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Department Bylaws

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND CRIMINOLOGY & LAW UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Bylaws and Operating Procedures

(Final discussion 5/3/11, Final Departmental Vote)

Preamble

The purpose of this document is to set forth the organization and procedures for the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida.  In order for the Department and its Faculty to fulfill this mission, it is necessary to have operating procedures to guide the Department. These bylaws are governed by and are subordinate to the University of Florida Constitution, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Constitution, the Florida Administrative Code, the University Of Florida Board Of Trustees, and the University of Florida – United Faculty of Florida Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law is committed to the principles of shared governance, affirmative action, and equal opportunity.

Article I.  Name

The Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law (hereafter referred to as the Department) is a unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) and the University of Florida (UF).

Article II. Department Membership

The department shall be the fundamental unit of academic and administrative organization within the University. Departments shall be either professional functions departments or teaching and research departments. For purposes of organization and budget, each teaching and research department shall be assigned to one and only one college. (A) The members of a department shall consist of all faculty members in the departmental budget, and other persons who teach or do research in the department and are accepted by the vote of the departmental faculty (Faculty Constitution, p.23). This includes salaried lecturers, tenure-track and tenured faculty and jointly appointed faculty. Voting members of the Department are defined in Article IX.

Article III. Department Structure

A. Within the Department, decisions will typically be made by voting members except in those instances when the College or University has deemed the Chair the most appropriate person to make a decision.

B. The Department has two programs of study: 1) Sociology and 2) Criminology, Law and Society.  Programs are designed around distinct curricula at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Faculty will be primarily in Sociology or Criminology, Law and Society. The ‘primary’ faculty of a program will be considered to be members of that program for the purposes of teaching and other assignments.

C. The Operation of the Department is conducted by the Chair (see IV below) in consultation with the departmental committees, staff, and graduate students.

Article IV.  The Chair

A. Chair Search. If the position of Department Chair is to become vacant, the Dean, in consultation with the faculty, authorizes the search for a new Chair. If necessary the Dean appoints an Acting Chair. Upon receiving authorization from the Dean to initiate a search for a new Chair (from within the Department or outside the University) the Department proceeds with the election of a Chair Search Committee consisting of at least three faculty members. In addition, the Chair Search Committee shall include “a faculty member from a related field outside the department appointed by the CLAS Dean to serve as the Dean’s representative on the committee,” as per the CLAS Constitution. In addition, as per the CLAS Constitution, “This Committee so comprised will elect its chair, and then may select up to two additional faculty members to insure a diversified committee. In the absence of action by the Committee, the Dean may appoint up to two additional faculty members to serve on the committee to achieve such diversity. Committee composition shall remain such that a majority of the Committee members are full-time faculty in the department. The Search Committee shall advise the Dean by nominating two to three Chair candidates. The Dean’s nomination shall be forwarded to the President for approval.” The Chair Search Committee’s recommendation to the Dean will include the results of a departmental vote taken in accordance with the voting procedures stipulated in Article IX. In those instances where the nominee of the dean of the college is not concurred in by the departmental committee, that committee’s dissenting report should be forwarded to the President along with the nomination made by the dean. (UF Constitution, pg. 24).

B. Duties. The Department Chair is the chief financial and programmatic leader of the Department, and shall exercise general supervision over all its activities. The Department Chair reports to the Dean and is the responsible party for the administrative and staff activities of the Department. The Chair’s duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

Administration:

  1. Representing the Department to university officers and bodies and acting as general spokesperson for the Department;
  2. Supervising all the day-to-day activities of the Department and its staff and is responsible for hiring and evaluating staff (in accordance with university policy);
  3. Supervising all receipts of money and expenditures and preparing the annual academic program review and budget proposal for the Dean. At the first faculty meeting in the Fall, the Chair will present a report on the previous academic year’s finances as well as the proposed budget for the new academic year.
  4. Attending to all other duties and responsibilities outlined in other guidelines and official procedures in this document;

Faculty Affairs:

  1. Presiding at faculty meetings;
  2. Appointing members of non-elected Department Committees and positions;
  3. Calling, preparing the agenda for, and presiding over meetings as specified in Article VII;
  4. Assuring that all provisions of the Bylaws are followed;
  5. Conducting annual evaluations of faculty in consultation with senior colleagues, where appropriate.
  6. Being responsible for all aspects of the tenure and promotion process in conversation and consultation with senior colleagues. (See the Tenure & Promotion Guidelines Addendum for more detail);
  7. Evaluating all merit awards, competitive grant applications as well as nominees for other awards in consultation with the Faculty Merit Committee. (See Merit Guidelines Addendum for more detail)
  8. Coordinating the recruitment and hiring of new faculty members, in conjunction with the appropriate search committees and in consultation with the faculty.

V. Administrative Officers

A. In addition to the Chair, administrative positions of the Department are Graduate Coordinator and Undergraduate Coordinator, who are appointed by the Chair. An Associate Chair may be appointed at the Chair’s discretion.

B. The Graduate Coordinator manages the graduate programs in the Department. The responsibilities of the Graduate Coordinator include:

  1. Serve as liaison between the Graduate School and the department and its graduate students
    i.   Ensures that the department conforms to Graduate School regulations and policies and communicates these regulations and policies to faculty and graduate students
    ii.   Advises the Graduate School about matters of concern to the department and graduate students, and to suggest modifications to Graduate School procedures
    iii.   Advocates for graduate students in petition processes and grievance procedures
    iv.   Informs the Graduate School when a new Graduate Coordinator is appointed by notifying the Graduate Data Management office.
  2. Oversees the conduct of the graduate program
    i.     Approves supervisory committees and plans of study
    ii.    Oversees recruitment and admissions
    iii.   Tracks academic progress.
    iv.    Nominates or selects students for awards: travel, teaching, research
    v.     Makes recommendations for TA assignments and other appointment.
    vi.    Oversees scheduling of graduate seminars
    vii.    Provides orientation  for first-year students
  3. Oversees program description
    i.     Ensures accuracy of information published in the Graduate Catalog b. Updates web-based information
    ii.    Maintain database: date of enrollment, GREs, GPAs, supervisory committee, financial aid, program progress, areas of study
    iii.   Presents Annual report to department
  4. Oversees the graduate committee. The graduate committee will consist of the graduate coordinator and members of the faculty, representative of both programs in the department. Members of the graduate committee will consult with members of the faculty in each program when appropriate and will represent the views of the programs as a whole.

C. The Undergraduate Coordinator manages the undergraduate programs in the Department. The responsibilities of the Undergraduate Coordinator include:

  1. Serving as liaison between the University and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Department and its undergraduate students
  2. Overseeing the conduct of the undergraduate programs, vis-à-vis student advisement, communication and evaluation
  3. Overseeing the conduct of the undergraduate program vis-à-vis strategic planning, enrollment and registration issues
  4. Supervising advisors and internship coordinators
  5. Oversees program description
  6. Oversees the undergraduate committee. The undergraduate committee will consist of the undergraduate coordinator and members of the faculty, representative of both programs in the department. Members of the undergraduate committee will consult with members of the faculty in each program when appropriate and will represent the views of the programs as a whole.

Article VI. Department Advisory Councils

A. Function: The Faculty Advisory Council advises the Chair on departmental matters and helps maintain the best interests of the full department. It is not a policy-making or legislative body. Policy questions subject to vote shall be remanded to the Department as a whole.

B. Membership: The standing members of the Advisory Council are the Graduate and Undergraduate Coordinators.  Three members, one representing each rank (Untenured Assistant and Lecturers, Associate, and Professor) will be elected through secret ballot by faculty within each respective rank.

C. Terms of Office and Election: Elected faculty members of the Advisory Council will serve a 3- year term, except for the initial election, which will allow for staggered one, two, and three- year terms.  Elections will take place in the late Spring (e.g., April) with offices to be assumed at the beginning in Fall Semester (except for the initial election during which will begin immediately).

D. Duties: The Advisory Council may advise the Chair on matters of concern to the Department, such as:

  1. Discussing issues related to Departmental programs
  2. Discussing the work of, and relations between, the various committees in the Department
  3. Consulting on relations with other departments and programs
  4. Consulting on issues concerning the staff
  5. Consulting with the Chair on the Annual Program Review
  6. Consulting with the Chair about Departmental finances
  7. Facilitating long-range planning
  8. Planning institutes, workshops, and conferences, etc.

E. Meetings: The Advisory Council meets at least once per semester during the academic year. Meetings are called at the request of the Chair or at the request of any other two members of the Council or of any three members of the faculty. The Chair normally presides at these meetings; in his/her absence, the senior member of the council presides. The Chair shall inform the Advisory Council of the agenda prior to each meeting, and inform the faculty at large whenever possible prior to all meetings not concerned with evaluations or other personnel issues.

F. Graduate Student Advisory Council: In consultation with the graduate students, a graduate student advisory council representative of students from both programs will be formed immediately. The selection of the members of this council, including eligibility and terms of appointment, will be decided by the graduate students.

Article VII. Departmental Faculty Meetings

Faculty meetings will be held at least once in the Fall and once in the Spring semesters in addition to required meetings for tenure and promotion decisions (Fall). Meetings are called at the request of the Chair, or at the request of three faculty members of the Department. The Chair normally presides at these meetings; in her/his absence, a faculty member designated by the Chair will preside. The Chair shall distribute an agenda to the faculty prior to each meeting. Minutes shall be taken at every faculty meeting and distributed to all faculty members and approved at the next faculty meeting.

Article VIII. Departmental Bylaws and Operating Procedures

A. Adoption. Adoption of these bylaws shall require the affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority of eligible voting faculty as defined in the voting procedures outlined in these bylaws (see Article IX). The Bylaws will receive final approval by the College office (See Article 9.2 of the CBA for procedure) and will go into effect two weeks after final approval is received.

B. AmendmentsAmendments to the bylaws may be suggested by the Chair or any faculty or staff member. Following the model of the UF Faculty Senate, written notice and the text of the proposed amendments shall be sent to the faculty prior to a first meeting which will focus on information and discussion of the amendment.  After which, a second meeting will be called for action on the amendments. The bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the eligible voting faculty. Amendments shall be effective when written notice of the adopted changes is sent to all faculty and staff after having been approved by the College. Such notice must be given within two weeks after the date the amendments have been adopted.

C. Promulgation. A copy of the approved bylaws will be posted on the departmental web site and a copy will be given to each new faculty member.

Article IX. Voting Procedures
(5/3/2011; Amended 11/14/2014)

  1. Departmental Voting.  Tenure and Tenure-Track Faculty will have the rights and responsibilities of voting on the following departmental issues: Tenure & Promotion, By-Laws, Department Rules & Policies, Faculty Hiring, Selection of Chair, Selection of members of Merit Committee, Courtesy and Affiliate Appointments, Graduate Faculty Status, and Emeritus Faculty Status.  Salaried Faculty (lecturers and senior lecturers) will have the rights and responsibilities of voting on all of the above departmental issues deemed appropriate by university regulations. Paper ballots or online survey software will be used.  In cases of Tenure & Promotion, voting will be structured according to university regulations. Elections will be determined by majority (51%) vote.
  2. Program Voting:  Tenure and Tenure-Track Faculty will have the rights and responsibilities of voting on Graduate and Undergraduate curriculum issues in their substantive area (either Criminology, Law  & Society or Sociology),   Salaried Faculty (lecturers and senior lecturers) will have the rights and responsibilities of voting on all of the above departmental issues deemed appropriate by university regulations. Paper ballots or online survey software will be used. Absentee voting will be allowed. Elections will be determined by majority (51%) vote. Program membership, for the purposes of voting, is presently determined by hiring appointment.

Article X. Graduate Faculty Status
(3/1/2011)

Graduate Faculty:

“Membership in the graduate faculty at the University level is required for, and confers the privilege of, serving as Chair, co-chair, or member of graduate students’ committees within the faculty member’s home department/unit.   It also confers the responsibility for being willing to serve as an external member on the supervisory committees of graduate students in other departments, or as representative for the Minor Area of Study.” (Graduate Faculty Appointment Policy, approved by the Graduate Council on January 21, 2016, and edited by the Graduate School on January 26, 2016)

Criteria for Appointment:

a) “All UF faculty appointees in full-time, tenured or tenure-accruing positions at the rank of Assistant Professor or above, in academic units offering a graduate degree, are fully qualified to serve as members of the Graduate faculty.”

(Graduate Faculty Appointment Policy, approved by the Graduate Council on January 21, 2016, and edited by the Graduate School on January 26, 2016)

b) Other UF faculty members may be granted Graduate Faculty Status for a specific student’s supervisory committee. A petition to grant Graduate Faculty Status must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator, together with a rationale for the appointment (i.e., purpose of the nomination, the anticipated role(s), and the manner in which the nominee’s credentials and experience are consistent with the anticipated roles), as well as a CV. Also, the following requirements must be met:

Graduate Faculty appointees must have the terminal degree appropriate to their academic field or discipline and relevant to the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law;

Appointment to the Graduate Faculty Status must be supported by a vote, with a two-thirds majority, of the graduate faculty in the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law: The proposed Graduate Faculty appointee must (a) meet any criteria established by CLAS and/or the Department of Sociology and Criminology& Law and (b) have the endorsement of the Department Chair and Dean of CLAS.

c) If retired, resigned, or moved on, a faculty member may continue to serve in the capacity of either member or co-chair (pending that a co-chair has been appointed), only on existing committees.

“Special Member” Status is always a possibility, as “special members” provide unique expertise to certain doctoral committees.

(Unanimous approval, March 1, 2017)

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