Accounting Department Bylaws


Administrative concerns of a University department are and should be secondary to academic matters, but they are nevertheless important for a smooth-running and effective department.  The purpose of the following is to formulate a scheme of organization and operating procedures for the Department of Accounting that will be in keeping with these academic and administrative needs. Faculty governance is exercised through the selection of the members of the curriculum and evaluations committees. All faculty members are responsible for voting for bylaws revisions.  Decisions of all committees are the responsibility of the faculty members that are members of those committees.  Faculty and staff members are expected to be familiar with and follow the Florida State University Faculty Handbook.


To discover, understand, and disseminate knowledge to future Accounting professionals and scholars to help them understand and manage the risks of changing professional and economic environments.


  1. Faculty and Faculty Meetings:
    1. The faculty of the Department of Accounting shall be defined to include all persons holding tenure and tenure-track professorial rank positions, Teaching Faculty I, Teaching Faculty II, and Teaching Faculty III.  Also included are persons holding joint appointments in other departments, institutes, centers or divisions, provided that those persons are appointed at least 50% in the Department and receive an Assignment of Responsibilities (AOR) from the Department. 
    2. Faculty meetings shall be held at least once each fall and spring semester.  Additional meetings may be called by the chair or on written request of five voting faculty members.   Voting faculty include tenured and tenure-track faculty members.
    3. A majority of the voting faculty shall constitute a quorum.  An agenda shall be submitted by the chair when notice of the meeting is circulated.  All faculty members shall be notified of departmental meetings and agenda for the meetings at least 48 hours in advance.
  2. Chair:
    1. Appointment of the chair shall be made by the Dean of the College of Business with the advice of the faculty of the Department.  Faculty preferences shall be determined by secret ballot, with the numerical results reported to the Dean. 
    2. The chair shall serve at the pleasure of the Dean, and the President of the University.
    3. The chair shall be the chief executive officer of the Department, responsible to the University Administration and the faculty of the department.  The Chair shall consult with the proper committees on such matters as appointments, promotion and tenure recommendations, salary adjustments, curriculum, assignment of teaching and research assistantships, and general questions concerning allocation of departmental resources.
    4. The chair shall be evaluated by the Dean of the College of Business for purposes of annual evaluation.  To ensure the accountability of the chair to the faculty, the faculty may provide their views on the chair's performance as part of the Dean’s evaluation. 
  3. Tenure Track Faculty Promotion and Tenure Committee
    1. The Tenure Track Promotion and Tenure Committee shall consist of all tenured faculty within the Department (except the department chair).  Tenured faculty at the rank of associate professor must recuse themselves from the evaluation for promotion of tenured faculty seeking full professor.  The tenured faculty shall annually elect by secret ballot a chairman of that committee.  The chairman cannot serve consecutive terms.
    2. The Committee shall be responsible for reviewing faculty seeking promotion and/or tenure, conducting a secret ballot, providing a narrative of the meeting, and recommending to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee in accordance with the applicable policies of the University.
  4. Faculty Evaluation Committee
    1. The Faculty Evaluation Committee shall be responsible for annual peer evaluations, an annual evaluation of the department chair, peer teaching reviews, second and fourth year reviews, and annual merit evaluation recommendations.  The department chair will use the advice of this committee as input to each faculty member’s annual performance evaluation.  The faculty evaluation committee also recommends to the department chair any faculty deserving of special awards and recognitions of merit and achievements within the University.  The committee’s evaluation of the department chair is forwarded to the Dean
    2. Evaluations shall be conducted following the Performance Evaluation Criteria contained in these bylaws.
    3. The committee shall consist of five faculty members.  A maximum of one associate professor may be on the committee, with the remaining members being full professors.  The chair of the department’s Promotion and Tenure Committee shall serve as the chair of this committee.  When non-tenure track faculty are evaluated, the committee shall include one additional non-tenure track member.
    4. Selection of the faculty evaluation committee shall be by vote of the tenure track faculty.  Annually, the department chair shall make ballots available to all tenure track faculty.  The eligible faculty receiving the most votes shall be appointed to the evaluation committee.  In case of ties, the department head shall make a random selection of all eligible faculty receiving an equal number of votes.
  5. Non-Tenure Track Promotion Committee
    1. The non-tenure-track faculty promotion committee will consist of three faculty.  Two of the three faculty shall be non-tenure track faculty members.  The third member shall be a tenure-track faculty member.  These committee members shall be selected annually by a majority vote of the department’s non-tenure track and tenure track faculty.  The non-tenure track promotion committee members can be either Level II or Level III non-tenure track faculty, but non-tenure track faculty below the level being sought by a candidate must recuse themselves from the evaluation of that candidate for promotion.
    2. The department chair shall make ballots available to all non-tenure track and tenure track faculty.  The two non-tenure track faculty (other than non-tenure track faculty seeking promotion in that academic year) and the one tenure track faculty receiving the most votes shall be appointed to the non-tenure track promotion committee.  In case of ties, the department head shall make a random selection of all eligible non-tenure track promotion committee candidates receiving an equal number of votes.
    3. If there are insufficient non-tenure track faculty in a department of the necessary rank to form the non-tenure track promotion committee (as described in the preceding paragraph), or if the non-tenure track faculty member seeking promotion requests it, non-tenure track faculty from other departments shall be used to form the committee.  The non-tenure track faculty from other departments must be at least at the level being sought by the candidate.  Non-tenure track faculty drawn from other departments to form the non-tenure track promotion committee shall be determined by the department chair.
  6. Faculty Recruiting
    1. The chair shall annually appoint at least four tenured or tenure-track faculty members to serve on a Recruiting Committee.  Any faculty member wishing to serve on the committee will be added.
    2. The Committee shall be responsible for reviewing the qualifications of all applicants for faculty positions and identifying candidates for further consideration.
    3. The decision to extend an offer to a candidate will be determined by a secret ballot of the tenured and tenure-track faculty.  Faculty members can submit absentee ballots to the chair prior to the meeting.  At least two-thirds of the faculty casting votes (excluding abstentions) and greater than 50% of the Department’s voting faculty must be in favor of a candidate in order to extend an offer. 
  7. Graduate Coordinators
    1. The chair shall appoint a coordinator for the doctoral and MAcc programs.  The coordinators are responsible for general administration of departmental graduate programs, including recruiting, admissions, assistantships, academic counseling, curriculum, and comprehensive examinations.
    2. The coordinators will serve as the department’s representative to the College doctoral and master’s policy committees.
  8. Committees and Appointments:
    1. The chair may appoint standing or ad hoc departmental committees as circumstances shall from time to time require.
    2. The chair may appoint department faculty to serve as department representatives on College and University committees except as otherwise noted in these bylaws.
    3. Eligible department faculty members shall participate in the election of Faculty Senate representatives for the College of Business as provided in the College bylaws.
    4. The decisions of all committees are the responsibility of faculty members.
  9. Promotion, Tenure, and Merit Salary Increase Criteria and Evaluative Procedures

    This section describes the criteria and related evaluative procedures to be used by the Accounting Department in assessing faculty performance and qualifications for promotion and tenure decisions.  The criteria and evaluative procedures are consistent with the mission and goals of The Florida State University and the College of Business, and the Accounting Department, and they comply with and are supplemented by the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Faculty Handbook.  Recognizing the integral relation between annual performance evaluation and promotion and tenure decisions, these criteria and procedures will guide annual performance evaluations as well as promotion and tenure decisions.  All evaluations must contain a narrative explanation attached to the evaluation summary form.

    Section 1:  Performance Evaluation Criteria

    The Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Faculty Handbook presents specific information and standards which will be used to evaluate teaching, scholarship/research, service and/or administration.  The following merit criteria are based on those documents.

    Criteria for Teaching:
    The purpose of teaching is to impart knowledge and critical thinking skills in the theoretical, practical, and ethical aspects of the Accounting discipline.  Evaluation of teaching will consider all relevant evidence submitted by the faculty member, including course materials and methodology, special teaching responsibilities and related assignments, student consultations, teaching awards and other recognition, student evaluations, peer evaluations, and other pertinent evidence.

    Criteria for Scholarship/Research:
    The purpose of scholarship/research is to discover and develop a deeper understanding of knowledge with direct or indirect applicability to the accounting discipline.  Scholarship/research is developed through the communication of knowledge through a variety of publication media and oral presentations.   Evidence of scholarship/research includes scholarly books, articles in journals, other published works, presentations at professional meetings, and other evidence such as work in progress and working papers.

    Criteria for Service:
    The purpose of service is to facilitate the accomplishment of departmental, college, university, community and professional goals.  Service incorporates activities which are not considered strictly teaching or scholarship/research, but which enrich teaching and scholarship/research and benefit the university community and the State of Florida.  Evidence of service includes university, college, department, and similar committee service, paid or unpaid service to community groups or organizations, service to student organizations, service to the profession, and service to other groups or organizations that are important to the College or Department.

    Criteria for Administration:
    The purpose of administration is to facilitate faculty performance in teaching, research and service.  Administration is deemed to be those activities, normally restricted to department chairs or persons whose major responsibilities are administrative rather than teaching or research.  Evidence of administrative performance includes external outreach, faculty relations, external relations, leadership, and timely and effective performance of tasks such as scheduling courses, allocating resources, and coordinating program activities.

    Faculty performance shall be assessed using the following ratings:

    1. Substantially Exceeds FSU’s High Expectations
    2. Exceeds FSU’s High Expectations
    3. Meets FSU’s High Expectations
    4. Official Concern
    5. Does Not Meet FSU’s High Expectations

    A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is required when a non-tenured faculty member receives a “Does not Meet FSU’s High Expectations” rating.  Tenured faculty may be placed on a PIP if they received an overall performance rating of “Does Not Meet FSU’s High Expectations” on three or more of the previous six performance evaluations.

    Section 2:  Evaluative Procedures

    The faculty evaluative procedures reflect an annual process which involves a number of steps.  The following sections describe these steps, with related responsibilities. 

    Faculty Assignment of Responsibilities:
    Each faculty member will receive a written assignment of responsibilities from the department chair.  This assignment will be developed by the department chair in consultation with each faculty member.  The completed assignment form will reflect the mix of teaching, research and service and/or administration assignments upon which the faculty member will be evaluated.

    Faculty Performance Report:
    During the latter part of the spring semester, each faculty member will complete the College of Business Faculty Performance Report for the preceding calendar year.  The various items of evidence relating to performance described above will be included on this report, as well as other important performance information the faculty member deems to be important.  The set of Faculty Performance Reports for the department provides the basic information for evaluating departmental faculty.

    Promotion and Tenure Reviews:
    All faculty eligible for promotion shall be apprised annually by the chair, in writing, of their progress toward promotion.  Nontenured tenure-track faculty will also be apprised by the chair of their progress toward tenure.  The chair shall give substantial weight to the assessments of the Promotion and Tenure Committee in developing these appraisals.  For nontenured tenure-track faculty in their third year of tenure-earning appointments, the Promotion and Tenure Committee shall assess progress toward tenure and apprise the faculty member in writing.  

    Merit Evaluation:
    Each faculty member’s performance will be evaluated relative to his or her assigned duties.  The chair and the Faculty Evaluation Committee members will place each faculty member in one of the following merit salary increase categories.  Meritorious performance is performance that meets or exceeds the expectations for the position classification and department/unit.  In determining merit salary increases, the three most recent years’ annual evaluations shall be considered along with corresponding AORs to arrive at an overall assessment on the rating scale used for annual evaluations.  For faculty with fewer than three years’ annual evaluations, merit assessment shall be based on the years available.  No restrictions exist as to how many faculty can be placed in a given category:

    1. Substantially Exceeds FSU’s High Expectations
    2. Exceeds FSU’s High Expectations
    3. Meets FSU’s High Expectations
    4. Official Concern
    5. Does Not Meet FSU’s High Expectations

    The recommendations of the Faculty Evaluation committee will be submitted to the department chair.  The chair will forward the results of his/her evaluation to the Dean.  Merit raise distributions will be determined in dollar amounts, such that the annual evaluation categories of, “Meets FSU’s High Expectations“, “Exceeds FSU’s High Expectations”, and “Substantially Exceeds FSU’s High Expectations” shall be awarded raises of X, 2X, and 33X, respectively.  The amount of X shall be determined by dividing the total merit funds available to the department by the sum of merit ratings across all faculty where “Meets FSU’s High Expectations”=1, “Exceeds FSU’s High Expectations”=2, and “Substantially Exceeds FSU’s High Expectations”=3.

    Promotion of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty:
    The non-tenure track promotion committee shall make a written recommendation regarding the promotion of the non-tenure track faculty member seeking promotion to the department chair.

    Sustained Performance Evaluations:
    As part of the annual evaluation process, the department chair will complete a Sustained Performance Evaluation for every faculty member who has been in rank for at least seven years since being promoted or achieving tenure.  The chair will forward the results of this evaluation to the Dean.

  10. Ability to Chair or be a Member of Ph.D. Dissertation Committees:
    1. Dissertation committee membership requires Graduate Faculty Status from the university.
    2. The Ph.D. committee can, at its discretion, review committee membership and recommend changes to the department chair.  
  11. Graduate Faculty Status
    Membership in the Graduate faculty generally authorizes faculty to teach all graduate-level courses, to sit on all graduate-level committees, to chair all graduate student dissertation committees, and to participate fully in all components of graduate education, research, and service.   Limitation or removal of any of these authorizations from individual GFS faculty is delegated to the unit level authority where such assignments are made.


    Nomination Criteria:
    Subject to consideration of special circumstances, minimum qualifications are: (1) completion of the doctorate (2) proven expertise in the teaching area, and (3) appointment to a tenured or tenure-earning faculty position.

    Faculty holding GFS are expected to actively engage in graduate education through teaching, mentoring and research supervision. They should show evidence of research based scholarship and/or creative work resulting in peer reviewed publications or equivalent work.

    Beyond GFS, a faculty member must also meet the following minimum qualifications to chair a doctoral dissertation committee:  has (1) served on three completed dissertation committees, (2) obtained a publication record that would warrant, or has warranted, promotion to associate Professor, and (3) published at least one top-tier refereed journal article in the last five years.  

    There are other limitations as to the number and qualifications of dissertation committee members.  A minimum of four members are required on the committee.  All members must have GFS, or GTS with CMDS or CDDS.  One member must be from outside of the department. The outside member must be tenured and qualified to chair dissertations in their home department.  Beyond the chair and outside member, at least one other committee member must meet the above qualifications for chairing dissertation committees.

    To teach a doctoral seminar, a faculty member must hold GFS and have published at least one top-tier refereed journal article in the last five years. 

    Exceptions to the minimum qualifications for chairing doctoral dissertations and teaching doctoral seminars may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the department Ph.D. Policy Committee.

    Exceptions to the minimum qualifications for teaching in the MAcc program may be made for nationally recognized accounting practitioners.

  12. Summer Teaching Assignments 
    Summer teaching assignments will be based on budget allocation, needs, and faculty availability. Before making summer teaching assignments, the Department Chair will consult with faculty members about their desire to teach. Every effort will be made to give summer teaching assignments to those desiring to teach. Priority will be given to those that have not taught in the summer in recent years and those that do not have other summer financial support.
  13. Department Unit Reorganizations
    The faculty will participate in a department/unit reorganization as detailed under University policy and the adopted Union-negotiated agreements.
  14. Amendments:
    Any five voting members of the Department may propose an amendment to the bylaws.  A proposed amendment must be available to the voting membership at least two weeks prior to the Department meeting in which it will be considered.  To be adopted, a proposed amendment must receive an affirmative vote by a two-thirds majority of the faculty.
  15. Professorships and Endowed Chairs
    1. The Faculty Evaluation Committee will make recommendations regarding the selection of faculty members for professorships and endowed chairs.  Such recommendations will be forwarded to the department chair and the Dean.
    2. The Faculty Evaluation Committee will conduct an evaluation for the purposes of recommending a faculty member for a professorship or chair at the request of at least 40% of the committee members. 
    3. The Faculty Evaluation Committee will periodically evaluate the performance of professorship and chair holders and make a recommendation to the department chair and Dean regarding retention of the professorship or chair by the current holder.  These evaluations will occur whenever at least 40% of the committee members request an evaluation, but at least once every five years.  In conducting its evaluation, the committee shall consider the holder’s career research productivity, general standing in the field of accounting research, training and mentoring PhD students, as well as publication effort and performance in the last five years.  By agreement with EY, the holder of the EY Professorship must be the department chair.  Therefore, the evaluation of the EY Professorship must be conducted by the Dean. 



Approved by a majority of the faculty
Revised: 02/14/14

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