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Guidelines for Divisions in the College of Engineering

Approved by the ELT on May 26, 2011

Over the last five years, the principles and processes related to divisions in the College of Engineering have been documented in the following three documents:

  • Definition of Divisions: This document provides a definition, statement of attributes, and process for the establishment of a division in the College of Engineering. The Engineering Leadership Team (ELT) created and adopted this document in the fall of 2005.
  • Faculty Appointments Document: This document describes the processes by which faculty may be formally involved with divisions. The document was an outgrowth of discussions that followed the creation of the Definition of Divisions document. The Faculty Appointments Document had input from the Engineering Area Promotion Committee (EAPC), and was generated and approved in the spring of 2007.
  • Budget Model for Divisions: This document describes a budget model that was proposed to address issues such as accounting of research expenditures and distribution of resources. The model and associated processes were developed by the ELT finance team to ensure that schools and divisions do not compete against one another.  The document was produced in the spring of 2008.

The principles and processes described in these documents have been put in place to guide the operations of divisions in the CoE.  Over the last several years, a variety of issues have surfaced that suggest that gaps exist within these documents. The following list describes these issues and in some cases proposes suggestions aimed at bridging these gaps by documenting past practices or recommending actions that will enable divisions to provide an excellent interdisciplinary engineering experience:

  1. For each degree it is committed to deliver, a division will define a curriculum and the number of FTE faculty and other resources necessary to deliver it. This would also include resources internal to a division AND external to division (such as courses taken in schools and other units).
  2. The Faculty Appointments Document describes various types of faculty associations with divisions (joint appointments, affiliates, etc.), and specifies the duration of each association. For joint appointments, the appointment period will nominally be 3 years. If at some point, the faculty member and/or head(s) would like to change the appointment they should give at least 6 months notice. Then, a transition plan needs to be developed by the faculty member and relevant heads. Once the plan is agreed upon in writing, it will be sent to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for approval.
  3. In the case of Assistant Professors with joint appointments, similar to guidelines for all joint appointments in the CoE, the appointment will be 25% in the division and 75% in the tenure school. For more senior hires, this appointment is not limited to this 25%/75% model.
  4. A division will have a curriculum committee that will guide the development of an interdisciplinary program of study, and manage issues such as cross-listing of courses with other units. The division will follow the same CoE Curriculum Committee EFD process as do the schools. The current CoE By-laws do not include division membership in the CoE Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Affairs Committee; The ELT is charging the FAC to  make the appropriate changes in the CoE By-laws.
  5. Since divisions are, by definition, interdisciplinary academic programs it is expected and encouraged that course offerings by divisions be cross-listed when appropriate. Of course, course offerings by schools should also be cross-listed when appropriate. All participants in such cross-listed course offerings (in particular heads of schools and divisions) should agree to any change in the listing of a course before any change is implemented.
  6. It is expected that space allocation for divisions would come from the CoE Flexibly Allocated Space.  Similar to processes for allocation of all such space, the time frame for the allocation would depend on the nature of the need, the availability of space and the status of the division within the CoE.  Space will be assigned via a space use agreement. If division space needs are identified to have significantly changed, a transition plan will be prepared by the head of the division to respond to the change in needs. The plan will be developed in collaboration with the Associate Dean for Resource Management who will need to give final approval.
  7. Financial resources will be allocated based on commitments by the Dean and recommendations based on the CoE budget reallocation model, as described in the Budget Model for Divisions document. TA and staff resources are managed through the division budget.
  8. Advancement – The CoE’s Advancement Office will work in partnership with each division to design and implement a comprehensive advancement program that will include alumni and industry relations. Plans will include annual fund and major-gift fundraising, as well as planned giving strategies, marketing and media, event planning and campaign materials. All development expenses (including wages, benefits, travel, marketing materials, and alumni relations activities) will be covered in full by the CoE’s Advancement budget for the first three years. After three years, each division will be responsible for the cost of all S&E development expenses. However, the development officer's wages, benefits, and travel expenses will continue to be covered by the College of Engineering’s Advancement budget.
  9. Research: The Budget Model for Divisions document addresses some of the research related issues. All policies should ensure that the appropriate financial incentives are in place for the success of all participants. AY policies across the college should not be a barrier to collaboration on multidisciplinary proposals.