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Department Guidelines and Policies

Delegation Policy Concerning Part-Time Faculty

Typically, the MELC voting faculty votes on appointments and/or reappointments of certain faculty titles (such as adjuncts, affiliates, part-time lecturers, etc.) in Autumn Quarter. However, there are times when circumstances permit an appointment after this period, and which thus, require greater flexibility. In those circumstances, as enumerated in the Faculty Code, the MELC faculty delegates to the department chair the authority to recommend to the Dean the allowable faculty appointment. In such cases, the Chair shall first consult with appropriate departmental faculty with appropriate expertise with regard to the candidate’s expertise.

Research Language Exam

The Chair of a graduate student’s advisory committee is responsible for arranging that student’s research language.

Graduate Student Handbook Statement:

  • The Research Language Exam: Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a research language that is pertinent to the research in their area of study (French, German, etc.). Students must pass an exam or complete the first year series of UW courses with satisfactory progress (at the end of spring quarter, your average for all three classes must be at least 3.5 or you will need to take an exam).
  • If students take language courses at another institution, then they will consult with the Department Chair to ascertain whether the grades received at the other institution warrant an additional exam. The Chair of the Supervisory Committee must approve the Research Language and is responsible for grading the research exam or locating another faculty member to grade it.

Senior Thesis

Honors students must enroll in one quarter of research (NEAR E 490 [supervised research] or NEAR E 499 [undergraduate research]) and one quarter of writing (NEAR E498 [green form]), Non-honors students are encouraged to do so as well, but are required only to do the latter. Every spring MELC faculty will be provided a list of MELC juniors who likely will need senior theses advisors the following year. The list also will contain the students’ language training and known areas of research interest. This will enable us to stay on top of the students’ progress toward their senior theses and to establish greater transparency and shared governance in distributing the responsibility for thesis advising equally among the faculty representing the various language areas.


MELC does not sponsor or co-sponsor speakers or events unless they have been self- selected by the faculty of MELC or one of its sister units (History, Classics, MEC, JSIS, etc.)

Retention Policy

When a member of the MELC faculty has received a competitive offer or when such an offer may be imminent, the chair shall inform all members of the department who are at a rank equal to or higher than the faculty member receiving the offer and consult with them regarding departmental response. In the case of competitive offers received by full professors in the department, the chair shall consult with other faculty as deemed appropriate.

Policy for Three-Year Review and Promotion

Rather than providing a faculty member undertaking a three-year review or review for promotion with a summary of the internal committee’s report, the Chair shall provide that faculty member with the report itself, after blocking out all sensitive materials. With regard to internal committee reports for three-review reviews, the Chair may exercise due judgment as to what constitutes sensitive information (e.g., the identities of the internal committee members, etc.). With regard to internal committee reports in promotion cases, the Chair must block out all references to external reviewers, their affiliations, and any other information that might identify the external candidates, and may exercise judgment as to what else might constitute sensitive information.

MELC Guideline for Faculty Considering Promotion to Full Professor

The senior members of MELC’s faculty herewith provide a guideline of expectations for faculty members within the department considering promotion from Associate to Full Professor. In general, Associate Professors seeking to be promoted to Full Professors should have completed a monograph that is distinct from that used in any previous promotion case. At a minimum the monograph should be completed and in press and should have solid letters of external review to share. Though a monograph is preferable, in the cases where there is no monograph, the candidate should show evidence of a strong publication record including a substantial number of scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals and/or collected volumes. In addition, the candidate should be able to show evidence of a national/international reputation in his/her discipline via the usual metrics (e.g., citations of work in international journals, invitations to international conferences, and the like).