As amended April 23, 2013
Table of contents
- It is the purpose of the bylaws of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to supplement the statutes and other actions of the Wayne State University Board of Governors, the executive orders issued by the president, the articles contained in the governing collective bargaining agreement, and all other duly promulgated policies of Wayne State University.
- No part of these bylaws shall take precedence over the statutes or actions of the Board of Governors, the executive orders of the president, the articles of the governing collective bargaining agreement, or any other duly promulgated policy of the university.
- These bylaws are meant to detail the formal process by which:
- The college is to be administered in circumstances not covered by existing university policies,
- Members of the faculty of the college are to be consulted on academic and administrative issues, and,
- Recommendations of the college faculty are to be forwarded to the dean, the president or his/her designee(s), and/or the Board of Governors as appropriate.
The Faculty Assembly
- The assembly shall consist of the dean, associate deans, assistant deans, and all other full-time or fractional-time members of the college faculty as defined by university statute and/or the WSU/AAUP employment agreement. The dean or her/his designee shall preside.
- The assembly shall have power to vote on all matters of educational policy and other substantive issues pertaining to the functioning and organization of the college which have previously been considered by the Faculty Council and, where appropriate or required, shall forward these recommendations to the appropriate University administrative bodies or officials. A simple majority of those present shall suffice to pass any action.
- The assembly shall meet in a regular meeting at least once in the fall and winter terms of each year, at a time set by the dean with at least one-week advance notice to the faculty with distribution of the agenda prior to the meeting.
- Special meetings may be called by the dean, or upon the petition of 10% of the members of the faculty, with at least one-week advance notice to the faculty, unless emergency conditions require shorter notice.
- No person shall have the right to vote by proxy or mail on any questions before the assembly.
The Faculty Council
- The council shall consist of the dean acting ex officio and eighteen elective members chosen from and by those eligible for membership in the assembly. No department shall have more than two elected representatives on the council at the same time.
- Elective members shall hold office for three years, the terms to be staggered so that one-third of the elective members are chosen each year.
- Election of the council members shall be in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article X. A vacancy in the council shall be filled for the remainder of the academic year by action of the council at the next meeting after the occurrence of the vacancy. A successor, to take office at the beginning of the next academic year, shall be elected for the remainder of the unexpired term, if any, at the first regular election after the vacancy occurs.
- At the council's first meeting of each year, the elected members will elect, by a majority of those present, one of its members to serve as secretary of the council for that year. The secretary of the council will (a) see to it that minutes of the council meetings are kept and distributed to members of the council; (b) serve as chair of the elections committee; (c) confer with the deans of the college to set the agenda for council meetings; and (d) serve as chair of Faculty Council and faculty assembly meetings. The secretary of the council may also serve to channel requests from the faculty of the college to have issues placed on the agenda for discussion as well as to channel requests from the faculty to appear before the council.
- A quorum shall consist of a majority of the elected members of the Faculty Council. No official business shall be conducted without a quorum.
- Consistent with applicable statutes of the Board of Governors and executive orders of the president, the council shall formulate educational policy affecting the college and shall concern itself with all matters dealing with the general welfare of the college. Substantive matters approved by the council must be forwarded to the Faculty Assembly for its further consideration as outlined in Section 7 of this article.
- At each meeting of the Faculty Assembly, the council shall report its activities since the last meeting of the assembly. The assembly shall have the power to approve or disapprove council decisions. In the event of disapproval, the dean shall appoint a committee consisting of three council members and three other assembly members who shall attempt to resolve the conflict. This committee shall report its conclusions to the Dean. The dean shall refer the committee report for decision to the council and then to the assembly at the earliest opportunity. The final decision of the assembly shall prevail.
- The council may request any college committee to appear before it (for a hearing) and may make necessary recommendations to the proper authority concerning the work of such committee. However, the council may not request information regarding individual cases from a specific faculty grievance body, the College Promotion and Tenure Committee, or the College Salary Committee.
- The council, in cooperation with the dean, may appoint committees to act as its agents for consultation with other university bodies.
- The council shall serve as the body through which inter-departmental differences affecting the welfare of the college shall be mediated. In issues pertaining to educational policy, any department or faculty member may present matters to the council for consideration and/or adjudication and the council may then make such recommendations as it deems proper.
- The meetings of the council shall be open to the faculty. The only exception to this policy shall occur in instances where the council shall determine, by majority vote, that sensitive issues are involved.
- All substantive issues brought before the council shall be discussed at the meeting where they are first introduced and shall then be tabled for one month prior to final consideration. A two-thirds vote of the council members in attendance shall be required to set aside this provision on any specific issue.
- Council shall meet at least once per month during the academic year unless the dean and faculty council secretary jointly cancel a meeting for good cause.
- Council, in consultation with the dean, shall review the departmental bylaws on a cyclical basis.
The dean of the college
- The dean is the administrative head of the college and the intermediary between the college and the university organization.
- The dean or his/her designated representative presides over the Faculty Assembly and the Faculty Council of the college.
- A department is an administrative unit of the college. The college has four departmental divisions, as listed in the appendix.
- The department chairperson, as the chief administrative officer of the department, shall inform the dean concerning departmental matters and the members of the department concerning college and university matters of interest to the department.
- In his/her absence, the department chairperson shall inform the dean of the individual who is designated as the acting chairperson. In the absence of both the regular chairperson and any acting chairperson, the dean or his/her designee shall assume temporary authority over the department.
- Departmental policies and general procedures shall be in conformity with those of the university and college and governing contractual agreements, policies, and statutes.
- In the event of a vacancy occurring in the office of the dean and in the absence of a governing contractual agreement, the Faculty Council and/or its designees shall meet with the provost or his/her designee regarding policies to be followed for the selection of a new dean.
- In the event of a vacancy occurring in the office of a department chairperson and in the absence of a governing contractual agreement, the dean and/or his/her designee shall consult with the tenured departmental faculty and/or their designees regarding procedures to be followed for the selection of a new chairperson.
- When new full-time or fractional-time members are to be added to a departmental faculty, the department chairperson shall consult with the existing tenured departmental faculty or with representatives, which it designates. The same procedure shall be followed for contract renewal of term faculty appointments.
Promotion and Tenure Committee
- The College Promotion and Tenure Committee shall consist of nine members elected for three-year terms. Terms shall be staggered so that one- third of the members are chosen each year. Tenured members of the faculty, except those holding or acting in the positions of Department Chairperson, Associate Chairperson, Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant Dean, Provost, Associate Provost, Assistant Provost, or President, shall be eligible for election to the Committee. The Promotion and Tenure Committee of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences shall include no fewer than two members from the Humanities, no fewer than two members from the Social Sciences, no fewer than two members from the life sciences, and no fewer than two members from the physical sciences and mathematics. The committee shall include not more than one member from any department at a time. No person, while serving as a member of the College Promotion and Tenure Committee, shall be considered for promotion by that body. A vacancy occurring in the committee shall be filled by the council in the manner described in article X, section 6.
- All procedures for recommending individuals for promotion and/or tenure shall be in accordance with the provisions of the prevailing contractual agreement with the faculty bargaining unit.
- The dean or her/his designee shall chair the committee.
- The merit review committee shall consist of three faculty members and one student from each division in the college. The committee shall include not more than one member from any department at a time. The faculty members shall be elected as described in Article X. Student members shall be chosen by the dean with input from the Faculty Council, Student Council, and other student organizations.
- The merit review committee shall meet annually to evaluate faculty in accordance with the contract.
Budget Advisory Committee
- The Budget Advisory Committee shall consist of five members, one from each division and one at-large; no department shall have more than one member. The chair of the committee shall be elected from among its members. Members will be elected for staggered two-year terms. In the first year, the top three vote-getters shall serve for two years, and the remaining two for one year. In accordance with Article XXXI of the WSU-AAUP/AFT Agreement, only faculty and academic staff holding tenure or employment security status are eligible to vote.
- After each meeting of the Budget Advisory Committee, a member of that committee shall make a report of activities and issues under consideration at the next scheduled meeting of Faculty Council. In the event that Faculty Council is not scheduled to meet within thirty days of a Budget Advisory Committee meeting, the Chair of that committee shall promptly email to members of the Faculty Council a report of activities and issues under consideration so that a special meeting of Faculty Council can be convened if appropriate.
- The members of all elective college offices, including college representatives on the Academic Senate, shall be chosen by secret ballot. The election procedure shall be determined by the Faculty Council.
- Candidates for all offices on college committees, including college members of the Academic Senate, may nominate themselves, or be nominated by department chairs or other faculty members in the college with the nominee's consent. These nominations may be supplemented by the College Elections Committee as provided in the next section.
- There shall be a College Elections Committee appointed by the Faculty Council, consisting of the secretary of the council as chairperson, and four other persons, not members of the council. The length of term shall be 3 years. Its functions shall be to conduct elections and to make such supplementary nominations as it deems necessary to: (1) insure equitable representation in the nominations and (2) to make certain that in all cases the number of candidates for the position(s) exceeds the number of vacancies for that position(s) to be filled by election, consistent with restrictions in departmental representation and such that no candidate can win election by default. Before all elections, the Elections Committee shall publish a list of the offices to be filled for both regular and unexpired terms. Dates for the opening and closing of nomination periods shall be announced by the committee. Ballots shall be accompanied by biographical statements with a hyperlink to the candidate's web page.
- All members of the Faculty Assembly shall be eligible to serve in and vote for all elective offices within the college, including college members of the Academic Senate, except as otherwise excluded in these bylaws.
- Election results shall be announced at the next meeting of the Faculty Council or shall be announced by other suitable means before that time.
- A vacancy occurring in the College Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Merit/Salary Committee, the Budget Advisory Committee, in the Faculty Council, or in the liberal arts and sciences representation to the Academic Senate shall be filled for the remainder of the academic year by the Faculty Council. Absent compelling circumstances, council shall select the eligible candidate who received the most votes in the previous election. A successor, to take office at the beginning of the next academic year, shall be elected for the remainder of an unexpired term at the first regular election following the occurrence of the vacancy.
Faculty Council Committees
- Curriculum Committee:
The Faculty Council shall have a standing committee on curriculum consisting of four members, at least two of whom must be current or former members of council. Members will be appointed by Faculty Council to staggered terms of 3 years. The Curriculum Committee will screen all course and curriculum proposals before they are submitted to the administration or forwarded to the full council for further discussion. Chairs will be notified of items that specifically deal with their departments and will be invited to attend the meetings where the items will be discussed. This committee shall also serve to screen general education courses proposed in liberal arts and sciences.
- Technology Committee:
The Faculty Council shall have a standing committee on technology consisting of five members. One member shall be elected from each of the four CLAS divisions (physical science, life science, social science, and humanities), with one member to be elected at large by and from Faculty Council. No more than one committee member may be elected from any department. The Technology Committee will make funding recommendations to the dean on omnibus proposals, faculty IT mini-grant proposals, and other technology issues requiring consultation. Faculty will be elected to staggered terms of three years in length.
After each meeting of the Technology Committee, a member of that committee shall make a report of activities and issues under consideration at the next scheduled meeting of Faculty Council. In the event that Faculty Council is not scheduled to meet within thirty days of a Technology Committee meeting, the chair of that committee shall promptly email to members of the Faculty Council a report of activities and issues under consideration so that a special meeting of Faculty Council can be convened if appropriate.
- Ad Hoc Committees:
Ad hoc committees shall be established as needed by the dean or by a majority vote of the Faculty Council. The dean and the Faculty Council shall determine the composition of such committees. Ad hoc committees shall deliver their reports to the dean and the Faculty Council.
- Amendments to these bylaws may be initiated in either of the following ways:
- Proposed amendments may be generated by an ad hoc bylaws committee of Faculty Council
- Or they may be generated by petition by at least ten full-time and/or fractional-time faculty members of no fewer than two different departments to the Faculty Council
All proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing to the secretary of Faculty Council for distribution to Faculty Council members and placement on the agenda of the next regular or special Faculty Council meeting following their submission.
Proposed amendments shall be discussed the first time they appear on the Faculty Council agenda; voting shall take place at the next regular or special meeting of Faculty Council. A vote of a majority of the entire membership of Faculty Council shall be necessary for approval.
Approved amendments to the bylaws shall be distributed to all faculty members of the college and placed on the agenda of the next regular or special meeting of the Faculty Assembly for consideration following their approval by Faculty Council. A two-thirds majority vote of those present at the Faculty Assembly shall be necessary for adoption.
Conduct of business
The current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall apply to all meetings of the Faculty Council and Faculty Council committees excepting when such rules are inconsistent with these bylaws; however, the rules may be suspended by a majority of Faculty Council members present.