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Bylaws and Department Policies

Note: In September 2020 the following by-laws were modified to reflect the university-wide change in titles from lecturer, senior lecturer, and principal lecturer to assistant teaching professor, associate teaching professor, and teaching professor, which took effect on September 16, 2020.

Computers and Equipment

Announced at Faculty Meeting on February 11, 2011

Policy Announcement: Computer Damage

When a department computer is damaged as a result of a faculty member's own misfortune, carelessness, accident, or other unhappy event not attributable directly to any defect in the machine itself, the faculty member is responsible for repair or replacing the machine at his/her own expense. If a faculty member prefers not to assume such an expense, the following two options are open to them:

  1. Take a replacement from whatever computers the department may have available at the time, or
  2. Wait for a college "work station initiative" to receive a department-funded replacement.

1. and 2. may be combined. (Theft and damage from such events as earthquakes are covered by department insurance. Accidental damage is not.)

This policy was approved by the departmental Executive Committee February 3, 2011.

Executive Committee 

Adopted at Faculty Meeting on April 15, 1988

A Department Executive Committee shall be constituted consisting of the Chair, one faculty member each from the East Asia and South Asia programs, the Undergraduate Advisor and Graduate Program Coordinator for the purpose of meeting and consulting with faculty on problems concerning the Department.

Faculty: Absentee Ballots

Policy on Absentee Ballots, passed October 14, 1974

The motion was made (Knechtges) and seconded (Wylie) that in all future meetings of the department concerning personnel matters, no absentee ballots will be permitted under any circumstances whatsoever, regardless of the reasons for absence from the meeting. After discussion, this motion was voted and carried.

Faculty: Appointments

Revised Departmental Bylaws Concerning Senior Lecturers [Associate Teaching Professors] and Principal Lecturers [Teaching Professors], approved Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Senior Lecturer [Associate Teaching Professor]

The requirements for appointment or promotion to Senior Lecturer [Associate Teaching Professor] in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature are:

  1. High quality and effectiveness in teaching as assessed by means including, but not limited to, student and peer teaching evaluations.
  2. Under normal circumstances, the completion of five years at the rank of full-time Lecturer [Assistant Teaching Professor].
  3. A high degree of professional involvement in both the language program and the department as a whole, over and above that required in the carrying out of one's routine teaching duties.
  4. Additional expertise in such areas as
    1. coordination of the language program;
    2. supervision and training of teaching assistants;
    3. language pedagogy, as demonstrated by representation of the language program and the Department at national and international conferences centered on language teaching;
    4. the preparation and publication or dissemination of high quality instructional textbooks or other materials.

Principal Lecturer [Teaching Professor]

Promotion to Principal Lecturer [Teaching Professor] will be made only under exceptional circumstances.This title is achieved by promotion only. It is granted only to individuals who have received national or international recognition for excellence. In addition, in order to be promoted to Principal Lecturer [Teaching Professor], faculty members must demonstrate that they have played a major instructional role at the UW that extends beyond their language program and the Department as a whole. 

Consideration of Lecturers [Assistant Teaching Professors] and Senior Lecturers [Associate Teaching Professors] for promotion to Senior Lecturer [Associate Teaching Professor] and Principal Lecturer [Teaching Professor] respectively is undertaken either upon the recommendation of the voting faculty senior to the candidate in rank, or upon the request of the Lecturer [Assistant Teaching Professor] or Senior Lecturer [Associate Teaching Professor]. Such requests must be made in writing to the Chair no later than April 1 for consideration by the senior faculty in Autumn Quarter of the following academic year. 

As part of the review process for promotion of Lecturer [Assistant Teaching Professors] and Senior Lecturer [Associate Teaching Professors], both internal and external assessment shall be obtained testifying to the quality and importance of the candidate's contributions to his or her field. 

Policies on the Appointment of Non-Professorial Teaching Staff, adopted on October 21, 1987

Recommended Policies (Supplementing those given in Executive Order 28 and in document "Graduate Student Service Appointments")

  1. Student teaching appointments shall be for a term of up to one year, with no presumption of automatic reappointment.
  2. Such appointments will be recommended by a vote of the appropriate program faculty (e.g., China, Japan, S. Asia) and forwarded by the Program Coordinator directly to the Chair, but will not normally be brought to the entire Department for approval.
  3. Under no circumstances are appointees to Teaching Assistant and Predoctoral Teaching Associate I positions to be given the primary instructional responsibility for a course. Such individuals shall work under the direct supervision of appropriate faculty members.
  4. Appointees to Teaching Associate II, Predoctoral Lecturer, and Predoctoral Instructor positions may have primary instructional responsibility for a course but shall work under the direct supervision of appropriate faculty members.
  5. The Chair shall designate in the letter of appointments to awardees of student teaching appointments the individuals under whose supervision they are to work. It shall be the responsibility of those individuals to insure that the assignments given to the appointee are in conformity with Graduate School guidelines.

Faculty Appointments 

The following policy statements are relevant only to those Departmental faculty positions for which research and publication are not part of the appointee’s responsibilities. "Language Teaching Associate" and "Lecturer [Assistant Teaching Professor]" are two such ranks generally available to the Department. In the past, no clear distinction has been made between the duties of individuals appointed to these two ranks. This has sometimes led to confusion, inequities, and misunderstandings on the part of the appointees. To correct this, the committee recommends the following:

  1. Language Teaching Associates 
    1. Language Teaching Associates are to be appointed only in limited circumstances. The appointment is to be for one academic year, renewable no more than twice. The teaching need for which such an appointment is recommended shall be of a temporary nature and not part of the long-term instructional program of the Department.
    2. Appointments of Teaching Associates shall require the recommendation of the appropriate program and approval by a vote of the faculty of the Department.
    3. Appointees to the post of Language Teaching Associate shall work under the direct supervision of a specific faculty member designated by the Chair in the letter of appointment.
  2. Lecturers [Assistant Teaching Professors]
    1. The appropriate rank for long-term non-professorial language-instructional appointments shall be that of Lecturer [Assistant Teaching Professor].
    2. Recommendations for appointments at this rank shall be made by a duly constituted search committee in the same manner as with all other faculty appointments.
    3. Appointments to the rank of Lecturer [Assistant Teaching Professor] shall normally be for a term of three years, with renewal for successive similar terms, each subject to the availability of funds and appropriate performance evaluation.
    4. Appointees to the rank of Lecturer [Assistant Teaching Professor] shall work within one of the regular department programs.
    5. Appointees to the rank of Lecturer [Assistant Teaching Professor] shall be subject to regular merit review in the same manner as other faculty.

Adopted at Faculty Meeting on December 6th, 2006

The Department faculty voted to approve the following policy on responding to competitive offers: "Departmental recommendations concerning responses to competitive job offers, preemptive salary adjustments, and unit-based adjustments, shall be made by the Chair, after consultation with appropriate faculty, at the discretion of the Chair." This policy will be submitted to the Dean and remain in effect for two years.

Adopted at Faculty Meeting on April 11, 2007

In order to accord with Graduate School requirements, the department adopts the following written policy on graduate faculty membership and the ability to serve on doctoral supervisory committees, based on the list of expectations of graduate faculty members outlined in Graduate School Memo #12 (revision of June 2006): 

"In order to be granted graduate faculty status, eligible faculty members must show evidence of

  • active involvement in (or, for a beginning faculty member, qualification for) graduate student teaching and research supervision; and
  • continued research-based scholarship as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications, or equivalent creative work.

Faculty members elected to graduate faculty status will automatically be granted an endorsement to chair doctoral supervisory committees, unless otherwise specified." 

Faculty: Merit Evaluation Procedures

Policy on Merit Evaluation Procedures, adopted 2/20/80

Motion: The department adopts Alternative A as presented in the January 3, 1980 Report of the Committee on Merit Evaluation Procedures. 
Alternative A (text from report of 1/3/1980): 

"Alternative A. That the department should continue with the present system of evaluating faculty members for merit increase. Under this system, then, the Chair would continue to be free to solicit opinions from other members of the faculty on an ad hoc basis."

Adopted at Faculty Meeting on December 8, 1999

The evaluation of merit of faculty holding the rank of Professor is to be carried out by the Chair of the Department. 

Departmental recommendations concerning responses to competitive job offers, preemptive salary adjustments, and unit-based adjustments, shall be made by the Chair, after consultation with appropriate faculty, at the discretion of the Chair.

Faculty: Personnel Recommendations

Policy on ad hoc subcommittee procedure for study of personnel recommendations, adopted 10/15/74

In connection with these important personnel actions, I will also take this opportunity to implement the ad hoc subcommittee procedure for the study of personnel recommendations, in accordance with the sense of the meeting on October 14, 1974. You will recall the discussion at that time and the suggestion that in future personnel actions of the department each candidate's record be studied, in advance of the meeting at which the vote will be taken, by an ad hoc subcommittee, and that this subcommittee will bring to the full faculty a written recommendation concerning the personnel matter at issue.

Reaffirmation of policy on subcommittee review of personnel recommendations, reaffirmed 11/21/79

Our department already has a policy that personnel matters should be referred to subcommittees of one or more faculty member and that these subcommittees should bring their recommendations to the entire faculty for a vote and it is recommended that the department continue to follow this policy.

Faculty: Professional Leaves

Policy for department procedures regarding professional leaves, adopted 10/18/78 by general consent

The application for and the granting of professional leave for an academic year are procedures controlled by a deadline schedule established by the Dean of the College. 

Regulations for professional leave on a quarterly basis are not governed. For the benefit of students and departmental operation, it is essential that professional leaves be coordinated with the preparation of the quarterly Time Schedule. To achieve this coordination, the deadline for submitting or canceling within the department a request for leave on a quarterly basis (with or without partial salary from the University) shall be no later than the deadline for the preparation of the quarterly Time Schedule for classes. This means the deadline for submitting or canceling a request for leave would be during any Winter Quarter for the following Autumn Quarter, during any Spring Quarter for the following Winter Quarter, and during any Autumn Quarter for the following Spring Quarter.

Faculty: Teaching Evaluations and Peer Reviews

Procedures for Assessment of Faculty Teaching, adopted 5/17/89

A committee of three faculty members holding the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor will be responsible for evaluating the teaching of department members. The Chair of the Department shall appoint the members of this committee, who shall serve for a term of three years. 

The teaching faculty members in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature shall be evaluated by the committee according to the following schedule:

  • Lecturers [Assistant Teaching Professors] and Senior Lecturers [Associate Teaching Professors] holding multiyear appointments: at reappointment;
  • Assistant Professors: at reappointment and upon consideration for tenure and promotion;
  • Associate Professors: upon consideration for promotion or once every three years;
  • Professors: once every three years.

No faculty member shall have his/her teaching assessed less than once every three years. 
In carrying out its evaluation of the teaching of faculty members, the committee may invite the submission of the following materials:

  • student evaluations of teaching performance;
  • course outlines, examinations, bibliographies, handouts, etc.;
  • anything else the faculty member wishes to be examined by the committee.

The committee may also conduct onsite visits of classes taught by the faculty member whose teaching is being evaluated. The committee shall make every attempt to visit as wide a range as possible of the types of courses taught by the faculty member (e.g., lower division language courses, survey courses on literature in translation, graduate seminars on area of specialization). The committee may, with the concurrence of the faculty member being evaluated, request the assistance of other faculty members in the Department in carrying out onsite visits. With regard to student teaching evaluations, the committee shall assure itself that its evaluation is based on representative and fair samplings of student opinion. 

The committee will report its findings to the Chair in the form of a written letter. The Chair will meet individually with the faculty member to discuss the results of the evaluation. A copy of the letter will be made available to the faculty member, who has the right to respond in writing to the committee's report. 

In addition to mandatory evaluations carried out according to the schedule given above, a faculty member may at any other time request the assistance of the committee in assessing his or her teaching. The results of such non-mandatory evaluations will not be reported to the Chair nor included in the file of the faculty member. 

Each faculty member will have at least two courses evaluated by students per year. At least two courses chosen for evaluation must be regular university courses earning academic credit. Summer and evening credit courses may be counted towards these two courses. Non-credit extension courses may be used for evaluation purposes, once the requirement of two credit courses has been satisfied. Faculty member should insure that over a period of years a representative range of courses that they teach has been chosen for evaluation. 

Adopted at Faculty Meeting on January 10, 2007

The procedures for assessment of faculty teaching adopted by the department on 5-17-89 state that "each faculty member will have at least two courses evaluated by students per year." This requirement was later amended, but seems to have been inadvertently omitted from the by-laws recorded here. At this meeting the faculty reconfirmed the revised requirement, that "each faculty member will have at least one course evaluated by students per year."

Announced at Faculty Meeting on December 10, 2010

Changes were announced to the policy for course evaluations for teaching staff in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the faculty meeting on December 10, 2010. The executive committee, after consultation with the Divisional Dean for the Humanities and Arts who agreed to the proposed policy, modified the existing policy for student class evaluations. It is now as follows:

  • Assistant Professors, Senior Lecturers [Associate Teaching Professors], Lecturers [Assistant Teaching Professors], and teaching assistants must submit ALL courses to a student evaluation.
  • Associate Professors must submit TWO courses per academic year to a student evaluation.
  • Professors must submit ONE course per academic year to a student evaluation.

Announced from Faculty Meeting February 11, 2011

Please note the Peer Teaching Review Guidelines of the department.

Announced from Faculty Meeting May 10, 2019

To have Senior Lecturers [Associate Teaching Professors] be peer-observed once every two years instead of annually, and that Principal Lecturers [Teaching Professors] be peer-observed once every three years instead of annually; and to return to the issue of student evaluations next year.

Faculty: Travel

Departmental travel policy, adopted 5/21/80, amended 2-83. See attached.

Faculty: University and College Voting

Department policy on departmental caucus for providing guidance in voting in University and College elections, adopted 1/17/79

Motion: Every year, within a week after ballots for the College Council election are circulated to the faculty, the Chair or his appointee shall call a caucus meeting of the voting faculty in order to discuss the merits of potential candidates and choose one whom it wishes to vote for as a group. Each faculty member will then be free to cast their private ballot in accordance with the group decision, or to vote for a nominee of their choice. The caucus will also be responsible to agree upon a nominee to serve as our representative in the Faculty Senate, if it happens that the departmental position is open for the following academic year. As soon as the departmental choice has been made, the incumbent senate representative from the department shall inform the Slavic Languages and Literature Department of our decision. If faculty ballots are distributed at times which cannot be accommodated during the above caucus (as in the case of elections for the Graduate Faculty Council, or for other positions, or because of the need for emergency replacements in the College Council or the Faculty Senate), a similar caucus meeting will be called within a week of the time of distribution of such ballots. When possible, caucus meetings should be held at the time of regular meetings.

Graduate Student Admissions

Graduate Admissions Committee, adopted 11/18/87

The Chair shall appoint a graduate admissions committee. The committee shall consist of three members. The Graduate Advisor shall serve as chair, and at the same time represent their area within the Department. The other two members shall come from the other two programs of the Department: China (including Central Asia), Japan (including Korea), and South Asia (including Tibet and S.E. Asia). The committee shall have the following responsibilities:

  1. To set deadlines for consideration for admission for each quarter.
  2. To review and revise periodically the application and letter of recommendation forms.
  3. To evaluate all graduate applications for admission, and decide on acceptances and denials, after all departmental faculty have had the opportunity to see each applicant's file, comment on it, and recommend for or against admission.
  4. To select recipients of whatever recruitment or other new student fellowship awards the Department may have at its disposal to make. 

Graduate Students

Motion regarding the establishment of departmental components and surveying the progress of graduate degree candidates, passed 4/24/74

The components of the Department, to be understood as (1) China, (2) Japan, (3) Korea, (4) South Asia, (5) Turkic, (6) Tibet, (7) Thai, should each meet once a year to consider and survey the progress of their graduate degree candidates, and should also report on the results of that consideration and survey to the entire Department at a regular faculty meeting.

Guidelines for French/German Reading Examinations, approved unanimously at faculty meeting, February 17, 1993

The attached two-page set of "Guidelines" was approved unanimously at the February 17, 1993, AL&L faculty meeting, and can now be considered Department policy and operative. 

Students with questions about this matter are welcome, of course, to ask their advisors, the Graduate Advisor (me ipsum), or any other faculty member of their choice. 
Faculty members who are requested to prepare and administer French or German reading examinations will be given a set of these same guidelines at the time of the request. 

Nature of the Examination

  1. Except in unusual circumstances, fully justified by genuine and compelling academic necessity, the graduate student European language reading examination should be in either French or German. Exceptions must be justified in writing by the student's advisor and placed in the student's file prior to administering the examination. (No approvals are needed.)
  2. Time: 2 hours.
  3. Length: Approx. 1000 words (this will usually equal about three printed pages of average-sized books with average-sized type font). The examination should consist of a single connected passage rather than two or more discrete passages.(Deletions of any lines or short sections, deemed inappropriate by the examiner because they constitute, for example, extended quotations from another source, especially difficult or confusing lines, etc., are of course permitted, and are not to be considered as violating the "single connected passage" guideline.)
  4. Use of a dictionary is permitted for the whole examination. Use of other kinds of reference works, grammars, handbooks etc. is not permitted.
  5. Content of reading passage: The purpose of the reading examination is to determine if the examinee can read scholarly French or German in general, not whether she can read just in the area of her research familiarity. Thus, and to this end, passages selected for examinations should not be chosen to conform exactly to the research areas of the examinees, but should be generally understandable (in terms of content) to anyone in the Dept. The examinee should be able to expect the reading examination passage to deal with the general scope of AL&L concerns, i.e., language, literature, and related matters of cultural history, of South, Central, and East Asia. The content of all passages should be general enough that if written in English the passage would be readily understandable by the examinee without the need for any arcane or specialized knowledge or background. All exams should be non-fiction readings.

Passing Performance: To be deemed a passing performance, there should be no more than six significant errors in the three-page piece. NB: A “significant error” is one of either grammar or vocabulary that leads to a distinct misunderstanding, or complete lack of understanding, of the line or phrase in question such that the reader has not gotten full or accurate comprehension of the author's intent. Errors of idiom, nuance, and relatively inconsequential matters of, e.g., tense, mood, number, gender, are not to be thought of as "significant" when they do not lead to the kind of substantive misunderstanding referred to immediately above. Apart from the number of errors, a passing performance means that the examinee has translated most of the three pages. The exact amount that qualifies as "most" in any particular case is left to the discretion of the examiner. As a rule, the less translated, the fewer errors allowed, and in no case can a student who has translated less than two-thirds of the examination be deemed to have passed.

Administration of the examination: Students who wish to take the European language reading examination must sign up by the end of the first week of classes in any quarter (assuming the quarter begins on a Monday, or by the fifth class day of the quarter when it does not begin on a Monday). The examinations are then given the afternoon of the third Friday of the quarter in question. (Reading examinations are as a rule not given in the summer quarter due to unavailability of faculty.) After the sign-up period is over, the Graduate Secretary informs the Graduate Advisor of who has requested what examinations, and the Graduate Advisor then selects appropriate faculty members to administer the necessary examinations. The basis for selecting a particular faculty member to administer a particular examination has nothing to do with the individual students taking that examination, but rather with the faculty member's expertise in the language of the examination. All students taking the reading examination in the same language at the same time will take the same examination, that is, examinations will not be tailored to individual students. Hence only one examination need be made for each language in any given quarter, no matter how many students are taking it. As a secondary consideration, the Graduate Advisor will try to spread the work around so that no faculty member is unfairly burdened with administering an inordinate number of these examinations. Please note that this procedure does not require that the examiner know the identity of the examinees, and vice versa. 

Teaching Assistant Policy

TA Evaluation Procedures

In 1997, the TA Coordinator, Collett Cox, obtained approval from the Department for a set of procedures for the annual evaluation of Teaching Assistants (TAs). The full text supplied by Professor Cox was as follows: 

The major components of TA evaluation are class observation and student teaching evaluations. All TAs will also have a teaching file, containing all written materials resulting from these evaluation processes as well as any other material that the TAs or supervisors feel helps to provide a picture of the TAs’ teaching performance.

    1. Class observation: Supervisors will visit and observe one class taught by the TA in the autumn quarter of every year of instruction. Class observation will also involve pre-and post-observation interviews, the primary purpose of which is to allow the TAs to discuss their own approach to teaching, any difficulties that they perceive or have experienced, and any other issues that they feel are important to the evaluation process. TAs will provide their supervisors with the teaching materials that they will be using in the observed class and any other background information or materials necessary for a full appreciation of their classroom performance. After the class observation and the post-observation interviews, supervisors will submit a written evaluation that will be placed in the TA's teaching file. It is strongly suggested that the individual language programs develop a form for this evaluation. (This form could simply list certain criteria [e.g., time or classroom management] for the evaluation of the classroom performance or could include specific questions on various aspects of teaching.) If the TAs feel that the class observed by their supervisor is not representative of their teaching skills, they may request an additional observation to be carried out in Winter or Spring quarter. 
  1. Student teaching evaluations: All TAs are required to have student teaching evaluations done every quarter of instruction. The TAs should request that a copy of these evaluations be sent to the department. These evaluations will be reviewed by the supervisor and will be placed in the TA's teaching file. If there are any problem areas suggested by the evaluations, supervisors will meet with the TA to discuss how the student evaluations might be interpreted and how the problem areas might be addressed. Language programs and individual TAs are encouraged to include within their own teaching evaluations their own questions that address issues specific to their own classes.

Should additional teaching assistance be desired, TAs may contact CIDR to take advantage of the various services that it offers. TAs are also encouraged to establish contacts with other TAs in the Department to seek help on matters of teaching.

Teaching Assistant Policies, revised April 5, 1995

During the winter quarter, 1995, the Ad Hoc Committee on TA Policies reviewed departmental policies pertaining to teaching assistants. In conducting our review, we examined written policies on both the university and departmental levels and reviewed the policy statements of other comparable departments. We also interviewed representatives of all language programs in the department as well as the departmental program assistant and, as you are aware, solicited the opinions in writing of all faculty, graduate students, and teaching assistants. 

Our findings fall into three areas: 
(I) recommendations for clarification of or changes in current departmental policy; 
(II) reminders to the faculty about university policies pertaining to TAs; and 
(III) referral of certain issues to other departmental committees or to the TA coordinator. 

  • Recommendations: Application, Selection, and Appointment:
    1. In order to give new applicants to the department or graduate students who are off-campus the opportunity to apply for TA positions, provisions should be made for the submission of evidence of teaching experience and potential that can be used In the selection process in lieu of the interviews, written examinations, or other procedures regularly employed by the language programs to assess students already on campus. This evidence should include records of past teaching experience and, if possible, a videotape or at least an audiotape of the applicant teaching pertinent materials. Application materials for prospective graduate students should contain an explanation of these procedure and suggest acceptable sorts of teaching documentation.
    2. The selection committees of the various language programs must include at least two members of the graduate faculty.
    3. TAs serving in non-language departmental courses will also be selected by a committee of at least two members of the graduate faculty.
    4. In selecting TAs, it should be kept clearly in mind that TA positions provide not only teaching service to our language programs but also invaluable teaching experience for graduate students, and accordingly play a significant role in our graduate students' professional training. Therefore, every effort should be made to give strong preference to graduate students in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature. Selection committees must consider applications from our graduate students first in the selection process and should recommend the hiring of qualified Asian Language and Literature applicants before recommending students from other departments.
    5. All TAs will be appointed at the rank of Teaching Assistant during the first year of service. Promotions will occur as funding, performance, and graduate level permit.
    6. TAs who are hired to TA positions that fall vacant in the middle of the academic year will not be considered as renewing their positions in the next selection period, but must undergo the same selection process that applies to new TA applicants.
    7. No student shall serve as a TA for more than 12 quarters (summer quarters are not included within the 12 quarter limitation); exceptions will be made only in cases of urgent departmental need.
  • Recommendations: Evaluation and Grievance Procedures:
    1. Each TA is required to conduct standard student teaching evaluations in every quarter of service and to maintain these evaluations in his/her teaching file. The teaching supervisor should make every effort to meet with TAs individually and confidentially to discuss their performance during the first quarter of service and in the second quarter of service, if any persistent difficulties warrant. Any recurrent difficulties should be brought to the attention of the TA both through discussion and in writing. TAs should be given indication in writing of continued non-satisfactory performance.
    2. In the case of TA complaints, it is suggested that the TA first attempt to resolve the difficulty with the supervisor involved and next with the coordinator of the program under which the course is taught. The issue may then be raised with the TA coordinator and finally with the department chair. (TAs should feel free to consult the TA coordinator confidentially or request his/her assistance at any point in this process.) If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved at that point, the TA should follow the procedures outlined in Section 5 of the Handbook. The grievance procedure should be a part of the letter of award and a routine component of TA training.
  • Reminders:
    1. Each year, the department as a whole is given a funding allocation for its TA positions and can only make appointments of such rank as can be supported by that allocation. The Handbook sets guidelines for appointment ranks through the following correlation of TA ranks with stages of progress in graduate studies: Teaching Assistant (Premaster, Postmaster, Precandidate, Candidate); Predoctoral Teaching Associate I (Postmaster, Precandidate, Candidate); Predoctoral Teaching Associate II (Candidate)
    2. Although reappointments are not to be considered automatic, the Handbook, Section 2.3 states:
      • It is the policy of the University to provide continuity of appointment of graduate students receiving teaching, research and staff appointments…. Reappointment may be expected if the graduate student demonstrates satisfactory progress toward the completion of a graduate degree program and maintains a high standard of performance in the activities associated with the appointment.… If a student meets the above stated criteria, he or she may expect reappointment insofar as permitted by (i) the availability of budgetary or financial support for the appointment; (ii) department policy concerning the distribution of appointments between initial appointments and reappointments; (iii) departmental policy concerning maximum duration of appointments and number of reappointments.
      • Although the Ad Hoc TA Committee is recommending departmental policy changes only for point (iii) listed above, individual language programs may wish to suggest guidelines for their own programs also under point (ii). If individual program guidelines are adopted, they should be clearly stated in the departmental statement of TA policies.
      • The Handbook stipulates that TAs should work an average of approximately 20 hours per week. For Teaching Assistants or Associates of all ranks, duties may include supervised teaching, preparation and correction of quizzes and exams, correction of homework, consultation with students during regular office hours and other appropriate work assigned by a supervisor such as clerical work, typing on a computer, and other work that contributes to the development or execution of the curriculum. Only TAs of the Predoctoral Teaching Associate 11 rank may be assigned full responsibility for the conduct of a course.
  • Referrals:
  1. To the TA Training Committee: The majority of the faculty, graduate students, and TAs expressed the view that specific pedagogical training should be conducted by the individual programs. Department-wide TA training could include the following: a review of policies and procedures; "dos and don'ts" of classroom etiquette; classroom management skills (e.g., instructional goals, time management, pace); and some generalized teaching methods (e.g., homework and test design, grading, strategies to handle problems). Many respondents to our questionnaires expressed the view that TA training should continue throughout the first quarter of service by special training seminars, regular meetings, or more intensive supervision by the faculty supervisor.
  2. To the TA Coordinator: The statement of policies for Graduate Student Service Appointments, the TA application forms, and the letter of award should be revised to reflect current policy. On the issue of application, the TA coordinator should consult with the program coordinators to assess what application materials each program requires and, thereby, determine whether separate applications are necessary for each program.

Adopted at Faculty Meeting on December 6, 2006

The Department faculty voted to approve the revised "Academic Student Employees Statement of Policies" submitted by the Ad Hoc Committee on TA Affairs. The new version will be posted on the department web site.

Adopted at Faculty Meeting on December 10, 2010

Changes were announced to the policy for course evaluations for teaching staff in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the faculty meeting on December 10, 2010. The executive committee, after consultation with the Divisional Dean for the Humanities and Arts who agreed to the proposed policy, modified the existing policy for student class evaluations. As far as teaching assistants are concerned, the policy states that all teaching assistants must submit ALL courses to a student evaluation.

Undergraduate Students/Courses

Departmental Policy on Enrollment Restrictions in Elementary Language Classes, Fall 2000

Because it is possible that students who may wish to enroll in elementary language classes in this Department may already have some significant knowledge of or proficiency in the language in question, either as native speakers or from some other heritage-related cultural background, or through previous study or exposure, it is important that the University of Washington and College of Arts & Sciences policy concerning taking first- and second-year language classes be understood. This policy, to which the Department of Asian languages & Literature strictly adheres, states: 

First-year (elementary) or second-year (intermediate) foreign language credit is not granted either by examination or by course completion in a student's native language. 'Native language' is defined as the language, or one of the languages, spoken in the student's home during the first six years of his or her life and in which he or she received instruction through the seventh grade. 

Students who misrepresent the extent of their background so as to gain entrance to a course at the elementary or intermediate level may be dropped from the rolls of that course. Students who have questions about whether they are eligible or not to take a particular course should speak to the instructor of the course in question.

Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring, approved by faculty vote 4/14/2004

The responsibility for advising undergraduate majors and prospective majors will be divided among three distinct roles: 

(1) the department's undergraduate advisor; 

(2) program advisors in each of the separate programs (by default the program coordinator; or his or her designee); 

(3) faculty mentors (with mentoring duties assigned equitably to all tenured or tenure-track members of the department, and to Lecturers [Assistant Teaching Professors] and Senior Lecturers [Associate Teaching Professors] serving at their option on an as-needed basis). 

Other lecturers [teaching professors], affiliate faculty, and adjunct faculty will continue to contribute to undergraduate advising informally through such functions as providing information and advice during office hours and class sessions, by writing letters of reference and nomination for scholarships, study abroad, employment, and graduate admissions, etc. The areas of responsibility for each role are as follows:

  1. Undergraduate Advisor
    1. Serve as an initial contact point for general queries, referring to program advisors if necessary.
    2. Process declarations of major.
    3. Check credits required for graduation and certify satisfaction of requirements.
  2. Program Advisors
    1. Provide program-specific information after receiving referrals from the undergraduate advisor or faculty mentors (e.g., future course offerings, study abroad options).
    2. Authorize course substitutions.
    3. Not an initial contact point for students.
  3. Faculty Mentors
    1. Provide an opportunity for each major to have ongoing, face-to-face contact with a faculty member during an initial annual session scheduled by the mentor and follow-up sessions at the student's initiative during office hours or by appointment.
    2. Suggest options for future study and employment.
    3. Help identify promising students for award nominations.
    4. Encourage undergraduate participation in research, as appropriate.
    5. Encourage study abroad.
    6. Refer students to the pertinent program advisor if necessary.

This system will take effect in Fall 2004 and supersede the present volunteer mentoring program. The Undergraduate Study Committee will make initial assignments of majors to faculty mentors. The undergraduate advisor will thereafter make adjustments as students declare majors or graduate. Mentors will be expected to serve even if not teaching, but will be relieved if on official leave. The undergraduate advisor will assign temporary mentors for students whose mentor is on official leave and seek to accommodate students who request a change of mentors. 

Revised and approved Asian Languages and Literature Undergraduate Honors Degree Requirements in April 2005

Application Procedures:

  1. Prepare a one-page written request describing the proposed honors thesis topic and identifying the faculty member who will be asked to direct and ultimately approve the thesis.
  2. Submit formal confirmation that the first two requirements enumerated in the below honors degree requirements have been satisfied. Normally this will come from the undergraduate advisor in the form of a simple written confirmation.
  3. Submit a writing sample of no less than five (double-spaced) pages. The sample can be newly written for this purpose, or may be something written previously as course work, or any combination of these. It may not be a translation but should instead be something that shows evidence of the applicant’s ability to express herself or himself clearly, cogently, and thoughtfully in English.
  4. After the initial screening by the undergraduate advisor of those applicants who meet the formal requirements, the designated honors thesis advisor (an Asian Languages & Literature faculty member) will make the final approvals or rejections.
  5. If the student who has been accepted into the departmental honors program fails to maintain the requirements (GPA), the undergraduate advisor will issue a warning. If the student fails to correct the situation before the quarter (spring or last quarter) in which she or he plans to write the thesis, she or he will be dropped from the program.

In addition to the standard set of requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree in Asian Languages and Literature, add the following for an honors degree:

  1. An overall 3.7 GPA.
  2. No incompletes at the time of application.
  3. Two quarters of coursework in any classical Asian language, or three quarters of coursework in a modern Asian language other than that for which the B.A. is to be granted.
  4. An honors thesis to be written in the “senior” year (or the year during which the student is completing the Asian L & L major) under the direction and approval of an Asian L & L faculty member. This can be done under the various 499 courses in the specific language program.
  5. Complete an Honors Program Departmental Invitation.

Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholars Policy approved by faculty vote, Winter 2005

The Department of Asian Languages & Literature welcomes visiting scholars who wish to study and pursue research in appropriate subjects. For practical reasons we can only accommodate a limited number of visitors at a given time and therefore must ask prospective visiting scholars to inquire well in advance of the time of their anticipated visit regarding their plans. The following statement of department policy is intended to give prospective visitors an indication of what the department is able to provide to visitors and what our expectations and application requirements are. Please note at the outset these two points:

A. The policy laid out here pertains only to individuals who will submit unsolicited requests to come to our department as visiting scholars. It does not apply when the proposed visiting scholar is to be invited at the behest of an AL&L faculty member.

B. The policy does not deal with the technical requirements or aspects of a visiting scholar appointment (e.g., required financial support, visa requirements, length of stay, etc.) These things are governed by governmental and university policies already in place. Information of this kind can be obtained from the department office administrator.

All requests for visiting scholar status must come first to the Chair of the department. Requests received by other AL&L faculty should be forwarded to the Chair. Only the Chair has the authority to issue visiting scholar invitations. Requests must include:

  1. A letter from the prospective visitor giving a brief sketch of the visitor’s teaching and research background, explaining what the visitor proposes to work on while here and why this department is a desirable or appropriate place to carry out that work;
  2. A c.v. and bibliography. These documents must be received either in “hard copies” or electronically as pdf attachments. (In view of the great uncertainty of successful forwarding, opening, reading and printing of attachments in Asian languages using other software, we must ask for pdf’s.

The Chair will circulate requests to appropriate faculty members for review and recommendation. In assessing the suitability of requests, faculty will take into consideration the appropriateness and compatibility of the prospective visitor’s research to that of our department overall. Faculty will also consider how the prospective visitor might interact with the department, through such things as colloquia, brown bag lunch talks, informal work with faculty and students, etc. 

Under normal circumstances visiting scholars will be expected to have some tangible, visible interaction with the department, though the extent of such interaction may vary according to individual circumstances. At least one faculty member must be interested enough in having the visitor here to be willing to spend a little time and effort in hosting the visitor. This need not go beyond such things as a welcoming meeting, answering questions, introducing the visitor to the library, etc. 

When one or more faculty members have expressed interest in having a visitor invited, including a willingness to assume the “hosting” responsibility described above, and when there is no expressed opinion to the contrary, the Chair will send a formal letter of invitation. 

No explicit limit will be set on the number of visiting scholars that the department can host at a given time, though the Chair reserves the right to refrain from issuing new invitations when there is a sense that we already have reached a maximum number of visitors who can be properly accommodated at one time. 

Visiting scholars can expect that their affiliation with our department will entitle them to library access privileges, and that they will be welcome at all departmental activities, colloquia, lectures, etc., and to visit appropriate classes at the discretion of the individual instructors. Prospective visitors should note that the department, unfortunately, does not have any means to provide any kind of financial support, telephone or computer facilities, mail box or office space to visitors.

Visitors will be required to cover their own expenses in all respects, including visa costs when applicable.

Please note that this has been updated on 9/23/2011. Click here for further details on our departmental Visiting Scholar policy

Faculty: Course Cancellations

A draft policy developed by humanities chairs and the divisional dean for humanities was circulated at the April 11, 2014 faculty meeting:

“In the event that a course is cancelled, either through low or lack of enrollment, the instructor of that course shall be assigned to teach or assist in the teaching of another course during the same quarter.  If the timing of the canceling makes the reassignment impossible, the reassignment can be deferred to a later quarter or subsequent academic year.  Except in unusual circumstances, the cancellation of a course shall not reduce the total number of courses taught by a faculty member.  With the concurrence of the Chair or Divisional Dean, in the event of a course cancellation, a faculty member may be given special administrative or instructional assignment in lieu of cancelled course."

Discussion ensued.  The policy above was adopted by a unanimous vote.