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.

Delegation of Authority to the Chair

The MELC faculty members voted (November 6, 2023) to delegate to the department chair authority to recommend to the dean appointments and renewals of appointments of (1) affiliate faculty and (2) part-time lecturers (both annual and quarterly). The chair will consult with appropriate faculty members as necessary or desirable in each individual case.

M.A. 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).
  • The Chair of a graduate student’s Supervisory Committee is responsible for arranging that student’s research language. The Chair must approve the Research Language and is responsible for grading the research exam or locating another faculty member to grade it.
  • 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.

Capstone Thesis

Honors students must enroll in one quarter of research (MELC 490 or MELC 499) and one quarter of writing (MELC 498). 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 third-year students who likely will need capstone 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 capstone 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.

Teaching Modalities Policy

In Autumn 2022, the College of Arts and Sciences provided the following guidelines regarding course modalities:

“The default modality for any course is in-person instruction, since that is the historical precedent and implied on-campus experience. If the department doesn’t have a policy in place, all classes are expected to be taught in-person except those with formal DL approval.

A ‘Hybrid’ designation should not be used when a course is truly offered online. Hybrid courses should include substantial required in-person experiences. A course that feels to a reasonable person like an online course should, absent clear and explicit rationale, be classified as an online.”

MELC defines ‘hybrid’ courses as mostly (more than 50%) in-person classes, with the rest of the instruction remote.  Such courses must hold at least one regularly scheduled in- person class meeting per week. All faculty are to submit their proposals for hybrid courses to the Chair of the department for approval before course plans go to the time schedule. It is important for the time schedule to indicate clearly which class sessions are in-person and if remote instruction is synchronous or asynchronous.

Sponsorship/Co-Sponsorship Policy


The Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC) is devoted to the study of cultures and languages of the Middle East, including North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and Central Eurasia. Our faculty explores the contemporary cultural diversity of the region through its ancient and medieval roots and its modern manifestations. Many of our faculty engage in public scholarship to integrate their research and teaching and promote constructive dialogue and partnerships across communities.


This sponsorship/co-sponsorship policy reflects the mission, values, and principles of the MELC department. It validates MELC’s commitment to continue fostering academic discussions within the  framework of the University of Washington’s mission and MELC’s fundamental values. In addition to this policy, MELC will abide by the applicable sponsorship policies of the University of Washington.


MELC will  consider sponsoring or co-sponsoring events that are educational in nature.  Proposed events should be relevant to MELC’s academic mission, as well as intended for the diverse community of the University of Washington, especially students.  

MELC will consider sponsoring and co-sponsoring events where MELC faculty play a meaningful role in shaping the program.

MELC will only enter sponsorship or co-sponsorship agreements with individuals or entities that are committed to upholding the fundamental principles of MELC and the University of Washington.  Sponsorship does not guarantee UUF (Use of University Facilities) Committee approval.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please email

Views Expressed Disclaimer 

The views and opinions expressed in sponsored events are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of MELC.

Event Accessibility

In accordance with the University of Washington policy, MELC is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodations, contact the UW Disability Services Office at least 10 days in advance at 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax), or

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.

Collegial Teaching Evaluations


  • Faculty have the option to have their teaching evaluated in any quarter.
  • Faculty may be observed by CAS faculty from outside of the unit.
  • The Chair may consider requests from faculty for a specific person (from inside or outside of the unit) to observe them.
  • It is recommended that the evaluator be of the same or higher rank as the faculty member being observed since this strengthens the case for promotion.
  • It is recommended that the same faculty member not evaluate the faculty member being observed two times in a row.

Best Practices: The Observation Process

  • Before the observation occurs, the observer and observee meet to share the course syllabus, discuss the goals for the course, and clarify how the class period that will be observed fits into the course’s larger structure.
  • After the observation occurs, the observer and observee meet so that the observer can offer constructive feedback and so that their observations may be discussed.
  • A form/template is provided to the observer to assist them in the observation process. The form may be useful for discussion at a post-observation meeting but will not be included in the observer’s final report.
  • The observer writes a report of their observation.
  • The observer’s report goes first to the observee for their response before being sent to the
    department chair.

Internal Reports 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 MELC Department has voted to adopt the College of Arts & Sciences guidelines without change or addition.

For CAS guidelines, please see:……