Building Column

Faculty Affairs

Officers of Instruction

  • The Vice Dean, in consultation with the Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, establishes a faculty committee for each search.

    The Office of Academic Affairs provides administrative support for searches and works with the search committee to follow the following steps:

    1. Creation of a search announcement. The Vice Dean, Associate Dean, and/or the Assistant Dean will draft an announcement for the search committee’s review and approval.
    2. Posting of the search announcement. The Associate or Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs will then post the announcement on the University’s Academic Search and Recruiting (ASR) system. ASR is integral to the University’s affirmative action review procedures and all applicants must apply via ASR. All search committee members are provided access to ASR as evaluator. 
    3. Placement of advertisements for the search. Advertisements for all positions are placed on the SIPA website. In addition, all political science searches are advertised in American Political Science Association e-Jobs and all economics searches are advertised in JOE online in addition to other appropriate professional journals. Search committees should suggest additional venues for advertising, if they wish. In addition, the Office of Academic Affairs will advertise in diversity venues identified in the University best practices for searches. The OAA Business Manager places adverts in consultation with the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. 
    4. Short list of candidates. Search committees are responsible for identifying a short list of candidates to visit SIPA. Short lists typically include 3 – 6 candidates (or sometimes more than 6). In some circumstances, the short list may contain two candidates, but never only one candidate.  SIPA guidelines require that at least one person on the short list be from a group historically underrepresented at SIPA (women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, and members of other underrepresented groups). 
    5. Campus visits. Candidate visits to SIPA always include meetings with the search committee, the Vice Dean and interested faculty and – in most circumstances -- students.  Senior candidates usually meet with the Dean. When the search committee is ready to invite short-listed candidates to campus, it informs the Vice Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Office of Academic Affairs coordinates arrangements for visits, including scheduling, travel and lodging, and reimbursement of expenses.
    6. Search Committee report. When the search committee has identified a selectee, it prepares a written report, describing the position, search process (including the candidates interviewed) and qualifications of the selectee (including the selectee’s CV).  If the search committee cannot identify a qualified selectee, the committee chair informs the Vice Dean. 
    7. Faculty review of search committee’s recommendation. The search committee report is then reviewed, first by the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP) and then by a meeting of the appropriate full-time SIPA faculty.
    8. Recruiting Senior faculty. Search Committees should note that in the case of senior external hires, which require the review by the faculty Tenure Review Advisory Committee, the deadline for submitting the tenure dossier to the Provost is February 1.
  • As an integral element of its recruitment efforts, SIPA is committed to strengthening the School’s efforts to identify and hire qualified women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, and members of other underrepresented groups. The University’s best practices guide to recruiting and hiring diverse faculty is available here.

    There are several steps that will help guide this search in accordance with these goals, which include:

    • Advertising in wide-ranging recruitment outlets that include groups with diverse faculty and audiences.
    • Encouraging the search committee to reach out to colleagues in institutions that have diverse faculty and ask them to identify potential candidates (or provide contact information for these colleagues to the Office of Academic Affairs, and we will contact them on your behalf).

    As noted above, according to SIPA policy, the short list of finalists invited to SIPA for a visit must include at least one finalist from groups historically underrepresented at SIPA (women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, and members of other underrepresented groups). If the search committee cannot locate such a candidate, it must provide a short memo to the Vice Dean, explaining the steps it took to locate such a finalist.  The Vice Dean may decide either to allow the committee to proceed with the visits or require the committee to continue to search for a qualified candidate from an underrepresented group.
     

Faculty Review Procedures 

Faculty reviews are conducted for multiple year, renewable contracts only. This includes tenure-track professorial faculty, professors of professional practice, senior lecturers, and lecturers. Review Committees are appointed by the SIPA Vice Dean in consultation with the SIPA Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Committee members must hold appropriate (higher) rank than the candidate under review. The review committee submits their report to be reviewed, first by the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP) and then by a meeting of the appropriate full-time SIPA faculty. In the case of continuing or tenure reviews, two meetings of the faculty are required. 
 

  • Lecturers and Senior Lecturers are evaluated on the basis of teaching excellence, pedagogical contributions to SIPA’s mission, and recognition in their fields of expertise.

    Ranks (and possible promotions) include: Associate, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer.

    The typical review schedule is as follows:

    • Faculty hired as senior lecturers undergo major review prior to appointment or during first year of service. Senior lecturers undergo continuing reviews every five years after initial appointment.
    • If lecturers do not pass a review at any point in their careers (and at any rank) they are given one more year until termination of contract.
    • Dossiers include a current curriculum vitae; a statement of teaching philosophy and pedagogical activity; a statement of professional activity including discussion of work in progress and future plans; and course materials such as syllabi, class presentation material, problem sets, and case studies; and copies of professional publications and works in progress. The Office of Academic Affairs will make the candidate’s teaching evaluations available to the review committee.
       
  • Evaluated based on effectiveness as a teacher; accomplishments and potential as a practitioner, including publications appropriate to the field of practice; service to the School and the University. 

    Ranks (and possible promotions) include: assistant, associate full. 

    The typically review schedule is as follows: 

    • If hired as associate, the clock may differ slightly; if hired as full, a major review is required during the first year of the appointment.
    • May not continue past year eight without successful passage of major review. 
    • If professors of practice do not pass a review at any point in their careers (and at any rank) they are given one more year until termination of contract.

    Dossiers include a current curriculum vitae; a statement of teaching philosophy and pedagogical activity; a statement of professional activity including discussion of work in progress and future plans; and course materials such as syllabi, class presentation material, problem sets, and case studies; and copies of professional publications and works in progress.

    The Office of Academic Affairs will make the candidate’s teaching evaluations available to the review committee.
     

  • Evaluated based on teaching, research, publications, service to school. 

    Ranks (and possible promotions) include: assistant, associate, full.

    The typical review schedule is as follows:

    • If the candidate holds a joint appointment with another department (in A&S), the review is done jointly and the candidate must pass both SIPA and the department in question.

Leaves

With some exceptions, only full-time faculty are ordinarily entitled to leaves. Full-time faculty may request leaves of absence for scholarly purposes and exemptions from teaching duties (ETDs) if they hold an appointment in a professorial rank, with the exception of those with visiting titles. Professors and associate professors with tenure are eligible for sabbatical leaves. All full-time faculty, regardless of rank, may receive leaves for medical reasons, child care, military or public service, or compelling personal need.

Sabbaticals, leaves of absence for scholarly purposes, and exemptions from teaching duties normally correspond to an academic term or year. The University also seeks to coordinate child care and public service leaves with the academic calendar. Other types of leave – medical, military, and for compelling personal reasons – may begin and end on other dates.

Most leaves are authorized for no more than one year at a time, but the Provost may approve a second consecutive year on the recommendation of the dean or vice president. Faculty normally may be on leave for a maximum of two consecutive years. Further extensions are rarely given, except in the case of long-term leaves for medical reasons or military service.

Faculty must request a formal request by writing an email to the Vice Dean. If approved, this email exchange is presented to the Provost’s office as the faculty member’s formal request and Vice Dean’s approval. The Assistant Dean submits the request and the relevant documentation to the Provost’s office for the Provost’s formal approval.

Faculty Information Forms and Conflict of Interest Policy

Each year Full-Time Faculty are asked to complete the faculty information form (F-I-F) and submit it with an updated CV.

The form collection is managed by the Office of Academic Affairs in collaboration with the Dean’s office.

The SIPA conflict of interest policy requires all full-time faculty to report on their F-I-F any outside professional activities that might reasonably be perceived to pose a conflict of interest. The conflict of interest policy also requires faculty who engage in outside activities to include a section on "Outside Professional Activities" on their CV, in which they list outside activities during the past five years, and to make their CV available online.

Other Officers of Instruction

  • Adjunct and part-time faculty appointed by SIPA Academic Affairs, following approval by SIPA’s Committee on Instruction. Please contact the Director of Curriculum and Faculty Affairs for questions regarding part-time faculty appointments.

Officers of Research

Appointment Procedures 

  • The following guidelines apply to searches for a full-time research scholar or senior research scholar who would be appointed for more than one year, including a research scholar appointment initially made for one year with the possibility of extending for an additional year. (Appointments of research scholars for one year must comply with University affirmative action requirements and must be approved by the Dean, but do not require a search committee or approval by the Committee on Appointments and Promotions. For further information about one-year appointments, please contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) The main steps in a search or an appointment of more than one year are as follows:

    1. Search proposal.  Searches for research scholars are typically proposed by research center directors or a program director who has secured external funding for a research officer appointment.  Directors or others seeking to initiate a search should submit a brief search proposal—including draft position announcement, proposed search committee, and the source and terms of funds—to the Vice Dean and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. If a qualified individual has already been identified, the Vice Dean must be informed.
    2. Search committee:  Search committees are typically composed of three members of the SIPA faculty, including senior research scholars; when appropriate, committees may include tenured faculty members from other schools.  Committees should include at least one tenured faculty member, unless the Vice Dean determines that there is no qualified tenured faculty member available to serve.  The chair must be a senior SIPA faculty member (tenured or a professor of professional practice who has passed a major review).  The Vice Dean makes the final decision about committee membership.
    3. Creation of position description and preparation for search:  Prior to the launch of the search, the search committee will be apprised of the source and terms of the funds and will then review and confirm their approval of the search announcement. The Vice Dean has final authority over the position announcement.  The search committee chair also should discuss any possible or likely candidates for the position, including individuals already identified by the committee chair as qualified for the position and any prior conversations with such individuals.
    4. Posting of the search in ASR, which is the University’s online academic search management website.  All searches must be posted on ASR, and all applicants must apply via ASR.  ASR is integral to the University’s affirmative action review procedures.  All search committee members will have access to ASR to review applications.  The Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs creates the ASR posting and provides search committee members with access to RAPS.
    5. Placement of adverts for the search.  Advertisements for all positions are placed on the SIPA website. All political science searches are advertised in American Political Science Association e-Jobs and all economics searches are advertised in JOE online in addition to other appropriate professional journals. Search committees should suggest additional venues for advertising, if they wish.In addition, the Office of Academic Affairs will advertise in diversity venues identified in the University best practices for searches. The OAA Business Manager places ads in consultation with the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. 
    6. Minimum application pool.  It is expected that most searches will result in at least five applications.  In cases in which fewer than five applications are received despite efforts to attract a significant number of applications, the search committee chair should consult with the Vice Dean about whether to move forward or attempt to secure more applications or pursue other options. Of course, the quality of applications received is at least as important as the quantity.
    7. Short lists for interviews.  Search committees are responsible for identifying a short list of candidates to visit SIPA, typically with 3 – 5 candidates.  In some circumstances, the short list may contain two candidates, but never only one candidate.  SIPA guidelines require that at least one person on the short list be from a group historically underrepresented at SIPA. If the search committee is unable to identify one qualified finalist from one of these groups, the committee must submit a brief memo to the Vice Dean explaining the steps it has taken to locate such a person.  The Vice Dean may decide either to allow the committee to proceed with the interviews or require the committee to continue to search for a qualified candidate from an underrepresented group.
    8. Candidate visits and interviews.  Candidate visits to SIPA always include meetings with the search committee, as well as interested faculty and research scholars.  The research center or program conducting the search is responsible for arranging the candidate’s schedule and handling logistical aspects of the visit, including travel, lodging, and reimbursement of expenses.
    9. Search committee report.  When the search committee has identified a selectee, it submits a written report to the Vice Dean, describing the position, search process (including the candidates interviewed), and reasons to appoint the selectee (including the selectee’s CV).  If the search committee cannot identify a qualified selectee, the committee chair informs the Vice Dean.
    10. Review by Committee on Appointments and Promotions.  All appointments for more than one year must be reviewed by the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP), which is chaired by the Vice Dean and is advisory to the Dean.  CAP will take a formal vote on whether to recommend the appointment.
    11. Authorization to hire and formal offer.  The Dean makes the final determination to make an offer.  The selectee must be cleared in ASR before making a formal offer; the clearance process requires the search chair to provide reasons for non-selection of all applicants.  The Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs provides information about the ASR clearance process. The Dean extends the formal offer.
    • Appointment of salaried Adjunct Officers of Research
    • Appointment of non-salaried Adjunct Officers of Research
       
  • As an integral element of its recruitment efforts, SIPA is committed to strengthening the School’s efforts to identify and hire qualified women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, and members of other underrepresented groups. 
    There are several steps that will help guide this search in accordance with these goals, which include:

    • Advertising in wide-ranging recruitment outlets that include groups with diverse audiences.
    • Encouraging the search committee to reach out to colleagues in other schools and institutions and ask them to identify potential candidates (or provide contact information for these colleagues to the Office of Academic Affairs, and we will contact them on your behalf).

    As noted above, according to SIPA policy, the short list of finalists invited to SIPA for a visit must include at least one finalist from groups historically underrepresented at SIPA (women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, and members of other underrepresented groups). If the search committee cannot locate such a candidate, it must provide a short memo to the Vice Dean, explaining the steps it took to locate such a finalist.  The Vice Dean may decide either to allow the committee to proceed with the visits or require the committee to continue to search for a qualified candidate from an underrepresented group.
     

  • The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs establishes salary guidelines for officers of research which are updated each year. Any exceptions to these guidelines must be approved by the Provost and first discussed with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. No offer of a salary outside of these guidelines can be made to a candidate without prior approval.

Student Officers (Teaching Assistants, Readers, and Student Assistants)

  • SIPA Teaching Assistants, Readers, and Student Assistants are allocated through SIPA Academic Affairs. Please contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for additional information.

  • SIPA Teaching Assistants, Readers, and Student Assistants are appointed through SIPA Student Affairs in conjunction with SIPA Human Resources. In case when there is not a qualified student officer for a course, the instructor must work with the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs to advertise the position in other Columbia schools. Once a student is selected, the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs liaises with the respective school to make sure that the student is eligible for the TA/Reader work. 
     

  • Student officers of instruction are contractually bound to perform some specific activities but may also be asked to do a variety of other projects for the course instructor. Most student officers of instruction understand that when they take on a paid semi-professional position at SIPA, there will be certain requirements and contractual limitations. There is the advantage of tuition relief, but also the reality of a heavy workload around exam time. The information below is a guide that pertains to the general (and exceptional) activities of student officers of instruction. 

    There are three types of SIPA student officer of instruction:
    Teaching Assistants (TAs)

    • Work up to 20 hours per week.
    • Provide administrative support (i.e. photocopying, posting on CourseWorks, placing course material on reserve, requesting AV, etc.)
    • Hold office hours and lead recitations.
    • Assist with grading. 

    Readers

    • Work up to 15 hours per week.
    • Provide administrative support (i.e. photocopying, posting on CourseWorks, placing course materials on reserve, requesting AV, etc.)
    • Hold office hours. DO NOT lead recitations.
    • Assist with grading.

    Student Assistants

    • Work on average 10-12 hours per week.
    • Provide administrative support (i.e. photocopying, posting on CourseWorks, placing course material on reserve, requesting AV, etc.)
    • DO NOT conduct instructional duties (i.e. grading, leading recitations, holding office hours, etc.) 

    SIPA Policy defines responsibilities of student officers of instruction and MUST BE FOLLOWED: 

    • Time commitment limitations must be respected. 
    • Although other student officers’ responsibilities may vary, only someone with the formal designation of a SIPA TA can lead recitations or hold discussion sessions. 
    • TAs or Readers can assist in grading with an answer key but cannot grade essay questions open to interpretation. 
    • TAs or Readers can proofread, and post problems sets on the web, but cannot be held responsible for the creation of materials for the website. 

    In accordance with the rules above…  
    SIPA Student Officers of Instruction CAN: 

    • Assist with A/V needs in accordance with the rules of the IT Department. o Keep course records of grades and attendance. 
    • Respond to student emails (though ultimate responsibility rests with the Course Instructor) 
    • Prepare and conduct recitations on topic sessions (TAs only). 
    • Have photocopies made for course materials. 
    • Assist with course-pack preparation. 
    • Place course materials on reserve. 

     
    SIPA Student Officers of Instruction CANNOT: 

    • Handle grade appeals. 
    • Work holidays or regularly on weekends (except student program assistants working in the SIPA computer labs or the Executive MPA program). 
    • Sign timesheets for student workers.  
    • Assist instructors with personal tasks. 
       

Faculty Governance 

The Senate is a University-wide legislature, representing faculty, students, and other constituencies. It makes policy on a range of issues that affect the entire University or more than one school, including educational programs and priorities, the budget, academic freedom and tenure, the conduct of research, the libraries, information technology, Columbia's external relations, student sexual misconduct, rules governing political demonstrations, and the welfare of faculty, students, and research officers. Trustee concurrence is required for acts of the Senate.

The Senate has 108 voting seats, with 63 reserved for faculty, 24 for students, 6 for officers of research, 2 each for administrative staff, librarians, and alumni, and 9 for senior administrators including the president, who chairs monthly plenaries.

SIPA holds two University Senate seats (one tenured, one non-tenured) to represent the school for two-year terms. Elections are held every other year (or as needed) at a predetermined Faculty Meeting. Any category member may become a candidate for election by submitting a signed statement of intent to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Program Director.

  • Faculty Meetings convene full-time SIPA faculty members with recurring appointments. Faculty are asked to hold Thursdays from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm for these meetings and are notified in advance of specific meeting dates. For questions about meetings please contact the Program Director for Academic Affairs.  

  • Standing, Review and Search Committees are appointed annually by the SIPA Vice Dean in consultation with the SIPA Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Committee members must hold appropriate (higher) rank than the candidates for which they are reviewing. For questions about committee membership please contact the Program Director for Academic Affairs.

  • The Committee on Instruction at SIPA is responsible for approving proposals for new majors and other academic programs, new courses, and policy changes. The COI also provides leadership on a range of academic matters, consulting with a broad range of faculty, students, and administrators where relevant.