Department of Gender Studies

Department of Gender Studies
Department of Gender Studies

DRAFT CONSTITUTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF GENDER STUDIES

The purpose of this document is to set out the governance and administrative structure of the Department of Gender Studies (GNDS), the rules and procedures under which the various departmental committees operate, and the faculty members’ workload standard.

CONSTITUTION

The role and responsibilities of the Department Head are specified in the Collective Agreement (CA) between the Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA) and the University, Article 41.

As per Article 41.1.2, “The function of the Head is to coordinate, facilitate, recommend upon and expedite matters pertaining to the operation of the Department, to ensure that departmental policy is carried out, and to demonstrate initiative and leadership in the conduct of departmental business. To that extent, Heads report administratively to their Deans in addition to representing their departments.”

Specific duties include overseeing or representing the interests of the department regarding the following: budget; appointments; renewal, tenure, and promotion; curriculum, course planning and timetable; grade approvals and appeals; annual reports and merit; leaves; visiting scholars and departmental speaker series; human resources; spacing planning; health and safety; strategic planning; and alumni relations and advancement. The Head or a delegate represents the Department at the Committee of Departments and Faculty Board meetings. While many of the duties of the Head may be delegated, in whole or in part, to individuals and committees within the Department, final responsibility for their performance and final decision making power rest with the Head.

The undergraduate and graduate programs are represented by a governance structure that includes the Head (“normally” 5-years, renewable once as per the CA), the Undergraduate Chair (3-year term with option to renew), and the Graduate Chair (3-year term with option to renew). The Undergraduate and Graduate Chairs advise the Head on departmental matters, including budget planning, timetabling and enrollments, and committee appointments and nominations; they also comprise, with the Head, the Teaching Fellow/Term Adjunct Appointments Advisory Committee.

The following constitute the formal mechanisms by which members of the Department render advice and assistance in the operation, administration and evolution of the Department:

A. The Departmental Meeting

B. Standing Committees under the QUFA Collective Agreement

1. Renewal, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) Committee
2. Appointments Committee
3. Adjunct Appointments Advisory Committee (also serves as Teaching Fellow Appointments Committee under the PSAC 901 Collective Agreement)

C. Standing Departmental Committees (advisory to the Head)

1. Undergraduate Studies Committee (including administration of SXGD)
2. Graduate Studies Committee
3. Awards Committee
4. Unit REB

D. Ad Hoc Committees

E. Liaison and Other Appointments

1.    Library Representative
2.    QUFA Representative
3.    The Other Kingston Project
4.    Journal of Critical Race Inquiry
5.    SGS Fellowships Committee
6.    Research Leaders Fund Committee
 
To facilitate appointments for those committees and positions not governed by the Collective Agreement, the Head presents a slate of nominations via email, or at a meeting in the Spring, for formal approval. Nominations from the floor are entertained at this time and an election held if necessary. Elections for the RTP and Appointments Committees are organized by the Head as per the CA and must be held before May 1 each year. All standing committee positions commence on July 1 each year.

A.    THE DEPARTMENTAL MEETING

I.    The Departmental Meeting is the principal forum for the discussion and deliberation of matters pertaining to the academic programs and general administration of the Department.

II.    The meeting is chaired by the Head or the Head's Delegate.

III.    Meetings are open to all tenured and tenure-track departmental faculty members, continuing and term adjunct faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, cross- and joint-appointees, staff, graduate and undergraduate students.

IV.    A quorum for the Departmental Meeting consists of 50% of all those who are expected to attend department meetings (e.g., tenured and tenure track faculty and staff).

V.    When matters are brought to a vote, tenured and tenure-track faculty, continuing adjunct faculty members, two term adjunct faculty member representatives, two staff members, two undergraduate representatives, one master’s student representative, and one doctoral student representative are entitled to vote. The graduate student representatives are nominated by their fellow students and the undergraduate student representative is nominated by the GNDS DSC.

VI.    Departmental meetings are held once per month during the Fall and Winter terms, although special meetings may be called if necessary. The Administrative Assistant is responsible for calling for items for the agenda at least one week in advance of the meeting, setting the agenda in consultation with the Head, and distributing the agenda package and minutes at least two working days in advance of the meeting. The Undergraduate Assistant is responsible for taking minutes.

VII.    Most of the business of the Department is transacted in the Departmental Meeting. At the discretion of the Head of Department, special committees may be appointed to advise on particular questions. An annual retreat is usually held in May.

B. STANDING COMMITTEES UNDER THE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT

1. Committee on Renewal, Tenure and Promotion

Note: The operation of this Committee is governed by the Collective Agreement between QUFA and the University, Articles 18, 24, 29, 30 and 32. This Committee is advisory to the Dean of Arts and Science and not to the Head of Department.

I.    The Committee on Renewal, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) and the Appointments Committee (see below) consists of three members of the bargaining unit, excluding the Head, who are elected by secret ballot. The Committee should include a cross-section of disciplinary representation where possible. The RTP Committee may be the Appointments Committee as per Article 25.5.1.

II.    The members of this Committee serve for a term of one year, although they are not excluded from membership in ensuing years. The election process is detailed in Article 30.2.1.

III.    Following consultation with the Committee and on their behalf, the Chair of the
Committee (who is elected by members of the committee) may invite one additional member to the Committee from units cognate to GNDS.

IV.    The Chair of the Committee solicits written student opinions:
•    In all undergraduate classes taught by the candidate in the previous two years, feedback from all students in classes of 25 or less, and according to a graduated scheme for classes larger than 25, will be solicited;
•    All graduate students previously supervised or taught by the candidate.

V.    The Head, in consultation with the candidate and the Committee, ascertains outside professional opinions and evaluations according to the procedures established by the Collective Agreement.

VI.    For renewal, tenure and promotion, a positive recommendation requires a simple majority of the Committee.

Election: By May 1 each year.
Term: 1 year.
Commencement: July 1 each year.
Work completed: December 15 of the same year.

2. Appointments Committee

Note: The operation of this Committee is governed by Articles 9, 24, 25 and 32 of the
Collective Agreement between QUFA and the University.

I.    The Appointments Committee is comprised of the Head (or delegate) as Chair and voting member, two additional tenured or tenure-track faculty members as voting members, and one undergraduate and one graduate student representative as voting members nominated by their respective departmental student councils. The election process is detailed in Article 30.2.1. The RTP Committee may be the Appointments Committee as per Article 25.5.1.

II.    Upon authorization by the Dean to advertise for a new faculty position, a description of the new position, including the area of specialization, is drafted by the Appointments Committee and discussed and approved by the Department at a Departmental Meeting. The Appointments Committee then begins its work as per Articles 25.5 and 25.6 of the QUFA Collective Agreement.

III.    The Appointments Committee reviews applications for the position and prepares a shortlist. The shortlist is presented to the Department and the applicant file of shortlisted candidates is made available to all members of the Department except in cases of conflict of interest.

IV.    The Appointments Committee interviews short-listed candidates and invites all
members of the Department to meet the short-listed applicants when they visit the Department to be interviewed and to make presentations. (Collective Agreement 25.6.1e).

V.    Following the completion of interviews, the Committee Chair solicits written opinions from faculty, staff graduate and undergraduate students regarding the merits of the interviewed candidates.

VI.    The Appointments Committee meets to make a decision once it has received and considered all written submissions. A positive recommendation requires a simple majority of the Appointments Committee.

VII.    The Head reports the recommendation of the Appointments Committee decision to the Department and makes a recommendation to the Dean of Arts and Science for his or her consideration.

Election: By May 1 of each year.
Term: 1-year.
Commencement: As soon as authorization to appoint is received.
Completion: As soon as a candidate formally accepts an offer and the search is closed.

3. Adjunct Appointments Committee

Note: The operation of this Committee is governed by Articles 9, 24, and 25 of the QUFA
Collective Agreement and by Article 12 of the PSAC 901, Unit 1 Collective Agreement.

I.    The Head, the Graduate Chair and the Undergraduate Chair act as the Teaching Fellow and Term Adjunct Appointments Committee.

II.    The Committee assesses the need for term adjunct and teaching fellow (TF) positions, reviews applications, and decides on appointments.

III.    The Head reports the decisions of the Committee to the Department and
makes the appropriate recommendations to the Dean of Arts and Science for his or her consideration.

Commencement: July 1 of each year (the needs assessment usually begins at the start of the Winter term with appointments processes usually occurring in April and May).
Term: To coincide with administrative term.
Completion: As soon as all positions are filled.

C. STANDING DEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEES

1. Undergraduate Committee

The Undergraduate Committee is comprised of the Undergraduate Chair plus one other tenured or tenure-track member, one DSC representative, one non-DSC representative, one graduate teaching assistant representative, and the Undergraduate Assistant. The Head is an ex-officio member of the Undergraduate Committee. The Head is copied on all committee correspondence and meets as necessary with the chair or the committee as a whole.

The Undergraduate Committee is responsible for:

I.    Reviewing the curriculum and operation of the undergraduate program, recommending policies to the Department for its development, and reporting its deliberations to the Departmental Meeting.

II.    Reviewing all proposals for undergraduate program changes and new undergraduate courses and course changes; making appropriate recommendations to the Department; and presenting them to the Faculty of Arts and Science Curriculum Committee.

The Undergraduate Chair, with the support of the Undergraduate Assistant and the Undergraduate Committee, is responsible for:

I.    Taking an active leadership role, in consultation with the Head, in curriculum visioning, design and implementation.

II.    Preparing annual degree lists for the Spring and Fall convocations and recommending them to the Head for approval, together with nominations for prizes and fellowship awards.

III.    Assisting the Head in producing a list of departmental undergraduate course offerings each year, updating the undergraduate calendar copy and website, and communicating policy/procedural changes and updates to the School.

IV.    Acting as an academic advisor to undergraduate students and making decisions regarding admission, registration, coursework choices, applications for transfer of credit, and letters of permission.

V.    Coordinating faculty, student and staff volunteers for open houses and other undergraduate promotional events.

VI.    Providing guidance and support to instructors on student matters related to Faculty regulation and policies.

VII.    Liaising between the Department and the Faculty of Arts and Science by communicating and meeting with the Dean of Studies and others where relevant and appropriate.

Commencement: July 1 of each year.
Term for faculty members: 3 years.

2. Graduate Committee

The Graduate Committee is comprised of the Graduate Chair plus two tenured or tenure-track faculty members, one graduate student representative, and the Graduate Assistant. The Head is an ex-officio member of the Graduate Committee. The Head is copied on all committee correspondence and meets as necessary with the chair or the committee as a whole.

The Graduate Committee is responsible for:

I.    Reviewing the curriculum and operation of each of the MA and PhD programs, to recommend policies to the Department for their development, and to report
their deliberations to the Departmental Meeting.

II.    Reviewing all proposed new MA/MSc/PhD graduate courses and course changes, to make appropriate recommendations to the Departmental Meeting, and, upon approval by the latter, to present them to the appropriate Graduate Council.

III.    Recommending regulations on academic matters pertaining to the MA and PhD
degrees offered by the Department.

IV.    Assessing applications to the graduate program.

V.    Administering applications for fellowships and scholarships to the appropriate funding agencies and adjudicating internal award decisions.

The Graduate Chair, with the support of the Graduate Committee and the Graduate Assistant, is responsible for:

I.    Liaising between the Department and the School of Graduate Studies by attending, or delegating attendance at, the Arts Graduate Council.

II.    Producing each year, in consultation with the Head, a list of graduate course offerings and the graduate calendar copy for the MA and PhD programs.

III.    Recruiting and communicating with prospective graduate students; coordinating the assessment of all graduate student applications according to the procedures established by the Gender Studies Graduate Committee; and forwarding the recommendation on each application to the School of Graduate Studies.

IV.    Establishing provisional supervisors for all first-year graduate students.

V.    Recommending applicants for teaching assistantships to the Head as per Article 12 of the PSAC 901, Unit 1 Collective Agreement.

VI.    Monitoring the progress of MA/MSc/PhD graduate students.

VII.    Coordinating faculty, student and staff volunteers for open houses and other undergraduate promotional events.

VIII.    Organizing the departmental Graduate Orientation and other professional development activities.

Commencement: July 1
Term for faculty members: 3 years

D. Ad Hoc Committees

I.    Ad hoc committees may be established either at the initiative of the Departmental Meeting or the Head.

II.    The size of the committee, its terms of reference and deadlines shall be defined by the initiators of a particular ad hoc committee.  Student representatives shall be designated by the appropriate student bodies.

III.    Faculty members will be selected by secret ballot.

IV.    Ad hoc committees shall elect their Chair and shall normally report their findings and/or recommendations in writing to the voting members of the Departmental Meeting in advance of the agenda deadline.

E. LIAISON AND OTHER APPOINTMENTS

Individuals will be appointed to specific liaison positions of importance to the operation of the Department in both the university and the community at large. Such positions include:

1.    Library Representative
2.    QUFA Representative
3.    The Other Kingston Project
4.    Journal of Critical Race Inquiry
5.    SGS Fellowships Committee
6.    Research Leaders’ Fund Committee