Faculty Handbook 2017-2018

Faculty Meeting Procedures

General Principles for Faculty Meetings

  1. The faculty shall consist of the President, Vice Presidents, Provost or Dean of the College, and all officers of instruction above and including the rank of instructor. The faculty shall meet upon the call of the President or the Provost or Dean of the College and shall make rules governing its own procedure and shall constitute such committees as may be appropriate. The faculty shall prescribe, subject to the approval of the Board, requirements for admission, for courses of study, for degrees, and for graduation, and shall recommend to the Board candidates for all academic and honorary degrees. The faculty is responsible for promoting the education and the welfare of students as defined within the Statement of Purpose of the College.

    To this end, the faculty, through policy and participation, shall supervise all student organizations and oversee all other student activities sanctioned by the College. Each member of the faculty shall contribute appropriately to the fulfillment of these responsibilities. (By-Laws of Hendrix College)

  2. The Faculty Handbook should consistently use the term “faculty” to refer to the definition in the By-Laws. Informally, the term “voting faculty” may be used in other places when additional clarity is needed. The By-Laws are clear about the definition of the faculty. However informally, the term faculty is often used to refer to any person who teaches a course, lab, or activity. Although these persons are faculty in the sense that they participate in the instruction of students, many do not meet the requirements of faculty as defined in the By-Laws.
  3. The President presides over the faculty and reviews the agenda for faculty meetings with the Provost. Typically the President calls meetings to order and then turns the meeting over to the Provost. In the absence of the President, The Provost presides at faculty meetings. The Council on Academic Policy sets the agenda for faculty meetings.
  4. In absentia ballots or proxies may not be used in faculty meetings. Members must be present to vote. The faculty usually meets once each month when the College is in session. Occasionally, additional meetings are held on call. All members of the faculty are expected to attend faculty meetings and should inform the Provost if they expect to be absent.
  5. The standard agenda order Call to Order, Invocation, Brief Break, Committee Reports, Action Items, Discussion Items, New Business, and Announcements.
  6. Faculty meetings generally follow Robert’s Rules of Order when the faculty has no designated procedure. In the language of Robert’s Rules, the faculty has not adopted Robert’s Rules, but considers Robert’s Rules as persuasive. [This means Robert’s Rules carry weight in the absence of overriding reasons for following a different course, but they are not binding on the body.] In particular, the following items are helpful to keep in mind:

              a. The quorum is a majority of the faculty as defined in Section 16 of the College By-Laws.

              b. The purpose of discussion items is for the faculty to make suggestions and critiques to and with the sponsors of the item so that changes might be made before formal action is taken. Discussion items are not subject to formal amendments or votes. When a discussion item returns as an action item, it is considered to have been moved for adoption by the originating committee, whether or not the motion is explicitly stated. Since action items come from committees, they do not require a second. As motions, action items are debatable and subject to amendments (see Item 8 below).

              c. A motion is generally decided by voice vote, but in cases where the result is unclear to the chair, the decision will be by a show of hands. Any faculty member can ask the chair for a show of hands after a voice vote. At any time, a faculty member can move that any vote be decided by secret ballot. The motion for a secret ballot must be seconded and then obtain a majority vote.

              d. A motion to override any existing rule requires a second and a 2/3 majority to pass.

              e. Teaching faculty without rank and administrative staff members are welcome to attend faculty meetings but cannot vote. Other visitors are allowed to attend only after a motion, second, and a majority vote to suspend the regular rules and invite the visitors to enter the meeting.

  7. With four exceptions all motions are discussed at two meetings, once for discussion and once for action.

              a. Curricular proposals are acted on in one meeting unless they involve the creation of new majors or minors.

           b. Policy proposals from the Committee on Student Life are considered adopted upon presentation as part of a committee report unless a faculty member objects from the floor.

              c. Approval of the graduation list.

              d. Approval of the annual report from the Committee on Committees concerning committee charges and memberships.

  8. For an item to be considered at a faculty meeting, it must be made generally available to faculty members electronically by noon on the Monday before the meeting. A majority vote of those present is required to allow consideration of an item not made available according to this timetable. New business items are an exception. Faculty members who plan to offer amendments should submit them electronically to the Office of the Provost prior to the faculty meeting. Amendments proposed during the faculty meeting will not be voted on until they have been put into a format—written or electronic—that is clearly visible to the faculty.