson, the individual, or both feels that the decision was based on inaccurate or insufficient information, that person may, within two weeks of the first meeting, submit a written request to the Personnel/Budget Committee Secretary, the Chairperson, or both for a second meeting with the full Committee, the Chairperson, or both. At this second meeting, to be held within two weeks of receipt of this request, the person may submit a case to the Committee, the Chairperson, or both documenting achievements and other evidence of professional excellence in writing, providing a copy of this document to each member of the Committee. The Committee members shall be free to question the individual at length regarding all the particulars of the record to insure a complete understanding of the relevant facts.

      3. Following this second meeting with the individual, the Committee or the Chairperson shall have no more than two weeks in which to deliberate. A second vote on the original motion for tenure recommendation or contract renewal shall be taken with all members of the Personnel/Budget Committee present. This shall represent the final decision of the Committee and the result shall be transmitted to the affected individual in writing. The Chairperson shall transmit the final decision in writing to the affected individual.

      4. If the affected individual remains dissatisfied with the final decision of the Personnel/Budget Committee or the Chairperson, further appeal may be pursued at the College level according to established procedures.

    Section 3. Promotion.

    1. If non-tenure-track faculty are on the committee, they will not be allowed to participate in the discussion or voting for promotion.

    2. If fewer than three members of the Personnel/Budget Committee hold a rank higher than a candidate for promotion, then a special election will be held to add a sufficient number of temporary members to the committee in accord with the voting provisions of By-Law III. Sec. 1(c). The temporary members will only serve on the committee for matters directly relevant to the promotion that prompted the special election.

    3. The Personnel/Budget Committee shall evaluate annually all members of the Department below the rank of Professor for consideration for promotion. The professional performance of each such candidate shall be presented orally to the Committee by a designated member of the Department. A MAJORITY vote of the Committee shall be required to recommend promotion.

    4. The Chairperson shall notify in writing each candidate of the Personnel Committee's recommendation on promotion. A candidate may request written notification from the Chairperson upon not being recommended for promotion by the Personnel/Budget Committee, the Chairperson, or both.

    5. If neither the Personnel/Budget Committee nor the Chairperson recommends promotion, a candidate - who has been in rank for at least three years - may, within two weeks after receipt of the written notice of the decisions(s), request in writing that the Personnel/Budget Committee, the Chairperson, or both review the decision. The candidate may choose to appear before the Committee, the Chairperson, or both.

      1. If after reconsideration, the Personnel/Budget Committee or the Chairperson recommend promotion, the Chairperson shall notify the candidate of the decision and shall forward the recommendation in the usual manner.

      2. If after reconsideration, the Personnel/Budget Committee and the Chairperson do not recommend promotion, the Chairperson shall notify the candidate in writing of the reaffirmed decision.

    Section 4. Selective Salary Recommendations.

    1. The Personnel/Budget Committee shall evaluate and rank annually all faculty of the Department for selective salary adjustments. The Chairperson shall inform in writing each faculty member of the recommendations of the Personnel/Budget Committee.

    2. If faculty members wish to take exception to their selective salary recommendation, they may, after consultation with the Chairperson, file a written exception report with the Committee and/or the Chairperson within two weeks after receipt of notification. If, after review of the exception report, the Personnel/Budget Committee and/or the Chairperson recommend an adjustment, the individual shall be informed by the ChairpersonIf the Committee and/or the Chairperson reaffirm the original selective salary recommendation, the individual shall be informed of this decision in writing, and the exception report shall be made available to the Dean.

    Section 5. Graduate Fellowships.

    The Personnel/Budget Committee shall work with the Graduate Studies Committee to award any fellowships to graduate students if directed by the memorandums of agreement for the individual fellowships. Fellowship awards shall be made by majority vote of those Committee members present and voting. Members of the committee should recuse themselves from participating in the decision making process if they have a conflict of interest (for example, if the student is currently in their research group or was in the past).

    Section 6. Review of the Departmental Budget by the Personnel/Budget Committee.

    At the request of the Budget Advisory Committee, the Chairperson will make available on a quarterly basis any accounting reports that may be needed to enable the budget advisory committee to provide consultation to the Chairperson about Departmental budgetary priorities.

  • IV. Other standing committees

    Section 1. The Undergraduate Studies Committee

    1. Membership. The Undergraduate Studies Committee shall be composed of five members of the Department appointed annually by the Department Chairperson. The Chairperson of the Department shall designate one of these members as Chairperson of the committee. The Department Chairperson shall fill vacancies by appointment as they occur.

      The Committee may, at its discretion, recommend to the Department Chairperson that one undergraduate student and/or one graduate student representative be invited to serve as a voting or non-voting member(s) of the Committee for all or any portion of its deliberations.

    2. Meetings. The Undergraduate Studies Committee shall meet at least once each term for the purpose of transacting the business of the Committee. The meetings shall be convened by the Chairperson of the Committee.

    3. Duties. The Undergraduate Studies Committee shall make recommendations to the Department concerning the organization of the undergraduate curriculum, the content and subject matter to be covered in course descriptions, and the sequence of courses. The Committee shall make proposals for new courses and shall review all proposals for new courses or modifications of courses submitted by members of the department and advise the Department Chairperson. In matters involving graduate courses, the Committee shall defer to the Graduate Studies Committee.

    4. Duties of the Committee Chairperson. The Chairperson of the Undergraduate Studies Committee shall keep the records, including the Minutes, of the Committee and prepare the meeting agendas. The Committee Chairperson in conjunction with the undergraduate advisor shall maintain and examine the records of all undergraduate majors in Chemistry (and students with a unified science major with a concentration in Chemistry) and certify that they have met the requirements for graduation with a B.S. or a B.A. Degree from the Department to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

    Section 2. The Graduate Studies Committee

    1. Membership. The Graduate Studies Committee shall be composed of five members of the Department appointed annually by the Department Chairperson. The Chairperson of the Department shall designate one of these members as Chairperson of the Committee. The Graduate Admissions Officer shall serve ex-officio with voice and vote on this committee. The Department Chairperson shall fill vacancies by appointment as they occur.

    2. Meetings. The Graduate Studies Committee shall meet at least once each term during the academic year for the purpose of transacting the business of the Committee.

    3. Duties. The Graduate Studies Committee shall:

      1. act to represent the Department of Chemistry to the Dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Council, and shall keep the Department informed of all matters relevant to the graduate program, and present recommendations on important policy changes in graduate study in Chemistry to the Department.

      2. consider and act on all requests for change of graduate status of students, including requests for transfer from a graduate program outside chemistry into a graduate program in the Chemistry Department, request for transfer from the Master's program in Chemistry into the Doctoral program in Chemistry without taking the Master's Degree, and requests for transfer from the Ph.D. program to take a Master's Degree.

      3. consider and act on requests by graduate students on all matters related to graduate study in Chemistry at Wayne State University, including proficiency and language requirements.

      4. make the necessary arrangements for the administration of the proficiency examinations in Chemistry.

      5. deliberate, and vote if necessary, on all matters related to dismissal of graduate students from the graduate program in Chemistry.

    4. Duties. The Chairperson of the Graduate Studies Committee shall:

      1. keep the records, including the Minutes, of the Committee and prepare the meeting agendas;

      2. sign Plans of Work and all examination forms related to progression through the Ph.D program.

      3. oversee the graduate advisor who maintains the files of all graduate students in Chemistry, inform graduate students and their advisors when students are deficient in meeting the requirements for graduate study at Wayne State University, determine when a student has met the requirements for a graduate degree in Chemistry, and certify this to the appropriate Graduate Officer of the university.

      4. keep the Committee informed of pertinent developments in graduate studies.

    Section 3. The Teaching Committee

    1. Membership. The Teaching Committee shall be composed of five members of the department, appointed annually by the Department Chairperson. The Chairperson of the Department shall designate one of these members as Chairperson of the committee.

    2. Meetings. The Teaching Committee shall meet at least once per term for the purpose of transacting the business of the Committee. The meeting shall be convened by the Chairperson of the Committee.

    3. Duties. The Teaching Committee shall make recommendation to the Department Chairperson regarding the teaching assignments for all tenured and tenure-track professors and non-tenure- track faculty in the Department. This recommendation shall include courses to be offered and instructors to fill those courses. The Committee shall collect input from all tenured, tenure- track, and non-tenure-track faculty on courses that are to be offered and suggested instructors for those courses. The Committee is responsible for maintaining a record of courses offered and instructors for those courses.

    4. Duties of the Committee Chairperson. The Chairperson of the Teaching Committee shall keep the records, including the Minutes, of the Committee and prepare meeting agendas.

    Section 4. The Faculty Search Committee

    1. Membership. The Faculty Search Committee shall be composed of five members, appointed annually by the Department Chairperson to meet the requirements of the Office of Equal Opportunity. To fulfill these requirements, it might be necessary to add a member from outside of the department. The Chairperson of the Department shall designate one of the five members as Chairperson of the committee.

    2. Meetings. The Faculty Search Committee shall meet prior to the search for the purpose of preparing for the search to be in line with the wishes of the Department as discussed at a faculty meeting. The meeting of the Faculty Search Committee shall be convened by the Chairperson of the Committee.

    3. Duties. The Faculty Search Committee shall make recommendation to the Department Chairperson regarding the hiring of new professors and non-tenure-track faculty in the Department. The Committee is responsible for organizing the search process and should consider the implicit biases of the committee members.

    4. Duties of the Committee Chairperson. The Chairperson of the Faculty Search Committee shall keep the records of the Committee and prepare meeting agendas.

  • V. Officers

    Section 1. Graduate Admissions Officer.

    1. The Graduate Admissions Officer shall be appointed annually by the Department Chairperson.

    2. Duties. The Graduate Admissions Officer shall:

      1. examine the credentials of all applicants for graduate study in chemistry, and approve all new admissions to the graduate study in chemistry;

      2. make offers of appointment, on behalf of the Department Chairperson, to qualified students for Graduate Assistantships, and to superior prospective graduate students for Graduate Fellowships allocated to the Department;

      3. coordinate and direct all publicity efforts of the Department related to the solicitation of applicants for graduate admission and financial support in Chemistry;

      4. make all reappointments of Graduate Assistants in Chemistry on behalf of the Department Chairperson;

      5. assign, in consultation with the Department Chairperson or designee(s), Graduate Assistants to the various areas for each term. Such assignments shall be made as early as possible during the preceding term;

      6. keep the Department informed about matters relating to financial support of graduate students.

    Section 2. Other Officers.

    The Department Chairperson shall appoint annually such other officers as the Chairperson deems necessary to carry out departmental purposes and business.

  • VI. Conflicts

    The Statutes of the University, the Constitution of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and collective bargaining Agreements between the faculty and the University shall take precedence over these By-Laws if a conflict exists.

  • VII. Amendements

    Section 1. Proposed amendments to these By-Laws, signed by at least three (3) members, shall be submitted to the Department Chairperson in writing.

    Section 2. Proposals for such amendments shall be placed on the agenda of the next departmental meeting and written copies shall be distributed to the Department at or prior to this meeting. Final action shall be taken at the next departmental meeting held not less than thirty (30) days after the meeting at which the proposals were first considered.

    Section 3. A two-thirds vote of members of the Department present and voting shall be required for adoption.