The College of Visual and Performing Arts is committed to the ideal of developing fruitful and equitable relationships among its faculty and students. In addition, it reflects the conviction of the members of the College that their common and special interests are best served through an integrated collegial and administrative structure. The College also provides the framework for the interaction of diverse perspectives so that the long-standing philosophical and practical affinities among the visual and performing arts will be reinforced or revised to encompass new domains of interest to the faculty and students of the College.
Though the substantive focus, play, and aim of the creative process may vary within and across disciplines, and may be enacted in a variety of settings by individuals or by groups, the members of the College hold in common a firm commitment to the administrative facilitation of, and the offering of, their professional expertise and creations to each other, the university community, the scholarly community, and to the general public. On a more abstract level, the members of the College define themselves through their work as students of the human condition and as a community of learners dedicated to enhancing life processes. The members of the College do this in full recognition of the varied interests comprising their individual, and often different, cultural commitments and disciplinary affiliations.
The College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University is committed to the education of cultural leaders who will engage and inspire audiences through performance, visual art, design, scholarship, and commentary. We provide the tools for self-discovery and risk-taking in an environment that thrives on critical thought and action.
The College of Visual and Performing Arts is composed of:
- The Office of the Dean with the Dean serving as administrative director of the College, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, the Assistant Dean of Institutional Advancement, the Assistant Dean of Financial Affairs, the Assistant Dean of Recruiting and Admissions, and administrative and support staff.
- Six academic units consisting of: The School of Art, The Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, The School of Design, The Department of Drama, The Setnor School of Music, and the Department of Transmedia.
- One Chair/Director from each academic unit of the College
- Faculty of the College
- Undergraduate and Graduate Students of the College
- Administrative support for the College
Governance: Members' Responsibilities and Privileges
Faculty (See College of Visual and Performing Arts Advising Manual and Syracuse University Faculty Manual: 2.9-2.18)
The faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts is a self-governing body within the jurisdiction of the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Dean of the College subject to the approval of the University Senate and the Trustees, and according to the precepts of the Syracuse University Faculty Manual.
The faculty consists of all professors, associate professors, assistant professors, professors of practice, teaching professors, assistant teaching professors, associate teaching professors, instructors, and part-time faculty members in CVPA.
Responsibilities and Privileges
- All full-time faculty members have responsibility in the areas of teaching and advising, creative and scholarly activity, and service to the University community and their professions. Teaching professors are responsible for teaching, advising and service as appropriate within each academic unit. Teaching professors are not required to engage in research, but such duties may be included among their responsibilities in accordance with their academic unit’s policies. Part-time faculty members hold the responsibility of teaching and advising, but are also encouraged to participate in scholarly/creative work and service.
The faculty of each Academic unit determines the nature of instruction its student majors receive toward earning a degree within the framework and general goals of the College and University. This fundamental academic freedom is essential to insure that the integrity of their program is maintained.
The faculty has authority over its internal policies, including academic standards, curricula, textbooks, examinations, grading, graduation requirements, degrees and awards.
The full-time faculty of each Academic unit elects the Chair/Director for its Academic unit.
The full-time faculty shall be directly involved formally through their committees in any reorganization of Departments or Schools of the College.
The normal teaching load for full-time faculty members is determined by each individual Academic unit of the College with the approval of the Dean. Compensation for additional assignments or projects for the University or any of its units requires both the faculty member’s consent and administrative approval, up to and including the Dean.
Each Academic unit within the College, through its bylaws, defines its goals, responsibilities, privileges, methods, and procedures for internal governance.
Each Academic unit is headed by a Chair or Director and each Chair/Director is a member of the Academic Leadership Council as well as an ex-officio member of the Faculty Council. The Chairs/Directors are responsible for the creative and academic leadership of their Academic units, in consultation with their faculty, and for communicating to the Dean the educational and administrative matters in their respective Academic units. (See Appendix C: Administrative Job Descriptions for details.)
The Chairs/Directors of each Academic unit are either elected from within the ranks of the existing faculty or hired as a result of an external (national) search, based on recognized ability to perform the duties listed in Appendix C. Chairs/Directors serve a five-year term. A shorter term may be negotiated with the Dean. Terms are renewable, based on effective performance of duties.
When elected internally, the process of nomination and election by the faculty of the Academic unit will involve consultation with staff members within the Academic unit and heads of College administrative offices that regularly interact with the person in the Chair/Director role. The College shall have written policies and procedures outlining this consultation process.
When hired through an external search, a search committee shall be composed of a majority of faculty from within the Academic unit and shall also include representation from appropriate constituencies inside and outside the College (e.g., staff, administrative leadership, students, alumni, etc.). The Dean shall appoint the search committee, in consultation with the department/school faculty.
The Dean, in consultation with the faculty of the department/school, or the faculty, in consultation with the Dean, reserves the right to remove a Chair/Director from office for failure to perform the specified duties effectively.
In the third year of service, or upon request by the majority of the unit’s faculty, the Dean shall conduct a review of the Chair/Director with procedures established and approved by the Faculty Council. All full-time and part-time faculty, along with appropriate staff and administrative leaders will be expected to participate in the review
The Faculty Council is the legislative body of the College of Visual & Performing Arts regarding the academic issues of the college, including curriculum, faculty governance, academic standards and policies, and promotion and tenure guidelines. It may elicit or respond to proposed goals, policies, and solutions from the Dean, its own members, or any other faculty member. It may enact policy concerning any of these issues, which are considered fully enforceable, provided the dean has authorized the resources to enact those policies.
The Faculty Council represents the faculty of the College and is thus obligated to perform its duties in a manner that considers (a) the diverse academic interests of each Academic unit, and (b) the common interests of the College as a whole.
The Faculty Council consists of:
- Two representatives, and one alternate, from each of the six Academic unit of the College.
- The Dean, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and the Chairs/Directors of each Academic unit of the College sit as ex-officio, non-voting members with the privilege of introducing motions.
- The senior administrator from the Office of Academic Affairs serves as the Secretary of Faculty Council, with responsibility for taking and distributing minutes of the meetings and facilitating communications regarding Council business between meetings.
In order to preserve the ability of the faculty to speak freely as faculty, it is recognized that there may be occasions where discussion of a particular issue should proceed without the ex-officio members being present. By a majority vote of those present, Faculty Council may move to “executive session” to engage in such a discussion.
The members of each year’s new Council elect a Chair at their first meeting. An election for a new Chair may also be held at any time upon a majority vote of the Council.
Eligibility and Terms of Appointment
All full-time members of the faculty of the College are eligible for election to the Faculty Council. Representatives are elected to a two-year term in office, with the elections staggered so that approximately half of the membership is elected each year. Individual members may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms in order to foster participation in faculty governance. Each Academic unit of the College holds its elections for new Council members by the end of each academic year. The newly-elected Faculty Council convenes at for the express purpose of electing its chair and forming its subcommittees.
Meetings of the Faculty Council are held monthly during the fall and spring semesters, or more if necessary. The specific dates for these meetings are determined and announced at the beginning of the academic year by the Chair in consultation with the Agenda Committee. The Chair, or in the Chair’s absence, the designated representative, presides over the meetings.
A quorum for Faculty Council meetings is defined as a simple majority (50% plus one). College-wide meetings may be called pursuant to a quorum vote of the Faculty Council. The Faculty Council may set the agenda for these meetings. A quorum of at least 25% of all full-time faculty members is required for any official business to be conducted at a College-wide meeting.
Any action of the Faculty Council may be reviewed at a regular or special meeting of the full-time faculty as a whole. To call such a special meeting, a petition must be signed by at least 25% of all full-time faculty members. The dean then convenes the College-wide meeting to review the action. The action may be overturned by a majority vote of the full-time faculty members present, provided attendance meets the 25% quorum rule for College-wide meetings. The faculty shall be notified of the purpose of the special College- wide meeting in writing.
The Faculty Council has six standing committees. The Council and/or the Dean may establish new standing or ad hoc committees as needed. Each committee must include at least one Faculty Council member. Members of committees may also be taken from the faculty at large. Committee Chairs and members are appointed by the Faculty Council at the first Council meeting of the year. The six standing committees are:
- Agenda Committee
- This committee is composed of the Chair of Faculty Council, who shall also serve as Chair of the Agenda committee, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in an ex-officio role, and three other members of Faculty Council, each from a different Academic unit of the College. Membership on the Agenda committee rotates every year so that over time representatives from all the Academic units of the College have a chance to have a direct voice on the committee. It determines and distributes the priorities for discussion for Faculty Council meetings.
- Tenure and Promotion Committee
- Members of this committee are elected by their respective Academic units. See Appendix A for the composition, procedures, and charges of this committee. This committee will present an annual report on its activities to the Faculty Council every spring.
- Curriculum Committee
- This committee is composed of one representative from each Academic unit of the College, with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs as the Chair. Each member serves a two-year term, staggered to maintain continuity. This committee is charged with reviewing and fully vetting curricular proposals from all Academic units of the College and making recommendations for or against their approval to the full Faculty Council.
- Interdisciplinary Committee
- This committee is composed of a minimum of six members, including its Chair. Each member serves a two-year term, staggered to maintain continuity. This committee is charged with fostering opportunities for interdisciplinary research and teaching among the Academic units of the College, as well as with other areas of the University.
- Bylaws Committee
- This committee is composed of one member from each Academic unit of the College. Each member serves a two-year term, staggered to maintain continuity. This committee is charged with reviewing and recommending proposed changes of these College Bylaws to the Faculty Council.
- Facilities Committee
- This committee is comprised of at least one representative of each Academic unit of the College, and may also include members of staff. Each member serves a two-year term, staggered to maintain continuity. This committee is charged with assessing space needs and making recommendations to the Faculty Council, Staff Council and to the Dean in relation to use and improvement of buildings, classrooms, workshops, offices, exhibition and presentation spaces within the College.
The VPA Staff Council’s purpose is to advocate for the staff, create better relations throughout the college, build a better work environment, boost morale, and be a voice to the Dean.
The VPA Staff Council consists of a core group of five staff members, who may be from any area of the College. One of the core members serves as Chair.
The members of each year’s new Staff Council elect a Chair at their first meeting.
Additional staff members serve on the subcommittees of the Staff Council (see E “Committees”) and as the Staff Council’s communications manager. The communications manager assists the Staff Council and its subcommittees with communication needs; channels communication from the Staff Council and its subcommittees to staff and external audiences; creates and facilitates the staff e-newsletter; and ensures consistent messaging in accordance with VPA and SU style.
Eligibility and Terms of Appointment
All full-time staff members of the College are eligible for election to the VPA Staff Council’s core group. Full- or part-time VPA staff members may volunteer for the subcommittees. The staff members may have exempt or non-exempt status.
Core group members are elected to a two-year term by the entire VPA staff. The elections are staggered so that approximately half of the membership is elected each year. The entire VPA staff holds its election for new Staff Council members by April 1. The newly elected Staff Council convenes at the end of the last Staff Council meeting of the spring semester for the express purpose of electing its Chair and forming its subcommittees.
The core group of the VPA Staff Council meets twice a month: once by itself, and once with the Dean. The specific dates for these meetings are determined by the core group in consultation with the Dean’s scheduler. The Chair, or in the Chair’s absence, the designated representative, presides over these meetings.
The core group of the Staff Council meets with its subcommittees and communications manager as it deems necessary.
The core group of the Staff Council also holds one all-College staff meeting each semester. The core group determines the date each semester and announces it to the entire staff.
The VPA Staff Council has five subcommittees. The Staff Council may establish new standing or ad hoc committees as needed. Subcommittees are made up of VPA staff member volunteers. Each volunteer must commit to one year of service on the subcommittee. Each subcommittee designates a point person(s), who serves as a liaison to the Staff Council’s core group and communications manager. The five subcommittees are:
- On and Off-Boarding
- This subcommittee welcomes newly hired VPA staff members and provides information and support to help them feel comfortable in their new community. This subcommittee also recognizes staff members who leave VPA.
- Faculty/Staff Relations
- This subcommittee increases efficiency and boosts a positive atmosphere and working environment among VPA faculty and staff colleagues.
- Staff Resource
- This subcommittee's objective is to collect and organize information relevant to VPA staff members’ job functions and present the information in a useable and streamlined way.
- Professional Development
- This subcommittee helps VPA staff members utilize tools and resources to improve their professional skills. The subcommittee makes staff members aware of resources that already exist at the University and provides new and additional resources when desired by the staff.
- Event Planning
- This subcommittee boosts staff morale through enjoyable events and community engagement activities that encourage interaction among staff and positive attitudes.
Academic Leadership Council
The Academic Leadership Council represents the academic leadership of the Academic units of the college. The Council is charged to bring forward issues of common concern, taking a College-wide academic focus. The Council works with the Dean and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to administer the academic business of the college, including the implementation of academic policies and procedures, maintaining standards of academic excellence, and providing leadership in academic matters. The Council also advises the Dean regarding issues of resource, strategic planning, mission, and vision.
The Academic Leadership Council is composed of the Chairs/Directors of each Academic unit of the College, and other members of the College’s administrative leadership, as invited by the Dean. The Chairs/Directors are elected by the Faculty of their respective Academic units, as described in their job description in Appendix C. The Dean is the Chair of the Academic Leadership Council.
Eligibility and Terms of Appointment
See Section IV, item C.
The Council meets twice per month, once with the Dean and once with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Office of the Dean
The Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts is the administrative head of the College. Appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, her/his responsibilities are defined by the university bylaws. These include managing the functions and activities of CVPA according to the policies and procedures established in the CVPA bylaws. For specific duties and responsibilities, see Appendix C: Administrative Job Descriptions.
The Dean is responsible for appointing an administrative cabinet to assist in managing the day-to-day administrative support for the college. The Dean appoints associate and/or assistant deans and charges them with specific duties. For descriptions of the administrative deans, see Appendix C.
The dean convenes at least one College-wide meeting each academic year and may set the agenda for these meetings. A quorum of at least 25% of all full-time faculty members is required for any official business to be conducted at a College-wide meeting.
All full-time students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts have the privilege of representation in appropriate committees of their College and Academic units. The rights and privileges of students are described in the University’s Student Handbook.
Any student enrolled for at least 12 credit hours a semester towards an undergraduate degree in the College are considered a full-time undergraduate student in the College. Final semester students enrolled for the number of credit hours required for graduation are considered full-time students.
Any student enrolled for at least 9 credit hours a semester towards a graduate degree in the College is considered a full-time graduate student in the College. According to the Syracuse University Academic Rules and Regulations (27.0-28.0), there are additional criteria for determining full-time status. See Syracuse University Academic Rules and Regulations: XI. Student Status.
The College elects, and the Dean certifies, members to the University Senate as specified by the Senate’s Bylaws. Each Academic unit elects two representatives, and one alternate, to the University Senate. The remaining allotment of representatives are elected as at-large representatives by all full-time faculty via a College-wide ballot.
Amendment of Bylaws
These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the Faculty Council. Copies of the proposed changes must be sent to all full-time faculty in the College at least two weeks previous to the vote by the Faculty Council.
Any amendment to the Bylaws, as passed by the Faculty Council, may be appealed by a petition signed by one quarter of the full-time faculty of the College. The dean then calls an all-college meeting. A simple majority of the full-time faculty present at the all-college meeting would be required to veto the Faculty Council’s action, provided attendance meets the 25% quorum rule.
Amendment of the Bylaws’ Appendices requires a majority vote of the Faculty Council.
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised govern the College in all applicable cases in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws or any special rules of order the College may adopt.
Policies and Procedures for Promotion, Tenure and Contractual Renewal
[Appendix A exists as a separate document and is available upon request from the VPA Office of Academic Affairs. It is also located on VPA’s Sharepoint website.]
College of Visual and Performing Arts Academic Judicial & Grievance Board
The Academic Judicial and Grievance Board of the College of Visual and Performing Arts is established to conduct hearings on alleged violations of academic integrity within the College.
The CVPA Academic & Grievance Board is constituted as follows:
- A standing Committee comprised of:
- The Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Student Services.
- One representative of the faculty appointed to a one-year term by the Faculty Council from among its members.
- The Standing Committee of the Academic Judicial & Grievance Board will convene hearing boards on a case by case basis with representation in the following manner:
- The member of the Standing Committee will chair and conduct the proceedings.
- Two faculty representatives from academic disciplines different from the student involved.
- Two faculty representatives from the academic discipline of the student involved, exclusive of the faculty member bringing the charges.
- Two student representatives - one undergraduate student and one graduate student. The student representatives should be selected from academic disciplines other than the student involved.
- In the event that the student involved is from a school or college other than the College of Visual and Performing Arts, a representative from the student’s home school or college shall be invited to participate in the proceedings.
Charges and requests to activate the Board for hearings must be made in writing to the Standing Committee c/o the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Student Services, 204 Crouse College. This request must also be accompanied by a short description of the reason(s) for requesting a Board Hearing.
Academic Judicial & Grievance Board(s) may impose sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion from the college and may design sanctions that are educational and/or remedial specific to the facts of a given case.
Appeals of decisions of the Academic Judicial & Grievance Board(s) are made to the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Administrative Job Descriptions
Dean of the College
The Dean is the administrative head of the College. Appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, her/his responsibilities are defined by the University bylaws. These include managing the functions and activities of CVPA according to the policies and procedures established in the CVPA bylaws. Specifically he/she shall:
- As overall coordinator of the College’s activities, ensure development of its short and long term plans.
- Represent CVPA internally as coordinator between its faculty and university administration, and externally in public and alumni relations.
- Provide guidance to appropriate personnel and activities of the College as necessary to ensure the highest degree of coordination and effectiveness.
- Review policies, programs and procedures of the College, and recommend appropriate changes.
- Oversee the operation of the budgeting and funding process.
- Exercise final adjudicative authority on internal College administrative matters.
- Serve as chair of the Council of Chairs.
- Serve as ex-officio member of all CVPA Committees.
- Shall ensure that regular elections take place for the following committees:
▪ University Senate
▪ Faculty Council
Upon completion of five years’ of service, and each fifth year thereafter, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall review the Dean’s effectiveness in carrying out the functions of his/her office. The faculty will be expected to participate in the review. An additional review may be requested by a 2/3 majority vote of all tenured faculty of the College.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
This office is responsible for:
- Academic Policy: oversees implementation of academic policies and procedures as enacted by the Faculty Council of the college and the University Senate;
- Curriculum: serves as ex-officio Chair of the College Curriculum Committee;
- Faculty Development: coordinates the CVPA faculty mentors program and orientation of new faculty; assists faculty in grant writing, assists the dean in awarding college- based faculty development grants;
- Promotion and Tenure Processes: oversees implementation of the procedures regarding promotion, tenure, and contractual renewal; reviews appeals based on process; advises faculty regarding procedural issues;
- Program Assessment: coordinates development and reporting of program or department-level assessment of student learning; assists departments and schools in preparing accreditation reports and self-study reviews
- Graduate Programs: oversees coordination of graduate admissions, graduate student records, and appointment of graduate assistantships, fellowships, and tuition scholarships in consultation with the dean and appropriate department chairs; coordinates college participation in future professoriate activities;
- Interdisciplinary Study: coordinates efforts with the Dean, Council of Chairs, and Faculty Council to further cross-disciplinary collaboration within the college and across the university;
- Special Projects: as assigned by the Dean.
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
The Dean may appoint an Assistant Dean for the Office of Student Affairs to supervise and advise undergraduate students in coordination with the Chairs and the Dean. This office is responsible for:
- Recruiting and Admissions: recruitment of undergraduate students for the College; interview/information sessions for potential CVPA undergraduate students; portfolio review for prospective freshman art and design students; coordinate auditions for Drama and Music students; coordinate reviews for transfer students; coordinate/organize recruiting events on campus; maintain statistics for recruitment; dispatch faculty, staff, and ensembles for recruiting purposes; correspond with prospective students at all stages of recruitment; assist with the development of recruiting materials promoting the College; maintain slide library for recruitment; liaison with Central Admissions; advertise for recruitment; develop new recruitment ideas/projects; develop recruitment budget.
- Student Services: maintaining undergraduate records; academic placement of transfer, special degree, and international students in coordination with the appropriate chair; registration and its procedures; certification of students for graduation and degrees; supervision of student academic counseling; referring students to the appropriate person/office for concerns beyond the scope of academic matters.
- Enrollment Management: supervision of enrollment issues for main campus, university college, and summer sessions; management of under-enrolled courses in consultation with appropriate chair; management of enrollment data for reporting and decision-making purposes.
- Career Services: development of appropriate materials, workshops, internships, and other activities to enhance student career planning and job search in the arts and related disciplines; liaison with university Career Services.
- Special Projects: as assigned by the Dean.
Assistant Dean for External Affairs
The Dean may appoint an assistant dean for external affairs. This office is responsible for:
- Development: soliciting external funds for the college in keeping with the priorities established by the Dean in consultation with the Council of Chairs; assists the Dean in managing the agenda and communication with the college’s Board of Advisors.
- Communications: supervises the college’s external publications and communications efforts, including publication of Crouse Chimes, graduate and undergraduate program guides, etc.
- Alumni Relations: oversees relationship development with the college’s alumni, including maintenance of current contact information, planned alumni events, and facilitating contact between alumni and departments.
Assistant Dean for Financial Affairs
The Dean may appoint an assistant dean for financial affairs. This office is responsible for:
- Human Resources: responsible for processing all search and hiring proposals; coordinates the annual reviews of administrative staff across the college;
- Budget: maintains the budget for the college; supervises access to regular reports on budgetary matters.
- Equipment: responsible for soliciting and processing equipment funding requests on behalf of the dean;
- Facilities: responsible for overall maintenance of the college’s physical facilities.
- Technology: oversees the college’s information technology group, responsible for purchasing, maintaining, and planning for instructional and administrative technology.
Assistant Dean for Recruiting and Admissions
Duties to be added here.
1 Duties and responsibilities of members of the Dean’s Administrative Cabinet may be modified as determined by the Dean of the college. The Dean will report any revisions in such duties to the Faculty Council.
Chairs/Directors are responsible for the creative and academic leadership of their units, in consultation with their faculty, and responsible for communicating to the Dean the educational and administrative matters in their respective departments. These responsibilities include:
- Departmental curricula: Organization and development of courses and curriculum, including development of the academic requirements for each degree program offered; scheduling and supervision of course loads and curricular offerings in the unit;
- Student welfare and advisement. (See College of Visual and Performing Arts Advising Manual and Faculty Manual 2.10: “Faculty-Student Relations”). The chair ensures that adequate academic advising takes place, and that students have available to them appropriate avenues for addressing their concerns.
- Supervision of personnel: Recruitment, supervision, and evaluation of departmental personnel, including coordination of recruiting, interviewing, and recommending the employment of faculty to the Dean; assign and recommend faculty loads where appropriate; recommendations for Leaves of Absence, faculty awards, etc.;
- Tenure and promotion: Recommend to the Dean and appropriate College governing bodies and committees on matters regarding promotion, tenure, and other faculty matters subject to College or University rules.
- Budget: Development and management of departmental budgets, including allocation of resources and operational budgets in support of teaching, creative and scholarly activity; oversee equipment and space assigned to the department; recommend faculty and staff salaries.
- Program Review: Review policies, programs, and procedures of the department and recommend appropriate actions.
- Effective Communication: Interacts effectively with the faculty, dean, college chairs, and other constituencies.
- The term “academic chair” refers to the head of an academic unit who serves as the recognized leader of one of the units represented on the Academic Leadership Council. This person may be chair of a department or director of a school. Duties and responsibilities of this position may be modified only by a majority vote of Faculty Council after the proposed changes have been distributed in writing to all full-time faculty members.
**The term “academic chair” refers to the head of an academic unit who serves as the recognized leader of one of the units represented on the Academic Leadership Council. This person may be chair of a department or director of a school. Duties and responsibilities of this position may be modified only by a majority vote of Faculty Council after the proposed changes have been distributed in writing to all full-time faculty members.