Department By-Laws

The duties, responsibilities and powers vested by the Board of Regents, the University of Washington, and by the College of Arts and Sciences in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures will be exercised by the faculty of the department as a whole, by the Chair appointed by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and by standing and ad hoc committees appointed by the Chair.


  1. The Chair of the department appoints members of the Standing Committees at the beginning of each academic year. The Standing Committees of the department are:


    The Graduate Admissions/TAship Committee: This committee is responsible for evaluating applications to the department’s graduate program and ranking applicants for TA appointments. It is chaired by the Graduate Advisor and includes two other faculty members. Members of the committee evaluate and rank applications and meet in person in order to arrive at a consensus ranking, which they forward to the Chair and the First-Year Russian Coordinator. The committee also recommends applicants for the Titus Ellison Fellowship and other fellowships and scholarships.


    The Vadim Pahn Scholarship Committee: This committee evaluates and ranks applicants for the scholarship which provides support for the study of Russian language during the summer quarter.


    Slavic Excellence Prizes Committee: This committee evaluates course papers and awards a prize each for the best paper written by an undergraduate and a graduate student to be presented during the Slavic Department’s Convocation.


    The Scholarship Committee: The committee meets in early winter quarter to consider if there are candidates for college and university-wide scholarships and awards. The committee communicates their findings to the faculty who then decide whether to proceed with the nomination(s).
  2. When the Chair deems it necessary, he/she may appoint an ad hoc committee to advise him/her on any particular subject.

Competitive and Pre-emptive Offers

  1. Any faculty member who receives a formal offer of a position at another institution, or who is under consideration for a position at another institution, and who wishes the University of Washington to respond, shall inform the Chair of the terms of the offer or interest, and request that the department and the university consider a response. The department recommends that this information be put in writing, in the form of a letter from the faculty member to the Chair.

    Upon receiving such information, the Chair shall consult with members of the faculty who are superior in rank to the person in question. In some cases the Chair, in consultation with those superior in rank, may decide to involve the entire faculty in reaching a decision as to whether to request a retention offer from the College of Arts and Sciences. The faculty senior to the person in question vote on whether the department should request a retention offer from the college. If the faculty member is a full professor, other full professors in the department vote.

    If the department approves the request for a retention offer, the Chair, with the assistance of senior faculty, shall prepare relevant materials for College review: a vita, the last three years of student teaching evaluations and peer teaching reviews, and a letter from the Chair outlining the case for the candidate, taking into account the criteria listed by the College of Arts and Sciences, including the issue of the impact the faculty member's departure would have on departmental offerings and students.

Faculty Appointments, Reappointments, Promotion, and Tenure

  1. Actions concerning new appointments, reappointments, promotion, and tenure shall be taken by the eligible voting members of the faculty. This shall be done upon request by the Chair in the case of reappointments of Teaching Professors (including Assistant and Associate), Affiliates, and Adjuncts, and upon recommendation by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Chair in the case of new appointments, reappointments of Assistant Professors, promotions and tenure cases. Faculty are not eligible to vote during the time they are on leave of absence. Faculty on 40% appointments are eligible to vote, but not in the quarter(s) when they are not teaching.
  2. The Chair shall represent the voting members of the faculty and take action in matters concerning temporary, short-term, and visiting appointments.

Graduate Faculty Status

    1. New Graduate Faculty members in Slavic Languages & Literatures are nominated to general membership by a quorum majority vote of the departmental Graduate Faculty at the first faculty meeting in Winter Quarter, or as needed when a new faculty member enters the department.  To be considered for Graduate Faculty status (either new or renewed), a faculty member must meet the following qualifications:

          • Active involvement in (or, for an initial appointment, qualification for) graduate student teaching, mentoring, and/or research supervision.
          • Research-based scholarship as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications, equivalent creative work, or equivalent teaching-based scholarship, as defined by the academic unit. 

    2. All faculty members who are part of the Graduate Faculty in Slavic Languages & Literatures may also receive a Doctoral Endorsement if they hold a PhD in Slavic Studies or related field and are deemed by a majority vote of the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures with a doctoral endorsement to meet the following qualifications:

          • Demonstrable ability to (or, for an initial appointment, qualification to) chair a doctoral supervisory committee, including supervising doctoral research and overseeing the doctoral dissertation or final project/capstone.
          • Demonstrable to serve as a Graduate School Representative (GSR) for doctoral supervisory committees.

    3. Appointment and termination of Graduate Faculty Status in the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures will follow Graduate School Policy 4.1.

Faculty Funding

  1. The Slavic Department receives state funds annually to support travel. These funds shall be divided by the number of full-time faculty in the Slavic Department who plan to participate in research-based activities, with the exception of full-time faculty with access to guaranteed funds that can be used to pay for research travel, such as endowed chairs or professorships. Full-time faculty include those people at the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, and Assistant Teaching Professor. The faculty shall express to the departmental administrator at the beginning of the academic year, and no later than November 1, if they plan to participate in research-based activities that use travel funds during that academic year. The available money will then be divided amongst those faculty who plan to travel and have no additional sources of funding, and faculty will be notified of how much money is available to them. The faculty will be mindful of the need to submit any reimbursement request within 90 days of the purchase or completion of travel.
  2. The Slavic Department has a limited discretionary fund. Full-time faculty in the Slavic Department (those people at the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, or Assistant Teaching Professor) may request up to $2,500 of support from this fund for expenses related to publishing their manuscripts. These expenses might include: copyrights for illustrations, professional indexing, or subventions. Each time such a request is made the chair shall appoint an ad hoc committee to evaluate it. Faculty are strongly encouraged to apply for non-departmental funding first and will be asked to submit a list of all the sources to which they have applied for funding as part of the evaluation process. 


    PLEASE NOTE: Faculty should NOT pay a person or company to provide services, as the UW is not able to reimburse those charges.  Instead, an invoice for any services provided should be sent to the departmental administrator for payment.

Faculty Meetings

      1. Faculty meetings are of three types: ordinary meetings, open to the public in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act (RCW Chapter 42.30), executive sessions to discuss sensitive business (from which non-voting members are excluded), and meetings to discuss personnel matters.
      2. Ordinary meetings of the departmental faculty shall be called by the Chair at least twice every quarter during the regular academic year. The Chair may call extraordinary meetings when circumstances warrant. The policy delegating authority to the chair with regard to part-time hiring must be approved by a faculty vote each year, per university regulations.


      1. The faculty activity reports and the faculty conferences with chair provide important documentation in the evaluation of each faculty member's contributions. Student and collegial teaching evaluations must also be part of an individual's cumulative record. The chair summarizes each faculty member’s contributions to research, teaching, and service. Faculty of higher rank then vote and assign each individual the score of exceptional merit, merit, low merit or no merit.

Guidelines for Merit, Tenure, and Promotion

The Slavic Department’s guidelines for merit, tenure, and promotion are committed “to the full range of academic responsibilities: scholarship and research, teaching, and service,” as specified in the Faculty Code (Sec 24-32). Faculty will determine the weight of these commitments and adjust them in response to the changing needs of their profession, departments, schools and colleges, and the University.

1. Research (optional for teaching professor track faculty)

Faculty research may be scholarly investigation, creative writing, literary translation, or constructive contributions in the professional field. As our field is changing rapidly, other types of work may emerge and will be treated as research on a case-by-case basis.

1. 1. Scholarship: an academic monograph is typically the centerpiece of a traditional research portfolio.

  • This includes monographs and critical books (25,000-50,000 words) published in series intended for the general public, such as Bloomsbury's “Object Lessons,” Columbia UP's “No Limits,” Oxford UP's “Very Short Introductions,” among others.
  • Scholarly works published in languages other than English receive equal consideration in review of a research portfolio.
  • Ideally, a tenure candidate’s book should be published by the time the file goes to vote in the department.
  • If not published, the book should be under contract and in production or about to go into production.
  • The press should be a reputable publisher of scholarly titles in the area of the candidate’s specialization.
  • A research portfolio may also consist of a series of articles, edited volume chapters, and other publications that are equivalent in both quality and quantity to an academic monograph.
  • Peer-reviewed electronic publications of substantial research projects are judged on a par with print publications.
  • The quality and importance of the scholarship is primarily derived from the comments of outside reviewers. If available, published reviews of the work are considered as well.
  • The overall tenet and future promise of scholarship is also evaluated in relation to faculty members’ own personal statements.
  • The Department is mindful of the historicity of our disciplines, and acknowledges that new critical trends or approaches (e.g., gender studies, post-colonial criticism) take time to become established.
  • New approaches may not be acknowledged initially by publishers, reviewers, and other judges of a work’s quality.
  • The Department recognizes that novel scholarship may exceed existing critical parameters, and will make every effort to judge a work on the basis of its own intellectual and scholarly quality and potential.

1. 2. Demonstrations of scholarship by teaching professors: as per the Faculty Code, these include:

  • Introduction of new knowledge or methods into course content and pedagogy.
  • Development of new courses, curricula, or course materials.
  • Serving as language course coordinator.
  • Participation in professional conferences.
  • Receipt of grants or awards.
  • Contributions to interdisciplinary teaching.
  • Participation and leadership in professional associations.
  • Significant outreach to professionals at other educational institutions.
  • While teaching professors may choose to publish their research, this is not a requirement for retention, promotion, or merit-pay increases.

1. 3. Creative writing: poetry, stories, dramas, the novel broadly considered, personal essays and memoirs, and any potentially emerging new genres of creative writing, in English and/or other languages.

  • Of greatest importance in the College’s promotion considerations of faculty whose research is in the creative arts are the significance of the work, its quality, impact, and the faculty member’s career trajectory.
  • “Impact” may include the originality of the work; the work’s influence on other artists; the receipt of grants or awards; or becoming the subject of reviews and scholarly articles.
  • The quality and significance of the publishers, journals or venues of distribution for literary work must also be considered and appraised.
  • The quality and importance of the creative work is primarily derived from the comments of outside tenure file reviewers. If available, published reviews of the work are considered as well.

1. 4. Literary translation: as a fusion of scholarly and creative work, the Slavic Department gives literary translation a weight similar to that of scholarly articles, creative works, and monographs, for the purposes of hiring, tenure, promotion, and merit reviews.

  • In line with the standards established by the Modern Language Association and The American Literary Translators Association, the department requires that evaluation of translations be undertaken by portfolio reviewers who can assess the significance and quality of the work.
  • Evaluators must have knowledge of a work’s original and target languages, and be able to analyze the translator’s role in responding to a text’s linguistic, literary, and cultural particularities and challenges.

Evaluations of the research of all faculty members will also consider:

  • The range and variety of their intellectual interests.
  • Receipt of grants, awards, and fellowships.
  • Participation in conferences, symposia, invited lectures, etc.
  • Professional and/or public impact of their work.
  • Success in directing productive work by advanced students and in training graduate students in scholarly methods.
  • Involvement in and contributions to institutional, cross-institutional, interdisciplinary or community-engaged research and teaching.
  • Participation and leadership in professional associations and in the editing of professional journals.
  • The judgment of professional colleagues.
  • Membership on boards and committees relevant to the discipline.

 2. Teaching

The Slavic department expects that faculty will demonstrate versatility in a variety of teaching formats and media for the instruction of undergraduate and graduate students. As per the Faculty Code, assessments of teaching consider:

  • Course organization and consistency.
  • Awareness and incorporation of recent research.
  • Instructor’s ability to stimulate intellectual inquiry and discussion.
  • Ability to engage students of varying experiences and abilities.
  • Availability of instructor outside of classroom.
  • Revision of class materials to reflect up-to-date instructional methods.
  • Assessment of teaching effectiveness by student and faculty evaluation.
  • Teaching essential “service” courses (e.g., core courses in the major) .
  • Commitment to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in one’s teaching (e.g., by fostering inclusive classrooms).
  • Student advising, on both undergraduate and graduate level, including advising of independent studies.

3. Service

Service to the Department, College, University, and profession on national and international levels is essential to their function, and may include:

  • Participation in committee work at every level, with special acknowledgment of work in labor-intensive committees such as search and hiring committees and departmental reviews.
  • Involvement in the recruitment, retention, and mentoring of scholars and students in an effort to promote diversity and equal opportunity.
  • Both types of service make an important contribution and should be included in the individual faculty profile.
  • Any service, from departmental to national levels, that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia (e.g., working on increasing access to higher education, engaging diverse communities).
  • Service on College Council, FCAS, and as departmental chair and associated positions, whose functions are primarily administrative rather than instructional.
  • Serving as an editor of a national or international journal or book series.
  • Serving as a reviewer for book and article manuscripts.
  • Public engagement and outreach.
  • External reviewer in tenure and promotion cases.

Student Affairs

      1. Faculty nominate students for Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Student Prizes in May and vote on the awards by email or during a faculty meeting. The awards are presented during the Slavic Department’s Convocation.
      2. The Slavic Department has two funds dedicated to graduate student support. Students can request reimbursement for travel to and accommodation at academic conferences, conference registration fees, as well as professional association dues.

      3. The Chair shall represent the voting members of the faculty and take action in matters concerning students’ grievances.


      1. Voting members of the department are those members of the departmental faculty who hold a position of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, and Assistant Teaching Professor. For personnel decisions, eligible voting members of the faculty are those of higher rank than the faculty in question, as specified on the A&S Voting Procedures page. All voting members of the faculty vote for new appointments.



These by-laws and any amendments to them will take effect when they have been ratified by a simple majority of the voting faculty.


last modified November 17, 2023