Faculty Constitution

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Policy title:

Faculty Constitution

Category:
Faculty
Owner:
Faculty
Approved by:
Faculty
Purpose of this policy

The NWU Faculty Constitution is the official Faculty document that outlines governance for Faculty Organization, Voting Privileges, Faculty Officer Positions, Faculty Council, Meetings, Divisional Organization, Election Procedures, Committees and Committee Procedures.

Policy statement

I. GENERAL FACULTY ORGANIZATION
A. Voting Privileges
B. Officers of the Faculty
C. The Faculty Council
D. Meetings
E. Replacement and Recall Procedures
F. Definition of Sessions

II. DIVISIONAL ORGANIZATION
A. Divisions
B. Purpose
C. Officers
D. Meetings

III. ELECTION PROCEDURES
A. Election of Faculty Officers and At-Large Committee Positions
B. Faculty Officer Requirements and Terms
C. Committee Positions

IV. COMMITTEE PROCEDURES
A. General Provisions
B. Executive Committee
C. Faculty Affairs Committee
D. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
E. Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee
F. Faculty Development Committee
G. Faculty Evaluation Committee
H. Assessment Committee
I. Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee
J. Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee
K. Teacher Education Committee
L. University Forum Committee
M. Student Conduct Board
N. Student Affairs Senate Representative
O. Academic Planning Committee
P. Council of Chairs and Program Directors
Q. Ad Hoc Committees

V. AMENDING PROCEDURES

VI. ENACTMENT CLAUSE

 

I. GENERAL FACULTY ORGANIZATION

  1. Voting Privileges

    The following individuals shall have the right to vote upon any motion presented at any official meeting of the Faculty:
    1. All regular members of the Faculty, including those on an official leave of absence or sabbatical leave, the President of the University, the Provost, other tenured faculty, and Librarians with faculty rank.
    2. All full-time fixed-term members of the Faculty.
    3. All faculty members with the rank of Senior Professor.
    4. Individuals who have taught an average of six or more credit hours per semester for the preceding four semesters and who have filed a written request for voting privileges with the Faculty President prior to the fourth week of the semester. Once approved for voting privileges, these individuals shall retain voting privileges during every subsequent semester in which they teach six or more credit hours, provided that they notify the Faculty President of their continued voting status prior to the fourth week of classes. If voting privileges are lost due to insufficient teaching hours, individuals who have held voting privileges within two years may reapply for voting privileges should they return to teaching six or more credit hours per semester.
    5. Additional non-regular members of the Faculty who have been certified annually for voting privilege by action of the Faculty Council.
    6. Regular and non-regular faculty status are as defined in Article III, Section 1 of the Faculty Handbook.
  2. Officers of the Faculty

    The officers of the Faculty shall be the Faculty President, the President-elect, the Vice President for Faculty Affairs, the Vice President for Undergraduate Curriculum, the Vice President for Graduate Curriculum and Standards, the Vice President for Faculty Development, and the Secretary-Archivist. These officers constitute the Faculty Council.
    1. Faculty officers shall be elected from among the regular faculty and shall serve for a two-year term, except for the President-elect, who shall serve for one year. Neither the President nor the Presidentelect shall be eligible for election to successive terms. The remaining faculty officers shall be eligible for election to two successive terms. In the event that a given faculty officer has completed the unexpired term of the previous faculty officer, that faculty officer will be eligible for election to two successive full terms, but only if the unexpired term was for one year or less.
    2. The Faculty President shall:
      1. preside at meetings of the Faculty;
      2. arrange for and announce all meetings of the Faculty;
      3. prepare an agenda for each regular faculty meeting after consultation with the Faculty Council and notify the Faculty of special items of business via email or other suitable means;
      4. serve as a faculty representative on the Board of Governors;
      5. with the approval of the President of the University, be involved in the University’s budget planning process;
      6. have the option to serve as an ex officio member, after notifying the Chair of the choice, on any faculty committee except the Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee and the Faculty Evaluation Committee;
      7. convene and preside at meetings of the Faculty Council;
      8. discuss the functioning of each constitutional committee with its Chair;
      9. perform other duties assigned by the Faculty, and
      10. resign, upon taking office, from all other constitutional committee assignment(s) he or she may have.
    3. The President-elect may continue to serve on any constitutional committee(s) to which he or she may have been elected but will not be eligible for election to any other constitutional committee(s) while holding this office. The President-elect will succeed to the office of Faculty President if a vacancy occurs. With the approval of the President of the University, the President-elect shall be involved in the University’s budget planning process.
    4. The Vice President for Faculty Affairs shall:
      1. serve as Chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee;
      2. preside at meetings of the Faculty in the absence of the Faculty President;
      3. serve as a representative of the Faculty on the Board of Governors;
      4. succeed to the office of Faculty President if a vacancy occurs when no President-elect has been selected;
      5. with the approval of the President of the University, be involved in the University’s budget planning process;
      6. perform other duties assigned by the Faculty, and
      7. resign, upon taking office, from all other constitutional committee assignment(s) he or she may have.
    5. The Vice President for Undergraduate Curriculum shall:
      1. serve as Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee;
      2. give leadership to groups preparing curricular initiatives for submission to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee;
      3. initiate the study of such areas of the curriculum as he or she finds appropriate, after consultation with the Faculty Council;
      4. perform other duties assigned by the Faculty, and
      5. resign, upon taking office, from all other constitutional committee assignment(s) he or she may have.
    6. The Vice President for Graduate Curriculum and Standards shall:
      1. serve as Chair of the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee;
      2. give leadership to groups preparing curricular initiatives for submission to the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee;
      3. initiate the study of such areas of the curriculum as he or she finds appropriate, after consultation with the Faculty Council;
      4. perform other duties assigned by the Faculty, and
      5. resign, upon taking office, from all other constitutional committee assignment(s) he or she may have.
    7. The Vice President for Faculty Development shall:
      1. serve as Chair of the Faculty Development Committee;
      2. act as liaison to the Academic Affairs Office on initiatives related to faculty development;
      3. perform other duties assigned by the Faculty, and
      4. resign, upon taking office, from all other constitutional committee assignment(s) he or she may have.
    8. The Secretary-Archivist shall:
      1. maintain a permanent record of all meetings of the Faculty and of the Faculty Council;
      2. publish the minutes of faculty;
      3. authenticate the Faculty Constitution each time the document is changed. The Academic Affairs Office shall provide copies of the Faculty Constitution to faculty members;
      4. maintain in the library, with the assistance of the library archivist, permanent files of university records important to the Faculty; monitor the publishing of such files by committee and division secretaries. These files shall include:
        1. Faculty meeting minutes;
        2. Faculty Council minutes;
        3. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee minutes;
        4. Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee minutes;
        5. Faculty Affairs Committee minutes;
        6. from the Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee: the decision, recommendation, evidence, and key information of each Special Hearing Committee or Investigative Committee;
        7. reports of special faculty committees appointed by the administration;
        8. other materials designated by resolution of the Faculty.
    9. A Parliamentarian shall be appointed by the Faculty President, with the advice and consent of the Faculty Council, before the first faculty meeting of each academic year and may serve any number of successive terms. The Parliamentarian shall:
      1. provide advice on points of order to any member of the Faculty who requests it;
      2. assist the Faculty President in preparation of the agenda for Faculty meetings;
      3. make recommendations to and/or advise the Faculty Council about changes in this Constitution as necessary.
  3. The Faculty Council

    The Faculty Council meets at the call of the Faculty President, but at least monthly from September through April. The Faculty Council shall:
    1. assist the Faculty President in preparing the agenda for meetings of the Faculty;
    2. nominate faculty members for election to committee vacancies for those committee positions elected at large;
    3. maintain and publish, with the assistance of the Academic Affairs Office, a record of the distribution of committee assignments and ad hoc tasks;
    4. initiate periodic review and update of the Faculty Constitution and Faculty Handbook;
    5. serve, at the request of the President of the University, on the Strategic Planning and Priorities Council (SPPC), the coordinating entity for institutional strategic planning, and attend all meetings of this Council in order to provide input and advice about:
      1. the current strategic plan,
      2. projected budgets, including staffing and compensation, to ensure that the university’s budget reflects institutional strategic priorities,
      3. enrollment trends and projections,
      4. accreditation processes and goals, and
      5. other matters before the Council;
    6. plan and coordinate faculty action in any areas of curriculum and professional concern and call special meetings of the faculty to deal with such matters when appropriate;
    7. consult with the Provost on formulation of academic calendars, schedules and other matters involving academic policy;
    8. provide a mechanism for meeting with the President of the University and the Provost for discussion of issues of concern to either party;
    9. provide a mechanism for sharing information with the Faculty;
    10. serve as a resource for Faculty and Faculty Committees;
    11. assist the Faculty President as that officer may request;
    12. serve as a review committee on appeals made regarding the propriety of an action of the Faculty, of a member of a faculty committee, of a faculty committee, or of a member of the Faculty where these actions are pertinent to this Faculty Constitution.
  4. Meetings

    The Faculty President shall be the presiding officer at all meetings of the Faculty. The Vice President for Faculty Affairs shall preside in the absence of the Faculty President. When necessary, either the President-elect or the Secretary-Archivist may convene a meeting of the Faculty, who shall elect a President pro tempore.
    1. Regular Meetings
      The Faculty shall hold one regular meeting each month except the months of January, June, July, and August at a regular time and place. Unless otherwise designated by the Faculty President, after consultation with the Faculty Council, the Faculty shall meet during the first week of the month.
    2. Special Meetings
      Special meetings of the Faculty may be called at any time by the Faculty President or upon written request to the Faculty Council by any of the following:
      1. the President of the University;
      2. the Provost;
      3. the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee;
      4. the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee;
      5. the Faculty Affairs Committee;
      6. ten voting Faculty members.
    3. Order of Business
      The order of business at all regular meetings of the Faculty shall be the following unless changed by the Faculty President in consultation with Faculty Council:
      1. nominations and first ballots of appropriate elections. Subsequent items of business may be interrupted for further nominations and ballots as required;
      2. correction and approval of minutes of the previous meeting;
      3. reports by:
        • the President of the University
        • the Provost
        • the Faculty Council
        • the Executive Committee
        • the Faculty Affairs Committee
        • the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
        • the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee
        • the Faculty Development Committee
        • the Faculty Evaluation Committee
        • the Assessment Committee
        • the Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee
        • the Academic Freedom Committee
        • other committees;
        • (at the discretion of the Faculty President in consultation with the Faculty Council, committee reports may be either distributed before the meeting or projected visually during the meeting in lieu of being delivered orally
      4. future business (those motions which are presented but cannot be acted upon until a subsequent meeting – see Section I.D.4.d in this Constitution);
      5. urgent business (motions which have been previously designated as special orders for the present meeting, business specified by the Constitution, or business designated as urgent by the Faculty President after consulting with the Faculty Council);
      6. unfinished business (motions under discussion at a previous meeting, but not yet acted upon);
      7. general orders (matters postponed to the present meeting but not made special orders);
      8. new business (motions introduced at least one week previously as Future Business or by proper written notice, or motions which are introduced at the present meeting and may be debated at this meeting);
      9. announcements;
      10. discourse (discussions and/or presentations pertinent to faculty work. Main motions may not be introduced in this section. Requests to facilitate a discussion and/or give a presentation will be made to—and have to be decided upon by—Faculty Council before the meeting);
      11. adjournment.
    4. Special Rules of Order
      American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (most recent edition) shall govern all matters of parliamentary procedure except those governed by the following special rules of order:
      1. any member, committee, or division may present a motion at any regular meeting of the Faculty. The person presenting the motion shall normally consult the Faculty President regarding the inclusion of the motion on the agenda for the meeting. Any matter involving the adoption of a new academic policy or the revision of established academic policy must be referred to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee or the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee for consideration; any matter involving fringe benefits or professional status of faculty members must be referred to the Faculty Affairs Committee for consideration;
      2. the person who introduces a proposal shall have the right to speak both first and last;
      3. any proposal submitted to the Faculty by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee, or the Faculty Affairs Committee shall be presented by the Committee Chair or some other person designated by the Chair;
      4. debate and vote upon any proposal regarding academic policy, any proposal regarding fringe benefits or professional status, or any proposal to change the constitution may be held no sooner than one week following (1) the faculty meeting at which it was introduced or (2) proper written notice to the Faculty of the exact proposal to be introduced. Debate on other proposals proceeds according to American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (most recent edition);
      5. in assigning the floor for debate, the Faculty President shall give preference to members who have not spoken or who wish to present a point of view different from that of the preceding speaker;
      6. a proposal on academic policy, on fringe benefits or professional status, or for amending this Constitution must receive a two-thirds vote to be adopted. Other proposals follow American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary (most recent edition); and
      7. a quorum at any meeting shall be 50 regular members and certified nonregular members of the Faculty.
    5. Non-faculty Participation
      Members of the Board of Governors, the President of the Student Affairs Senate, and student members of any constitutional committee may attend the regular meetings of the Faculty. They shall have the right to make motions and to participate in the debate, but not to vote. Special meetings of the Faculty may be convened as executive sessions, restricted to its voting membership.
    6. Reports and Publication of Minutes
      A written copy of every formal report presented at faculty meetings shall be given to the SecretaryArchivist at the time of presentation and shall become part of the permanent record of the Faculty. The minutes of all meetings of the Faculty shall be published at the earliest possible time prior to the next meeting.
  5. Replacement and Recall Procedures

    Should a committee member resign, the electing body shall elect a replacement to complete the unexpired term. If a committee member is unable to serve a full term, the electing body may elect a temporary replacement who shall serve for an interval prescribed by the electing body which shall not extend beyond the current term. Proceedings for recall of an officer of the Faculty or of a committee member elected by the Faculty at large may be instituted by a petition signed by one-fifth of the Faculty. The intention to debate and vote on such a petition shall be announced in the agenda published via email or other suitable means before consideration in a faculty meeting. The vote shall be taken by secret ballot no sooner than one week following the debate. A recall requires a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at the faculty meeting.
  6. Definition of Sessions

    Each session of the Faculty and all faculty committees shall begin on the day following commencement and continue through the day of the next commencement. Terms of officers and members of the faculty committees shall begin on the first day of each new session. However, the membership of the Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee may continue beyond the end of the session if it is needed for the completion of pending business. Proposals to amend this Constitution may be taken up by the Faculty in a new session at the stage the proposal had reached when the previous session of the Faculty adjourned sine die.

II. DIVISIONAL ORGANIZATION

  1. Divisions
    The University, for faculty governance purposes, is grouped into three divisions: Arts and Humanities, comprising the departments of Art, English, History, Modern Languages, Music, Religion and Philosophy, and Theatre Arts; Natural and Health Sciences, comprising the departments of Biology, Chemistry and Forensic Science, Health and Human Performance, Mathematics, Nursing, and Physics; and Social and Applied Sciences, comprising the departments of Business Administration and Accounting and Economics, Communication Studies, Education, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology and Anthropology, and librarians with faculty rank. Faculty who hold appointments in more than one department must choose the division in which they wish to be represented.
  2. Purpose
    Divisions serve as electoral units from which faculty representatives are generally elected to serve on faculty committees, as units of common interest and as forums for discussion of issues of mutual concern, as well as mechanisms for coordinating inter-departmental programs and schedules.
  3. Officers
    Divisions shall elect a Chair from among the tenured members of the Division. A Chair shall serve a term of two years and may be reelected but may serve no more than four consecutive years. A Secretary shall be elected and serve a term of one year and may be reelected. Chairs of the Natural and Health Sciences and Arts and Humanities Divisions shall be elected in April of even-numbered years, and of the Social and Applied Sciences Division in April of odd-numbered years. Elections for the following year’s officers will be held in the last division meeting of the academic year.
  4. Meetings
    Regular division meetings normally occur during the third week of the months of the traditional academic year. The Division Chair may cancel a regular meeting, and special meetings may be called by the Division Chair or by the written request of 5 faculty members in that division. III.

III. ELECTION PROCEDURES

  1. Election of Faculty Officers and At-Large Committee Positions
    1. The Faculty President will provide a written announcement of the elections on or before the date of the February faculty meeting. This announcement will include the dates of balloting and a list of those officers and at-large faculty positions to be elected by the Faculty.
    2. Balloting will take place electronically Wednesday, 8:00am through Friday, 5:00pm during the first full week of April.
    3. A candidate may withdraw no later than 5:00pm on the Monday prior to the start of balloting; the Faculty President will notify the Faculty of such withdrawals.
    4. Nomination procedures:
      1. Before making a nomination, the nominator should obtain the consent of the nominee. Faculty members may nominate themselves.
      2. Nominations for elected positions will begin during the March faculty meeting. Further nominations may be submitted in writing to the Faculty President, who will verify that nominees are willing to run.
      3. Nominations will be posted electronically.
      4. Nominations will close one week before the balloting begins.
    5. Candidates are expected to submit platform statements (limited to 500 words) to the Faculty President, who will post them electronically no later than one week prior to the start of balloting.
    6. A candidate for a faculty office may not be a candidate for any other office or at-large position.
    7. A quorum for an election where balloting is done electronically (as in III. A. 2) will be deemed present if at least 50 faculty who have voting privileges cast ballots. Faculty may abstain from voting. Abstentions will count as part of the quorum once they are electronically submitted; however, abstentions do not count as votes cast.
    8. A majority vote is required for election. If subsequent balloting is required, candidates will be ranked by number of votes received. Those remaining candidates ranking highest, equal in number to the number of positions open plus one, will move on to the next round of balloting.
    9. Before balloting begins the Faculty President will schedule at least one special meeting for the Faculty to discuss campus issues with those who were nominated. Time will not be allotted in regular faculty meetings for election campaigning.
    10. Faculty Officers will confirm the election results and will announce them via email and at the May faculty meeting.
    11. In the event that the Faculty conducts a special election during a faculty meeting, the Faculty President may declare a candidate elected if only one candidate is nominated for an office or committee position, and no more nominations are forthcoming.
  2. Faculty Officer Requirements and Terms
    1. The election of faculty officers will take place each April according to this schedule:
      President-elect Odd-numbered years
      Vice President for Faculty Affairs Odd-numbered years
      Vice President for Faculty Development Odd-numbered years
      Vice President for Undergraduate Curriculum Even-numbered years
      Vice President for Graduate Curriculum and Standards Even-numbered years
      Secretary-Archivist Even-numbered years
    2. The Faculty President shall succeed to the office from the position of President-elect at the conclusion of the spring session of even-numbered years and shall serve a term of two years. Should the President-elect not be available for succession, the Faculty President will be elected from among the tenured full-time teaching faculty or tenured librarians with faculty rank.
    3. The President-elect shall be elected according to the procedures in (A) above, from among the tenured full-time teaching faculty or tenured librarians with faculty rank, and shall serve a term of one year.
    4. The Vice President for Faculty Affairs shall be elected according to the procedures in (A) above, from among the tenured full-time teaching faculty or tenured librarians with faculty rank, and shall serve a term of two years.
    5. The Vice President for Undergraduate Curriculum shall be elected according to the procedures in (A) above, from among the regular or fixed-term full-time teaching faculty or librarians with faculty rank who have taught in an undergraduate program within the last three years, and shall serve a term of two years.
    6. The Vice President for Graduate Curriculum and Standards shall be elected according to the procedures in (A) above, from among the regular or fixed-term full-time teaching faculty or librarians with faculty rank who have taught in a graduate program within the last three years, and shall serve a term of two years.
    7. The Vice President for Faculty Development shall be elected according to the procedures in (A) above, from among the regular full-time teaching faculty, fixed term full-time teaching faculty or librarians with faculty rank, and shall serve a term of two years.
    8. The Secretary-Archivist shall be elected according to the procedures in (A) above, from among the regular full-time teaching faculty, fixed term full-time teaching faculty or librarians with faculty rank, and shall serve a term of two years.
    9. Should a vacancy occur in the office of Vice President for Faculty Affairs, Vice President for Undergraduate Curriculum, Vice President for Graduate Curriculum and Standards, Vice President for Faculty Development, or Secretary-Archivist, the Faculty President may appoint a temporary replacement until an appropriate time for an election occurs. If a vacancy in the office of the Faculty President occurs, the President-elect shall assume the office and complete the term; if no President elect is available when the office of the Faculty President becomes vacant, the Vice President for Faculty Affairs shall assume the office and complete the term, and he or she will appoint an acting Vice President for Faculty Affairs until an appropriate time for an election occurs.
  3. Committee Positions
    1. Only voting faculty members are eligible to serve on committees.
    2. Members of the Faculty Evaluation Committee may not serve consecutive terms. No member of any other committee shall serve more than four consecutive years.
    3. A committee may request from the electing or appointing body a replacement for a member who does not attend.
    4. At-Large Committee Positions

      The Faculty at large shall elect members to the following committees:

      FACULTY AFFAIRS: one member serving a two-year term, elected in April of odd-numbered years. No more than one person from any department shall serve.

      UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE: two members, each serving a two-year term. One shall be elected from regular or fixed-term full-time faculty in April of odd-numbered years. The other member shall be elected from the regular or fixed-term full-time faculty, elected in April of even-numbered years.

      FACULTY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE: one member, from the regular or fixed-term full-time faculty, serving a two-year term, elected in April of odd-numbered years. No more than one person from any department shall serve.

      FACULTY EVALUATION: one non-tenured member (regular or fixed-term) serving until the end of the semester before his or her tenure consideration (regular) or for two years (fixed-term). No more than one person from any department shall serve.

      FORUM COMMITTEE: four members, of whom at least two must be tenured, serving two-year terms, two elected each year.

      STUDENT CONDUCT BOARD: three members serving two-year terms, in accordance with the Student Conduct Board Constitution.

      STUDENT AFFAIRS SENATE: one full-time teaching faculty member serving a one-year term.
    5. Electing Committee Members in Divisions

      Divisions will elect members to the following committees:

      Faculty Affairs Committee: three members serving two-year terms; one each from the Natural and Health Sciences and Arts and Humanities Divisions shall be elected in April of even-numbered years, and one from the Social and Applied Sciences shall be elected in April of odd-numbered years. No member of the Faculty Affairs Committee shall simultaneously serve on the Faculty Evaluation Committee or the Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee. No more than one person from any department shall serve.

      Undergraduate Curriculum Committee: six members serving two-year terms, two from each division; at least one from each division must be tenured. No more than one person from any department shall serve. Divisions will elect one representative each year.

      Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee: three members serving two-year terms; one faculty representative from each division; one each from the Natural and Health Sciences and Arts and Humanities Divisions shall be elected in April of even-numbered years, and one from the Social and Applied Sciences shall be elected in April of odd-numbered years.

      Faculty Development Committee: three members serving two-year terms; one each from the Natural and Health Sciences and Social and Applied Sciences Divisions shall be elected in April of even-numbered years, and one from the Arts and Humanities Division shall be elected in April of odd numbered years. No more than one person from any department shall serve. Faculty Evaluation Committee: six members serving three-year terms; two from each division. In years that are multiples of three, one representative each from the Social and Applied Sciences and Arts and Humanities Divisions shall be elected; in the next year, one representative each from the Natural and Health Sciences and Social and Applied Sciences Divisions shall be elected; in the third year, one representative each from the Arts and Humanities and Natural and Health Sciences Divisions shall be elected. No member of the Faculty Evaluation Committee shall simultaneously serve on the Faculty Affairs Committee or the Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee. No more than one person from any department shall serve.

      Assessment Committee: three members serving three-year terms, one from each division. In years that are multiples of three, one representative from the Arts and Humanities Division shall be elected; in the next year, one representative from the Social and Applied Sciences Division shall be elected; in the third year, one representative from the Natural and Health Sciences Division shall be elected.

      Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee: six members serving two-year terms, two from each division; at least one from each division must be tenured. No more than one person from any department shall serve. Divisions will elect one representative each year.

IV. COMMITTEE PROCEDURES

  1. General Provisions
    1. Limitations of Assignment
      The Faculty Council shall be charged with the responsibility of maintaining a constant record of and frequently reviewing the special and extra-curricular assignments of the entire faculty. The Council shall limit, as much as is practical, committee assignments and other extracurricular or special duties of faculty members by giving preference in its nominations to those with limited assignments, although others may be nominated. “Special and extracurricular assignments” include service as Chairs of divisions or departments; membership on permanent or ad hoc task forces, or special committees; and responsibilities for activities that do not constitute part of the teaching load.
    2. Policy Adoption and Revision Any proposal involving the adoption or revision of academic policy or of policy on fringe benefits and professional status of faculty may be put into effect by the following methods:
      1. Committee Action. Any proposal developed in the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee or the Faculty Affairs Committee, and approved by a two-thirds vote of that committee, shall become effective thirty days after the approved proposal has been published in the faculty minutes, unless one or both of the following procedures are required:
        1. Faculty Action Any resolution approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee, or the Faculty Affairs Committee shall be submitted to the faculty for action whenever (a) a majority of the committee votes to submit the proposal; (b) the committee receives a petition signed by one-fifth of the voting faculty; or (c) the university administration, through the President of the University, requests that the proposal be submitted. The committee shall notify the Faculty President who, in accordance with his or her duties, shall place the resolution on the agenda for a faculty meeting and shall arrange for publication of the resolution prior to the meeting.
        2. Board of Governors Approval Within ten days after the publication of the approval by the appropriate committee of any proposal regarding academic policy or fringe benefits or professional status of the faculty, the President of the University or the Provost may designate the proposal as a Major Institutional Decision. The faculty must be informed of such decisions via email. The Faculty President must then present the proposal to the Board of Governors who must approve it before it becomes effective.

          If both special procedures are required, faculty action must precede action by the Board of Governors
      2. Faculty Initiative. Whenever the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee, or the Faculty Affairs Committee, having been assigned to develop a proposal on a particular issue, fails to submit a proposal after a reasonable time, a member of the faculty may initiate action by the faculty directly. Proposals so submitted and adopted take effect ten days after publication via email, unless the President of the University or the Provost designates the proposal as a Major Institutional Decision. The faculty must be informed of such decisions via email. The Faculty President must then present the proposal to the Board of Governors, who must approve it before it becomes effective
    3. Bylaws
      1. A committee may establish bylaws in concert with this Constitution.
      2. Any committee, except for the Faculty Evaluation Committee and Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee, may outline procedures for permitting a member to send a substitute when that member cannot attend a particular meeting.
      3. A quorum shall be a majority of committee members.
    4. Meetings. All meetings of faculty committees, except the Faculty Evaluation Committee and Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee, shall be open to all voting members of the Faculty, except in the event the committee decides to meet in executive session.
    5. Subcommittees. Any committee may establish subcommittees or task forces to consider questions within its jurisdiction. Membership of those subcommittees may be drawn from any sector of the University as deemed appropriate by the committee creating the subcommittee. Committees creating such subcommittees or task forces shall inform the Faculty Council of the membership.
  2. Executive Committee
    1. Membership. The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Division Chairs, the Dean of Undergraduate Programs, and the Vice President of the Student Affairs Senate (or a substitute selected by the Student Affairs Senate). The University Registrar shall serve as a non-voting member.
    2. Officers. The Dean of Undergraduate Programs shall serve as the permanent Chair and shall provide the secretary for the committee.
    3. Meetings. Meetings shall be held during the school year at a regular time and place agreed upon by the members. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chair or upon request of any two members.
    4. Duties. The Executive Committee shall:
      1. approve transfer credit;
      2. approve the Dean of Undergraduate Programs action on academic policy and provide guidance to the Dean of Undergraduate Programs on matters of academic policy;
      3. establish procedures concerning student petitions;
      4. act upon student petitions involving academic requirements or regulations or delegate this function to the Dean of Undergraduate Programs;
      5. consult with the administration on formulation of academic calendars and schedules;
      6. act as a board of review for problems brought from the Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee;
      7. carry out other duties as assigned by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
  3. Faculty Affairs Committee

    The Faculty Affairs Committee shall be responsible for proposing and assisting in the administration of policies involving fringe benefits and professional status of faculty members.
    1. Membership. The members shall be the Vice President for Faculty Affairs; three representatives, one elected by each Division; and one member elected at-large by the Faculty. No member of the Faculty Evaluation Committee shall simultaneously serve on the Faculty Affairs Committee or the Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee. No two members from any department shall serve.
    2. Officers. The officers shall be a Chair, automatically held by the Vice President for Faculty Affairs, and a secretary, who shall be elected by the members of the committee at the first meeting of the fall semester for a one-year term.
    3. Meetings. Meetings shall be held during the school year at a regular time and place agreed upon by the members. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chair or upon request of three other members.
    4. Duties. The Faculty Affairs Committee shall:
      1. study and make recommendations to the administration and through them to the Board of Governors regarding policies affecting faculty rank and tenure, leaves of absence, retirement plans, health and life insurance, tuition remission for faculty families, allowances for faculty development, disability provisions, and any other fringe benefits;
      2. serve as an informal consultant to administrative officers on problems of professional status of faculty or in matters pertaining to faculty affairs not delegated to other committees;
      3. provide assistance in the case of a dispute between a member of the Faculty and the Administration, upon request of either the faculty member or the Administration. Through its officers or an ad hoc subcommittee, it shall attempt informally and privately to mediate the dispute. If the committee decides its efforts are not productive, it will inform both parties and withdraw from the deliberations (see Section IV.J.3 of this Constitution);
      4. discuss, develop, and take action on all proposals made by faculty members, committees, divisions, or administrative officers involving changes in fringe benefits or professional status of the faculty;
      5. serve, through its Chair, as a direct means of communication with the Board of Governors;
      6. perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Faculty or the Faculty Council
    5. The actions of the Faculty Affairs Committee are subject to the restrictions outlined in Section IV. A. 2 of this Constitution.
  4. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

    The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee is the deliberative branch of the Faculty for matters affecting the adoption or revision of undergraduate academic policies.
    1. Membership. The members shall be the Vice President for Undergraduate Curriculum; Dean of Undergraduate Programs; two faculty representatives from each division, of whom at least one has tenure (no more than one divisional representative from any department shall serve); two additional faculty members elected at large; one undergraduate student chosen by the Student Affairs Senate, selected in the spring; one undergraduate student in a non-traditional undergraduate program, selected by the Executive Committee in the spring; the University Registrar, the the Associate Provost for Integrative and Experiential Learning, and the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs. The Provost and one librarian with faculty rank appointed by the University Librarian will serve as non-voting members.
    2. Officers. The officers shall be a Chair, automatically held by the Vice President for Undergraduate Curriculum, and a secretary. The secretary shall be elected by the members at the first meeting of the fall semester. In the absence of the presiding officer, the secretary or the Dean of Undergraduate Programs may convene meetings for the election of a Chair pro tempore.
    3. Meetings. Meetings shall be held during the academic year at a regular time and place agreed upon by the members. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chair or upon request of three other members.
    4. Duties. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee shall receive proposals, reports, and recommendations from the Executive Committee, which shall be given priority in the agenda, as well as from the Administration, the Departments, the general faculty, the student body, or other committees and shall have the authority and responsibility to adopt or revise academic policies regarding:
      1. matters of undergraduate curriculum including approval of new courses, course revisions and deletions, and general education requirements;
      2. graduation and degree requirements for undergraduate degrees and certificates, including major, minor, and program requirements;
      3. transfer credit, Credit by Examination, test-out procedures, and other credit earned outside regular classes;
      4. the establishing or the discontinuing of departments and interdisciplinary programs, majors, minors, and certificates; and
      5. other undergraduate academic policies
    5. The actions of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee are subject to the restrictions outlined in Section IV. A.2 of this Constitution.
  5. Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee

    The Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee is the deliberative branch of the Faculty for matters affecting academic policies, operational policies, and academic standards for graduate education.
    1. Membership. The members shall be the Vice President for Graduate Curriculum and Standards, the Dean of Graduate Programs, the Program Directors for all graduate programs, the Registrar, one faculty representative from each division, and one student currently in a graduate program. If the Vice President for Graduate Curriculum and Standards is a program director, that program shall select a substitute representative in place of the program director. Selection of the student will be coordinated by the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee in the spring. The Provost and one librarian with faculty rank appointed by the University Librarian will serve as non-voting members.
    2. Officers. The Vice President for Graduate Curriculum and Standards shall serve as Chair; at the first meeting of the fall semester the committee shall elect from among its members a secretary for a term of one year. In the absence of the presiding officer, the secretary or the Dean of Graduate Programs may convene meetings for the election of a Chair pro tempore.
    3. Meetings. Meetings shall be held year round at a regular time and place agreed upon by the members. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chair or upon request of two other members.
    4. Duties. The Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee shall receive proposals, reports, and recommendations from the administration, graduate programs, and graduate faculty, the graduate student body, or other committees, and shall have authority and responsibility to adopt or revise academic and operational policies for the graduate programs regarding:
      1. Matters of curriculum, including approval of new courses, course revisions, and deletions for the graduate programs;
      2. Admission and progression policies for the graduate programs;
      3. Processes and procedures related to graduate student and faculty research and scholarship;
      4. Graduation and degree requirements for graduate degrees and certificates;
      5. Establishment and maintenance of a handbook for graduate education;
      6. Other academic or operational policies related to graduate programs
    5. The actions of the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee are subject to the restrictions outlined in Section IV.A.2. of this Constitution.
  6. Faculty Development Committee
    1. Membership. Members shall be the Vice President for Faculty Development; three representatives, one elected by each Division; and one member elected at large by the Faculty. No two members from any department shall serve. The Provost may serve as an ex officio member.
    2. Officers. The Vice President for Faculty Development shall serve as Chair, and the members shall elect a secretary for a one-year term from among its members at the first meeting of the fall semester.
    3. Duties. The Faculty Development Committee shall:
      1. respond to requests and needs of the Faculty which pertain to the Faculty’s ability to achieve academic goals;
      2. support research and other scholarly activities;
      3. disburse discretionary funds for travel and scholarly activities, including advising the President of the University on awarding Ameritas Fellowships;
      4. sponsor faculty workshops;
      5. implement University policies that relate to professional growth of the Faculty;
      6. publicize opportunities for faculty development; and
      7. receive proposals and make recommendations to the Provost regarding sabbaticals, leaves of absence, faculty exchanges, and institutional travel. The committee will also review sabbaticals after they are completed.
  7. The Faculty Evaluation Committee
    1. Membership. Members shall be six tenured faculty, two elected by each of the Divisions; one nontenured faculty (regular or fixed-term) to be elected at large by the Faculty. The non-tenured member's term shall terminate at the end of the semester before his or her tenure consideration (regular) or a second year of service on the committee (fixed-term). No two members from any department shall serve. No member of the Faculty Evaluation Committee shall simultaneously serve on the Faculty Affairs Committee or on the Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee.
    2. Duties. The Faculty Evaluation Committee shall be responsible for:
      1. Systematic Data Collection
        Evaluations by students of all tenured faculty members every year and non-tenured faculty members every semester will be collected by the office of the Provost. The Faculty Evaluation Committee, in consultation with the administration, will determine appropriate dates for administering these evaluations and include those dates in its annually published policies. The committee only reviews persons in regular and fixed-term faculty positions. A summary of such data for each faculty member will be maintained by the committee but may be used by the Faculty Development Committee at the request of the faculty member. Student evaluations for those faculty being evaluated will be incorporated into their files for evaluation purposes and then returned promptly to the faculty member after the evaluation is complete and after the end of the semester. Student evaluations for those faculty not being evaluated by the committee will be returned promptly to the faculty member after the end of the semester. Before being returned to the faculty member, student evaluations shall be made available to the Provost, department chairs or program directors.
      2. Collection of Evaluation Information
        This committee shall, with the cooperation of the faculty and administration, collect and receive such information as it deems necessary to its legitimate purposes. A committee file shall be maintained for each faculty member. This file shall include recommendations made to the Provost. The faculty member shall have access to his or her own committee file. The President of the University, Provost and the Department Chair, may examine data collected by the committee. Any other access shall be at the discretion of the committee, with the written consent of the faculty member. Input to the file shall include the following and any other information the committee deems necessary to its purpose:
        1. Information for the committee file supplied by the faculty member, especially concerning activities, achievements, publications, teaching innovations, additional education, or other things contributing to his or her value as a member of the faculty which might not otherwise be known to the committee.
        2. Evaluations by students as gathered by appropriate means.
        3. Evaluations and recommendations of the Department Chair, or program director
        4. Evaluations by colleagues, students, and alumni.
      3. Advising Administrative Officers
        1. The Faculty Evaluation Committee shall make written recommendation to the administration when:
          1. a faculty member’s probationary appointment is reviewed, usually during the second and fourth years of service;
          2. a faculty member is to be considered for advancement in rank;
          3. a faculty member is to be considered for tenure;
          4. the committee deems it appropriate to accede to a request from a faculty member to be evaluated or from the President of the University for a special evaluation of a member of the faculty 
        2. The committee shall make a written report to the Department Chair or program director, after a review of the faculty member.
        3. The recommendations of the committee shall not be binding upon the administration. However, any and all alterations by the administration of the committee’s recommendations shall be discussed with the committee before such altered recommendations are sent to the Board of Governors.
      4. Policies and Procedures
        The Faculty Evaluation Committee shall communicate its policies and procedures for the year each September. Any faculty member may protest any of the published policies and procedures through normal channels.
  8. Assessment Committee

    The Assessment Committee shall be responsible for overseeing the assessment of student learning across the University.
    1. Membership. The members shall be the Provost; the Dean of Undergraduate Programs; the Dean of Graduate Programs; the Associate Provost for Integrative and Experiential Learning; the Vice President for Student Life; the Assistant Provost & University Registrar; three faculty members, one from each division; a staff member from Student Life to be designated by the Vice President for Student Life; and one student, to be designated by the Student Affairs Senate.
    2. Officers. The officers shall be a Chair (a faculty member) and a secretary, both of whom shall be elected by the members of the committee at the first meeting of the fall semester.
    3. Meetings. Meetings shall be held during the academic year at a regular time and place agreed upon by the members. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chair or upon request of three other members.
    4. Duties. The Assessment Committee shall:
      1. monitor the assessment of the general education curriculum, majors, programs, and other curricular and co-curricular offerings;
      2. assist the Faculty and Staff in obtaining resource materials on assessment;
      3. assist the Administration in educating the faculty and staff about the assessment process including the selection of instruments and measures appropriate to the kinds of learning they want to measure;
      4. disseminate assessment results to the campus community;
      5. appoint sub-committees to develop and propose curricular, programmatic, and/or pedagogical changes to address deficiencies in student learning; and
      6. perform such duties as may be assigned by the Faculty or the Administration.
  9. Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee
    1. Membership: The members shall be two faculty representatives from each division, of whom at least one has tenure (no more than one divisional representative from any department shall serve); the Dean of Undergraduate Programs; the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs; the Assistant Dean for Student Success and Campus Community; the Assistant Dean for Student Success and Persistence; the Director of Admissions; one undergraduate student chosen by the Student Affairs Senate, selected in the spring; and one undergraduate student in a non-traditional undergraduate program, selected by the Executive Committee in the spring. The Director of Scholarships/Financial Aid, the Director of Institutional Research, and the Associate Registrar serve as non-voting members.
    2. Officers. The officers shall be a Chair (a faculty member) and a Secretary, both of whom shall be elected by the members of the committee at the final meeting of the spring semester for a one-year term. In the absence of the Chair, the Secretary, or the Director of Admissions may convene meetings for the election of a Chair pro tempore.
    3. Meetings. Meetings shall be held during the academic year at a regular time and place agreed upon by the members. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chair or upon request of three other members.
    4. Duties. The Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee shall:
      1. Approve and monitor admissions criteria for new and transfer undergraduate students, including traditional, non-traditional, and international students;
      2. Review enrollment, retention, and persistence data for students who were admitted conditionally and non-conditionally;
      3. Approve and evaluate policies and procedures for determining and applying students' academic standing (good standing, warning, probation);
      4. Review and act on applications for return from Academic Suspension (the Dean of Undergraduate Programs may act on applications that arrive in the summer);
      5. Review and recommend policies regarding academic distinction (honors, Dean’s List);
      6. Approve honorary degrees;
      7. Serve as a liaison between Admissions and the faculty, including Faculty Council;
      8. Make a written report to the faculty at least once a year. The chair of the committee shall file a record of the committee’s activities with the faculty secretary no later than the end of April each year
    5. This committee adheres to federal confidentiality laws under both the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regarding all student information and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regarding all student health-related information.
  10. Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee
    1. Membership. Members shall be the three division chairs. No member of this committee shall hold any administrative appointment except that of Department Chair or Program Director. No member of this committee shall serve concurrently as a member of the Faculty Affairs Committee or the Faculty Evaluation Committee.
    2. Duties. The Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee shall serve as a hearing tribunal, which shall adjudicate formal complaints involving alleged violations of academic freedom or due process or any termination “for adequate cause” (see Faculty Handbook, Article VII, Section 2, Paragraph B).
    3. Activating the Committee. After the Faculty Affairs Committee has withdrawn from a dispute, either party to the dispute, but only they, may initiate involvement by this committee. The complainant may request the committee to act as an informal investigative body or to provide a hearing, but not both. The rules that apply are described in the Faculty Handbook in Article VIII, Section 2.
  11. Teacher Education Committee
    1. Membership. Members shall be one faculty representative from each Department that offers a certification program, to be appointed by each Department Chair. The Chair of the Department of Education shall be a member, and shall serve as the secretary, of the committee. In addition, one administrative officer (chosen by the Dean of Undergraduate Programs), the President of the Student Education Association (or a designated alternate), and the President of the campus chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (or designated alternate) shall serve on the committee. The administrative officer shall serve a two-year term and shall not serve more than two consecutive terms.
    2. Duties. The Teacher Education Committee shall serve as a direct means of communication between the Department of Education and other departments that are affected by Teacher Education policies. The committee shall facilitate communication between the Department of Education and teachingfield departments regarding curricular programs required for teacher certification. Decisions concerning the admission of students to candidacy in a Teacher Education Program, status of students in the program, permission to do student teaching, or certification of students are made by the Department of Education, but students may appeal these decisions to the Teacher Education Committee, which shall make the final decision.
  12. University Forum Committee

    The Faculty shall elect four faculty representatives, of whom at least two shall be tenured, to the University Forum Committee for two-year terms. A faculty representative shall serve as Chair of the committee.
  13. Student Conduct Board

    The Faculty shall elect three members serving two-year terms, in accordance with the Student Conduct Board Constitution.
  14. Student Affairs Senate Representative

    The Faculty shall elect one representative to the Student Affairs Senate from among the full-time teaching faculty. The representative shall serve a term of one year and may, with his or her consent, be reelected for any number of successive terms.
  15. Academic Planning Committee

    Department Chairs and Program Directors who oversee academic programs with full time faculty will serve as the Academic Planning Committee (APC). The purpose of the APC is to provide transparency in decision-making and to ensure that departments and programs affected by programming decisions have an opportunity to be heard by the decision-makers. The APC will be convened at least once a semester by the Provost. The Provost will select two academic administrators to serve on the committee. In addition, two students, one undergraduate and one graduate, will be appointed by the APC to serve as voting members. The APC will:
    1. annually review the academic resources;
    2. evaluate the discontinuance of academic programs, both majors and minors;
    3. evaluate the financial implications of proposals for new academic programs, both majors and minors, in cooperation with the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee; and
    4. evaluate proposals for the allocation of faculty positions.
    The Provost will have the authority to make final decisions about academic planning and to implement those decisions, but she/he will discuss any major alterations in the recommendations of the APC with its members.
  16. Council of Chairs and Program Directors

    The Department Chairs, Program Directors, and others designated by the Provost shall constitute the University Council of Chairs and Program Directors and shall meet at the request of the Provost.
  17. Ad Hoc Committees

    The President of the University, Provost, the Faculty Council, one of the permanent committees, or the Faculty may appoint ad hoc committees to study special areas of concern to the Faculty and/or the Administration and make recommendations as appropriate. The membership of these committees shall be determined by the agency which creates the committee. A copy of the charge to the committee delineating its task shall be sent to the Faculty Council, which shall maintain a current listing of existing ad hoc committees and their memberships. Such committees may be of a short- or long-term tenure, depending upon the nature of the assigned task.

V. AMENDING PROCEDURES

A proposal to amend this Constitution may be made by any voting member of the Faculty; such a proposal may be introduced as future business at any meeting of the Faculty, or presented to and adopted by the Faculty Affairs Committee, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, or the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee. The Faculty Council shall consider all proposals to amend this Constitution; it shall schedule an open discussion on the proposal if the Council deems the proposal raises issues warranting such discussion. The Faculty President may refer a proposal to the appropriate committee, with instructions to report within 31 days. A change proposed by either of these procedures will become final when adopted by a two-thirds vote of the Faculty present and voting, unless the change has been designated by the President of the University or the Provost as a Major Institutional Decision.

VI. ENACTMENT CLAUSE

Upon approval of this Constitution by the Faculty, incumbent Faculty Officers and Division Chairs shall be authorized to take appropriate actions to implement the provisions of this Constitution, specifically including, but not limited to, adjustment of terms of office and timing of elections. Amendments adopted subsequent to the adoption of this Constitution shall be implemented by the Faculty Council, guided by instructions, if any, given by the Faculty at the time such amendment is adopted.

 

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