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Departmental Policies

Economics Department Policies and Procedures

1. Mission and Goals of the Department

The mission of the Economics Department.
The goals for the Economics Department are listed at goals 2009-10.

2.  Department Meetings

The chair of the department will call a minimum of two meetings per year: a beginning of the Fall semester meeting and a Spring semester meeting. Other meetings will be called on an "as needed" basis.

3. Committee Structure

The Economics Department has established the following committees:  Assessment, Curriculum, Merit Evaluation, Scholarship, and Textbook.  Other committees, such as Recruitment of Majors or Faculty Recruitment, are created as the need arises.  Committee membership will be assigned by the department chair.

Assessment   This committee periodically reviews the assessment process of the department.  Any recommended changes in the assessment process will be forwarded to the department faculty for consideration.  In addition, committee members grade the assessment examination required of all economics majors as part of the Seminar in Economics (Economics 4484).

Curriculum   This committee reviews the offerings and degree programs of the Economics Department and the process in which curricula are established, revised and evaluated.  This committee will meet at minimum once per academic year.  Any recommended changes are forwarded to the entire department faculty for consideration. 

Merit Evaluation   This committee reviews the merit evaluation process of the department and recommends any changes in the process to the entire department faculty.  In addition, the committee reviews the merit points assignment made by the department chair during the annual merit evaluation each Spring.  The committee may recommend any changes in the point total or allocation for a faculty member.  An individual on this committee will not be involved in the review of the merit points assigned to this individual by the chair.  Committee membership is assigned by the chair so faculty serve on a rotating basis.

Scholarship   This committee recommends to the faculty undergraduate economics majors in which to award academic scholarships offered annually by the department.  Currently, the department awards five scholarships: the W. Glenn Moore Memorial, the Susan Lankford Sullivan Memorial, the Homer A. Hunt, The Michael D. Raper and the Economics Department Scholarships (two awarded).  The committee also selects the winner of the Tom Herndon award, given each year to the outstanding economics major.

Textbook   This committee recommends to the department faculty the common textbook to be used in the principles courses (Economics 2105 and Economics 2106).

4.  Richards College of Business Committee Membership

Membership on the Tenure and Promotion Committee and Post-Tenure Review Advisory Committee is determined by a vote of department faculty at the first Fall meeting.  Other College of Business committee assignments are made by the department chair.

5. Advisement

Each semester, every student is required to meet with an academic advisor prior to registration and to go over the courses that he/she should take during the next semester to stay on track for graduation. When you meet with your advisor, you can expect to get specific and detailed information about the economics major, information about UWG policies, the Core Curriculum, programs available at UWG, and career possibilities.  The advising in the Economics Department is done by the chair of the department and other faculty with knowledge of the advising process.  During the advising period, economics majors come to the department and sign up for an advising appointment with one of the department’s advisors.  Each faculty member is available to talk with students about academic and career opportunities during office hours. Faculty assist with University-wide events such as Preview Day and orientations  

6. Graduation Assignments

Each faculty member is expected to attend at least one commencement ceremony per year (excluding Summer graduation).  Faculty attendance at the Summer graduation will be determined on a rotating basis (attend every other year) from among the faculty teaching during any of the Summer sessions.

7. Travel Budget

The regular travel budget will be initially allocated on an equal basis among the faculty.  These funds are expected to be used for faculty development or professional activities such as presenting a paper.  If all funds available in the department are not used, these "surplus" funds will be available to other faculty for use.  The top priority for the distribution of these "surplus" funds will be support for the presentation of a paper at a national conference. The chair of the department will allocate these "surplus" funds.

8.  Summer Teaching

Assuming funds are available, the priority in assigning summer teaching is that each tenure track faculty member in the department will be provided the opportunity to teach at minimum one class.  The assignment of additional sections during the Summer will be based on a number of factors including: seniority, tenure status, the number of courses taught the previous summer, the specific courses being offered, retirement status, and merit.  In general faculty who are not "academically" or "professionally" qualified will be assigned to teach no more than one course during the summer (as detailed in the RCOB Faculty Handbook). The final determination of summer teaching assignments will be made by the chair in consultation with the Dean of the College.

9.  Graduate Assistants

As funds allow, the Economics Department is provided graduate assistants (MBA students) to support faculty in their research and teaching activities.  Assignment of graduate students to the department is made by the Assistant Dean of the Richards College of Business. In consultation with the faculty, the Chair allocates graduate student time among the faculty.  The graduate assistants may also provide limited support to the Chair with general Economics Department activities.  A graduate student is expected to provide 20 hours of assistance per week.   At the end of each term, graduate students are evaluated by the Department Chair utilizing the Graduate Research Assistant rating form developed by the Graduate School.  The Chair will make a recommendation to the Assistant Dean as to whether or not a graduate assistant should be reassigned for the next semester.

10.  Student Evaluation of Teaching

Faculty members with instructional responsibility must allow students the opportunity to evaluate courses and the quality of instruction sometime during the final week of classes Section 201.05 Faculty Handbook.  The form used by West Georgia since 1996 is titled University of West Georgia Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI).  In the Economics Department, forms are to be administered by a faculty member other than the faculty member being evaluated.  Each faculty member is responsible for finding another faculty member to administer the evaluations.  The Chair will administer the evaluations of teaching for the classes of all part time instructors.  Only in extraordinary cases should someone other than a faculty member administer the evaluations.  See Section 103.06 of the Faculty Handbook for details of how teaching evaluations should be administered at off campus sites.  Student evaluations should be administered in all classes (including summer).  Sometime in the term following the term in which evaluations were administered, the Department Chair will return the original forms to the instructor along with the ITS summary of the evaluations and written comments by the Chair.  Student evaluations of teaching provide input into the annual merit evaluation process of faculty (see Section 10 below).

11.   Evaluation of Faculty

a) Full-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty

The Merit Evaluation Policy for the Economics Department is described in detail at merit 2010/2011.  Each year during the Spring, full time faculty in the Economics Department submit the following as part of the merit evaluation process:
i)   Economics Department Self Evaluation Form
ii)  University of West Georgia Self Evaluation of Teaching Methods and Effectiveness Form (Section 103.0602) and
iii) Goals for Teaching, Professional Growth and Service

These forms are submitted to the Chair. Based on teaching, research and service activities, the Chair of the Economics Department assigns merit evaluation points in each activity area.  The point assignment is reviewed by the Economics Department Merit Evaluation Committee.  Based on the merit evaluation results, the Chair recommends annual pay increases for each faculty member.  The final determination for annual merit pay increases (at the College level) is made by the Dean of the College of Business.

b) Lecturer

A “Lecturer” in the Economics Department is a non-tenure track, full-time faculty member. The main responsibility of this faculty member is teaching. A Lecturer will generally have a higher teaching load than a tenure track faculty member. He/She is expected to be an innovative teacher with “leading edge” teaching skills. Although this faculty member is primarily involved with teaching responsibilities, he/she is also expected to be engaged in both service and professional growth activities. The merit evaluation policy (annual review) for the Lecturer can be found at econ lecturer merit. In addition to an annual review, a Lecturer is subject to a more formal review every three years. A Department Lecturer Review Committee, composed of all tenure-track and tenured faculty members of the Department (excluding the Chair), shall thoroughly and comprehensively review the individual's achievements and performance in the areas of teaching, research, and service. As part of this process, a Lecturer will provide materials to the committee documenting accomplishments in teaching, service, and professional growth activities during the previous three years. The Committee shall report its findings to the Department Chair. The Chair will also provide a separate written report. The Chair will discuss these reports with the faculty member. The faculty member under review will receive a written copy of the reports and is encouraged to reply to the reports. The condition of employment of a Lecturer in the Economics Department is subject to all regulations established by the University and documented in the Faculty Handbook and other sources. Should it by decided not to renew the contract of a Lecturer, such a decision will generally be made by the Chair in consultation with the other faculty in the Economics Department and with the Dean.

c) Instructors

A Full-time instructor’s main responsibility is teaching. However, he/she will also be assigned some service responsibilities. A full-time instructor is also expected to participate in faculty development and other professional activities.  Part-time instructors will not be assigned service responsibilities. At the end of each semester, student evaluation of teaching forms are distributed in all economics classes taught at the University of West Georgia.  Results of the evaluations will be discussed with each part time instructor. The Chair will make recommendations for improvement in teaching effectiveness if needed.

12.  Third Year Review ("Pre-Tenure Review")

Assistant professors in the Economics Department will participate in a tenure review in their third year (or those serving a full probationary period regardless of professorial rank).  A Department Pre-Tenure Review Committee, composed of all tenured faculty members of the Department (excluding the Chair), shall thoroughly and comprehensively review the individual's achievements and performance in the areas of teaching, research, and service in light of the Department's and College's promotion and tenure policies.  The Pre-Tenure Review Committee shall report its findings to the Department Chair.  The report will state in writing whether progress toward promotion and/or tenure is sufficient at this time.   The Chair (and the College Dean) will also provide a separate written report as to the progress of the individual toward promotion and/or tenure.  The Chair will discuss these reports with the faculty member.  The faculty member under review will receive a written copy of the reports and is encouraged to reply to the reports.  Progress judged toward promotion and/or tenure in any of this report does not guarantee or prejudice a favorable recommendation later on.  The University policy on the Three-Year Tenure Review is outlined in the Faculty Handbook (Section 102.0201) .

13. Tenure and Promotion

The tenure and promotion policies for the University of West Georgia are detailed in Section 103 of the UWG Faculty Handbook. Richards College of Business tenure and promotion policies are outlined in the Richards College of Business Faculty Handbook.  The Economics Department Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee is composed of all tenured faculty members, at or above the rank of the individual requesting tenure and/or promotion.  The committee reviews the dossier of the applicant based on the four areas of evaluation set forth by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia: superior teaching, academic achievement, outstanding service to the institution, and professional growth and development.  Based on this review, the committee shall make a positive or negative evaluation (in writing) in light of the Department's and College's expectations for tenure and promotion.  The department chair shall include this written evaluation along with his or her personal evaluation in the dossier of the candidate.  As indicated in the UWG Faculty Handbook, the evaluations of the committee and the chair should include a discussion of the strengths of the candidate receiving a positive recommendation and should point out areas of needed improvement for candidates receiving a negative recommendation.

14.  Post Tenure Review

Tenured Economics faculty who have not been tenured or promoted during the previous five-year period are subject to the University Post Tenure Review process.  In the Richards College of Business, the post tenure review process takes place at the college level.  The individual subject to post tenure review submits his or her dossier during the Fall to the College-level committee for consideration.  The UWG Faculty Handbook (Section 104.02) outlines the Post Tenure Review process.  The Richards College of Business Post Tenure Review Advisory Committee is a five member committee whose members include one representative from each department and the most recent chair of the College Tenure and Promotion Committee.

15.  Faculty Recruitment

The Economics Department conducts national searches for any vacant tenure track position.  The Department advertises such an opening in Job Openings for Economists (published by the American Economics Association).  In addition, the department utilizes directories such as Minority and Women Doctoral Directory to identify underrepresented candidates such as women and African-Americans.  In the past, the department has selected about 25 applicants for screening interviews at the annual Allied Social Science Associations Convention held each year in early January.  Three to five of these applicants are then brought to campus for more extensive interviews, a research presentation, and a campus/community visit.  After meeting with all candidates, the faculty ranks the candidates.  In consultation with the Dean of the College, a formal offer is then made to the top applicant.

16.  New Faculty Orientation

The Economics Department supplements the University wide orientation program with a general orientation to the Richards College of Business and to the Economics Department.  New faculty are assisted by faculty and staff in the use of Richards College of Business computer and classroom facilities.  New faculty are also given a copies of the Economics Department Policies Document and the Richards College of Business Faculty Handbook for their review. New faculty are also encouraged to attend training sessions offered on campus on topics such as advising and the use of technology/software.

Approved by the Economics Department 9 /21/01
Updated July 23, 2010