The department of Computer Science is governed by the following constitution: 


Maintaining a collegial, professional and productive academic department environment is a goal shared by all, and is greatly aided by a set of common policies and practices. Given the limited amount of common time available, department meetings in particular benefit from a clear understanding of procedures, especially when making important decisions about hiring, chairship, and committee assignments. Clear policies ranging from best practices to bylaws are one important tool in maintaining a professional and productive working environment. 

Whereas a Bylaw ("shall") establishes a rule adopted by the department chiefly for the government of its members and the regulation of its affairs, a Best Practice ("should") proposes a procedure that has been shown to produce optimal results. Both Bylaws and Best Practices need to be consistent and not conflict with policies passed by the Academic Senate, a Presidential Executive Directive, CSU Executive Order or the CBA. 

The name of the organization will be known as the Department of Computer Science at the San Francisco State University and shall be referred to in the following as the Department.

The objectives of the Department are to:

  1. Promote the Department's mission.
  2. Define, implement, and evaluate governing policies and procedures of the Department related to program needs, students, and faculty.
  3. Foster professional growth of its members.
  4. Provide a means of communication within the Department.
  5. Consider issues within the University system that impact the Department.
  6. Consider the issues within our profession that impact the Department.

Members of the Department shall consist of T/TT, adjunct, FERPing faculty, lecturer-faculty and staff. Full-time Faculty of the Department shall be T/TT faculty. In-Residence Faculty shall be Full-time Faculty not on leave and in-residence FERPing faculty. All In-Residence Faculty except the Chair shall serve on at least three department committees. All full-time and part-time lecturer-faculty are encouraged to volunteer services on all the committees except RTP.

Upon recommendation of a Full-time Faculty, the Department may appoint qualified individuals the courtesy designation of adjunct status according to Academic Senate Policy F99-160. The RTP Committee shall review the candidate's credentials and recommend a designation of Adjunct Assistant Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor or Adjunct Professor. Upon recommendation by the RTP Committee, the Full-time Faculty shall vote in support of the appointment.

For voting, all In-Residence Faculty shall have 1 full vote. Lecturer-faculty and staff may participate in the election of the department chair and will have a prorated time-base vote. Any In-Residence Faculty can call for a written ballot to be distributed to all members.

Academic Senate Policy: F11-145


The officers shall consist of the Chair and one Associate Chair.


The regular term of office shall be as follows:

  • Chair: serve for three academic years and be able to be renewed at the request of the majority vote of the Full-time Faculty, lecturer-faculty and staff and subsequent appointment by the University President.
  • Associate Chair: serve for three academic years and be able to renew at the request of the majority vote of the Full-time Faculty.


The Chair of the Department shall:

  • Ensure the Department fulfills its mission.
  • Preside at all meetings of the Department Affairs Committee according to the regulations set forth in these bylaws.
  • Appoint ad-hoc committees for special needs of the Department.
  • Make strategic suggestions for membership of all committees and fill vacancies in faculty committees if needed.
  • Be an ex officio member of all committees except the RTP Committee.
  • Conduct all of the Department's daily business, including but not limited to fiscal, schedule, faculty assignments, and committee assignments.
  • Supervise all staff of the Department and be responsible for all of the Department's functions.


The Associate Chair of the Department shall:

  • Assist and support the Chair with the responsibilities of the Department office.
  • Be available for weekly meetings with the Chair to discuss, advise and/or solve various issues, including but not limited to, curricular, student, fiscal, and faculty issues, as they arise.
  • Review and propose revisions or amendments of the Constitution and bring them to the Department for approval.
  • In an absence of the Chair, the Associate Chair shall:
    • Manage the day-to-day business of the Department
    • Be responsible to conduct Department meetings.
    • Attend meetings that require a representative from the Department.

A quorum of at least 1/2 of the In-Residence Faculty shall be necessary for the conduct of business with a vote. Presence or absence of T/TT faculty on leave, FERPing faculty not in residence and lecturers will not be taken into account in determining a quorum.

In-Residence Faculty shall meet at least once monthly in regular session. Additional meetings may be called by the Chair or petitioned by 1/3 of the faculty members. The call for a special meeting must state the business to be transacted. The meeting agenda shall be disseminated 24 hours in advance of a meeting. Meetings shall be conducted with Robert’s Rules of Order as a guiding principle. Meeting minutes shall be posted after each meeting and be approved at the subsequent meeting.

  1. The Full-time Faculty shall propose amendments during meetings of the Department Affairs Committee.
  2. Amendments may also be proposed through petition to the Chair by a simple majority of the Full-time Faculty.
  3. Voting on amendments shall take place only when a quorum is present.

The following advising services shall be offered by the Department to all of its students:

  • Undergraduate Advising (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Minor)
  • Transfer Advising
  • Graduate Advising

At least two faculty shall each be assigned to Transfer and Graduate Advising. One of the Graduate Advisors shall also act in the role of the Graduate Coordinator as mandated by the Division of Graduate Studies. The Graduate Advisors shall be responsible for Graduate Admission. All In-Residence Faculty shall be assigned one advising task and are expected to offer at least one hour per week for advising.

All In-Residence Faculty should participate in recurring one-time events. The Department shall document and publish participation in such activities.

There shall be five standing committees:

  1. Department Affairs Committee
  2. Student Affairs Committee
  3. Curriculum Committee
  4. RTP Committee
  5. Diversity/Equity/Outreach Committee

One ad-hoc Hiring Committee shall be formed when the department has to fill open positions.

General guidelines:

  • Nominations and election of the committee membership:

    • Faculty members may self-nominate.
    • The Chair may suggest membership based on position, knowledge, talents and interests.
    • Each member will be approved into the position by a simple majority of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ votes.
  • Each standing committee shall:
    • Select a Committee Chair from among the members.
    • Organize meetings as needed.
    • Submit minutes of each meeting, except the RTP Committee, to the Department.
    • Seek student representation on the Student Affairs and Curriculum Committee. Committee Chairs shall notify the student organizations of vacancies and provide information about the committees.
    • Make recommendations to the Department Affairs Committee regarding policy, curricular and/or procedural changes.
  • Department Chair shall be an ex officio member of all committees except the RTP Committee as per Academic Senate Policy.
  • Department shall keep records of committee membership.


  • Purpose:

    • Guide the Department's programs, policies & guidelines with input from other committees.
    • Vote on changes to any policy and curricular issues brought forth from committees.
    • Receive updates from the College and greater University by the Chair.
    • Discuss changes in our profession and plan our collective responses as necessary.
    • Mentor probationary faculty.
  • Function:
    • In-Residence Faculty shall conduct regular in situ Department Meetings according to Article VIII.
    • In-Residence Faculty shall vote on policy updates brought forward by other committees.
    • Identify a faculty mentor for each probationary TT faculty.
    • Share experiences in writing grants proposals for government agencies as well as for on-campus funding sources with probationary TT faculty.
  • Membership:
    • Mandatory for all Full-time Faculty.
    • Department Chair shall serve as the Chair of the Department Affairs Committee.
    • All staff members and lecturer-faculty are encouraged to participate.
  • Voting:
    • A quorum of the In-Residence Faculty is needed to vote on issues brought forth as described in Article VII. However, sharing of information may occur without a quorum.
    • All In-Residence Faculty, by a show of hands or secret ballot where required by Academic Senate Policies.
    • A simple majority of those members present and a vote shall carry a motion.
  • Term of Office:
    • Does not expire.
  • Purpose:

    • Handle non-curricula aspects of the Department's student population:

      • Student Organizations
      • Scholarships
      • Internships
    • Promote student communication with faculty and administration.
    • Review student input, concerns and grievances regarding academic programs and policies.
    • Conduct and assess student exit surveys.
    • Establish or change policies relative to student affairs.
  • Functions:
    • Provide support for the Department's Student Organizations:

      • Designate a faculty advisor from the members of the committee.
      • Help with the establishment of new student organizations.
      • Provide logistical support for events hosted by student organizations.
      • Solicit feedback from the Student Organizations.
    • Handle the Department's Scholarships:
      • Advertise available scholarships.
      • Review applicants.
      • Publish scholarship awardees.
      • Disburse scholarship funds.
    • Internships:
      • Internship management (CSC 694, CSC 893)
      • Coordinate with SFSU Office of Career Services and Leadership Development on career resources and events.
      • Communicate career-related information to office and students via email and social media.
    • Perform and analyze exit surveys.
    • Organize the Department's Graduation Celebration.
  • Membership:
    • At least five Full-time Faculty.
    • Student representation is invited.
  • Term of Office:
    • Minimum of two years.
  • Purpose:

    • Have an ongoing assessment of curricular needs as the profession changes on both the undergraduate and graduate level.
    • Promote a quality curriculum approved by the faculty of the Department.
    • Make recommendations to the faculty regarding curricular issues, problems, changes, and improvements.
  • Functions:
    • To update the written curriculum plan which includes: The curriculum framework and philosophy, design, Student Learning Outcomes (SLO), Program Learning Outcomes (PLO), learning experiences, and curricular evaluation plan.
    • Assess and recommend changes to courses.
    • Support the development of new curricula.
    • Assess implementation of current and new curricula.
    • Monitor input from students, faculty, and employer satisfaction as it relates to curricular issues.
    • Ensure compliance with curricular guidelines issued by professional organizations such as ABET or ACM as needed.
    • Work with the Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning Division on articulation. 
    • Monitor and record student success (DFW rates) and retention and graduation rates.
    • Review all posted syllabi to ensure conformance with Academic Senate Policies.
    • Conduct self-assessment as mandated by Academic Affairs.
    • Assist the Chair with scheduled Program Reviews.
    • Assist the Chair with evaluation of lecturers.
    • Create ad-hoc committees for new certificates and degrees.
  • Membership:
    • Minimum of five Full-time Faculty.
    • At least one of the Transfer Advisors shall be on this committee.
    • Student representation is invited.
    • Lecturer representation is invited.
  • Term of Office:
    • Faculty: Minimum of two years.
    • Students, lecturers: One year.
  • Academic Senate Policies: S16-241, S14-122
  • Purpose:
    • To review probationary faculty and make recommendations to the next appropriate level of the retention, tenure and promotion of faculty members consistent with Academic Senate policies.
  • Functions:
    • Update the Department's RTP Criteria as needed.
    • Assess candidates eligible for retention, tenure, and promotion and make recommendations.
    • Conduct post tenure reviews for faculty and make recommendations.
    • Set the evaluation criteria, review and recommend candidates for the courtesy designation of Adjunct Faculty.
    • Conduct periodic academic and administrative review of the Chair.
  • Membership:
    • Minimum of three tenured faculty elected by a secret ballot.
    • There must be a minimum of two members who “carry over” in order to provide continuity of RTP Committee functions.
    • Committee members must be of higher rank than the candidate under review.
    • In-residence FERPing faculty can serve on the RTP committee with approval from the President.
    • Faculty members who are ineligible to serve include:
      • The Chair.
      • A faculty member under review.
  • Term of Office:
    • Two years.
  • Purpose:

    • Establish ties with off-campus professionals, companies, foundations, and other educational institutions.
    • Solicit feedback for curricula updates from off-campus entities.
    • Represent the Department at outreach events.
    • Maintain and engage alumni of the Department.
  • Functions:
    • Alumni management:

      • Create and maintain a list of alumni.
      • Send occasional updates to alumni.
      • Organize the Department's annual Alumni Mixer event.
    • External Advisory Board (EAB):
      • Define statues of the Department's EAB.
      • Solicit and recruit members for the EAB.
      • Organize regular meetings with the members of the EAB.
      • Relay feedback from the EAB to the Department Affairs Committee.
    • Organize and host the Department's Computer Science Seminar Series.
    • General outreach (e.g., K12)
    • Update the Department's web presence and social networks.
    • Seek unrestricted funding opportunities and donations for the benefit of the Department in collaboration with the college's development office.
  • Membership:
    • Minimum of three Full-time Faculty.
  • Term of Office:
    • Two years.
  • Purpose:

    • Develop a search plan, including job description and requirements, for new faculty in accordance with the Office of Faculty Affairs.
    • Conduct the hiring process in accordance with the Office of Faculty Affairs.
    • Make hiring recommendations with input from the faculty.
  • Functions:
    • Develop a hiring request for the next academic year to be sent to the Dean.
    • Develop job advertisement, position description and recruitment plan as per Faculty Affairs policies.
    • Develop a rubric by which candidates are evaluated.
    • Review Curricula Vitae for qualification for the position.
    • Organize and hold distance interviews for candidates who qualify.
    • Organize interview day on campus for those who qualify and are considered acceptable by distance interview, including visits with the Faculty and the Chair.
    • Guide candidates through expectations of the day.
    • Call on all faculty to participate in candidate’s teaching and research presentations.
    • Collate all evaluations of teaching presentation.
    • Review and evaluate all candidates under consideration of faculty's feedback and recommend the top candidate to the Dean.
    • Provide documentation required by the Office of Faculty Affairs.
  • Membership:
    • Minimum of five tenured In-Residence Faculty.
  • Term of Office:
    • One year.