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Document TitleSchool of Music Department Bylaws
Document Type
  •  Bylaws
  •  Policy Document
  •  Procedures
  •  Guidelines
  •  Form
Document Owner
Contact Information
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Approval Date

October 20, 2015

Approved by
Effective Date

Review Date/Schedule
Revision History


MISSION STATEMENT (adopted fall 2003)

The School of Music of SUNY at Fredonia is an internationally recognized undergraduate and graduate program in a comprehensive, liberal arts and sciences college of the State University of New York. We provide the foundations of outstanding musicianship for all music majors and enrich the cultural life of the campus and community. Our mission is to provide the resources and the guidance necessary to motivate our students to seek excellence in their individual careers in music education, performance, composition, music theatre, music therapy and sound recording. In an environment oriented to the individual, we endeavor to create musicians who will assume vigorous roles as leaders and participants in significant musical experiences.


The Departmental Personnel Committee (hereafter called “the DPC”) and task force of the School of Music acts in an advisory capacity to the Director of the School of Music (hereafter referred to as "the Director") in all matters pertaining to renewal of term appointment, granting of continuing appointment and promotion of full-time faculty. The task force is also advisory in the process of assigning discretionary salary increases. In these matters the DPC serves to represent the faculty and to ensure that the procedures are followed as specified in the Policies of the Board of Trustees, in the Agreement between the State of New York and the United University Professions, Inc., in the HARP document and the School of Music Handbook.

The procedures and criteria employed by the DPC in the exercise of its functions are set forth below. The criteria are in conformity with, and in elaboration of, those established in the Policies of the Board of Trustees and the HARP document. Any policies not outlined in the School of Music Handbook are found in the HARP document, and/or the Agreement between the State University of New York and the United University Professions, Inc. Nothing in this document shall be construed to supersede either the Policies of the Board of Trustees or those stipulated in the university faculty HARP.

FACULTY BY-LAWS Departmental Personnel Committee

  1. The Departmental Personnel Committee (hereafter called “the DPC”) is constituted as laid out in the HARP document, section III.
  2. The Departmental Personnel Committee shall elect five of its members to serve on a task force expressively for the purpose of information, leading discussion and collecting ballots on behalf of the DPC.
  3. The DPC will elect both the chair of the DPC and the members of the task force in the final faculty meeting in the Spring semester.
  4. The chair of the DPC will also serve ex officio as chair of the task force.
  5. The task force is charged with initiating the regular updating/revision of this handbook.

PART I Procedures & Responsibilities: Reappointment, Continuing Appointment, and Promotion

General Procedures

  1. The DPC shall follow the review process as described in the HARP document..
  2. The task force shall gather all pertinent information and follow all the procedures established by this handbook and the HARP document. The information gathered is used by the DPC for deliberation to prepare the recommendations to the Director.
  3. The techniques for gathering information shall be comparable for considerations of re- appointment, continuing appointment and promotion.
  4. As per the HARP document, all official ballots, recommendations and directives taking place between the DPC and the Director shall be in writing and available to the candidate. All discussion within the DPC meetings concerning the candidate will be considered confidential.

Operational Procedures

  1. The initial responsibility of the task force is to gather all pertinent information before deliberation by the DPC on the case at hand.
  2. The initial responsibility of the DPC is to review the dossier and materials of each candidate before meeting to review the candidate. The DPC member will not participate in the review process if they have not previously reviewed the materials. The chair will create a signature sheet for each dossier.
  3. The DPC chair will call a meeting(s) for the DPC to review the candidate and cast ballots (found in Appendix A of the HARP document) following the review process outlined in HARP. Attendance will be taken.
  4. In each instance an objective summary of the activities of the DPC (discussion, ballot results) shall be prepared according to the criteria listed below, and in accordance with the HARP document.
  5. There must be a quorum of at least 2/3 the tenured faculty present to hold a review meeting. If a quorum is not present, the meeting will be rescheduled.
  6. The summary of the DPC discussion from the meeting (without reference to specific faculty viewpoints) and ballots shall be sent to the Director in writing, with one copy to the candidate. A copy will also become part of the faculty member's personal file in the School of Music office.
  7. Information so deposited in the faculty member's personal departmental file may be used by the DPC in future deliberations, but always considered in the light of the intervening developments and circumstances (such as continued professional growth, elimination of previously identified problems or weaknesses, etc.) and in the context of the faculty member's present (rather than past) standing in the School of Music.
  8. When the recommendation has been made to the Director and a copy provided to the faculty member, the Candidate may prepare a written response for submission to the School of Music Director, as described in the HARP document.
  9. In cases of promotion and continuing appointment, following the review by the Director, the candidate will be reviewed by the campus-wide Academic Personnel Committee, as outlined in the HARP document.

Additional Procedures

1. The faculty member shall include all student evaluations from the previous two semesters in their materials. Other sources of student evaluations (e.g., past student testimonials, etc.) may be utilized as well. Untenured Faculty need to administer student evaluations for all classes at the end of each semester.

2. The DPC shall evaluate and make its recommendation using the peer evaluation form summary, peer teaching evaluation form (see Appendix I), and student evaluations, as well as information presented in the candidate’s dossier (see the Dossier Guidelines in the appendix of this document, and Appendix D of the HARP document), and in accordance with the criteria listed in Part II of this document and Part IV in the HARP document. Special weight shall be given to evaluations by faculty members whose own teaching responsibilities or expertise falls within the areas relevant to the faculty member under consideration.

Discretionary Salary Increases (Additional/Special Procedures)

Responsibilities of the Task Force

1. When the School of Music is asked to provide recommendations for discretionary salary increases, the Director will invite all members of the faculty to apply. Those that wish to be considered will submit a summary statement and vita (or other information if required). Using guidelines distributed by the President of the University, the task force (elected subset of the DPC) will review the submitted materials, rating the priority rank of each applicant. These recommendations are then submitted to the Director, who considers them when making the final School of Music recommendations to the Dean. Members of the task force who have applied for such increases will recuse themselves from any debate regarding their own merit.

Responsibilities of the Faculty Member Under Consideration

1. The faculty member shall prepare all documents (including vita, etc.) by the deadlines set by the task force. Missing deadlines or forgetting to submit important material may cause a decision to be made on incomplete information.

2. If at any time the faculty member has questions, challenges or objections to task force procedures or to the character or nature of the information in its possession, he/she shall meet with the Director. The Director shall mediate such contentions with the task force.

PART II Criteria & Definitions (See also the HARP document Section IV): School of Music Specific Criteria

Mastery of Subject Matter Minimum Criteria to be Employed and/or Retained by the School of Music

It is expected that any individual hired by the School of Music will have a degree of expertise appropriate for collegiate teaching. Although the doctorate is traditionally considered an indication of an acceptable level of knowledge and skill in academic areas, the field of music does offer some exceptions. Before being hired, the candidate must have a doctorate or demonstrate professional equivalency.

If a candidate’s primary teaching area is:

  1. in academic areas such as Music Education, Music Theory, Music History, or Music Composition, a doctorate is expected.
  2. in selected areas for which a doctorate is not offered as a norm, such as Music Therapy or Sound Recording, the advanced degrees must be considered in context with knowledge and skill demonstrated by professional experience, notable accomplishments, awards, research, publications, reputation, etc. A doctorate will be assumed to be required, unless stated in writing to the contrary at the point of hire.
  3. in applied music it is expected that the DMA, or equivalent doctorate is required. However, doctorate equivalency will be considered for candidates with a masters degree as outlined below.

Doctorate Equivalency for Applied Faculty

For some faculty in the applied area, a professional doctoral equivalency may be an alternative to the doctorate. This option would entail a highly visible and successful performing career, prior to arrival on campus. Professional activity such as significant professional engagements (solo, ensemble, orchestral) of national or international stature, recordings, and/or favorable reviews would be essential for the strength of the candidate’s credentials. Doctorate equivalency will be determined at the point of hire.

Criteria for Promotion, Tenure, & DSI

Recommendations for promotion, tenure and DSI shall be based upon the record of the faculty member in the following categories, listed in order of importance:

  1. Teaching
  2. Scholarly/Creative activity
  3. Service

It is expected that a faculty member will engage in some but not all of the activities listed under each category. Each individual case will be considered on its own merits.

Teaching represents the most important function of the School of Music. It is expected that each member of the faculty will excel in teaching. Enthusiasm for teaching and the ability to stimulate students to achieve at the highest level possible are important attributes of the faculty member.

Scholarly/Creative activity may include any of a wide variety of activities, depending upon the field of specialization and the interests of the faculty member. It is expected that each member of the faculty will pursue professional activities appropriate to his or her field of specialization and will achieve recognition among his/her peers in one or more such field of activity.

Service refers to activities that utilize the professional expertise of the faculty member. Each member of the faculty is expected to render a reasonable amount of service to the School of Music, to the University, and to the public at large. Service is subordinate to the other two categories of activity, and no amount of service can compensate for a lack of skill in teaching or for a lack of scholarly/creative activity.


Evidence to be considered in the evaluation of teaching may include:

  1. Demonstrated excellence in instruction in the classroom, studio, or rehearsal hall, including, but not limited to:
    1. recognition of and response to student interest within the instructional framework.
    2. organization of instruction.
    3. demonstrated skill in developing fair and valid procedures for evaluating students.
    4. out-of-class efforts to broaden students' awareness of instructional material.
    5. introduction of the latest scholarship and critical findings in the field.
    6. professionally manage possible problems such as scheduling difficulties, time or space conflicts, until they can be resolved.
  2. Demonstrated ability to attract talented students to the School of Music.
  3. Demonstrated knowledge of the subject matter taught, including range, depth and innovation.
  4. Development and implementation of new courses, programs, teaching materials or teaching techniques.
  5. Updating and improving courses to bring in line with current scholarship.
  6. Teaching evaluation forms, provided that the forms for an entire class are submitted and not a selected sampling.
  7. Demonstrated success of former students.
  8. Written statements by colleagues, including area coordinators.
  9. Unsolicited letters from former students.

Scholarly/Creative Activities

Evidence to be considered in the evaluation of Scholarly/Creative activities may include the following; work in progress and commitments accepted should be so indicated:

  1. Publication as the author, co-author, editor or translator of books, chapters in books, articles, reviews, monographs and non-print materials and reviews of these publications (publications subjected to substantial peer review prior to publications shall be more highly regarded than publications not subjected to such review).
  2. Research which contributes significantly to the state of knowledge in the faculty member's field of specialization and publication of the results.
  3. Commissions of musical compositions.
  4. Publication of musical compositions or arrangements.
  5. Obtaining funds, either internal or external, for research or development or for instructional or program improvement.
  6. Appearances on and off-campus as a speaker, conductor, soloist, ensemble member, panelist or clinician or as a director of a workshop or institute.
  7. Presenting papers, speaking, participating on panels, presiding at sessions, adjudicating, performing as soloist, ensemble member or conductor or otherwise participating in the meetings or activities of professional associations.
  8. Appearances off-campus as recitalist, guest soloist or conductor with paid professional groups or in professional settings.
  9. Participation in symposia and other selective gatherings of distinguished colleagues.
  10. Performances by off-campus groups or individuals of compositions by the faculty member.
  11. Performances on commercial recordings by the faculty member or performances on commercial recordings of compositions by the faculty member.
  12. Service as a consultant to or on behalf of educational institutions, professional associations, or government agencies.
  13. Service as an adjudicator in major competitions.
  14. Winning of prizes, awards, fellowships or other recognition.


Evidence to be considered in the evaluation of service may include:

  1. Effective service as an advisor to students, or student organizations.
  2. Effective service in contributing to the effective and efficient operation of the School of Music. Included, but not limited to:
    1. willingness to operate within the School of Music regulations and guidelines.
    2. to attend to official college forms, documents and grade reports.
  3. Effective service on committees of the School of Music and the University and participation in meetings and other official activities of the School of Music and its divisions.
  4. Effective service as Associate Director, Assistant to the Director, Area Head, or Coordinator. .
  5. Effective service in performing other formal administrative duties for the School of Music.
  6. Effective contributions to recruiting, fund-raising or public relations efforts on behalf of the School of Music or the College.
  7. Service in elective or appointed leadership roles in professional associations at the international , national, regional, state or local levels.
  8. In the spirit of collegiality, (beyond the normal responsibilities of the faculty member), appearances on campus as a speaker, conductor, soloist, ensemble member, panelist or clinician or as a director of a workshop or institute.
  9. Utilization of the professional abilities and expertise of the faculty member (without compensation or with nominal compensation) on behalf of continuing education in music or in the service of government agencies, citizens' groups, educational or religious institutions or charitable organizations at the local, state, national or international levels.

Academic Ranks Defined in Relation to School of Music specific Criteria (see also the HARP document sections IV and V)

The qualifications expected of persons appointed to the various academic ranks in the School of Music shall be as follows:

Adjunct Lecturer: part-time contingent faculty.

Lecturer: full-time temporary or term-appointed faculty

Senior Lecturer: a Fredonia campus title conferred by application.  See HARP V.E

Instructor: The title of instructor is given to a person who holds at least a master's degree or its equivalent in professional experience and who has shown evidence of special ability as a teacher and as a performer, conductor, composer, scholar.

Assistant Professor: The title of assistant professor is given to a person of proven ability and acceptable experience who holds a doctor's degree or its equivalent in professional experience and who has demonstrated special ability as a teacher and as a performer, conductor, composer, scholar or clinician.

Associate Professor: The title of associate professor is given to a person who has met the requirements for appointment as an assistant professor and who has established (1) an unequivocal record of excellence in teaching, (2) a distinguished record of creative or professional activity or research, (3) a satisfactory record of service and (4) a reputation among his or her peers as an outstanding performer, conductor, composer, scholar or clinician.

Professor: The title of professor is given to a person who has met the requirements for appointment as an associate professor and who has established (1) a sustained and unequivocal record of excellence in teaching, (2) a sustained and distinguished record of creative or professional activity or research, (3) a satisfactory record of service and (4) a national reputation among his or her peers as an outstanding performer, conductor, composer, scholar or clinician.

Distinguished Professor: The titles of Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Distinguished Service Professor are granted through SUNY.  See HARP IV.C.

PART III. Timeline for Reappointment, Tenure, Promotion and Merit/DSI Mentoring procedures

Check current HARP document  for specific dates.

The task force will meet during the first week of classes to prepare for the October 1st round of evaluations.

Mentoring Goals for Tenure-Track (Untenured) Faculty

Untenured faculty will develop (in consultation with their Mentors and/or the Director) a proposal detailing personal goals and objectives for the next evaluation cycle. The faculty member shall consider the following:

  1. Three Criteria (teaching, creative and professional activities, and service): Any projected achievements in these areas for the next evaluative cycle should be included in the personal goals and objectives.
  2. School or area goals: Personal goals should include indications of what the faculty member plans to achieve in order to help the School of Music accomplish its goals.

Mentoring Procedures for New Tenure-Track (Untenured) Faculty

  1. Mentors: At the beginning of the first semester of appointment, two full-time, tenured (if appropriate) faculty shall be assigned to a new tenure-track faculty member. One mentor shall be appointed by the Director, in consultation with the new faculty member and, as appropriate, Area Heads and Task Force chair. The second mentor shall be selected by the new faculty member.
  2. Selection of Mentors: The appointed mentor shall usually be from the primary teaching area. The mentor selected by the new faculty is encouraged to be from the new faculty member’s secondary area, if applicable.
  3. Term of Service: The two mentors shall serve from the time of initial appointment until the new faculty member is considered for Continuing Appointment. If a mentor is unable to complete his/her full term, a replacement shall be appointed by the director from the appropriate area.
  4. Mentor Responsibilities:
    1. Mentors are responsible for explaining the policies, operations and traditions of the School of Music to new faculty, including the evaluation process contained in this document. Mentors also shall assist the individual in developing plans for improvement of teaching, personal growth and address problems if they occur.
    2. Mentors shall observe the teaching of the new faculty member on a periodic basis and be included in the peer teaching evaluation process (see Peer Teaching Operational Procedures below). The candidate must be notified in advance of such visitations. If problems are noted, they must be addressed in a timely fashion between the candidate and his/her mentors.
    3. Mentors shall consult with the Director, appropriate Area Head and/or Task Force about any concerns and suggestions they may have which pertain to the progress of the candidate towards tenure.
    4. Mentors should be aware of any workload difficulties that may arise with his/her assigned untenured faculty, i.e.: too many administrative assignments that preclude sufficient professional growth. The mentors should address any imbalances that could jeopardize the candidate’s tenure, and provide assistance to develop future plans.

School of Music Department Bylaws

(click the link above to view the policy)

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