Department of Political Science By-Laws

Adopted December 11, 2012
Revised March 7, 2018

The Members of the Purdue University Department of Political Science do hereby ordain and establish these By-Laws to govern the conduct of business in the Department and to achieve the objectives of the University.  The Members affirm their commitment to conducting business in a collegial and inclusive manner.

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 I. "Members" of the Department include the following:

  • Tenured and tenure-track faculty and clinical faculty are full, voting participants in departmental decision making. This includes faculty with joint appointments in other departments along with their appointment in Political Science.

For purposes of promotion and tenure, the Department’s primary committees are composed of all tenured faculty superior in rank to the candidate(s) under consideration for promotion or tenure.  Clinical faculty will be added to the primary committee, per university guidelines, when a clinical professor is under consideration for promotion.

For purposes of matters related to the graduate program, only members of the graduate faculty have voting privileges. 

  • Two Graduate Student representatives, designated by the department’s Graduate Student Organization, participate in Department meetings and vote on all matters considered by the Department, except for graduate student funding, matters relating to individual graduate students, and faculty promotion and tenure.
  • Other appointments are without voting privileges:
    • Instructors
    • Visiting Professors
    • Adjunct Professors
    • Research Professors
    • Honorary or courtesy appointments
    • Emeritus Professors
  • Voting on Departmental matters must be done in person, by people who are physically present (no proxies or mail ballots are accepted).
  • All University and College requirements govern matters in the Department and supersede any contrary provisions in these by-laws.

 II. Institutional governance in the Department

  • The Head
  • Standing Committee
    • Graduate Committee, chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies. Members and the Chair will be appointed by the Head
    • Undergraduate Committee, chaired by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Members and the Chair will be appointed by the Head
    • Primary Committees
  • Ad hoc committees (for example, recruitment committees, committees appointed to assess grievances, etc.) 
    • Such ad hoc committees will be appointed by the Head as needed to undertake assigned tasks or address matters of concern.
    • Such committees may include graduate students if appropriate.
  • Field committees for purposes of discussing course offerings and giving and reviewing MA and PhD exams. A Convener for each field committee will be designated by the Head on a rotating basis, depending on availability.
  • Mentors and Individual Primary Committees (IPCs) are established as needed to provide professional advice to untenured faculty members. In consultation with the untenured faculty member, the Head appoints  faculty to serve as mentors and members of each IPC.

III. Institutional authority:

  • The Head shall
    • insure compliance with University and College regulations;
    • appoint committees in consultation with relevant faculty members;
    • evaluate faculty for raises;
    • deal with other departmental matters;
    • supervise and evaluate the secretarial staff;
    • serve as the public representative of the department along with any other faculty member so designated.
  • The standing committees shall have authority to manage the day-to-day running of the graduate and undergraduate programs, and make recommendations to the department.
  • Ad hoc committees will be chosen by the Head and given directed tasks by the Head, as appropriate.
  • Promotion and Tenure Committee
    • The relevant Primary Committee will meet regularly in the fall Semester, in compliance with college requirements, to evaluate candidates for promotion and tenure within the Department.
    • Primary committee members must attend all meetings of the primary committee considering a candidate in order to vote for promotion and/or tenure of that candidate.
    • Criteria for promotion and tenure are included in the Appendix.
  • Graduate Student Committee
    • The Graduate Director appoints an admissions committee with the advice of the Head to review and admit students to graduate study in the department, in compliance with applicable Graduates School Rules and Regulations.
    • Graduate Student Funding decisions are made during spring semester by the full faculty upon the recommendation of the Graduate Committee
    • The Graduate Committee deals with any other issues or functions that relate to graduate study within the Department.
  • Undergraduate Committee
    • The Committee proposes and coordinates requirements for completing an undergraduate major or minor in the field; 
    • The Committee encourages and assesses teaching excellence;
    • The Committee nominates faculty members and graduate instructors for college and university teaching awards;
    • The Committee interacts with the college and university curriculum and educational policy committees regarding course offerings and courses that fulfill college and university requirements,
    • The Undergraduate Committee deals with any other issues or functions that relate to undergraduate teaching.

 IV. Decision Rules in the Department

  • A quorum for conducting business at any Departmental meeting is the presence of 50% of the in-residence faculty who are eligible to participate in the meeting.
  • A two-thirds vote of those present and voting is required for
    • adopting or amending these by-laws,
    • voting on the acceptability of a candidate for a position in the Department.
  • A majority of those present and voting is required to adopt any proposals other than those requiring a super-majority, in accordance with any applicable college and university policies.
  • The Department is governed by Sturgis’ Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure

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Appendix: Faculty Promotion

Department of Political Science Promotion Guidelines
In all considerations of candidates for promotion, each case must be judged on its own merits in terms of the balance of contributions and quality and quantity of those contributions. These include a composite of strengths in research, teaching, and departmental and university citizenship. Following are general guidelines to clarify expectations and standards for faculty.

I. Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure

A successful candidate should have a significant record of accomplishment as a faculty member and show promise of continued professional growth and recognition.

a.  Scholarship of Research
  • The predominant minimum standard for a nomination being sent forward to the CLA Area Committee is one scholarly book and articles published in high quality refereed journals.
  • A larger number of published articles – the approximate equivalent of the scholarly book plus articles model – can also be a basis for nominations for promotion to be forwarded to the Area Committee.
  • In some cases, it also is possible that two substantially different scholarly books may compensate for a more limited set of articles.
  • Alternative forms of scholarly publication such as chapters in books, especially in refereed volumes, and edited volumes have standing but by themselves are not likely to be sufficient for promotion.
  • Other scholarly accomplishments are also considered in the evaluation. These might include, for example, success in bringing in external grant support and other forms of recognition by external peers.
  • In all cases, there should be evidence of scholarly research and publication that reaches beyond one’s dissertation research.
b.  Interdisciplinary
  • The Department acknowledges that interdisciplinary research, spanning more than a single discipline, should be recognized in promotion. Like other scholarship, it should be published in high quality refereed journals and presses and deal with questions of interest to the discipline of political science. To the extent possible, electronic publications are subject to the same standards as print media.

II.  Promotion to Professor

Successful candidates should be recognized authorities in the discipline and in their areas of specialization as attested to by external colleagues – national and/or international as may be appropriate in their academic disciplines and interdisciplinary fields – and be valued for their intramural contributions as faculty members.

a.  Scholarship of Research
    • The predominant model is at least one scholarly book and articles published in appropriate refereed journals above and beyond the criteria appropriate for promotion to associate professor.
    • In some cases, a larger number of published articles, constituting the approximate equivalent of the scholarly productivity in the predominant model, may be a basis for promotion. This productivity again is expected to be above and beyond that required for promotion to associate professor.
    • An alternative model is that additional scholarly books may supplant the expectations in regard to the number of articles.
    • Scholarly publications such as book chapters, especially in refereed books, edited volumes, and textbooks have standing but by themselves are not likely to be sufficient for promotion.
    • Other scholarly accomplishments are also considered in the evaluation. These might include, for example, success in bringing in external grant support and other forms of recognition by external peers. These again should be above and beyond those attained for promotion to associate professor with tenure.
b.  Interdisciplinary 
The Department acknowledges that interdisciplinary research, spanning more than a single discipline, should be recognized in promotion. Like other scholarship, it should be published in high quality refereed journals and presses and deal with questions of interest to the discipline of political science. To the extent possible, electronic publications are subject to the same standards as print media.

III.  Scholarship of Engagement


Engagement defined as involvement in one’s scholarly work beyond the university and serving the broader interests of society or significant segments thereof is an important part of the department’s mission. While the dominant model is that candidates will be nominated for promotion principally on the basis of their research scholarship, a nomination may, under relatively rare circumstances, be sent forward on the basis of the scholarship of engagement. In these cases, engagement must 1) be sustained, extensive, and widely-recognized work integral to the faculty member’s academic area, 2) be jointly planned, carried out, and reflected on by co-equal university and community partners, and 3) contribute to the understanding and solving of pressing social, civic, and ethical problems.  We recognize that public good products may take diverse and plural forms. They may include local, regional, national or international projects. Public goods may include workshops, programs, archives, centers, electronic resources or other projects that sustain community partnerships and contribute to disciplinaryand interdisciplinary knowledge. Non-university partners may include government agencies, public stakeholders, news and on-line organizations, and non-profit stakeholder.

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