Documents and Policies

Department Policies


  • Personal Research Accounts – At the beginning of each fiscal year, based on the availability of funds and at the discretion of the department chair, Tenure track faculty will be granted a Personal Research Account allotment. Each TT faculty member will be given $1000 to be used on university business at their discretion. Each faculty will be permitted to carry forward up to two years with a maximum amount of $2000.
  • Committee Chairs Service Accounts – At the beginning of each fiscal year, based on the availability of funds and at the discretion of the department chair, Committee Chairs will be granted additional research funds. UGS, GSC, and P&T Chairs will receive $1500 annually and Awards, Anti-Racism, Speaker, and SCOO will receive $750 annually to be used on university business at their discretion. Each committee chair will be permitted to carry forward up to two years and must be exhausted by June 30th of the fiscal year following their terminal year.
  • Grant Overruns and Unallowed costs – costs incurred by the department due to individual faculty member grant overruns and unallowed costs are the sole responsibility of the Principal Investigator. Expenses returned to the department will be deducted from any available funds that are housed in the department. If the PI does not have enough funds to cover the returned expenses, they will be entered into mortgage status until the total is returned in its entirety.
  • Speakers’ honoraria – Beginning in FY22, Non-Ohio State speakers will be awarded an honorarium following their presentation. Regular speakers will be paid an honorarium of $750 for in person presentations and $500 for webinars. Marquee speakers will be paid an honorarium of $1500 for their in-person engagement with the department.
  • Course Buyouts
    •  Faculty members are required to alert the department chair to the desire buyout of a course at least two semesters (AU, SP) prior to the buyout. 
    • Policies for course release (buyout) can be found here
    • Cost of each course can be found in the below table
    Table of Course Buyout Costs
  • Staff Professional Development Funds - At the beginning of each fiscal year, based on the availability of funds and at the discretion of the department chair, each staff member will be granted an annual professional development award. Each staff member will be given $500 to be used on professional development approved by their supervisor and department manager. Each staff member will be permitted to carry forward up to two years with a maximum amount of $1000.
  • Matching Funding Requests (internal/external) – Priority review is given to requests made at least one month prior to due date. In the event a request aligns with college priorities, department chair reserves the right to forward requests to the appropriate review outside of the department. Matching departmental funds are dependent on availability of funds and are not guaranteed.
  • Indirect Cost Recovery Return – each FY the department receives a lump sum of IDCs recovered from eligible grants. It is the principle of the college to reward grant-seeking activity by redistributing some of these funds to PIs. Historically, roughly 11% of these funds were returned to individual faculty, proportional to their IDCs generated from grants in that FY. After the reduction in IDCs returned to the department that began in FY20, we will now redistribute roughly 10% of these reduced funds to PIs. We will continue to revisit this percentage as our IDCs generated fluctuate, but the principle remains to reward grant-seeking activity.


Visiting Scholar Policy

Visitors are integral to the continued shared experiences and research development the department thrives on. Each faculty sponsor who wishes to host a visitor will:

  • First need the permission of the department chair
    • provide a CV for the individual and a short description of the research goals you and the visitor wish to achieve.
    • The department chair’s approval will depend on several factors:
      • Each faculty member is limited to a maximum of 4 visitors at any one time
        • This criterion is to ensure a diversity of thought and experiences in the department
      • The availability of space
      • General fit of visitor to the department
      • Benefit of the visit to the scholar’s career
  • Once department chair permission to continue has been granted, contact the department’s HRC to begin the invitation process
    • The HRC will be in contact regarding any information they may need from you or regarding the candidate
    • If you are not aware of the contact information for the HRC, please contact the department manager.
  • In the event that the visitor requires a visa, the faculty sponsor is responsible for paying the fees associated with processing those visas on The Ohio State University’s end from their available research funds (not to include OSP research grants).
    • If an English Verification is needed, the department will communicate with the potential visitor and either collect the English exam/program documents or assign an independent third party to facilitate the English verification interview and sign the appropriate forms.
  • Upon arrival and throughout their affiliation with the Department of Geography, all visitors in the department are expected to:
    • Participate in the life of the department
      • Attend colloquium and departmental functions/events
      • Engage with faculty/students in addition to their sponsor
    • Communicate regularly with the department office regarding plans for arrival/departure


Access, Space, and IT

  • Departmental Room Scheduling Requests – submit requests for departmental room reservations to Kim Miller (.10449) at least two weeks in advance of the event. Please include the following
    • Name
    • Time and duration of the event
    • Reason for meeting/event
    • Attendees
  • Building Access – all building requests for students or individuals not affiliated with Geography should be submitted via email to Rebekah Sims (.412) with the following information:
    • Name
    • Contact information (email, phone number, BuckID number)
    • Reason for addition
  • Department IT support, computing supplies, and equipment is for current faculty, students, and staff. Emeritus faculty will be provided with computing supplies for existing equipment and support (if time permits) if they are currently teaching in a returning retiree position for the department or for a period of four years immediately following retirement to allow for the transition of student research and graduation. It I currently ASC Tech’s policy that IT staff are not responsible for supporting emeritus faculty. Any support provided by the department IT staff will be if time permits with the understanding that departmental needs come first.



  • TA Course Registration – Graduate student registration is critical to our ability to schedule teaching assistants for faculty. Graduate students who will be funded as a Graduate Teaching Assistants are required to schedule their courses for the next semester six weeks prior to the start of each semester. Rebekah Sims will forward out a specific date each semester as a deadline.
    • The department will do their best to work around the schedules finalized at the requested date, however, the department will not give priority to courses that are not a Geography course or are not part of a student’s educational plans.
    • If a student makes a change to their schedule after the deadline, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the department office (Kim Miller/Rebekah Sims) immediately.
    • If a funded graduate student has not scheduled by the designated deadline, teaching requests and scheduling will not be a priority.
  • Departmental Rooms used for courses - courses designated as undergraduate classes will be scheduled in departmental rooms no sooner than two weeks prior to the start of each semester. This will be based on room availability, course enrollment, and is at the department chair’s discretion.
  • Undergraduate Student Graders – Undergraduate student graders are not guaranteed. The faculty is responsible for recruiting their own undergraduate graders once the need has been established. The ability of the department to hire an Undergraduate student grader depends on the availability of funds and is at the discretion of the department chair. Student graders are supplied based on the following criteria:
    • Enrollment for the requested class must have reached 60
    • Student identified must have already taken the course with a grade of B+ or better.
  • Graduate Teaching assistant assignments to faculty – Graduate Teaching associates will be considered for assignment in the following circumstances:
    • Course contains Lecture AND Lab sessions
    • Course enrollment reaches 60 students or more

Availability of graduate students for assignment and funds




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