Information regarding current membership of department-level committees can be found in this section, including the Retention, Tenure and Promotions (RTP) Committee, the Nominations and Elections Committee and the Events Committee.
Retention, Tenure and Promotions (RTP) Committee
- Frederik Green [F2022-S2023]
- Michael Hammer [F2022-S2025]
- Volker Langbehn [F2021-S2024]
- Ana Luengo [F2021-S2024]
- Masahiko Minami [F2022-S2025]
Nominations & Elections Committee
- Mitra Ara [F2022-S2025]
- Chris Wen-chao Li [F2022-S2025]
- Ana Luengo [F2022-S2025]
- Mitra Ara [F2019-S2025]
- Gustavo Calderon [F2022-S2025]
- Anne Linton [F2022-S2025]
The by-laws and procedures below represent a description of how the language and degree programs of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures relate to one another and an outline of the means by which the department faculty members engage in shared governance and decision making.
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) comprises interrelated language programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Russian and Spanish, and offers multiple degree programs at the Undergraduate Minor, Undergraduate Major (Bachelor of Arts) and Graduate (Master of Arts) levels.
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at San Francisco State University offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to help students develop the linguistic and cultural knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to a multilingual, international society. Proficiency in another language gives students access to parts of the human experience closed off to those who are monolingual, and provides vitally important skills that will aid them in their further academic endeavors and in virtually any career path they choose. The study of a foreign language gives students the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational tools to communicate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds, and to thrive in international occupations; the study of linguistics exposes them to the deeper structures of language and their role in the construction of reality; the study of culture and society allows them to understand and appreciate other ways of life; and intensive analysis of literary texts in languages other than English helps them develop critical thinking skills. As they challenge themselves with new structures and ideas, our students develop an international perspective that will serve them and help them serve others at home and around the world.
Statement on Shared Governance:
Shared governance is necessary for the assurance of educational quality and the proper functioning of an institution of higher education; it allows the academic community to work together to find the best answers to issues facing the department, college and university. The by-laws and procedures below represent a description of how the language and degree programs of the Department of MLL relate to one another and an outline of the means by which the department faculty members engage in shared governance and decision making.
All faculty members in the Department of MLL, regardless of language program affiliation or rank, have responsibility for the development of the curriculum, for engaging and motivating students and advising them on academic and administrative questions, for participating with colleagues to help set department policies and plans, and for making recommendations regarding hiring, retention, tenure and promotion, in accordance with current university regulations (available at Fiscal Affairs).
These by-laws shall supersede all existing department policies, written or otherwise, that may be at variance with them. In the event that university policies should conflict with these provisions, university policies shall take precedence.
The faculty of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is committed not only to shared governance, but also the principles of affirmative action and equal opportunity.
Membership and Voting Rights
- All tenured and tenure-track faculty in the department, regardless of their time-base or leave status, shall be entitled to full participation in all departmental voting and meetings.
- All faculty on early retirement, regardless of their time-base, shall be entitled to full participation in all departmental voting and meetings, consistent with university policy.
- All temporary lecturers on one or three-year contracts shall be entitled to full participation in departmental meetings, and pro rata voting on selected matters (see #4) in proportion to the faculty member's time-base appointment in the semester during which the vote takes place, consistent with university policy.
- Temporary lecturers on one or three-year contracts may vote, on a pro rata basis, for the following: (a) selection of the department chair; (b) ratification and/or amendment of the by-laws; and (c) selection of the coordinator in the language program in which they serve.
- Graduate teaching assistants and lecturers on one-semester appointments shall be entitled to full participation in departmental meetings, but not voting.
- The MLL academic office coordinator (AOC) and academic support coordinator (ASC) shall be entitled to full participation in departmental meetings, but not voting.
- Voting for department chair shall be open to all faculty. The senate’s policy on selection of chairs states: “For purposes of selection, appointment, and review of chairs, the term ‘faculty’ includes tenured and tenure-track faculty, and instructors of record on a yearly contract excluding temporary faculty who are also graduate students in the department. Departments shall tabulate votes of temporary faculty on a pro-rated basis in proportion to the faculty member's time-base appointment in the semester in which the review or selection process is initiated.”
- Only tenure line faculty may vote on hiring, promotion, and retention of tenure line faculty.
- There shall be at least one all-department meeting per semester, scheduled by the department chair.
- Additional meetings may be called at any time upon the request of the chair or one-third of the voting members in the department.
- A necessary quorum to complete business shall consist of 50 percent plus 1 of the tenured, tenure-track, and faculty on FERP in residence in that semester. Lecturers are always welcome at departmental meetings; however, their presence or absence will not be taken into account in determining a quorum.
- Attendance at meetings is expected of all tenured and tenure-track faculty. Lecturers and staff are encouraged to attend.
- Faculty who are unable to attend meetings may submit proxy votes regarding specific pending proposals. Such proxy votes must be submitted in writing to the chair prior to the meeting.
- Student representatives may attend departmental meetings. They shall have speaking rights but may not vote.
The Department Chair
The chair is the department’s chief representative in relations with other university units and the general public. The chair is the department’s chief administrative officer and, as such, is responsible to the members of the department. Barring exceptional circumstances, the chair shall serve no more than two terms. View the guidelines on chair selection and duties for Academic Senate Policy #F11-145.
Department Chair Selection
All tenured and tenure-track faculty members shall be entitled to one full vote, regardless of their time-base during the semester of the selection process.
Faculty on early retirement (FERP) shall be entitled to one full vote, regardless of their time-base during the semester of the selection process.
Lecturers on one and three-year contracts shall be entitled to pro rata participation in chair voting, consistent with university and trustee policy. Lecturers not on one or three-contracts shall not vote.
Nomination for Internal Candidates
- The Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) shall distribute a written call for nominations to all tenured/tenure-track faculty and lecturers of the department.
- The Nominations and Elections Committee will receive the nominations and determine who is willing to stand for election.
- Ballots shall be distributed to all faculty with voting rights as discussed above.
- The election will be by secret ballot. The NEC will tabulate the ballots, and keep a record of numerical totals for each candidate. A separate record of those who voted will also be compiled.
- If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, the candidate with the lowest number of votes shall be dropped from the ballot and another vote taken, until one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast.
- The NEC shall forward the results of the election to the dean for review. When the dean supports the department’s recommendation, he/she recommends appointment to the university president via the Office of Faculty Affairs. The president makes the appointment.
- If the dean does not support the departmental recommendation, per Academic Senate Policy #F11-145, he/she shall convene a meeting of the department faculty with at least a majority of the department faculty present to discuss its recommendation and the dean’s objection. The details of the ensuing process are described in #F11-145.
- In circumstances where the university has approved an external search, the department’s Retention, Tenure and Promotions (RTP) Committee will serve as a search committee.
Acting Chair Selection
- Whenever an acting chair is needed to substitute for a chair on leave or sabbatical, or during the period of an external search (for example), the nomination and voting process shall be the same as for the internal election of a new department chair.
- In all other matters the department follows the existing Academic Senate Policy #F11-145. In the case of contradiction, that policy shall take precedence.
The Program Coordinators
There are nine program coordinators in the department, one each for the nine languages taught: (1) Arabic, (2) Chinese, (3) French, (4) German, (5) Italian, (6) Japanese, (7) Persian, (8) Russian and (9) Spanish.
Program Coordinator Selection
- Program coordinators are selected by the faculty of the relevant program, either by consensus or nomination and election. Lecturers in that program on one-year or three-year contracts may also vote, on a pro rata basis. The term is two years.
- Program coordinators are ideally tenured members of the faculty.
- Tenured faculty members on FERP are not eligible to serve.
- In cases when an untenured (tenure-track) faculty member is elected to serve, the chair will assist by undertaking a portion of the duties. Probationary faculty serving as program coordinators are not expected to shoulder service duties beyond those expected of faculty members at similar points in their probationary periods, in order to put their major efforts into teaching and professional development.
Program Coordinator Duties
- To assist the chair in carrying out his/her duties and responsibilities; to prepare draft schedules of program courses and sections to be offered each semester and to advise the chair on staffing these courses; to serve on the Coordinators Council, the major advisory and governing board for the department (see Standing Committees, below); to advise the chair on the need for additional faculty and on priorities in the programs; to serve as consultants on appropriate curriculum committees; to coordinate periodic program reviews and assessments; to call meetings of the faculty of their programs as needed; to monitor, and where possible, manage revisions to program and course descriptions in the Bulletin and on the department website; to undertake searches for lecturers as needed, in consultation with the chair; to meet with students whose questions and complaints concerning courses or program policies have not been answered or resolved by others and, when appropriate, to refer them to the chair.
- To assist the chair with reviews of lecturer appointments within the language program.
- When there is a tenure-track search in the language program, the program coordinator will as a matter of course be nominated to serve on the Hiring Committee (see Ad Hoc Committees, below).
- When there is a retention, tenure, or promotion review of a tenure-track faculty member in the language program, the program coordinator shall write a letter for the file.
- Program Coordinators shall keep faculty members in their programs informed of departmental policy issues discussed at Coordinators Council meetings. Likewise, when the chair and coordinators debate policy issues electronically, faculty members in the programs should be apprised.
Language programs that offer an M.A. degree shall appoint a graduate coordinator.
Graduate Coordinator Selection
- Graduate coordinators are selected by the tenured and tenure-track faculty of the relevant program, either by consensus or nomination and election. The term is two years.
- Program coordinators may serve concurrently as graduate coordinators, at the discretion of the language program.
- Graduate coordinators are ideally tenured members of the faculty.
- In cases when an untenured (tenure-track) faculty member is chosen to serve, the chair will assist by undertaking a portion of the duties. Probationary faculty serving as program coordinators are not expected to shoulder service duties beyond those expected of other faculty members at similar points in their probationary periods, in order to put their major efforts into teaching and professional development.
Graduate Coordinator Duties
- To oversee recruitment of new graduate students; to handle correspondence with prospective students in a timely manner; to oversee the review of new applications and solicit judgments of all tenured/tenure-track members of the program; to handle post-decision correspondence with prospective students.
- To advise graduate students, and supervise their progress to the degree.
- To consult with the graduate coordinators of the other language programs to coordinate overall policies and approaches to graduate programs in the department (see Standing Committees, below).
- In consultation with the program coordinator, to ensure that all applicants for GTA positions in the program are qualified, per department guidelines (see below).
- In consultation with the program coordinator, to oversee the GTA selection process (see below).
The Department of MLL Staff
MLL staff members oversee both day-to-day and long-range administrative, business, and academic support functions for a large, complex academic unit. They work in tandem with the chair on the multiplicity of diverse tasks that benefit the department as a whole. It is not their responsibility to perform clerical or other duties for individual faculty members.
The Academic Office Coordinator (AOC)
The AOC builds and maintains the class schedule for all semesters in consultation with the chair and program coordinators; manages new and revised course proposals and bulletin changes; maintains budgets; hires, trains, and supervises office staff, including student workers; oversees hiring processes for lecturer, graduate teaching associates, and graduate assistants; performs needed administrative support for RTP processes, including file maintenance and documentation; manages travel authorizations and reimbursements; carries out needed administration for significant curricula-related activities, departmental reviews and university/college matters that affect the department; and provides assistance to the Events Committee, as needed.
The Administrative Support Coordinator (ASC)
The ASC runs the front office, and attends to student and faculty concerns on an administrative scale; coordinates scheduling of shared spaces (including the Language Laboratory and Graduate Reading Room); assists with Language Laboratory operations; coordinates the dissemination of information about the department’s programs, courses, and faculty and department events; oversees the processing of student petitions and major/minor declarations; scans documents to the department shared drive; assists with CalState Apply graduate applications; manages supply orders for the department; maintains and updates the MLL department website and coordinates with associated university websites, in consultation with the chair and program coordinators; maintains MLL social media accounts and content; works with the student assistant on publicity for programs and events; and provides assistance to the Events Committee, as needed.
MLL student assistants include the office assistant(s) and the language laboratory assistant(s). The office assistant(s) serves as first point-of-contact for students and visitors; provides mail pick-up and sorting services; makes deliveries and picks up office supplies when requested by the chair, AOC, or ASC; helps to keep bulletin boards current; assists the ASC with publicity and dissemination of information; performs miscellaneous tasks as requested by the chair, AOC or ASC; and provides assistance to the Events Committee, as needed.
The laboratory assistant(s) serves as first point-of-contact for students who use the facilities; provides information on equipment, software, and materials; proctors the space to ensure proper use; performs additional duties as directed by the ASC; and provides assistance to the Events Committee, as needed.
Standing Committees are permanent entities that meet to consider all matters pertaining to their assigned charge. MLL shall have the following standing committees: (1) language program-specific committees; (2) a Coordinators Council; (3) a Graduate Coordinators Council; (4) a Nominations and Elections Committee; (5) a Retention, Tenure and Promotions Committee; (6) and an Events Committee.
Language Program-Specific Committees
Faculty in each of the department’s language programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Russian and Spanish shall constitute a committee-of-the-whole.
Membership and Terms of Service
- All faculty of the language program are automatically members of the committee.
- For coordinator elections, tenured faculty, tenure-track faculty, and lecturers on one and three-year contracts shall be eligible to vote. Lecturer votes will be on a pro rata basis.
- For program curricular or policy initiatives that require voting, tenured and tenure-track faculty shall vote, and lecturers on one and three-year contracts shall be consulted.
- Select a program coordinator to represent the program (see Program Coordinators, above).
- Assist the program coordinator and department chair with conducting periodic program reviews and assessments of undergraduate and graduate programs.
- Undertake regular curricular review and creative re-thinking of undergraduate and graduate programs.
- Recommend academic and procedural changes in the undergraduate and graduate programs consistent with the goals of both the program and department.
- Plan events, publicity, and recruitment strategies for the program, in consultation with the chair and the Events Committee.
- Hold periodic program meetings for curriculum planning and other issues, and make recommendations for the program coordinator to take to the chair and Coordinators Council.
The Coordinators Council is the major advisory and decision-making body for the department.
Membership and Terms of Service
- The department chair and the coordinators of all the language programs constitute the council.
- On issues that require voting, each language program shall have one vote, and the chair shall have one vote.
- On issues concerning graduate programs in the department, only those language programs that offer graduate degrees and the chair shall have a vote. When such issues are pending, graduate coordinators shall be invited to attend council meetings.
- The council shall meet regularly (approximately six to eight times per semester). Meetings are open to all faculty in the department, and all attendees have speaking privileges, but voting is restricted as above.
- The chair or any coordinator may request a vote on any action item in the agenda, in which case a simple majority is required for a motion to pass.
- The council may choose not to vote on an agenda item and refer it to faculty vote, either by written ballot or at a faculty meeting.
- Advise the chair on matters of importance to the department, including setting agenda priorities for department meetings, budgetary considerations and priorities, recruitment and publicity, recommendations and requests submitted from within and outside of the department, evaluation of tenured faculty and lecturers, and procedures for student evaluation of teaching effectiveness.
- Advise and recommend to the department and chair priorities for long-term changes in the department. Matters concerning major policy and curricular changes shall be subject to council vote. Matters concerning changes to RTP guidelines and processes shall be forwarded, with a recommendation, to the tenured and tenure-track faculty members for a vote.
- Review and revise departmental policies and by-laws for consideration by the faculty.
- Safeguard the interests and integrity of the programs and at the same time provide a climate conducive to the development of a cohesive department and a spirit of community and trust.
- In consultation with the chair, review directives and proposals from higher administrative authority (including campus reorganization, departmental mergers and/or program partnerships) and pass them on to the department with recommendations for carrying them out or for opposing them.
- Oversee mentoring of new faculty. Provide new faculty members with an overview of department programs and functions and a roadmap of expectations for new faculty during their first three years in the department. Mentoring shall include recommendations and information about opportunities to participate in program, departmental and university service. Individual faculty members may be designated to serve as mentors.
- Support professional development of probationary faculty and lecturers by providing one-on-one mentoring, including curricular, teaching and/or research support and information about internal and external funding sources.
- Advise and assist the chair to develop strategies and practices to engage alumni.
- Advise and assist the chair to develop strategies and practices to engage current and potential students, in order to build and sustain enrollments.
- Advise and assist the chair to develop community relationships, in order to attract donations and other support.
- Make recommendations to form and dissolve ad hoc committees.
Graduate Coordinators Council
Membership and Terms of Service
- All graduate coordinators in the department are automatically members of the council.
- The council is a consultative body only. Any issues that require votes or departmental action shall be referred to the Coordinators Council and the chair.
- The council shall select a chair.
- The council shall meet at least once per semester, either in-person or electronically.
- The graduate coordinators council coordinates the work of the various graduate programs, to ensure common policies and procedures and the incorporation of best practices.
Nominations and Elections Committee
Membership and Terms of Service
- The MLL department Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) shall consist of at least three members, elected by voting members of the department.
- All tenured and tenure-track members of the department are eligible to serve.
- Members shall serve for three years.
- The Committee shall elect its own chair.
- Elections for standing committees shall take place mid-spring with terms of service beginning in the fall semester. Elections for ad hoc committees shall take place as needed.
- Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.
- Identify department members eligible to serve on committees.
- Promote broad participation in departmental work by assuring the representation of diverse interests, attitudes and programs.
- Nominate members to run for vacancies on departmental committees.
- Run elections each spring to fill committee vacancies.
- Run special nominations and elections when it is necessary to replace a committee member who takes leave before his/her term is completed.
- Solicit nominations and run elections for department chair.
- Oversee the mid-term review of the department chair, following university regulations.
Retention, Tenure, and Promotions (RTP) Committee
Given the moderate size of the department and year-to-year variability of the RTP workload, these responsibilities shall be undertaken by a single committee whose size can be expanded, if needed, as explained in # 13, below.
Membership and Terms of Service
- The committee shall have five tenured members, at least three of whom must be at full professor rank.
- Eligibility for the RTP Committee will conform to the guidelines in Academic Senate Policy #F16-241.
- Senate Policy #F16-241 stipulates: “The department chair is ineligible to serve as a member of the committee, or to participate in department peer review committee deliberations. They shall make a separate and independent recommendation on each retention, tenure, or promotion case under consideration. However, when a department chair is under review for retention, promotion and/or tenure, or when they are not currently at a higher rank than the faculty under review, they may not make separate and independent chair level recommendations for faculty under review in their department.”
- Faculty members on FERP generally do not serve on RTP committees. Yet in accordance with university policy, exceptions can be made if the department asks for and receives approval from the university president.
- Senate Policy #F16-241 stipulates: “Provision shall be made to ensure continuity of membership so that in any year there will be carryover of at least one person on a three-member committee and at least two persons on a five-or-more-member committee.” This shall be accomplished by staggering the three-year terms of RTP Committee members.
- Faculty being considered for promotion are ineligible to serve on department peer review committees, as per university regulations.
- Tenured faculty members on leave are eligible to serve only if they are willing to serve throughout an academic year.
- Elections are overseen by the Nominations and Elections Committee, and will take place in the spring semester. Once elected, the Committee shall then elect its own chair before the end of the spring semester. The newly elected chair will oversee the solicitation of external reviews in May. All other newly elected members begin their terms the following fall.
- As RTP reviews are a key function that will guide the success of the entire department in the future, it is the obligation of tenured faculty members to allow their names to be placed in nomination for election. Exceptions are made for faculty members who have approved leaves during the academic year following the election, or for those who have medical conditions that would hamper their full participation. See also #11.
- When a committee member’s three-year term is interrupted by an approved leave, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall hold an election for a one-year replacement. When the faculty member returns from leave, the term continues. The one-year hiatus is not counted as committee service time.
- Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected. However, to allow a measure of turnover in the committee membership, those who are completing a three-year term may remove their names from nomination for one year, if they choose.
- In the event that a vacancy or vacancies results in fewer than three full professors on the committee, then only full professors shall be nominated in the subsequent election to fill the vacancy or vacancies.
- In years when there is a particularly heavy workload of retention, tenure, and promotions cases, the committee may, in consultation with the chair and the dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, request the temporary assistance of a sixth member. In such cases, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall hold an election for a tenured associate or full professor to join the committee for a one-year term.
- The committee shall elect its own chair.
- Each fall, the committee shall equitably divide the workload. Each review will be carried out by a three-member panel. Only full professors may review associate professors applying for promotion. The RTP chair will sign all RTP Committee letters.
- Review and recommend in writing to the department chair and dean regarding retention, tenure and promotion of probationary faculty, and promotion of tenured faculty.
- Comply fully with all university policies and with all provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.
- Advise all faculty members under review on processes, deadlines, and departmental and university criteria.
Membership and Terms of Service
- The MLL Events Committee shall consist of at least three faculty members, nominated by NEC and elected by the voting members of the department.
- The department AOC and ASC provide assistance as needed.
- All tenured and tenure-track members of the department are eligible to serve.
- Faculty members shall serve three-year terms.
- The Committee shall elect its own chair.
- Elections shall take place mid-spring with terms of service beginning in the fall semester.
- Members whose terms are expiring may be re-elected.
- Assist in sustaining social support, morale and intellectual engagement for the department as a whole, including planning intellectual events, departmental parties and other regular social functions, such as graduation receptions and honors ceremonies.
- Contact all faculty in the department at or before the beginning of each semester, to encourage them to plan and schedule events.
- Consult with the chair about whether MLL funds are available to support events each semester, and make recommendations prioritizing funds disbursement.
- Coordinate the events for each semester, and create a unified calendar for publicity purposes.
- Identify and contact other university departments/units or community organizations to co-sponsor events, when appropriate.
- Publicize events to current students, university faculty and staff, MLL alumni and the broader community.
Ad Hoc Committees
There are two types of ad hoc committees in the MLL department. One type is formed to address specific problems or tasks that arise that fall outside the purview of standing committees. The other type is formed for specific purposes that arise periodically. Ad hoc committees are disbanded when the problems or tasks have been resolved. Examples of possible ad hoc committee tasks include, but are not limited to: planning for future uses of the language laboratory; incorporating technology in the language classroom; adopting online learning strategies; student recruitment and retention; creating and promoting a fundraising plan for the department; proficiency-based language teaching strategies; GTA training; and sabbatical/difference-in-pay leave reviews. In most cases, the chair, in consultation with the Coordinators Council, establishes the ad hoc committee, and calls for volunteers from among the tenure-track and tenured faculty members. When volunteers are insufficient to staff the committee, the chair may make appointments. For tasks that may result in major changes to the department, the committee membership will be up to a department vote, at the discretion of the Coordinators Council. Such tasks include: hiring of tenure-track faculty members (see below); drafting revisions to RTP criteria and processes; overseeing the drafting of periodic departmental review documents; and other proposals that may result in major changes of direction or policy for the department.
Tenure-track Hiring Committees
Membership and Terms of Service
- A hiring committee shall have at least three members. As per Academic Senate Policy #S02-158, only tenured faculty members are eligible to serve. Probationary faculty members may serve only at the discretion of the President and upon request of the department. Such requests need to be sent to the Office of Faculty Affairs and addressed to the President.
- Ordinarily, probationary (tenure-track) faculty members may serve only as consulting members, as they not expected to shoulder service duties beyond those normally expected of faculty members at similar points in their probationary periods, in order to put their major efforts into teaching and professional development.
- The practice at SF State is for faculty in the early retirement program (FERP) not to serve on search committees.
- Nomination and election will be overseen by the NEC; voting will be by tenure-track and tenured faculty members only.
- At the outset of the search, the Coordinators Council will decide whether it is advisable for the department chair to stand for election to the hiring committee. Such a decision may be advisable if the search will be in the chair’s language or field of specialization.
- If the department chair serves on a hiring committee, he/she may not submit a separate hiring recommendation to the college dean. Academic Senate Policy #S03-158 states, “It is highly recommended that the department chair/director conduct an independent review and prepare a separate recommendation to the college dean and not serve as a member of the search committee.”
- When a tenure-track appointment in the department is to be made in an existing language program or programs, as a matter of course, the program coordinator(s) shall be nominated for election to the hiring committee. All other tenured faculty members in the language program(s) of the proposed appointment may nominate themselves for election. Probationary faculty in the language program(s) of the proposed appointment who wish to serve only in a consulting capacity need not stand for election.
- Regardless of the size of the hiring committee, at least one member must be from outside of the language program or programs in which the appointment will be made, or from outside of the department.
- Department voting for hiring committee members will be a simple Yes/No for the program coordinator(s) and faculty members of the relevant language program(s).
- Department voting for the outside member to the hiring committee will follow the usual NEC nomination/election procedure.
- When a tenure-track appointment is to be made in a language or languages that the department does not currently offer, the committee may include faculty members from any of the department’s language programs, or those from other departments.
- The hiring committee elects its own chair, who must be a tenured faculty member.
- Undertakes pre-search tasks in accordance with the policy on the Faculty Affairs and Professional Development website, in consultation with the chair. These include gaining necessary approvals; drafting the advertisements; drafting a recruitment plan; making use of diversity and inclusion training; and submitting the recruitment packet to Faculty Affairs.
- Undertakes search tasks like posting advertisements and publicizing the position; respects confidentiality of applicants; and creates rubrics designed to narrow the applicant pool to an intermediate list of applicants to interview by telephone or video conference.
- After the closing date for applications, reviews all applicant files; narrows the pool using the rubrics; conducts telephone/video interviews; and chooses finalists for campus visits, upon approval from the dean, plans and hosts campus visits.
- After all visits are complete, the committee shall decide which candidate(s) among those interviewed recommend for the position. The committee may elect to recommend one candidate, to rank all or some candidates, or to recommend none of the candidates.
- Provides a written memo, signed by all committee members, justifying their decisions.
Retention, Tenure and Promotion Criteria
The Department of Modern Language and Literatures criteria for RTP are available from the San Francisco State University Faculty Affairs website, as are the general university criteria. Changes to the department’s RTP criteria and processes are subject to a vote by all tenure-track and tenured faculty. RTP Criteria will be reviewed and updated at least once every six years. The document also includes criteria and procedures for post-tenure reviews of faculty members, which are required every five years.
Lecturer Hiring, Appointments and Evaluation
A judicious and informed process for the hiring and appointment of new lecturers, and thorough periodic evaluation of lecturers on one and three-year contracts are vital to maintaining curriculum quality.
Hiring and Appointment of New Lecturers
- When there is a need for a new lecturer in a language program, the program coordinator shall consult with the chair to plan a search.
- The search should be publicized locally, through professional association websites and outreach to local universities and community colleges. Private outreach to individual candidates is acceptable only if public announcement has also been made. This is to ensure that the department complies with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Equal Opportunity Policy, as described in Academic Senate Policy #F15-160: “…every department will publish and disseminate announcements about the availability of lecturer appointments on campus in department and school offices, and to appropriate media, higher education institutions, and professional organizations throughout the Bay Area region as necessary to ensure a viable pool of applicants.”
- The hiring of temporary faculty is governed by Academic Senate Policy #F15-160 (see https://senate.sfsu.edu/policy/temporary-faculty-lecturers Prospective candidates who possess the necessary qualifications shall be asked to visit campus for an interview with the chair and program coordinator. Meetings with other faculty members and demonstrations of teaching may be required, at the discretion of the language program.
- The program coordinator makes a recommendation for appointment. If the chair concurs, the AOC will undertake the appointment.
Evaluation Process of Current Lecturers
- Conduct periodic evaluations in full compliance with University policies and all relevant provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, as described in Academic Senate Policy #F15-160 (see https://senate.sfsu.edu/policy/temporary-faculty-lecturers )
- For evaluation of part-time lecturers who are not yet eligible for a 3-year appointment, the program coordinator of the relevant language program and the chair review SETE scores each semester, as well as course materials (syllabi, sample assignments, etc.). Class observations should be conducted. In consultation with the program coordinator, the chair completes the Temporary Faculty Evaluation Form to forward to the college dean.
- For evaluation of full-time lecturers on 3-year appointments and part-time lecturers who are eligible for a 3-year appointment the following year, an initial review will be undertaken by an ad hoc Lecturer Review Committee. Class observations should be conducted. It forwards its findings to the chair and program coordinator, who prepare the Temporary Faculty Evaluation Form and forward to the college dean.
GTA Selection and Appointment
- The Department supports the training and employment of graduate students.
- To be eligible for a GTA position, graduate students in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures should take and pass MLL 750 or MLL 751, or a similar graduate level language acquisition/pedagogy course taught within the department. If a student undertakes a GTA appointment without having already completed an appropriate language acquisition/pedagogy course, concurrent enrollment in such a course is permissible.
- No graduate student working as a GTA may earn credit for the course in which she or he is assisting or teaching.
- Graduate students serving as GTAs in a given undergraduate class must not grade any work done by a student who is a classmate of the GTA in another class.
- To ensure that the Department meets the requirements of the Unit 11 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Department’s graduate students cannot teach, grade or assist as a volunteer in a Department course without the written permission of the Chair.
- Each language program will identify the number of GTA positions and deadlines for GTA applications. The number of positions will be based on the needs of the curriculum and on funding.
- The program coordinator, in consultation with the chair, shall announce the positions available prior to the start of each semester. The application consists of the student’s resume and a one-page cover letter.
- Completed applications are reviewed and ranked by language program faculty. Language programs may specify additional review procedures such as (but not limited to) oral interviews and teaching demonstrations.
- Recommendations by the language programs regarding GTA choice and GTA teaching schedules are forwarded to the chair, who confirms that selected candidates possess the background, experience, and course requirements for the position.
- The program coordinator and graduate coordinator notify selectees. The AOC oversees the hiring process per university guidelines
By-Laws Amendment Process
These by-laws shall be submitted for ratification at a departmental meeting when a quorum of the voting members are present, or by written ballot if the chair, in consultation with the Coordinators Council, so decides. In either case, a simple majority is required to ratify or amend the by-laws.
(Ratified by vote of the faculty on January 22, 2021)
As required by University Policy on Retention, Tenure and Promotion (Policy #F19-241), all faculty members in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures who are being considered for retention, tenure and promotion will be evaluated in three categories: 1) teaching effectiveness, 2) professional achievement and growth, and 3) contributions to campus and community. The university policy also states, “It is the responsibility of the department to establish clearly the department’s expectations for retention, tenure and promotion consistent with the university criteria.” The department Retention, Tenure and Promotions Committee, followed by the department Chair, will consider and evaluate all of the achievements of a candidate for retention, tenure and/or promotion in accordance with the departmental expectations listed below.
The faculty member being reviewed is responsible for preparing an upto-date curriculum vitae and selecting materials they wish to have considered; these are to be uploaded to the electronic Working Personnel Action File (eWPAF) prior to the date the file is closed. Guidelines are available at https://facaffairs.sfsu.edu/ewpaf-guidelines-3.
- RESOURCES. Candidates are expected to follow the most recent guidelines set out in the “Preparing for Tenure and Promotion Handbook” available at:
- CURRICULUM VITAE. Following Revised Senate Policy #F19-241, candidates are expected to use the most recent curriculum vitae format available at:
- SELF-STATEMENTS. Candidates should provide prefatory self-statements or narratives of no more than 750 words per statement for each of the three sections of the eWPAF. The purpose of the self-statements is to frame and contextualize materials in that section, particularly for those at higher levels of review or not within the candidate’s discipline. The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures recommends that candidates review examples of self-statements produced by other faculty who have undergone review.
- COMPILATION ADVISEMENT. The department Retention, Tenure and Promotions Committee and the department Chair will be available to provide assistance as needed.
I. Teaching Effectiveness
To be considered for retention, tenure or promotion, regardless of qualifications in other categories, candidates must meet the standard of excellence in teaching that is normally expected of faculty and required by the University, as stated in current Academic Senate policies, to wit: “Effective teaching is exhibited in the classroom, research laboratory, or in the community. It is demonstrated when faculty join with students to develop knowledge and skills through classroom experiences, scholarly research, creative activities, and community service.”
The criteria for evaluation of teaching in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures are:
- Range and breadth of courses: Tenured and tenure-track faculty in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures may be called upon to teach a variety of courses, from lower-division undergraduate language and subject matter courses, to upper-division language and subject matter courses, to graduate courses, according to program needs.
- Course materials: Syllabi and selected relevant documents (bibliographies, reading lists, class projects/assignments, examinations, course websites, online course design) are used by the department RTP Committee as evidence of course organization, course level, and the expectations the faculty member sets for student learning. Course materials in the target language do not need to be translated, but documents submitted in a language other than English should be briefly described in the self-statement on teaching effectiveness.
- Peer class visitations: Class visitations by colleagues are vital for assessing the level of the professor’s presentation, expectations, and style of engagement with students. These visits complement student evaluations, which can be affected by class demands and grades. All faculty members are encouraged to obtain such peer evaluations from a variety of colleagues, and probationary faculty are encouraged to obtain them annually. Evaluators of online classes may observe synchronous sessions, or evaluate asynchronous materials as conditions dictate. Evaluators will submit a written report to the faculty member and to the department Chair for placement in the eWPAF.
- Student Evaluations: Faculty seeking tenure and/or promotion must include in their eWPAF the Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE) that are automatically made available to students each semester. (See appendix for exceptions related to the COVID-19 crisis). The department RTP Committee regards these surveys as important because they provide a large representative sample of student reactions. When compiling their eWPAF, faculty should include on their CV their own scores compared to the department average. Separate averages are compiled for each of three levels: lower-division language and subject matter courses, upper-division language and subject matter courses, and graduate courses. The student evaluation form used in the department utilizes a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 as the best score. Typically, a score numerically above 2.0 in any course suggests a need for improvement. The department RTP Committee will also calculate averages of the scores for individual courses, in two ways. First, an overall average for all courses will be calculated, which should fall between 1.0 and 2.0. Second, it will calculate separate averages for the three levels of courses: lower-division language and subject matter courses, upper-division language and subject matter courses, and graduate courses. The average for each of the three levels should fall between 1.0 and 2.0. In interpreting averages, the Committee may consider the size and nature of the courses involved, as well as course assignments.
- Student Letters: Signed written comments from students are taken seriously, but because they usually represent a small sample of student opinion, they are not regarded as highly as SETE results. Only signed and dated letters addressed to the department RTP Committee or department Chair will be accepted. The Committee and Chair will not review end-of-semester “Thank You” cards, emails, and other such ephemera from students.
- Curriculum Development: Creation and development of new courses or curricula can be considered in this category, but candidates should note that a certain level of course preparation and development is expected of all faculty members. Establishment of a new concentration, or creation of a new academic program requiring effort above the usual expectation may be presented, along with relevant documentation showing the nature and scope of the effort. In addition, unusual or exceptionally innovative course materials may be submitted for consideration if they are judged to be beyond the usual expected effort of faculty.
- Participation/attendance in Teaching-Oriented Professional Conferences and Workshops: Staying up to date in one’s field, revising course content, and continuous improvement of the teaching and learning process is expected of all faculty in the department. However, consideration may be given to attendance and/or participation at conferences or workshops which are specifically oriented to improving the teaching and learning process.
- Advising: Whether officially designated “advisor” or not, all faculty must be effective in advising and willing to confer with students. Collaborative projects with students are encouraged.
- Supervision of Master’s Theses and/or Culminating Experiences: In programs that offer an M.A., supervision of M.A. theses as a first, second or third reader; or supervision of Culminating Experience projects or exams is considered a substantial part of a faculty member’s teaching contribution.
- Miscellaneous: At a minimum, basic technology skills (email, word-processing, file-sharing, web-posting, video conferencing, and a working knowledge of the course management system) are strongly encouraged, as effective teaching in the 21st century is impossible without them.
- Independent Studies: Although generally discouraged, independent studies may be offered in exceptional circumstances. In such cases, faculty are encouraged to highlight them in the eWPAF, and they may be used to demonstrate teaching effectiveness.
For Promotion from Associate to Full Professor, candidates should demonstrate continuing efforts to improve their teaching in the aforementioned areas. In addition, faculty must demonstrate leadership in teaching more broadly by contributing, for example, in:
- Teaching-related faculty development workshops or trainings;
- Mentoring junior faculty through classroom observation and sharing of teaching techniques
- Leading program development and evaluation
- Ongoing curricular innovation and development
- Adopting innovative course methodologies
- Proposing and teaching new classes
II. Professional Achievement and Growth
Candidates for retention, tenure and/or promotion must meet the minimum evaluative standards for Professional Achievement and Growth as stated in current Academic Senate Policies. As faculty professional achievements and intellectual growth enhance the lives of students, the department, and the university itself, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures expects both probationary and tenured faculty members to demonstrate patterns of intellectual activity and growth commensurate with their academic rank. Our department evaluates scholarship according to its quality and impact, not according to quantitative measures of productivity alone. Thus in weighing merit for retention, tenure and/or promotion, the department may adjust the quantitative measures of scholarly output employed below to take into consideration the depth of research associated with a project, or the project’s impact on the field.
The criteria presented apply for A) Retention, B) Tenure and/or Promotion to Associate Professor, and C) Promotion to Full Professor while taking into consideration the expectations for each category as outlined below:
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures considers works in languages other than English, when subject to the same standards of peer review, to qualify as equally meritorious as English-language works. Evidence of professional achievement and growth must include publication and presentation of original scholarly work. The term publication is not intended to be restricted to paper and ink; electronic publication of books, journals, and other scholarly media shall be considered on an equal basis. The key to determining the significance of an item is not the medium of publication but the review process, the scholarly reputation of the journal or other publisher, and the critical reception of the item by the discipline.
Candidates are expected to produce quality scholarship from the following list. Because we are a department made up of several related but distinct disciplines under the rubric of “Modern Language and Literatures,” the kinds of professional activity and forms of publication that demonstrate quality scholarship will vary depending upon the faculty member’s program and specialization within the department.
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures fully recognizes co-authored work as important to the candidate’s field and believes in its value to bring different perspectives to a research, increase productivity, and establish scholarly networks. To this end, MLL acknowledges co-authored scholarly work (e.g., a peer-reviewed journal article, a book chapter; Introduction to a volume, etc.) in which the candidate’s contribution is significant, and which is published or accepted for publication in reputable, non pay-to-publish academic venues. Candidates are expected to account for their level and percentage of contribution to any co-authored work in their professional achievement and growth narrative, and ideally support their account with documentation. At the same time, the department expects that candidates who co-author publications should have single-authored publications included in their eWPAF as well.
The enumeration of professional achievement examples presented in the following two lists may not be comprehensive, as the fields of MLL faculty are constantly evolving. It is up to the RTP Committee to take new presentational venues into account.
- Peer-reviewed scholarly monographs
- Peer-reviewed textbooks deemed by pre- or post-publication scholarly reviewers to offer original insights and perspectives
- Articles (single-authored or collaborative) in reputable peer-reviewed journals
- Other peer-reviewed papers (such as review essays or chapters in anthologies)
- Peer-reviewed manuscripts that have been accepted for publication and are in production (but not those that are only under contract and incomplete)
- Peer-reviewed critical editions and annotated translations
- Peer-reviewed edited anthologies
- Peer-reviewed projects in new technologies (i.e., digital humanities)
In addition, the following works and activities (List B) are considered when presented in combination with items in List A. No individual item or combination of items in List B will be considered appropriate for tenure or promotion in the absence of items from List A.
- Peer-reviewed manuscripts under contract, but still incomplete. All reviews must be included in the eWPAF.
- Books or articles for popular audiences
- Book reviews in scholarly journals or scholarly internet sites
- Editing a refereed journal, special issue, encyclopedia, or other work in one’s field of specialization.
- Invited entries in scholarly encyclopedias
- Scholarly presentations of research (peer reviewed more relevant than non-peer-reviewed)
- Non-peer-reviewed projects in new technologies (i.e., digital humanities)
- Professional honors, prizes, awards, etc., related to professional achievement and growth.
- Grant awards for scholarly research
- Major grants that benefit the department and the university
- Scholarly contributions for broader non-specialist audiences: blogs, vlogs, podcasts, etc.
- Works in progress
- Peer-reviewed or editor-reviewed creative work (e.g., fiction, poetry, essays, or translations) published in book form, in journals and magazines, or on websites.
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures expects candidates for retention to exhibit an escalating pattern of professional achievement and scholarly growth during their probationary period. Probationary faculty members will produce significant scholarly contributions and grow intellectually within their areas of expertise. Candidates will demonstrate tangible progress toward meeting the standards for tenure and promotion.
(2) Tenure and/or Promotion to Associate Professor
Tenure and/or promotion to Associate Professor is a long-term university commitment, therefore the department expects that candidates will demonstrate a pattern of rigorous scholarship meriting the status. The successful candidate will have either:
- A peer-reviewed monograph/textbook published by a reputable/academic press, OR
- At least three peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters (published or in production), OR
- A combination of peer-reviewed publications (from List A) and other forms of scholarly publication and presentation (from List B), deemed by the department RTP committee to be the equivalent of at least three peer-reviewed articles or essays.
(3) Promotion to Full Professor
The department expects that the pattern of intellectual activity and growth established during the probationary period will extend beyond tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. Successful candidates for promotion to Professor will have a sustained and compelling record of research and publication that includes a coherent combination of both peer-reviewed (List A) and other forms (List B) of scholarly activity. This work might be an extension of previous scholarship, or stake new research ground (traditionally in the form of multiple articles, a book, or equivalent). Such work is also expected to demonstrate the candidate’s impact on the field. When evaluating the professional achievement of candidates for promotion to Professor, the department RTP Committee takes into consideration the shorter time frame between ranks when going from Associate to Professor, the increased University and department level expectations for service, and the limited research support available to Associate Professors.
External reviewers are not solicited in retention reviews but are expected in tenure and promotion reviews. Candidates may propose up to six external reviewers. The RTP committee may propose additional reviewers. The candidate and the committee will consult to determine a final list of up to six reviewers. Reviewers shall not have been the candidate’s dissertation chair or committee member, or have a close, extensive collaborative relationship with the candidate. Reviewers shall not be close colleagues within SFSU, nor relatives of the candidate. Reviewers shall be from CSU-comparable institutions or higher, and hold a higher rank than the candidate being reviewed. Reviewers will be asked to include a description of their relationship to the candidate and state potential conflicts of interest. Reviewers will be informed that candidates have access to their letters. The RTP Chair will begin the invitation process, track the process of securing the external reviews, answer questions from the reviewers, receive review letters, and place letters in the candidate’s eWPAF. The RTP chair will add a biographical sketch of each outside reviewer to the eWPAF.
No later than June 1 before the Fall semester in which the review takes place, candidates for tenure and/or promotion shall provide the RTP committee with a current curriculum vitae and scholarly materials from the period under review for use by external reviewers.
III. Contributions to Campus and Community
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures expects all candidates for retention, tenure and promotion to offer service to the campus and community. The department does not distinguish between local, regional and national service to the profession. Such service may involve some crossover from the Teaching Effectiveness category (in program advising, for example) or the Professional Achievement and Growth category (in giving public talks, for example), if the service activity relies on the faculty member’s pedagogical or scholarly expertise.
Following are the types of service, ranking of leadership roles, and campus participations to be assessed by the department RTP Committee, and example activities:
A. Campus Service
1. Service to the candidate’s LANGUAGE PROGRAM
- Taking leadership roles (e.g., Coordinator, Graduate Advisor, Director)
- Service on program committees
- Taking on special assignments for program development (e.g., original curricular design and implementation, major curricular revisions, Subject Matter Program submissions to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing)
- Training and supervising Graduate Teaching Assistants, and staff
- Facilitating extracurricular events for program students
- Program or Credential advising
- Program promotional activities and fundraising
- Providing program related outside consulting
- Serving on Master Thesis Committees outside of one’s own program.
2. Service to the DEPARTMENT
- Serving on hiring committees
- Serving on RTP committees
- Actively working on department curriculum
- Serving on other department committees
- Sponsoring student organizations
- Sponsoring and/or organizing promotional events
- Serving as the CFA Union Representative of the department
3. Service to the COLLEGE
- Serving as an assistant dean or in a similar capacity
- Serving on college-wide committees and task forces
- Serving on college council committees
- Taking on leadership roles (e.g., administrative positions, Chair of college/university committee or subcommittee)
- Interdisciplinary program development
- Grant activity for program development (see Section 2: Professional Achievement and Growth for “Grant proposals for professional or scholarly development”)
- Speeches and appearances in the media, promoting the university
- Special advising assignments (e.g., General Education advising, interdisciplinary area studies major/minor advising)
4. Service to the UNIVERSITY
- Serving as department chair or director of an RSO
- Serving on the Academic Senate
- Serving on the Academic Senate Sub-committees
- Serving on university-wide committees
- Sponsoring and/or organizing campus-wide promotional events
B. Community Service
- Professional leadership such as serving in leadership positions of professional organizations, directing or advising programs outside of SFSU, promoting the creation of new professional organizations in the field or new international language and culture programs outside of SFSU.
- Participating in professional organizations.
- Organizing conferences, workshops, and conference sessions
- Serving on editorial, organizational, or executive boards.
- Reading and reviewing manuscripts for professional journals, academic presses, and/or textbooks.
- Chairing or moderating conference sessions or giving a formal response to one or more papers on a conference panel.
- Consulting with and serving community colleges, high schools, community organizations, and/or other education-related organizations.
- Consulting with and serving community organizations on subjects related to the faculty member’s field or to the university.
- Creating or helping to moderate a listserv in one's field.
- Contributing to media (newspapers, radio, television).
- Other outreach activities, including: workshops, cultural events and talks geared towards community groups or educational institutions.
For promotion from Associate to Full Professor, service beyond the level of Program and Department, that is to say, service at the levels of College and University, will be viewed as particularly relevant. These include:
College-level Roles and Participation
- Serving as an assistant dean or in a similar capacity
- Serving on college-wide committees and task forces
- Serving on college council committees
University-level Roles and Participation
- Serving as department chair
- Serving as director of a Research and Service Organization (RSO)
- Serving university-wide committees
- Serving on the Academic Senate
- Serving on the Academic Sub-committees
(ADOPTED BY FACULTY VOTE May 7, 2021)