Engineering Department Bylaws


version Summer 2020


I. Purpose

These by-laws are intended to create an atmosphere of open and collegial discussion of all major issues affecting the daily operation and continued development of the Department of Engineering.


II. Name

This organization shall be known as the Department of Engineering within the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of San Francisco. The Department of Engineering houses one undergraduate program - the Bachelor of Science in Engineering.


III. Vision, Mission and Outcomes

The VISION of the Engineering program at the University of San Francisco:

Through its innovative teaching and research, Engineering at USF will provide a comprehensive, project-based engineering education within the Jesuit liberal arts tradition that emphasizes ethical responsibility, social justice, and community engagement. Committed to diversity as an asset, it will produce graduates with a local and global perspective who are equipped to find ethical and innovative solutions to the challenges facing society in the 21st century.

The MISSION of the Engineering program:

USF Engineering’s mission is to educate the whole person in the Ignatian tradition of transforming the world and ourselves. Through an innovative, inclusive, and applied education focusing on design, creation, and resourcefulness, it provides students the skills and perspective they need to succeed as professionals and the self-confidence, sensitivity, empathy, and cultural competency necessary to be ethical and responsible engineers empowered to effect meaningful change. It is distinguished by its high quality community-engaged scholarship, teaching, and research, and its interdisciplinary programming relevant to real projects locally, regionally, and internationally.

USF Engineering succeeds in its mission by graduating students who meet our four educational objectives to:

  1. Demonstrate fluency with design thinking, systems thinking, creative problem solving, and self‐directed scholarship as modes of approaching the engineering process.
  2. Implement a holistic approach to engineering which values context, integrates multiple perspectives through collaborative teamwork, questions need, and considers impacts on both individuals and society at large.
  3.  Lead responsibly through a fusion of engineering judgment, practice, and entrepreneurship, while representing the engineer’s critical role in projects, organizations, the environment, and society.
  4. Exhibit a professional and personal identity which upholds values of social justice, environmental sustainability, and respectful service even under unknown and challenging conditions.

STUDENT OUTCOMES of the Engineering program:

Our degree program will be meeting the requirements for professional accreditation by ABET, the agency which oversees accreditation of engineering programs. ABET requires a two-part statement of outcomes – in addition to the Program Educational Objectives stated above as part of the Mission, we will meet the following Student Outcomes.

Students will achieve:

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies


IV. Objectives

The objectives of the Department shall be:

  1. To plan, organize and deliver a sound curriculum to students obtaining Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of San Francisco.
  2. To devise and offer courses in the areas named above which will contribute to the education of students at the University.
  3. To carry out the responsibilities assigned to the members of the Department of Engineering by the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the USF Full-time and Part-time Faculty Associations.
  4. To further the University of San Francisco’s mission of providing a “rigorous, world-class education to a new generation of leaders, who will work to create a more humane and just world” through commitment to high quality scholarship, academic rigor, and innovative classes that will provide students with a solid grounding in the socio-technical conditions which shape our world.

V. Membership

Members of the Department of Engineering include:

  1. All members of the USF Full-Time Faculty Association in good standing who hold academic appointments in the Department of Engineering.
  2. All members of the USF Full-Time Faculty Association in good standing who hold academic appointments in other departments and have established an Agreement between their home department and the Dept of Engineering for an interdisciplinary appointment.

VI. Department Chairperson

  1. The Department Chairperson is responsible for the equitable and effective use of the department’s resources and for providing leadership and focus for the department and its programs.
  2. The duties of the Chairperson include, but are not limited to:
  1. Represent the Department at College Council
  2. Represent the Department at COSEC
  3. Serve on the Core B Committee
  4. Organize and lead monthly Department Meetings
  5. Lead the ABET Accreditation Review process
  6. Oversee the departmental budget together with the Assistant Dean for Engineering
  7. Complete annual assessment report on full-time staff members (in consultation with full-time faculty members), and oversee assessment and compliance with university Criteria, ABET and WASC, in conjunction with department members and concentration area coordinators.
  8. Represent the Department when asked to host visitors from partner institutions, on behalf of the Development Office, Admissions, or other campus or community organizations.
  9. Oversee curriculum for the major and minor program(s) offered by the department.
  10. Interview and recommend for hire part-time faculty as needed.
  11. Assure that the teaching of part-time faculty is evaluated on a systematic basis.
  12. Coordinate and submit course proposals and curriculum changes to the Department and the Curriculum Committee.
  13. Oversee COAP, PEAI, substitution forms, and graduation requirement issues as needed.
  14. Evaluate requests for transfer into the program.
  15. Assign major/minor faculty advisors as needed.
  16. Supervise searches for new faculty or staff.
  17. Serve as the point person for issues and difficulties that may arise between students and faculty.


  1.  The following additional Chair duties may be delegated to others:
  1. Prepare the schedule of classes and rooms for submission to the College and Registrar.
  2. Coordinate and guide curriculum for the three concentration areas of the Bachelor of Science in Engineering program.
  3. Assist with syllabi and course planning for part-time faculty to ensure learning outcomes are met.
  4. Update program checklists, website, course catalogues, and other related program materials.
  5. Actively participate in the recruitment of new students.
  6. Develop branding and marketing for the department, in conjunction with any relevant sub-committees.
  7. Maintain the department's social media presence.
  8. The Chairperson shall serve a three-year term, where year is defined by academic year. 
  9. The Chairperson shall be elected in a ballot election during the spring semester preceding the end of the previous Chairperson’s term. Should one candidate not receive a majority vote, a run-off election shall be conducted between the two top candidates.

VII. Summer Zero Coordinator

  1. The Summer Zero Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the content and operation of the Summer Zero program, including:
    1. Manage the budget
    2. Oversee hiring and training of mentors and other staff
    3. Oversee scheduling of spaces
    4. Monitor and guide curricular development
    5. Oversee scheduling of courses, workshops and activities
    6. Coordinate with Housing, Student Life, ITS, Library, CASA, CAPS and other campus offices for student needs
  2. If more than one faculty member wishes to serve as Summer Zero Coordinator, the new coordinator will be chosen by a vote of the department membership. Summer Zero Coordinators may continue to serve on an annual basis if no other faculty members express an interest in the position.

VIII. Concentration Area Coordinators

  1. Each of the concentration areas shall have a faculty member acting as an area coordinator, who has expertise pertinent to that area.
  2. The Concentration Area Coordinator’s responsibilities include:
  1.  Oversee and guide curriculum for the concentration area, including required and elective courses.
  2. Interview and recommend for hire part-time faculty as needed in that area.
  3. Monitor and update checklists, website info, course catalogues, and other related materials pertinent to that concentration area.


  1. If more than one faculty member wishes to serve as Concentration Area Coordinator, the new coordinator will be chosen by a vote of the department membership. Concentration Area Coordinators may continue to serve on an annual basis if no other faculty members express an interest in the position.


IX. Meetings of the Department

  1. Department policy shall be established at department meetings.
  2. Department meetings will typically be scheduled once a month each semester. Dates will be provided at the beginning of each semester. The Chairperson shall ask for agenda items at least one week in advance of each meeting. Meetings may be cancelled if no old business remains to be conducted and if no new business is brought to the attention of the Chairperson prior to the meeting.
  3. A quorum for meetings shall be defined as 51% of the “largest number of members who can be reasonably expected to regularly attend meetings”. If a quorum is not reached at a meeting, all voting shall be postponed until a future date, or moved to an electronic format.
  4. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson or by a majority of the members of the Department.
  5. Per the CBA, all full-time faculty members meeting the criteria described above in item V.A and V.B must attend Department meetings.
  6. Part-time faculty and full-time staff in Engineering may engage as non-voting members at any time.
  7. Members on sabbatical or leave are not responsible for attending meetings or otherwise participating in Department business (although they are welcome if they choose to participate), and are not eligible to vote on issues discussed at meetings they have not attended.
  8. Minutes will be recorded at all Department meetings, to be approved at the following meeting.

X. Standing Committees

The following standing committees shall be permanently established with the passage of these by-laws. Each committee must have at least one faculty member whose primary appointment is in the Engineering Department, and membership terms should be staggered so that there is continuity of experience. Standing committee members may continue to serve on an annual basis if no other faculty members express an interest in the position. New standing committees may be proposed by any Department member and are approved by a simple majority vote:

  1. AssessmentCommittee:Thiscommitteeisresponsibleforcollectingandprocessingthe student work evidence related to the Student Outcomes which are under review that academic year, and compiling feedback for ABET outcomes assessment review. The review schedule will be as follows:

AY 2020-2021

AY 2021-2022

AY 2022-2023

AY 2023-2024

And so on, starting again with SOs 1 and 6 in AY 2024-25.

  1. Recruitment and Outreach (“outward-facing”) Committee: This committee is responsible for monitoring and improving student recruitment and outreach efforts, maintaining records of and participating in outreach to high schools and other institutions (with participation by any other members of the department).
  2. Retention and Student Status (“inward-facing”) Committee: This Committee monitors and improves student retention efforts, oversees formal recommendations and provides due process concerning student issues, as necessary.

XI. Ad Hoc Committees

Ad Hoc committees may be created at the initiative of either the Chairperson or the Department at a Department meeting. Their personnel shall be nominated by the members of the Department and approved by a majority vote.

XII. Rules of Operation

Robert’s Rules of Order, latest revised edition, shall be normative, but not binding, unless a Department member with a second motion requests strict adherence to the edition.

XIII. Amendments to Bylaws

These by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Department.

XIV. Subordination

No part of the Department’s by-laws or proceedings shall stand in contradiction to the Constitutions of the USF Faculty Associations, Collective Bargaining Agreements, or published Faculty Association policies.

SO 1 and 6 SO 2 and 7 SO 3 and 5 SO 4

XV. Course and Curriculum Approval

  1. Proposals for new courses will be presented to the members of the Department for review. Proposals for new courses must include a course description, a complete set of learning outcomes and assessment methods, and a calendar that includes weekly topics for class discussion, scheduled readings, and project assignments, in preparation for approval through the Curriculog system. Syllabi must be submitted to the Chairperson for distribution to the members to review, with a 1-week review period.
  2. Proposals fo rProgram curriculum changes and new curriculum will be presented to the Department members for review. Proposals for curriculum changes must include a rationale for the change, current and new program checklists, current and new PLO curriculum maps, and any new or changed syllabi proposals, in preparation for approval through the Curriculog system. Proposals for curriculum changes must be submitted to the Chairperson for distribution to the membership to review, with a 2-week review period.
  3. Department members will offer suggestions for revising course proposals and program curricula during department meetings. Members will approve course syllabi and curriculum proposals by majority vote, and may allow approval for such syllabi and proposals with requested revisions.

XVI. Course Expenses

Department budget shall be reviewed during a spring semester department meeting in order to make year-end plans within that fiscal year (ending May 31) and set targets for the following fiscal year. This discussion may include:

  1. Setting reasonable course budget amounts below which special requests need not be made
  2. Setting reasonable amounts for honoraria and special events
  3. Forecasting and planning for major expenditures

XVII. Teaching Assignments

Each semester before the next year’s draft schedule is due, the current teaching assignments of that semester, and proposed assignments for the same semester of the following year will be openly discussed at a department meeting. This may include the opportunity for faculty to voice an interest in teaching certain courses, and to clarify any emerging needs.