Bylaws of the College of Arts & Sciences Faculty and its Senate
- I. 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:
- A. provide for the establishment of curricula
and courses in the College;
- B. determine degree requirements in the
- C. make recommendations for university
services (e.g., University library, computing services, etc.) as they pertain
to the College;
- D. adopt regulations governing its own
procedures, with authority to enact, amend, and repeal its Bylaws;
- E. determine the duties that it will delegate
to the College Senate;
- F. make recommendations for the conduct of
formal exercises and public functions held under College auspices.
- 4. The College faculty is free to:
- A. make recommendations on matters of general
interest to the College;
- B. 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.
- II. 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.
- III. 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
- 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:
- A. Any Senator who has more than
two unexcused absences from Senate meetings in any one semester shall forfeit
- B. 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.
- C. 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.
- A. 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.
- B. 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
- 9. Procedures for the College Senate.
- A. A quorum in the Senate shall
consist of a majority of Senators.
- B. 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.
- C. 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.
- D. 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.
- E. 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
- F. 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
- A. 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.
- B. 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
- C. 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
- A. The president of the Senate
shall preside over Senate meetings. In his/her absence, the president-elect
- B. The president may assign
duties to the president-elect.
- C. 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.
- A. 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.
- B. The president of the Senate
shall chair and conduct meetings of the Executive Committee and will keep a
record of official actions.
- C. The Executive Committee shall
have the following authorities and responsibilities:
- i. to establish the agenda for
- ii. to refer appropriate matters
to a standing committee of the Senate;
- iii. to call special meetings of
- iv. to make recommendations to
the Senate for action on any matter related to the College;
- v. 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
- vi. to discharge any other
responsibility or authority that the Senate assigns to the Executive Committee.
- D. 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.
- A. Senate standing committees
shall deal with questions of policy and procedure in their areas of
- B. A committee chair may form
subcommittees of Senate standing committees as necessary.
- C. Senate standing committees may
initiate matters within their respective committee jurisdiction.
- D. 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.
- E. 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.
- F. 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.
- G. 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
- H. 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.
- I. 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.
- J. The standing committees
- i. 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.
- a. COCAN shall conduct officer
elections as mandated in section III.12.B.
- b. COCAN shall conduct elections
for at-large Senators as mandated in section III.7.
- c. 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.
- d. COCAN should complete its
staffing of committees for the new academic year by the end of the preceding
- e. 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.
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:
courses and curricula;
new or provisional College-wide academic policies and degree requirements;
changes in the structure of academic programs;
developments in teaching and curricula that may affect the College; and
other matters related to educational affairs.
- iii. 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. 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 this
committee shall be two years and are not renewable. 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
- a. maintain oversight of departmental
criteria for promotion and tenure and notify departments when criteria are
vague or insufficient;
- b. represent the College faculty
in reviewing promotion and tenure dossiers;
- c. recommend changes to College
promotion and tenure policies and criteria for the Senate’s consideration; and
- d. address other matters related
to promotion and tenure.
- In carrying out its duties, the
committee will communicate its recommendations to the Dean in writing.
- iv. 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
- a. propose ways to improve and
maintain the quality of academic advising in the College and the University;
- b. identify educational issues
and needs related to the retention of students or specific student populations.
- v. 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.
- vi. 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.
- vii. 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.
- IV. 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
- 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
- 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
- V. 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.
- VI. Election of University
- 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
- VII. Amendments and
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.