Bylaws of the College Council

Northern Illinios University
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  1. PURPOSE
    The College Council is the body of representatives elected by the departments of the college through which the faculty exercises its rights and responsibilities in the process of shared governance and peer review in the areas defined below.

    1. Except where another body of the college is so charged, the College Council advises the dean in all matters pertaining to the mission and operations of the college.
    2. The College Council, acting as a committee of the whole, serves as the personnel committee of the college and conveys its personnel recommendations to the chair of the University Council Personnel Committee.
    3. The College Council participates in the selection and evaluation of the dean.
    4. The College Council reviews and approves departmental bylaws and personnel procedures.
    5. The College Council has such other responsibilities as are implicit or explicit in its bylaws and in the bylaws of the university or the college.

  2. THE ADVICE OF THE COLLEGE COUNCIL

    The advice of the College Council is made known through the recorded vote of its members.

  3. MEMBERSHIP

    The College Council shall consist of the dean (as nonvoting member) and one tenured representative from each of the departments of the college excluding department chairs and assistant chairs.

    1. Elections and Terms
      During the Spring semester departments shall elect representatives from among the tenured faculty to a two-year term. The term begins on the first day of the Fall semester.

    2. Vacancies
      Departments shall fill vacancies by promptly electing a person to serve the balance of the vacated term.

  4. OFFICERS OF THE COLLEGE COUNCIL

    1. The Dean
      The dean of the college or the dean's designate is the chair of the College Council and of each of its standing committees. The dean, in consultation with the secretary of the College Council, is responsible for preparing the information and materials needed for College Council deliberations and actions. The dean shall arrange the timely distribution to College Council members of the agenda of College Council meetings and the Minutes of the previous meeting, and he or she shall arrange the distribution of approved minutes to departments and other interested offices.

    2. The Secretary
      At its first meeting in the Fall the voting members of the College Council shall elect as secretary a person who has served on the College Council the previous year. There shall be written nominations for the position, and the election shall be by secret ballot. The term of the secretary is one year.

      The secretary of the College Council is responsible for reviewing and editing the minutes of the meetings of the College Council and of meetings of the faculty of the college. In the absence of the dean or the dean's designate the secretary shall chair the meeting of the College Council. At the end of each academic year the secretary shall prepare and issue an annual report of the continuing concerns of the College Council. This report shall be distributed with the minutes of the last regular Spring term meeting of the College Council. (Also see below, E.2.)

  5. MEETINGS

    1. Calling Meetings
      The regular meeting time for the College Council shall be Monday at 1:30 P.M. during the academic year. Approval of two-thirds of the College Council is required to call a meeting at any other time.

    2. Agenda
      At the beginning of each semester the dean shall report to the College Council the state of the college in accomplishing its mission. Upon receipt of this report the College Council shall review continuing and new concerns and shall set priorities for the semester.

      The agenda for each meeting of the College Council shall be set by the dean and the secretary in concert. Any member of the College Council may with one week's notice place an item on the agenda. A meeting may be canceled for lack of agenda by joint decision of the dean and the secretary

    3. Quorum
      A quorum for a meeting of the College Council shall consist of two-thirds of the members of the College Council. A quorum for a meeting of a committee of the College Council shall consist of two-thirds of the members of the committee. In the presence of a quorum, a simple majority of those eligible to vote is required for the approval of a motion unless otherwise provided for in these bylaws. Proxies and absentee votes are not permitted.

    4. Notice and Time for Consultation
      All policy initiatives (and significant amendments to such policy initiatives) brought before the College Council are to be introduced for a first reading no less than one week in advance of College Council action. Exceptions to this provision shall be allowed on unanimous vote of the College Council.

    5. Attendance by Persons Other Than Members
      The meetings of the College Council are open, except for meetings of the Personnel Committee or meetings or portions of meetings devoted to personnel questions. Persons other than members may attend meetings or portions of meeting devoted to personnel questions by invitation of the College Council.

  6. PERSONNEL COMMITTEE OF THE COLLEGE COUNCIL

    1. Membership and Jurisdiction
      The personnel committee consists of all the members of the College Council and is chaired by the dean in a nonvoting capacity. It acts on recommendations forwarded from departmental personnel committees, from department chairs, or from individual faculty members. It routinely addresses matters of retention, tenure, promotion, sabbatical proposals, and university grants requiring college action; its recommendations will be forwarded to the appropriate university committees and officers.

      All members of the personnel committee shall have access to all pertinent information and, in preparation for a vote, all members shall apprise themselves of the information provided.

    2. Personnel Calendar
      In the Spring the College Council shall publish a personnel calendar detailing the dates by which individuals and departments shall forward items for action to the College Council and the dates by which the College Council shall communicate its recommendations to departments and individuals concerned. The College Council shall assure, through the office of the dean, the timely distribution of this calendar to the departments and the faculty of the college. In moving through its personnel agenda, the College Council shall adhere strictly to the published calendar; moreover, individuals or departments failing to meet the published deadlines for promotions may forfeit the privilege of requesting action by the College Council.

    3. Division of Labor
      Recommendations received from the departments shall be divided into three sets, and the sets shall be distributed to all the members of the College Council. There shall be three reading committees, one each for (1) the humanities, (2) the social sciences, and (3) mathematics and the natural sciences. All College Council members shall be assigned to a reading committee in their disciplinary area to evaluate the recommendations received from the departments and place each recommendation regarding retention, tenure, or promotion on either a consent agenda or on an agenda for full consideration by the College Council. Any member of the College Council may participate in the meetings of any of the reading committees. A quorum shall be four of the members assigned to the committee.

    4. Voting, Abstention, and a Quorum
      All College Council action on personnel matters shall be in the form of a motion. All voting members shall vote aye or nay, with the exception of members subject to a mandatory abstention. (An abstention is mandatory if the case involves a member's department or if it is required by rules, practices or customs acknowledged by the College Council as binding.) The number of votes required to pass a motion shall be a simple majority of those eligible to vote on the motion.

    5. Reconsideration
      The College Council Personnel Committee shall provide written notification of its recommendation to the individual concerned and to the department in time to permit a petition for reconsideration and shall identify the grounds on which a negative recommendation was based. The recommendation of the Committee shall be communicated in writing to the parties in time to permit a petition for reconsideration. The personnel committee's action on the reconsideration shall be in the form of a motion to sustain its original recommendation. There shall be only one reconsideration of a case, unless otherwise determined by a vote of the College Council.

    6. Scope of the Committee's Deliberations
      In reviewing departmental recommendations and appeals from them, the personnel committee shall attend to two sorts of question: whether the department followed approved procedures and whether the department applied appropriate professional standards of evaluation.

    7. Confidentiality
      Unless otherwise provided in particular cases by a vote of the College Council, the only person authorized to communicate its personnel recommendations and the reasons for them is the dean of the college. The members of the College Council shall maintain strict confidentiality, before and after moving through its personnel calendar, regarding its agenda, its recommendations, and its deliberations.

  7. MISSION AND PLANNING COMMITTEE

    1. Membership
      The Mission and Planning Committee shall have at least six member, two from each of the division of the college. In all matters except those pertaining to the evaluation of college administrators, the dean or the dean's designate shall chair the committee.

    2. Jurisdiction
      The Mission and Planning Committee provides advice to the dean on major issues and problems regarding the mission, planning and resource allocation of the college. The dean shall consult with this committee in such matters as university priorities in resource allocation; the college's most critical budgetary needs in meeting its teaching and research missions; significant resource reallocations within the college; and financial exigency.

      The committee shall also:

      1. Solicit and review nominations for committees of the university for which the College Council is responsible and submit these for College Council action; and
      2. Prepare in consultation with the secretary for action by the College Council recommendations regarding the annual evaluation of the dean (and, if so charged by the College Council, of other administrators of the college). This function of the committee does not extend to the evaluation of the dean with a view to renewal of the office for a further term.

    3. Agenda and Actions
      The agenda for the committee shall be set jointly by the dean, who is the chair of the committee, and its members. Any recommendations arrived at by the committee shall be brought before the College Council for action.

  8. AMENDMENT
    Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by any member of the College Council or by petition of ten percent of the college faculty. Adoption of an amendment requires a two-thirds majority of the members of the College Council.

  9. ROBERT'S RULES
    On matters not covered in these bylaws the College Council shall act in accordance with the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.


Approved 5/1/89
Minor revision approved by College Council on 4/6/09