Oct 02, 2022  
2021-2022 Faculty Handbook 
    
2021-2022 Faculty Handbook [FINAL EDITION]

Section II- Governance


2. Governance

2.1. Faculty Handbook

2.1.1. Purpose

The policies and procedures set forth in this Faculty Handbook are intended to describe the responsibilities, rights, and expected standards of performance of the faculty and administration of the university as they pertain to the role of faculty at the university. 

2.1.2. Authority

The procedures set forth in this Handbook supersede any conflicting procedures of Faculty Council Bylaws or any conflicting procedures of a particular school/college/library. Faculty Council Bylaws shall similarly supersede those of a school/college/library. The policies and procedures set forth in this Handbook do not apply to the law schools.

2.1.3. Procedure for Amending the Faculty Handbook

The Faculty Council Executive Committee shall update annually references to specific policies within this handbook.

The Provost’s Office shall update annually Section I of this handbook.

Amendments to the Faculty Handbook that represent corrections or changes in title or changes of references to other policies, with no change in substantive content, may be made by the Provost, in consultation with the Faculty Chairperson, as a routine annual update of the Faculty Handbook and do not require the approval of the faculty, administration, or Board of Trustees. Notice of such corrections, however, will be sent 30 days prior to the release of the updated version of the handbook to all relevant parties.  In the event of an objection, an alternative proposal may be submitted to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council for resolution.

Section IX and the appendices to this Handbook shall be amended by action of the University Board of Trustees or action by university administration.

All other sections of this handbook shall be amended following the procedure outlined here.

The university administration shall inform the faculty in a timely manner of policy decisions affecting faculty employment and benefits in general. The university administration shall offer opportunities for dialogue and input early and at all stages in the process. The university and the Faculty Council shall endeavor to achieve agreement on policy issues affecting faculty. However, nothing in this Section or this handbook shall be construed to limit or in any way abridge the responsibility and authority of the president and the Board of Trustees to administer the university.

2.1.3.1. Proposed Amendments

Any faculty member, committee, or governing body of the faculty may suggest to the Provost proposals for revising sections II through VIII. All such proposals shall contain the text of the proposed amendment and a justification for the proposed amendment.

2.1.3.2. Processing of Proposed Amendments

Proposed amendments to this handbook shall be sent to the Faculty Council Executive Committee. The Faculty Council Executive Committee shall send the proposed amendment to the Faculty Affairs Committee of Faculty Council for consideration. The Faculty Affairs Committee may accept, reject, amend, or remand any amendments to the handbook proposed in accordance with this section. Upon acceptance of the amendment, the Faculty Affairs Committee shall send the proposed amendment to the Faculty Council Executive Committee for consideration; the Faculty Council Executive Committee shall follow the procedure for amendments described in the Faculty Council Bylaws. Upon passage of an amendment, the Widener University Faculty Council (Main Campus) shall present it in the form of a formal written recommendation to the president.

2.1.3.3. Role of the President

Should the president disagree with the recommendation of Faculty Council, he or she shall meet with the chair and vice chair of Faculty Council and with the chair of any appropriate Faculty Council committee to discuss further action on the proposed amendment; such action may include further study, modification and/or resubmission of the proposal to Faculty Council.

The president, at her or his sole discretion, may accept, reject, amend or remand any amendments to the handbook proposed in accordance with this section.

2.1.3.4. Board of Trustees

Upon his or her approval, the president shall submit the amendment to the Board of Trustees for action.

Before taking definitive action on proposed amendments, the Board of Trustees may, at its sole discretion, commission an authorized subcommittee of its members to meet with the president, provost, the vice chair of Faculty Council or the appropriate Faculty Council committee to discuss the proposed amendments.

Should it wish to propose an amendment to the handbook, the Board of Trustees shall send the proposed amendment to Faculty Council for its consideration. The Faculty Council will make its recommendation on the proposed amendment to the president.

Except as limited by Section 2.1.3 hereof, the Board of Trustees, at its sole discretion, may accept, reject, amend or remand any amendments to the handbook proposed in accordance with Section 2.1.3.1.

2.1.3.5. General Rules for Implementation

Upon approval by the Board of Trustees, amendments to the Faculty Handbook shall take effect no later than the next academic year; however, the Board of Trustees may determine an earlier date for an amendment to be effective. Any grandfathering provisions will be specific to a given policy and so noted in specific language.

All members of the faculty shall receive a current copy of the Faculty Handbook at the time of their initial appointment.

The most recent Faculty Handbook shall be available in electronic form. The Provost’s Office shall distribute annually any updates to the Faculty Handbook to continuing members of the faculty, inform them of where the file is maintained, and identify the sections that have been modified.

 

2.2. Faculty Council

2.2.1. Bylaws

The Faculty Council Bylaws describe policies and rules of operation of the Main Campus Faculty Council.  These bylaws must be consistent with the policies and procedures set forth in this handbook and must be approved by the Board of Trustees.

2.2.2. Faculty Council Procedures

Faculty Council procedures govern the operation of Faculty Council committees. These procedures are approved by the relevant Faculty Council committee and reviewed by the provost. These procedures include processes put in place to clarify how Faculty Council committees will conduct business and make decisions. Copies of these procedures shall be maintained by the faculty secretary and shall be available electronically. Faculty should be familiar with the content of these documents.

2.2.3. Academic Policies

University-wide academic policies affecting students are approved by Faculty Council and appear in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs and in the Student Handbook.

2.2.4. Communications with the Board of Trustees

The Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of Widener University stipulate that the president shall have the exclusive right to transmit all communications from the administrative staff, any faculty body, and any member thereof to the Board.  The president shall be the official medium of communication between the Faculties and the Board and its committees.

2.3. School/College/Library

2.3.1. Bylaws

Each school/college/library has its own set of bylaws. Individual school/college/library bylaws must be consistent with the Faculty Council’s bylaws, which in turn must be consistent with the policies and procedures set forth in this handbook.

2.3.2. Policies and Procedures

Each school/college/library’s academic governance policies and procedures must be approved by the faculty in the respective academic unit, then by the dean/library director and by the provost. These include processes put in place to clarify how the school, college, or library conducts business and makes decisions. Copies will be maintained by the dean of the relevant academic unit/library director and will be available electronically. Faculty should be familiar with those documents that pertain to the programs in which they teach.

2.4. Student Policies

2.4.1. University-Wide Student Policies

University-wide academic policies affecting students are approved by Faculty Council and appear in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs and in the Student Handbook.  Non-academic policies affecting students are developed by the Office of Student Affairs in collaboration with faculty and students.

2.4.2. School, College, and Library Student Policies

Academic policies that affect students enrolled in a specific school or college and that appear in official publications shall be available in undergraduate and graduate catalogs and student handbooks and on the university website. All academic policies shall be approved by the faculty in that academic unit and then shall be approved by the dean, in consultation with the provost. 

The dean of the respective academic unit will maintain copies of these policies and shall make them available electronically. Faculty should be familiar with the content of these documents.

2.5. Other University Policies and Handbooks

Non-academic university policies are available on the university’s website. Faculty Council Executive Committee shall review and comment on new non-academic policies. Faculty Council Executive Committee shall also periodically review these policies and offer suggestions or comments.

2.6. Discrimination, Harassment, and Misconduct Policies

In order to provide a clear statement of the process and procedures which will be applied to allegations of discrimination or harassment, the university has developed the Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination (EOHN) Policy.  Complete copies of this policy are posted on the University’s website and are on file in all principal offices of the university, including the Human Resources Office, and will be made available for reference upon request by any student, member of the staff, or faculty.

The most recent Non-Discrimination Statement and Title IX notice appear below.  The most recent  Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination (EOHN) Policy is posted on the University’s website and is available in the Human Resources Office.

2.6.1. Non-Discrimination Policy

The university’s policy is to hire qualified applicants and, during employment, to treat employees equally without regard to sex, gender, pregnancy status, age, race, national origin or ethnicity, religion, disability, status as a veteran of the Vietnam era or other covered veteran, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or genetic information in all the terms and conditions of employment (e.g., in regard to training, rates of pay, promotion, etc.)

It is the policy of Widener University not to discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, pregnancy status, age, race, national origin or ethnicity, religion, disability, status as a veteran of the Vietnam era or other covered veteran, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or genetic information in its educational programs, admissions policies, employment practices, financial aid, or other school-administered programs or activities.  It is also the policy of Widener University that no individual may engage in conduct that constitutes discrimination and/or harassment, as defined in its Codes, with respect to a member of the university community.  Discrimination and/or harassment will not be tolerated in any form and may result in disciplinary action being taken against any person found to have discriminated against and/or harassed another, up to and including dismissal from employment.  The university will take appropriate steps to prevent recurrence of any discrimination and/or harassment found to have occurred and to correct its adverse effects on the complainant and others.  The university further prohibits retaliation against any individual making a report or bringing a complaint or who participates in a discrimination and/or harassment inquiry.

In order to provide a clear statement of the process which will be applied at the university to respond to allegations of discrimination and/or harassment against faculty and employees, the university has developed

an Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination (EOHN) Policy.  Copies of this policy are available in all principal offices of the university, including the Office of Human Resources, and will be made available for reference upon request.  The policy is also available on the university’s web site and in Campus Cruiser under the Office of Human Resources.  Questions may be directed to the senior vice president of administration and finance, the Office of Human Resources, and the dean of student affairs.

2.6.2. Title IX Notice

Title IX of the  Education  Amendments  of  1972  (“Title  IX”)  prohibits  discrimination based on sex and gender in educational programs and activities which receive federal financial assistance.   Such programs include recruitment, admissions, financial aid and scholarships, athletics, course offerings and access, hiring and retention, and benefits and leave. Title IX also protects students and employees from unlawful sexual harassment (including sexual violence) in university programs and activities. In compliance with Title IX, the university prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sex in employment as well as in all programs and activities.

The university’s Title IX Coordinator monitors compliance with Title IX and its accompanying regulations.  Individuals with questions or concerns about Title IX and/or those who wish to file a complaint of noncompliance may contact the university’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators as follows:

The university’s Title IX Coordinator is Randi Teplitz, One University Place, Chester, PA 19013, 610-499-1301, e-mail: rbteplitz@widener.edu.  The university has also appointed several Deputy Title IX coordinators.  Students on the Chester,  Pennsylvania campus  and students enrolled in the Center for Extended Learning with Title IX issues are encouraged to contact Catherine Feminella, Associate Dean for Students, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, One University Place, Chester, PA 19013, 610-499-4392, e-mail:  cafeminella@widener.edu or Kevin Raport, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Chief of Campus Safety,  Widener University Law Schools, Delaware Law School, 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington,  DE 19803, 302-477-2202, e-mail: kjraport@widener.edu .  Students and employees at the Delaware Law School with Title IX issues are encouraged to contact Susan Goldberg, Associate Dean for Student Services, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington,  DE 19803, 302-477-2173, e-mail: slgoldberg@widener.edu.  Students and employees at the Commonwealth Law School with Title IX issues are encouraged to contact Mary Catherine Scott, Supervising Attorney, Central PA Law Clinics, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, 3605 Vartan Way, 2nd Floor, Harrisburg, PA  17110, 717-541-0320, e-mail:  mcscott9055@mail.widener.edu.

The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the division of the federal government charged with enforcing compliance with Title IX. Information regarding the OCR can be found at: www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html. Questions about Title IX may be directed to OCR as well as to the university’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

For further information, see the university’s  Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination (EOHN) Policy located on the university’s web site.