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Department of Second Language Studies
Department Governance Document – September 2009
The Department of Second Language Studies (SLS) administers an MA program in SLS, a PhD program in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Second Language Studies, the English Language Institute (ELI), and the Hawai‘i English Language Program (HELP). Additionally, the department offers several undergraduate courses, and advises students in the BA in Interdisciplinary Studies specialization in SLS.
Following Board of Regents Policy (revised as of October 21, 1988), a Department Chair is responsible for the overall operation of the Department of SLS.
Overall policy and personnel issues of the Department are the responsibility of the Department Personnel and Policy Committee (DPPC). Issues involving the degree programs administered by the Department are the responsibility of their respective faculties. Graduate Faculty membership is attained following procedures as outlined by the Graduate Division.
Special committees, either standing or ad hoc, may be established by the department chair, the DPPC, or the graduate faculties of programs.
In addition, the Department’s students are organized in an independently chartered student organization, the Second Language Studies Student Association (SLSSA).
Personnel and Policy Committee
1.The DPPC consists of the members of the Department’s instructional faculty (all instructional faculty rank I-3 and above, with at least a 50% appointment in the Department, not including visiting faculty), the Directors of the English Language Institute and the Hawaii English Language Program, the Assistant to the Department and Graduate Chairs, and the Coordinator of Curriculum & Teacher Development and SLSSA representatives. The number of SLSSA representatives is determined by a fixed four to one ratio between faculty and students, which is never to be fewer than two students (one MA representative and one PhD representative) on the Committee. Each member of the DPPC has a vote.
2. The DPPC may be convened by the department chair, who serves as the DPPC chair, on his or her own motion or upon written request to the chair at least 10 days in advance by any three DPPC members. Meetings are open, except when personnel decisions are on the agenda.
The primary responsibilities of the DPPC are to establish department policy on curricular and personnel matters, and to advise the chair. The DPPC may appoint subcommittees and advisory committees, and these may include non-DPPC members. The topics with which the DPPC concerns itself cannot be predicted with any degree of completeness, but the following are listed as typical of what its concerns might be.
(a) Departmental curriculum: evaluating and approving changes in the undergraduate (Liberal Studies) curriculum and course offerings; evaluating and approving off-campus and non-degree courses, including courses to be offered by non-departmental faculty; making decisions on other curricular matters which are not the responsibility of the Graduate Faculty of SLS or of SLA.
(b) Supra-departmental curricula.
(c) Hiring: Evaluating possible appointments, with the exception of tenure-track and non-tenure track instructional faculty, and transmitting its conclusions to the Department Chair.
(d) Overseeing faculty evaluation: Appointing an evaluation officer and establishing policy regarding the evaluation results.
(e) Establishing and overseeing procedures to implement department policy for promotion, tenure, contact renewal, and professional advancement/merit increases, consistent with University regulations and with the UHPA-UH contract. The DPPC does not itself make decisions on particular cases of tenure, promotion, or contract renewal; these are the province of the tenured faculty.
(f) Reading Room: Establishing policy relating to the SLS/Linguistics Reading Room.
(g) Troubleshooting: Serving as an ombuds committee for any matter that any department member, student, or office staff member might want to bring up.
(h) Departmental visiting colleagues: Establishing procedures for visiting colleagues in the department and reviewing applications for visiting colleague status.
(i) Departmental elections: Appointing a Departmental Elections Officer every fall.
1. Personnel decisions involving tenure, promotion, or contract renewal are the province of the Department Personnel Committee (DPC). The DPC consists of the tenured faculty members of the Department, except for the Department Chair. The DPC selects one of its own members to serve as DPC chair. Non-tenured individuals are strictly excluded from all DPC deliberations and from voting.
2. For each case or group of cases, the DPC selects an advisory committee for the orderly evaluation of documents, the solicitation of additional information, and the preparation of a draft recommendation. This committee may include individuals who are not members of the tenured faculty, and it must provide for a mechanism for student input.
3. The advisory committee’s report is presented to the DPC. The DPC deliberates and votes on a recommendation, by secret ballot, and this recommendation, together with the vote tally, is reported according to University procedures.
4. Tenured and tenure-track faculty, I-3 and above, are responsible for hiring new faculty, both tenure-track and visiting.
The MA Program in SLS
1. At the recommendation of the Graduate Faculty in SLS, the department chair nominates one of its members for appointment as chair of SLS by the Dean of the Graduate Division.
2. The Graduate Faculty of SLS initiates, evaluates and approves all curricular matters relating to the graduate program in SLS. In all instances, input will be actively solicited from all concerned parties.
PhD Program in SLS
1. At the recommendation of the Policy Committee of the Graduate Faculty in the SLS PhD, the department chair nominates a PhD program chair to the Dean of the Graduate Division. The Graduate Faculty in the SLS PhD program is not coincident with that of the MA in SLS, although the latter forms a natural subset thereof.
2. Although certain administrative operations of the PhD Program in SLS are the responsibility of the Department of SLS staff, the Chair of the PhD program in SLS has the prerogative to establish committees and appoint individuals to specific duties.
Executive Director, ESL Programs
1. The Department Chair will solicit nominations from the department faculty for the position of Executive Director of ESL Programs. In consultation with the DPPC, the Chair will make a nomination to the Dean of LLL.
2. The Executive Director is responsible for providing leadership for DSLS ESL programs, including ELI and HELP, with respect to matters of administration, research, curriculum, budgets, and student matters.
3. With respect to personnel, the Executive Director, in cooperation with the directors of ELI and HELP, selects graduate assistants and advises the DPPC on other hires.
3. The Executive Director should be reviewed at least every three years and a decision made concerning reappointment.
Director, The English Language Institute (ELI)
1. The Director of the English Language Institute is responsible for day-to-day operations and long-term policy/planning for the English Language Institute, including but not limited to the following categories: administration, personnel, program curricular development, assessment of student learning outcomes, student counseling and advising, budget, and promotional and informational material.
2. The ELI Director serves as head of the ELI and shall call for meetings of those concerned with the ELI as appropriate.
The Hawaii English Language Program (HELP)
1. The Director of the Hawaii English Language Program is responsible for day-to-day operations and long-term policy/planning for the Hawaii English Language Institute, including but not limited to the following categories: administration, personnel, program curricular development, assessment of student learning outcomes, student counseling and advising, budget, recruitment, maintenance, and promotional and informational material.
2. The HELP Director serves as head of the HELP and shall call for meetings of those concerned with HELP as appropriate.
1. SLSSA is the student organization of the Department of SLS. The students are responsible for its organization and conduct.
2. SLSSA selects two representatives for the DPPC.
Each faculty member can request course assignments on the basis of a self-evaluation of his /her qualifications. When the call for course preferences goes out, s/he will list in order of preference several courses that s/he can teach, preferably a minimum of three. The assignments and the schedule will be made by the department chair, or his/her designee(s), in consultation with the DPPC and individual faculty members.
Mechanisms for General Discussion
1. Department meetings
Procedures for Amending the Governance Document
1. An amendment to this SLS Departmental Governance document will be placed on the ballot if it is recommended by:
(a) a two-third vote of the DPPC, or
(b) a petition containing five faculty signatures, or
(c) a petition containing signatures of at least 20% of SLSSA voting membership
2. To be ratified, an amendment requires a two-third majority of the ballots received from the electorate. The electorate consists of the department’s instructional faculty rank I-3 and above, not including visiting faculty, plus SLS students selected by SLSSA whose number shall not exceed 25% of the faculty electorate. SLSSA must notify the chair of the names of the student voters after SLSSA elections.
3. Balloting for ratification of amendments will be conducted by the Departmental Elections Officer.