Members of the Departmental Board are students who seek service and leadership opportunities, and who are elected to the post by their peers. The board is made up of zoology majors/minors and pre-med majors, and it must include representatives from freshman, sophomore, and junior classes.
Responsibilities of board members are intermittent; weeks or months may pass with relatively little required activity. However, when duties arise, they are very important, and must be assigned a high priority.
Participation in Faculty Evaluations
One aspect of evaluation occurs every semester. Board members administer their own questionnaire to the students in most zoology classes near the semester’s end. They then tabulate and summarize the results. Confidential summaries are given to faculty members to provide feedback; the goal is to help faculty members become even better teachers. In addition, faculty at Ohio Wesleyan are evaluated by the University according to a very thorough and elaborate process. These evaluations, conducted by the Faculty Personnel Committee, determine whether professors are invited back for another year, granted tenure (job security), given promotions in academic rank or awarded merit raises (a pay bonus for being in the top 50% of OWU professors). To carry out this duty, the Faculty Personnel Committee gathers a great deal of information from the faculty member concerned, from other department members and from students. Members of the student board are more deeply involved in departmental matters than are most students, and so they have a special role in this process.
Participation in Faculty Searches
Whenever the department is authorized to recruit a new faculty member, a national search is launched. Finalists for a position are brought to campus for formal interviews. Members of the search committee regard student input as very valuable, and the student board has a crucial function. Students play a dual role: they assess the qualifications of the candidates (by meeting with them and by attending their presentations) and convey impressions to the search committee; and they serve as representatives of the OWU student body, thereby showing the candidates what kind of students they would be interacting with here. The schedule is rather intense during the interview weeks.
Attendance at Meetings
Members should commit to attend meetings called to coordinate the board’s activities. One or more members also attend zoology faculty departmental meetings and carry information between the two bodies. One member is selected as Chair (sometimes co-chairs are selected to share the duties)
Organization of Elections of New Board Members
Each spring, after the mid-semester break, board members solicit nominations, publicize the event and conduct the elections. Board members from the previous year are eligible to run again.
Organization of Social Gatherings
Board members coordinate the annual spring picnic, fall ice cream social and any other desired events.