Wildcat Statue

Physics Department

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Physics Department

Date Approved:5-10-2013
Last Revision:5-10-2013
Attached form file: Physics_Bylaws_5-10-13.pdf

Purpose

To publish the bylaws of the Physics Department: approved by Provost & Vice President, Dr. Paul Lang, May 10, 2013.

Bylaws

Bylaws of the Physics Department

Northern Michigan University

October 1981

Revised, Approved March, 1985

Re-revised, Approved April, 1988

 

1. INTRODUCTION

The Physics Department of Northern Michigan University is responsive to the total educational functions of the University at large. These functions, in addition to the physics major program, include providing: physics courses designed to address the fundamental liberal education of the University student; supportive courses for non-physics disciplines, particularly in the fields of chemistry, biology, nursing, medical technology, and professional programs; and, in cooperation with the Department of Education, courses of studies in physics suitable to the needs of secondary education majors.

The Department’s central position with respect to its own majors is:

To equip its graduates with a competitive bachelor’s degree in physics comparable to that received from other institutions of higher learning. This is to include the broad fundamental knowledge and understanding required to continue either professionally or academically in any major field of physical science.

While providing the physics major program is the traditional departmental function, we acknowledge a commitment to provide a curriculum and faculty adequate to address a dual role, viz.: satisfy the needs of majors in physics seeking careers in physical science or physics education and those using physics courses as support for other majors or entrance into professional schools. Neither of these roles is viewed as subservient to the other.


2. ADMINISTRATIVE

2.1. Departmental Meetings
Department faculty meetings will be called at times when there are items that require faculty attention. Meetings may be called by the Head or a majority of the faculty. Normally, the Head will preside at the meeting.

2.2. Recommendation of a Department Head
When the Department Head position becomes vacant, the Department faculty will meet as needed to formulate recommendations for candidates. This process, and any others needed to complete the selection of a new Department Head, will be carried out in accordance with the relevant sections governing Department Heads in the AAUP Agreement.


2.3. Department Committees/Membership
2.3.1. Decisions or recommendations made by Department Committees, whether in a conference room, or in an electronic forum, will be made with fairness and objectivity based on group discussion. Procedures to be followed include:
(i) Prior to meetings, the chair will make the agenda known to all committee members equally
(ii) The chair will set up all meetings to accommodate the schedules of all members, and will provide at least two business days of prior notice
(iii) A quorum will consist of a minimum of two members
(iv) A vote can be postponed by any committee member if the agenda was circulated less than two business days before the vote.
(v) To be adopted, resolutions must receive more than half of the votes.
(vi) Committee chairs will normally serve one-year terms

The following committees are established:

2.3.2. Evaluation Committees – These committees will handle annual evaluations, Tenure, and Promotion applications.
2.3.2 a) The voting members of any Evaluation committee will include all tenured faculty with appointments in the Physics Department, other than the person under consideration. If fewer than two tenured individuals are eligible for membership on an Evaluation Committee, the membership will be supplemented. Possible supplementary members, who must give their consent, include: Physics faculty on sabbatical or other leave, untenured Physics faculty, or tenured bargaining-unit faculty from other science departments. The person making the application will consult with the Department Head and any existing members of the committee to reach consensus on the choice of supplementary members. Individuals selected for membership by this process will have voting rights. The Department Head is not a member of any Evaluation Committees.

2.3.3. Sabbatical Committee – This committee will rank sabbatical applications in accordance with the Contract.
2.3.3 a) Voting membership on the Sabbatical Committee will include the Department Head and all tenured and tenure-earning faculty, other than any individuals applying for sabbaticals.

2.3.4. Committee of the Whole – This committee will meet to deal with items of importance to the Department, including curriculum and budget. Specific assignments may be given to individual faculty to make recommendations to the Committee.
2.3.4 a) Voting membership of the Committee of the Whole will include all members of the bargaining unit with appointments in the Physics Department. The Department Head will be a non-voting ex officio member.

2.3.5. Facilities Committee – This committee will make recommendations to the Department Head regarding the use and operation of facilities and equipment assigned to the Department.
2.3.5 a) Voting membership of the Facilities Committee will include all members of the bargaining unit with appointments in the Physics Department. The Department Head will be a non-voting ex officio member.

2.4. Professional Development Funds
As provided in the Contract, amounts that have reverted to the Department Professional Development (DPD) account will be made available to the faculty by the Department Head in consultation with the faculty. Within the usual oversight framework of the Department Head, the following process will be applied:
(i) Faculty members that have exhausted their professional development funds, and wish to access the DPD account, must submit an itemized budgetary estimate to the Department Head. The Department Head will notify the Department of the request, and provide at least two business days for others to submit similar requests that are in preparation.
(ii) If funds are available in the DPD account to cover all legitimate requests, these will be honored.
(iii) If the DPD account balance is insufficient to cover a request from one individual, the remaining amount will be made available to that individual.
(iv) If the DPD account balance is insufficient to cover requests made by more than one individual, and none of the individuals have received DPD funds exceeding $300 in the last year, the remaining balance will be shared between the requesting individuals.
(v) If the DPD account balance is insufficient to cover requests made by individuals A and B, and, during the current year, A was the last to receive an amount of $300 or more, individual B will receive DPD funds up to his requested amount, and A will receive any remaining amount.
(vi) Cases not covered above will be settled by applying “last to spend, last to get more.”

2.5. Budget
The Committee of the Whole will meet as needed to make budgetary recommendations. These recommendations might include: 1) Major equipment acquisitions that should be budgeted; 2) Changes in amounts budgeted to individual line items; 3) A priority ranking of the needs specified, based largely on required course commitments for the coming year.

2.6. Faculty Appointment Procedures
After authorization for appointing a new Department faculty member has been obtained, the Department Head will initiate recruitment through publication channels and announcements. The department faculty will identify suitable applicants for interviews. At the time of the interview, each available faculty member will be given an opportunity to speak privately with the candidate and thereafter advise the Department concerning the candidate’s suitability. When interviews of candidates for the position have been completed, the Department faculty, through the Department Head, shall forward to the Dean a written recommendation listing the Department’s candidate(s) in order of preference and the reason for the preference.

 

3. PROMOTION AND TENURE

3.1. Teaching and Assigned Responsibilities

3.1.1. In accordance with the Agreement, “Continued effectiveness in the area of assigned responsibilities shall be demonstrated by evidence that plans in this area in prior evaluations have been achieved”

3.1.2. Colleague assessment of teaching
This should consist of a brief written report, by a colleague, on any of the following:
(i) A visit to a classroom
(ii) A visit to a teaching laboratory
(iii) Teaching or testing materials used in a course

3.1.3. In accordance with the Contract, faculty evaluations shall include an appraisal of student learning including achievement of learning objectives, colleague assessment and for each course taught student ratings.

3.1.4. Judgmental criteria for tenure and/or promotion in the area of teaching and assigned responsibilities are as follows:

3.1.4 a) For promotion to Assistant Professor: Mastery of subject matter, as evidenced by attainment of the Ph.D. degree in physics or an equivalent, appropriate discipline; clear classroom presentation with effective methods, as evidenced by colleague assessment and student ratings. Classroom-observation reports from two or more prior semesters are required. Attainment of plans in the area of teaching and assigned responsibilities, as outlined in prior evaluations.

3.1.4 b) For promotion to Associate Professor: Effective use of instructional methods as evidenced by colleague assessment and student ratings. Classroom-observation reports from multiple classes in earlier evaluation periods are required. Participation in student advisement; contributions to curriculum evaluation and/or development. Attainment of plans in the area of teaching and assigned responsibilities, as outlined in prior evaluations.

3.1.4 c) For promotion to Professor: Effective use of instructional methods as evidenced by student ratings and colleague assessment. Participation in student advisement; contributions to curriculum evaluation and/or development. Demonstrated leadership in department activities such as curriculum evaluation and development. Attainment of plans in the area of teaching and assigned responsibilities, as outlined in prior evaluations.


3.2. Scholarship and/or Professional Development

3.2.1. Each faculty member is responsible for his/her continued competence not only as a teacher of physics but as a developing and active scholar. While it is recognized that at Northern Michigan University teaching is in general the faculty member’s prime responsibility, superior teaching results only from continuing scholarly activity and growth.

The Department values projects that contribute to a spirit of scientific investigation among faculty and students. It encourages faculty members to engage in professional development activities, to remain current in their fields, and to continue their scholarly investigations. It recognizes that these activities cover a broad spectrum differing from one subfield to another. The Department strongly values the experiences and opportunities provided to students through the scholarly and professional activities of faculty members. It recognizes that working with students while on a full teaching load limits the scope, nature, and pace of scholarly investigations. All reasonable efforts will be made to support the scholarship and/or professional development interests of the Physics faculty. Faculty members are encouraged to seek funding opportunities that will support their research.

3.2.2. Scholarship falls into four categories: discovery, integration, application, and teaching. As specified in the Agreement, each must involve the production of a tangible artifact or outcome.
3.2.2 a) Examples of the scholarship of discovery include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) Obtaining a new scientific result
(ii) Participating significantly in an experimental collaboration by building or upgrading parts of the apparatus
(iii) Designing, building, and testing an experimental apparatus that generates an advance or discovery in physics or astronomy
3.2.2 b) Examples of the scholarship of integration include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) Compiling an assimilation of research from multiple subfields
(ii) Writing a textbook or synthesis that summarizes what is known about a topic or process
(iii) A theoretical analysis
(iv) A review paper
3.2.2 c) Examples of the scholarship of application include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) Supervising a significant student project that applies techniques in physics or astronomy and leads to a faculty or student presentation, poster, or similar outcome
(ii) Designing, building, and testing an experimental apparatus that probes established areas of physics or astronomy.
(iii) Contributing significant physics expertise to a project with a tangible outcome that provides student research experiences and/or is of value to the community
(iv) Providing expert testimony
(v) Production of a technical report
(vi) A substantive grant proposal
(vii) A white paper associated with consultancies or grants
(viii) A professional presentation
(ix) Journal or textbook reviewing
3.2.2 d) Examples of the scholarship of teaching include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) A systematic comparison of learning environments
(ii) An impact analysis for learning activities beyond the classroom
(iii) A comprehensive assessment of teaching methodologies
(iv) Writing/preparing peer-reviewed pedagogical material

3.2.3. Professional development includes activities that allow faculty members to maintain currency in their fields, to develop new professionally-related expertise, or to participate in professionally related activities. These activities do not necessarily result in tangible scholarly outcomes.
3.2.3 a) Examples of professional development include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) Attending a professional conference or workshop
(ii) Developing a new, or maintaining a current, certification
(iii) Obtaining an additional degree or training in one’s field
(iv) Engaging in post-doctoral work designed to expand one’s professional competence
(v) Working on physics- or astronomy-related projects with Freshman Fellows, Physics majors, or other students, outside the classroom, when it is confirmed by the Evaluation Committee and Department Head that this significantly enhances one’s professional expertise.
(vi) Engaging in other appropriate professional activity, when confirmed by the Department Evaluation Committee and the Department Head
(vii) Attending a teaching and/or curriculum related meeting, such as one organized by the American Association of Physics Teachers

3.2.4. Peer Review. ‘Peer reviewed’ work is broadly defined in the Agreement, and extends beyond the traditional meaning in Physics, which implies articles in refereed journals. In the following physics-related examples, the general concept of ‘peer review’ is scrutiny of an artifact or activity, by other doctoral-level academics, in a scientific environment.

3.2.4 a) Examples of peer review include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) A publication in a refereed journal
(ii) A publication in an edited scientific magazine or journal
(iii) Presenting a scholarly talk or poster at a physics- or astronomy-related conference
(iv) Election to a leadership position in a Professional organization or collaboration, based on one’s scholarship
(v) An invitation to participate in a moderated scientific discussion forum
(vi) A favorable review of an external grant application, even if not funded
(vii) Use of a scientific apparatus, built or modified by the faculty member, for a scientific experiment by a research team at a national-level laboratory or equivalent institution
(viii) Use of a scientific apparatus, built or modified by the faculty member, for a scientific experiment by peers who did not help to build or modify the apparatus
(ix) A presentation of scholarly work as a result of a competitive selection process
(x) A written review of one’s research
(xi) Obtaining a grant
(xii) An evaluation of a grant proposal
(xiii) A peer letter acknowledging scholarly accomplishments
(xiv) An invitation to present scholarly work
(xv) Receiving a professional award

3.2.4 b) Exceptional achievements can count as two or more items of peer review. For example, obtaining an external grant from an organization such as the National Science Foundation would count for at least three times as much as an internal NMU faculty grant.

3.2.4 c) In keeping with its peer institutions, the Physics Department values records of sustained professional development and scholarly works that do not necessarily involve refereed journal articles.

3.2.5. Judgmental criteria for promotion in the area of scholarship and/or professional development are as follows.

3.2.5 a) For promotion to Assistant Professor: An earned doctorate in physics or an allied field. Clear demonstration of the potential to complete peer-reviewed scholarly works.

3.2.5 b) For promotion to Associate Professor:
(i) If Scholarship and/or Professional Development is emphasized: Demonstration of sustained activity in this area, examples of which are given in sections 3.2.2 and 3.2.3. This work should lay foundations for the future and demonstrate the ability to accomplish scholarly goals. Five items of scholarship and/or professional development, three of which must be peer-reviewed, are expected. The Evaluation Committee and Department Head will comment on the significance of these activities towards tenure and promotion in the annual evaluations.

(ii) Otherwise: Demonstration of activity in this area, examples of which are given in sections 3.2.2 and 3.2.3. Three items of scholarship and/or professional development, one of which must be peer-reviewed, are expected. The Evaluation Committee and Department Head will comment on the significance of these activities towards tenure and promotion in the annual evaluations.

3.2.5 c) For promotion to Professor:
(i) If Scholarship and/or Professional Development is emphasized: Demonstration of sustained activity in this area, examples of which are given in sections 3.2.2 and 3.2.3. This could be a continuation of work done for promotion to the Associate level, but will generally be more sophisticated in nature. Five items of scholarship and/or professional development, three of which must be peer-reviewed, are expected. The Evaluation Committee and Department Head will comment on the significance of these activities towards promotion in the annual evaluations.

(ii) Otherwise: Demonstration of activity in this area, examples of which are given in sections 3.2.2 and 3.2.3. Three items of scholarship and/or professional development, one of which must be peer-reviewed, are expected. The Evaluation Committee and Department Head will comment on the significance of these activities towards promotion in the annual evaluations.

3.3. University-Community Service

3.3.1. All Department faculty are expected to participate in University governance on a periodic basis as outlined in the Agreement.

3.3.2. Examples of service activities include, but are not limited to:
(i) Service on: the Academic Senate, and/or the Senate Executive Committee
(ii) Standing Committees of the Academic Senate
(iii) AAUP committees, such as Bargaining Council and/or the Executive Committee
(iv) University-wide committees, such as the Faculty Review Committee
(v) College-level committees, such as the College Advisory Council
(vi) Departmental committees, such as evaluation committees
(vii) Laboratory equipment services, such as maintenance and/or purchasing
(viii) Faculty advising and/or participation in Student clubs, such as the Physics Club
(ix) Providing Physics-related activities at community events such as ‘Kaleidoscope’
(x) Physics-related advisory or leadership roles on committees or boards
(xi) Scholarly activity that leads to regional or national recognition
(xii) School visits to provide science-related experiences for K-12 students
(xiii) Activities related to the Michigan Regional Science Olympiad
(xiv) Work on the local Executive Committee of Sigma Xi, The Research Society
(xv) Leadership in Physics organizations at the state or national level
(xvi) Physics and/or astronomy speaking engagements at schools and/or community clubs
(xvii) Projects, outside the classroom, that provide research experiences for students, including physics majors, physics minors, Freshman Fellows, and other students.
(xviii) Projects that increase the science literacy of pre-college students or the general public
(xix) Participation in Wildcat Weekends, Parent Orientation, Campus Visits, Presidential Scholarship Interviews or similar outreach events
(xx) Providing information at Majors Fairs.

3.3.3. Judgmental criteria for promotion in the area of University-Community Service are as follows:

3.3.3 a) For promotion to Assistant Professor: Demonstration of participation in service activity. The Evaluation Committee and Department Head will comment on the significance of these activities towards promotion in the annual evaluations.

3.3.3 b) For promotion to Associate Professor:
(i) If Service is emphasized: Demonstration of sustained participation in service activity. This should include significant contributions in committee work on one committee at the College or University level. The Evaluation Committee and Department Head will comment on the significance of these activities towards promotion in the annual evaluations.
(ii) Otherwise: Demonstration of participation in service activities, examples of which are listed in 3.3.2. The Evaluation Committee and Department Head will comment on the significance of these activities towards promotion in the annual evaluations.

3.3.3 c) For promotion to Professor:
(i) If Service is emphasized: Demonstration of sustained participation and leadership in service activity. This should include a leadership role on one committee at the College or University level. Success in introducing new initiatives, or in completing significant projects, would be examples of strength in this area. The Evaluation Committee and Department Head will comment on the significance of these activities towards promotion in the annual evaluations.

(ii) Otherwise: Demonstration of participation in service activity, examples of which are listed in 3.3.2. The Evaluation Committee and Department Head will comment on the significance of these activities towards promotion in the annual evaluations.

 

3.4. Promotion, Tenure, and Continuing Contract Status

3.4.1. For promotions to Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor, the Departmental expectations in the three areas of teaching, scholarship and/or professional development, and in service, must be met. Details of the minimum levels in each area are given in sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3.

3.4.2. The relative emphasis on “scholarship and/or professional development” or “service” must be specified in evaluation materials each year, including the year of application for tenure and/or promotion.

3.4.3. Tenure: The normal judgmental criteria for tenure are the same as those for promotion to the level of Associate Professor.

3.4.4. The faculty member’s annual evaluation will serve as the primary document to record and/or substantiate his/her performance, competence, contributions and achievements. The cumulative evaluations will form the basis for a departmental recommendation for promotion and/or tenure and other personnel actions. The specific expectations and requirements for such a recommendation, mutually established by the individual faculty member and the Department Evaluation Committee, will be consistent with both the Department’s overall role (see section 1 of these Bylaws) and past-stated expectations and goals, including those in the initial letter of appointment. The evaluation of each faculty member eligible for promotion and tenure will be carried out in concert with the faculty member by the Evaluation Committee.

3.4.5. Continuing Contract Status
For the award of Continuing Contract status, the Departmental expectations in the areas of teaching and Departmental service, specified below, must be met.

3.4.5 a) The judgmental criteria for Continuing Contract status in the area of teaching are:
Effective use of instructional methods, as evidenced by colleague assessment and student ratings. Classroom-observation reports from multiple classes in earlier evaluation periods are required. Attainment of plans in the area of teaching and assigned responsibilities, as outlined in prior evaluations.

3.4.5 b) The judgmental criteria for Continuing Contract status in the area of departmental service are:
Demonstration of sustained participation in service activity at the Department level. Participation in service activity at the College or University level is not required, but is equally valuable.

3.4.5 c) While accomplishments in Scholarship and/or Professional Development are not required for Continuing Contract status, successes in this area will be considered favorably in the review process.