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Food Science Department Bylaws



The University of Tennessee requires that each department, section, or separate unit adopt bylaws defining the core policies and procedures of the unit. These bylaws cover faculty governance in which opinions, advice, and consent of faculty members are required or essential.


The mission of the Department of Food Science at The University of Tennessee is “to address global problems in food safety, quality and health through fundamental and applied research, prepare graduates for the global food industry or health professional programs, and deliver effective outreach education to the citizens of Tennessee and beyond.”


The purpose of the bylaws of the Department of Food Science is to promote the orderly conduct of business. These bylaws address faculty governance in which the opinions, advice, or consent of faculty members are required or essential. These bylaws supplement policies of the Board of Trustees and The University of Tennessee Knoxville as described in the UTK Faculty Handbook and Bylaws of the Faculty of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), AgResearch, and UT Extension. If these bylaws conflict with university policies, university policies will prevail.


2.1. Membership

All faculty members and other academic, exempt, non-exempt employees and students (undergraduate and graduate) are considered members of the Department.

2.2. The Faculty

Membership of the faculty of the Department of Food Science shall consist of all persons holding departmental appointments as Instructors, Lecturers, tenure-track and non-tenure-track Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, Professors, Adjunct faculty, and Emeritus faculty.

2.3. Voting Members

2.3a. Voting membership of the Department shall consist of all faculty members who are employed at the rank of Instructor or above and at least 75% salaried within the Department. All such persons shall enjoy full voting membership in the Department, with the exception of voting on matters related to retention, promotion, and tenure (see Article IV, Section 4.4). Persons employed in the Department at less than 75% will be granted voting privileges with the approval of two-thirds of the voting faculty. In general, this will be limited to rare exceptions.

2.3b. Faculty members who are not salaried in the Department, including Emeritus faculty, Adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, and faculty with full-time administrative appointments (other than the Department Head), shall be regarded as non-voting members of the departmental faculty, but shall enjoy the right of voice.

2.3c. Faculty members who are on full- or part-time leaves of absence (or reduced-time) shall enjoy the voting status that would be available to them were they not on leave.

2.3d. Proxy votes will be accepted but must be presented in a memorandum to the Department Head in advance of the meeting. A proxy vote shall not be used in lieu of a faculty member’s presence in the determination of a quorum.

2.4. Department Head

2.4a. The Department Head is a voting member of the faculty who is assigned the duty of administering the Department, the primary link between the Department and the UTIA administration. Among the responsibilities of the Department Head are administration of teaching, research, and extension activities, personnel and facilities, financial matters, curricular and academic affairs, and international activities of the Department. In addition, the Department Head should provide leadership in creating and maintaining linkages with the food industry and in development (fundraising) activities.

2.4b. The Department Head encourages participation by the faculty in decision-making and departmental governance. The Department Head consults with the faculty and other employees on issues of concern to them. The Department Head is required to uphold University of Tennessee and UTIA policies and procedures.

2.5. Departmental Faculty Meetings

2.5a. Departmental meetings shall be scheduled regularly and not less frequently than twice per semester during the academic year. Additional meetings may be called by the Department Head or at the written request of twenty-five percent of the faculty.

2.5b. One-half of the voting membership of the faculty shall constitute a quorum. The withdrawal of any voting member after the commencement of a meeting shall have no effect on the existence of a quorum after a quorum has been established at such a meeting. A simple majority of those present shall decide an issue.

2.5c. The Department Head shall serve as chair of faculty meetings, unless delegated by the Department Head to another faculty member. Minutes of the meetings and reports submitted to the faculty shall be kept on file in the department office, and copies will be distributed to the faculty and others designated by the Department Head.

2.5d. The initial agenda for regular faculty meetings shall be prepared by the Department Head and distributed in written form to the faculty a reasonable time before the meeting. Additional items may be suggested by individual faculty and, at the discretion of the Department Head, be added to the agenda for the forthcoming meeting. Alternatively, items may be placed on the agenda by written petition of twenty-five percent of the voting faculty. In addition, agenda items may originate in departmental committees. All such additions to the agenda must be made a reasonable time before the meeting so as to be incorporated into the final agenda for the meeting. Reports and other documents requiring departmental deliberation shall be submitted to faculty members at least three calendar days in advance of the meeting during which the report or document is to be considered. Under exceptional circumstances, these requirements may be waived. Additionally, at the beginning of each faculty meeting, the Department Head will call for and consider “other” additions to the agenda. Such additions should be related to matters that have arisen in such time as to preclude inclusion in the agenda distributed reasonably in advance of the meeting and require faculty attention before the next scheduled meeting. “Other” additions will be considered for issues that are for faculty discussion only.

2.5e. Recording Secretary – A record of the meetings will be kept. The Department Head shall appoint one faculty member or other designee to act as the Recording Secretary for each meeting. The Recording Secretary shall keep minutes of departmental meetings, and after approval by the Department Head these shall be distributed electronically via email or a departmental server.


3.1 Standing Committees

3.1a. Standing committees shall be established to facilitate execution of faculty responsibilities relative to academic, departmental, and related matters. Except where otherwise indicated, the following policies shall apply: Chairs and members of standing committees shall be appointed and serve at the discretion of the department head for a term not to exceed 3 years, and may be appointed to consecutive terms. The Department Head, as an ex-officio member of all standing committees, will be informed of the time and location of committee meetings. Where appropriate, students and staff may serve on committees and will be appointed by the Department Head.

3.1b. Regular appointment to standing committees should be made by the Department Head before the beginning of the academic year. Each standing committee shall inform the faculty of its substantive activities, decisions, and recommendations at intervals consistent with the level of committee activity. Committee chairs are responsible for ensuring that meeting minutes are maintained and made available to the faculty.

3.2 Search Committees

Search committees may be formed by either the Department Head or by the faculty at a departmental faculty meeting. A faculty search committee shall be comprised of no fewer than 4 faculty members which reflects the diversity of rank and research interests in the Department, a minimum of three from the Department and at least one external representative from another unit in the University of Tennessee. A graduate student representative and/or staff member may also be included on search committees as deemed appropriate by the faculty. The search committee arranges solicitation of applications, screening of applicants, and identifying finalists and alternates. Once permission is granted by the University, the committee will assist with inviting several candidates to visit the Department and interview with the faculty and appropriate members of the College and University administration. Finally, the committee members are asked to indicate which candidates are considered “acceptable” to the Department Head. If more than one candidate is considered “acceptable”, the Head will choose one candidate and make an offer after consultation with the Deans. If the first candidate does not accept an offer, other “acceptable candidates” can be pursued with an offer in consultation with the Deans.

3.3 Departmental Review Committees

Faculty review committees shall follow the general guidelines in the Manual for Faculty Evaluation, Part III, C. Annually, tenure-track faculty members will be reviewed by the Department’s tenured faculty for progress towards tenure. The faculty member’s mentor (or mentoring committee) will prepare and present an annual report to the review committee. The review committee will vote annually on each non-tenured, tenure-track faculty member to determine a) whether they are considered on-track for promotion and tenure and b) whether the faculty member under review is recommended for retention. The Department Head may attend the review meeting but only to provide clarification on any issues/questions raised by the committee. The faculty member’s mentor (or mentoring committee) will provide a written summary of the review committee discussion, a recommendation, and vote(s) as appropriate to the Department Head.


4.1. Regular Faculty Positions

4.1a. The process of recruiting, interviewing, and selecting faculty for regular appointments, tenure track and non-tenure track, salaried within the Department shall be conducted according to University policies and Article III. Section 3.2.

4.2. Adjunct Faculty Positions

4.2a. Adjunct faculty have less than a full-time commitment to the UTIA, are appointed outside the tenure system, and can be uncompensated or part-time compensated for service to the instructional, research, or extension programs with respect to their adjunct appointment.

4.2b. Nominations for adjunct appointments shall be made to the Department Head, who will initiate the process of consideration for appointment. Nominations must come from a regular faculty member and shall include a written statement indicating the rationale for making the adjunct appointment. Documentation of professional credentials (e.g., curriculum vitae) to support the nomination should be submitted to the faculty. The nominee may be invited to the Department to present a formal seminar in support of his/her appointment.

4.2c. Appointment of adjunct faculty, with respect to procedures, titles, duties, privileges, and promotion shall be governed by The UTK Faculty Handbook. The faculty will vote by ballot to recommend approval or rejection and appropriate title of the nominee. The final decision will be made by the Department Head based on the faculty recommendation. Following approval of the adjunct, the Head will draft a letter of appointment, specifying the term of appointment, to be signed by both the appropriate Dean(s) and the Chancellor of UTIA upon their approval. Adjunct Faculty will be appointed for a period of five years from the effective date specified on the letter of appointment. Renewal of an adjunct faculty appointment will follow the same procedure as initial appointment.

4.3 Emeritus Faculty Positions

Faculty who retire from the Department as professor or, in special cases, as assistant or associate professor may request a recommendation for this appointment from the Department. The tenured faculty will vote on the request by secret ballot at a meeting called by the Department Head. The Department Head will forward the faculty decision to the Dean(s) and Chancellor of UTIA.

4.4 Retention, Promotion, and Tenure

4.4a. The Department Head is responsible for the annual review of all members of the faculty and shall follow the guidelines of the Faculty Handbook and Manual for Faculty Evaluation. Annual review of probationary faculty will be conducted in consultation with the tenured faculty as described in Article III, section 3.3.

4.4b. A faculty member wishing to be considered for tenure and/or promotion must submit his/her application to the Department Head by the deadline established by UTIA. The Department Head will convene a committee of the tenured faculty holding the appropriate rank for evaluation of the candidate’s research, teaching, extension, and service.

4.4c. Standards for tenure with promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, and for promotion to the rank of Professor, appear in the Appendix to the departmental bylaws.


A. Origin of Amendments

Proposed amendments to the bylaws shall originate from the Department Head or from at least twenty-five percent of the faculty members. Proposed amendments shall be presented in writing to the departmental faculty members for consideration at any regular meeting or any special meeting called for that purpose. Grammatical errors, misspelled words, and other simple typographical errors may be corrected at the discretion of the Department Head and shall not require faculty consideration and approval.

B. Notice
The proposed amendments shall be distributed with the agenda for the meeting at which they are to be discussed. Consideration of the amendments for voting by the departmental faculty members shall occur at a subsequent meeting, not less than ten days later, when the matter will have been included again in the agenda.

C. Ratification

These bylaws must be ratified by a majority of the voting members of the tenured and tenure-track faculty.


Appendix 1: Criteria for Retention, Tenure, and Promotion

The department expects that all faculty members will contribute to research, teaching, Extension, and service in a manner consistent with their academic appointment. A clear record of accomplishment and potential in the appropriate areas is absolutely necessary for achievement of tenure and promotion. Due to differences in faculty members’ strengths and departmental needs, achievement of excellence in one area and satisfactory contributions to other areas may vary by individual. The following metrics of professional accomplishment and service, not presented in rank order, will be among the key factors included in consideration for annual retention review of tenure-track Assistant Professors, awarding of tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, promotion to the rank of Professor, and for annual and cumulative post-tenure reviews.


Teaching ability and effectiveness
courses taught in the department
compilation of end of course evaluations
peer evaluation of teaching effectiveness
comments by colleagues (including external reviewers) who have first-hand knowledge of the faculty member’s teaching effectiveness
written comments of students
curriculum or course developments and accomplishments
national and/or local teaching awards
successful advising of undergraduate and graduate students
membership on graduate students’ committees
mentoring of undergraduate research

Research and scholarly activities
level of external support from federal agencies, industry, or other sources
significance and number of publications in refereed journals
contributions to edited volumes
papers published in refereed conference proceedings
papers, presentations, or extended abstracts published in conference proceedings invited presentations at scientific meetings
comments by colleagues (including external reviewers)
national/international awards and recognition
local awards
patents & invention disclosures

participation in departmental faculty meetings, departmental, College, and University committee activities
participation in professional outreach, youth education, regional industry, and/or community organizations
contributions to national, regional and local agencies
membership and participation in professional organizations
participation in organization or as chairperson of scientific meetings/symposia
editorship and ad hoc reviewing for journals and granting agencies

Appendix 2: Criteria by Academic Rank

I. Retention

A non-tenured Assistant Professor should:
a. hold a doctorate degree in an appropriate field
b. have an active research program (consistent with appointment) with the goal of establishing a strong record of accomplishment involving the metrics listed above by the time of consideration for tenure and promotion
c. demonstrate responsible and ethical conduct of research
d. demonstrate strong teaching effectiveness as measured by the metrics above (consistent with appointment)
e. participate in service activities as listed in the metrics above
f. demonstrate collegiality with students, staff, and colleagues

II. Tenure and promotion to rank of Associate Professor (and expectations of Associate Professors undergoing annual or cumulative review)

An Assistant Professor considered for promotion and tenure or an Associate Professor undergoing annual or cumulative review should:
a. normally have served as an Assistant Professor for a minimum of five years
b. have a strong internationally-recognized record of research and scholarly activity, as measured by the metrics above, with clear promise that promotion to Professor is likely at some point in the future
c. demonstrate responsible and ethical conduct of research
d. successfully mentored M.S. and Ph.D. students
e. demonstrate a consistent teaching effectiveness
f. have a reasonable and balanced record of contributions to meeting the service needs of the University, the discipline, and the community
g. proven record of collegiality with students, staff, and colleagues

III. Promotion to rank of Professor (and expectations for Professors undergoing annual or cumulative review)

a. normally have served as an Associate Professor for at least five years
b. have acquired an international record of research and scholarly activity according to the metrics listed above that is indicative of continuous and progressive professional development since appointment to the faculty
c. demonstrate responsible and ethical conduct of research
d. have successfully mentored Ph.D. students and junior faculty
e. have achieved a demonstrated record of teaching effectiveness
f. have achieved and maintained a record of significant institutional, disciplinary, and professional service
g. have consistently demonstrated that they work well with colleagues and students in performing their university responsibilities

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