Faculty Resources

The Faculty Handbook and Appendices.

The Faculty Handbook contains statements of policy and procedure established by the Board of Trustees and provides a guide by which the Board, Faculty, and Administration conduct their relations with each other in matters of university academics, planning, and policy. The Handbook is one of the guiding documents for the faculty of Western Washington University. The Senate also has a Constitution, known as Appendix One, that defines the work of and provides guidelines for decision-making for this important committee. The individual colleges maintain their own governance documents. Links to the college documents are provided below.

The Senate creates and maintains the Faculty Handbook and the Constitution and its articles and bylaws. These guiding documents are currently being discussed and revised by the Senate. For information on these discussions and revisions please check recent Senate meeting minutes. Once approved by the faculty and the Board of Trustees they will update the appropriate documents.

2023 - 2027 UFWW Collective Bargaining Agreement

The current collective bargaining agreement between Western Washington University and United Faculty of Western Washington is effective September 16, 2023 through September 15, 2027.

For historical or pending agreements, please visit https://hr.wwu.edu/united-faculty-western-washington-university-ufww 

The College Operating Procedures and Evaluation Plan (COPEP) supports individual faculty members and the goals of the departments, the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), and Western Washington University. The purpose of this document is to communicate essential elements of the policies and procedures of all College formal evaluation practices as they are conducted within the policies and procedures of the University. The current faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) takes precedence over the COPEP when there is a conflict between the two.

Each department and program shall have well-defined goals and identified priorities to use as a basis for establishing the expectations for individual faculty members. These goals and priorities are expected to align with the mission and the strategic goals of the College. Departments and programs may include criteria, procedures, and specification of the types of materials faculty members should assemble for evaluation within each domain that go beyond the general University and College recommendations. The department-specific and program-specific recommendations, the Department/Program Addenda to the COPEP, must be approved by the Policy, Planning and Budget Council, the Dean, and the Provost prior to their application and inclusion in this document.

The current COPEP can be found here. If you are looking for archived versions of the COPEP, please contact the dean's office. 

Download a hardcopy of the Modality Policy

WWU College of Science and Engineering – Course Modalities policy guidelines (approved 10/10/23)


The College of Science and Engineering’s policies on course modality are anchored in four fundamental principles:

  1. The College of Science and Engineering and its associated departments and programs recognize Western’s traditional identity as a residential university with robust faculty-student engagement. Our academic strength lies in our commitment to student-centered, inquiry-based learning, with authentic opportunities for student scholarship and research. We are thus dedicated to centering these approaches for our students.
  2. The College of Science and Engineering supports Western’s commitment to access and inclusivity for students across the state of Washington and recognizes the value of providing courses that are accessible to diverse communities. This commitment may include offering a subset of courses in alternate modalities or in locations other than Bellingham.
  3. Curriculum and modality decisions should be based on frequent assessment of course and program outcomes, with emphasis on assessment across and between modalities.   
  4. Departments carry primary responsibility for their curricula and curricular decisions. This responsibility includes decisions regarding course modality.

Given the principles above, it is expected that most courses will be taught in face-to-face modality. However, courses may be taught in other modalities, including hybrid or online (synchronous or asynchronous), if the use of this modality can be shown to significantly improve the student experience, access, or student outcomes relative to a face-to-face class.

Download a hard copy of the policy.

Formation of New Departments

This policy applies to the formation of new departments via the following:

  1. The split of an existing department into two or more new departments
  2. The full or partial fusion of two or more existing departments
  3. Any other restructuring of departments involving elements of sections A.1. or A.2. above

Rights of Administration

Per the CBA (section 5.2.5) the decision for the formation of new departments is a right held by management, but the dean may elect to involve faculty in the process via the procedure outlined below.

Role of PPBC

  1. Authors and maintains this policy in collaboration with the dean
  2. Reviews proposal for the formation of a new department and advises dean

Decision Process

  1. The leadership of the existing department (in case of a split) or departments (in case of a fusion) makes an informal request to the dean to initiate the decision process for the formation of a new department
  2. If the dean approves of the initial request, they invite departmental leadership to prepare an initial formal proposal (section E) that is shared with all department members (TT faculty, NTT faculty, and staff) and the dean
  3. The dean appoints an external impartial manager moderating the decision process in the department or departments
    1. The manager meets with different departmental stakeholders (tenured TT faculty, non-tenured TT faculty, NTT faculty, staff, students) and the dean and implements mechanisms for feedback on the initial formal proposal that ensure input can be given freely without impact of power differentials
    2. The manager communicates feedback from stakeholders to all department members and the dean. This feedback must be taken into account for a final version of the proposal
    3. The manager is responsible for administering an advisory vote by all faculty and staff, reporting results separately (when appropriate) for tenured TT faculty, non-tenured TT faculty, NTT faculty, and staff to the dean
  4. Taking the final proposal, advisory vote, and stakeholder input into account, the dean may decide to advance the proposal to the college level (Steps 5. and 6.)
  5. The college administration will provide a written statement that provides a brief assessment of the impacts of the new structure on personnel, financial, and space resources
  6. The final proposal and impact statement will be shared with the following groups that – collectively or as individual members – may provide feedback to the dean:
    1. All members of the department or departments for which a restructuring is being proposed
    2. PPBC
    3. DAC
  7. Taking the final proposal, impact statement, and feedback from section D.6. into account, the dean may recommend the formation of a new department to the provost.

Proposal Elements

  1. Rationale for the formation of a new department
    1. Justifications must address the need for the restructuring and how the change aligns with the missions and strategic plans of CSE and the university
  2. Architecture of the proposed restructuring
    1. Personnel: List any positions that will have to be created and any positions that will be lost. Include rosters that detail how existing faculty and staff will be distributed among departments
    2. Describe the leadership structure of the new department or departments, including allocation of any course releases associated with major leadership or service activities. Include organizational chart.
    3. Describe the allocation of the following among the new structures:
      1. Staff roles
      2. Existing departmental funds (including both department operating budget and other funds)
      3. Curriculum, including service classes and GURs
      4. Space
      5. Equipment
  3. Arrangements for the transition to the new structure
    1. Include a timeline for the restructuring (including creation of new department operating policy and procedures documents, COPEP addenda, and curricular processes if required)
    2. Describe arrangements to avoid problems/conflicts during the transitional period (e.g., P+T review, allocation of overhead from grant proposals, etc.)
  4. Cost/benefit analysis of impacts
    1. Address potential costs and benefits, at the department, college, and university level (if relevant), on the following:
      1. Students
      2. Staff
      3. Faculty (including T+P process)
      4. Curriculum and teaching (including service courses and GURs)
      5. Research
      6. Service
      7. Financial resources
      8. Space resources
      9. Equipment
      10. Academic governance
      11. Accreditation (if applicable)
      12. Scholarships
      13. Donations/giving