The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York
English Doctoral Program Governance
I. Organization of the English Program
- The English Program shall have an Executive Officer (EO) who is responsible for the overall administration and oversight of the affairs of the program in accordance with the policies established by the program faculty, Graduate Council, and the Board of Trustees.
i. The EO shall be appointed by the president for a term of three years, which is renewable.
ii. The duties of the EO shall include but not be limited to:
- appointing two English faculty member as Deputy Executive Officers (DEO) and a Student Progress Officer for a term concurrent with the EO’s term;
- serving as chair and presiding at meetings of the English faculty, the Executive Committee, the Faculty Membership Committee, and the Elections Committee;
- serving as an ex officio voting member on all program committees;
- serving as ex officio member on all working groups or appointing a designee to serve in his or her place;
- convening meetings with English faculty, the Executive Committee, and the doctoral students of the English program;
- determining which courses shall be offered each semester and assigning faculty to teach these courses after consultation with representative groups of faculty and students ;
- initiating policies and actions concerning the affairs of the program, subject to the powers delegated by this governance document by the English program faculty and the Executive Committee;
- working with the chairs of the CUNY college English departments to develop procedures for making new faculty appointments useful both to the college departments and to The Graduate School;
- trying to ensure that, when department chairs recruit part-time faculty, they give preference to qualified students enrolled in the doctoral programs, in accordance with the policies of The City University of New York; and
- recommending directly to the Provost the temporary appointment of individuals to the doctoral faculty of the English program, to meet emergency needs, for a period of either one semester or one year, in which case the temporary appointments shall not be repeated for a cumulative total of more than two semesters, and the appointee shall not have voting rights in the program and shall not serve on program committees, and the EO shall notify the Faculty Membership Committee and the Executive Committee of the appointments.
- There shall be two Deputy Executive Officers (DEO) appointed by the EO for a term concurrent with the EO’s term.
i. The duties of the DEOs shall include but not be limited to collaborating with the EO on matters pertaining to the program.
ii. One DEO shall be responsible primarily for coordinating matters pertaining to admissions and financial Aid; the other DEO shall be responsible primarily for coordinating matters pertaining to placement.
- There shall be one Student Progress Officer (SPO) appointed by the EO for a term concurrent with the EO’s term.
i. The duties of the SPO shall be to:
- monitor the progress of all students;
- communicate with students who are not making satisfactory progress; and
- advise the Registrar to remove holds from students who have fulfilled the criteria to be considered as making satisfactory progress.
- The English Students Association (ESA) shall be recognized by the English program as the sole policy-making body of the students in the English program.
i. The ESA shall be responsible for:
- conveying the views of the students on matters pertaining to any aspect of the program;
- conducting the elections of the students to the program standing committees through the students elected to the Elections Committee.
- There shall be an Executive Committee of the English program that shall consist of the EO, the two DEOs, the chair of the Curriculum and Examinations Committee, at least six additional faculty members, and four student members.
i. Faculty members of the Executive Committee shall be elected from among the ranks of the program faculty for a term of three years concurrent with the EO’s appointment.
ii. The Executive Committee shall include at least one faculty member from each senior college substantially participating in the program, in which “substantially participating” is defined as having at minimum six members on the faculty of the program, and there shall be at minimum one faculty member of the committee who is not the EO or the DEOs who holds a Graduate School appointment.
iii. There shall be no more than two elected faculty members from any single college.
iv. Student members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by their fellow students for a term of one year.
v. There shall be at minimum one faculty alternate for each elected faculty member who shall serve for a term of three years concurrent with the EO’s appointment.
vi. Students and faculty may be reelected.
vii. There shall be two student alternates being the student candidates who received the next highest number of votes, and, if an elected student member should take a leave of absence or step down from the committee, then the alternate shall replace the student for the remainder of the term, and the student who received the next highest number of votes after the current alternates shall become a new alternate.
viii. There shall be at minimum two faculty alternates being the faculty candidates who received the next highest number of votes, and, if an elected faculty member should vacate his or her seat, then the faculty alternate who received the highest number of votes shall fill the vacant seat, and the faculty candidate who received the next highest number of votes after the current alternates shall become a new alternate.
ix. There shall be at minimum one faculty alternate for each substantially participating college, one who holds a Graduate School appointment, and one who is neither from a substantially participating college nor holds a Graduate School appointment.
x. In the case of tie votes for the election of members and alternates to the Executive Committee, the Elections Committee shall break the tie via a blind method of random selection.
II. Standing Committees
- The English Program shall have the following standing committees:
i. The Executive Committee,
ii. The Admissions and Awards Committee,
iii. The Committee on Program Diversity,
iv. The Curriculum and Examinations Committee,
v. The Elections Committee, and
vi. The Faculty Membership Committee.
- Student members serving on the standing committees shall be matriculated in the English program for the duration of the student’s term; if a student is not matriculated, then the student shall be considered to have vacated his or her seat, which will be filled by the student candidate who received the next highest number of votes.
- Faculty members serving on the standing committees shall temporarily vacate their seats if they take a leave of absence, and the seat shall be filled temporarily by the faculty candidate who received the next highest number of votes, or a temporary appointment shall be made by the EO to the vacant seat for the period when the faculty member is on leave.
- If a faculty or student member of a committee decides to vacate his or her seat, then the seat shall be filled by following the same procedure indicated above.
III. General Procedures for Committees
- a. Election and Appointment Procedures
i. The student members of each standing committee shall be elected by and from the students matriculated in the English program at the time that the elections are conducted.
ii. Student members may be appointed to ad hoc committees or working groups either by the committee that establishes the ad hoc committee or working group or by the ESA Co-Chairs where appropriate.
iii. The faculty members of each standing committee shall be either elected or appointed from the current faculty in the English program as specified in the description of each committee.
iv. Faculty members who are on leave may be elected or appointed to a committee or working group.
v. Students may be reelected, and faculty may be reelected or reappointed to any committee or working group.
- b. Meetings
i. Unless otherwise specified, each committee shall meet at minimum once per semester.
- c. Alternates
i. Each standing committee shall have two student alternates and two faculty alternates, unless otherwise specified.
ii. The alternates shall attend each meeting of the standing committee to which they are either elected or appointed with voice but no vote, unless a voting member of the committee is absent in which case a student alternate shall be granted voting rights in place of an absent student, and a faculty alternate shall be granted voting rights in the place of an absent faculty member.
iii. Elected faculty alternates for each committee shall the faculty candidates who received the next highest number of votes.
iv. Elected student alternates for each committee shall be the student candidates who received the next highest number of votes.
v. The elected alternate who received the higher number of votes shall have precedence to serve in the place of an absent elected committee member and shall have precedence in replacing an elected member in the case that the elected member either temporarily or permanently vacates a seat.
vi. The EO shall indicate the order of precedence for appointed alternates at the time of appointment.
vii. In the case that an alternate fills a vacated seat on a committee, then an elected alternate’s seat shall be filled by the candidate who received the next highest number of votes, and an appointed alternate’s seat shall be filled by a new appointment by the EO.
viii. If there are no runners-up for an election, then the EO shall appoint a faculty alternate to a vacant faculty seat, and the ESA Co-Chairs shall appoint a student alternate to a vacant student seat.
- d. Committee Chairs
i. The duties of the committee shall include:
- calling the meetings of the committee, giving preference to dates in which the chair can attend and the greatest number of voting members of the committee, both student and faculty members, can attend;
- setting the agenda of each meeting; and
- presiding over each meeting in accordance to the procedures outlined in section VII.a of this document.
ii. If a chair of a committee is absent from a meeting, then the EO or his or her designee shall serve as chair for that meeting.
- e. Quorum
i. Quorum for each committee shall be defined as one more than one half of the number of seats on the committee.
ii. A motion shall be considered valid only if it receives a total of affirmative votes equal to or greater than one more than one half of the number of seats on the committee.
- f. Minutes and Agenda
i. The agendum for each meeting of a standing committee shall be distributed to the members and alternates of that committee at minimum seven days before the meeting.
ii. The agendum shall be voted on by the committee before the meeting may proceed, and motions to amend the agendum may be made by any voting member of the committee.
iii. The agendum shall include a vote on the approval of the minutes from the previous meeting, and the minutes from the previous meeting shall be sent to all committee members with the agendum.
iv. Minutes for the meetings of the standing committees shall be filed with the EO at minimum seven days after the meeting.
v. At minimum, the minutes shall include:
- a record of those members present and absent;
- the time the meeting is called to order and adjourned;
- the wording of each motion voted on as well as the member who made the motion, the member who seconded the motion, and the final tally of the vote on the motion;
- if the committee enters into executive session, then the minutes shall record the time of the motion to enter executive session, the topic to be discussed in executive session, the member who motioned, the member who seconded, the tally of the vote to enter into executive session, the time the executive session ended, and the outcome of every vote taken in executive session; and
- every motion made, including motions that failed to receive a second.
vi. The agendum and minutes for each meeting shall be made available for faculty and students in the English program.
IV. Standing Committees
- a. Executive Committee
i. The EO shall serve as Chair of the Executive Committee.
ii. The Executive Committee shall meet at minimum once a semester with the students matriculated in the English program.
iii. The Executive Committee shall meet with the faculty of the English program at minimum once per academic year at which meeting the EO shall preside.
iv. The Executive Committee shall meet at minimum four times per semester.
v. The Executive Committee shall maintain a list of Area Groups appropriate to the subfields in English.
vi. The Executive Committee shall have the authority for the operation of the program between the stated meetings of the program’s faculty subject to the policies established by the faculty.
vii. The Executive Committee may make recommendations to the appropriate committees of Graduate Council and to the administration of The Graduate School.
viii. The Executive Committee, in coordination with the Faculty Membership Committee, shall conduct a continuing review of the faculty of the English program.
ix. The Executive Committee shall consider the appointment, reappointment, and removal of faculty based on the recommendations of the Faculty Membership Committee.
x. The Executive Committee shall recommend policies and procedures on dissertations.
xi. The Executive Committee shall have the power to create ad-hoc committees and working groups.
xii. A motion to create an ad-hoc committee or working group shall include (1) the specific purpose of the committee or working group, (2) how long the committee or working group shall remain in existence, (3) the composition of the committee or working group, and (4) the minimum number of times the committee or working group must meet per semester.
xiii. The agendum for each meeting shall be distributed to the members of the committee at minimum seven days before the meeting shall be held.
xiv. In the fall semester of the final year of the Executive Officer’s current term, the Executive Committee shall conduct a review of the English program governance to ensure that it reflects current governance practice and remains in compliance with the most recent Graduate School governance, Board of Trustees policy, and New York State law, making any necessary amendments and revisions.
- b. Admissions and Awards Committee
i. The Admissions and Awards Committee shall consist of the EO, both DEOs, thirteen faculty appointed by the EO, and five students.
ii. The Admissions and Awards Committee shall have no alternates.
iii. The DEOs shall serve as co-chairs of the committee.
iv. The committee shall recommend admissions and awards procedures and standards for the program to the Executive Committee for its consideration and administer these procedures in accordance with these standards;
- c. Committee on Program Diversity
i. The Committee on Program Diversity shall consist of the DEO of Admissions ex officio, eight faculty members appointed by the EO, and six student members, as well as two student alternates.
ii. The Committee on Program Diversity shall recommend procedures to increase the number of minority students applying to the program; to increase support for African American and African Diaspora studies; to promote racial diversity across all areas of study; to increase support for minority students in the program; and to work with other offices in the Graduate Center, as appropriate, in realizing these goals.
iii. The Committee on Program Diversity shall submit recommendations regarding diversity and recruitment to the Executive Committee, the Admissions and Awards Committee, and the Faculty Membership Committee where appropriate.
- d. Curriculum and Examinations Committee
i. The Curriculum and Examinations Committee shall consist of seven faculty members appointed by the EO as well as two student members and two student alternates.
ii. The Curriculum and Examinations Committee shall review the curriculum and submit curriculum recommendations to the Executive Committee for its consideration and recommend procedures and standards for the conduct of the examinations in the English program.
iii. The Curriculum and Examinations Committee shall not grade exams.
- e. Elections Committee
i. The Elections Committee shall consist of the EO, both DEOs, and two student members elected by and from the matriculated students of the English program.
ii. The election of student members to each standing committee shall be conducted by the student members of the committee via the ESA elections.
iii. The EO shall appoint the faculty members to each standing committee that has members appointed rather than elected as specified by this document.
iv. The faculty members of the Elections Committee shall conduct the election of faculty to each standing committee that has its faculty members elected.
v. The elections conducted by the committee shall proceed by a preferential ballot.
vi. The Elections Committee shall set the policies and procedures for the election and appointment of faculty and students to the standing committees, ad hoc committees, and working groups.
vii. The Elections Committee shall certify the election results of both faculty and students.
viii. Elections shall proceed by means of an election by mail, email, or other electronic means as specified by the Elections Committee.
- f. Faculty Membership Committee
i. The Faculty Membership committee shall consist of the EO, nine elected faculty, and two students as well as two student alternates.
ii. There shall be no more than two elected faculty members from any single college and no more than two elected faculty members from a single Area Group.
iii. The Faculty Membership Committee shall:
- nominate members of the program’s faculty with a view toward including in the doctoral program faculty newly appointed at the CUNY colleges;
- maintain a roster of potential doctoral faculty appointments;
- record annually the status of those faculty members currently designated;
- review all other actions taken in regard to membership on the doctoral faculty;
- establish and review criteria employed by the program for the nomination to and the continuance on the doctoral faculty in the English program; criteria for nomination and continuance shall include at minimum:
- a determination that the faculty member will make a significant contribution relevant to the needs of the program and
- evidence of significant research relevant to the doctoral program, or evidence of qualification to teach a doctoral course or provide other doctoral-level training, or evidence of qualification to supervise doctoral dissertations or other graduate-level research.
iv. The committee shall forward its recommendations to the Executive Committee for its consideration.
V. Program Meetings
- The Executive Committee of each program shall call at least one meeting a year of the faculty and present a report to the faculty; at any meeting of the program faculty, a quorum shall consist of the lesser of 25 persons or 50 percent of the faculty.
VI. Program Faculty
- The English faculty, through its members on the Standing Committees of the program, shall have responsibility to establish policies for the program.
- At any meeting of the faculty, a quorum being present, the faculty of each program may vote to make direct recommendations without Executive Committee approval to the appropriate committee of the Graduate Council, including the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council, or to the administration on any matter that affects them.
- Upon permanent appointment to the English doctoral faculty, a faculty member receives full rights and duties.
- Only permanent members of the English doctoral faculty may teach a doctoral-level course more than twice or chair dissertation committees.
- A member of the English faculty may be removed from the doctoral faculty on the recommendation of the Executive Committee after receiving a recommendation to remove from the Faculty Membership Committee but only after the member has been given one year’s prior notice of the intention to remove.
- A faculty member who has been recommended for removal may appeal the decision to remove to the program’s Executive Committee, the Provost, and the President.
VII. Program Students
- Students have responsibility through the student members of the Executive Committee, the standing committees, other program committees, and the ESA Co-Chairs to make known their views on matters and policies governing the English program.
- Students who serve on any standing committee shall be matriculated in the English program for the duration of their term; if a student member of a committee takes a leave of absence or fails to matriculate, then the student’s seat shall be filled by the procedures outlined above.
- Students serving on the standing committees shall have voice and vote unless otherwise specified by this governance document.
- Students of the English program may make direct recommendations to the appropriate committee of Graduate Council or to the administration for immediate consideration on any matter that affects them if at least 10 percent of the matriculated students support those recommendations, in which support may be indicated by a voted referendum or a signed petition.
- VIII. Rules of Order
- The procedures within English Program committees shall be governed by the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised in cases in which they are applicable and not inconsistent with the Graduate School Governance and this governance document.
IX. Amendments to this Document
- This governance document may be amended by the Executive Committee after an affirmative majority vote and after timely notification of the proposed changes to the program’s faculty and students.
- If at least 30 percent of the doctoral faculty or 30 percent of the matriculated students in a program sign a proposal to change the program’s structure, the proposal shall be forwarded directly to the Committee on Structure of the Graduate Council for its consideration.
Approved by the Executive Committee, April 19, 2013