Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms Executive Policy Manual

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Executive Policy #29
Approved December 15, 2015

Policies, Responsibilities and Authorities for the Operation of
Multi-Campus Academic Programs

General Academic Program Roles and Responsibilities of University Administrators

President: The University President is the chief executive officer of the University and is responsible directly to the Board of Regents for the management and conduct of all the affairs of the University except those which by law, bylaws, or other orders of the Board are the specific responsibility of other persons or bodies. The University President is the delegated authority to appoint the University’s Provost, campus chancellors, vice presidents, deans, and other officers as may be necessary for assistance in efficiently carrying out the responsibilities of the chief executive officer of the University. All such officers of the University shall be under the general supervision of and shall exercise such powers and duties as may be prescribed by the University President.

Provost: As chief academic officer for Washington State University, the Provost has ultimate responsibility for, and authority over all facets of the academic operations of Washington State University’s multi-campus academic programs.

Vice President for Research: The Vice President for Research is responsible for the University’s strategic research agenda and research-related operations, including proposal preparation and submission, research-related policies and procedures, management of specific centers, institutes, and laboratories, and compliance activities. The Vice President for Research will work with the deans and chancellors to develop and implement the University’s multidisciplinary strategic research agenda.

Dean: The dean has responsibility for, and authority second only to the Provost, over all facets of academic operations for departments, programs, or schools that are associated with the dean’s college. Deans share responsibility and authority for departments, schools, or academic programs offered jointly across two or more colleges. Deans share responsibility with chancellors for the success of components of departments, programs, or schools residing on another campus. In coordinated conjunction with the President, the dean is responsible for maintaining and promoting the external image and relations of the college to stakeholders, industry, the legislature, the surrounding community, and the general public, and will ensure that chancellors are well informed about college activities and initiatives in order to support the chancellors in their similar responsibilities relating to their campuses. The dean is also responsible for leadership regarding development activities for the college.

Deans share responsibility with vice chancellors for academic affairs (VCAAs) for successful administration of the components of academic programs offered by departments and schools that are offered on the VCAA’s campus, and exercise their academic authority in close collaboration and cooperation with the VCAAs. The dean is responsible for being responsive to the VCAAs’ requests for programmatic content and implementation on campuses, including those that address local campus needs and the professional foci of campus faculty. The dean works collaboratively and cooperatively with VCAAs in all college academic strategic planning, program design, and program implementation efforts that involve or affect programs and operations on campuses. Moreover, the dean is accountable and shares responsibility with the VCAAs for the quality and success of the components of academic programs provided on campuses that are associated with programs in the Dean’s college.

In the rare event that deans cannot reach a joint decision or agreement with the VCAAs on the content and implementation of an academic program delivered on campuses, the Provost will exercise the authority of the chief academic officer to define a decision or the terms of an agreement.

Chancellor: The chancellor has responsibility for, and authority over campus budgets, equipment, facilities, space assignments, and operations at the urban campus. In coordinated conjunction with the President, the chancellor is responsible for maintaining and promoting the external image and relations of the campus to stakeholders, industry, the legislature, the surrounding community, and the general public, and will ensure that the Provost and the deans are well informed about campus activities and initiatives. The chancellor is also responsible for leadership regarding development activities for the campus.

The academic administrate structure on each campus varies. The chancellors have the authority and responsibility to establish systems of academic governance on their campuses that are efficient and meet the needs of the campus community and the WSU System. This organizational structure will be widely shared with the Provost, deans and department chairs/directors and facilitate the policies articulated in this document.

Associate Deans: Associate deans have responsibilities and authorities that are delegated to them by their deans, and these can encompass any subset of responsibilities or authorities that the dean possesses.

Vice Chancellors for Academic Affairs: Vice chancellors for academic affairs (VCAAs) have responsibilities and authorities that are delegated to them by their chancellors, and these can encompass any subset of responsibilities or authorities that the chancellor possesses. In particular, the vice chancellor for academic affairs is the chancellor’s designee for matters pertaining to academic programs on the chancellor’s campus, and acts as the campus’s chief academic officer in representing campus academic matters to the WSU system.

Through delegation by the chancellor, the VCAA shares responsibility and accountability with deans for the content, implementation, and quality of academic programs that are based in colleges and offered on the VCAA’s campus. The VCAA is charged with being proactive in identifying programmatic content and implementation that advances the strategic objectives of the VCAA’s campus, including those that address local campus needs and that effectively utilize the professional foci of campus faculty. The VCAA will collaborate closely with appropriate deans for all campus strategic planning, program design, and program implementation efforts that involve or affect programs and operations of colleges. The VCAA has delegated responsibility for, and authority second only to the Provost, over all facets of academic operations for departments, schools, or programs that reside exclusively on their campus and are not within a college.

In the rare event that VCAAs cannot reach a joint decision or agreement with deans on the content and implementation of an academic program delivered on campuses, the Provost will exercise the authority of the chief academic officer to define a decision or the terms of an agreement.

Department Chair/School Director: Department chairs and school directors have responsibility for, and authority over academic programs associated with their respective departments and schools, regardless of campus location. The authority is subjacent at the college level to the dean, which is in turn subjacent at the University level to the Provost. The department chair or school director will be responsive to addressing academic directors’ requests for programmatic content and implementation, including those that relate to local campus needs and the professional foci of department or school faculty. The chair or school director shares responsibility with the academic director for the quality and success of academic programs provided on campuses, and is responsible for involving the academic director in strategic planning, program design, and program implementation.

If the chair or school director cannot reach agreement with the academic director on a matter relating to the content and/or implementation of an academic program delivered on campuses, the matter can be referred to the dean and VCAA, or their designees, for adjudication.

Academic Director: Academic directors generally oversee multiple academic programs on their campuses, and have responsibility for, and authority over those programs as defined to be in their purview by the VCAA, and in collaboration with the relevant dean and chair or school director. In this role they manage campus-related academic program operations and processes, such as scheduling and local budgets, that are more effectively and appropriately handled at their campus location. When an academic director has responsibility for multiple academic programs within or across college and/or has additional duties and responsibilities that transcend managing campus academic program operations and processes, such as campus development, external relations, and other campus leadership responsibilities as designated by their chancellors, and in recognition of this broader scope of duties, they may carry a title in addition to that of academic director.

The academic director collaborates with chairs or school directors on strategic planning, program design, and program implementation, and provides input to the chair or school director on annual reviews, and tenure and promotion issues. The specific component and authority of their role relating to the management and operation of any one of the academic programs on their campus is akin to that of an assistant/associate chair of a department or an assistant/associate director of a school.

If the academic director cannot reach agreement with the chair or school director on a matter relating to the content and/or implementation of an academic program delivered on a campus, the matter can be referred to the dean and VCAA, or their designees, for adjudication.

Adherence to the Faculty Manual

All aspects of academic operations and associated authorities and responsibilities at Washington State University are informed by and subject to applicable and operative stipulations as stated in the Faculty Manual.

General Guiding Principles

The operation of multi-campus academic programs at Washington State University is based on the following fundamental guiding principles:

  1. Responsibility for academic program content, implementation, and quality is shared across the WSU system, primarily between the academic leadership on each campus and the dean and department chair/school director of the academic unit in which each program resides.
  2. Campus budget administration is the responsibility of the campus chancellor. (1987 Branch Campus Principles approved by the Faculty Senate)
  3. Those affected by a decision, plan, or action shall have an opportunity to provide input and be informed of the decision, plan, or action prior to implementation.
Specific Policies, Responsibilities, and Authorities

The policies and responsibilities presented below encompass and provide specificity to the fundamental principles presented above. Policies, responsibilities, and authorities for key activities associated with academic planning, programs, faculty, budgets, facilities, and space are included.

 Academic Planning
University Planning
  • The Provost is responsible for developing, updating, and implementing a University-wide (i.e., statewide) Academic Plan.

  • The Provost will involve all campuses and colleges, WSU Extension, the Libraries, Global Campus, the Graduate School, and the Office of Research in developing and maintaining an up-to-date University-wide Academic Plan.

  • The University-wide Academic Plan will:

    • Identify University-wide academic priorities and areas of preeminence in research and scholarship.

    • Encompass all instructional, research/scholarship, and outreach programs.

    • Include campus and distance-delivered programs.

    • Identify academic priorities and areas of preeminence in research and scholarship for each campus and college.

    • Assure coordinated academic planning and implementation across campuses and colleges including Global Campus.
Campus Planning
  • Chancellors will involve the appropriate colleges, other campuses, WSU Extension, Global Campus, the Libraries, the Graduate School, and the Office of Research in planning campus programming.

  • VCAAs are responsible for identifying, organizing, and directing the implementation of academic plans for their campuses.

  • The Campus Academic plan will:

    • Identify the campus' academic priorities and areas of preeminence in research and scholarship.

    • Encompass all instructional, research/scholarship, and outreach programs.

    • Include campus and distance-delivered programs.

    • Manifest coordinated academic planning and implementation across appropriate colleges and campuses, including Global Campus.

College Planning
  • Deans will involve appropriate campuses, other colleges, WSU Extension, Global Campus, the Libraries, the Graduate School, and the Office of Research in college planning.

  • Deans or their designees (generally associate deans) are responsible for developing, updating, and implementing academic plans for all programs within their colleges, and across all campuses for which the programs are delivered.

  • College academic plans will:
    • Identify the college's academic priorities and areas of preeminence in research and scholarship.

    • Encompass all instructional, research/scholarship, and outreach programs.

    • Include campus and distance-delivered programs.

    • Manifest collaborative academic planning and implementation across campuses and colleges including Global Campus.


 Program Design, Implementation, and Management
Initiation of New Program or Program Modification
  • Proposals or concepts for new or modified programming may originate from college, campus, or University administrators.

  • The campuses and colleges involved in any new or modified programming will jointly decide whether to pursue such programming.

  • Campus and college designate lead responsibility for proposal development to the academic director, department chair, school/program director, or the dean's and VCAA's designees.

  • Designated lead(s) develops a formal program proposal in collaboration with the involved campuses, colleges, departments, schools and/or programs.

  • Colleges and involved campuses jointly agree on program content, implementation, resourcing, and ongoing management.

  • In the rare instance that a college and campus disagree on the content of, or whether to pursue a new or modified program, the Provost, after consulting with the involved parties, will render the decision.

Academic Program Approval
  • Colleges and involved campuses review and each approve the proposal, and submit it to the Provost.

  • Provost reviews and approves the proposal, upon approval submits it to the Faculty Senate.

Teaching Assignments
  • The department chair or school director has responsibility for making course personnel and rotation assignments.

  • Academic directors generally make course personnel and rotation assignments on their campuses, in consultation and agreement with the applicable department chair or school director.
In-Class Course Scheduling
  • The department chair or school director is responsible for course scheduling, rotations, and room assignments via normal campus processes.

  • Academic directors are responsible for course scheduling, rotations, and room assignments on their campus via normal campus processes, in consultation and agreement with the applicable department chair or school director.

AMS and Online Courses
  • The originating campus is responsible for delivery decisions in consultation and cooperation with the receiving campus(es), including Global Campus.

  • The creation of online courses and degrees originate from faculty in departments and schools on any campus, with oversight from their respective colleges.

  • Oversight for courses is shared between the originating campus, the department or school, the college, and Global Campus.
Program Reviews (Including Accreditation)
  • Reviews and assessments of programs are the responsibility of the appropriate academic authority.

    • Academic program reviews are done at the college level and reported to the Provost's Office for final review.

    • Academic program assessments are the responsibility of the department chair/school director and reported to the college and graduate school as appropriate, and ultimately reported to the Provost's Office.

    • Program-specific accreditation reviews are the responsibility of the college, can be conducted locally at the appropriate campus under the direction of the dean, are reported to the Provost's Office, and are included in institution-level review.

    • Institution-level accreditation reviews are the responsibility of the Provost's Office.

  • Reviews will include all campuses participating in/contributing to the program.

  • The department chair, school director, and/or the dean/dean's designee will collaborate with the appropriate campus academic directors and the VCAAs of all campuses participating in/contributing to the program.

  • Campuses with programs that are uniquely offered on that campus will take the lead for accreditation review of that program and are responsible for reporting findings to the Provost Office.

  • The dean’s designee will assist with all aspects of academic program reviews and program-specific accreditation reviews, and will take part in any meetings with accrediting organizations.

  • The unit leading an accreditation review will designate an individual to lead the review process, and provide necessary staff support for the review.

  • Where appropriate, campus-specific data will be captured in a manner that informs and allows for action at the campus level.

Student Outcomes Assessment
  • Departments and schools are responsible for overseeing student outcome assessment on all campuses contributing to/participating in a program, and for providing reports on the results of such assessments.

  • Academic directors are responsible for implementing departmental/school student outcome assessment processes on their campuses.

  • Department chairs and school directors will consult with academic directors regarding any assessment content that is appropriate or needed for measuring student outcomes that are specific or unique to the campus experience.

  • Where appropriate, campus-specific data will be captured in a manner that informs and allows for action at the campus level.

Course Evaluation
  • By University policy, a common course evaluation is to be used across all campuses and colleges.  Course evaluation processes and instruments for multi-campus programs will be consistent across campuses.

  • The content of evaluation processes and instruments will be defined by the department or school whose program encompasses the course being evaluated, in consultation with academic directors for courses taught on their campuses.


  • Academic directors are responsible for:
    • Overseeing course evaluations on their campuses.

    • Using the results of course evaluations to improve instruction and course content in programs for which they are responsible.

    • Providing course evaluation results to the appropriate department chair/school director, dean, or dean's designee (for colleges without departments/schools).

    • Assisting chairs/directors or deans in interpreting evaluation results and implementing any necessary follow-up for instructors on their campuses.


 Faculty Personnel Issues
Hiring
  • Faculty positions (to be located on the campus) may be proposed by the campus, department/school, or college.

  • The appropriate campus budget authority (i.e., chancellor or dean) is responsible for deciding whether campus funds will be provided to fill faculty positions located on that campus.

  • Departments/schools/programs desiring positions on a campus must submit requests to that campus.

  • The VCAA and dean, or their designees, and departments/schools will collaborate in the "design" of positions residing in programs for which they are associated.

  • Hiring plans of colleges will identify all planned hiring for departments and schools within a college, which will include campus hiring plans originating from all campus locations and funding sources, as agreed upon jointly by deans and chancellors.

  • The deans will work collaboratively with VCAAs, academic directors, department chairs and school directors when developing college hiring plans. These plans should reflect WSU strategic research and education priorities.

  • The Provost, in collaboration with advisory input from the Vice President for Research, will assess and decide approval of these plans.

  • The appropriate campus budget authority (i.e., VCAA or dean) in collaboration with the appropriate department/school and college, oversees the search process, including defining the sources of funding, the appointment of a search committee, and securing the necessary University hiring approvals from the Provost.

  • Whenever feasible and applicable, search committees for positions that will hold the rank of assistant professor or higher will contain department/school members located on multiple campuses at which the academic program resides, provided those faculty have expertise relevant to the search.

  • Composition of search committees must be approved by the department chair/school director, and the dean (or designee), as well as the VCAA and academic director for faculty who will reside on the VCAA's campus.

  • The campus where the faculty member will be located conducts the search in collaboration with the appropriate department/school and college following a mutually agreed-upon search process.

  • For faculty hires on the Vancouver and Tri-Cities campuses, the VCAA, in consensus with the academic director, applicable department chair/school director, and dean selects whom to hire and defines the terms of hire (salary, startup, moving allowance, and other hiring commitments).

  • The campus VCAA, department chair/school director, dean, and the Provost sign the letter of offer, as applicable.

  • VCAAs must approve all positions located on their campuses, regardless of source of funding.

Service Assignments
  • Department chairs or school directors and academic directors make service assignments to faculty in consultation and collaboration with one another to assess overall service loads assigned.

  • Department chairs or school directors makes department/school service assignments, which will occur in consultation and cooperation with the academic director for faculty located at their campuses.

  • Academic directors make service assignments on their campus in consultation and cooperation with the department chair or school director.

Annual Review
  • Department chairs/school directors are responsible for implementing and finalizing the annual review of faculty in their departments or schools, including assigning merit ratings to faculty, regardless of campus.

  • The chair/director will provide all faculty, regardless of campus, equal opportunity to discuss their reviews.

  • Academic directors will provide input on the performance of their campus faculty to department chairs/school directors, and the input will be acknowledged and incorporated explicitly into the annual review narratives by the department chair/school director.

  • Academic directors will provide their input at least two weeks before annual reviews are to be submitted to the dean. Colleges will publish a schedule of review needs that facilitates this input and circulate it to academic directors, and their VCAAs.

  • The VCAA and the Dean will review the annual review statements, provide additional joint evaluative narrative as deemed appropriate, and assign a consensus merit rating to faculty located on the VCAA's campus prior to submission to the Provost. The joint context of the narrative and consensus on the merit score will be explicitly indicated by signatures from both the Dean and the VCAA.

  • In the rare event where agreement on the narrative or merit score cannot be reached, the VCAA has the prerogative to submit a dissenting review statement and/or an alternative merit rating, in which case the Provost will consider both review statements, and/or ratings and act as arbiter.

Promotion and Tenure
  • Department chair/school director is responsible for overseeing the department/school tenure and promotion process for all faculty in their department or school, regardless of campus.

  • Academic directors will provide input on annual tenure reviews, third-year tenure reviews, and tenure and/or promotion reviews to department chairs/school directors. The input will be acknowledged and incorporated explicitly into the tenure and/or promotion review narratives by the department chair/school director.

  • Academic directors will provide input to the department chair/school director at least two weeks before the Administrative Recommendation Form is to be submitted to the dean. Colleges will publish a schedule of evaluation needs that facilitates this input and circulate it to academic directors, and their VCAAs.

  • The dean is responsible for ensuring that all relevant campus input and recommendations have been appropriately obtained, and for reconciling and seeking a consensus recommendation between the dean and VCAA on all campus tenure and/or promotion cases on the VCAA's campus prior to submission to the Provost. In the rare event where such consensus cannot be reached, the VCAA has the prerogative to submit a dissenting recommendation that will be included explicitly in the tenure packet forwarded to the Provost.

  • The appropriate campus and department/school/college will inform faculty of tenure and/or promotion decisions in a coordinated manner.

Mentoring
  • The department chair/school director is responsible for assuring that a mentoring committee is appointed for all untenured faculty within 90 days of the employee's start date.

  • Whenever possible, the mentoring committee will include senior faculty on the campus where the faculty member resides.

  • The designation of a mentoring committee for faculty will be done in collaboration and consensus with the applicable academic director and VCAA for faculty residing on the VCAA's campus. 
    • Conducting annual tenure reviews and the third-year pre-tenure reviews, both in written and meeting form.

    • Conducting a final pre-decision promotion and tenure review in written form.

    • Meeting with faculty, when requested, to answer questions or provide guidance on tenure and promotion issues.


  • When appropriate and feasible, mentoring committees of all faculty, regardless of campus location, should contain faculty from multiple campuses.

  • The deans and VCAAs will work with department chairs/school directors and academic directors to develop faculty mentoring programs that include the objective of increasing faculty recognition via fellowships, awards, academy memberships, and other means of formal recognition.

Salary Decisions
  • Department chairs/school directors and academic directors are jointly responsible for reaching consensus salary recommendations for faculty in their units.

  • Department chairs/school directors and academic directors must agree on salary recommendations for faculty in departments or schools that span multiple campuses before they are forwarded to the dean and VCAA.

  • Department chairs/school directors and academic directors will provide their salary recommendations to the dean and VCAA in a timely manner that provides for effective hiring practices.

  • The dean and VCAA will collaborate on all salary recommendations for faculty in departments or schools that span multiple campuses. The goal of collaboration is to ensure an equitable and appropriate salary distribution across faculty within a given department or school spanning multiple locations. Final salary decisions will reside with the budget authority (VCAA or dean) relating to the salary funds in question.

Professional Leave
  • Proposals are evaluated by the department chair or school director and the academic director, whose recommendations are forwarded to the dean as well as the VCAA for faculty on the VCAA's campus. The dean and VCAA, after reviewing the proposal and the chair's/director's and academic director's evaluations, forward only those applications deemed worthy of the award of professional leave, with a collaborative evaluation and comments, to the Provost.

  • Final decisions regarding allowing a professional leave request to be forwarded to the Provost will reside with the budget authority (VCAA or dean) relating to funding the leave in question, including the ability to fund an application lower in priority than applications on other campuses or to not fund an approved application.

 Facilities and Space
Facilities Planning
  • Chancellors, in consultation with Finance and Administration via the Department of Facilities Services—Capital, are responsible for identifying and prioritizing capital projects for their campuses.

  • Campuses will consult with colleges regarding requests for new/renovated facilities on the campus to assure that facilities meet programmatic needs.

  • Colleges will communicate their campus facility needs to the chancellor or his/her designee.

  • Chancellors will work within the capital budgeting process to prioritize and secure funding for capital projects on their campuses.

Facilities Operation and Management
  • Campuses are responsible for operating and maintaining their respective campus facilities.
Space Assignments
  • Campuses are responsible for assigning space on their campus.

  • Colleges will communicate their regional campus space needs to the VCAAs, and VCAAs and deans will collaborate to seek consensus on the best feasible space assignments for meeting those needs.

  • Campuses have authority to assign, and reassign space as needs change. The campus will consult, on an as needed basis, with involved colleges, departments, schools, and Facilities Services—Capital prior to implementing changes.