4. Department

For administrative purposes, the University organizes educational programs into departments:

  • Accounting
  • Animal and Food Science
  • Applied Plant Science
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business Management
  • Chemistry
  • Communication
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
  • Design and Construction Management
  • Economics
  • English
  • Languages and International Studies
  • Geology
  • Health, Recreation, and Human Performance
  • History, Geography, and Political Science
  • Home and Family
  • Humanities and Philosophy
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Music
  • Nursing
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Education
  • Sociology and Social Work
  • Teacher Education
  • Theatre and Dance

4.1 Department Leadership

Faculty members placed in leadership positions lead by example, lifting others. They motivate fellow faculty members to excel in learning and teaching and in their work with students.

4.1.1 Department Chair

The academic vice president selects department chairs from among the CFS faculty members (see 2.3.9 Campus Administrative Assignments). Department chairs sit on the College Council, attend Campus Leadership Forums and College Dean and Department Chairs Retreats, and preside over their respective Department Councils.

The position of department chair is generally a 4-6 year assignment. Department chair load is determined in consultation with the dean (taking into account factors such as extra load at the outset of the assignment, size of department, number of adjunct, etc). Administrative load is generally between 6 and 9 hours per semester.

4.1.2 Assistants to Chairs or Program Directors

Department chairs may select one to three assistants or program directors (see 2.3.9 Campus Administrative Assignments). These faculty members may be asked to oversee the CFS process, faculty development, curriculum for a major, or the oversight of a program. The college dean approves the appointments and assists in determining the extent of the administrative leave, which is usually 0-2 load hours per semester (a maximum of 6 credits annually), depending on the assignment.

4.1.3 Course Leads

In an effort to keep all modes of delivery aligned and continually improving, department chairs assign course leads for multi-section courses (typically four or more sections). As needed, department chairs ensure that a portion of the course lead's load is designated for significant course redevelopment or modification, to allow for class observations, for communicating with other instructors of that course, and to participate in Course Councils. This load allocation may be from 0 to 3 hours per semester. It is anticipated that the amount of load would be reassessed each year and that it will generally decrease over time.

In situations where many sections of a course exist (such as Foundations courses), a department chair or course lead may consult with his or her college dean and the associate academic vice president for instruction about the possibility of appointing an assistant course lead.

4.2 Meetings and Schedule

Department chairs enlist the aid of their assistants, program directors, course leads, faculty members, and office assistants as they schedule classes, meetings, and trainings.

4.2.1 Classes

Department chairs follow established guidelines in setting enrollment limits for classes:

  • Ideal class size is at least 30 students.
  • Minimum class size is 20 students.
  • Maximum class size is 85 students.

Permission for an ongoing exception to these guidelines should be sought from the associate academic vice president for curriculum.

Department chairs try to offer classes in such a way that sections fill to capacity (see 3.2.1 Day Classes and 3.2.4 Room Assignments). They also schedule courses so that students on all tracks have a reasonable opportunity to complete program requirements. When, due to low enrollments, a particular program exists on only one track, the department chair may request a track change for students at an appropriate point in the program. The request is sent to the college dean and the associate academic vice president for curriculum, who meet with the Academic Track Adjustment Committee (ATAC) to review and approve the changes.

As need arises, department chairs may open additional sections of courses. New sections should be added only when existing sections are full and there is reasonable expectation that the additional section will fill to at least half capacity. Department chairs should evaluate the actual demand for a new section, especially when existing sections might be able to absorb one or two additional students each. They consider whether or not online offerings, in that course or another, might free a faculty member for the new section. They also determine if a qualified adjunct faculty member is available to help with the course in question or another course. They may also consider offering an evening section. They may, on an infrequent basis, ask a faculty member to take an overload.

If department chairs face recurring low enrollment challenges with a particular course, they should evaluate the need for the course and the frequency of its scheduling. If they face recurring problems with high demand for a particular course, department chairs may consider the following options in this order of priority:

  • Request additional online section(s)
  • Find and develop qualified adjunct faculty members
  • Shuffle faculty members as needed (e.g., out of face-to-face sections that have an online version freeing them for a new section of this course)
  • Open an evening school section
  • On an infrequent basis an overload section can be offered using a CFS faculty member
  • Lastly, department needs can be coupled (Fellowships, PDLs, and other departmental initiatives) to justify a visiting or a CFS faculty position through the annual Stewardship Review process  

Additionally, department chairs and program directors regularly review the needs for developing online versions of courses. As needed, they may also review the limiting of student majors admitted into a major in order to balance student demand with faculty resources.

The options above range from actions the chair can make in consultation and planning with the college dean (top of list) and the associate academic vice president for instruction (see 4.4.1 Stewardship Reviews and 4.4.7 Hiring CFS and Visiting Faculty Members).

Academic Track Adjustment Request
Stewardship Review Form

4.2.2 Department Councils

A Department Council coordinates the work of the various programs within large, multifaceted departments. When such a council exists, the department chair presides over it. Minutes are kept and distributed to council members:

  • Department chair
  • Assistants to the chair or program directors
  • Interested faculty members

The Department Council periodically gives reports in department meetings.

4.2.3 Department Meetings

The 2:00 pm hour on the second and fourth Thursdays of most months is set aside for department and college use (see 6.2.18 Thursday 2:00 pm Hour). Department chairs are encouraged to notify faculty members early in the semester regarding the dates of department meetings, as the Thursday 2:00 pm hour may also be a useful time for society meetings, major advising sessions, and other student gatherings that may involve faculty members.

4.2.4 Ad-hoc Committees

Department chairs may form faculty committees to assist with delegated assignments. As this is part of a faculty member's campus citizenship, no load is given for committee assignments. Committee work should be done in an open, transparent fashion with occasional reports given in department meetings. Department chairs should rotate committee assignments so that all faculty members in the department have the opportunity to assist. Faculty members should not be required to serve on more committees than they can manage with their course loads.

4.2.5 Department Retreats

Department chairs may schedule retreats as needed. As these typically occur on workdays, department chairs notify their faculty members about dates before semesters begin so that faculty members can plan the retreats into their syllabi and teaching responsibilities.

Retreat locations, transportation, and food costs should not require large expenses to the department budget.

4.2.6 Department Socials

Department socials enhance unity and build relationships. University funds may be used for socials twice per year. Additional gatherings may be planned as potluck events.

4.2.7 Graduation

Department chairs typically sit with the faculty during commencement exercises and on the stage for convocation. They may be invited by the college dean to shake hands with the graduates as diploma covers are distributed.

Academic excellence (for students graduating summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) is noted in the graduation program. Department chairs should discourage any distinguishing regalia, such as ropes, pins, or ribbons.

4.3 Duties and Opportunities

Department chairs are responsible for overseeing faculty members, programs, curriculum, and assessments. 

4.3.1 Faculty Load

Department chairs make teaching assignments for their faculty members, verifying with college deans that the load for each faculty member, including PDLs, Fellowships, and administrative assignments, meets approved guidelines (see 2.2.1 Teaching Load, 2.2.2 Faculty Load Contracts, 2.3.4 Professional Development Leaves and Faculty Learning Fellowships, and 2.3.9 Campus Administrative Assignments).

Department chairs strive to give new faculty members no more than two new preps each semester during their first year. They place new faculty members on effective teaching teams that can assist with course development, lesson planning, and orientation to department programs.

Faculty members generally teach within their respective departments and in Foundations courses. Requests for a faculty member to teach in another department are made between department chairs with the approval of college deans. A faculty member is not transferred to another department without the approval of all academic leaders: department chairs, college deans, associate vice president for instruction, and the academic vice president.

4.3.2 Educational Programs

Department chairs are tasked with reviewing degrees and programs to assure that they can be completed within the appropriate credit limits, including all prerequisite courses. As graduation approaches, department chairs certify that students have completed all program requirements for majors and minors, and they recommend adjustments as appropriate. Departments offer degrees that can be categorized under various degree options.

Standard Bachelor's Degrees provide a quality education in one field of study. The number of major credits may not exceed 55:

Foundations  40
Major  40-55
Electives 25-40

Departments are encouraged to use the standard degree unless there are compelling reasons to require clusters or a minor.

Integrated Standard Bachelor's Degrees provide a quality education in one field of study with complementary work in one or two prescribed clusters or a minor. The combination of major and cluster(s) or minor may not exceed 67 credits:

Option 1 Credits
Foundations 40
Major 40-55
1 prescribed cluster 12-15
Electives 13-28
Option 2 Credits
Foundations 40
Major 40-43
 2 prescribed clusters OR 1 prescribed minor 24-30
Electives 13-16                                                                                          

It is the responsibility of the major department to verify that all combinations of the major and the prescribed cluster(s) or minor can be completed in 67 credits.

Specialized Bachelor's Degrees provide an in-depth education in one field of study. This type of degree is limited to programs that require accreditation or other external certification. The major may not exceed 80 credits:

Foundations 40
Major 68-80

Interdisciplinary Studies Bachelor's Degrees allow students to customize their education in one or more areas of concentration. The combination of concentration(s) and cluster(s) or minor may not exceed 60 credits; therefore, if students choose the two concentrations options, they must ensure through proper advising that both concentrations can be completed without exceeding the 60-credit limit.                    

Option 1 Credits
Foundations 40
1 Concentration 30-36
2 Clusters 24-30
Electives 20
Option 2 Credits
Foundations 40 
1 Concentration 30-36
1 Minor 20-24
Electives 20
Option 3 Credits
Foundations  40
2 Concentrations 60
Electives 20

Secondary Education Degrees require Core classes in Teacher Education and one or two teaching fields. These programs have state standards which must be met, including mandatory examinations. The combination of Core classes and teaching field(s) may not exceed 80 credits:

Option 1 Credits
Foundations 40
Secondary Education Core 20-23
Education Major (first field) 30-36
Education Minor (second field) 20-21
Option 2 Credits
Foundations 40
Secondary Education Core 20-23
Education Composite (only field) 45-60

It is the responsibility of the major department to verify that the various combinations of core classes and teaching field(s) do not exceed 80 credits.

Applied Associate Degrees occasionally have professional accrediting boards whose standards must be met, specific entrance requirements, and state or national examinations:

Foundations 17
Applied Associate 40-45

Associate Degrees are general in nature and usually allow for the option of continuing toward a Bachelor's degree:

Foundations 32
Associate 20-26

4.3.3 Foundations Substitution Modules

When outcomes for certain programs duplicate Foundation outcomes, department chairs may propose modules that can substitute for specific 200-level Foundations courses. The purpose of the substitution modules is to provide free electives. The modules must be part of an established major, not in addition to it. The substitution module satisfies the prescribed Foundation requirement, regardless of a student's major. It is the responsibility of the departments or colleges sponsoring the modules to demonstrate that the module meets the outcomes of the course(s) for which it substitutes, including interdisciplinary content. Proposed substitution modules are submitted to the associate dean of Foundations, who presents them to Curriculum Council for approval.

4.3.4 Curriculum

As faculty members design the curriculum for the various courses and programs offered, they focus on student learning; consistency in offerings through modularity; fostering students' academic self-reliance through choice, flexibility, and opportunity; and promoting a timely graduation.

Department chairs are tasked with reviewing new course proposals with the specific assignment to screen them carefully for course proliferation and over-specialization issues. They also seek to keep course content consistent with departmental outcomes and across sections (see 4.3.12 Department Evaluation). Department chairs seek the assistance of course leads for classes which have adjunct faculty members assigned to teach them. Either the program director or the course lead should provide guidance as faculty members (especially adjunct faculty members) select and order textbooks (see 3.3.6 Textbooks and Supplies).

Department chairs use the Curriculum Council Course Form to create, modify, or eliminate courses. The completed form is submitted to the appropriate college dean, who signs it and passes it along to the associate dean for presentation to the Curriculum Council. Changes to Foundations must also be approved by the dean of Foundations and Interdisciplinary Studies and by the University president. Approved changes become effective the next catalog year.

In creating new courses, department chairs must provide a curriculum map; propose unique and appropriate course numbers, names, and abbreviated titles; verify that both the student credit and the faculty load is in compliance with current University standards (see 2.2.1 Teaching Load); and provide a proposed syllabus. Proposed course fees must also be submitted to the President's Council for approval.

When eliminating courses, department chairs must show that removing the course will not adversely affect programs outside their own departments. Accommodations for phasing out a course or program must be made for students under previous catalogs to complete their programs in a timely manner. This may be accomplished by substituting new courses.

Curriculum Council Handbook
Curriculum Council Forms

4.3.5 Foundations Teaching Assignments

The Foundations program draws faculty members from across campus (see 1.3.1 Foundations). As participation in a Foundations teaching team can be an important form of professional development for a faculty member, department chairs facilitate broad participation and rotate the assignments at regular intervals.

4.3.6 Syllabi

Department chairs oversee the collection of electronic copies of each faculty member's syllabi (see 3.3.1 Syllabus). Because syllabi serve as contracts between faculty members and their students, they should be stored where they can be accessed as needed by the department chair, college dean, and Academic Office. 

4.3.7 Guest Speakers

Department chairs approve in advance guest speakers who visit one or more classes gathered in a single venue (see 3.3.10 Guest Speakers). When a particular guest returns frequently, as with many public school partners, department chairs may clear the person for the entire semester or academic year.

Department chairs ask their college dean to review and approve the names of guest speakers who visit with students at a gathering for an entire department or one of the majors within the department. Requests are submitted on the Speaker Request Form a month in advance, and the clearances are valid for one year. Invitations to general Church officers are usually issued by the Board of Trustees; therefore, the University president must approve in advance (and typically discourages) all such requests.

Advertising may be hung in hallways near the departments' regular classrooms and posted on the departments' web pages. Images and verbiage must clearly indicate the sponsor of the event and should focus on the event rather than just the speaker. All advertising materials must be approved by the academic representative of the University Communications Committee before they are printed and made public.

Guest Speaker Policy
Speaker Request Form

4.3.8 Academic Discovery Centers

Department chairs review the efforts of the Academic Discovery Centers to ensure the accuracy of the information students receive there (see 6.3.3 Academic Discovery Centers).

4.3.9 Faculty Mentoring

Department chairs ensure that effective mentoring of students occurs. They provide faculty members with appropriate training and information regarding career and graduate school opportunities for students. 

4.3.10 Late Passes for Students

Department chairs must approve late passes for students to be in a building after it is secured at night (see 2.4.9 Building Access and 3.3.20 Late Passes for Students). The form can be obtained from University Security and Safety.

4.3.11 Catalog

Department chairs prepare information for the University catalog one academic year in advance, carefully noting program changes and making sure the text is clear and accurate (see 6.3.2 Catalog). Important annual deadlines are established for this publication by the Student Records and Registration Office. These deadlines can be obtained from this office.

4.3.12 Department Evaluation

Department chairs conduct annual evaluations of the effectiveness of programs and faculty members and the status of resources. They compile pertinent documents, such as:

·   A statement of departmental program purposes and outcomes

·   Faculty Professional Development Plans from faculty members (see 2.3.2 Faculty Professional Development Plans)

·   Statistical information from the current academic year and the past four years (available in the Department Report Card from Institutional Research and Assessment)

·   A list of professional and curriculum projects completed during the year, including costs and results

·   A list of major accomplishments within the department during the past year (academic, personnel, facilities, fiscal, organizational)

The evaluation serves as a guide for planning and for the stewardship review (see 4.4.1 Stewardship Reviews and 4.5.4 Faculty Professional Development Interviews). Department chairs discuss their findings with their college deans.

4.3.13 Program Review

Every three years, each department undergoes a thorough program review by members of the Curriculum Council. The department chair and faculty members develop an assessment plan, outlining the elements to be measured and the data to be collected. The Institutional Research and Assessment officer can assist with gathering and analyzing statistical data. Input is sought from current students as well as graduates regarding the effectiveness of the department's programs. Resources are evaluated and new goals for the future are set. 

4.4 Resources

Department chairs have oversight of the resources entrusted to their departments. Every effort is made to keep costs low for students, to be frugal in the use of resources supported by sacred funds, and to create a professional environment where each employee can be successful in fulfilling his or her responsibilities.

4.4.1 Stewardship Reviews

In the spring of each year, department chairs prepare stewardship reviews, prioritizing their needs for new faculty, facilities, computers, capital equipment, and operating equipment. Department chairs also submit a list of budget issues (student wages, department expenses, and so forth) and new or expanded program requests. These items are reviewed by the appropriate college dean, the academic vice president, the University president, and the Commissioner of Church Education.

Following approval by the Church's Budget Committee and the Council on the Disposition of Tithes, department chairs administer their departments' budgets, approving expenditures throughout the year. 

4.4.2 Class Fees

Department chairs work with faculty members to complete the paperwork to request modest class fees (see 3.4.1 Class Fees). 

4.4.3 CASHNet Services

Department chairs may request permission from the Bursar's Office to establish an online "store front" for collecting payments for certain supplies which are kept by departments and distributed in class (see 3.4.2 Classroom Materials). The University has negotiated a contract with CASHNet for processing and recording the payments, which are automatically charged to students' account.

4.4.4 Financial Records

Department chairs are sent a monthly email at the posting of the previous month's General Ledger entries. Department chairs should review these entries with the office assistant on a monthly basis to ensure all expenditures and revenues are properly recorded and to ensure year-to-date expenses are within budget guidelines. Incorrect entries or suspicious expenditures should be reported to the Bursar.

Departments are expected to keep hard copy records for two years (the current year and one year in the past) for expenses and student payroll. Revenue receipts must be stored by the department for 5 years.

The General Ledger for the University is maintained online for at least a full decade. Expense records and expense receipts are stored by the University.

4.4.5 Personal Copies and Printing Fund

Faculty members should put money on their I-cards to cover the costs associated with personal photocopies (see 2.3.11 Conflict of Interest).

Department chairs may also identify a secure location (jar or box) for collecting money from faculty members who elect to use cash for personal printing (such as family documents or materials for Church assignments). When the fund totals $10, the money should be taken to the Cashiers Office and deposited into the department's general account.

4.4.6 Mobile Devices

Department chairs may request the adoption of mobile devices for CFS faculty members by preparing a proposal with cost estimates (including ongoing data or internet access charges) and routing it through their college deans to the associate academic vice president for support services. The proposal should clearly outline how the devices will be used to benefit the University.

If approved by the academic vice president, the documentation will be submitted to the director of Technology Support who will procure the devices, charging the approved account. Once the devices are received by Information Technology, they will be tagged and delivered to the authorized employees. As approved by the department chair, a purchasing card may be used for payment of the ongoing data or internet access costs. 

4.4.7 Hiring CFS and Visiting Faculty Members

Department chairs submit requests for new CFS and visiting faculty members to their college deans at the time of the annual stewardship review. Since the Board of Trustees must approve CFS and visiting faculty positions, the process takes a minimum of a full year (see 4.4.1 Stewardship Reviews).

Once a position is approved, the department chair develops a job description (see 6.4.2 Hiring CFS and Visiting Faculty Members). Announcements are posted by the Academic Office for one to three months, beginning in late summer. Department chairs are encouraged to broadly disseminate the announcements through other universities and professional associations, especially those with large numbers of Church members.

Once the applications for CFS and visiting positions have been gathered, department chairs and faculty members on the search committee evaluate the candidates. Access to application material is given with a high degree of trust, and it is essential that confidentiality be maintained. Information about candidates should not be shared with students, other candidates, family members, or individuals not directly involved in the hiring process.

It is the responsibility of the department chair to conduct a thorough review of the references on any principal candidates' application. The department chair and members of the department search committee should conduct a telephone or internet conference with all applicants of interest. These preliminary interviews must be conducted carefully to avoid questions that are not legal or ethical. They should also avoid any inference of a job offer to the applicants.

Each department chair provides a prioritized list of the top three candidates and two alternates to the college dean and the associate academic vice president for instruction within one week. (When two similar positions are open, a department chair may identify five candidates. When three positions are open, a department chair may identify seven candidates.)

The Academic Office arranges interview schedules for the candidates. The department chair conducts interviews with each candidate and coordinates a classroom teaching experience. The department chair invites CFS faculty members in the department to observe and critique the teaching experiences and actively seeks student feedback. Department chairs may also consider other informal ways for the faculty to interact with the candidates.

Immediately following the candidates' visits, the department chair holds a meeting with the members of the department search committee. All in attendance are given an opportunity to express their feelings. The department chair then represents the department in a decision meeting with the other academic leaders involved in the interviews. The University president, in counsel with the academic leaders, determines a principal candidate and an alternate to submit to the Board of Trustees for final clearance (for additional important information on this portion of the hiring process, see 6.4.2 Hiring CFS and Visiting Faculty Members).

The college dean contacts all candidates for visiting and full-time positions to inform them of the decisions reached.

Hiring for Approved Positions Policy

4.4.8 Hiring Adjunct Faculty Members

Adjunct faculty are employed to provide flexibility to programs to respond to enrollment demands and to provide coverage for leaves or Fellowships. Adjunct faculty are a preferred solution to CFS faculty overload. Adjuncts are also used to integrate professional practice in areas that benefit student learning.

Department chairs include program directors in the selection process which includes any interviews. Department chairs submit requests for new adjunct faculty members to their college dean's office using the Adjunct Faculty Request form. This form is due at the beginning of the preceding semester (approximately 4 months in advance of the needed start date). The HR office can assist a department in maintaining an interest list of potential candidates. Department chairs refer to this list when beginning a search for a new adjunct faculty member.

Where only one candidate is interviewed, the department chair clearly explains that a job is not being offered at that time. The department chair should also take care not to imply that the only hurdle is the ecclesiastical endorsement, as doing so places a significant and inappropriate pressure on the person's bishop.

Once the Academic Office receives an application, credential and ecclesiastical reviews are conducted. When clearance has been obtained, the department chair may offer the position to the candidate. They also notify an applicant when a job is not offered.

In order to assure a successful experience, care should be given to orient the new adjunct faculty member to the department and to the program. Materials such as course outcomes, sample syllabi, textbook, assessments, handouts, and presentations for the course should be assembled in advance of the semester. A CFS faculty member who has taught the same course should be assigned as a point of contact for each new adjunct faculty member,

Hiring for Approved Positions Policy
Adjunct Faculty Request Form

4.4.9 Hiring Online Instructors

When Online Operations determines there is sufficient student demand, based on internal forecasting reports and recommendations from department chairs and course leads, they may open additional online sections of a course.

Department chairs or course leads are asked to approve job descriptions before they are posted. Online Operations screens out applicants whose background and training do not meet minimum standards.

Candidates' applications are sent to the department chairs or Foundations team leads for their approval. The department chairs and Foundations team leads may contact candidates if they wish to conduct preliminary interviews.

From among the pool of candidates approved by the department chair or team lead, Online Operations conducts interviews to determine their fit with BYU-Idaho. Candidates are asked to enroll in an evaluation course which exposes them to the online course management system used at the University and assesses professionalism and participation in an online environment.

Candidates become qualified for hire when they successfully complete the interview with Online Operations and pass the evaluation course. Online Operations offers contracts on an as-needed basis. The names of qualified candidates who are not selected for immediate hire are retained for future use as positions become available. 

4.4.10 Hiring Staff

The President's Council approves open staff positions such as technicians and office assistants. The department chair reviews job descriptions for positions at the department level, making sure they accurately describe the work to be done. Human Resources posts the job descriptions and screens all interested individuals, selecting top candidates for review by the department chair.

The department chair schedules interviews and selects the best-qualified individual who will contribute to the professional environment in the department. Department chairs may include other faculty members in the process. At the interview, the department chair should clearly explain that the job is not yet being offered and should take care not to imply that the only hurdle is the ecclesiastical endorsement; doing so places a significant and inappropriate pressure on the applicant's bishop.

Human Resources completes reference checks and obtains the ecclesiastical clearance. They also assist in determining a beginning salary.

Recruitment of Administrative and Staff Employees Policy

4.4.11 Hiring Students

Students are eligible for on-campus employment during both on-track and off-track semesters; however, during on-track semesters they must be registered for at least 6 credits. Federal government regulations require proof of identity and eligibility to work in the United States.

Students are paid according to guidelines established by Human Resources and the President's Council. Important eligibility requirements for on- and off-track students, international students, number of hours per week, and beginning and ending dates are available in the full University policy.  

Student Employment Policy

4.4.12 Hiring Retired Faculty Members

As a general rule, retired BYU-Idaho faculty members are not rehired. However, on exceptional bases, the University may hire recently retired faculty members to help fill voids caused by mission calls to current faculty members, Fellowships, long-term illnesses, and unexpected turnover.

There are potentially serious compliance and benefit issues involved with retirees returning to employment. Human Resources must be consulted in each situation where a retiree is being considered as a candidate.

Retired faculty members are contracted on a temporary, year-to-year basis for specific time periods (not to exceed 3 years) to perform part-time teaching or administrative assignments or to offer specialized assistance. Any contracts exceeding those parameters need prior approval from the Commissioner of Church Education.

Retired faculty members who are rehired receive pay in addition to their regular retirement checks.

4.4.13 Securing Church Service Missionaries

Department chairs may request the assistance of Human Resources in recruiting Church Service missionaries to meet specific needs. Church Service missionaries usually work 8-32 hours per week for 6-24 months.

4.4.14 Nepotism

A person may not be employed in a position within the administrative scope of control of a near relative. Scope of control would include decisions related to hiring, promotions, compensation, benefits, job duties, work schedules, supervision, work performance, discipline, use of facilities or equipment, etc. This policy applies to all full-time, part-time, student, and visiting employees. Individuals should not be contracted for services (as independent contractors) under the scope of control of a near relative.

University policy defines near relatives as parents, siblings, spouses, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, grandparents, in-laws, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and first cousins.

Exceptions may be made where extenuating circumstances or special professional preparation is required for a position. Requests for exceptions are made in writing and submitted for approval to the academic vice president.

Student employees should not be employed in the same department or in close proximity to a near relative who is a full-time, part-time, or visiting employee. Although not encouraged as a normal practice, student employees who are related may be hired in peer roles within a department if the individuals are considered the most suitably qualified candidates. Department chairs should carefully consider the potential issues and impacts of employing relatives and should consult with college deans before hiring. Department chairs and office assistants are responsible to ensure that related student employees do not have any scope of control responsibilities.

Employment of Relatives Policy

4.4.15 Memberships in Professional Organizations

Department chairs may apply for departmental memberships in professional organizations with the approval of their college deans. Budget permitting, department chairs may also pay up to $300 per year per faculty member for memberships in professional organizations.

4.4.16 Subscriptions to Journals and Magazines

Department chairs may subscribe to journals and magazines that keep faculty members current with developments in their disciplines. Publications purchased by a department are owned by the University; they do not become the private property of one department member after circulation.

4.5 Human Relations

Department chairs oversee the Continuing Faculty Status process for new hires, review Faculty Professional Development Plans, monitor adherence to standards, approve personal leave requests, work with office assistants and other staff employees, and generally promote morale in their departments. They strive to strengthen their colleagues "in all [their] conversation, in all [their] prayers, in all [their] exhortations, and in all [their] doings" (Doctrine and Covenants 108:7).

4.5.1 Continuing Faculty Status Process

Department chairs play a very important role in assisting faculty members seeking CFS (see 2.1.4 Continuing Faculty Status). Department chairs and office assistants collect data from interviews; materials generated by the new faculty members, classroom observations, comments from the CFS mentor and committee members, summaries of course evaluations, and anecdotal records regarding campus citizenship.

Department chairs, in consultation with college deans, write yearly status reports which recognize faculty members' progress and note any concerns. The reports are coded at the end of the letter with one of three designations:

·   Green: no concerns, good progress

·   Yellow: some concerns (which are noted)

·   Red: important concerns needing discussion and correction

One copy of the report is sent to the associate academic vice president for instruction; a second is given to the faculty member; and a third copy is filed in the CFS binder.

4.5.2 Faculty Load

Department chairs review teaching assignments and approved PDLs and Fellowships to ensure that the load for each faculty member meets approved guidelines for the type of contract he or she has accepted (see 2.2.2 Faculty Load Contracts and 4.3.1 Faculty Load). 

Department chairs are responsible for appropriately distributing faculty load assignments among CFS, visiting, and adjunct faculty members and for avoiding overload.

4.5.3 Faculty Professional Development Plans

Department chairs actively seek means of keeping faculty members current with trends in their discipline and with instructional innovations. Discussion of development plans happen during the faculty member's annual interview with the department chair. In this interview, department chairs review past activities, evaluate upcoming plans and activities, and place comments on the Faculty Professional Development Plans (see 2.3.2 Faculty Professional Development Plans). The plans are stored electronically and can be reviewed by the individual faculty members, their department chair and college dean, and the Academic Office.

4.5.4 Faculty Professional Development Interviews

Department chairs conduct interviews with each of their CFS and visiting faculty members on an annual basis, reviewing upcoming teaching assignments, the Faculty Professional Development Plan, and communicating performance expectations (see 2.3.2 Faculty Professional Development Plans and 2.3.3 Faculty Performance). These interviews afford an important opportunity to recognize efforts, provide counsel, and offer encouragement. The interview coordinates service assignments, PDLs, Fellowships, administrative leaves, and resource needs. They also review and discuss activities that positively and negatively impact a faculty member's ability to fulfill their role at the University. Where needed, the faculty member uses this information to complete a Conflict of Interest Disclosure form (see 2.3.4 Professional Development Leaves and Faculty Learning Fellowships, 2.3.8 Campus Service Assignments, 2.3.9 Campus Administrative Assignments, and 2.4.13 Professional Development Funding).

As they meet with faculty members, department chairs follow the counsel of Elder David A. Bednar and seek for the gift of discernment, "which in its highest and noblest manifestation is detecting and helping to develop the good within a person that he or she may not see within himself or herself" ("Faculty Address," Brigham Young University-Idaho Faculty Meeting, August 27, 2002). Department chairs can suggest or require specific campus resources to assist in a faculty member's development, such as a consultation with the Instructional Development Office, a conference with a course lead, or a class from Academic Technology Services (see 2.4.12 Professional Development Support).

When a faculty member has teaching, behavioral, or citizenship concerns, a department chair uses the annual interview to establish a remediation plan (see 2.5.12 Remediation and 2.5.13 Discipline and Termination).

4.5.5 Office Assistants

Office assistants are a vital part of the success of a department. In most cases, the office assistants have longer tenure in their positions than do department chairs. Counseling with the office assistant can yield great insight. Their capacity to do significant work is a tremendous assistance to the department and the department chair.

Generally, office assistants assist with class scheduling; day to day financial record tracking; oversight of student employees; ordering of materials; scheduling meetings; arrangements involving full-time and adjunct hiring; and assisting the department chair and, where feasible, department faculty members with correspondence and other communication needs.

Office assistants should not be asked to work overtime or to do personal tasks. Department chairs should also be certain that office assistants are not pressured by faculty members regarding classes they prefer to teach or hours they prefer scheduled. Office assistants should understand and comply with all adjunct hiring and financial procedures and should always route these issues through the department chair.

In addition to training provided by the department chair, department office assistants also receive training from office assistants in the college office and the Academic Office. Special note: Faculty professional development funds should not be used for office assistant training or other expenses including travel (see related subsections of 4.4 and 6.2.20 Office Assistant Trainings).

4.5.6 Classroom Visits

Department chairs, assistants to chairs, and program directors visit the classrooms of faculty members including adjunct faculty members. They should also promote classroom visits among all faculty members in their departments as a means of encouraging exchanges in learning and teaching techniques.

4.5.7 Personal Leaves

Department chairs approve the requests of faculty members to miss classes for school business, emergency, or personal matters (see 2.4.16 Personal Leaves). Department chairs notify college deans of absences that extend beyond two days and verify that classes are covered.

4.5.8 Retirement Socials

Retirement socials are planned, funded, and carried out at the department level (see 2.4.18 Retirement). They should be modest in scope and cost and should be handled in an equitable way for all retirees. 

4.5.9 Birthday Celebrations

Birthday celebrations should be brief and modest. At the department chair's discretion, simple refreshments may be purchased by the department. Birthday gifts should not be purchased with University funds.

4.5.10 Gifts

Department chairs may use University funds to purchase gifts that recognize extraordinary service. Such tokens should send a message of gratitude and recognition, not compensation. Federal tax regulations do not allow cash or cash equivalents (including gift cards) to be given as perks outside of the payroll system.

Gifts or flowers for weddings, births, illnesses, anniversaries, Christmas, or funerals should not be purchased with University funds. Department chairs should report births, hospitalizations, and deaths to University Relations, as that office provides appropriate acknowledgments (see 2.5.8 Holiday Gifts).

4.5.11 Sponsoring Non-University Organizations

When a department or its faculty members are part of a professional organization, the department chair may request permission from the associate academic vice president for support services to host a professional conference, seminar, or workshop. The department chair consults with the Strategic Management Council to ensure the availability of facilities and compliance with campus policy. Faculty members in the department must be actively engaged in planning and participating in the event. The sponsoring department chair is responsible for scheduling campus facilities, coordinating the financial arrangements, and compiling a list of all proposed speakers, including those who will present in workshops or seminar sessions.

When the speakers will be addressing only faculty members and students, the college dean may approve the names. When the audience will include members of the professional organization who are not associated with BYU-Idaho, the academic vice president must approve the names.  

Scheduling Request
Speaker Request Form

4.5.12 Academic Societies

Department chairs foster a sense of community and professional preparation through the academic societies sponsored by their departments. Faculty members from within the department are assigned to oversee the leadership and activities of societies. No load is given for these assignments. The associate academic vice president for student connections coordinates and oversees the academic societies on campus.

Policies and procedures listed in the Student Society Policies cover financial issues, hosting and guest speakers, ecclesiastical issues, travel, scheduling, etc. Requests for exceptions are requested with the AAVP of Student Connections. In addition, the Society Handbook details funding, dues, activities, and all posted online.

Socities may collect dues, but should be used during the year collected. Account balances are not carried over from year to year. Societies may not solicit cash or other financial donations from outside sources. Additional funding for socities is requested through the annual stewardship review process.

Academic Societies Website
Society Forms
Societies Student Leadership Information

4.5.13 Student Grievances

When a student approaches a department chair to complain about a faculty member, the department chair invites the student to meet with the faculty member privately first (see Doctrine and Covenants 42:88). If the student indicates that such a meeting has already taken place or would be inappropriate, the department chair listens to the student's complaint. If appropriate, the department chair invites the student to file a formal grievance in writing (see 3.5.7 Student Grievances in Campus Courses and 3.5.8 Student Grievances in Online Courses).

The department chair then meets with the faculty member to discuss the complaint. The student may be invited to meet with the department chair and faculty member to resolve the complaint. If the student is satisfied, he or she signs the form indicating that a resolution was achieved. If unsatisfied, the student may ask the department chair to sign that he or she has reviewed the complaint. The student may then take the grievance to the appropriate college dean for resolution.  

A student generally must initiate a formal grievance no later than the end of the semester following the semester in which the alleged grievance occurred. The burden of persuasion to allow for the late filing of a grievance is upon the student and may be allowed or disallowed by a department chair or college dean (see also 3.5.8 Student Grievances in Online Courses).

Student Grievance Form
Online Student Grievance Form