(updated 8/27/2021)

The Department has academic responsibilities that include undergraduate and graduate instruction, research, and educational outreach programs.  The Department has primary control of faculty assignments and recruiting.  Non-academic functions include acquisition and maintenance of facilities and equipment, university and public service, public relations, and alumni outreach.

The Department consists of three Divisions: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB); Cellular, Developmental and Integrative Biology (CDIB); and Systematics, Ecology and Evolution (SEE).  The functions of these Divisions are to provide:  1) leadership in the development of research and scholarly activities of its members; 2) input on faculty hiring plans; and 3) opportunities for discussion relating to departmental issues that may require detailed analysis at divisional levels.  Final decisions on graduate admissions, undergraduate and graduate curricula, and hiring plans are not included in the purview of the Divisions.

The Faculty

Tenured and tenure-track faculty members with the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor and holding a primary appointment (>50%) in Biological Sciences have full voting privileges in faculty meetings and in divisional meetings.  Each faculty member described above declares membership in at least one Division. The faculty will declare a primary division for the purpose of voting and will only participate in votes in that division. Tenured and tenure-track members with the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor and holding a non-primary appointment in Biological Sciences may attend faculty meetings and participate, but without vote privilege.  Exceptions will be granted for faculty holding administrative posts outside of the Department, where the majority of salary is derived from non-departmental sources such as the College of Science, ORED, or Academic Affairs.  Full-time instructors have voting privileges on matters of courses and curriculum.  Research professors, adjunct professors, and emeritus professors may attend faculty meetings and participate, but without vote privilege.  Faculty meetings are presided over by the Chair of the Department, or in the case of illness or absence, a delegate approved by the Chair, typically one of the Associate Chairs.  

The Administration

Chair of the Department

The Department is administered by the Chair, who is appointed by the Dean of the College of Science.  The length of the appointment is negotiated between the Chair and the Dean.  Prior to the appointment, input from the tenured and tenure-track faculty members of the Department may be provided in the form of a straw vote.  The Chair may be reappointed for additional terms, with support from the Department.  The performance of the Chair is evaluated annually by the faculty through written evaluations submitted to the College. 

The Chair is charged with providing leadership to the Department, representing the Department in all interchanges with the College and University Administration and external agencies, coordinating the activities of the faculty and the non-academic staff, and pursuing the public relations needs of the Department.  The Chair may appoint committee chairs, associate chairs, or other designates to aid with selected duties.

On the initiative of the Chair, or by request of the Executive Committee, or by request by 1/4 of the faculty members, the Chair shall call meetings of the Department faculty for discussion of matters of interest to the Department as a whole.  There shall be at least one faculty meeting per semester during the regular academic year.  While presiding, the Chair may vote only to break a tie.

The Chair functions as the presiding officer of the Executive Committee and as an ex officio member of all other committees of the Department.  The Chair appoints all committees of the Department.

Consistent with Permanent Memoranda and Policy Statements of the University, the Chair is charged with initiating the consideration of all appointments, reappointments, promotions, and nominations for tenure by the faculty, and with transmitting the departmental recommendations to the Dean of the College.  Final recommendations of salary adjustments are the sole responsibility of the Chair, although input may be obtained from the Executive Committee.

The Chair is responsible for administering the departmental budget.  The Chair also reviews building space and equipment needs of the Department, coordinates those needs, integrates construction design, and makes presentation of those needs to the appropriate university officials.  Standing or ad hoc committees may aid in carrying out these responsibilities of the Chair.

Upon receiving input and ranked priorities from the Divisions, the Chair is responsible for formulating and prioritizing a plan for faculty hiring and transmitting that plan to the Dean of the College.  These plans should be consistent with the Strategic Plan of the Department.  An important exception to this principle is when an impact hire is identified that is either a spousal opportunity, a diversity opportunity, or and other beneficial opportunities.

The Associate Chairs of the Department

The Chair shall appoint the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies after soliciting nominations and considering input from the faculty at large on the selection of the appointee.  The term of service is negotiable, but not less than three years.

In consultation with the Chair, and in cases of curriculum the Courses and Curriculum Committee, the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies administers the undergraduate teaching program including curriculum development and implementation, assessment programs, student advising, and coordination of the hiring of temporary and permanent instructors.  A committee with representatives from each of the departmental divisions will function as in the hiring of tenure track positions.  The Associate Chair serves as chair of the Departmental Courses and Curriculum Committee, and the Program Assessment Committee.

In consultation with the Chair, and the Graduate Admissions Committee, the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies administers the graduate program including recruitment and admission of graduate students, awarding teaching assistantships and fellowships, coordinating and documenting compliance with degree requirements, and assignment of teaching assistants to specific courses.  The Associate Chair for Graduate Studies serves as chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee and Graduate Recruiting Committee.

The Coordinator of the Freshman Biology Program is recognized as the Associate Chair for Introductory Biology.  The Coordinator is charged with organizing lecture and laboratory schedules, coordinating freshman advising, and coordinating instructors of freshman courses. The Coordinator also chairs the departmental Introductory Biology Committee and is responsible for the General Education and Freshman Biology assessment programs.  The Associate Chair for Freshman Biology works closely with the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies on matters common to the two offices.

Division Representatives

Each Division elects two co-Representatives for a term of at least two years. Maximum term limits are set by the Divisions. The terms of the representatives should be staggered to provide continuity in experience and leadership.  The Divisional Representatives schedule and preside over divisional meetings, which are held to reach consensus on hiring priorities, rank job candidates for recommendation to the faculty at large, recommend candidates for adjunct professor appointments, and discuss other academic issues relevant to the research and teaching responsibilities of the Division.

The Executive Committee of the Department

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, the three Associate Chairs (as non-voting members), two Representatives from each of the three Divisions (voting members), and the Director of the Museum of Natural Science (as a non-voting member). The Executive Committee shall serve as advisor to the Chair on questions of policy and implementation and other departmental issues that the Chair may bring before it. Members of the Committee may also suggest agenda items for discussion. At the request of the Chair, the Committee may provide input on merit evaluation of faculty members for the purpose of pay raises.  The Committee may bring forward motions to the faculty at large for approval and ratification.  The Executive Committee is also charged with making recommendations to the Graduate School with respect to Graduate Faculty status.  

Other Committees

Ad hoc and standing committees shall be appointed by the Chair.  To the extent possible, appointments to committees should reflect the various areas of interest and competence (namely the Divisions) in the Department.  There shall be rotation of committee assignments in a manner that maintains continuity yet provides for fresh input.

Standing committees in the Department include at least one member from each Division, and these are: the Aquatics Facilities Committee; Computer Committee; Courses and Curriculum Committee; Endowment Funds Committee; Emergency Response Committee (includes members of each Division and building); Executive Committee; Faculty Awards Committee (restricted to full professors); Graduate Admissions Committee; Graduate Recruitment Committee; Program Assessment Committee (the Associate Chairs serve as co-chairs of the committee); Promotion and Tenure Committee (see Promotion and Tenure section for duties); Safety Committee (includes faculty members from all building locations); Space Committee (includes faculty members representing all building areas and is limited to tenured faculty); and Student Awards Committee.  Appointments to the College Policy Committee (two faculty members) and the College Professors require departmental elections. The structure of Seminar Committees is at the discretion of the divisions.  Committee membership will be posted online, except for ad hoc hiring committees. While membership on these committees will be made available to all members of the Department, it will not be available by internet access.

Provision for Revision

These By-Laws and the associated Departmental Policy Statements may be revised in the following manner.  The proposed revision shall be made and presented by the Executive Committee for faculty approval and ratification.  At a faculty meeting, any proposed revision must be presented in written form, and the proposal shall be open for discussion concerning its meaning and implications.  The action on such proposed revisions shall be delayed until a subsequent faculty meeting at least one week following the notice of motion.

A proposed revision shall be considered enacted if approved by a two-thirds majority of the tenured and tenure-track faculty in the Department.  The vote may be by email or mail ballot if this method is approved by a majority of those eligible to vote on the revision.

University Policies

These departmental By-Laws and associated Departmental Policy Statements are subject to the current university permanent memoranda and university policy statements and should be interpreted and applied in a manner consistent with these regulations.  In the event of a conflict, university regulations have precedence.

University policy with respect to search committee selection will be followed. According to the HRM guidelines: “An individual who accepts appointment to a search committee may not become a candidate for the position. Additionally, a search committee member shall recuse themself if someone to whom they are related to by kinship or personal relationship, or with whom they are engaged in business ventures becomes a candidate for the position. It is incumbent upon a search committee member to disclose when such a conflict arises. Upon having knowledge of any potential conflict of interest, the committee chairperson should discuss the matter with the appropriate administrator."  

In the context of our department, advisors of current or former postdocs must recuse themselves from all voting or deliberations on such an individual (as stipulated in PS-36T and or PS-36NT).   If concerns arise over a potential conflict of interest, the Search Committee Chair should discuss the matter with the Chair of the Department.

Departmental Policy Statement on Adjunct Faculty, Research Professors (non-tenure-track), and Visiting Faculty 

The Department of Biological Sciences recognizes the need for associations with faculty members and other professionals outside the Department as an enhancement to our programs.  Ordinarily, before appointment there should be evidence of likely interaction and collaboration with departmental faculty as demonstrated by funded grants, published manuscripts, or instruction in upper-division courses.  Adjunct faculty from other Departments who already hold Graduate Faculty appointments will be limited to those whose contribution to the academic programs of Biological Sciences is compelling.

Individuals to be considered for appointment as Adjunct Faculty shall be nominated by a tenured or tenure-track faculty member from a Division of the Department that is appropriate relative to the nominee’s scholarly focus.  A CV, along with a letter of nomination from the nominator, shall be submitted to the Department, then the nominee will present a seminar to the Department (unless the candidate has already given a Departmental seminar within the previous 2 years). The nominee’s credentials will be reviewed by faculty of the appropriate Division, and if the nomination is approved by that Division, the tenured and tenure-track members of the Department will vote on the acceptability of the candidate.  If approved, the term of the appointment will be for five years (subject to review).  The appointment may be renewed after consideration of a supporting letter from at least one faculty member in the appropriate Division, an updated CV by the appropriate Division, a positive recommendation by the Division, and a vote by faculty of the Department for approval of the reappointment.  A seminar is not required for appointment renewal.

All adjunct faculty approved by the Department for adjunct status will be nominated as Associate or Full Members of the Graduate Faculty of LSU.  However, given the limited resources of the Department, students who are advised by adjunct professors are expected to receive their support from extra-departmental sources.  Departmental funding of such students will be limited and at the discretion of the graduate committee and Department.  Any graduate student who has an adjunct member as their major advisor shall have at least two Graduate Faculty members (Associate or Full) from Biological Sciences on the examining committee.  An adjunct faculty member mentoring a Biological Sciences graduate student is expected to comply with our graduate student policies and to have the student complete all program milestones in a timely fashion.

The University criteria for the appointment of Research Professors (non-tenure-track; all ranks) are specified in PM-23, which includes the provisions that such an appointment is normally supported by grant or contract funding and typically requires at least five years of postdoctoral experience.  Candidates should formally apply to the Department of Biological Sciences for a Research Professorship at the level appropriate to their qualifications and experience.  The application should include a statement of purpose, and letters of reference from within and/or outside the Department of Biological Sciences should be provided as appropriate.  The Executive Committee of the Department of Biological Sciences will review the applications for Research Professor positions and make recommendations on appointment to the Chair and the Faculty.  A departmental research seminar is required prior to approval of the appointment by the Faculty.

Research Professors generally will be housed within the laboratory space of established faculty members with primary appointments in the Department of Biological Sciences.  Exceptions can be granted (e.g., in cases in which the person to be appointed had full funding and an established research program). The laboratory hosting the Research Professor must be active and funded at an appropriate level to merit the association with a Research Professor.  The candidate must obtain a written agreement with the host to use space within his/her laboratory.  Agreements will include a fixed time limit as agreed upon by the faculty host and the Research Professor.  Such an agreement must be in place before the appointment of the Research Professor is approved by the Department of Biological Sciences.  The PI of the laboratory in which the Research Professor will reside may provide funding for materials and supplies to facilitate collaborative research.  In such cases, the source of funding must be established and documented in the written agreement before the appointment.  The Research Professor will use the office space, computing/telecommunications facilities, and office supplies associated with the research laboratory with which the Research Professor is affiliated. Office space outside of the host laboratory may be allocated by the Chair as outlined in the By-Laws of the Department of Biological Sciences.  Once the Research Professor is funded, they may be granted a departmental allocation of at most $600 per year, depending on availability of funds.  Persons holding a Research Professor appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences must route all grant proposals through the Department.

Because Research Professors have a 100% commitment to research, they are not required to teach classes within the regular education program of the Department of Biological Sciences.  Research Professors may teach a maximum of one course per year, provided this does not conflict with time commitments to granting agencies. Teaching by Research Professors may be on a gratis basis. Research Professors may also be contracted to teach a course in demand, given the availability of funding. Research Professors may serve on graduate student committees (PhD and MS) and supervise undergraduate students (BIOL 3999) but may not serve as the major advisor for graduate students.  Research Professors will not be assigned service within the Department, because their salaries normally will be funded by granting agencies to which they will have a 100% commitment when fully supported.

Research Professors will be reviewed as directed by the University guidelines (PS-36NT). They will be reviewed annually by the Chair and at the three-year stage by the Department of Biological Sciences. Research Professors can be promoted to the next rank in accordance with the University guidelines.  Research Professors must compete successfully in an open Departmental search before they are eligible for selection and appointment to tenured or tenure-track positions within the Department of Biological Sciences.

Criteria for the appointment of Visiting Faculty (gratis) are also specified in PM-23. These individuals are typically on leave from another university but may also be appointed as Visiting Faculty without affiliation with another institution, so long as the appointment is for a fixed period and all other criteria are met (cf., PM-23).  Visiting Faculty members are appointed by the Chair based upon the recommendation of the appropriate Division and approval by the faculty at large.  A departmental seminar is optional for Visiting Faculty appointments.

Departmental Policy Statement on Hiring of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

Once a faculty position has been approved by the Dean of the College of Science, the Chair shall appoint a search committee for the job opening. The five-member search committee shall include three faculty members from the Division with which the new hire is most likely to have primary affiliation, and one faculty member from each of the other two Divisions. One member of the search committee shall be designated by the Chair as the diversity advocate, whose charge is to ensure that all applicants from under-represented groups are given full and equal consideration at all steps of the departmental selection process. When hiring a curator, the search committee will include two curators. In addition to the five faculty members, a graduate student will be appointed as a non-voting member of the search committee by consultation between the departmental and search committee chairs. To the degree possible, committees for interdisciplinary departmental searches should have compositions that reflect the academic focus of the job description.

The search committee chair will first set out procedures in a Search Plan for identification and evaluation of the candidates that will promote diversity, equity and inclusion.  The Search Plan will be submitted to the Dean. The full search committee is charged with drafting job advertisement for approval by the Chair. For curator hires, the job advertisement will clearly state that the position involves curatorial duties. Each member of the search committee is responsible for independently evaluating all applicant files. Each committee member should evaluate all applicants and spend sufficient time fully reviewing each application to enable equity. The search committee will narrow the field of candidates to a short list and hold virtual interviews asking the same questions to each candidate.  The search committee is charged with working together to formulate a prioritized list of finalists to be recommended for interviews. In the case of a non-interdisciplinary search, the search committee shall present its rankings to the relevant Division for discussion, input and approval.  If the Division does not agree with the selection or the ranking of finalists by the search committee, both votes will be presented for consideration at a faculty meeting and the reasons for the difference of opinion will be discussed. The final slate of candidates and alternates will be determined by a full faculty vote. No divisional approval of the committee ranking of finalists is required for interdisciplinary searches.

After discussion by the faculty at large, a vote by written or electronic ballot will be taken to determine the acceptability of each candidate for interview.  This will be followed by a vote to accept or reject the slate of ranked candidates for interview. The files of the top three acceptable candidates shall be forwarded to the Dean for approval to interview.  Under exceptional circumstances, the faculty may vote to recommend a fourth candidate for interview.  In this case the Chair shall request a waiver from the Dean to allow four interviews and the final decision rests with the Dean of the College.

After selecting the candidates for interview, the search committee will play a vital role in the hiring process. These duties include coordination with Departmental staff to arrange travel and assist with the preparation of candidate schedules.  The committee members will also participate in hosting visiting candidates including transportation, meals, and entertainment. Each search committee will also conduct exit interviews with each candidate using the same slate of questions for all.  Scheduling and hosting duties can be extended to second visits by top candidates at the Department Chair’s discretion.

After interviews are completed, the search committee will reconvene (for any non-interdisciplinary hire jointly with the relevant Division) and votes shall be conducted to determine acceptability for hiring and to rank the candidates.  The single ranking is then presented to the faculty at a faculty meeting.  After faculty discussion and consideration of the input from the search committee (and Division where appropriate), a vote or votes will be taken on the acceptability of each ranked candidate for hiring.  Unacceptable candidates are eliminated from further consideration.  Then each faculty member shall vote for the top candidate by written ballot or by electronic voting.  The top candidate is identified by this vote, and the remaining candidates are ranked by repeating the same voting process.  The ranked list shall be presented by the Chair to the Dean for approval.  Upon approval, the Chair shall initiate negotiations with the top candidate as soon as possible and proceed down the list of acceptable candidates until the position is filled.  Close communication with the Dean shall be maintained by the Chair at all stages of the negotiation process.

Departmental Policy Statement on Space Assignments

Final assignments of space for research laboratories and offices are the responsibility of the Chair.  The Departmental Space Committee may evaluate space requests from faculty members and provide recommendations on these requests and other space-related issues to the Chair.  Because of the limited space typically available within the Department, assignment of space is dependent on the type of appointment held by the individual requesting space, as prioritized below.  Assignments are also influenced strongly by the justification and quality of the work to be performed, and the potential value of the work in furthering the Department’s academic missions and Strategic Plan.  Space assignments in the Department shall not be considered permanent, but rather the assignments must be flexible to ensure the ability to optimize the use of space by the Department.  Over multi-year periods, assignment of research space may require re-evaluation as research programs expand or shrink with resulting changes in the need for space.

Professorial Faculty (tenured or tenure-track).  This group of faculty has highest priority for private office space.  The priority for research lab space is strongly influenced by the scholarly productivity, size of the research group, and the specific space requirements of a given research program.  Access to a minimum lab space of 500-600 sq. ft. will be provided so long as an acceptable level of research activity as indicated by the Chair’s yearly evaluation is demonstrated by the faculty member.

Research Professors (non-tenure track).  As with tenured and tenure-track faculty, priority for research lab space is strongly influenced by the scholarly productivity and the specific space requirements of a given research program.   

Instructors (full-time).  These faculty members will be assigned offices, but the offices may have to be shared if private space is not available.    

Emeritus Faculty.  Adequate space for emeritus faculty will be provided when possible.    

Instructors (part-time).  The preferred space assignment is the office of a faculty member whose teaching is being replaced.  This option is particularly useful when the availability of office space is limited, and the faculty member is off-campus on leave.  If the part-time instructor is not temporarily replacing a faculty member on leave, then the instructor will be assigned either a shared or private office if available.    

Postdoctoral Research Associates.  The preferred office assignment is within the faculty mentor’s research lab.  Shared office space outside of the research laboratory may be assigned based on availability.  Research laboratory space will be provided by the faculty member.

Graduate students.  Graduate students are expected to be housed in the laboratories of their advisors.  Requests for common-use office space outside of the advisor’s lab are considered on a case-by-case basis and only when space is filled in the mentor’s laboratory.  Graduate students who are accommodated in research labs and who currently are appointed as teaching assistants in the Department may be assigned common TA space to hold office hours outside of the research laboratory.

Undergraduate research students. Undergraduates also are expected to be housed in the laboratories of their advisors.

Visiting faculty.  Typically, these faculty are on sabbatical leave from another institution and do not have a teaching responsibility in Biological Sciences.  Visiting faculty will be assigned an office if vacant space exists.    

Adjunct Faculty.  These individuals are typically not assigned office or research space, but an assignment could be considered based on availability.  

Departmental Policy Statement on Pre-tenure Mentoring Committees, Reappointment, and Promotion and Tenure 

The criteria for evaluating academic performance in the context of reappointment and promotion and tenure are described in PS-36T and/or PS-36NT.  Procedures and policies that govern these personnel actions are also described in the same university policy statement.  Departmental-specific practices to be followed are summarized below.

Pre-tenure Mentoring Committees

A Pre-tenure Mentoring Committee shall be formed for each tenure-track assistant professor early in the first semester of residence.  The Chair of the Department should meet with the untenured professor and discuss possible members of the committee.  Both should agree on the composition of the three-member committee prior to appointment.  Any changes in committee membership require prior approval by the Chair.  From the outset, it should be clear that the new untenured professor is solely responsible for successful promotion and tenure.  The Pre-tenure Mentoring Committee shall not be held accountable for a failed attempt at promotion or tenure.  The committee is dissolved once the tenure and promotion processes are completed.

The Pre-tenure Mentoring Committee has several responsibilities: (1) to assure that the untenured professor is aware of PS-36T and has a clear understanding of departmental standards and expectations for successful promotion with tenure; (2) to monitor the untenured professor’s progress toward these goals by means of regular (at least annual) meetings followed by written reports to the untenured professor and Chair; (3) to advise the untenured professor on ways to minimize or eliminate obstacles to achievement of these goals, and advise the professor on an appropriate timetable for successful promotion (i.e., when to stand for promotion); (4) to advise the untenured professor during preparation of both his/her reappointment dossier and promotion dossier, and to recommend to the Chair a list of external reviewers in accordance with PS-36T guidelines for the promotion packet; (5) to assist the Chair in preparing the final promotion packet, including the promotion dossier, outside letters, and any attachments required by PS-36T; 

Promotion and Tenure Committee

The charge of the P&T Committee is to facilitate the fair and impartial advising and evaluation of candidates for promotion.  This committee shall have two representatives from each division and of these two, one should be an Associate Professor and one should be a Full Professor. P&T Committee service will be for three years and will be staggered so that each division only has one new member in any given year.  One of the Full Professor committee members will serve as chair.  The P&T Committee members (and the Mentoring Committee) will be available to faculty considering going up for non-mandatory promotion. For all promotions, members of the P&T Committee most familiar with the candidate’s research area will assist the candidate in assembling the information for the power point presentation at the faculty meeting.  In addition to the full committee, those most familiar with the candidate’s research area can work with the chair of the P&T Committee to select appropriate excerpts from the evaluation letters for the faculty meeting power point presentation.  The Chair of the P&T Committee will present all cases to the faculty.  The other members of the P&T Committee will take notes on the discussion of the candidate at the faculty meeting without identifying the persons commenting. The P&T Committee will write a report on the faculty discussion and faculty vote after the faculty meeting.  As indicated in PS-36T, the report will include both majority and minority opinions. All input from faculty to the committee is to remain confidential.

Peer Teaching Evaluation Committees (PTEC)

For Tenure-track faculty, the PTEC committee will be chosen and will carry out the duties outlined in the College of Science Promotion and Tenure Manual 

For Associate Professors seeking promotion to full, a standing PTEC will carry out the evaluation.  This standing PTEC shall be composed of one full professor for each of the divisions.  The duration of service on this committee is 3 years.


Reappointment of tenure-track assistant professors is considered by the tenured faculty during the sixth semester of the initial appointment.  The dossier is made available for viewing by the tenured faculty at least one week prior to the faculty meeting at which the reappointment vote is to be taken.

Promotion and Tenure

Normally, decisions on promotion with tenure of an assistant professor are made during the sixth year of service to the University.  The Department has a right to move for an early promotion and tenure decision, provided that the record warrants such consideration, but a delay in the process is permissible only for the reasons specified in PS-36T.  The promotion packet is made available for viewing by the voting faculty at least one week prior to the faculty meeting at which the reappointment vote is to be taken.

Promotion from associate professor with tenure to full professor is considered a non-mandatory review.  If an associate professor elects to be considered for such a promotion, the Chair should be notified according to the review schedule in PS-36T.  The Chair shall appoint a 3-member Promotion Committee charged with: (1) advising the candidate during preparation of his/her promotion dossier; (2) recommending to the Chair a list of external reviewers in accordance with PS-36T guidelines for the promotion packet; (3) assisting the Chair in preparing the final promotion packet, including the promotion dossier, outside letters, and any attachments required by PS-36T. 

Departmental Policy Statement on Teaching Assignments

Teaching assignments are ultimately the responsibility of the Chair.  However, routine assignments may be delegated to the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, provided the Chair is briefed regularly.  Changes in assignments, especially those involving questions of whether a new assignment constitutes a full load for that faculty member, must be evaluated by the Chair.  

A full teaching load for a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who holds a 50% teaching and 50% research appointment is the equivalent of six lecture credit hours per academic year.  Special considerations may be granted in exceptional cases.  Increases in the percent teaching effort are permissible and the course load must reflect this change.  Reductions in teaching load during the academic year (e.g., buy-out with extramural funds procured by the faculty member) are permissible, providing the Department can meet its teaching demands in the semester in which the buyout is requested.  Otherwise, the buy-out shall be delayed.

Shared teaching of courses must be approved by the Chair.  In general, teaching one half of a 3 cr. hr. course does not constitute a full load for a given semester, and such a load may require an additional assignment at the Chair’s discretion.

Assistant Professors will be granted two semesters of teaching relief. One in the first three years of service, and the second after the three-year contract renewal.

The full load for full-time instructors is three courses (or lecture sections) per semester.  In the event the assignment does not exclusively involve lecturing (e.g., laboratory coordination, media preparation, etc.), a full load is determined on a case-by-case basis.  

Departmental Policy Statement on Faculty Responsibilities

It is recognized that while faculty appointments are defined as 50% research and 50% teaching, (or 50% research, 25% teaching, and 25% curation for curators), there is an expectation for service by members of the Department. The extent of service activities requested of junior faculty members will be minimal.

Mentoring of graduate students by faculty is an important part of both the research and teaching components of our appointments. Mentoring of students should conform to the rules and timetables listed in the Graduate Handbook.   

Conflict of Interest

Conflicts of interest in addition to those specified by HRM (kinship or business relationship) include personal relationships, monetary association, and co-authorship and grant collaboration in the last 48 months. Such conflicts are to be avoided in committee appointments and other situations when deemed inappropriate by the chair.  Faculty members are encouraged to recuse themselves when a conflict of interest is perceived. In addition, a member of the faculty may submit a conflict-of-interest concern to the Departmental Executive Committee, to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Acknowledgments:  Format and selected content in these By-laws and Policy Statements were patterned after university policy statements and by-laws of other former and current Departments.  The documents benefitted considerably from thoughtful input from the Executive Committee and the faculty at large of Biological Sciences.