Department of English Language and Literature

English Department Constitution

Article I.

This constitution operates in the context of the Constitution of the Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences and the UT/AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Article II. Department Membership

The Department consists of:

Voting members, who are full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty and who are also members of the Bargaining Unit;

The Chair;

Non-voting members with departmental appointments, including part-time faculty, adjuncts, temporary full-time appointees, superannuates, faculty holding more than half of their appointment outside the department, and other persons holding tenure in the department.

Article III. Department Meetings

Section 1.

Department meetings may be called by the Chair, who must honor the request for a meeting by three voting members. Except for emergency meetings, a week's notice shall be given.

A quorum shall be a majority of the voting members.
Attendance at department meetings is considered a responsibility of voting members.
Non-voting members are welcome to attend meetings, participate in discussions, and offer
advice on decisions.

Under special circumstances, closed meetings may be called of the Chair, voting members, and parties invited by the Chair.

Section 2.

Decisions affecting the academic life of the department shall be made at department meetings.
Mail and absentee balloting are excluded except where specifically indicated.
"Robert's Rules of Order" will govern department meetings.
The Chair is responsible for having minutes recorded and distributed to the voting members.
Minutes shall be approved at the subsequent meeting and be available to other members.

Minutes of closed meetings will be available only to voting members and the Chair.

Article IV. Departmental Committees

Section 1. Personnel Committees.

A. Tenure Committee: all tenured voting members of the department. The Tenure Committee recommends for or against tenure.

B. Merit Evaluation Committee: five tenured faculty elected by the voting members (I. 1) late in the spring quarter of each academic year. Election is for a two-year term. Outgoing members may not succeed themselves for a period of one year. Membership is staggered One year two, the next year three members will be replaced.

C. Promotion Committees: For promotion to Associate Professor: All tenured Associate Professors and Professors. For promotion to Professor: All tenured Professors.

Section 2. Chair's Advisory Committee.

Three members chosen annually by the chair to advise on matters not under the jurisdiction of the Personnel and Standing Committees. Staggered terms will be for two years.

Section 3. Standing Committees.

A. Standing Committees shall be established by the voting members to deal with matters affecting the academic life of the Department.

B. Specific functions of the committee and committee chair shall be detailed at the time the committee is established and may be amended as necessary by the voting members.

C. Each committee will draw up its own by-laws, which must be approved by the voting

D. Members of Standing Committees will be appointed by the Chair in consultation with the Advisory Committee. Faculty may request appointment to committees.

E. Each committee will elect its own chair.

F. Meetings are called by the committee chair, who is expected to honor the request for a meeting by any committee member.

G. Standing Committees submit annual reports to the Chair and to the members.

Section 4. Ad Hoc Committees and task forces may be created as necessary.

Section 5. Proposals for changes to the committee structure may come from the Chair or from voting members and must be approved by the voting members.

Article V. Selection of New Faculty

Section 1. Tenure-track faculty

Specifications for new faculty positions shall be determined by the voting members, and shall be represented to the administration by the Chair. The Ad Hoc Search Committee will screen applications, and recommend to the Chair a short list of candidates to be interviewed. The Ad Hoc Search Committee will present to the voting members for their approval a prioritized list, informed by comments solicited from the department, of finalists for an offer. The voting members will meet to discuss the committee's recommendations and vote to set the final priorities.

Section 2. Part-time faculty to teach upper division courses

The appropriate Standing Committee is authorized to choose the best candidate among the applicants. The committee's recommendation, along with a short resume of the candidate, will be sent to voting members, who may vote by mail ballot.

Article VI. Non-Renewal and Tenure

Recommendation for or against tenure shall be made by the Tenure Committee in the fall quarter, with sufficient notification by the Chair to allow review of each candidate's dossier. Vote shall be by secret ballot. Members, including those on leave of absence or sabbatical, may vote by absentee ballot.

Article VII. Promotion in Rank

Recommendation for promotion in rank shall be made by the appropriate Promotion Committee (IV,I,C). The processes of voting and recommendation outlined in Article VI shall apply.

Article VIII. Merit Review and Professional Assessment

The Merit Evaluation Committee shall conduct the annual merit review process in accordance with policies and procedures set forth in the UT/AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Article IX. Department Chair

Section 1.

A. The Chair manages departmental business, including administrative appointments and appointments of academic advisers.

B. The Chair advocates the interests of the department and makes recommendations to the administration after effective consultation with the department.

C. The Chair presides at meetings.

Section 2. Recommendation for Appointment

Voting members will recommend a candidate to the Dean. The Constitution of the Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences shall apply. If the Chair is not a candidate for renewal and will become a voting member in the next academic year, the Chair may vote on this issue.

Section 3. Vote of Confidence

The Constitution of the Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences shall apply.

Section 4. Early Vote of Confidence

The Constitution of the Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences shall apply.

Article X. Ratification and Amendment

Section 1.

This constitution is effective when passed by a majority of voting members. Vote shall be by secret ballot. Mail and absentee ballots are permitted.

Section 2.

Amendments to this Constitution must be proposed in writing and circulated to voting members at least one week prior to consideration. 'They must be passed by a majority vote. Mail and absentee ballots are permitted.

Article XI. Academic Freedom

The Department upholds the statement on Academic Freedom incorporated into the UT/AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Ratified 18 February 1994. Vote: 16 for, 3 against.


Amendment 1

1. This amends the Constitution of the Department of English to incorporate the category of full-time non-tenure-track faculty who are members of the UT-AAUP Collective Bargaining Unit.

2. Article 7.1 0f the Contract of the bargaining unit of full-time non-tenure-track faculty specifies: "Members shall have the opportunity to participate in governance roles as provided by departmental by-laws, college constitutions, and Faculty Senate Constitution."

3. Full-time non-tenure-track members of the Department shall be added to the category of voting members of the Department as listed in Article II of the Constitution of the English Department.

4. Full-time non-tenure-track members of the Department may vote on all matters of departmental governance relating directly to their teaching and service responsibilities in the general education curriculum of the Department.

5. Standing committees of the Department shall amend their by-laws to incorporate full-time non-tenure-track members as appropriate.

Amended 15 January 1999 by unanimous vote

Last Updated: 6/27/22