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Plan of Organization

I. Purpose

The purpose of this Plan of Organization is to specify the means by which the Department of Linguistics discharges its educational and research functions and plays its proper role in university affairs. The main elements in the organization are the chair, the Faculty Advisory Committee, the Department Council and the Department Assembly.

II. Department Chair

a. The chair is appointed in the first instance by the college dean (and ultimately by the president) for a three-year term on the advice of the Department Council or, in the event of an external appointment, by a search committee where faculty from the Department of Linguistics constitutes a majority. The Department Council shall decide whether to select a chair from inside or outside and communicate this decision to the dean. All members of the department have the right to submit evaluations of recommended candidates to the search committee, the dean and the president.

b. Duties of the Chair:

i. To act as the chief representative and advocate for the department.

ii. To promote and engage in superior teaching, service, performance and research in the department.

iii. To consult with the Faculty Advisory Committee in implementing major decisions in areas such as budget, planning, curriculum and personnel.

iv. To plan and administer the department's budget, subject to consultation and review by the dean.

v. To make recommendations with respect to tenure and non-tenure appointments and promotions, as specified in applicable university regulations.

vi. To promote faculty recruitment and renewal and to promote affirmative action policies.

vii. To administer the curriculum and related programs and to maintain appropriate advising systems for students.

viii. To solicit the active participation of faculty and students in departmental affairs and to communicate policies.

ix. To preside over meetings of the Faculty Advisory Committee, the Department Council and the Department Assembly.

III. Faculty Advisory Committee

The Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) consists of the chair and two members of the Department Council to be elected for the duration of one academic year by the Department Council. Any member of the Department Council may attend meetings of the FAC without vote, except when the committee deems a closed session necessary. The FAC meets every two weeks during the academic year at preannounced times and advises the chair on major decisions in areas such as budget, planning, curriculum and personnel. Decisions are by consensus where possible and otherwise by majority vote. If the chair takes an action contrary to a FAC recommendation, they provide the FAC with an explanation for the decision. The FAC appoints appointment and promotion committees.

IV. Department Council

The Department Council consists of the regular (lecturer and professorial) and visiting faculty members, a number (one third of the number of FTE faculty lines) of graduate representatives drawn from students in good standing and elected by the graduate student organization and an undergraduate. The council's primary function is to determine department policies and initiatives; to elect members of the FAC, the graduate director, director of graduate admissions and the undergraduate director; and to advise on the appointment of the chair. The council shall meet at least once a semester and meetings are called by the chair or by one half of the council membership. The meetings shall be announced at least one week in advance. Meetings are open to any member of the Department Assembly, who may attend but not vote. There shall be an agenda, circulated to members in advance; a written record shall be kept of decisions and recommendations and that record shall be approved at the next meeting. The quorum shall be one half of the regular faculty and student representatives. Decisions shall be consensus where possible and otherwise by simple majority of those present; the chair may break a tied vote.

V. Department Assembly

The Department Assembly consists of the regular, visiting, affiliate and adjunct faculty, all graduate students who have been admitted to the program, all undergraduates majoring in linguistics and clerical staff employed by the department. It shall meet at least once a year as a forum for discussion of department policies and initiatives. Additional meetings may be called by the Department Council.

The assembly shall hear reports from the chair and graduate and undergraduate Directors. The assembly may offer observations and recommendations following each of these reports.

VI. Appointments and Promotion

The FAC shall appoint committees to consider the appointment and promotion of faculty members.

i. To appoint somebody from outside, a committee of at least three faculty members and one of the graduate student representatives shall recommend candidates to the Department Council.

ii. To tenure or promote a faculty member from within, a committee of at least three faculty members and a regular department member of higher rank than the candidate shall make a recommendation to the dean, in accordance with university policy (as outlined in the College Plan of Organization and the Presidential Guidelines for the Evaluation of Faculty Members Considered for Promotion and Tenure). That committee shall consist only of faculty members of higher rank than the candidate and shall not include the chair, who makes an independent recommendation to the dean. A positive recommendation shall require support from a simple majority of those present.

iii. In the event of there being fewer than three departmental members available for a tenure or promotion committee, the FAC shall recommend non-departmental members for appointment to the committee by the dean; they shall hold a rank at least as high as that to which the candidate would be promoted.

VII. Graduate Director

The graduate director shall establish procedures for advising graduate students, approve their class schedules each semester, maintain appropriate records, monitor students' progress, make recommendations to the Department Council concerning nominations for fellowships and discontinuation of financial support, etc., act as the principal departmental liaison with the Graduate School and schedule and administer M.A. and Ph.D. defenses.

VIII. Graduate Admissions Director

The graduate admissions director shall attend to correspondence with (prospective) applicants to the graduate program, solicit high quality applications and prepare documentation for a Graduate Admissions Committee. With the advice of at least two faculty members, appointed by the Department Council, they shall recommend the admission of selected candidates to the Graduate School and submit the names of qualified applicants for assistantships and fellowships to the Department Council for discussion and approval.

IX. Undergraduate Director

The undergraduate director shall establish procedures for advising undergraduates concerning major requirements, internships and career opportunities.They shall administer policy regarding the awarding of degrees with a major in linguistics, approve students' course enrollments where necessary and  recommend students for graduation as they complete the major requirements.

X. Leaves of absence and sabbaticals

Faculty members may request a leave of absence without pay or a sabbatical leave. Requests must be made at least six months in advance of the proposed leave and one year in advance for a sabbatical leave. Requests shall be evaluated by the Department Council.

XI. Department Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Association shall include all full- and part-time students who are actively pursuing an advanced degree in linguistics at the University of Maryland. The organization and function of the association shall be determined by its members in accordance with a broadly representative method of election and decision-making and with the Department Plan of Organization.

XII. Voting by Proxy

If a member cannot attend a meeting and wishes to have a vote recorded, they may request of the relevant committee a proxy vote for a specific issue, depositing a written or e-mail vote with the chair before the meeting.

XIII. Amendments

Amendments to this Plan of Organization shall be presented to the Department Council in writing. A two-thirds majority vote of those present shall be required for adoption.

June 1991