Department of Special Education Code

(Revised October, 2016)


  1. Faculty. Faculty are those persons who have tenure or are in a tenure-track line in the School of Education and have the rank of acting assistant professor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor in the School.
  2. Professor of Practice. Professors of Practice (assistant, associate, and full) are non-tenure track faculty with a full-time appointment in both teaching and service.
  3. Lecturer. Lecturers with the authority to vote are faculty who do not have tenure nor are on tenure track but teach in the Department of Special Education with at least an annual 50% appointment.
  4. Graduate Research or Teaching Assistants. Graduate research or teaching assistants are those students enrolled in the Department' s doctoral or master’s degree-seeking program who assist in research carried out by the Department' s faculty or assist in teaching courses offered by the Department's faculty.
  5. Staff. Staff of the Department are those University support staff and unclassified staff who are not identified as faculty.
  6. Students. A student is any person enrolled in a Department program, including the undergraduate, certification, masters, specialist, and doctoral programs.


  1. Department Chair(s). The Department faculty will recommend to Dean of the School of Education and other appropriate University officers individuals whom the faculty judge to be qualified to be the Department's Chairperson(s). That person or persons will be the Department's chief executive officer(s) for a period designated by the Dean. The Department Chair is hereafter referred to as Chair.

    The responsibilities of the Chair shall include, without limitation
    1. Guide and represent the Department to the University, state, national, and professional communities.
    2. Administer a nationally-recognized comprehensive doctoral leadership program.
    3. Administer nationally-recognized personnel preparation programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels that prepare professionals who serve individuals with special educational needs and their families across the life span.
    4. Ensure that undergraduate and graduate teacher education licensure/endorsement meet state and CAEP professional standards.
    5. Lead faculty development activities, including mentoring and evaluation, and facilitate faculty efforts to secure internal and external support for research, teaching, and demonstration activities.
    6. Recruit new faculty to maintain and further develop the Department and its personnel preparation and research activities.
    7. Sustain and advance the Department’s collaborative relationships among students and faculty in research and scholarship, teacher education, and outreach activities.
    8. Seek out and respond to personnel preparation needs including those in direct service, research, and leadership through partnerships with the field.
    9. Influence special education policy and practice through involvement nationally and in professional associations.
    10. Develop and oversee the Department budget.
    11. Oversee the development, review, and management of curriculum and scheduling.
    12. Preparing documents and reports required by University and the School.
    13. Supervise Department staff.
  2. Other Administrative Officers. The Chair may appoint and remove other administrative officers such as associate chairperson, assistant chairpersons, directors, and administrative assistants as the Chair deems appropriate and may delegate to them such responsibilities and authority as the Chair deems appropriate.

Governance and Policy-Making within the Department

  1. Grant of Authority for Policy Making to Faculty. Subject to the School of Education Code and any limitations it places on the Faculty, the Faculty is the primary policy making body for the Department and shall have authority to determine the Department’s mission and to establish curricula, academic standards, and degree requirements, subject to regulations that apply to all schools in the University.
  2. Membership in Faculty and voting rights
    1. Faculty. Each person who qualifies as a member of the Faculty shall have full voting rights, and no voting rights of any Faculty member shall be reduced or apportioned because the Faculty member is appointed in part to another unit of the University (whether a research or teaching unit).
    2. Other Voting Members. The Department's Faculty annually (at the first meeting of the Faculty in each Fall semester) shall determine who has voting status. Any person who has at least a half-time instructional appointment in the Department as lecturer, courtesy professor, or professor of practice is eligible for voting status and, if voted upon by the Faculty as having such, may vote on all items except for those pertaining to promotion and tenure. If the Faculty favors voting status, voting privileges shall be valid for the remainder of the academic year and may be renewed annually.
    3. Emeritus Faculty. The Department's Faculty may grant voting rights to Emeritus/a Faculty and shall follow, for these individuals, the same procedures that it follows, and shall have the same powers of granting plenary, limited, or restricted voting rights, as set out in paragraph 2, immediately above, provided, however, that the Faculty may not grant voting rights to any Emeritus Faculty who is not also an Emeritus Faculty in the School of Education and who fails to make a written request to the Department's Chairperson(s) for voting rights, by the time the Faculty is required to determine whether to grant voting rights to that individual.
    4. Privilege to Attend Faculty and Committee Meetings. The Department's Faculty and Committee meetings shall be open to all individuals who have an interest in the Department's business but the Faculty or any of its committees may declare a Faculty meeting or Committee meeting to be closed and held in executive session whenever the nature of the business before the Faculty or Committee shall involve personnel discussions or determinations or whenever the Faculty or Committee determine that the meetings require the exclusion of those individuals so that the Faculty or Committee members may candidly discuss the matters before it. The Faculty or Committee members may grant to those attending who are not Faculty members the privilege of addressing the Faculty or Committee on matters pertinent to the Faculty or Committee. Unless the Faculty has granted Faculty voting privileges to a person, any person attending Faculty or Committee meetings may not vote at those meetings.
    5. Membership Determination. The Chair (s), in consultation with the Dean and Department Faculty and staff, shall prepare a list of instructional personnel or Emeritus Faculty who are eligible for voting privileges and shall distribute this list to the Faculty no later than five academic calendar days before the first meeting of the Faculty in the fall semester of every year. If any Faculty member objects to the enrollment by the Chair(s) of any listed person, that member shall voice the objection at that faculty meeting and the Faculty, after appropriate discussion of the person's eligibility, shall vote to confirm or reject that person's listing. Unless a person is so listed after the members of the Faculty have an opportunity to object and vote, that person is ineligible for the grant of Department voting or other privileges. The determination of listed individuals shall be made before the conduct of any other business at that meeting.
  3. Meetings; Quorum
    1. Mandatory Meetings. The Faculty shall meet at least six times in the fall and spring semesters of each academic year. Normally, no meetings shall be held or documents acted upon outside the fall and spring academic calendars. However, in an emergency, a summer meeting may be convened as set out in C.2., below.
    2. Other Meetings. The Faculty shall meet (a) upon the call of the Chair (s) or (b) within fifteen working days after a Department or ad hoc committee, a majority of its members having voted in the affirmative, or a group of not less than one-quarter of the Faculty, deliver a petition requesting a meeting to the Chair (s). An academic calendar day shall be considered any day, including Saturdays, during scheduled enrollment, class meetings, and final examination periods.
    3. Quorum. A quorum for the transaction of any business, including the adoption of any motions or resolutions, shall be one half of the entire Faculty and any other individuals who have voting rights who are in attendance virtually.
    4. The Chair shall prepare and distribute the agenda for each meeting of the Faculty at least five (5) academic calendar days before the meeting, along with copies of any documents to be acted upon during the meeting.
  4. Voting
    1. Methods
      1. Proxy Voting Disallowed. Members of the Faculty may vote in person at meetings of the Assembly. No member may vote by proxy.
      2. Voting by Digital or Paper Ballot. Any member of the Faculty may vote by digital or paper ballot, delivered to the Chair or designee electronically or by paper ballot, but not by telephone. The Chair(s) shall distribute digital ballots to all Faculty members within six (6) academic calendar days of the meeting. Ballots received by the Chair(s) within two (2) academic calendar days following the meeting shall be counted under the provisions of Article II, Sections B, 1-6. The Faculty may not submit a motion for digitally; all motions for vote shall be made in person at a meeting of the Faculty.
    2. Required number of votes for action
      1. Ordinary Majority. An ordinary majority shall be any number of votes over 50% of the in-person, mail, or email ballots cast.
      2. Extraordinary Majority. A two-thirds vote of the Faculty shall be required to amend this Code and the Department's Mission Statement, provided that the call for the meeting of the Faculty at which a vote on amendment shall include a copy of the proposed amendment and explanatory materials and that these materials are made available along with the call for the meeting to each Faculty member at least ten (10) academic calendar days before the meeting. No Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Teaching Assistant, student, or Emeritus Faculty shall have voting rights with respect to amending the Code or Mission Statement.
    3. Consent Agenda. Any item that affects the Department's requirements or regulations shall be presented individually to the Faculty and individuals with voting rights ("the electorate") for final action. To facilitate timely action, all other actions taken by standing committees may be included in a Consent Agenda submitted to the electorate. The Consent Agenda will be submitted to the electorate at least five academic calendar days before a scheduled meeting. The electorate shall consider a motion to approve all items contained in the Consent Agenda. If a majority of the electorate approve the Consent Agenda, all items within the agenda shall be deemed to have been approved by the electorate. Before voting on the Consent Agenda, the electorate may remove by an ordinary majority vote particular items from the Consent Agenda and place them on the regular agenda. These items shall then be treated like any other items on the regular agenda.
  5. Officers, Parliamentary Rules of Procedures
    1. Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer of the Faculty meetings shall be the Chair(s) or in their absence, another Administrative Officer or a Faculty member delegated by the Chair(s).
    2. Secretary. The Chair(s) may appoint a secretary from among the Faculty or Staff for such period of time as the Chair(s) may determine and assign to the secretary the duties to keep written minutes of the discussions and votes of the Faculty.
    3. Parliamentarian. The Chair may appoint a Parliamentarian from among the Faculty or Staff for such period of time as the Chair(s) may determine as needed.
    4. Rules of Parliamentary Procedure. The Faculty shall be governed in its business by the then-current edition of Robert's Rules of Order.
  6. Records
    1. Maintenance. The Chair(s) shall maintain up-to-date copies of the Code, minutes and other records of Faculty proceedings and of all standing committees and other committees, task forces, work groups, similar sub-units, and any Advisory Councils, and shall designate the place for storing those records.
    2. Open Records and Exceptions. With the exception of confidential materials, minutes and records shall be open to faculty staff, and students.
    3. Confidential Materials. The Chair(s) shall maintain confidential materials on the central file storage system in the School of Education with password secure access. The Chair may grant access to them by the appropriate individuals.
    4. Duration for Record-Keeping. The Chair(s) shall maintain all such records for at least five (5) years after the date of the action or meeting to which they relate and thereafter shall deposit them in the University archives.
    5. Dissemination. The Chair(s) shall maintain and disseminate to Faculty, Department and School administrators, and students copies of the Code and Mission Statement, which distribution is sufficient if accomplished by posting the same on the Department's website.

Organization of Department

  1. General Structure. The Department shall be composed of committees and affiliated research and training centers and institutes.
  2. Committees
    1. The Department shall constitute the following standing committees and the Chair(s) shall appoint Faculty to them for terms of not more than three consecutive years, shall designate the term of the Faculty members so that there will be staggered terms of office, and may appoint Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, staff, and students to them for such terms of office and for staggered or nonstaggered terms as the Chair(s) deems appropriate. The Chair(s) designate the chairs of each committee, with input from committee members.
      1. Personnel
      2. Leadership Studies
      3. Knowledge Mobilization
      4. Personnel Preparation Programs Committee
      5. Chairs Advisory Committee

      The Personnel Committee shall perform the functions, as designated by the Chair and Faculty, of a promotion and tenure committee and to that end voting privileges shall be such that no assistant professor or individual with lesser academic rank may act on any promotion or tenure matter involving an individual of higher academic rank; no associate professor may act on any personnel matter involving an individual with the rank of full professor but may act on any personnel matter of any associate professor or individual of lesser academic rank; and any full professor may act on any personnel matter of any individual with any academic rank whatsoever.

    2. The membership on standing committees shall be limited to members of the Faculty and any other individual to whom the Faculty annually has granted voting rights, as well as Doctoral Students, Graduate Research Assistants, or Graduate Teaching Assistants assigned to the committee by the Chair

    3. The standing committees shall have, within the Department and with respect to the Department's governance and administration, the authority and responsibility that the Standing Committees of the School of Education possess.

    4. The Chair(s) may appoint ad hoc committees as appropriate, subject to the approval of the Faculty, including without limitation committees with jurisdiction over grievances.

    5. When appointing ad hoc committees, the Chair(s) may appoint faculty and other individuals to them, and may limit the duration of each ad hoc committee.

    6. The ad hoc committees shall have only the authority and responsibility that the Chair(s) assigns to them but such authority and responsibility may not be inconsistent with the authority and responsibility of any standing committee.

    7. The Faculty may create or dissolve, or amend the authority and responsibility of any standing or ad hoc committee.

    8. Each standing and ad hoc committee shall make reports as needed to meetings of the Faculty. The report shall be by email at least two working days before a meeting of the Faculty and may be distributed at the meeting of the Faculty.

  3. Affiliated Research and Training Centers and Institutes. Centers and institutes affiliated with the Department shall be those whose director(s) petition the Department for affiliation and that are directed by members of the Department's Faculty, approved by the Department's faculty, and engaged in research, teaching, or other activities related to and not inconsistent with the Department's Mission.

  4. Advisory and Other Councils

    1. Membership, Charge, and General Duties. Advisory and other councils shall consist of Faculty, Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, Staff, students, and other individuals appointed by the Chair(s) with the prior consent of the Faculty; shall receive a written charge from the Chair(s), and report to the Faculty at least once during the fall and once during the spring semesters; and may recommend, but take no other action, with respect to the Department's Code, Mission, governance, or business.

    2. Chairs Advisory Council. The Chair may appoint a Chairs Advisory Council; the Council shall consist of the chairs of the Department’s standing committees and such other individuals as deemed appropriate by the Chair(s); and shall carry out those responsibilities that the Chair(s) assign them.


  1. Incorporation of University Policies. All policies of the University that apply to the School of Education and all policies of the School of Education itself that apply to the Department are incorporated herein.
  2. Conflict of Policies. If there is a conflict between the policies of the University or School and the Department's policies set out in this Code, the policies of the University or School shall govern and prevail.

School of Education & Human Sciences - Policy Index

See also: KU Policy Office's School of Education and Human Sciences page.

Policy document title Link to Content
School of Education and Human Sciences Undergraduate & Graduate Travel & Research Support Guidelines view
Department of Special Education Promotion and Tenure Criteria and Procedures Approved by the Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure, November 2012 view
Department of Special Education Post-tenure Review Criteria and Procedures Approved by Special Education Faculty, April, 2014 view
Department of Special Education Code (Revised October, 2016) view
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Guidelines for Tenure and/or Promotion and Third Year Progress Toward Tenure Review view
School of Education and Human Sciences Code view
School of Education & Human Sciences Grade Dispute Procedures view
School of Education, University of Kansas Post-tenure Review Criteria and Procedures view
School Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure view