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College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Senate Bylaws

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Bylaws of the College of Arts & Sciences Faculty and its Senate

  1. General Powers
    1. The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences (hereinafter the College) consists of those full-time voting members of the University faculty who hold primary appointments in the College.
    2. For the purpose of governing the College, the College faculty is responsible for all matters relating to the academic and educational affairs of the College of Arts and Sciences. The College Senate represents the faculty in governance in conformity with the University Charter, the Trustee Bylaws, and the University Senate Bylaws.
    3. The College faculty shall:
      1. provide for the establishment of curricula and courses in the College;
      2. determine degree requirements in the College;
      3. make recommendations for university services (e.g., University library, computing services, etc.) as they pertain to the College;
      4. adopt regulations governing its own procedures, with authority to enact, amend, and repeal its Bylaws;
      5. determine the duties that it will delegate to the College Senate;
      6. make recommendations for the conduct of formal exercises and public functions held under College auspices.
    4. The College faculty is free to:
      1. make recommendations on matters of general interest to the College;
      2. consider and make recommendations to the Dean about policies governing appointments, promotions, tenure, and dismissals in the College.
    5. Nothing in these Bylaws shall annul any provisions of written consent authorized by the Board of Trustees and existing prior to the adoption of these Bylaws.
  2. Dean of the College
    1. The Dean of the College, as chief representative and administrative officer of the College, shall have general administrative authority over College affairs. The Dean shall exercise leadership in recommending policies, in the introduction of educational ideas and proposals, and in the stimulation of College discussions leading to improvement of the College’s educational program. The Dean’s responsibilities shall include both strengthening the College and its programs, and advocating them to the University and to the community.
    2. The Dean, as chief administrative officer of the College, shall consult with department chairs, center directors, and program directors on matters that affect those units. The Dean shall have final authority to make budgetary decisions for the College.
  3. College Faculty Senate
    1. Mission Statement. The College Faculty Senate is a democratic forum responsible for the creation and review of policies concerning College matters. The College Faculty Senate is also the standing executive committee of the College faculty and, absent a general College faculty meeting, shall be responsible for fulfilling the functions delegated to the College faculty in Part I. This includes, but is not limited to, the creation and review of policies concerning curriculum, promotion and tenure, and student academic issues. The College Faculty Senate also integrates department and program interests and represents College-wide interests to College administration and the University Faculty Senate.
    2. The College Faculty Senate shall consist of the Senate officers, department representatives, and representatives of programs that have their own full-time faculty (each department or eligible program of the College shall elect one representative), hereinafter called Senators; six Senators-at-large; the president; the president-elect; the past-president; the chair of the Senate Committee on Committees and Nominations (COCAN); the secretary; the Dean; and one undergraduate and one graduate representative selected by the duly authorized University student governments. Academic programs without representation as defined in this section may each send a non-voting representative to the Senate by filing a request with the Senate Executive Committee.
    3. Senators shall be full-time faculty with a minimum appointment of fifty percent in the College. College faculty members holding joint appointments with at least twenty-five percent in a given department may be a Senator for that department. 
    4. The term of a departmental or at-large Senator shall be two years. Terms will be staggered so that about half the College Senate is elected to office each year. The following requirements also will apply to the Senate: 
      1. Because of the responsibility attendant upon membership in the College Senate, department chairpersons shall arrange teaching, research and extension schedules to permit attendance of Senators at regular meetings of the College Senate. Any Senator who has more than two unexcused absences from Senate meetings in any one semester shall forfeit the office. 
      2. When a vacancy occurs in the position of a department or program representative, the chair/program director shall be notified, and the department/program shall elect a new representative no later than thirty days after notification.
      3. If an at-large Senator forfeits office, the first alternate (defined as the at-large candidate with the highest, non-winning ballot count at the most recent election) shall be appointed to complete the term. If no alternate is available, the position will remain vacant until the next election cycle.
    5. Faculty holding administrative appointments at the level of department chair or higher are ineligible for election to the College Senate.
    6. Senators must be elected through secret ballot among eligible members of their department/program as defined in its bylaws. Such elections shall be held before the end of the spring semester of each year with the term of office beginning the following September. 
    7. To be eligible for at-large Senate seats, a faculty member must meet the requirements of section III.3. COCAN will prepare a slate of candidates for these positions, and the total number of nominees should, if feasible, be more than the number of at-large positions to be filled. The name of any eligible College faculty member who has communicated to the COCAN chair a willingness to stand for election shall appear on the ballot. Elections will be held in April of each year with the term of office beginning the following September. COCAN shall prepare, distribute, and count the ballots (whether paper or electronic), and shall announce the results promptly to the College Senate. Should a tie vote occur, it shall be resolved randomly, by flipping a coin or rolling a die or drawing straws.
    8. Meetings.
      1. The Senate shall meet at least twice each semester during the academic year, one of which shall occur in May, when elections shall be held. Meetings of the Senate shall be open to all members of the University community and invited guests. The Dean may assign an administrative assistant to aid the Senate when needed as determined by the Executive Committee and in consultation with the Dean.
      2. Ordinarily, the Senate shall meet the 3rd Monday of each month during the regular fall and spring semesters (September, October, November, December, February, March, April, and May). The Executive Committee shall prepare a list of the dates for the following academic year and present them to the Senate for ratification at the May Senate meeting. If changing these meeting dates is required or preferable due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the Executive Committee shall determine the alternative date by majority vote and promptly inform the Senators.
    9. Procedures for the College Senate.
      1. A quorum in the Senate shall consist of a majority of Senators.
      2. Only elected Senators, or in their absence formally designated departmental alternates, may act as official members of the Senate. To designate an alternate, an elected Senator must provide the secretary of the Senate or the president the name of the designated alternate before the relevant Senate meeting takes place.
      3. The Senate shall establish or amend its rules of procedure by a two-thirds majority of those voting yes or no, provided that any proposed change be presented in writing to the Senate at least one month before its consideration. 
      4. In cases not addressed by the rules of procedure set out in these Bylaws, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be the parliamentary authority.
      5. The president of the Senate shall appoint a parliamentarian, subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee, whose responsibilities will be to advise the president in procedural matters during meetings.
      6. The Senate approves motions with majority vote of those present and voting either yes or no.
    10. The Senate may make recommendations regarding any matter of interest to the Dean or to the College faculty. The College faculty shall have the right of reconsideration of motions by petition, which means that at least fifteen percent of full-time College faculty members must petition the Senate within two weeks of publication of the Senate minutes that announced approval of the motion. Confirmation of such a Senate motion must be made by an email ballot vote of the College faculty. COCAN shall distribute ballots to the College faculty within two weeks of receipt of the petition, and they must be returned within two weeks of the receipt of the petition. The motion will pass if approved by more than half of the College faculty voting yes or no.
    11. Matters may be brought before the Senate by the Dean, Senators, and officers, or at the request of College faculty members through Senators or officers.
    12. Officers.
      1. The Senate officers shall consist of the president, the president-elect, the past president, the secretary, and the chair of COCAN. Each serves a one-year term. The president-elect will become the president of the Senate for the academic year following the term as president-elect.
      2. The president-elect, the COCAN Chair, and the secretary will be elected in the Senate’s last regularly scheduled spring meeting. Nominations for these positions may be made from the floor or in writing to COCAN. The ballot shall, if feasible, consist of at least two nominees for each position. The name of any eligible College faculty member who wants to stand for election shall appear on the ballot. In the event three or more nominees are seeking an office, and if in the balloting no individual receives a majority, the subsequent ballot will be between the two nominees receiving the highest plurality. Should a tie vote occur, it shall be resolved randomly, by flipping a coin or rolling a die or drawing straws.
      3. If a vacancy occurs before an officer’s term has expired, a special election shall be held. The replacement officer then shall serve out the remainder of the unexpired term.
    13. Officers’ Duties.
      1. The president of the Senate shall preside over Senate meetings. In his/her absence, the president-elect shall preside.
      2. The president may assign duties to the president-elect.
      3. The secretary shall take minutes at all College Senate and College Faculty meetings and shall be responsible for their prompt distribution.
    14. Senate Executive Committee. 
      1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the president, the president-elect, the secretary, the past president, the Dean, the chairs of the Committees on Promotion and Tenure and Educational Affairs, and the chair of COCAN. 
      2. The president of the Senate shall chair and conduct meetings of the Executive Committee and will keep a record of official actions.
      3. The Executive Committee shall have the following authorities and responsibilities:
        1. to establish the agenda for Senate meetings;
        2. to refer appropriate matters to a standing committee of the Senate;
        3. to call special meetings of the Senate;
        4. to make recommendations to the Senate for action on any matter related to the College;
        5. to investigate any condition that could affect the College’s academic freedom or that of any of its members. The committee shall report its findings to the College faculty and College Senate;
        6. to discharge any other responsibility or authority that the Senate assigns to the Executive Committee.
      4. At the request of at least three members of the Executive Committee, the committee will convene, for the purpose of discussion only, a meeting without the Dean or any other College administrators present.
    15. Standing Committees of the Senate.
      1. Senate standing committees shall deal with questions of policy and procedure in their areas of jurisdiction.
      2. A committee chair may form subcommittees of Senate standing committees as necessary.
      3. Senate standing committees may initiate matters within their respective committee jurisdiction.
      4. Terms of service on standing committees shall be two years and should be staggered so that no more than a simple majority of the committee will be appointed each year. Members may serve more than one term, except for the special condition described for the Committee on Promotion and Tenure in section 15.J.iii.
      5. COCAN shall nominate the members of all standing committees except the Committee on Promotion and Tenure. New members shall be confirmed by vote of the Senate at the last meeting of the spring semester.
      6. The Chair of COCAN shall replace a committee member who is on sabbatical or other leave with someone who will serve out the unexpired term of the original appointee.
      7. Those who serve on standing or ad hoc Senate committees are not required to be College Senators, but they must be members of the College faculty.
      8. Those who serve in an administrative position at or above the level of department chair or academic program director (as defined in the Policy Guide for Department Chairs and Academic Program Directors) may not serve on standing committees, but may serve on ad hoc Senate committees when their expertise is deemed necessary.
      9. Committees shall have thirty business days (during regular fall and spring semesters) to act upon business items forwarded to them. If the committee cannot address an item within that time frame, the committee chair shall formally communicate to the originator of that business item the reason for the delay and the time frame by when the committee’s action will occur.
      10. The standing committees are: 
        1. The Committee on Committees and Nominations. COCAN shall consist of five faculty members and have at least one representative from each of the four portfolios in the College, to include Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, the Arts, and the Humanities.
          1. COCAN shall conduct officer elections as mandated in section III.12.B.
          2. COCAN shall conduct elections for at-large Senators as mandated in section III.7.
          3. COCAN shall nominate the members of all committees and their chairs, subject to confirmation by the Senate, except for the Executive Committee and the Committee on Promotion and Tenure.
          4. COCAN should complete its staffing of committees for the new academic year by the end of the preceding spring semester.
          5. To ensure the timely appointment of committees, the chair of COCAN will request nominations from all College faculty at the beginning of the spring semester.
        2. The Committee on Educational Affairs. The committee shall be composed of seven faculty members, including a minimum of two from the Natural Sciences, two from the Social Sciences, one from the Arts, one from the Humanities, and also a voting member of the Dean’s office assigned by the Dean. (This language is not meant to suggest that members can only be selected from any particular department or program.) This committee shall review and evaluate:
          1. courses and curricula; 
          2. new or provisional College-wide academic policies and degree requirements;
          3. changes in the structure of academic programs;
          4. developments in teaching and curricula that may affect the College; and 
          5. other matters related to educational affairs.
        3. The Committee on Promotion and Tenure. The committee shall consist of nine faculty members at the rank of associate professor or higher, including one CT faculty member from any portfolio and eight tenured faculty members. The tenured faculty members shall include two members from each of the following portfolios: the Natural Sciences, the Arts, the Humanities, and the Social Sciences. No College department/program shall have more than one member on the committee, and the chair of the committee shall be a full professor, preferably with prior experience on the committee. The membership of the committee should reflect, to the greatest degree practicable, the diversity of the College in terms of gender and ethnicity. Terms of service for the College Promotion and Tenure Committee shall be two years and are renewable for a second two-year term. Members may not serve again until two years have elapsed. Once empaneled, the committee members will elect their own chair.  In accordance with the membership requirements of this section, COCAN shall solicit nominees for election to the Committee on Promotion and Tenure from all eligible College faculty. COCAN’s ballot will allow each senator, regardless of portfolio or rank, to vote in all categories of committee membership. COCAN shall hold these elections in the spring semester. Unexpected vacancies shall be filled by election as soon as possible. The Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall:
          1. maintain oversight of departmental criteria for promotion and tenure and notify departments when criteria are vague or insufficient;
          2. represent the College faculty in reviewing promotion and tenure dossiers;
          3. recommend changes to College promotion and tenure policies and criteria for the Senate’s consideration; and
          4. address other matters related to promotion and tenure.

            In carrying out its duties, the committee will communicate its recommendations to the Dean in writing. 
        4. The Committee on Advisement and Retention. The committee shall be comprised of four faculty, two students, and a representative from the College’s Office of Undergraduate Academic Services. This committee shall, in consultation with faculty and department officials,
          1. propose ways to improve and maintain the quality of academic advising in the College and the University; and
          2. identify educational issues and needs related to the retention of students or specific student populations.
        5. The Grade Grievance Committee. This committee shall be composed of five faculty members. In the event of a grade grievance, the Dean shall appoint three of those members and two students to a hearing panel in accordance with the UD Student Guide to University Policies. The panel shall then conduct the hearing by the procedures set forth in the Guide.  
        6. The Committee on Faculty and Student Awards. This committee shall consist of five faculty members. It shall review nominations for College excellence awards in teaching, scholarship, advisement, and service, and shall convey its recommendations to the Dean, who shall present the awards on behalf of the College.
        7. The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. The Committee shall advise the Dean regarding recruitment and retention of minority faculty. The Committee shall work with the Dean and the College Senate to develop programs and activities that will enhance the diversity of the College faculty.
    16. Ad hoc Senate committees may be formed by the Executive Committee or the Senate to consider business outside the jurisdiction of the standing committees. Such actions require a majority vote of the Executive Committee or the Senate. With the consent of the Senate, the Executive Committee may select chairpersons and members of ad hoc committees from the faculty.
  4. College Faculty Meetings
    1. The Dean or the College Senate may call a College-wide faculty meeting at any time for informational or discussion purposes. If the College faculty believes a College-wide faculty meeting is necessary to conduct business outside the College Senate, it may be called by a petition signed by at least fifteen percent of the full-time College faculty, which will then be presented to the secretary of the College Senate. At these meetings the faculty shall automatically assume all the powers vested in it under Article I of these Bylaws. 
    2. The Dean of the College shall chair such College-wide faculty meetings. An Associate Dean or Deputy Dean shall preside in the absence of the Dean or when the Dean takes the floor to participate in debate.
    3. The secretary of the College Senate shall also serve as secretary of the College faculty and shall distribute the agenda and keep minutes of general College faculty meetings. The agenda of such a meeting shall be confined to the topic(s) announced in the petition for the meeting.
    4. A quorum shall consist of one-quarter of the voting membership of the College. Motions are approved by a majority vote of eligible College faculty present and voting either yes or no.
    5. A College faculty ballot may be called for on any nonprocedural motion by a one-third vote at any time during the meeting. The ballots shall be prepared, distributed, collected, and counted by COCAN in cooperation with the secretary of the College Senate.
    6. Motions acted upon by the College Senate but not previously acted on in a College faculty meeting may be introduced as old business, provided the College faculty receives written notification of the motion in the call to the meeting. Such motions shall appear first on the agenda.
  5. Departments

    The department, as established by the Board of Trustees, is the basic organizational unit of the College. Proposals to add, abolish, combine, move, or split departments of the College shall, after full consultation of all the members of the groups directly concerned and a positive vote by those groups, be referred by the Dean to the Senate for review and recommendations. Senate recommendations shall then be forwarded to the University Faculty Senate for consideration.
  6. Election of University Faculty Senators
    1. If the number of University Faculty Senators allotted to the College equals the number of departments/programs, then each department/program shall elect a Senator from its area.
    2. If the number of University Faculty Senators allotted to the College exceeds the number of departments/programs, then Senators beyond those allotted to departments/programs shall be elected by the at-large election process outlined in Section III. 7.
    3. If the number of University Faculty Senators allotted is less than the number of departments/programs, those departments/programs with the most full-time faculty will have priority. If a department/program is not allotted a Senator, then its faculty shall be joined with the next lowest number, or any department in the same portfolio that agrees to do so (by formal departmental faculty vote for collectively electing a Senator.)
  7. Election of Graduate Councilors and Alternates for the Graduate Council of the Graduate College
    1. To promote breadth of representation, no department shall be represented by more than one Graduate Councilor holding a primary appointment in that department.
    2. All Graduate Councilors and alternates shall interact frequently with the faculty members in the departments they represent regarding the business of the Graduate Council. Graduate Councilors and alternates who are elected to represent more than a single department have a duty to represent fairly the concerns of the faculty members in all the departments which they represent.
    3. Because of the responsibility attendant upon membership in the Graduate Council, department chairpersons shall arrange teaching, research and extension schedules to permit attendance of Graduate Councilors and alternates at regular meetings of the Graduate Council. Any Graduate Councilor who has more than two unexcused absences from Graduate Council meetings in any one semester shall forfeit the office and be replaced by an alternate.
    4. In the first round of elections to the Graduate Council (conducted in the spring of 2019), COCAN shall by random selection designate half of the winning candidates to serve a one-year term, and the other half to serve a two-year term, to establish the system of staggered terms required by the Graduate College’s Bylaws.
    5. To provide strong connections of Graduate Councilors and alternates with the faculty members and programs they represent, the seats for Graduate Councilors shall be distributed as follows:

      Natural Sciences Portfolio (5 total):
      Biological Sciences – 1 seat
      Chemistry & Biochemistry – 1 seat
      Mathematical Sciences – 1 seat
      Physics & Astronomy – 1 seat
      Psychological & Brain Sciences and Linguistics & Cognitive Science – 1 seat

      Humanities Portfolio (4 total):
      English – 1 seat
      Languages, Literatures & Cultures – 1 seat
      Africana Studies, Art Conservation, Art History, History, Philosophy – 2 seats

      Social Sciences Portfolio (3 total):
      Joseph R. Biden, Jr., School of Public Policy & Administration – 1 seat
      Communication, Political Science & International Relations, Women and Gender Studies – 1 seat
      Anthropology, Fashion & Apparel Studies, Sociology & Criminal Justice – 1 seat

      Arts Portfolio (1 seat):
      Art & Design, Music, and Theatre (1 seat)

      Nondepartmental Group (1 seat):
      English Language Institute and Associate in Arts Program – 1 seat
    6. If a department has its own Graduate Councilor, the departmental faculty shall elect from among their departmental colleagues a Graduate Councilor and one alternate by secret ballot of all full-time faculty members in a manner consistent with the department’s Bylaws, the College Bylaws, and the Graduate College’s Bylaws. Each full-time faculty member shall have the right to propose an eligible faculty member for nomination to be Graduate Councilor.
    7. The English Language Institute shall provide from among its full-time faculty who are engaged in graduate education both a Graduate Councilor and an alternate, to be elected collectively by the full-time faculty members in the English Language Institute and the Associate in Arts Program.
    8. If a department shares a Graduate Councilor and an alternate with at least one other department, the following procedures shall apply.
      1. Each department that includes faculty members active in some aspect of graduate education shall have the right to choose one faculty member as a candidate for election to be a Graduate Councilor. Each full-time faculty member shall have the right to propose a faculty member from their department for nomination to be a Graduate Councilor and to vote on the department’s nomination. Each department’s candidate shall be chosen in an election conducted by secret ballot consistent with the department’s Bylaws.
      2. The College Faculty Senate’s Committee On Committees And Nominations (COCAN) shall designate an election officer, if possible from among its members, to organize and conduct the elections for Graduate Councilors and alternates of departmental groups. Ballot materials shall include a short biographical statement, of 100 words or less, submitted by each candidate summarizing the candidate’s qualifications for the Graduate Council.
      3. COCAN shall not accept a candidate nominated by a department if the election of that candidate would result in more than one person holding a primary appointment in that department being a Graduate Councilor.
      4. In elections among groups of departments to fill two seats, each eligible voter shall have the right to cast two unranked votes. The two candidates receiving the most votes shall be the Graduate Councilors; all other candidates shall be alternates.
      5. In elections among groups of departments in which more than two candidates are nominated to fill a single seat, voters shall identify their preferences in rank order, designating their first choice, second choice and any subsequent choices. In such cases, if no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes, the candidate receiving the fewest first-choice votes shall be eliminated. The ballots cast for that candidate shall be reviewed and reallocated to those voters’ second-choice candidates. This process shall be repeated, sequentially eliminating the last-place remaining candidate and reallocating each vote to the next chosen candidate in order of priority, until a candidate has received a majority of votes cast or until only two candidates remain. The candidate with the most votes shall be the Graduate Councilor; all other candidates shall be alternates.
      6. Should a tie vote occur, it shall be resolved randomly, by flipping a coin or rolling a die or drawing straws.
    9. The apportionment of Graduate Councilors and alternates shall be reconsidered by the College Senate whenever the number of Graduate Councilors assigned to the College changes or whenever a simple majority of the College Senate votes to reconsider the apportionment.
  8. Amendments and Implementation

These Bylaws may be amended at a College Senate or faculty meeting, provided previous notice of intention to amend has been given in the call for the meeting in which proposed amendments are to be considered. In either case, of the votes cast yes or no by Senators or faculty, two-thirds in approval is required to amend the Bylaws. 

Bylaws adopted December 1969, including amendments and revisions of March and April 1972, February 1974, May 1974, 1976, and 1977, June 1980, May 1982, September 1983, May 1984 and 1985, November and December 1989, March, April, May, September, October, November of 1990, June 1992, June, September of 1994, May of 1996.

The current College Senate Bylaws were adopted in May 2002, and revised in September and October 2002; April 2003; October 2008; May 2009; October 2009; April 2011; May 2012; April 2015; May 2015; September 2015; April 2016; May 2016; April 2019.

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