November 2023

Table of contents

The goals of the nutrition and food science department are to advance scientific knowledge in the department’s disciplines, transmit this knowledge via effective teaching and learning principles, and promote collaboration in teaching and research among the department’s members. The bylaws delineate the department’s operational procedures within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the university. The bylaws are applicable when consistent with university and college statutes and policies, the president's executive orders, and the WSU-AAUP/AFT collective bargaining agreement.

Article I

1.1  Membership

Faculty with at least a half-time current appointment in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science (NFS) shall be considered members.

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Article II

2.1 Meetings

The department shall meet at least twice each term (fall, winter) on call of the chairperson and keep records. Other meetings shall be called at the discretion of the chairperson or upon request of at least one-third of the department's full-time faculty members.

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

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2.2 Voting

Members shall debate all matters of departmental policy. If a quorum (two-thirds of the full-time department faculty members) is present, issues will be decided by a majority vote of the full-time faculty, except as noted in subsequent articles.

The chairperson may vote on all questions at their discretion, or, in the case of a tie vote, may vote or table the question for further discussion.

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Article III

3.1 Department administration

3.1.1 The department chairperson

The NFS chairperson is the administrative officer of NFS and shall inform the dean concerning NFS matters and the members of NFS concerning college and university matters of interest to NFS. Whenever the chairmanship of NFS becomes vacant or the chairperson announces the intention to resign, selection of a new chairperson will be in accordance with the AAUP-WSU Agreement.

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3.1.2 Structure

NFS has diverse interest groups (nutrition, food science, dietetics). Consistent with NFS goals, the various interest groups will provide input on matters of departmental governance as outlined in these bylaws.

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3.2 Departmental committees

There shall be seven standing committees:

a) Promotion and Tenure Committee

b) Salary and Merit Review Committee

c) Curriculum Committee

d) Graduate Committee

e) Undergraduate Committee

f) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee

g) Budget Committee

Ad hoc committees shall be constituted, altered, or abolished as the need arises by a majority vote of all the full-time faculty of NFS. Within the constraints of the AAUP-WSU contract and the staffing of NFS members in such committees shall, to the extent possible, be from the various interest groups. Major and ad hoc committees will be formed to facilitate the educational policies and procedures enacted by the voting members of NFS. Unless otherwise specified, all decisions within each committee shall be by majority vote. Standing committees shall be elected at the first faculty meeting at the start of the academic year and shall serve for a period of one academic year.

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3.2.1 Promotion and Tenure Committee


All tenured faculty will serve on the committee, with vote and membership shall be no fewer than three. The NFS chairperson shall chair the committee without vote. A two-thirds affirmative vote of the membership of the committee shall be required for a recommendation of the granting of tenure and/or promotion. No member of the committee shall participate in or vote on a promotion recommendation to a rank higher than their current rank. A non-tenured teaching/research/clinical faculty (selected by all non-tenured teaching/research/clinical faculty) will advise the P&T committee when another non-tenured teaching/research/clinical faculty is to be considered for promotion.


The committee shall make recommendations along with supporting documentation, to the department chairperson for the recommendation of granting of tenure and/or promotion in accordance with the terms of the AAUP-WSU Agreement. If fewer than three tenured faculty members are in NFS, the chairperson shall possess the authority and functions of the department committee and shall consult with the tenured faculty members prior to arriving at a recommendation.

The committee will also evaluate tenure-track faculty annually and provide written evaluations which will only be shared with the faculty member being evaluated.

Prior to the date of the notification of contract renewal or termination, the committee shall evaluate non-tenured faculty members and make recommendations for renewal or termination to the department chairperson.

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3.2.2 Salary and Merit Review Committee


The committee shall comprise the department chairperson and n members (where n is an even number and at least four) elected from full-time faculty members of the department. Tenured members shall constitute the majority of the committee. At least one member will be a non-tenured faculty, elected by the non-tenured faculty. The chairperson shall chair the committee with vote.


The committee will provide evaluations to the college via the department chairperson according to stated criteria and procedures defined in the AAUP-WSU Agreement.

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3.2.3 Curriculum Committee


The committee shall be comprised of NFS faculty and to the extent possible, will consist of faculty representing the various interest groups.


The committee shall:

a) Review and develop curriculum.

b) Ensure courses and curricula are aligned with various university and professional learning outcomes (e.g., WSU general education requirements, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, etc.).

c) Advise the chairperson on scheduling courses.

d) Make recommendations to the chairperson and to the appropriate NFS committees or members.

e) Review space and equipment needs consistent with course offerings.

f) Maintain records on enrollments, and advisees’ and faculty teaching responsibilities.

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3.2.4 Graduate Committee


The committee shall consist of the graduate officer and at least two graduate faculty members (one from nutrition and one from food science) and be guided, in part by policies from the Graduate School. In so far as is practicable, the committee will consist of at least one faculty member from the various interest groups.


The graduate committee shall be responsible for all graduate matters and be chaired by the graduate officer. It shall make recommendations to the faculty on all policy matters and procedures pertaining to all aspects of the programs leading to graduate degrees. It shall have final decision on grievances concerning admission to, or dismissal from, the graduate program.

This committee shall update the graduate handbook of the department describing academic procedures. Additionally, the graduate committee shall:

a) Review all graduate course offerings in the department every three years.

b) Examine the credentials of all applicants for graduate study in the department and approve all new admissions to graduate study.

c) Coordinate and direct all publicity efforts of the department related to the solicitation of applicants for graduate admission in the department.

d) Supervise the preparation and distribution of brochures, flyers and other material describing graduate study in the department.

e) Administer and approve decisions regarding graduate students’ qualifying or other exam performance.

f) Ensure that departmental policies are consistent with those of the Graduate School.

Some of the above functions (a – f), may be undertaken solely by the graduate officer as needed.

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3.2.5 Undergraduate Committee


The committee shall oversee the undergraduate program and be chaired by the undergraduate officer. As far as is practicable the committee shall consist of at least one faculty member from the various department interest groups. If faculty size allows, members of the graduate committee shall not concurrently serve on this committee. Additionally, an academic staff member may serve on this committee (without vote). Including the undergraduate officer, the committee shall be comprised of at least four voting members.


Duties of this committee shall include:

a) Review undergraduate curriculum.

b) Make recommendations on undergraduate major requirements.

c) Consult with the graduate committee on 5000-6000 level courses.

d) Review advisory services to undergraduates.

e) Promote the recruitment of students to study and major in Nutrition and Food Science.

f) Respond to undergraduate student petitions.

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3.2.6 Diversity Committee


The Diversity Committee shall be appointed by the NFS chairperson after consultation with faculty members. The committee, at a minimum, will be made up of one tenured faculty chair, one staff member, and at least one graduate student.


The Diversity Committee shall promote diversity, in all its forms. The committee shall aim to:

a) Advocate for, promote and support diversity within NFS to help recruit and retain a diverse student body, faculty, and staff.

b) Provide a safe environment to discuss and address issues related to inclusion and diversity.

c) Assess and address student, faculty, and staffs' experiences related to diversity issues.

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3.2.7 Budget Committee


The Budget Committee shall comprise the voting members of the department and will be convened by the departmental chairperson.


The role of the Budget Advisory Committee is to provide advice and recommendations to the chairperson on matters it considers significant regarding the budget.

Annually, excluding spring-summer terms, the chairperson will furnish any necessary accounting reports or institutional records to enable the Budget Committee to fulfill its budgetary responsibilities.

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Article IV

4.1 Officers

Graduate officer

The graduate officer will be appointed by the chairperson for a term of three years. A limit of two consecutive terms for a faculty member shall be enforced. Extension, or additional three-year terms, can be approved by majority vote of the graduate faculty.

Undergraduate officer

The undergraduate officer shall be appointed by the chairperson for a term of three years. A limit of two consecutive terms for a faculty member shall be enforced. Extension, or additional three-year terms, can be approved by majority vote of the department faculty.

Other officers

The department chairperson shall appoint annually such other officers as deemed necessary to carry out departmental purposes and business.

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Article V

5.1 Bylaws procedure

These bylaws shall be approved by a two-thirds vote of all the full-time faculty of the department.

Proposed amendments to the bylaws shall be submitted in writing to all voting department members at least one week before the department meeting scheduled to consider the amendment. Amendments to the bylaws shall be passed by a two-thirds vote of the entire voting department members.

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Last revised Sept. 6, 2013.