The Department of Curriculum and Instruction of the College of Education and Human Development is made up of both graduate and undergraduate programs, as well as designated centers, institutes and projects. The department is organized in accordance with the constitution of the College of Education and Human Development and the governance policies and practices of the University of Massachusetts Boston. It adopts the following department constitution in order to define its structure and procedures, the principles of participation that govern its decisions, and the specific distribution of departmental responsibilities among officers, members, and committees.

The programs have distinct missions evident in the programs of study they offer to students. The department provides a structure within which the diverse departmental faculty can coordinate their teaching, service, and research, make time and space to support the development of, and be stimulated by, diverse approaches and perspectives, and develop a shared vision of serving the diverse educators and midcareer professionals, students and communities with which the faculty works. The department also provides a structure that facilitates governance, administration, communication, and personnel decisions within the college and university.

I. Departmental Membership and Rights

A. Core Members

1. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction regards as core members the following groups of people:

  1. full-time academic faculty who hold positions of clinical faculty, lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor who have a departmental appointment in the graduate programs of Teacher Education, Special Education, Instructional Design, and Critical and Creative Thinking, or the undergraduate programs leading to educational licensure
  2. full-time professional staff who have a departmental appointment, and
  3. a representative, designated annually by the department chair in collaboration with the dean, from each institute, center, and project assigned to the department by the dean (but not projects otherwise associated with an institute or center).

2. All core members of the department shall be eligible to vote on issues regarding the chair and on constitutional amendments. Any department vote on a faculty appointment or promotion shall be restricted to tenured or tenure-track faculty. The chair has a tie-breaker vote, if needed, on motions at departmental meetings. A secret ballot can be requested for any vote. If supported by any core faculty member for any vote, the request will be honored. 

B. Associate Members

Full-time faculty members who do not have appointments in the department but who are members of programs associated with the department are associate faculty of the department who may serve on their Program Committee with full voting rights and be invited by the chair to join other standing or ad hoc departmental committees that are addressing matters that affect their program.

C. Part-time Members

Part-time lecturers who teach in programs in the department are part-time members of the department. They may serve on their Program Committee but without voting rights and be invited by the chair to join other standing or ad hoc departmental committees that are addressing matters that affect their program.

D. Staff Members

Staff with a departmental appointment who are not core members of the department under IA are staff members of the department and may be invited by the chair to participated in departmental meetings and join other standing or ad hoc departmental committees, without voting rights.

E. Students

Students in any program in the department are student members of the Department and may be invited by the chair to participate in departmental meetings and join other standing or ad hoc departmental committees that are addressing matters that affect their program, without voting rights.

II. Departmental Meetings

A. The members of the department shall meet at regular intervals, holding at least two (2) meetings each academic semester, and additional meetings as needed. These  meetings are recognized as the only appropriate forums for deciding official departmental business. Notice of a departmental meeting will be distributed at least five working days in advance of the meeting.

B. The department shall meet once a semester (or bi-annually) with the part-time faculty for discussion and advice on shared concerns.

C. A special meeting of the department may be called by the chair or by a majority of the core department members who may, by petition or by vote) determine the time and agenda of such a meeting. The agenda must be distributed at least five working days in advance of the meeting.

D. A quorum for making decisions at department meetings shall consist of 60% of the core department members.

III. Department Structure and the Distribution of Responsibilities

A. The Chair

1. Any full time tenured member of the department is eligible to serve as chair. 

2. The core faculty of the department vote to recommend a candidate for chair to the dean. The term of the chair is three (3) years and is renewable upon election by the core members of the department. The chair's appointment is subject to the approval of the dean of the college. If the dean does not approve the department's choice, a letter of explanation shall be presented to the department.

3. The chair shall be elected by a simple majority of the votes in a secret ballot vote.

4. Any core member of the department may nominate candidates for chair.

5. The election of the chair, which ordinarily shall take place in the spring semester, becomes effective as soon as possible, but no later than the semester following the election.

6. In the event of a chair resigning or leaving office prior to the completion of the term, the dean of the college, in consultation with members of the department, shall appoint an acting chair until an election, which must be held within the academic year. Ordinarily, the acting chair will be drawn from the tenured departmental faculty, but in exceptional circumstances, a full-time faculty member tenured elsewhere in the college or even a full time untenured faculty member in the department may be considered.

7. Should an acting chair be appointed by the dean of the college, it shall be for a single term of no more than two (2) years. The acting chair will serve until the new chair takes office, which shall be no later than the semester following the departmental election.

8. The department may initiate the replacement of the chair by presenting a motion to this effect for consideration at a departmental faculty meeting. Reasons for this action must be given in a detailed report and distributed at least one week before the faculty meeting at which it is discussed. Removal of the chair will require a two-thirds majority of the core members, voting in a mail ballot, and will be subject to approval by the Dean of the College.

9. The chair is responsible for delegating administrative functions of the department and its programs, and for convening, receiving, and acting on the recommendations of committees working on departmental matters including but not limited to: operation of each program, teaching assignments, admissions, scheduling, academic curriculum, and personnel matters, and providing an annual report to the department on these issues.

10. The chair's responsibilities are in accordance with the Board of Trustees' guidelines. The chair is responsible for the departmental budget, including the request for and the expenditure of all funds allocated to the department; the supervision of the use the assignment of departmental space, facilities, equipment, and supplies; the supervision and use of support staff and resources; and the presentation of an annual report to the department on these issues.

11. The chair convenes and presides over regular departmental meetings and, in consultation with program coordinators and other members of the department, sets the agendas for those meetings; and serves as an ex-officio member of all departmental committees (on which he or she is not a voting member).     

12. The chair is the second line of redress, after consultation with the professor, for undergraduate students who have any formal or informal grievance against a member of the department, and will provide mediation between members of the department and student in the case of a conflict concerning a grade, questions of academic dishonesty, or policy. If the chair is unable to effect a resolution,  which is mutually satisfactory to all parties, the matter is then taken, to the Student Grievance Committee. For graduate students, student grievances, and complaints about unfair grades are governed by procedures of the Graduate School detailed in the Graduate Studies Bulletin. The Code of Student Conduct and procedures described therein apply to all students.

B. The Associate Chair An Associate Chair of Curriculum and Instruction may be recommended by the Chair of the Department and appointed by the  dean. The Associate Chair will work with the   Chair to administer Department business.

C. Program Coordinators

1. Each graduate program associated with the Department, shall have a Program   Coordinator, who shall be recommended for a three-year term by simple majority vote of the voting program faculty. To be an eligible candidate for election as Program Coordinator, a member of the program must have an appointment that runs through the three year term of office.

2. The election of the Program Coordinator, which shall ordinarily take place in the spring, becomes effective as soon as possible, but no later than the semester following the election.

3. The Program Coordinator's appointment is subject to the approval by the Department Chair, in consultation with the Dean of the College. If the Chair does not approve the Program's choice, a letter of explanation shall be presented to the Program.

4. In the event of a Coordinator resigning or leaving office prior to the completion of the term, the Department Chair, in consultation with members of the Program, shall appoint an acting Coordinator until an election which must be held within the academic year.

5. Subject to the Chair's ultimate authority for administrative functions and budgets, the Program Coordinator shall be responsible for the following types of activities: coordinating recruitment, supervising admissions process, supervising enrollment and registration, coordinating student advising, acting as liaison for governance, approving curricular and Program proposals, preparing proposed course schedules, certifying degree or certificate completion, preparing data for annual reports, convening Program meetings, advising the Chair on Program issues.

6. The Program Coordinator appoints admissions and awards sub-committees, as specified in this Constitution, and may delegate responsibilities to a member(s) of the Program faculty.

IV. Standing Committees of the Department

A. Personnel Committee

1. Comprised of all tenured members of the Department, the Personnel Committee is responsible for recommending and convening members of subcommittees each year to carry out Department-level personnel reviews, including reviews of annual faculty reports and the recommendation of allocation of merit funds, fourth-year reviews, tenure reviews, promotion reviews, dismissals and faculty search committees.

2. The Personnel Committee will also include one untenured tenure-track faculty member as a non-voting member. This person shall be selected by a vote of the untenured tenure-track faculty members. The Chair shall convene the untenured tenure-track members to select this representative.

3. All sub-committees shall be designated in the Spring semester prior to the academic year in which the review will take place. The Personnel Committee shall be convened by the currently seated Department's representatives on the College Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee shall meet at least once per semester.

4. The fourth year review, tenure and promotion subcommittees shall be composed of appropriate rank and tenure-inside and outside of Department and College following the College guidelines for personnel reviews.

5. The Annual Faculty review subcommittee should be composed of two tenured and one non-tenured faculty. 

B Curriculum Committee

1. The Chair shall appoint three core members of Department to constitute the curriculum committee one of whom must be a tenured faculty member. All academic changes must be approved by majority of votes.

2. The committee may make recommendations concerning the development of courses and programs and shall review proposals submitted for governance approval by programs associated with the Department. All matters pertaining to academic curriculum of the Department sh~1I be reviewed and approved by this committee: new courses and Programs, changes in existing courses and programs (including requirements), interdepartmental projects, and inter collegiate projects and Programs.

3. The committee shall be empowered to create ad hoc subcommittees as it deems necessary (e.g., to study a particular question).

C. Admissions Committee   

The Chair of the Department shall appoint members to the Admissions Committee to serve for two years. It will review applications procedures for admissions for the Programs in the Department, but each Program shall form its own admissions subcommittee to make decisions in a manner consistent with the procedures determined by the Departmental Admissions Committee.

D. Program Committees

1. For each graduate program associated with the Department, there shall be a committee consisting of all full time academic faculty who hold positions of Clinical Faculty, Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor and who regularly teach courses offered by the Program. Part-time lecturers who teach in programs may also serve on the Program Committee, but without voting rights. The Program Committee may also appoint as non-voting members other UMass Boston employees who will advise students in the program. 

2. The Program Committee, under the leadership of the Program Coordinator, shall meet to discuss curricular and program changes, student progress, outreach activities, and other matters referred to it by the Program Coordinator or Departmental Chair.

3. An awards subcommittee for each Program, appointed by the Program Coordinator, shall solicit nominations and make final decisions for Program awards.

E. Ad Hoc Committees

Ad hoc committees may be established as deemed necessary by members of the department. The Chair will appoint members to any ad hoc committee, at the same time defining the specific charge for which the committee has been created, and its duration.

V. Election Procedures

If there are more than two candidates a preferential voting system shall be used. Voting members will be asked to indicate their ranked preferences for candidate, indicating their most preferred candidate with a vote of "1". In counting the votes, first preferences are tallied and, if no candidate has a simple majority, the ballots of the candidate with the lowest total are reallocated to the second preference person on each ballot.

VI. . Constitutional Ratification and Amendment


Amendments must be recommended by core members of the department. Revised copies of the department constitution shall be mailed to all core members. Amendments will be considered approved if supported by 2/3 of the core members voting.

Amendments shall be effective when approved by the Senate and the dean of the College of Education and Human Development.