Constitution and Bylaws

FH 1.4 Constitution and Bylaws of the Academic Faculty and Faculty Senate

Preamble

No less than its predecessors, the modern institution of higher learning is a guardian and interpreter of intellectual tradition. It is on the competence, integrity and devotion of its faculty to professional ideals that the university must depend for success.

In order for the academic faculty to carry out the ideals and responsibilities set forth above; and

In order for the faculty to more fully and effectively serve the university by participating in the consideration of  academic policies and procedures; and

In order to facilitate participation and provide channels for faculty recommendations and suggestions to the president of the university via the provost, so the president may have advice and assistance from faculty in matters pertaining to the educational interests of the university; and

In order to allow the president via the chief operating officer to assign to faculty problems for investigation and report and to receive from them their recommendations and reports on their initiatives; and

In order to maintain morale and augment understanding and cooperation between the faculty and administration.

The faculty of Florida Tech is organized as the academic faculty; its membership, functions and procedures, being set forth in the following constitution and bylaws:

Article I: The Academic Faculty

Section 1: Membership

The academic faculty of Florida Tech shall consist of the university president, the chief operating officer, vice president for academic affairs, deans, the heads of departments, those members of the faculty holding rank of professor, research professor, university professor, associate professor, associate research professor, assistant professor, assistant research professor, instructor, librarians holding faculty rank, and such other members as may be duly elected provided for in the bylaws.

Section 2: Functions

The functions of the academic faculty shall be to approve candidates for degrees; to refer to the Faculty Senate’s executive committee such matters as may affect the welfare of its members and the academic policies of the university for investigation and action; to receive reports from the Faculty Senate of its actions; and to act on any other matters brought before it by the Faculty Senate.

Section 3: Officers

The officers of the academic faculty shall consist of a chair and a secretary. The vice presdient for academic affairs shall serve as chair, and he shall appoint the secretary and, when necessary, a presiding officer to serve in his/her absence.

Section 4: Meetings

A meeting of the academic faculty shall be held at least once each year, during which meeting the chair of each of the standing committees will deliver their reports. The Faculty Senate may request that the chair call a special meeting of the academic faculty.

Article II: The Faculty Senate

Section 1: Definition

The academic faculty shall elect from among its members an executive committee to be known as the Faculty Senate.

Section 2: Membership

The Faculty Senate shall consist of those members elected by the faculty members of the academic units, as provided for in the bylaws.

Section 3: Functions

The functions of the Faculty Senate shall be to consider policies affecting the academic activities of the university, faculty, welfare, administration, scholarship, awarding of degrees and such other matters as may maintain and promote the best interests of the university. The Faculty Senate shall recommend to the vice president for academic affairs the establishment of new policies or changes to existing policies and report its actions to the academic faculty.

Section 4: Officers

The officers of the Faculty Senate shall consist of a president, a president-elect and a secretary elected by the Faculty Senate from among its members. The election of officers shall be as provided for in the bylaws.

Section 5: Committees

The standing committees of the Faculty Senate shall be:

  • Executive Committee
  • Welfare Committee
  • Scholarship Committee
  • Faculty Excellence Committee
  • Academic Policies Committee
  • Administrative Policies Committee
  • Technology, Resources and Infrastructure (TRI) Committee

Special committees of the Faculty Senate may be appointed by the Executive Committee. The composition of the standing and special committees and the duties of the former shall be as provided for in the bylaws.

Section 6: Meetings

The Faculty Senate shall hold one regular meeting each month during the months of September through April at such times as specified in the bylaws.

Special meetings of the Faculty Senate may be called by the presiding officer at any time, including May, June, July and August, provided a majority of the members of the executive committee or their replacements, deem it necessary.

Except for meetings of the executive committee, all meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be open to any member of the faculty. Such visitors may be invited by a member of the executive committee to participate in particular discussions.

Any member of the faculty may present any problem or suggestion to the Faculty Senate for its consideration, provided the member notifies the senate president at least one week before the meeting at which he/she would like to appear.

The Faculty Senate may go into executive session by approval of the members present.

Article III: Rules of Order

www.rulesonline.com/

The faculty may amend the constitution during any regularly scheduled meeting by a two-thirds’ majority vote of the members present. A proposed amendment must be recommended by at least ten members of the faculty, submitted to the Faculty Senate at their next regular meeting, and submitted with the recommendations of the Faculty Senate to the members of the faculty in writing at least ten days before the next meeting at which action on the amendment could then be taken.

An Amendment shall become effective when approved by the Academic Faculty.

Bylaws

Article I: The Academic Faculty

Section 1: Membership

A petition for the election to membership in the academic faculty of any person who is not automatically a member as prescribed in Article I, Section I, of the Constitution, must be submitted to the Faculty Senate and referred by this body, with its recommendation, to the academic faculty for action at the next regular meeting. Election to membership shall be by a simple majority vote of the members present.

Section 2: Quorum

A quorum for any meeting of the academic faculty shall be that number of members deemed necessary by the presiding officer to transact any business.

Article II: The Faculty Senate

Section 1: Membership

The members of the faculty, voting by academic unit for their individual representatives, shall elect members of the Faculty Senate for a three-year term. Each academic unit shall have one member on the Faculty Senate and an additional member for every ten full-time faculty.

The term academic unit throughout this section shall have the following meanings:

  1. In the colleges, a department. For the purpose of senate apportionment, a program outside any department shall be attached to a department within the same college.
  2. Each school as a whole within a college.
  3. The library.

The vice president for academic affairs shall notify the head of each academic unit as to the total number of senate members to which that academic unit is entitled for its first election. This original allocation shall continue for one year. Thereafter, the president of the senate shall obtain the new allocation from the vice president for academic affairs in February of each calendar year. This new allocation shall be given to the head of each academic unit in time for the March election and will control the number elected to the senate at that time. If one member is gained, one shall be elected for three years, and one for two years, etc. If one member is lost in the new allocation, one less member shall be elected to the senate at that election.

Elections shall be held in March of each year, terms of office to begin with adjournment of the April meeting of the senate. The election of members to the senate shall be by secret ballot.

Vacancies created in the senate for any cause shall be filled for the unexpired term by supplementary elections within the academic unit concerned as soon as the vacancy occurs.

Each academic unit is authorized to hold a special election for the purpose of selecting temporary replacements for any senate member who will not be in residence for three or more consecutive months.

Any member of the academic faculty is eligible for membership on the senate.

Section 2: Officers

The officers of the senate shall be elected at the regular meeting held in April of each year.

Elections of officers shall be by a simple majority vote. In the case of the withdrawal of an officer other than the president by resignation or other cause, the senate should elect a successor for the unexpired term at the next regular meeting. In the case of the withdrawal of the president, the president-elect shall serve the president's unexpired term as well as the normal term as their president's successor.

The retiring officers shall serve at the April meeting, and the retiring president shall give the Faculty Senate report at the annual meeting of the academic faculty. The incoming officers shall assume their respective offices on adjournment of the April meeting.

Section 3: Meetings

The Faculty Senate shall hold its first regular monthly meeting on the first Tuesday in September and its regular meetings thereafter at such times as designated by the Executive Committee.

Section 4: Quorum

Fifty-one percent of the elected members of the Faculty Senate shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business.

Section 5: Committees

The chair and at least one voting member from each committee of the Faculty Senate shall be members of that body, and all other members shall be from the faculty. The basic function of the committees shall be to investigate and recommend changes in matters pertaining to the academic affairs of the university. They may do this either on their own initiative or on instruction from the Faculty Senate. The faculty, provost or the president of the university may ask through the Faculty Senate that the committee investigate and report on any academic matter. It is not envisioned that these committees shall operate in any administrative capacity; they will report only to the Faculty Senate.

The composition and duties of the standing committees of the Faculty Senate shall be as follows:

  1. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee: The committee shall be composed of the officers and chairs of the standing committees of the Faculty Senate and the immediate past president. The committee shall be chaired by the president of the senate. This committee coordinates the business to come before the senate.
  2. Welfare Committee: The committee shall be concerned with policies that affect faculty welfare and morale. This committee should make recommendations concerning fringe benefits, tuition benefits, equity raises and other related matters.
  3. Scholarship Committee: The committee shall be responsible for the administration and financial aspects of the senate’s scholarship program. The committee shall determine the number of scholarships and the departments to which scholarships will be awarded.
  4. Faculty Excellence Committee: The committee shall be concerned with providing opportunities that emphasize people and activities that significantly contribute to the excellence of the university's distinctive educational programs. Duties include providing recommendations on the use of monies for professional development; recognizing outstanding faculty in the areas of teaching, research and service; coordinating forums for faculty discussion on educational issues; and disseminating information about effective teaching.
  5. Academic Policies Committee: The committee shall be concerned with all policies of an academic nature that pertain to students, including recruitment, entrance requirements, class attendance regulations, student counseling, and placement and academic misconduct.
  6. Administrative Policies Committee: The committee shall be concerned with policies that relate to the employment conditions of the faculty and make recommendations relative to such policies as qualifications for promotion, contract renewals, research, teaching loads, extracurricular assignments, summer employment, absence, sabbatical leaves, travel, dissemination of information to and from the faculty, academic freedom and related policies.
  7. Technology Resources and Infrastructure (TRI) Committee: The committee shall be concerned with issues that relate to technology, resources and infrastructure critical to faculty success in the core areas of teaching, research and service. As an example, the committee shall provide recommendations to the faculty senate with regards to requirements in information technology, information assurance, educational equipment, learning management systems, enterprise architecture considerations, facilities and critical technologies, and resources and infrastructure for faculty to conduct, evolve and excel in their teaching, research and service roles/missions. The committee will interact and participate with university committees as needed to represent faculty interests relative to technology, resources and infrastructure.

Order of Business

Section 1: The Academic Faculty

  • Call to order, reading and approval of minutes
  • Unfinished business
  • Reports from the Faculty Senate
  • New Business

Section 2: The Faculty Senate

  • Call to order, reading and approval of minutes
  • Reports
  • Unfinished business
  • New Business
  • Discussion and Adjournment
     

Amendment

The academic faculty may amend these bylaws at any of the regularly scheduled meetings by a simple majority vote of the members present. A proposal for amendment must be recommended by at least three members of the faculty, submitted in writing and, with the recommendation of the Faculty Senate, submitted to the members of the academic faculty at least ten days before the next meeting at which time action on the amendment could be taken. An amendment shall become effective when approved by the faculty.