Construction and paving work will soon begin to improve Ely Road and the adjacent parking lot behind the apartments on campus. Beginning July 9, the parking lot will be closed.

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Campus shot of Globe and Courtney Hall

FAQs for Faculty & Staff

How does the college structure organize departments and academic programs?

The College Deans listed below take primary responsibility for advocating for and supporting academic departments and their students.  Below is a breakdown of responsibilities of each College.

College of Education, Health, and Human Services

Departments and academic programs:
Business (Accounting, Marketing, Finance, Economics and Management), Criminal Justice, Education, Health Sciences, Movement Science, Nursing, Social Work
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Departments and academic programs:
Art, Communication, English (incl. Theatre), Ethnic and Gender Studies, Geography, Planning & Sustainability, History, Language and Culture Studies, Liberal Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology
College of Mathematics and Sciences

Departments and academic programs: Biology, Chemical & Physical Sciences, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Psychology
College of Graduate and Continuing Education

Departments and academic programs:
All graduate programs and students; including post-bac and undergraduate students enrolled through CGCE, online undergraduate completion programs, non-credit and extension programming, winter and summer academic programming, early college programming, ROTC, the Military Community Excellence Center, the Center for Teacher Education

All Colleges have their own budgets.  The College Dean will be responsible for the budget, so the budget and procurement processes (e.g. budget requests, equipment requests, ROs, POs) will be forwarded to the appropriate College Dean. The College Deans will work with Michelle Maggio, Associate Dean for Fiscal Management and Budget Planning, as needed.

Who approves my request to travel?
  • During the transition to the college structure, Request to Travel forms will be approved by the Department Chair, sent to the College Dean for initialing, and to the Office of the Provost for processing.  Beginning in 2019, the College Dean’s office will process faculty requests to travel and manage the faculty travel budget.
  • If the department chair submits a Request to Travel form, the form goes directly to the College Dean and follows the process above.
  • For any grant-related travel, please contact the Office Grants and Sponsored Programs for funding and process.
     
Who approves Authorization to Pay forms?
  • Authorization to Pay forms without a purchase order number will be approved by the Department Chair, sent to the College Dean for initialing, and then sent to the Office of the Provost for processing.
  • As in the past, Authorization to Pay forms with a purchase order number will be approved by the Department Chair.
What is the role of the Dean in grant solicitation and writing?

Academic Affairs is in the process of reviewing its grant policy and associated procedures.  Departments are asked to work closely with the Dean(s) of relevant Colleges on any intent to solicit or write a grant. The Dean of Faculty oversees the Grants and Sponsored Programs office, but the College Deans are responsible for generating and guiding grant proposals from their home college in collaboration with the Grants and Sponsored Programs office.

Advising

Department-level forms that require only a chair’s signature will remain the same: 

  • Change of Major
  • Declaration of Minor

For forms that require a dean’s signature, please see changes below.

Whom do I contact if I am concerned about a student?

If a student is demonstrating a behavior that impacts his/her performance in a class, please contact your department chair.  The chair will then decide if the issue is best managed by Student Affairs (chair contacts Dean of Students) or Academic Affairs (chair contacts College Dean) to determine the appropriate intervention measures.

Where do I go to support a day undergraduate student who is appealing an academic dismissal?

The Registrar serves as the chair of the Academic Standing Committee.  Questions regarding academic dismissal should be forwarded to the Registrar or Dean of Undergraduate Studies.  The academic dismissal process for undergraduates enrolled through CGCE and graduate students is overseen by the CGCE Dean.

Who signs academic forms for “day” undergraduates?

Many forms that required the signature of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies will now be signed by the College Dean, including the following: 

  • Grade change
  • Independent study
  • Late withdrawal
  • Grade appeals
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Application for Enrollment Over 18 Credits

Please note that the Dean of Undergraduate Studies will continue to sign:

  • Curriculum Substitution Forms (for Core Substitution)
Who signs forms for CGCE undergraduates?

All approval processes in CGCE will remain the same.

In which College are the exploratory (UND) students housed?

There are several types of undeclared students.  Undeclared students who have not indicated any specific disciplinary interest on their admissions application will be housed in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  A student who has indicated multiple disciplinary interests on his/her admissions application will be housed in the College that is closest to his/her primary academic interest.  

A student may be undeclared because he/she is not accepted into his/her first choice major.  These students will be assigned to a College on a case-by-case basis.  For example, a student who is not accepted into a major in which students are allowed to transfer at a later date may be placed into the College of first choice major and monitored for progress.  Students who will not be able to transfer into the first major of choice, having been declined admission initially, will be placed in a college reflective of his/her second choice or related major. 

If the student is a double-major in two different colleges, who is their dean?

The student will have two advisors and two department chairs, so if an issue arises within a particular program, the department chair would contact the appropriate College Dean.

Whom do I contact for faculty and staff-related matters?

Please first see the department chair to discuss questions, concerns, or issues and determine an appropriate course of action.

Whom do I contact with ideas or questions about university-wide academic programs?

If you have ideas or questions about programs, the Department Chair and College Dean will help guide your next steps.   The Dean of Faculty is the liaison to Civic Engagement, Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, Writing Across the Curriculum, Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs, International Programs, and the Westfield State Experience.  The Dean of Undergraduate Studies is the Academic Affairs contact for questions pertaining to general education and the common core, academic support services (Academic Advising, Urban Education, Trio, Office of Retention and the Banacos Center), and curriculum support programs such as Higher Ed/Higher Ground, and Diversity Across Curriculum.

How will the development of department course schedules be affected by the new structure?

The department chairs will continue to work with faculty to develop course schedules.  College Deans will work with department chairs to ensure that the course schedules are serving the needs of students and using resources effectively.  Course schedule edits should be sent to the College Dean, who will work directly with the Registrar on preparing the final schedule.  College Deans will review course enrollments and work with department chairs and the Registrar to cancel low-enrolled courses.  The College Dean will work across the colleges and with the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the Registrar to ensure campus-wide coordination of program offerings and support for general education. 

College Deans are responsible for approval of:

  • Course by Special Arrangement
  • Independent Study
  • Pilot Courses
Who is involved in academic program planning and development?

All ideas for new majors, minors, or certificate programs should be discussed at the departmental level first and brought to the College Dean for further discussion.  Any programs that involve CGCE resources and graduate programming should also be discussed with the CGCE Dean. The Dean of Undergraduate Studies serves as the liaison to the DHE and will work with college deans and department chairs on submission for state approval process of new undergraduate academic programs. 

The Dean of Undergraduate Studies is responsible for coordination of the implementation of the Common Core.  The Dean of Undergraduate Studies works with campus constituents such as the colleges, AUC, the Curriculum Committee, and ACAP (Advisory Committee on Academic Planning) on assessment of, and revisions to, the common core.

The Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education are responsible for coordinating academic relationships with our community partners.  The Dean of Undergraduate Studies assures university compliance with statewide transfer programs and articulation agreements and dual admissions programs with our community college partners.  The Dean of CGCE is responsible for all early college programs including the Westfield Promise. 

Who is involved with the review of academic programs?

The program review process is an essential part of academic planning.  The Dean of Undergraduate Studies is responsible for coordinating the regular program review process.  All questions regarding program review should be sent to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.  The College Dean will support the academic departments in the program review process. 

The Dean of Undergraduate Studies is also responsible for providing institutional support for the accreditation process.  The Dean of Undergraduate Studies tracks the accreditation review of all programs, collaborates with deans and department chairs to ensure that the review process proceeds smoothly and serves as a liaison with central administration to secure their cooperation in this process.  College Deans are expected to monitor the accreditation status of programs in their home college and secure resources to support the accreditation process.

Annual Reports

Department Chairs will submit annual reports to the College Dean.  College Deans are responsible for reviewing all annual reports, meeting with department chairs to follow-up on the reports, and summarizing the reports for central administration as part of a summary of college-wide activities.  

Evaluation

Faculty and staff evaluations continue to be conducted in accordance with the bargaining agreements, involving peer review committees and department chairs as required.

The new MSCA contract continues to include the deans in the evaluation process for reappointment, tenure, and promotion, but has changed their location in the process.  Deans now provide their recommendation to the committee on tenure and/or the committee on promotion.

As a result of Westfield’s transition to the college structure and the late hiring process for the deans during the 2018-2019 academic year, the Dean of Mathematics and Sciences will evaluate for reappointment, tenure and promotion, while faculty housed in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the College of Education, Health and Human Services are evaluated through the Dean of Faculty and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, respectively.  The CGCE Dean does not evaluate for reappointment, tenure or promotion; faculty who are primarily assigned to graduate teaching would be evaluated by the appropriate College Dean. Starting with the 2019-2020 academic year, all faculty will be evaluated by their College Dean for reappointment, tenure and promotion.

Whom do I contact for faculty and staff-related matters?

Please first see the department chair to discuss questions, concerns, or issues and determine an appropriate course of action.

Who hires and funds part-time faculty?

Department chairs will continue to be primarily responsible for finding, interviewing, and requesting to hire part-time faculty.  College Deans will serve as the signatory on part-time faculty contracts which will be processed by the College Dean’s assistant once they are in place.  The responsibility for managing the adjunct budgets will rest with the College Deans.

How do departments request a full-time faculty line?

As it has been the case in Academic Affairs in the past, all vacated faculty lines revert to the Division of Academic Affairs for later distribution.  The lines will be distributed based on a transparent process following guidelines for position requests explained in the new Faculty Position & Search Request form.  The process includes providing an evidence-based rationale for the hire to the College Dean for approval. Requests approved by the College Deans will then be assessed by the Office of the Provost.  Requests approved by the Provost are presented to Finance Cabinet for funding and if approved sent to the President’s office.

In situations in which the request either involves CGCE-funding or a position dedicated to a graduate program, the CGCE Dean’s approval will also be required.

The Department Chair will work with the Dean of Faculty and Human Resources throughout the University faculty search process.  The Dean of Faculty is responsible for tracking all full-time faculty lines.