2.1 The Faculty
The faculty consists of the Ordinary Faculty, the Term Faculty, the emeriti, the president, the executive vice president, the provost, and the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies.
2.1.1 Ordinary Faculty
- Academic Faculty. Personnel who hold one of the following academic ranks: professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor.
- Professional Personnel. Personnel who are employed in the library and in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies whose academic titles have been explicitly recognized in their contracts with Providence College as being equivalent to one of the above academic ranks. As it pertains to professional personnel, subsequent references in this Handbook to “the department chair” shall mean the director in a professional area, and subsequent references to “members of the department” shall mean professional personnel holding faculty status within that professional area.
- Status, Rank, and Departmental Appointments and/or Assignments.
Members of the Ordinary Faculty enjoy the status, rights, benefits, and services and bear the professional responsibilities as set forth in this Faculty Handbook and online at http://www.providence.edu/academic-affairs/Faculty-Resources/Pages/Faculty-Policies.aspx.
The title given to members of the Ordinary Faculty will usually include the department to which the member is appointed, e.g., assistant professor of English or associate professor of history. However, appointment may be in more than one area, e.g., associate professor of history and special lecturer of philosophy. In instances where a faculty member is initially appointed in an area of professional responsibility not recognized by the College as having departmental status, the faculty member shall be assigned to a department by the provost after consultation with the faculty member, the department, and the Committee on Academic Rank and Tenure. For example, “assistant professor of humanities in the Department of Philosophy” indicates the rank “assistant professor,” appointment in humanities, and assignment to the Department of Philosophy. Any subsequent changes regarding departmental assignments shall be made by the provost, in consultation with the department, who shall report such changes to the Committee on Academic Rank and Tenure. Status, rank, and departmental appointment(s) and/or assignment(s) shall be explicitly stated in contracts between the faculty member and Providence College.
2.1.2 Term Faculty
Personnel holding one of the below-designated ranks are appointed for specific limited terms (one semester, one year, three years, etc.) to fill a specific need. The appointments of personnel engaged as Term Faculty shall be made by the provost upon the recommendation of the school dean.
Status, rank, departmental appointment(s) and/or assignment(s), and term of contract shall be specifically stated in the faculty member’s contract. Contract renewal is not automatic.
The tenure provisions applicable to members of the Ordinary Faculty are specifically excluded from this category. Written notification of contract renewal at the expiration of the term contract must come from the provost.
- Visiting Faculty. One who holds a full-time term appointment associated with an academic department in one of the following ranks: visiting instructor, visiting assistant professor, visiting associate professor, and visiting professor. The assignment of rank shall be made by the provost in consultation with the Committee on Academic Rank and Tenure. Visiting faculty shall possess academic qualifications that would otherwise admit them to the corresponding rank in the Ordinary Faculty. No member of the Visiting Faculty shall serve as such for more than six (6) years total service.
- Practitioner Faculty. Limited exclusively to the School of Business, Practitioner Faculty are full-time faculty who are not ordinary faculty and do not hold rank, but who have specialized training, knowledge, skills, competencies and experience in a particular field relevant to a departmental or programmatic need. Practitioner Faculty must have an advanced degree, and significant professional experience in their respective discipline as determined to be appropriate by the departmental faculty and Dean of the School of Business. Effective July 1, 2017, non-ordinary, full-time faculty may constitute no more than 25% of the faculty of the School of Business, except as replacements for ordinary faculty on leave.
Practitioner Faculty will not occupy tenure-track positions nor may they be used to replace existing tenure-track faculty lines. Practitioner Faculty are primarily engaged in teaching with a normal full-time load of 12 credit hours per semester. Practitioner Faculty are not expected to be significantly involved in scholarship and research with a view to publication; however, they may be required to engage in qualification maintenance activities mandated by the accreditation standards of the School of Business. Practitioner Faculty will also be required to maintain active involvement in their profession as it relates to their teaching. Practitioner Faculty are not eligible for sabbatical leaves, and may not serve as department chairs, are non-voting members of their department with respect to tenure and promotion, and are ineligible to serve on the Faculty Senate. Practitioner Faculty are expected to be engaged in student advising and in service, as appropriate, to the College, school, department, community, and/or professional discipline as determined by the department chair in consultation with the Dean.
Appointments in this category are for one year and are renewable, pending review by the department chair and the Dean, of teaching effectiveness and departmental needs. After six successive one-year contracts, each additional contract must be approved by CART and will be for a term of three years. In making its decision, CART will use guidelines provided by the School of Business previously approved by CART. A decision on renewal or non-renewal of a subsequent contract must be communicated to the faculty member no later than February 1st of the final academic year of his or her term of service.
- Special Faculty.
- Scholar-in-Residence. One who, while holding professorial rank at another institution, temporarily serves as a member of the faculty at Providence College.
- Research Associate. One who serves the College primarily in the capacity of a researcher within an academic department of the College.
- Adjunct. One who serves the College in an academic department on a part-time, course-by-course basis. Adjuncts must possess the following requirements:
- Possession of at least the Master’s degree or its equivalent in the academic discipline in which the rank is to be held.
- Evidence of those qualities of character and personality generally recognized in the academic profession as appropriate to a teacher, advisor, and director of students.
Those who are separated from the Ordinary Faculty by reason of retirement or resignation may be reappointed to the faculty as Emeriti. A candidate for Emeritus must be nominated, normally within three years of the candidate’s retirement or resignation, by another member of the College’s Ordinary Faculty, who provides to the relevant department chair both a letter of nomination and a curriculum vitae of the candidate. The department chair shall present these materials to the tenured members of the department for discussion and deliberation. The department chair, or chair’s designee, shall write a deliberation report, and secure approval of it by those tenured members who attended the discussion and deliberation. The department chair shall then forward the letter of nomination, the candidate’s curriculum vitae, and the department’s deliberation report to the College President.
The normal criteria for Emeritus status shall be:
- the rank of professor;
- at least 10 years of teaching or administration at the College;
- and a career of distinguished achievement in teaching, scholarship, and service, as described in Section 3.4.2 .
Those holding Emeritus status are not members of the Ordinary Faculty. They are, however, entitled to all benefits afforded retired Ordinary Faculty without Emeritus status plus additional benefits such as remote access to the library’s electronic resources, interlibrary loan, and access to the emeriti office suite.
2.2 Department Status of Faculty
2.2.1 Faculty Voting Rights
The faculty are organized according to the department and program structure described in the Undergraduate Catalog. Faculty hold voting rights, where applicable, in the department(s) to which they are appointed or assigned.
2.2.2 Faculty Administrator Voting Rights
Faculty members who hold administrative positions, i.e., administrative officers, assistant administrative officers, and administrative staff, hold full status within their department and are entitled to vote in regard to the academic affairs of their department provided that they have taught at least three semester hours in that department in each of the four prior semesters (excluding the School of Continuing Education) or have held a research assignment for the same period and provided that they are otherwise qualified to vote.
2.2.3 Faculty Voting Rights While On Leave
All faculty members who are on approved leave of absence or on approved sabbatical leave, but who do not hold such administrative positions, are entitled to vote and to be informed of the academic affairs of their department, provided they are otherwise qualified to vote and provided such leaves have not exceeded twenty-four (24) months at the time of the vote.
2.3 The Faculty Senate
The Faculty Senate of Providence College is an elective assembly representing the faculty in the process of determining academic policy. Under the authority granted to it by the Corporation of Providence College on November 9, 1967, this body has the authority to initiate, revise, and regulate organization of the faculty educational policies of the College. Its legislative decisions are, however, subject to approval by the president. The constitution and by-laws of the Faculty Senate are set forth in the Policy and Informational Documents for the Faculty of Providence College.
If the president exercises his option to disapprove or veto legislation recommended by the Senate, that body may, by a two-thirds vote, appeal to the Board of Trustees, whose decision is final.
2.4 Academic Governance
The College consists of academic departments, programs, and schools. A department is an academic organization which has its own Ordinary Faculty, has its own major, and offers courses of studies leading to that academic major. Departments are administered by department chairs; where schools are established, they are directed by academic deans who supervise department chairs and program directors in their schools and also advise the provost on policy questions.
Deans of schools report directly to the provost.
2.4.1 Election of Chair
- Term and Election. Each department has a chair who is elected by the duly qualified electors of the department for a term of three years. Elections shall be held at a department meeting by secret ballot. Absentee ballots are permitted in the election of the chair. The number of votes necessary for election shall be a majority of the eligible electors.
- Role of the Provost. All such elections are subject to the approval of the provost, who makes the official appointment in consultation with the school dean. The provost will respond to the department recommendation by February 1. In the event the provost does not accept the department’s recommendation, the department may ask for a reconsideration of the provost’s decision by written response no later than March 1. Upon departmental request for reconsideration, the provost will respond to and, if requested by the department, meet with the department no later than April 15. The provost, by virtue of his or her appointive power, will make an administrative appointment no later than June 1.
- Time of Election. The election of the department chair shall be held prior to December 15 of the academic year preceding that in which the newly elected chair’s term begins.
- Eligibility for Election. To be eligible for election as department chair, candidates must be tenured members of the Ordinary Faculty, and must be appointed in or assigned to the department in which they seek election in at least the rank of assistant professor. Candidates must also have served a minimum of four years at Providence College unless otherwise authorized by the provost.
- Electors. Electors for department chair are members of the Ordinary Faculty holding appointment in or assignment to the department, and who have completed at least two consecutive semesters on the Providence College faculty immediately prior to the election.
2.4.2 Powers and Duties of Department Chair
- The chair is the administrator of the affairs of the department and presides at all department meetings. The chair shall have the authority to appoint a member of the department to serve whenever the chair is unable to attend to the duties of the chair. In the event of the absence of such an appointee, the senior member in terms of service at the College shall act as chair. If the chair is unable to fulfill the duties of the office for a period exceeding thirty (30) days, the provost shall authorize the department to elect a chair, pro tempore. As administrator of the department, the chair reports regularly to the school’s dean, where appropriate, or to the provost on the state of the department, its programs, and its financial requirements.
- The chair is responsible for planning, in consultation with the members of the department, for a sufficient number of faculty so as to sustain the teaching, scholarship, and service missions of the department, and shall perform the tasks of Section 3.0 and Appendix A in order to meet this responsibility. Chairs within schools are responsible for planning with the dean, as well as members of their departments.
- For all promotion and tenure cases, the chair shall collect each department member’s recommendation ballot at the conclusion of the deliberation meeting. The chair must then oversee the completion of two documents 1) a deliberations report (written by the chair or a designee) that gives an account of the discussion prior to the completion of the recommendation ballots with due consideration being given to minority opinions, and 2) a personal recommendation as outlined in Appendix E . The deliberation report shall be approved by the eligible voting members of the department. These documents shall be included with the department’s recommendation ballots and presented to the dean of the applicable school.
- The chair is responsible for orientation of new faculty and for providing assistance in the development of teaching skills, service opportunities, and scholarship. The chair shall meet annually with each probationary faculty member to review the previous year’s activities and the faculty member’s plans for the subsequent year. The chair is responsible for ascertaining that the department’s procedures for evaluating a probationary faculty member’s achievements in teaching, scholarship, and service relative to promotion and tenure are implemented annually and shall submit a formal report to the candidate and the applicable school dean to this effect. The chair (or his or her designee) is responsible for coordinating and implementing a formal third-year review of each probationary faculty member’s progress toward the standards for tenure as described in the applicable department tenure and promotion procedures and qualifications.
- The chair is responsible for calling department meetings at least once each month during the academic year, September through May. Department meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. All decisions pertaining to the academic policies of the department are to be arrived at by majority vote. The minutes shall record the vote and an account of the discussion leading to it, with due consideration being given to the recording of minority opinions. Absentee ballots/votes are not permitted except in the election of the chair. The approved minutes of department meetings are submitted in a timely manner by the chair to the president and the provost, and to the school dean. A copy is retained in the department’s records.
- The chair, in consultation with the members of the department, prepares the proposed department budget requests for each fiscal year and presents them to the school dean and provost, who forward them to the vice president for finance and business.
- The chair, in consultation with the members of the department, assigns the office and non-teaching laboratory space which has been allocated to the department. The dean allocates space available to individual departments, within the policies of the Office of Academic Affairs.
- The chair is required to hold regular office hours and at such times to be available both to the members of the department and to students. The chair also has the responsibility for setting up a program for guiding and advising the majors in the department and of assigning members of the department to aid in this work. A record of the academic status of all students who are majors and minors shall be kept by the chair, as well as a record of the graduate and professional progress of those who have graduated as majors of the department.
- The chair, after consultation with the members of the department and with the school’s dean, has the responsibility for assigning courses to the members of the department and submitting these to the Office of Enrollment Services (Academic Scheduling and Registration). When any member of the department is unable to meet classes, that faculty member is obligated to inform the chair, whose duty it is to provide an appropriate substitute or cancel the class meeting.
- The chair approves requests for members of the department to attend professional meetings through the assistant vice president’s office in accordance with the current faculty travel policy. The chair forwards approved travel requests to the Office of Academic Affairs.
- Individual department members or a department chair may present appeals of department decisions according to the Grievance Procedures in Appendix G . When such appeals are heard, all concerned parties have the right to present arguments and evidence in support of their points of view.
- The chair is responsible for assisting in the transition of the new chair between the time of appointment by the provost and July 1.
2.5 Academic Programs
A program is an academic organization which does not have department status, but which offers a major and/or minor or provides courses of studies in core requirements. A program director is appointed by the provost and is the administrator of the affairs of the program. Where appropriate, the responsibilities of a program director are the same as those of a department chair.