Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee

Response to charge S-0404 Faculty Departmental Voting Rights

October 25, 2004


A.  Charge

Faculty Departmental Voting Rights:  Consider the request by the incoming chair of the School of Engineering Rules and Procedures Committee that the Senate recommend to the Board of Governors that language be added to University Regulations governing faculty voting rights in departments regarding joint, 50/50 departmental appointments.  In particular investigate if the following or similar language would be appropriate:  "Voting members of the faculty shall be those faculty members who occupy more than 50 percent of a position in the current budget, and of those holding 50/50 appointments, a declaration shall be made by the faculty member at the time of initial appointment as to the department in which the voting right shall reside."

Above charge was revised in October 2004, and the following was added to the charge:  Consider and make recommendations regarding creation of guidelines and/or special deanships for dealing with jointly appointed faculty.

Report to Senate Executive Committee by January 2, 2005.

B.  Summary and Background

Following the request of the School of Engineering Rules of Procedure Committee, we researched any reference to faculty departmental voting rights in University Regulations and found none.  Thus we are proposing below a new section 2.1.1.B to be inserted into the section of University Regulations that relates to the membership of faculty members in various legislative bodies.  There is sufficient ambiguity on the rules for these voting rights among the faculty in departments that we believe a new University regulation is in order.

We spoke to representatives of the School of Engineering, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Cook College, where there are a number of split and joint appointments.  Consistent with the advice we received we have decided upon a rather flexible policy which, though mandating the voting rights of each faculty member in a department with more than 50% of his/her budgetary line and in the primary department where his/her personnel actions are processed, allows the voting faculty of any academic department or unit to grant voting rights to any member of the University Community, either individually or more generally by the bylaws of the unit.  For example, the bylaws of a department or unit may grant voting rights to those faculty with 50% or less of their line in that department, if approved by a vote of the faculty of that department or unit.  This approval should be given only for those individuals with a substantial involvement in the department or unit.

We do not believe that this new regulation would make any major changes in the present situation except to codify it.  Hopefully this new regulation will make the rules clear to newly hired faculty members on split or joint appointments.  Our purpose was certainly not to remove voting rights that are presently held, but we do recommend that departments and units may now wish to specifically consider in their bylaws the voting rights of faculty with split or joint appointments.

We believe that the last part of this charge, that was recently added, and that refers to the creation of guidelines for generally dealing with faculty with joint appointments, is an entirely different issue on which our committee will consider and report separately at a later time.

C.  Recommendation

1. We recommend amendment of University Regulations and Procedures Manual, Book 2, Section 2.1.1 Membership by inserting a new section between sections A and B and re-ordering the remaining sections.  Except for the insertion, all other sections remain unchanged.  The additional section reads as follows:

2.1.1 Membership

A (remains unchanged).  The legislative body of each college or school except as specified below shall consist of the President of the University, the Provost, and the following officers of that college or school:  the Dean, the professors, the associate professors, the assistant professors, the instructors who have served at least one year; members of the research and extension staff of the college or school of the equivalent rank and service; and such other officers of the University as the legislative body may designate.  Other officers may be invited by any legislative body to its meetings and may take part in the discussion but shall not vote.

B (insertion).  The voting faculty body of an academic department or unit shall consist of its tenured and tenure-track faculty members, including the professors, the associate professors, the assistant professors, the instructors who have served at least one year, its research and extension staff of the equivalent rank and service, members on leave of an equivalent rank, and such other members of the University community as the voting faculty body may designate according to the bylaws of the department or unit.  In the case of faculty members with split or joint appointments between two or more departments or academic units, the voting faculty body shall include those members who have more than 50% of their budgetary line in the department or unit and those faculty members for whom the department or unit is their primary one, i.e., the department or unit that processes their personnel actions.  In addition, the voting faculty body of their secondary department or unit may also designate them as voting members consistent with the bylaws of the department or unit, such approval being based on substantial involvement of the member in that unit.

2. The previous Section B becomes C, and the previous Section C becomes D.  These sections relate to the membership of the graduate schools, and no change is proposed.