Faculty Handbook 2023-2024

B.2.b. Faculty Meetings

General Principles for Faculty Meetings (revised in November 2022)

1. The Faculty of Hendrix College is defined in Section 16 of the Hendrix College By-Laws:
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.

2. The Faculty Handbook should consistently use the term “Faculty” to refer to the definition in By-Law 16.

3. Either the President or the Provost can call a Faculty meeting to order. Typically, the Provost calls the meetings to order and acts as Chair.  The Council on Academic Policy sets the agenda for Faculty meetings.

4. The Faculty customarily meets once each month when the College is in session. Additional meetings can be called by the President or the Provost. 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 is Call to Order, Reading of the Hendrix Statement of Purpose, Committee Reports, Action Items, Discussion Items, New Business, and Announcements.

6. 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.

7. The Provost will, as appropriate, make a call for interested Faculty to serve as Parliamentarian. In consultation with the Council on Academic Policy, the Provost will appoint a Parliamentarian to a four-year term. This Faculty member will be familiar with Robert's Rules of Order and the exceptions to those rules as detailed in subsequent sections of Faculty Meeting Procedures. The Parliamentarian is charged with being present and ready to advise the Chair on procedural matters during Faculty meetings. 

8. Quorum and Membership
      a. The quorum is a majority of the Faculty as defined in Section 16 of the Hendrix By-Laws.
      b. Only members of the Faculty as defined in Section 16 of the Hendrix By-Laws may vote.
      c. In absentia ballots or proxies may not be used in Faculty meetings. Members must be present to vote.
      d. Classroom teachers 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 2/3 vote to suspend the regular rules. The Chair then invites the visitors to enter the meeting.

9. Faculty Meeting Procedures
      a. All proposals appear on the agenda at two successive Faculty meetings.  At the first meeting the proposal appears as a discussion item and at the second meeting as an action item.  There are four exceptions to this rule:
           i. Curricular proposals are acted on in one meeting unless they involve the creation of new majors or minors.
           ii. 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.
           iii. Approval of the graduation list.
           iv. Approval of the annual report from the Committee on Committees concerning committee charges and memberships.

      b. Discussion Items
           i. When a proposal appears as a discussion item, Faculty are invited to discuss the item, ask questions of the sponsors, and recommend changes to the proposal.
           ii. At this stage, such recommendations are not considered as formal amendments, but simply as suggestions for revision.  The intention is for the sponsors to have an opportunity to receive feedback and then to make changes to proposal before it returns as an action item.

      c. Action Items
           i. When a discussion item returns as an action item, it is the expectation that a vote on the item will be held at that meeting.
           ii. If an action item has been revised since it was a discussion item, the sponsors typically give a brief presentation of any changes and the justifications for those changes.
           iii. As an action item, the proposal is discussable and is open to amendments until the Faculty is ready to vote.
           iv. Sponsors of an action item may withdraw the item before any votes are taken on amendments or the item itself.
            v. When it is clear that discussion on an action item is ending, the Chair asks if there are objections to moving to a vote.  If there are no such objections, the Faculty moves to vote on the item.

      d. Amendments
           i. Amendments are formal proposals to alter a proposal that is on the agenda as an action item.
           ii. If an amendment is offered as a friendly amendment, the sponsors may accept it, or not.  If the amendment is accepted as friendly, the wording change is noted by displaying it where the Faculty can view it.  The Chair notes that the amendment has been accepted.  If the amendment is not accepted as friendly, the amendment can be withdrawn or it can be posed as a formal amendment.
           iii. Amendments (other than friendly amendments) must be seconded, are debatable, and are adopted by a majority vote.
           iv. Once seconded, amendments must be displayed for viewing by the Faculty.  If a Faculty member has an amendment prepared before the meeting, it is strongly recommended that the amendment be sent to the Provost for inclusion with the agenda.  In this case, the Provost must receive the amendment no later than Friday of the week before the meeting.
           v. Second order amendments (amendments to amendments) are in order.  Third order amendments are not in order.  However, Faculty may offer a third-order amendment as a separate, first-order amendment.

      e. Voting Procedure
           i. A majority vote is a vote of more than half of the Faculty present voting for or against the action item or procedural motion (not including abstentions).
           ii. The default voting method is by voice vote.
           iii. If a voice vote is indeterminate, the Chair or any Faculty member can move for a count of hands.  This motion does not need a second, is not debatable, and does not require a vote.
           iv. At any time, any Faculty member may make a motion for a secret, written ballot for any pending action item or procedural motion.  This motion requires a second, is not debatable, and requires a majority vote.  If the motion passes, the Chair makes arrangements for conducting the secret ballot.
           v. Once voting on amendments is completed, a vote is taken on the original item (as amended, or not).

      f. New Business.  Generally, new business items involve requests to Academic Policy to consider that a particular issue be studied with a report back to the Faculty at a later meeting.  New Business proposals do not require a vote by the Faculty. However, if a Faculty member is dissatisfied with the resulting (in)action from Academic Policy on a requested report, the Faculty member can make a motion to suspend the rules to reintroduce the issue under New Business. If passed, AP must place the item on the agenda of the next or subsequent meeting.

10. Procedural Motions
      a. Suspend the Rules.  A motion to override any existing rule requires a second, is not debatable, and requires a 2/3 vote to be adopted.

      b. Calling the Question
           i. Calling the question is a motion to end debate and move to voting on an action item.
           ii. This motion must be seconded, is not debatable, and requires a 2/3 vote to pass.
           iii. If the motion passes, the Faculty immediately move to a vote on the action item.

      c. Limit Debate
           i. When a proposal appears as an action item, Faculty may make a motion to place a time limit for discussion on the item.
           ii. The motion requires a second, is not debatable, and requires a 2/3 vote to pass.
           iii. If the motion passes, upon reaching the limit time the Chair immediately calls for a vote on the action item.

11. At the discretion of Academic Policy, faculty meetings may be held in remote or hybrid formats as needed. Decisions will be reported when the agendas are distributed.  For remote or hybrid meetings, members of the Faculty who are logged into the meeting are considered present and allowed to comment and vote.